Thursday, September 08, 2011

Out and about

On Monday, I went to Queensferry and had lunch with my friend J. Here she is, taking a picture of the Forth Rail Bridge. J lives in Queensferry and is very involved in the community. (J is not a large person - much of that black round her trousers is shadow, not her legs.) We had a lovely time.

I don't know if this is proverbial only in Scotland, but here we refer to an endless task as "like painting the Forth Bridge", since as soon as the painting is completed at one end, the painters have to start again at the other. However, no longer: a new, longer-lasting paint has been developed so that by the spring, it'll be finished and won't have to be done again for a few years.

So they say.

On the way home, I walked past this huge house that's being built fairly near where we live. I should say that our house is not far from a very posh area featuring mansions owned by millionaires. There was a very nice house here before, with swimming pool and all, but it was demolished and now this ridiculous great castley thing has been rising from the ruins.

As I passed, a young workman emerged, crossed the road (there's no pavement on the other side) and walked along near me. I engaged him in conversation and he said that the new owner had bought the previous house for £2 million and that the replacement was costing £6 million. I can quite believe this since the building has been going on for ages and it's huge.

It's not actually leaning like the Tower of Pisa, as it looks in my picture.

I don't find it beautiful. And it seems very wasteful.

Was it later that day that Daughter 1 and I took Grandson to the supermarket? This is how I too feel about shopping.

Today we went to Dr Neil's garden at Duddingston Loch, but he didn't seem to be impressed by that either.

The weather has been discouragingly nice this week. I do hope it's not saving up its rain for Daughter 2's wedding next weekend.


  1. The older I get the more annoyed I get about 'conspicuous consumption' - who actually needs to spend £8 million or more on a house, for goodness sake! And knocking down a perfectly good one into the bargain - grrr!
    Been absent for a while as DD has been back from the USA but she's gone again now. Just as bad as saying good-bye when they first went - but this time I was sending her back to hurricanes and earthquakes! Now that really is asking too much! But they're safe and well.
    Just been catching up with your gorgeous grandson pictures-he's adorable. And how nice of you to point out that the black didn't all belong to your friend!
    Good luck with the wedding weather.

  2. There is a trend here in SoCal to knock down a perfectly nice one or two story house sitting in a reasonable sized garden and replace it with a two or three story fancy mansion that extends right up to the property land and looms over neighboring properties. We call them "McMansions" because they frequently have features like large columns framing the entryway, White-House style domes, and usually the effect is disproportionate and unattractive.

  3. Same here too.....not so much in the town where I now live, but certainly when we lived in Sydney we noticed it a lot; in fact the house next door to us was subject to that treatment, one of the reasons we moved. Out here we have the expression "like painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge"!

  4. After reading Sarah Susanka's books [originally from England but a famous architect over here] I think of these all too prevalent monstrosities as "starter castles!" I would love though to live in a house designed by she is very creative and efficient in her use of space, and it all looks gorgeous to boot!

    Next w.e. already? Fingers crossed the blue skies last.....
    Will Little grandson be wearing a baby tux to the wedding??

  5. OMG hadn't realised Daughter 2's wedding was so close - got everything crossed for a fine day and hope you all have a wonderful day. Grandson (1) is just adorable - but then all grandchildren are - hope there will be many more to enthral you. Zxx

  6. OMG hadn't realised that Daughter 2's wedding was so imminent - hope you all have a wonderful day. Grandson (1) is adorable and my wish for you is many more of them. Love Z xxx

  7. Blogger doing very strange things -thought my first comment had disappeared into the ether - but the sentiment is the same xx

  8. Why does anyone need a house that is that big and costs that much? I guess that at least the building of it is providing work for some.

    Your baby grandson is just adorable. I loved his blanket and cap.

  9. When we look out of our back window, I see one of those big houses. When they were building it, I was so annoyed, as it blocks our view of beautiful sunsets. I don't much notice anymore -- I guess I'm just used to it. It's their money, so they can spend it however they want (I do wish they'd have their gardener come a little more often.) Fortunately, they didn't tear down a perfectly good house when they built it -- I really don't understand that kind of wastefulness.

    Just think -- before long, you'll go to the gardens and little grandson will be running around with you and Mum in tow!

  10. We have a large garden on the edge of a town. When we moved in, 9 years ago, our neighbour visited, before the vans had even left, to find out whether we intended to sell off plots in the garden. She was really relieved, and a bit bemused when I said that no, we actually wanted the garden the size it was. Brownie points for us on Day 1. Even if keeping the garden under some sort of control is a bit like painting the Forth Bridge. (Yes, it's national!)

  11. Well, that's great about them coming up with longer-lasting paint.... the problem now is that by the time they finish painting the bridge, the color will no longer be in fashion! *wink*

  12. I too, think that 'house' looks obscene.
    Love the pic of your dear little Grandson, sleeping so cosy- perfect way to shop!
    Fingers crossed for the wedding weather.

  13. that little boy gets cuter and cuter with each photo! I love the bridge, I have pictures of it from my visit last year. Love the look of it

  14. I always enjoy the photos! Hope daughter two's wedding plans are all coming together wonderfully! Congrats to you all as the special day approaches!! :)

  15. dear Isabelle, love the photos of your grandson! he is super sweet.Been away from the computer for a while but I still love to lookk at scenes of your garden and the soft-as-silk cats. Please stroke them for me.