Thursday, January 25, 2018


On Tuesday we went up north to visit Son. We had lunch out with him and Middle Granddaughter. As you can see, she's getting bigger.

It was wet on the way up and VERY wet on the way down, but we were able to go to a park during a dry spell. Middle Granddaughter enjoyed splashing in the puddles.

She also enjoyed feeding the ducks. She does this quite often and isn't at all frightened when they crowd round her. They even allowed her to stroke them.

The ducks are very tame - here they are eating out of Son's hand. They're also quite plump, not surprisingly.

The sun came out for a while. It was so nice to be with Son and Granddaughter.

 Today I went over to sit with Biggest Granddaughter, who isn't very well and is off nursery. She perked up after a while. We read lots of stories and then she did some drawing

She tried out a French plait but didn't really approve, so we reinstated her bunches,

which she seems to feel are an essential part of her image.

Granddaughters are the best. Well, along with grandsons. And offspring in general.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Snow babies

We don't get a lot of snow in Edinburgh, or even a lot of seriously cold weather, but it's chilly just now - freezing-ish. Yesterday the children played in the garden. Here, Grandson makes a snowcastle with a bucket and spade from the sandpit.

And so does Oldest Granddaughter. Then -

she JUMPS on it.

Playing in the sand is quite a common activity here - we're on the coast - but playing in the snow is a novelty.

Predictably, Grandson makes roads.

We combine forces to make an extremely small and somewhat sinister snowman.

And Oldest Granddaughter, who has a heart-shaped bucket, makes a snowheart.

Such fun.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Things you see when you're walking

On Saturday, Mr L and I did the recce for our walking group's next walk, which we're leading. The weather was very nothingy - not cold, not bright, not windy, not wet. It was pleasant enough walking - from the Water of Leith Centre at Slateford - yet it's the time of year when things are a bit grey and one is pleased to see some colour in the ivy and the dead beech leaves.

When we got nearer town we saw this plaque, which we'd never noticed before. We were impressed that someone had remembered from 1848 to 1948 where Chopin had stayed for (maybe?) only one night. I myself have difficulty remembering where I went on holiday last year... .

See how still the water is.

After seven and a half miles we got to Leith. This area has been very much gentrified in the past twenty years or so, with lots of cafés and restaurants. We identified the all-important café big enough to take 15-ish people for coffee and cake at the end of next week's walk. Then we got the bus home.

When we walk locally, as we often do, along a former railway line - now a cycle/walking path on the embankment - we often look down at a garden in which a chap has built himself a model tram, complete with lots of signs, labels, bus stops, a Belisha beacon and so on. One day a few weeks ago we got into conversation with the man and when I said how much Grandson appreciated his efforts, he invited us to bring Grandson to see it. So on Sunday, Son-in-Law 1 and I did. Grandson was VERY HAPPY. The man, John (who's a bus driver) also gave him photos of his tram, some timetables of the sort that go into bus stops, a model tram and two bus magazines. He was such a kind chap. I think he was very pleased to find a kindred spirit in Grandson, who was very appreciative of all the detailed lights and buttons and so on with which the place was equipped.

John has also built himself a Tardis (that you can't see from the cycle path), with a K9 and a Cyberman and a control panel with buttons and a television that plays old "Dr Who" episodes. Grandson doesn't know a lot about Dr Who but he really liked the set-up all the same.

Then SIL 1 and I took Grandson on a real tram into town and got the bus home again - all of which amounted to a very satisfactory afternoon for Grandson.

And so life goes on. I do love being a granny.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018


It's been a busy but lovely time in the last week or so. On Friday, Son-in-Law 1 and I took the Edinburgh grandchildren to the museum. Here you see them admiring some train (I think) traffic signals. Look at how long-legged Grandson is getting. I thought back on the first time I took him there - below. Now he's six and a half.

Then, hooray hooray, later that day, Daughter 2 and Littlest Granddaughter arrived for a five-day visit. Littlest Granddaughter is so lovely (totally unbiased opinion). She's now looking round a lot and smiling, which is so nice.

I do love babies: their soft skin and round eyes and bouncy faces. She's very wakeful during the day (mostly) but does sleep at night, so Daughter 2 is finding motherhood very fulfilling and much less hard work than architecture. I found that myself: one tiny person to look after instead of 100+ potentially stroppy teenagers who needed to have their writing marked. Babies are extremely hard work - I'm not denying that - but their needs aren't complicated and they're very cuddly.

However, alas, they went home this afternoon and I'm missing them a lot.

Son, Daughter-In-Law and Middle Granddaughter came to stay at the weekend and the Edinburgh family were here too, so that was exceedingly good. Middle Granddaughter was very dubious last time about her parents paying attention to Littlest  Granddaughter, but this time she was absolutely fine. They even had a bath together, with Son washing his niece, and Middle Granddaughter didn't object at all: in fact, she "helped" to bath the baby.

We warned Grandson that Middle Granddaughter (17 months) would probably play with (ie rearrange) his elaborate rail layout (which is always constructed on the sitting room floor) and he was very good about this. However, when Son and DIL had packed to go home on the Sunday - but Middle Granddaughter was still picking up bits of the railway - Grandson said to DIL, "Did you say you were leaving?"

She laughed and said, "Would you like her to stop playing with your railway?"

He hesitated, clearly wondering how truthful to be. Then he said cautiously, "Yes." Pause. "But she's very cute."

Tactful. Ish.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Snow, no snow

And so it's 2018. Since my last post, we had some snow which lay a couple of days. Grandson, down south with his other grandparents (where there was no snow), mourned, "It always doesn't snow where we are."

The ice froze on Inverleith Pond, which must have been annoying for the ducks. When I was at school we had to play hockey near here (I was never fond of team games; why would one care who won?) and once, when the ground was too frozen to play, we were taken here to slide on the ice. Granted, this was when the world was a colder place but all the same it's fairly unbelievable now. I'm not sure what would have happened if the ice had cracked. It's not a deep pond but we'd have got very wet and muddy.

And then the grandchildren returned and enjoyed playing with their new toys - and I enjoyed watching them. Grandson has remote control trains for his Brio and REALLY likes them.

Happy 2018, everyone. Let's hope for a more sensible year.