Saturday, December 23, 2023

Busy. And then not.

It's spring! We have a snowdrop in bloom - only the one, right enough, and beside it you can see various holes made by squirrels either digging up other bulbs or burying nuts. However, one snowdrop is better than none. 

Daughter 2 has been up from London to go to her office night out (the main office is near Edinburgh) and we went to the Botanics light show with Littlest Granddaughter, Daughter 2 and the Edinburgh Two, This is a terrible photo but you get the idea. 

We looked after Littlest for a couple of days while Daughter 2 worked. We did lots of things such as playing badminton over a piece of string between a chair and the cooker (neither of us is very good), making ice creams out of Playdoh, reading books, playing Ludo without cheating... It was lovely.

Now they're down south with Son-in-Law 2's family, the Edinburgh lot are down south with Son-in-Law 1's family and the Angus lot are still up there. Mr Life and I will be on our own for Christmas Day - but things will become busier after Boxing Day, so we'll just enjoy the peace meantime. 

Happy Christmas to all commenters and lurkers!


Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Good times

Littlest Granddaughter went to the Hackney Empire with Daughter 2, to see "Aladdin", with Nephew playing percussion, including  comedy bangs and crashes. Here she is, pointing to him. 

Here he is.

And this is his photo of them - before the performance began, you understand. 

The interval. She is his greatest fan. He's been coming to perform in the Fringe in August, and staying with us, and she - also staying with us - thinks he's great. I mean, so do the rest of us. 

Meanwhile, Big Grandson and I spent a wet Sunday afternoon on the buses, which is BG's idea of a good time. And I like spending time with him so I have a good time too. We got a 43 to South Queensferry. 

We stayed on to the terminus, which was surprisingly far from the centre of the town, and when we got off the bus, it developed a fault. So we got a ... 62 or something? ... to the Gyle shopping centre and then a 12 back here for tea. It's quite fun getting on a bus and saying, "Where do you go?" and then saying, "Oh, ok, we'll go there."

Littlest Granddaughter was Mary in her school nativity play. Awww. 

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Past and present

Daughter 2 sent me this photo the other day, which made me reflect about memory and the way it retains and discards things. As you can see, this is a small plastic skeleton, and I got it in a cracker at the Royal Scots Club when I was probably about ten, so about 63 years ago. I remembered this, but not giving it to Daughter 2 (not really sure why this happened). My grandfather fought with the Royal Scots during World War 1, and used to go up to the club to play snooker with friends; and for a few years he used to take us there for Christmas dinner. All that, I remembered. But I'd forgotten until the daughters reminded me that before opening the cracker I'd said something along the lines of wondering what was in it - maybe a skeleton? And then... ta da... there it was. I have no idea why I said this - it's hardly a typical cracker gift - and also have no idea why I forgot this part of the story. It would be more interesting if I could claim psychic powers from then on, but sadly, no. 

This is not a skeleton. It's a needle, and the best thing that happened this week is that I came to the end of daily injecting myself in the stomach with blood-thinners. Hooray. Not my favourite part of getting a hip replacement. 

The house is now looking fairly festive. 

Ho ho.

I would not claim to be completely ready for Christmas, however. 

The weather in Edinburgh has been very wet recently, so it was lovely to drive to the south-west today and find sunshine. 

Sadly, we were on the way to the funeral of one Mr L's cousins, but as often happens at funerals, we had a nice time chatting to various family members at the lunch afterwards. 

Some of them were cousins on the other side - the deceased cousin was the son of Mr L's uncle, while these cousins are related to the uncle's wife. They were very pleasant and it was quite a jolly event. But one always feels slightly guilty that the main player in the occasion isn't there to enjoy it. 

Having no cousins myself, I'm always happy to meet up with other people's. Mr L had eight of them, though sadly he now has only five. But we're in contact with them all, which I like. My family was very small - parents, one brother, a granny and grandpa who lived nearby, two childless aunts who lived far away and one widowed granny who also lived far away. I would have liked (so I tell myself) to have had more siblings and a gang of congenial cousins round the corner. Not going to happen now, though. 


Wednesday, December 06, 2023

Not being quite organised for Christmas yet

We've been gradually getting ready for Christmas, partly by ordering a whole lot of things on Amazon, which one knows one shouldn't - but it's so much more convenient, isn't it, than trailing around the shops and finding nothing suitable? We did, however, go to the Christmas fair at Hopetoun House, which I always like doing. Hopetoun House is a 1750s grand edifice lived in by the Marquess of Linlithgow. Like most aristocrats these days, he has to keep the roof on by allowing people to visit, and, at Christmas, there's a very upmarket fair with lots of stalls full of lovely things, often made by the stallholders, none of which one actually needs. Still, it puts one in a Christmassy mood, as does queuing for coffee in the restaurant, which was once the stables for very lucky horses, but is now a lovely place to eat. 

You get to go round the house while visiting the stalls, and admire things like this pietra dura table top, 

and one of the Marquess's ancestors, 

who I think was sitting at this very window. 

And one can admire the extensive grounds

and the fancy ceilings and the silk-lined walls. We visited Hopetoun when I was a little girl, and I developed a fixed ambition to have two sitting rooms, one with crimson walls and the other (as in another Hopetoun room) with deep yellow. Hasn't happened yet, though I suppose it's still achievable. We probably wouldn't use silk, however, and we're a bit short of portraits of our ancestors. 

The weather here has been distinctly chilly, with quite a bit of frost. 

Last Saturday we went up north to visit a friend, and this was the view on the way. Brrr. 

We haven't had any snow here yet, and long may this last. Roll on, spring.