Thursday, July 30, 2020

Is this week 19? I forget. Anyway, lockdownish Thursday

I've made a cake because DAUGHTER 2 AND HER LITTLE PEACHY DAUGHTER ARE COMING HOME... WELL, HERE... FOR A FORTNIGHT!!! I'm so excited. They do have to come on a bus, a tube and a train, but I'm hoping that they won't be near anyone germy. (And if we had another lockdown, which seems altogether possible, at least we'll have seen them.) I've made a coconut cake out of the coconut milk (which has been in the freezer) left by her extremely irresponsible tenants when they departed. It seemed appropriate.

It's also been an exciting day because her Edinburgh flat has gone on the market. This was not without incident, because the posting on the ESPC (Edinburgh Solicitors Property Company) featured the marketing chap's original blurb, not the greatly improved (by us) version. This mattered because he got the address wrong, which we had pointed out. The flat is 1/3 (ie ground level, flat 3) and he called it 3/1 (ie third level, flat 1) - not the same at all. This did eventually get changed on the website. And then Daughter 2 noticed that the front of the printed brochure made the same mistake. Grrrr. I assume they'll put stickers over them or something. But really.

Annoyingly, another flat in the same block went up for sale today too. Competition!

She also noticed that two flats in their development in London are for sale just now. The language used by the estate agent is hilariously over-the-top. They're quite nice flats but not Buckingham Palace. For example: You'll be instantly impressed by the abundance of ornate original features from when you push the dazzling stain glass 1930's main entrance door and make your way up the hallway, which features original tiling. As you enter your perfect vintage paradise, you'll notice the amount of care that has been taken to retain key Art Deco features, yet the flawless finish makes your home marvellous for modern living. There are so many original features to marvel at, including your vintage mahogany front door with original lead diamond glass. This gorgeous glazing repeats throughout your home, as does the beautiful brass fixtures and fabulous wooden floorboards that flow through all 785 square feet.

Stepping into your sumptuous kitchen, you'll be inspired to create some culinary classics using your immaculate integrated appliances, set against a beautiful backdrop of dove grey cabinets, dreamy traditional deep sink, gleaming glazed teal tiles and amazing Art Nouveau patterned tiling. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Dum de dum de dum de dum...

First of all, never mind what I've been doing - what do you mean, Lucille, that The Archers are being recorded from your basement???? You can't just say this without explanation! I mean, I remember that your - was it daughter-in-law? - is an actor. But an ARCHERS actor?? That's the most exciting thing I've heard this year. Do tell! 

I'm perhaps overdoing the punctuation but still...

There have been many interruptions, nearly all welcome, but I've started my African fabrics quilt. These are really not my colours, but the strange thing is that one does get slightly accustomed to them. I can't quite decide whether the very bright yellow I chose for the stars is needed - to contrast with the other bright fabrics - or whether a paler yellow would soften the effect.

I'm really not the person to judge, since this (above)was my first attempt at stars when I was doing a quilt for my nephew. I then decided on yellow instead of white, and some of the squares were more vivid, but you can see the sorts of fabrics I normally use. I'm struggling a bit here...

On Sunday, o joy, we went up to Son's house and so did the Edinburgh Two and their parents. The children had a lovely time together.

Here's Medium Granddaughter with her little brother. Look at how she's holding his arm protectively.

We had their local playpark to ourselves.

Here's Son with his son on the slide.

And Biggest and Medium Granddaughters had a cousinly cuddle. Aaah.

And here we are walking back up the road. It's pretty where Son lives. Just not at all convenient for us.

The Edinburgh Two came to us after lunch yesterday and a lot of Brio got played. It's a bit of a shame for Biggest Granddaughter, since the Brio should be for both of them, and she quite wants to help her brother, but he has a master plan in his head and you can see he doesn't really want her messing with it. He does nobly let her. Mostly.

They spent the night, and today we had a lovely walk in the Botanics

and drove home via Daughter 2's Edinburgh flat so that they could see it. Big Grandson thought my claim that the buyers would be particularly impressed at the cushions on one of the beds was hilarious - the cushions are from our dining room sofa and happen to match the new curtains Daughter 2 has got us to install in the flat. He fully ran with this idea and, pretending to be a prospective buyer, was effusive in his (feigned) admiration for them.

They're such good company. But the house is now nice and quiet... .

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Not really lockdown any more - week 18 - Thursday to Saturday.

Oh, look at that: three days since my last lockdownish post. Things are strange now - there's still a crisis, we're wearing masks in shops and buses (not that we've been on any buses since we bought Bluebell the Car) but it's harder to remember that we're in the grip of a pandemic because Scotland is doing well and we don't know anyone who's been ill here and we can now see the family - except so far, Daughter 2 and Littlest Granddaughter. In fact we could go and see them now, except that we're about to be selling (let's hope) her Edinburgh flat by showing it to lots of enthusiastic buyers. Anyway, to that end, Mr L has been videoing it, using the very complicated and heavy gimbal sent for by Son-in-Law 2. SIL 2 will then edit this film together, because that's one of the things he does professionally. As instructed, Mr L and I went on Friday morning to the shore at Leith, which isn't far from the flat, to shoot a bit of film which will give a brief air of look-where-you-could-stroll to the video.

Then the Edinburgh Two came round. They did the usual things - they still, at 9 and 7, enjoy the sandpit, except on this occasion it was a bakery. They made cakes, and "coffee with mush". Very appetising.

In between coffees with mush, I took pictures of the garden,

which is

in full


Then, for a while, Biggest Granddaughter became a wild woozer (they said) and chased her brother round the garden.

There was much hilarity.

And some drawing took place.

Big Grandson has very specific interests.

These mainly involve transport.

But he did go back to running a cafe for a while, taking careful orders. Prices were very competitive. Biggest Granddaughter and I were the customers; she took on various personae. 

It's so lovely being a granny. When you're a mum, in my case of three children within five years, you don't have that much time to sit around being part of a fantasy cafe drama. Now... all the time in the world. 

Today, for the first time for weeks (blame the flat) we walked up the hill. 


it's all about the willow herb

and ragwort.

So pretty.

And such weeds. The hillside is covered with a sea of pink and yellow. I don't normally think these colours go with each other, but here: beautiful.

And then we went back down to the road. This is a very steep path; one's knees are slightly wobbly by the bottom. But home's not far.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Hardly lockdown at all, and yet... week 18, Monday to Wednesday

On Monday I went down to Daughter 2's Edinburgh flat to get the official photos taken for the brochure. This is one of them. Annoyingly, I now see that the slightly badly ironed (by me) loose covers, which were fine to the eye or in my phone photos, look rather squashed with the photographer's better lighting. Ah well, the buyers aren't buying the sofas (though in fact they'd be welcome to have them).

I wondered why the photographer had moved the shower screen out over the bath till I realised that if he hadn't, he'd have been reflected in it. 

Can you see the subtle difference between the actual bathroom and Daughter 2's drawing of it? Yes, the blue bottle is between the mirrors instead of to the right. This is because, after considerable struggling on Mr L's part with the uncooperative wall, the right hand mirror ended up slightly crooked - you wouldn't notice if you couldn't see the faintly uneven gap between them. Mr L may try to rectify this later (or he may not) Meanwhile, the bottle hides it. 

Yesterday we went with the Edinburgh Two to Dalkeith Country Park, where they did lots of things like this. 

And today they came here and played with Brio.

Biggest Granddaughter decided to make a smiley face with it. She quite likes making layouts but not in such a dedicated way as her brother.

So we made cupcakes. She said they were bears, but this principally consisted in giving them chocolate button ears.

Then she devised a game in which she and I had a speed-drawing competition. We had to draw 42 pictures as fast as possible (which was quite fast, hence the lack of finesse) - of subjects of her choice, both of us drawing the same thing. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to give mine scribbled titles, because she then decided that we had to mix them up and pair them. At least we could thus remember what they were supposed to be.

Like this.

This one was easier.

These are all mine. Well, you try differentiating between a door, a secret door and a close-up door in ten seconds flat.

She claimed that the one on the right was her fish. There was also a ghost, which this somewhat resembled.

And this one was hard! Again, not worthy of the Sistine Chapel ceiling but Michelangelo wasn't being raced by a 7-year-old who was keen to finish first. "I've finished! Stop!"

How I love them.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Lcckdown hardly-at-all week 17 (I think) - hills and layouts

I went for a walk last night but Mr L was too tired after his labours in Daughter 2's Edinburgh flat. I do love those hills. They're so permanent and unchanging, apart from being subjected to various types of weather as the year progresses. They'll look just like that when this pandemic is over, or indeed when I'm over.

Here they are again, presiding indifferently over the golf course.

The Edinburgh family came over today. The children spent some time leaping around in the garden...

but Big Grandson especially spent more time making Brio layouts.

We were at the flat this morning and it's finished, hooray. It gets photographed for the sales brochure tomorrow and then nothing more will happen to it till it's sold. And then we'll have to clear it. Meanwhile, however, it's looking smart.