Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The retired life

The weather has been somewhat revolting for the last couple of weeks - rainy and sometimes very windy - so we've sought indoor activities. For example, we went to an exhibition featuring the art of the printer over the centuries. I would very much have this Elizabeth Blackadder on my walls, thank you.

I love the cat's fed-up expression, all in the eyes. 

In complete contrast is this, by Claude Mellan (1598-1688). The entire picture is one line, starting on the tip of the nose and moving outwards, the darker areas being made when the line(s) get closer together.

The line is an estimated 150 metres long. I hope that M. Mellan would be pleased that, four-ish centuries after he slaved away on it, people are still finding it amazing. 

On Saturday, hooray, the sun shone for our walking group, so we took advantage of this. (I'm in the middle, with a black coat.) It was lovely to be outside, stretching the old legs. 

I'm getting on with quilting Big Granddaughter's dragon quilt (dragons not pictured). She's given me detailed instructions on how to quilt it. I might have chosen less labour-intensive ways, but she was firm. 

Another wet day we went to the museum, where there was an exhibition of wildlife photography. 

A mum and baby hippo by Mike Korostolev. 

A horseshoe crab, which is seemingly not a crab at all, with some fish which are hovering about, hoping  that the horseshoe non-crab will disturb something that they can then eat. This was taken by Laurent Ballesta and won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. 

This is very impressive too, by Amit Eshel: two Nubian ibex having a fight. Kind of symbolises what's going on in the world, led by idiot males. At least the ibex are only endangering themselves. 

And today it wasn't raining so we walked along the river through Stockbridge. Look how wide the river is at the moment, after all that rain. 

It was peaceful, though. 

We took some stuff to charity shops - we do this so often that I can't understand why we still have so much stuff left - must try harder -

and enjoyed the sunshine and exercise. 

Monday, January 15, 2024

Photos of weather and things

We have nothing exciting to report - socialising and grandparenting, but nothing of note. We're upping our walking again, trying to get fitter after not walking so much post-hip-op. My hip is... fine. No pain to speak of, slight discomfort from the wound. I can't say, though, that the flexibility has improved much. I still can't put on my right sock or cut my right toenails! I'm hoping this may come. Ah, old age. 

Anyway, we went along the river to the gallery (where we naturally had coffee) and back. 

3 and a half miles or so, and everything was fine. So that was good. 

We've had a few nice sunny days for local walks

and it's sunny today too, but COLD! (by our standards). The Met Office says it's currently 0 degrees C and will drop to -2 tonight, which is 28.4F. Cold enough! I've just had coffee with friends and we're split between those who say they prefer it to be cold and sunny and those who don't mind a bit of murk and rain as long as it's mild. I think I'm the latter, but on the other hand, out of my study window the sky is a beautiful, cloudless blue so ... maybe. 

I have the Instagram app on my phone, mainly to see Daughter 2's occasional posts, and am astonished by the sad videos put up by people about their ill children or dead husbands. I can see absolutely why they're sad. But people - mainly young women - put up films of themselves (for example) weeping on a sad anniversary. Is it cathartic for them, I wonder? Do they not want the person forgotten? - but then, most of those who see the video never knew the deceased. It's an odd thing, social media (she writes, putting up photos of her walks and drivelling on about her toenails). 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

It's January - no one (in Britain)'s favourite month, I expect - but the days are getting longer. We went for our first walk in the Botanics since I had my hip operation and it went fine. What would life be without walking in the Botanics? In the first weeks after the op, my operated leg felt quite tired - a strange sensation, one leg being tired when the other wasn't. However, we've gradually been lengthening our walks and I feel fairly back to normal now, if not particularly fit because of not having walked enough over the Christmas/New Year/Golden Wedding shindig time. 

The sunshine did the heart good. 

And look - flowers.

On Sunday, Grandson and I went on another bus trip. It's his idea of a good way to spend an afternoon, and he's not going anywhere much by himself yet so it's a fine excuse to spend time with him. He's nearly 12 and a half, and who knows how much longer his Granny will be a desired companion? I'm making the most of it, anyway. We got a bus to the airport, another (Stagecoach 747, new to him and thus interesting) to near South Queensferry. 

We walked down to the village past an intriguing traffic light (not on, so what was it for on a very quiet, nay completely empty, road?) and had a fortifying snack (well, he did. I've eaten too much recently...). Look at him with his hand on his chin, looking mystified for my photo. 

Then we got another bus to Dalmeny Station, took the train back to Edinburgh and a bus to our house. Such a nice afternoon with a lovely boy! I shall remember these days when I'm decrepit and he doesn't need me any more. Meanwhile - I look forward to further such outings. It's SO nice to be a granny. 

Thursday, January 04, 2024

Happy 2024!

Well, we made it. By December 27 2023, we'd been married for 50 years. This has passed alarmingly fast. 

When the actual day dawned, none of our family could be with us, having Christmassed with their in-laws (but sent flowers and chocolates), so we'd decided to have a Jane-Austenish "At Home", inviting friends and neighbours to pop in for a drink and a piece of cake between 2 and 6. We didn't put RSVP on the invitations because we didn't want to make it like a formal party; also we didn't want people to feel committed in advance, the time of year being what it is. Some did reply but on the whole we had little idea how many would come. Obviously we did provide a bit more than cake. However, lots of people did come, and didn't just "pop", as we'd expected, but came and sat around and chatted. It was lovely, and also quite crowded! But fortunately we have lot of chairs. 

Then shortly after the last of those people left, my brother, sister-in-law and niece arrived, and shortly after them our second daughter with her husband and Littlest Granddaughter. 

On the 30th, by which time Daughter 1 and family had returned from down south and Son and family could also join us, we had a family lunch in a private room in a hotel - which was also very nice. The offspring had organised their children into matching clothes - a starry dress for the girls (10, 7 and 6) and matching jumpers (sweaters) for the boys (12 and 4). I have very cute photos! But they're unbloggable, because the photos contain The UnBloggables. 

And then we all came back here (except Niece and SIL 2, who had to return down south) and had a second Christmas for those who hadn't been here. 

We've thus had 10 people (plus Mr L and me) staying in the house, though no more than 8 (plus us) at one time. It was busy, but lovely. But the last four left on Tuesday, the bedding and towels are now washed, though the beds have not yet been remade, and the house is gradually returning to normal - or at least it will once we've deChristmassed it, which would happen today if I had time, which I don't. This weekend, however, everything will be away and we'll be tidy for a while.

My golden wedding present from Mr L? (We have enough stuff.) He shaved off his lockdown beard! He knew that I prefer his face beardless. (I do like his face in whatever form, so he's allowed to grow it again if he really wants.)

Happy 2024!