Tuesday, November 28, 2017


It was a beautiful day today so Granddaughter the Eldest and I went to the Botanics to enjoy the colours and the fresh air. At this time of year the gardens are opening during the evenings for a lit-up walk, so things looked a bit different, which Granddaughter found very exciting. She's going there to see the lights with her brother and parents on Saturday - I hope the weather remains kind. "It's not going to be SaturDAY - it's going to be SaturNIGHT!" she said. "We'll be going out AFTER TEA!!"

She kept pointing out all the new things - "Big red balls - it's going to be all sparkly!"

"Look, the MOON on a tree!"

"Shiny stars on another tree."

 "And here's the SUN on a tree."

 "A pretend icicle tree!"

"Funny mirrors. I wonder if they have radios inside them to play music." Well, possibly.

"And look, pretend trees with lots of lights. It's going to be really really good!"

I hope it is, little person.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Why I haven't yet discovered the mysteries of the universe

Daughter 2 came up with Granddaughter the Youngest for a few days, which was LOVELY. This gave me the incentive to finish her cot quilt. The colours were chosen to match her bedroom, which has white walls, crimson curtains and a bedside rug of stripes of various reds, lilacs and blues.  I decided to try quilting the middle part in an  overall wiggly pattern, which was quite labour-intensive but worked fairly well. I'm not sure I'd do it again - possibly it detracts from the patchwork design? - but I quite like it. I wanted to do hearts around the edge, though, because (obviously) I love her.

On a whim, I did the back in random patches, though I now wish I'd used fewer of the darker red fabrics (although the red isn't nearly as scarlet as it looks here). Still, it was an interesting experiment. Of course I hadn't really thought it out and it was more of a fiddle than I'd expected to get the back oblong corresponding to the front one, which it needed to do for the quilting. Also, I discovered that my (hand) quilting stitches tend to look more even on the front than the back. All this is possibly why most people don't do this... .

Generally speaking, however, I liked the patchwork design and might use it again in my next, bigger, quilt for Granddaughter the Eldest. (I keep thinking that I should try triangles but keep not doing so.)

 Anyway, the baby! So lovely!

She met her biggest cousin, who was surprisingly excited about it considering that he already had two little girl cousins: Granddaughter the Younger and a cousin on his dad's side. He does think that the next baby - due in a few weeks to his dad's brother and sister-in-law - should be a boy, though. Well, there's a 50/50 chance.

Son, Daughter-in-Law and Granddaughter the Younger came down too, as did Mr Life's cousin. This was lovely, though Granddaughter the Younger was possibly less impressed by the baby than the rest of us were. In fact she was extremely unimpressed when her mum and dad cuddled Granddaughter the Youngest!

I like this picture: a family scene.

And here's G the Y inspecting with apparent astonishment her Auntie Daughter 1.

It was so wonderful to see them all together. I hope they grow up to like one another - I know cousins aren't always close. I myself have no cousins and always wanted some. I've always been glad that our children get on well with their only two cousins, though they don't see all that much of them because of distance.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Out and about

It's been a very outdoorsy sort of week, with beautiful autumn weather. Somehow autumn sunshine is lovelier because you know winter is coming.

Granddaughter the Eldest and I had a trip to the Botanics and played in the leaves.

Then Mr Life and I had a day out on the bus to nearby Haddington, and walked along the river there.

It was a perfect day and we felt quite holidayish.

See how long the shadows are, and it was only mid-morning.

In the town, we said hello to Bridge Street, where my beloved Granny was born.

 and then we sat having lunch and looking out past a little lemon tree (with two lemons - so exotic) at the bridge.

Another day, we went with our walking friends to Penicuik (pronounced pennycook) and did a circular tour round Penicuik House, built in the 1760s and ruined by fire in 1899. The walls have been preserved so that you can see that it was once a beautiful Palladian mansion, and the estate is now open to the public.

This is still a vista from the house down an avenue of trees to a monument .

The walk was about seven miles and, despite the lovely weather, quite muddy in parts.

And then the other day Granddaughter the Eldest and I went to the museum and dressed up as explorers.

It's a surprisingly busy life. Which is very good.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Baby worship

Actor Son-in-Law 2 was away for a couple of days so I went down again to London to help with Granddaughter the Youngest. I had SUCH a lovely time with Daughter 2, talking endlessly and nibbling the baby. I do love tiny babies. They're such a lot of work - but - their soft skin! their silky hair! their dark blue, unfathomable eyes! their completely new hands and feet! We went for some nice walks, had tea in some teashops, cuddled the baby in the stilly watches of the night and decided that she was the finest baby we'd seen for some while. And Daughter 2 did a lot of feeding.

Granddaughter the Youngest looks very familiar - I think she's like her mother at that age but no early photos exist of her father, so who knows? Already she's lost that newborn look and is intermittently very alert. What's she thinking?

Her other grandparents - both of them - are skilled knitters, so she's not without cardigans, hats and shawls.

How amazing it is when a bump becomes a person - it's so utterly normal and everyday and yet endlessly astonishing.

I got back yesterday and am missing them tremendously.