Saturday, April 27, 2019

Out and about

I was standing at a bus stop the other day and took a few touristy pictures of the Castle and Gardens.

Everything looks better in the sunshine.

Not bad for a city centre.

Then today we went for a hike round West Linton.

It was very pretty in an understated way.

We met some rather fine Soay sheep. Good horns on this chap.

The weather was a bit mixed - a little drop of rain,

 quite a lot of sunshine -

(here are some English, as opposed to the invasive Spanish, bluebells)

- and a tiny bit of brief hail. This river is a long way down, though it doesn't look it here.

The bluebells don't show up very well here, but they're quite an intense blue, en masse.

And back into the village in a bit of drizzle.

On the car journey home, the sun shone again.

What a lovely day we had: good company, fresh air, exercise (about 6 miles) and coffee and cake at the end.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Daughter 2 and Littlest Granddaughter have just been up for a long weekend. Littlest is very lovely but nothing is safe with her around. Our house is not minimalist and there are various bits of glass and so on within her reach, all of which had to be put on high shelves.

On Saturday, we met up with her Edinburgh cousins at the Botanics. It was a beautiful day, with summer temperatures.

 Back home, she stole my sunhat, which Son-in-Law 1 had been wearing in the garden. It suited her.

On Sunday, as we drove along, Oldest Granddaughter looked at the blossom on the trees and said, "Oh look, the flowers are growing back. So romantic." I love the things they say when they're experimenting with language.

We had an Easter egg hunt.

Daughter 2 showed us the Easter bonnet/headdress that Littlest's nursery had asked the parents to make "with" the children for an Easter parade. You can imagine how much input Littlest had into this creation. 

She didn't really approve.

I took her out for a walk. She and the blossom are so lovely and springlike.

I keep thinking: when she's twenty, I'll be 87. Might I make that? Might I find out what she's like at least as a young adult? I do hope so. But As-Yet-Unborn Grandson, due in a month, won't be twenty till I'm nearly 89. Hmm, I don't give much for my chances of being able to see him off to university. Ah well, you can't live for ever, as my mother used to say, philosophically. I wish she could see these little people, and the Unbloggable Small Person, sister to As-Yet-Unborn.

Then they went away. I took some stuff to a charity shop today (in the endless quest for decluttering) and walked back into town by a steep lane. This is a cafe. I wonder if the IR is JR and means Jacobus Rex? James VI of Scotland, who'd recently also become James I of England and Ireland, was king in 1605. Or was it the name of the builder? I don't know what the thing with the arrow and the other symbol mean. CI? GI?

The blossom was lovely here too.

And then I came home to the tidy, but babyless, house.

Friday, April 19, 2019

London again

I've been down for a long weekend to visit Daughter 2, her husband and Littlest Granddaughter, who turned 18 months during my visit. That was quick! She's still very adorable, though has developed some strong opinions. As we all do.

After a couple of days, Daughter 1 and her family arrived. Daughter 2 and SIL 2 only have a two-bedroom flat, so it was kind of them to accommodate four extra bodies. At that point, I moved to a Travelodge. Two bedrooms, seven people - seemed like enough without an eighth.

Grandson took his father to the Transport Museum (no surprise there) while we girls visited a children's event near King's Cross.

It's surprising how much fun it seems to be, standing under a parachute while it collapses on you.

This is Oldest Granddaughter. Obviously.

Despite appearances, the weather was cold, but Granddaughter didn't appear to feel it. Fortunately her mother had some much-needed dry clothes for her.

This is the view from my Travelodge 7th floor bedroom. I'd never stayed in a hotel by myself before. It was very peaceful.

The next day we went on the Docklands Light Railway to Greenwich. Here you can see Littlest "driving" the (driverless) train. The day after that, climate-change protesters disrupted this part of the network (among other places) by glueing themselves to the tops of some of the carriages, causing huge delays. I'm so glad we missed this.

We'd brought a packed lunch to the Maritime Museum and a nice chap found us a completely empty room to eat it in. This was so good - the children got to run around while we had a seat.

Then I came home and finished the middle bit of the starry quilt for my nephew and his young lady. It doesn't look very impressive but there were a lot of corners. Now to decide on borders.

And now Daughter 2 and Littlest are at Newcastle on their way up here for Easter weekend. Hurray!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Ordinary things

Life proceeds in its uneventful way, but pleasantly enough. We looked after the Edinburgh grandchildren the day before yesterday to allow their parents to prepare for going down south to visit the other grandparents. Grandson likes public transport, so, to get here from their house, we took a 5 bus up to Leith Walk, a new 100-seater (and thus very exciting) 16 bus from there to Princes Street and a tram to Saughton Park - see above - where lots of bouncing and playing took place.

Then we got another tram back into town to Haymarket and a bus to our house.

(This was by no means the simplest possible route.)

We made an obstacle course in the back garden and played in the sand pit.

Biggest Granddaughter played with dolls

while Grandson chalked railway lines on the paving slabs.

I think a good time was had by all.

I cherish these precious times while they're little, and while we have our health and (relative) strength. Our lovely neighbour has sadly just died at the age of 75. One never knows... .

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Flowers and stars

Last weekend we went to the Caledonian Spring Flower Show, which was LOVELY, the colours and scents gladdening the heart.

It was a beautiful day, so we had a little walk in the park.

and then took Biggest Granddaughter to the playpark. After this we walked back to the car, at which point I discovered that I no longer had the car key. I retraced our steps without success and by this time, the show was closed. Fortunately, home is within walking distance, Mr L came to the rescue with the spare key and I got the key back that very evening because I emailed our Minor Celebrity friend, who's an important person in those flowery circles and he knew who'd taken a lost key home.

Ah, the usefulness of knowing the right people.

It was Mother's Day, which brought chocolates and flowers. Thank you, offspring!

And it's definitely spring in the garden, if not exactly in the temperatures.

I've been spending ridiculous amounts of time making patchwork stars. This is my 19th out of 20. You'd think I'd have understood the principle by now.

You join two strips together. You struggle to get the corners to fit exactly. And then you look at it. Er... maybe not.

That's better. (Don't look too closely, proper quilty people.)

Jenny of the Missouri Star Quilt Company showed me (on video) how to make stars like this, only she made them deliberately wonky, with points all different sizes. Nineteen stars down, I can see why. Still, it'll look good enough in a galaxy, once they're all joined together.

It's such a compulsive hobby. Now it's stopped raining, the sun has come out and I'm going for a walk.