Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sitting on the steps

I was flicking idly through the pictures on my computer and came across this one. I don't know how it got saved here, since very few of our photos from the pre-digital age are scanned in. I suppose the children must have been about 9, 7 and 3, and they're sitting on the steps in the back garden of our previous house.  It was a very nice house but the garden was extremely small, which I found frustrating because I was, and am, a keen gardener. Our current garden isn't exactly large either, and if we move again before we become entirely decrepit, I want a bigger garden.

I wonder what Son has in his hand. I can't imagine. It looks like a wooden pole but I don't remember any such thing. He was a gentle little boy and didn't go in for weapons.

We were very lucky that our children always got on very well. Daughter 1 thought Daughter 2 was wonderful (I think she still does) and so just always let her have what she wanted, and they were both very motherly towards Son and let him have whatever he wanted, which all made things very peaceful. Or so I remember and I think it's true. They were all, however, assiduous players with toys and used to draw and cut out and generally make a tremendous mess. It's easy to remember things with a rosy glow, but I do remember spending lots of time picking up after them; in fact, this was my principal occupation in those days. On the whole, I did it rather than getting them to do it, because it was quicker and easier - or again, this is what I remember. They might disagree. As Laurie Lee said - and it's one of my favourite quotations - "There is no pure truth, only the moody accounts of witnesses".

Friday, April 22, 2016

Tra la

So it's spring, and we went to the Botanics without the children and the rhododendrons are so beautiful.

And so are the daffodils.

And this cherry tree
 and this erythronium

and this pear, and lots more besides.

And then we had the children yesterday and today. Grandson had a go with the half-moon cutter with which Mr L tidied up the edges of the lawn.

And Granddaughter reacquainted herself with the properties of sand in the sand pit. Ah, lovely spring.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

We took the low road

(As ever, Blogger selects one photo to make large. Why???). Anyway, yesterday we went for a walk round St Mary's Loch. It was cold but - sometimes - sunny, though it did occasionally drop little bits of hail down on us.

Luckily it wasn't windy, as you can see by the relatively calm water.

This is a pretty little church that overlooks the loch.

About five miles on, we were still fairly energetic.

There were lots of little lambs, kept at safe distance from us by their mums.

And after seven miles we got back to the car park, where - there was planning involved here - we had coffee and cake in the cafĂ©. It was such a lovely day out: hills, water, good friends, nice chat (and also, at one point, slightly too-interested cows which had trampled the path into very muddy mud  - but we'll forget about that).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


(Ah yes, a random big picture again. What are you up to, Blogger?) Nothing much is happening of any note (plumber, oven mender - both for Daughter 2's rented-out flat in Edinburgh), patchworking and quilting (both happy activities on the whole), the grandchildren (adorable, but you know, probably not quite as adorable to you as to me). So - weather. We drove along by the shore yesterday and this was happening - wind-tossed breakers.

And through the misty Queen's Park, where we noticed that you couldn't see the Pentland Hills in the distance, behind the trees.

And then through the Meadows, where the daffodils made a bright show.

And then today...

Spring seems to have retreated again. Sorry, any tourists who have unwisely decided to visit Edinburgh. Brrr. Splosh.

Friday, April 08, 2016


It's always a pleasure to take the little ones to the Botanics. Here, they're using fallen rhododendron flowers as finger hats, in the age-old children-at-Botanics tradition. (How long will it be before Grandson becomes too sophisticated for such outings with Granny? Don't grow up, little N!)

They admire the daffodils. At least, Granddaughter does. I think Grandson had spotted a distant tractor.

This is in the little memorial hut put up in memory of the Queen Mother.

Back here, Grandson makes road layouts as usual. Then he took my photo. Not perhaps my most flattering angle but it's at least fairly soft-focus.

Sunday, April 03, 2016


A very self-indulgent post (mind you, what other kinds are there?) - I took Grandson the other day to buy a white shirt because he was to be page boy at a wedding (at which Granddaughter was to be flower girl). He was intrigued by the different views of himself in the mirrors.

Then he looked at his feet and enquired, "Why are my feet in the reflection when the mirror doesn't go down to the ground?" Granny was unable to think of a succinct answer... ok, an answer. But we found a suitable shirt.

Before the bride's arrival, Granddaughter was clutching her fluffy blanket, which wasn't part of the outfit.

A certain amount of finger-sucking took place but they behaved impeccably.

Can you tell the difference between Grandson and Uncle Son? There were lots of men in kilts, Thimbleanna!

Daughter 2 and her niece enjoy a cuddle.

They pose with their dad, Son-in-Law 1.

In a quiet moment, Granddaughter admires her bouquet,

and Grandson stands on a plinth. It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The quiet life...

Look, a big picture again. It's different every time. I have no idea why.

Life's been very quiet with the little ones down south so here's a picture of the first hippeastrum to flower this year. I have quite a lot of them because they keep sprouting extra bits and I haven't the heart (sense) to throw these away. The websites say you should dry them off or put them in the fridge or something during the dormant period but mine just stay in their pots on the landing window sill or a spare bedroom, looking leafy and boring, and then eventually they do this again. A week's beauty and then 51 weeks of leafiness.

It's amazing how much quilty stuff one can get done when it's just him and me. And - get this, Thimbleanna - I'm a proper quilty person now because I'm doing two at once! I'm cutting one out while - well, not simultaneously, but at different points during the day - quilting the other. Are you impressed? Actually, you don't need to be very impressed. The other one is what I now regard, from my lofty heights of a little experience, as simple (as opposed to the fairly simple other one). It's just going to be five-inch squares with a border, as a gift for a friend, but she doesn't quilt so she won't know that it's not very advanced.

And that's about it. My innards haven't been quite right for some reason, so we've been going for short walks and I've been tidying up the garden and trying to play my latest piano tune, which I thought for a while was going to entirely defeat me. However it's been getting slightly easier with practice and I can now limp my way through it. Sorry, Scarlatti. This is Grade 3. I can tell you now that I shall never get to Grade 8, 7, 6, 5 or possibly 4: old age and arthritis will overtake me and I'll start getting worse again. However, it's interesting and, in a frustrating way, enjoyable.

And we'll see the grandchildren again tomorrow.