Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Home and away

The blog is a very quiet, echoing place these days, but I persist. We went to see our friends in the west of Scotland on Wednesday  - postponed since 2020! - and on the way back got caught in the Glasgow rush hour. Never again! I mean, we'll see our friends again, but not on a week day. 

The garden flourishes. Spring is so wonderful. We've had a week of mild, shirtsleeves weather - but today it's more normal again. 

On Saturday we had a trip to Haddington on the bus. We arrived in time for coffee and such large cheese scones that we didn't need lunch, and had a lovely walk along the river. 

With swans. 

Haddington's a nice little town, not far from Edinburgh, but there's a lot of new house-building on the outskirts which is going to make a big difference to things. Here's the 18th century Poldrate Mill. 

Our walk was very peaceful.

On Sunday we walked along the prom at Portobello - still in unseasonably warm weather. It was slightly misty, so that the coast of Fife, on the far side of the estuary, was invisible. 

There were paddleboarders and swimmers. While the weather was warm, I'm sure the sea wasn't!

And in London, Littlest Granddaughter played in the garden. Daughter 2 and SIL2 still haven't been able to exchange contracts for the house that they hope to buy / their flat that they hope to sell. The lawyers and estate agents are hopeless - failing to answer emails, not investigating things for ages, saying stuff that can't be true if the other lawyers/estate agents are telling the truth. The chap they hope to buy from has been saying for some weeks that he's got a better offer and is threatening to sell it to these people  - if the truth is being told. But is it? If you're a competent, diligent person yourself, this sort of thing is very trying. Daughter 2 is being amazingly philosophical about it all. This is from having their offer accepted in mid-December - truly the English system (which is different from the Scottish one) is dire. 

However, there are direr things going on in the world so... Sigh. 

And Son and family have got Covid. We still haven't, though friends and acquaintances are testing positive quite frequently. It's bound to happen... .

Monday, March 21, 2022

Edinburgh in the sunshine

Daughter 2 came home for a flying visit last weekend. She had a meeting in Glasgow on the Thursday and then came through to us for the night and the next day. We missed Littlest Granddaughter but on the other hand we did get less-interrupted chats without her.  We went to the Botanics on Friday morning. Naturally. 

And then we had lunch with Daughter 1 and family near her office and then in the afternoon, the Edinburgh Two and their dad came round. They enjoyed getting Auntie Daughter 2 to themselves too. Sadly, she got the 6.30pm train back to London, arriving home very late indeed.  

She took away with her the sleeping bag that she'd requested me to make for two toy mice. It was a very quick make. 

On Saturday we walked with our walking friends by the Water of Leith in Dean Village. 

It was a beautiful day. 

And we ended up at the Botanics again. One can never visit too much!

Then we walked up through the New Town to Princes Street and got the bus home. 

This is the view of Princes Street Gardens from the bus stop.

The mice appreciated their sleeping bag. (Their children mice had come supplied with their own.)

Then yesterday we walked along the canal with the Edinburgh family. Looking one way, you can easily imagine what it was like 150 years ago. 

But a bit further along in the opposite direction, it's much more modern and hardly like Edinburgh at all. 


Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Ways of the world

It's spring here, despite the awful goings-on elsewhere in this sad world. The garden flowers on. 

And is beautiful.

We went to the Botanics, where it's also spring, and lovely. 

On Sunday we walked at Fisherrow and Musselburgh with the Edinburgh family. I do love living near the sea. 

There's a playpark, which is still of considerable interest to Big Granddaughter but not so much to Big Grandson, who is growing up. Well, they both are, obviously. Big Grandson's feet are now the same size as mine and he comes mid-way up my forehead. (Granted, my forehead isn't as far off the ground as some people's.)

Today we went up north to play with Small Grandson while Doctor Son worked once again on his day off. There's a lot more paperwork involved in being a GP than people imagine. We found a digger in Dundee, digging up what looked like perfectly good grass and daffodils in a park. Small Grandson was very interested. We couldn't imagine why it was doing it until Son later suggested that it was maybe for a wildflower area. This seems possible: the digger was scraping up a lot of the topsoil too. 

It's strange in many ways, being oldish. Practices that were once the thing to do, or at least perfectly acceptable, no longer are. What to do in the garden, for one. Garden programmes and magazines tell us to leave a patch of lawn unmown or nettles to flower. Well, hmm. I can absolutely see the reasons for doing this, but in my little patch of heaven? There's little enough space to grow the things I love, let alone encouraging - can I say weeds? And then there are slugs and snails - all part of ecology, undoubtedly, but it's hard to love them. I don't spray things, though, and do have lots of nectar-bearing plants, so do my best. But I like a neat lawn - now regarded as a desert by gardeners who like the more unkempt, more nature-friendly approach. Guilt... .

My friend is how out of hospital - having been there since her stroke on January 4. I wrote her over fifty letters (on paper) while she was there, because she liked getting them, but am going to move to emails, since she now has easy access to a computer. She can walk a bit on sticks and climb stairs with an effort, and her mind and speech are unaffected, but she has a long way to go. 


Tuesday, March 08, 2022


On Saturday we went up to Angus to visit Son and family, which was lovely. The weather was beautiful. 

The children played in the big playpark not too far from where they live and then we went back to their house. 

This is the view from their garden in one direction. It's very peaceful. If only it weren't such a trail to get there from here.

Medium Granddaughter, who's a dear little thing, is very good at swinging from the monkey bars in their garden. She's strong and light - an excellent combination. 

On Sunday - also a sunny day - we walked in the local park with the Edinburgh Two and their parents. That was very nice too.

And today we were back up at Son's, looking after Small Grandson while Son worked on the backlog of work paperwork that has built up. 

We went to Dundee Botanic gardens. Small Grandson likes the fish in the glasshouse ponds. 

This is another view over their garden today, when it was sunny but rather chilly. 

This is all very mundane - though pleasant for us. But there seem to be so many things to worry about at the moment that I feel a constant sinking of the heart - Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan. Poor Ukraine. I taught a very nice Ukrainian student long ago. She was clever and wanted to do medicine, but hadn't been here very long and her written English wasn't good enough for her to get the requisite grade in Higher English. I always wondered what happened to her. I hope she managed to fulfil her potential in some way or another. She'd be in her 30s now. 

And, closer to home, various family members are moving/trying to move/thinking of moving house. No huge problems compared to those on other sides of the world, but - always something to think about in the stilly watches of the night. 


Tuesday, March 01, 2022

Hey ho

On Saturday, Mr L and I took Big Grandson to Glasgow (on two trains, which he much enjoyed) to see the model railway exhibition. It's three years since this last took place, because of Covid. The last time, Big Grandson was only 7, and didn't have the same viewing stamina as Mir L, so this time I went with them to allow Mr L to go round more thoroughly. However, this time Big Grandson's stamina easily equalled Mr L's, so after a while I found a chair and read my book. 

So that was a nice day. He had a lovely time - well, they both did. 

And it's spring, and the garden is blooming. The news is, by contrast, awful. But what can one really do except hope for the best and admire the beauties of nature? 

Today we went to the Botanics and forgot our worries for a while. 

I never think I really mind the winter, but when spring comes, I realise that I've missed the light and the colour. 

The Botanics have so many snowdrops. I have some, but they don't hugely like my garden, I don't think. 
Hey ho. 

Blogger is playing silly devils, as it sometimes does, and I can't reply to any comments in the comments. But thank you, non-bloggers, for your messages. They're much appreciated.