Monday, 25 August 2008

Firkling for Fun

Is that like Digging For Victory, do you think?

We have dug/firkled our first crop of potatoes ('earlies' which were put in a bit late). These were grown in the same two largish pots that we planted some in last year. Last years efforts were very tame compared to the motherlode of 2008 - 63 glorious specimens! We have another two large blue containers (just behind Lucy and Adam in the pic) to be harvested as well as some planted direct into the soil, unfortunately a lot of them were trampled by a hedge cutting man who doesn't recognise a potato plantation when he sees one, and they just didn't survive :-(

I boiled up a few of these beauties tonight and they were really delicious - had a real flavour to them. I think they were Duke of York. I really should write that sort of thing down for future reference. It's just as well the potatoes are doing well because the rest of the things I planted have mainly been eaten by something that likes carrots, peas, and lettuce. Grrrrrrr

Monday, 18 August 2008

Festival Frolics

Last week the children and myself went off on the bus to Edinburgh to visit the Book Festival. Lucy and Adam LOVE going on the bus so it was a real treat for them (I remember when going in a car was a treat. Oh dear, showing my age...) and of course we had to go over the Forth Road Bridge - much excitement looking out of the windows over the edge of the bridge to the waters way beneath us!!

We hung around the Book Festival for a bit exploring the bookshops, having a coffee (very expensive) and attending the free storytelling (I think Adam felt he was a bit too 'grown up' for that sort of thing - until the storyteller asked if she could use his 'name' in her story!).

There was some art at the book festival which consisted of a shed and some blue bins half buried in the grass. Miss Lucy was not impressed and said in a very loud voice that that 'was NOT art'. On leaving the book festival, she decided to take some 'artistic' photos (just to show the difference between 'art' and 'NOT art' you understand!). So here they are...




Artistic moment over, we headed down to Princes Street to see what else was going on. There were a lot of film crews around as there was quite a lot of street theatre/performance - you can see a camera set up in the road just next to Lucy here. Just after I took this pic the one o'clock gun went off up at the Castle and frightened us half to death - we loved it!

We found some fire jugglers, escape artists, and a young man who could dislocate his shoulders at will - which thrilled Lucy and Adam no end (but not me - ewww!).

I just love the architecture in Edinburgh, and the atmosphere around festival time is just brilliant - no one cares if it rains!

Hamish came with us - he is quite the cultured coo you know.

We would have stayed much longer if it hadn't been for the weather. We ended up getting rather soaked and hungry and had to head away from the entertainment in search of sustenance and the bus home, but all in all a good day out.

Jam Time

Managed to make a few jars of raspberry jam this summer. It's not the cheapest way to get a jar of jam, but I still love making it.

I got about eight and a half jars from 4lbs of berries.

A rather blurry pic of the finished jam.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Eye Candy

I found some lovely pics of the pink Kitchen Aid Mixer on the Flikr Kitchen Aid Group (taken by Jennifer.lee who has some lovely pics of cupcakes too) which I've borrowed just to show you. I can feel myself swithering...

doesn't it look nice?

Pink, yes. But not too sugary

Well, it's that or a white one.

Hey. At least I'm narrowing it down ;-)

Oh, and did I mention there is a special promotion at the moment whereby there's a free ice cream attachment thrown in with every purchase...

SO tempting.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Carry On Camping

Since I'm having problems with Virgin at the moment and can't send or receive any emails, and it's driving me MAD (grrrrr), I thought I'd post a few pics of a short camping trip we took recently (well, it keeps me amused :-) )

A couple of weeks ago we tried out our new tent and camped near Killin, at a nice little site five minutes walk from the shores of Loch Tay. After some initial discussion about which bits went where, we got the tent up with not too much trouble and went about the serious business of trying out the (new) stove and kettle and making a cup of tea. This proved successful much to my relief and I settled into our one deckchair while the others went exploring. It was pretty misty the whole day until a heavy bout of rain cleared things up nicely. Unfortunately, it also brought out the midges!

The following morning heralded a bright and warm new day.

Hamish was rather naughty on the whole trip and kept getting Mr Adam into trouble. He has been told he had better behave from now on (he is rather prone to mischeviousness).

Can you tell?

We walked in the woods...


Walked to the loch...

and visited some family of Hamish.

We weren't too far from our favourite place - the Scottish Crannog Centre. It is near Kenmore at the opposite end of the loch, so we took a trip along. It was still as good as ever.

Some fleece dyed with local plants.

Miss Lucy tried to make fire again - she does this every time we visit. It's really difficult to do, but she has managed to get some smoke going before!

Our trip was over all too soon, but we thoroughly enjoyed it. Even those of us who weren't that keen (having been camping all over Britain when small - no matter what the weather!) had a lovely time (that kettle was a lifesaver).

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

The Results Are In!

At long last the results for A215 Creative Writing are in. Unbelievably I got a Grade 2 Pass!!!!! This is good. I am one happy bunny. Especially as I had (in my wisdom) worked out that the best I could get would be a Grade 3! WOO HOO!

Have celebrated this evening with a trip to Borders, where I wandered around taking note of books to buy cheaper elsewhere, sampled a Starbucks beverage and bought a magazine and two pens. Who says I don't know how to live it up ;-)

And, just before I go, can I say a heartfelt Thank You to all my blogging and non-blogging friends who have encouraged me throughout my studying this past few months, I really couldn't have done it without you. XXX