Monday, April 30, 2018

In brief... ish

I seem to have been very busy, a concept which - relating to the retired life - I wouldn't have understood when I was working and was HORRENDOUSLY busy much of the time. I was thinking about this as I returned from buying a newspaper early this morning, feeling a bit stressed about the number of things I had to do. And then I thought: it's a lovely day and there's really nothing to stop you sitting in the garden, reading a book, for an hour or so. Why are you feeling tense?

However, I didn't do this, because I had various urgent tasks. But still - it's a lot more restful than working was. Anyway, much of the time we're busy doing such things as leading the walking group along the coast, as above and below - hardly a chore.

It was a beautiful day, though with a cool breeze from the sea, which is a dangerous combination for a pale-faced Celt.

 I got a bit burnt. But it was such a lovely day out.

And there's been lots of this.

And a visit to friends in the west, who took us to the Kelvingrove, where there was a great exhibition of Charles Rennie Mackintosh-related items...

including this cup and saucer painted by Helen Walton, which I really wanted to take home. (It was actually there, though this is a photo from the catalogue.) I love yellow, green and blue.

And then there's been the Biggest-Granddaughter-and-Botanic-Gardens combo, always a winner.

And then annual photo of my Enormous Hippeastrum, nurtured all year for its week of glory.

And this.

And this.

 And this.

And this. We're so lucky to see so much of these little people. Don't grow up so fast, N and L!

And the spring garden, currently more or less licked into shape - not that this will last.

At last I've finished Biggest Granddaughter's quilt. Look! Triangles! Not quite professional standard, but it's a start. (Don't look too closely.) It took me almost exactly four months. I don't think I should try to do it for a living.

I finished it on Saturday and am already itching to start the next one. Thimbleanna, what have you done to me?

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Packed with activity...

At last the winter has come to an end and it's been warm and sunny. Daughter 1 and I took her children to the new playpark at Newhailes House, which was a success except that it's one of those places with lots of little "houses", with interconnected walkways, into which the children can vanish, so that one loses track of where they are. Which is a bit stressful, though only for the adults. However, we ultimately retrieved them both.

Another day I collected Biggest Granddaughter from nursery and we went to the museum, which is always fun. I've only got another term of doing this because she starts school in August and won't have the afternoons free, so I'm taking full advantage now. Such precious times.

As usual, she spent a lot of time with the books.

On Thursday, Mr L and I went to the Borders on the train - it only takes half an hour or so - and walked through deserted countryside in the sunshine. It was really lovely.

We met a couple of dog walkers but apart from that we felt we owned the place.

You can see how wet it's been: the trees are growing out of the water of this little loch.

Then we came past Abbotsford, Sir Walter Scott's little place,

and the Gun Knowe Loch, and back to the station. 7 rather hilly miles. We enjoyed sitting down afterwards.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

All the grandbabies

We've had a lovely week. On Monday we went up north to visit Son, Daughter-in-Law and Middle Granddaughter. Here she is having a sleep on her father, while he multitasks by also stroking one of their cats. (The piled-up sofa cushions are to provide a toddler-free perch for the furry friends.)

Then on Wednesday, Daughter 2 and Littlest Granddaughter came to visit. Grandson and Biggest Granddaughter are very good with her. They're experienced big cousins, since they also have younger cousins on the other side of their family. Son and his family came down for the weekend too, so we had all three of our children and all four of the grandchildren together, which was wonderful.

I may be biased but I do think she's cute.

Son bonded with his niece,

while Middle Granddaughter (that's her hand and foot) at least tolerated her.

But then they all went away. We took Daughter 2 and Littlest Granddaughter to the station and walked back through Princes Street Gardens. At last, after a cold spring, the weather has improved and people were basking in the sunshine.

After some time and effort, we got the house tidy again. I'm not exactly saying that this makes up for them all being away, but it's some compensation.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

The sea, the sea

We did a recce yesterday for a walk we're leading in a couple of weeks. It's been a cold spring, but the weather was perfect - not a breath of wind, and warm enough without being hot. We started in Gullane and headed down towards the sea.

There was quite a bit of steepish dune walking, which is slightly hard work.

Then we walked along by the shore for a long way.

The beaches were mostly deserted.

This is called Hanging Rock on the map, so obviously we had our lunch beside it.

There was lots of coltsfoot blooming stalwartly away.

That pimple in the distance is Berwick Law, a 340-million-year-old conical volcanic plug in the mainly flat coastal landscape. Berwick Law, confusingly, is nowhere near Berwick (which is in England) but near North Berwick (which is 25 miles from Edinburgh).

Then, after much upping and downing of dunes and scrambling over rocks, we turned inland and made our way through Dirleton...

refraining from crossing this active runway

in either direction, and then, not before time, we were back to the car in Gullane. We were quite keen to sit down by then, having covered 8.23 miles according to Mr L's device.  It was a lovely walk, though, and in a fortnight's time I'm sure we'll be ready to do it again.

Thursday, April 05, 2018

The week

Last Saturday we went to the local flower show, where the spring colours were very nourishing to the soul,

especially since the weather was still unseasonably chilly.

Margaret, one of my bloggy friends, doesn't much care for daffodils. But I love them. Even though I don't like orange as a colour on anything but oranges, I make an exception for daffodils - as long as yellow predominates.

I bought a bunch of discarded show blooms. Look at the variety of flowers!

On Monday, we disregarded the cold and went for a walk along the river. There were daffodils there too, bravely flowering despite the weather.

At this point, there was a strong smell of wild garlic, even though it wasn't blooming yet. That's it there: most of the green you can see.

On Tuesday, Biggest Granddaugher got her glasses. It was so interesting: the minute she got them, she walked round the opticians examining closely all the stands of spectacles and cases and cleaning cloths, as if surprised at what they looked like. It's possible that she was just trying to get things into focus, since the optician said it'll take her eyes a few days to adjust to them. The little ones stayed the night with us and she solemnly took them off when she got into bed and said, "I'm just putting my glasses on my bedside table" - like a professional glasses-wearer.

But before that, she dressed up as Supergirl and played with her dollies

while Grandson and Grandpa made railways in the sitting room.

Then some serious work took place in the kitchen, in Grandson's case - a road map.

How I love these little people.