Thursday, May 24, 2018

Only 24 hours per day

"I'm a master of disguise," said Biggest Granddaughter. I do love the things they say at this age.

Goodness, life is busy - there's not time to do everything I want to do. I'm always chasing my tail. How can this possibly be??? We're retired!!! But, for example, we go for a walk most days, looking over the rooftops to the Pentland Hills, above. We're lucky to live in a city between the hills and the sea.

Our normal walk is along by the golf course. There are never many people playing golf but I suppose that if it weren't a golf course, it would probably get built on.

Another day I (unusually not Mr Life, who was down in Wales with his railway group) went with the walking friends on a circular hike from Lasswade. It was a lovely day - the weather has been uncharacteristically fine for a few weeks now.


And gorse.

And the Royal Wedding, which some of the group watched via live streaming at lunch time. No escape! I saw the edited highlights later and thought it was a praiseworthy attempt to reach out to ordinary people. The dress was slightly boring, though, no?

We looked sadly at Mavisbank House, or what's left of it. It was built in the 1720s - designed by William Adam - but fell into neglect and then suffered a terrible fire in 1973. People keep making plans to get it at least partly restored, but it would cost millions. Anyone got some to spare?

This is its walled garden, which appears to belong now to the houses on the far side. They don't really seem to be gardeners, frustratingly, but on the other hand it's a BIG space.

And another day we took the little ones to Almondvale Country Park, where they patted guinea pigs

and climbed

and bounced. Such fun.

Daughter 1 has made a chart to attempt to make leaving the house for school in time slightly easier. I think it's sort of working. Can you see the two illustrations added by Grandson?

And now the garden's getting away from me, and I've only done a bit of cutting out of the next quilt, and as for writing that Booker-Prize-winning novel... .

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Cake etc

Ah yes, Delta Airlines. My cousin, or to be more accurate the daughter of my father's cousin, who is American, is married to a lovely chap with a dark chocolatey voice who does voiceovers, including for Delta Airlines. So he sometimes has the strange experience of hearing himself tell him that his flight has been delayed. If you've flown by Delta, you'll probably have heard him too. 

This weekend, Mr Life turned an astonishing 70. I can't quite believe that we're so old (mind you, I'm over two years younger, a fact I'm clinging to). The idea was that the whole lot of us, including my brother and his family, would come for the weekend to celebrate, and this sort of happened. My nephew didn't quite make it. He was willing to drive up from Essex one day and back down 36 hours later but we persuaded him that this would be too exhausting. 

Here are Son and his child's hand at the Botanics, where we all went on Saturday. 

And here he is reading to Littlest Granddaughter and his own child.

And here's Littlest playing with the family rattles. Isn't she cute? (totally unbiased opinion).

And here's the cake that Daughter 2 decorated for her dad.

On the same theme, the card that she made. He likes trains (understatement) and they're organising a trip to Hamburg for him to visit a model railway setup there (and other things).

Some of us went for a walk.

But others got chicken pox and weren't able to come to the party... though they did see Littlest the day before the spots appeared and breathed lovingly on her...

And gradually everyone departed, though my brother and sister-in-law kindly took us out for dinner last night before they too went back home. 

My niece has chosen some fabrics from my stash for a quilt that I'm going to make for her. I haven't yet decided on a design. Thinking about it won't quite console me for the departure of Middle and Littlest Granddaughters, but it'll help.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Past and present

I picked up Granddaughter from nursery last week and we went for lunch at the Brunton Bistro. As we were leaving, she spotted this amazing array of knitted tea things. She played with them for almost an hour, offering "tea" and "biscuits" to random passing ladies, almost all of who were very gracious in joining her game. 

 The knitted goods were to publicise a charity. 

Such attention to detail!

Then we went to the playpark,

which is down near the sea.

When Grandson got back from school, he played with his road signs and home-made traffic light.

He's now learned basic programming from his dad and can create his own computer road layouts.

And in a magazine, I read that Burleigh have made this jug and it's for sale for £31.

The pattern's very familiar to me from the Burleigh vase (above) that my grandmother's brother gave her as a present and I now possess. Actually there were two vases but one got broken years ago. She was very close to her brother but he died in 1920 from the effects of being gassed in World War One, so she really treasured the vases and they stood at either end of her mantelpiece till a visitor broke one. She would be so interested that, about 100 years after her brother bought them, the pattern has been used again. I wish I could tell her, but alas she died in 1980. She was such a lovely person. She was very small, and her brother once told her that she was "just the right size for dancing underneath the bed". I've told this to the older grandchildren and it fascinates me that they know something that their great-great-great uncle said to their great-great-grandmother. I know virtually nothing about my great-great-grandmothers apart from their names and where they lived.

And then we went down south to visit my brother and family, and some cousins, one of whom is the voice of Delta Airlines. But now I must go and remove a meringue from the oven.