All my life’s a circle..

So, last week I was asked if I could work today, to cover a meeting.  Even though I don’t work on Mondays, and it’s a day I hate working as an extra, I’m also conscious that I’ve been either metaphorically or actually absent a lot recently, so I said yes. Then realised that it was 9am start, in Edinburgh, with no parking within a mile. So I’m up at 4.30, and on the road to miss the worst of the traffic, get there, park, walk, wait in waiting area. And no one else appears. I’d been dumped 😦 Really pee-d off. So that was the morning written off.

Got home to find Hannah had been making herself motivational posters, after reading a Tony Buzan book on learning that I had been reading, and had also been doing a bit of maths, english and Science from Galore Park. We had lunch together, groomed the dog, and then Bob phoned to ask if we fancied a trip to London in a couple of weeks. (Yes, but don’t know if I can get time off.) He is going on a course, and has been booked into a family room, so all we would need to pay would be rail fares for Hannah and I and food. Seems too good to miss, so I need to work on manifesting that 😉

Papa’s consultant had phoned to ask if he could talk to Bob tonight. He hadn’t planned on going tonight, having been yesterday as an extra visit, but obviously felt he needed to go, so he’s gone there straight from work.

I’m on a bit of an economy gastronomy drive after watching Allegra and Paul. I always think we don’t waste food, but we decided to audit it last week, and although we tend not to waste meat, as we shop for it daily, (or chocolate or wine for that matter!), I was completely horrified to realise how much we over-catered, and then eventually how many leftovers we threw out, and how much fruit and veg went off before it was eaten. Nice fruit gets scoffed, but horrible apples don’t.

So tonight a rummage in the fridge found half an onion, half a pepper, half a courgette, and some very soft over ripe tomatoes. So, I simmered it all with a tin of tomatoes and whipped it into sauce, bunged it in the liquidiser, stirred it into rice, bunged a few frozen peas in, and shredded a single chicken leg left from Saturday on top. I thought it was really nice, Hannah thought it was fuel, and I feel virtuous. Bob always cooks far too much pasta, and Hannah had had that last night, so there was a tupperware of cold pasta in the fridge. So I also made a cheese sauce with the ends of three different kinds of cheese, which might normally find its way into the bin, fried a tin of artickokes with some bacon, and have rigatoni cheese all ready to pop into the oven to finish off for tomorrow night.  And I’m really embarrassed that we’ve made two substantial dinners out of food that would easily under normal circumstances, end up in the bin.  And of course, gone two days without needing to spend money on food. The apples are currently simmering and then can go in the freezer as a base for a crumble come the weekend.

And that’s it really. I think this may be why I stopped blogging – not sure this is at all riveting for anyone else!


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Oh, the responsibility…

……those damn internet holes 😉

A really quiet day. Hannah has felt that she didn’t want to see her Papa in hospital, and given she’s been unwell, it hasn’t really been an option anyway. She was adamant though she wanted to remember him sitting in his chair at home, and not see him sick and confused. However, she came through this morning and asked if she could go, and in the circumstances, asking her to wait till tomorrow seemed risky. So although Bob hadn’t been planning to go today, he ran her up, and fortunately there was no one else there, so she saw him quietly, and he knew her and while clearly confused (he insisted I had been there looking after him during the night, so he had said to her that he was glad her mum hadn’t come, as she’d sat with him all night, so must be tired) he had seemed relaxed. And as his platlets have come up a bit, he no longer looks as if he’s done 6 rounds in the boxing ring. I’m not sure she’ll go back, but she’s glad she went.

On the down side though, while she is obviously over the infectious part of the flu, and really it wasn’t any worse than normal flu (in fact, maybe not even as bad), it’s left her absolutely shattered. She had slept most of the way through the journey home, and has slept most of the afternoon. While some of it is probably emotional stuff, I think a lot of it is post-viral. She’s obviously lost a bit of blood the last few days as well, which won’t be helping, but she looks and clearly feels exhausted. She says even reading is tiring her out, so Bob has been pleased to be able to get back to reading aloud to her – something he has always loved doing, but lately she’s been less interested in. So he is reading the latest Celia Rees to her.  Had she been at school, she certainly wouldn’t yet be well enough to start the new term, which is already a week underway.

I’ve half heartedly done some cleaning, but I’m feeling quite weary as well, I think we’ve all been living on edge a bit. Took the dog for a walk, washed my hair, did a bit of work for a meeting tomorrow, and have now decided it’s wine o’clock. Bob is going to make my favourite courgette risotto for dinner in a bit. Yum.

Hannah and I also looked through some photo albums to put together a photo frame for Papa at the hospital, and had a littlebittersweet trip down memory lane.

Other than that, the only thing I’ve done (well actually, only wasted energy on, as failed to do it) was to set up a paid-for blog on WP. Need to find somewhere to host it that doesn’t talk to me like I’m thick. Actually, want it to function as a website, rather than a blog, as I’m going to start running some courses in England, and all my sites are optimised for Scotland. So I want something I can set up and edit myself easily. I’ve looked at, (actually, I do have some sites with them already). They are good, but at £11 per month, plus the set up fees, it mounts up.

So, two days in a row……..

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Hmm, dark cobwebby and echo-ey in here….

Clearly its been a long time, and as I’m not sure really why I stopped, I’m also not sure if I’ll keep going. Somehow I’ve lost the blogging enthusiasm, and as it had become more of a way of keeping up with friends, BK seems much easier. So I’m rusty…..

However, a review of last 8 months. Well, most importantly, Hannah became a teenager – I’m frigthened to say it, in case it all bites me in the bum, but the one advantage of maturing so early seems to have been that adolescence followed sharp of the heels of four-ness, and teen-ness is much less trying than hormonally challenged 7 year old was.

I thought she might choose to go to school, but she remains certian she isn’t interested at the moment  -while she admits to some curiousity, she is convinced that the downsides would outweigh the positives. She has talked about a science tutor, but we are having no luck with that at all, and we have never managed to find a modern languages teacher either. She’s contining to play keyboard, and really enjoying it, and is starting to learn violin. She is thinking about a guitar for Christmas. Mainly though she’s been putting lots of effort into athletics, and she is begining to accumulate a large clutch of medals. She is finding this year is relatively tough though, as she moved up an age group, and is now a young under-15. She loves Guides, and is doing her Baden-Powell badge, and next year is hoping to train as a youth leader, and start a Duke of Edinburgh award.

She’s had a summer of camps – a week with Guides; a weeks at HESFES, which she liked, but both Bob and I found disappointing, stressful and ultimately rather sad; and a week at adeventure camp. She loved that, and I’m so proud of her that she just takes these opportunities and enjoys them and manages so well to go places where she knows no one and makes friends. I had a rather robust discussion with a friend here lately, who has three girls, and was talking about how she didn’t have much time for only children, finding them spoiled and needy. Although she was careful to say she didn’t include Hannah in that assessment, I have to say that my experience of them is that they are (and it is a generalisation) more resourceful and emotionally robust, as they are used to having to make it on their own, without the cushion of siblings to support and entertain them.  I always think its odd though that singletons are fair game in a way – behaviour that in other kids would just be ignored is put down to their lack-of-sibling status. A parent with three would be seriously unhappy at me feeding her the stereotype that her youngest was being babied, her middle one was ignored and her eldest had too much responsibility, and yet the stereotype of a selfish and spoiled singleton is embraced pretty whole heartedly, in my experience.

Anyway, while Hannah was at camp, I finally caught up with Nic after FAR too long,  as even she was begining to think that while I was once real, I no longer was.

I’ve had a fun few months, as my thyroid has started to play up again after many years of good behaviour, and despite numerous tests, scans, xray, drugs  and biopsies still haven’t really sorted out a plan of action. However, that has sort of been pushed to the side by a bout of swine flu (Hannah) and a massive brain bleed (Bob’s dad). Hannah is fine, but Papa’s prognosis is very poor, and we are at the stage of jumping every time the phone rings.  Also we are so far away that the hospital thing is hard to manage, as they are completely inflexible about visiting times.

Business went well this year, and although it would be nice to be more profitable, it’s gratifying to see that it’s growing substantially even in the current climate. Bloody hard work though!

So….I may be back again soon…….

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More from the frozen North

So yesterday we went to Linn of Dee. It is one of my most favourite places on earth. We walked for a few miles, but as Hannah had been a Stacey and wouldn’t take a decent jacket or walking boots, she was freezing, so we turned back before we saw any deer. Lots of nice photos though, which I can’t upload on the power tv.  Came back via Braemar and had a mosey round the outdoor shop as Bob split his climbing boots the other day, but didn’t see anything he liked. May try to get the others repaired, as he loves them. Bought mealy puddings for lunch time, to have with home made lentil soup. I can make these myself from scratch, as my Gran taught me as a kid, but given we only ever eat them once a year, we buy them from the Queen’s butcher in Braemar! You serve the soup (has to be lentil) in a bowl with the lip, and you put the oatmeal all round the lip, and put some on your soon before you lift some soup. The wikepaedia picture of it served fried for breakfast is a very English way of eating it lol, just done for the tourists 😉

I went for a walk in the late afternoon, while Bob and Hannah wii-ed and then in the evening we were still full, so had toasites and popcorn with a movie night. To make up for no pool, the hotel had reduced all the inhouse movies to 50p, so we watched Nancy Drew and Wall E. While they were doing that, I sent out a newsletter for the business.

Today, we went back to Aberdeen, Bob and Hannah swam, I walked and then spent a couple of hours using Costa’s wifi and a decent mobile reception to respond to the thirty requests for a place on the taster day as advertised in the newsletter. Going to have to find another venue, as mine can only cope with 8. Eek. Think I have sorted out a room in a HI Express. Bob and Hannah now movie viewing again, and I’m about to use the in-lodge jacuzzi and sauna. Bliss.

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Sunburn in Aberdeen in January??

Actually, probably frostbite. Weather is just fantastic, freezing, but fantastic. Lots and lots of light 🙂

Bob was at a Javelin coaching course on Sunday, half way here, so it was decided he would travel by public transport in the morning to his course, and I would pack and pick him up on the way. Best laid plans and all that, when we discovered he couldn’t get out of town on public transport on Sunday morning befor 10am, so at the last minute he had to go on Sat night. Sunday morning, we got up and the dog was in season. Shit. My mum had offered to have her, despite me saying I would put her in kennels, but she was not at all happy to discover she was in heat. I phoned the kennels, and her being in heat wasn’t a problem for them, but they need to have had kennel cough immunisation 7 days before they go, so that was out. Decided we couldn’t go, but my mum did agree to have her in the end. Dog meanwhile looking confused and sorry for herself (its her second season, but the vet said in a dog her size we could expect 9 month gaps, but this was 6 months to the day). Shit shit shit. She would have been spayed, but the vet will only do them between weeks 8-16 of their cycle, and we missed the window the last time as we were distracted by the kitchen saga.

Then discovered that with the dog stuff, and no back seat to use either (as the dog travels in a harness), I could NOT get everything into the car. Started randomly saying we couldn’t take things and the wii fit, the slow cooker, my memory foam pillow etc, the skiis, all hit the dust. Hannah in the huff about the wii, and it was blowing a force 10 gale and pissing it down all the while I’m dragging stuff in and out to re-arrange. FINALLY got it in, Hannah decided we were ok for room for the first 50 miles till we picked Bob up, and would be OK again for the last 50 after we’d dropped the dog off, so for the couple of hours in the middle she would sit with the wii on her lap. So that was sorted, off we went, and 40 miles from the house, in a sleet storm Hannah asked in a small voice that if it were ME, and I was going away for a week, and thought I’d left the hair straighteners plugged in, what would I do????? FUCK!!! Calmly (!?) turned the car round, drove 40 miles back, discovered (of course), that she had switched them off, and set off again. Finally got within 10 miles of Bob to discover the road closed due to flooding, so the AA directions were no longer valid. Drove around lots more in the sleet, car steamed up, dog crying, etc, and eventually by more luck than judgement, found him. Then realised that Bob had a big rucksack, as he had taken a sleeping bag etc, as he had only gone to a hostel. Unpacked car again (Bob: you had lots of room if you had packed it efficiently. Me: Fuck off, you tosser. Hannah: I’ll need therapy soon). FINALLY set off for my mums, dumped the dog, who pissed my mum off as she ignored her in favour of slopping all over my dad. (To be fair, he lived with us for 8 weeks during the kitchen saga, so she is used to him). Mum: well, if you like HIM so much, he can clean up after you all week. Us: thank you and good bye!!

Bob and I reunited in harmoney over missing the dog, and set off over the glen to the Cairgorm National Park. Checked into our lodge, and was told that as they had suffered a burst pipe, there would be no swimming pool, no spa, and basically nothing that we come here for in sodding January. Then discovered that they’ve installed a power TV since we were last here (which I’m currently using to access the internet), and it had no socket for the wii. Had pizza, another argument, and we all went to bed.

Monday things looked up, and we all had a bracing talk about being in a lovely venue, shouldn’t let one thing spoil it, no one could make us miserable without our permission (sodding NLP, lol), and we had a long walk in lovely sunshine, a great roast dinner with some nice wine, and I discovered that the portable tv in the bedroom had the right sockets. So bob brought that upstairs (the lodge is upside down for the views), and we all played wii ski till after midnight.

Today we drove into Aberdeen, about 50 miles away, and Bob and Hannah spent about three hours in the tropical leisure pool, with flumes, waves, rapids etc, while I walked for about 6 miles. We met up for coffee in the afternoon, and took a brief trip into the city centre to get some more reading material, since we are more reliant on entertaining ourselves, and headed home to a casserole which had been in a low oven all day. Now having some local whisky which you can only get direct from the distillery along the road, they only make it for the export market, and feeling no pain 🙂

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Holly holly days…..

Barely back at work, and off on holiday again. We are off up North for a week, to a nice lodge with jacuzzi, sauna etc (in the lodge), and all the other amenities in the main complex. No snow, so probably no skiing, but looking forward to a week of R+R. Although having a bit of a breakdown tonight, as my parents are coming to dog-sit, so attempting to conceal the muck of months for my mother’s benefit. I really wish we could take Maisie, but no dogs allowed, but we will miss her a lot, and it would really be dog paradise.

Hannah hasn’t been well, but feeling a lot better on some anti-virals.

Today we walked the dog for about 6 miles, as my mum won’t let her off the lead in case she won’t come back and then Hannah bathed her, so is looking very cute. Her coat is quite shaggy just now, as we let it grown a bit for winter. Bob has been going through a process of having to re-apply for jobs, and has just been made an offer, so that is a relief – very much the same as he is doing, and it isn’t going to require him to go back on shifts, which we had been worried about, and also means I am spared from having to go back to work full time. The business isn’t really relaible enough to sustain us without one of us working full time, so that was a relief, as its just really starting to take off, and I would have been gutted to leave it to go back to full time employment.

So – I have a dongle, but can’t guarantee it will work in the Cairngorm National Park, so if not, back in a week 🙂

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The things that matter to me.

Hannah in the woods

Hannah in the woods

An alter to Dell?

An altar to Dell?Just because I like it.


I'm much younger than HIM 🙂



Bob says he find it hard to believe he is above the dog, but certainly believes he is below the computer!

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