Sunday, 29 July 2007

The Hermitage, Dunkeld

We had a fantastic day out yesterday when we went to The Hermitage at Dunkeld. There is a lovely forest walk up to Ossian's Hall - a folly apparently dedicated to the 'semi-mythical' poet Ossian (who is supposed to have lived around the 3rd century). The walk follows the River Braan and there are several rapids andwaterfalls, the most amazing of which is the Black Linn Fall - which is overlooked by the folly. Further on past the folly is Ossian's Cave where a hermit was supposed to have lived - I am not sure if there is any truth in that or not - there seem to be varying accounts! You can walk further again to another waterfall that drops 70ft but we didn't go quite that far. I wish we had now that I have read more about it - I can imagine it would have been spectacular with all the rain we have had.
We came across a lovely little cottage that looked uninhabited and everyone thought it would be the ideal place to stay (well, apart from me - it was lovely but a bit far off the beaten track for me!).
It was just magical being in the forest - the trees, the birdsong, the rushing river - quite amazing and invigorating. These natural places always make you feel more alive don't you think? We also came across Blaeberry bushes everywhere, loads of interesting fungi and lichen, wild raspberries and even redcurrants!
I've made a slideshow of photos from the day that you can see on the right hand side of the blog (I tried but couldn't get it actually in the blog itself!). I would definitely recommend the Hermitage as a place to go and just enjoy nature at it's best, but bearing in mind that it was pretty busy when we were there - I guess due to it being the weekend and the holiday season.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Sun, Sea & Sand in St Andrews

We finally found the sun in St Andrews, the lovely University town on the East coast of Scotland. We headed off for a day trip and it was gorgeous. Just look at that sky. The children had a great time - two minutes after this photo was taken they were absolutely soaked - I always pack extra clothes wherever we go now for this very reason!

It was just so nice to feel the warmth of the sun on our faces and hear the sounds of the sea and the gulls overhead.

We were on a tight schedule and had to get home by 4pm, but we still managed to fit in time for an ice cream!

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Days Out & Dungarees Visible from Space

Although the weather has been atrocious here, we have managed to get out and about a bit. Adam and his dad had a Boys Day Out on Monday and took themselves off to Edinburgh Castle followed by a picnic in Princes Street Gardens and then a trip to the swimming pool - a good day was had by both (there were swords and stuff - need I say more?).

We also harvested some of our potatoes this week. We have three large containers which we are growing them in - not that we don't have space to grow them in the garden, but someone hasn't dug me a veggie plot yet! The children were so excited to dig them up and we managed to get 18 of varying sizes from our smallest pot. I was pretty pleased with that and they tasted lovely - we had them with our meal last night!

Today was the first day I've managed to get near anything creative for ages. I was determined to do something productive and so finished Miss Lucy's dungarees. They are bright indeed! She loves them and they are very good for dancing in apparently! I've still got a largish bit of orange tie dyed cordurouy left over if anyone wants it.

I must also tell you all that I have posted my final registration form for my next OU course. Yes, amazing though it is, I have Made A Decision. This means there is no going back unless they decide they have had enough of me and my hysterical behaviour. I've gone for A215 Creative Writing - partly because it sounded really good at the time and partly because I have to pick something. It does sound a bit tricky however and as I've lost my grasp on most of the English language over the years, I am expecting another steep learning curve. Oh well, in for a penny...


Thanks very much for all the kind comments you left after yesterdays post - you know who you are! Sarah - I love the Tina Turner moment:) I'm guessing you meant The Full Monty in the post office queue, not Monty Python? (heehee)

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Jean Sinclair

Today was the funeral of my MIL, Jean Sinclair. The minister gave a lovely service and I was amazed at how many people were there. It was a bittersweet experience in many ways as these occasions often are - it was lovely to hear the things the minister said about Jean's early life in the countryside and also nice to meet so many of her family that I have written thank you letters to at Christmas time but never met until today. So sad also that her last years were so difficult for her with her increasingly poor health - but thankfully she is now at peace.

On a slightly lighter note - during today's service at the crematorium, I tried desperately to find something to focus on to stop me from bubbling like an idiot - I will try anything - flowers, curtains, the view from the long windows - none of it was having the desired effect. Then, the minister said something about 'let not your arms hang down' and that song popped into my head - the one that goes ' your ears hang low, can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?' etc etc. I sang it in my head over and over again - bizarre I know, but at least it worked for a while!

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Reading Potter

Started and finished the last Harry Potter book today - Deathly Hallows (or Deathly Howls as Adam calls it). Hmmm, it did get quite exciting near the end, not sure about the ending - but I won't say anymore for those who haven't read it yet. My kids are bursting to know what happens!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Harry Potter and the Order of the Duvet

I need a duvet day. Following a marathon four and a half hours of Harry Potter excitement at Borders bookshop in Edinburgh last night I am rather tired today! Miss Lucy and Mr Adam had so much fun I can't tell you - and Adam won not one but two first prizes, one of which he very kindly gave to his sister (a gift token which she prompty spent there and then!). There was dancing, Top Trumps tournaments and quizzes galore - not to mention free samples of various drink concoctions from Starbucks. I forced myself to partake of blueberry swirl cheesecake and a coffee caramel frappucinno - pretty decent of me I thought. All the staff were dressed up as the various characters from the books and they were great with the kids. We finally got home around midnight by which time the frenzy of buying the new Potter book would be fully underway in the bookshop. We had ours on order from Amazon however and it duly arrived today. I haven't read a word of it as yet - I'm working my way through another book at the moment and I don't want to cross contaminate!
Off for a lie down now (I really hope Hagrid will be okay.........).

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Generous Friends, School Holidays and Sad News

Look at this lovely fabric sent to me by Joanna from Serenity is Bliss. She was only supposed to send the piece with the script (which is gorgeous) but she very generously included the other one - thanks Joanna, you are so kind and the fabric is lovely.

The school holidays are progressing well. We are into our second week now and I've lost track of how many times we've been to the beach and the park! We have also been to see the new Harry Potter film - fantastic! We are all eagerly awaiting the last books release this week - two little people are simply desperate to find out what happens next!

The children have been to swimming classes this morning and this afternoon they made chocolate brownies - they came out rather well which is why I can't show you a photo of the finished product! Here is Adam wielding the mixer.

This is what I found taped to the bathroom door the other night - a schedule of exercise and healthy eating designed by Miss Lucy. Notice how the word 'Mum' has been scored through at the top! I think this was somehow originally for me - do you think she is trying to tell me something? I thought it was a great idea but the word 'Jogg' did fill me with some trepidation until Lucy assured me it was 'okay, cos' it's just round the garden' - phew!

I have some sad news. My mother in law passed away on Sunday morning. She had been ill for some time and began to get worse at the end of last week. I know it's a cliche, but I am so glad she is not suffering any longer.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

Dyeing for Some Excitement

Quite a productive day today. We did some tie dyeing in the morning. Miss Lucy likes me to make her tie dyed dungarees. She has a purple pair which are now too small and she decided she wants orange next! I had managed to get a few metres of white needlecord fabric and so we had a go with two Dylon tins of Tangerine. I have a spare jam pan that I use for this sort of dyeing but I underestimated how much room the fabric would take up and it was a bit of a squash and resulted in some slightly lighter patches in places. I think I can work round them though. Next time I might just use the Procion dyes instead.

I do like to see the fabric out on the line though.

Then we found a tin of Emerald and dyed a few T-Shirts and anything else that was handy -like underwear!

This afternoon was spent in the local library. They had an arts/crafts session there and the children made sunflowers and fish from paper plates, did some colouring, and were read a story and some jokes. The staff are really great and they always put so much enthusiasm into things - the kids have great fun. I spent the time on one of the library computers catching up on blogs!

We were a bit fed up after dinner, so we headed to Limekilns beach this time - not a fantastic beach by any means but interesting nonetheless. We met some nice people too - an elderly gent insisted on finding my 'boys' (Miss Lucy loved that!) a crab under some seaweed much to their delight and then, as we were about to leave, another chap came over and told us (and Adam in particular) that he had found something even better than a crab - he had found an octopus! Well, you can imagine how exciting that was to the children and myself - unfortunately it wasn't a live octopus, but it was fascinating all the same.

Some beach art...

The octopus!

The clouds rolled in and we headed home - once again Adam had to go home with his trousers, socks and trainers in the boot of the car! - it's quite common, no matter how prepared I think I am, for this to happen to both children - I've never quite worked out how they can get through so many changes of clothing in a matter of an hour or two!

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Hair Today, Gone ...

My baby has lost her long golden locks and gone for something a bit more continental (or, 'like a boy' as she puts it)... sniff, sniff. She really suits it actually, it makes her look like that little girl in the Petit Filous ad!

I finally got around to making something for my mum's birthday. Her birthday was the same day as my OU exam (11th June) and so I promised I would make her something after the exam was over. So, I started with this...

and turned it into this. It holds a sketch pad inside and also a range of HB and B drawing pencils. It was quite fun to make - I am fond of my lizard design and I've used him on other things too.

His tail goes around the back.
This is the other part to mum's pressie. A hand felted pouch which holds some Winnie the Pooh notelets and envelopes.
Notelets peeking out!
Mum really loved them (she is my favourite critic!!) and I just hope she uses the sketch pad. I think it would be the sort of thing you could take on holiday and just whip out and do a quick sketch or two (as you do)!
I've done nothing else on the creative front this week and I really need to get on and do more for the exhibition in September (if it actually happens - this is another story altogether but not for telling just now!). I did get the embellisher out and had a little play, but I couldn't get enthusiastic I'm afraid and now it's back in its box.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Perfect Parcel & Blissful Beach

I got a lovely parcel yesterday morning from Lynda from Purple Missus. She had offered to send me a sample of some PFD fabric from Whaleys to try out. Not only did she send me a very large sample, she also sent this gorgeous postcard - I'm afraid the photo doesn't do it justice - the colours are fantastic and there is a wonderful sheen to it too.

Lynda also kindly included two pieces of fabric that she had rust dyed. Aren't they fantastic? Thanks to you Lynda, you are very kind and I was very pleased with my goodies!

Mr Adam, Miss Lucy and I went to the Silver Sands beach at Aberdour this morning. We got there about 9am and the beach was deserted - just us - it was amazing. So peaceful, so uplifting - I love the beach. The sky was just so big. I have a programme that came with my new camera whereby I can 'stitch' photos together to get a panoramic effect and so here is the view from the beach. From the left side of the picture, the town of Burntisland is in the distance panning right over the Firth of Forth (the island in the middle is Inchkeith Island) to Edinburgh on the right side (the big 'hill' is Arthur's Seat). Pretty neat huh? (it should enlarge if you click on it)

The children dug holes, found jellyfish washed up and collected lots of sea glass for me.

If you look in the middle of this picture can you see what looks like a huge bird of prey sitting on a rock? It's actually a piece of driftwood but when I first noticed it I frightened myself silly thinking for a moment that it was in fact a huge bird - I'm talking about 5 feet high here!

I liked this shot of this big lump of wood all worn and pitted by the sea. It was rather damp too actually because I sat there for ages before I realised my bum was rather cold and wet!

As we were about to leave the beach, Lucy noticed this tree from the car window - look in the centre of the picture - doesn't it look like a body with long green legs? Spooky...
For some reason all my spacing on this post is wonky - the wierdness that is Blogger I guess.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Picked Out of the Hat & Holiday Time!

Mrs Pathetic is slowly trying to leave the building. But until she does, I have some exciting news! I won a prize!!!! Yes I know, isn't it fantastic? - I've been picked out of the hat for some gorgeous Sassa Lynne threads from Myfanwy over at Dye-a-Lot. I can't wait to see them - you just know they will be lovely don't you! That has fairly cheered me up I can tell you.

It's holiday time here now - as of 12.15pm this afternoon, the little darlings are free from school. Hurrah! They are so happy I can't tell you. So far we have eaten lots of rubbery type sweeties, visited my Nana - me on foot, Adam on scooter and Lucy on rollerblades (ouch), visited the video shop (well, I still fondly call it 'video' shop) and played in the garden - even though it resembles a hippo's mud hole. Yup, Summer has come to Rosyth.

Monday, 2 July 2007

Muddy Pups

The children and I had a nice weekend together. We watched DVDs, tidied bedrooms and walked around in the rain a lot! I even let them eat sweets - they couldn't believe their luck. Yesterday afternoon, they wanted to go into the garden for 5 minutes before dinner and I let them - ha! there was my mistake - two minutes after they had gone out they were covered in mud - really covered. 'We were just having fun mum' was their defence! I made them stand on the back steps while I peeled the mud ridden clothes from their grimy little bodies. I wish I had taken a photo of them but I was too cross at the time! (where is my sense of humour I hear you ask). It was rather funny though. The little darlings.

So, now my angels are back at school and quite happy in the knowledge that as of Thursday at 12.15pm they will be free! Free to play in the garden all day and get as muddy as they like all summer long.

Nothing happening craft wise. Still fighting the miseries a bit. I thought I had decided on my OU course but I haven't yet - must choose course, must choose course (in my best Capt. Kirk voice). Honestly, I'm Mrs Pathetic of Pathetic Street in Pathetic Town in Pathetic World!!! I'm cross with myself - can you tell? :)