Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Our wedding anniversary was on the 27th (that was a fast 46 years; oh dear) and we took ourselves to the Botanics. For the first time ever, we got the cafe to ourselves. Where was everyone else?

The weather was dull, but perfectly pleasant. I love the Botanics in any weather.

Then the Edinburgh family came home from Son-in-Law's family down south. We collected them at the station. Edinburgh certainly has a lot of lights at this time of year.

The next day we gave the children their presents. Here's Big Grandson poring over a book about buses.

Yesterday, I took them to the local trampoline centre. They bounced.

Biggest Granddaughter also did this death-defying trapeze thing. She's very brave and also tries hard to do gymnastics, despite (I fear) not being blessed with the right genes.

Big Grandson watched. (He has the family cautious genes.) "I'm certainly not going to do that," he said. Wisely. 

I'm between quilts at the moment - I'm about to do one for a friend and she's coming down soon to discuss fabrics - so have been fiddling around during these quiet days, using up odd scraps of fabric. So thrifty: it's not as if I have a (small) cupboardful of unused material or anything... . But it's fun - not sure where I'm going with it yet.

My heart goes out to all my Australian bloggy friends - how terrible and terrifying these fires are! I hope you and yours are all safe.

And best wishes to all for 2020. The world needs to pull its socks up, I feel. Let's hope for better things soon.

(And while you're at it, world, please stop saying "Auld Lang Zyne". It's "ssyne"-  with an s-. It's just a variation of  "since". Not "zince". This is beginning to drive me sliiiiiightly mad.)

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Idle days

With the family away, we've been for walks and watched an unusual amount of television. It's been perfectly pleasant, if somewhat odd. On Christmas Eve, we walked to the art gallery and then back along the river.

It was windless, mild and overcast; good weather for walking.

On Christmas Day, we opened our presents - look, lots of nice books, fabric, chocolate and hyacinths. What more could anyone want?

Then we walked along the sea front at Cramond.

It was an absolutely lovely day: again, mild, not a breath of wind and now with that beautiful, slanting winter sunshine.

The only thing wrong with the foreshore at Cramond is that it's ideal big-dog-walking territory. I quite like dogs but there are so many of them here and they gallop. Lots of people have two or three massive hounds each. Our Edinburgh grandchildren are a bit scared of dogs so we hardly ever bring them here, which is a shame.

This is Cramond Island, which you can walk out to when the tide is low. You need to consult the tide tables, though, since the walkway is covered when the tide comes in. We just looked at it.

And then we walked back, went home and started watching "The Crown", which I've avoided up till now. I disapprove of making films about living people, especially people like the royals, who can't protest. (Or maybe they could if they really wanted to; I don't know. Maybe it's worse to make films about ordinary living people to whom something extraordinary and bad has happened.) It's not that I'm particularly a royalist, but they're just people and I don't think it's fair. I wonder if they watch it. If so, it must be terribly annoying to see themselves misportrayed, as they must be at least to some extent.

However, my curiosity got the better of my judgement,. It's well done but with a strong element of piffle, I thought. Still, their lives have certainly been eventful - for people who don't really do anything. Possibly it's because they have so much leisure that they have time to get themselves into pickles.

Our lives wouldn't make much of a television series. Thankfully.

And all of our children phoned us up via Skype or whatever, so we weren't forgotten.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Ever-rolling tide

Well, Daughter and Littlest Granddaughter came, we had a lovely time and now they've gone again. Littlest spent a lot of time practising with scissors.

 She also enjoyed playing with our 37-year-old Fisher Price till.

She and I went to the museum, where she unearthed some bones.

She looked over at this. "What dat, Nganny?"
I considered my answer. "Well... ."
"It a dinosaur, Nganny." (Don't you know anything?.)

On Sunday, the other grandchildren came over/down and they played together.

Here are all the girls in the spare bedroom. Biggest Granddaughter inducted Medium into the joys of dressing up as Batgirl and Supergirl.

We went to the playpark.

Five little ducks on swings!

And then they all went away and, probably foolishly, we watched a video of when we were young and the children were small. Who on earth is that slim young woman with thick dark hair?? Hmm, and I thought I was fat then. Hah! Here I am, holding my darling baby son, who now lives half way up a hill in Angus with his wife, daughter and his own darling baby son.

And here are our girls, now living hundreds of miles apart.

Just as well I didn't know at the time that this would be the case.

Of course we all grow up and grow old. It would be so nice if we didn't, though.... Let's just keep everyone just as they are. Would that work?

So it's just Mr L and me. It'll be a peaceful day tomorrow. Happy Christmas, all.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Season of lights

Well, the house is decorated and the presents are bought. Not wrapped, I admit, but there has to be something left to do. Would you like to see our pretty lights? There's a tree outside the door - well, not actually a tree. It's a bamboo plant support but it holds lights.

Then as you come into the house, you see the lights round the arch between the front and back halls.

They take only a few minutes to put up, unlike a tree, and give good value.

Then you proceed into the back hall and

 then into the sitting room.

And there's the labour-intensive tree, overloaded with elderly decorations and soon to be demolished, I imagine, by our peachy Littlest Granddaughter, who arrives on Thursday. I can't wait!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas contemplations

Why is it that I'm not any more organised for Christmas than I was when I was working and unbelievably busy?

We have at least brought the Christmas quilt out, my very first one, made six years ago. It's very simple (I was doubtful of my abilities) and it wouldn't pass my quality control nowadays. Some of those corners...

And the cakes were made some time ago; three of the four have been decorated and two delivered. And I've written the cards and posted the overseas ones in time and the tree is up and partly decorated and some other things are festively adorning the rest of the house. Tomorrow all the decorations will be up and serious attention will be paid to the gift situation. But it's getting dangerously late!

This sort of thing has been happening. Big Grandson wasn't very well, hence his wee white face. Also, he wasn't very impressed at being a donkey, with no lines.

Big Granddaughter was a Wise Woman.  It's the 21st century, after all. She had a line, which she delivered with clarity and aplomb, though she had a little weep from stage fright afterwards.

It's odd being so old - though I hope to get older, at which point I shall look back and marvel at my comparative youth now. But a girl who was in my class at school has just died after suffering from dementia for many years - the second in that class to have died from dementia. Both developed it in their early to mid fifties. Both were clever girls and very nice people. Then there's my good friend Dorothy, also from that class, who was killed at 23 by a car that mounted the pavement. Because of the school that we went to, most of the class were together from the ages of 5 till we were 18, so we were a very close bunch. There's a photo of us all just before we left school, all shiny and full of plans. Quite a few of these came to fruition, but there have been tragedies too - at least one whose child died of cot death, one whose sons both died of cancer last year, one who died herself of cancer a few years ago - and I'm sure lots of the disappointments that life deals out to everyone. But also many joys. It does make one a bit thoughtful, though.

I'm very grateful to be comparatively healthy and shall now prove this by going out into the cold and dark, to push cards through the letter boxes of various neighbours.

And I am, like everyone I know, horrified at the results of our recent election. Clearly someone must have voted for Boris Johnson, so I suppose they must be happy. But I can't imagine who they are.

I maybe be back before Christmas, but in any case, season's greetings to my bloggy friends and silent readers.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Little peach

I've been down visiting Daughter 2 and her little peach of a toddler, and took with me the pushchair foot muff that I had, for no good reason, made for her dolly's buggy. (Her dolly doesn't actually feel the cold. I just wanted to make something for her.) When flat, it looked dispiritingly like a large pair of underpants, but actually it functioned quite well. Daughter 2 had sent me an approximate pattern, with a centre hole for the strap to go through. That was probably the first sort-of buttonhole I've made for more than fifty years. My mother-in-law used to make lots of clothes for the children when they were little, so I never had to.

Little Granddaughter took to it immediately, readily mastering the Velcro fastenings, though Daughter 2 can't think where she would have come across these.

I had such a lovely time. We went for walks, to a playpark - oh, the joys of splashing with a stick in a muddy puddle - and to a play centre where Granddaughter could dress up as (among other things) a chef.

Oh, the cuddles! I got to babysit for two evenings while Daughter 2 and SIL 2 went out, and it was lovely. Little Granddaughter is quite chatty now, and easy to look after. When I have her to myself, she promotes me to Chief Slave and Receiver of Cuddles, which is SO NICE!

I think she's inherited her mother's efficiency. When I said it was bath time, she led me firmly to the bathroom, took off her clothes more or less without help, removed her nappy, marched through to the kitchen with it - completely naked but with great dignity - and put it in the bin. Then she marched back to the bathroom, climbed on her little step, sat on the loo, did the needful, climbed down again and used her little step to get into the bath, with minimal assistance.

It was so sad to leave them, but it's always nice to come home to the familiar dear skyline. (These were just random people who happened to be there when I looked out of the bus window.)

Yesterday we had a walk in the Botanics, which is jollied up for the Christmas light show.

I imagine the ducks are rather puzzled.

And the squirrels.

You don't think it's about to be Christmas, do you? What, again?

Friday, November 29, 2019

Salvador Dali lives again

Last Sunday, Big Grandson (8) drew this - for him - unusual picture. Most of his drawings at the moment are of buses or trains. But this surreal offering is of the trophies won, in some parallel universe, by his bed-cuddle polar bear, whose name is for some reason spelt Poalee. Poalee seems to have won an amazing selection of trophies, starting long before Grandson himself was born. The explanation of the dates is that Poalee predates Grandson by some years. The explanation of the trophies is more obscure, particularly the one for wine dricking. The others are for running, high jump, long jump, ice skating, snowman making, stair climing, fish gobbling, question answering, veggie diet and pizza eating. A rare combination of accomplishments, you'll agree.

The weather earlier in the week was like this - somewhat dreich, as we say in Scotland.

I was sorry for the tourists, but on the other hand,

Scotland isn't renowned for excellent weather in November and I can't think why anyone would choose to come now. However, the last couple of days have been sunny and beautiful.

We gave the Edinburgh grandchildren some Christmas jumpers today. Mr Life couldn't resist buying Grandson's, which features buses and tube trains.

I'm off down to London tomorrow to get some cuddles from Littlest Granddaughter and her mum. Which will be very nice.