Saturday, 31 July 2010

And so it ends

The final part of our summer 2010 camping trip.

Saturday we drove over to Callender House.

This is a beautiful house that is set in stunning gardens. The house is free to enter and the kitchen is amazing. Unfortunately no photos were allowed to be taken but this photo is from

The rest of the house is full of exhibits from its lifespan. The smalls certainly enjoyed themselves. There was also a wedding about to start as we left so that was fun to see.

Then we drove over to Kinneil House, unfortunately the house is only open 5 days in the year and it was not the right day for us. :(

But we got a look around the onsite museum which to be honest didn't have an awful lot to show for itself. We were in and out in a matter of 10 minutes.

Saturday marked six years since my dear old Dad died so that evening I took the girls to the onsite restaurant at the campsite. It was a lovely place with panoramic views and obviously used a lot by the locals as there were people there celebrating birthdays and on dates ;)

The food was lovely, the portions were huge and for me to say that trust me they have to be huge! LOL Silly me forgot to take photos of the food!

The views were beautiful, wee one went mad with the camera.

With bellies groaning from too much food we took ourselves back to the tent, lit the fire and settled down for our last night with new friends, melted chocolate and marshmallows. Kindly provided by wee one's new friend's mum.

Sunday morning and it was the 'no fun' task of packing everything up then driving home.

All in all we had a lovely time. It's so nice to go camping, getting away from all the electronic attention grabbers at home and spending some quality family time together.
Here's to next summer bringing more sun than rain. Next summer though it will be just me and wee one, big one is off to Malawi. I'm hoping on my return from Wales to have a specific blog for our fundraising efforts and in time big one's experiences over there.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Part two of the camping trip

So where did we get to.. ah yes Thursday and the choo choo train.

Friday we went to see The Falkirk Wheel

£84.5 million that cost to build you know. So of course you can't go all that way and not go on it can you?

This was the nice man that tied the boat so it wouldn't fall off. Not that there is any danger of that, it's actually to stop the boat shifting about. But wee one was not convinced and hung on the whole way up and down. :)

We were joined on the boat by lots of lovely people and some exceptionally rude old Italians ladies. They spoke the whole way through the boat masters talk and if they barged past me once so they could take a photo they must have bashed me a hundred times. Grrr!

Anyway it was fun in an educational kind of way, the smalls enjoyed it. :) I then paid what could have nearly been a mortgage payment for us to sit by the canal and have lunch watching the swans.

Later getting back to the campsite that we'd left deserted but for our lone tent, we found ten new tents had popped up in our abscence and wee one had three new wee friends to play with.

The rain had finally stopped so we lit a fire and as always happens on our camping trips we spent the night with all the kids of the campsite round our fire. :)

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Phones - love them or hate them!

As I was sat in my bathroom this afternoon with clingfilm wrapped round my head, I was dyeing my hair Passion Red (it was purple before but the roots were getting a bit long) just incase you were wondering, and clingfilm round my feet. God I sound such a catch don't I - God knows why I'm single!!
I wasn't dyeing my feet though I was doing a parafin wax. I found an old tube in the back of the bathroom cabinet and as my feet are looking like they belong to a 90 year old woman and I've been living in my flippy flops I thought it might be an idea to give them a treat.

The phone rang!!

Quick note here - trying to walk anywhere with clingfilm wrapped feet is not fun!!

Anyway it was the ex. I got to speak to the small people. :D
It sounds like they're having a good time. Wee one told me all about the pool, the friend she's made from Transylvania(?) and the mini golf course.

Big one sounded utterly fed up.

The phone line was terrible, I could only make out about half of what they were saying but I got to hear their voices and I know that they are ok. But it meant that I couldn't get to the bottom of what was up with big one plus the fact they are all in the same room together so she probably didn't feel like talking about whatever 'it' is. :(

Saying bye and the I loves you was pretty horrible. Why is it so hard trying to stop your voice from cracking so you can keep up the 'aren't we all just fine and dandy' persona?

So tomorrow I leave for Wales. I can't say I'm looking forward to the drive, it's a long way. I don't mind the drive so much it's just boring and the dog isn't much of a conversationalist at the best of times.
Well I guess I should go pack some clothes. I've got a few timed posts for while I'm away as I doubt I'll get online much if at all. My mother doesn't have 'the internet' as she calls it but I think I'll take me and my laptop off for a coffee every(day) now and again to see if I can find me some free wifi. Not that I actually know how to hook up to it! LOL

Thanks for all your lovely comments about my garden, it is big isn't it. Actually looking at the picture it's very deceptive on how bad the weeds actually are. LOL God knows how long the lawn will be when I get back but hey least the bugs will have fun while I'm away.

Be good but if you can't be good be sure to blog about it so I can read all about it ;) xxx

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

So you want to see my veg patch?

After seeing my famous - ok they're not actually famous - strawberry smoothie some of you asked to see my veg patch.

Now remember I did tell you that it's overgrown by strawberries and weeds. I was serious.

This is a side view with established, not in the veg patch, plants in the frame too. That's the bush to the bottom right and the very green bush to the middle right. The tall things with purple flowers are weeds - that my neighbour gets very overexcited telling me are murder to get rid of.

Yep see I did warn you. And yes I am suitable embarassed. :)

But look at what one trip to the strawberry patch yields! This is more of a full on(ish) view. It is quite a big veg patch which you can't really get a feel of with all the blinking weeds. When I was working on it, that is not letting the weeds win. I grew tatties, cabbage, beans, onions, beetroot, rhubarb (which is still in there ignoring the weeds) and lots of salad things.

This is my garden in all it's not been weeded for far a good few weeks, nor has the lawn been mown cos it's run out of petrol, beauty.

Plus the fact it keeps raining has prevented much mowing of lawns ;)

So there you are, my haven to all insects, butterflies and birds - oh and weeds!
And greenfly!! What is with this infestation of horrible little green things? Is the whole country getting them or are we just really lucky (not) up here?

It's all in the distraction techniques on a wet Monday

The ex finally thought to let me know that they'd arrived safely sometime mid Monday morning - they flew Sunday evening. But at least I could breath a bit easier.

First full day and I knew it wasn't going to be good so I stuck my Ipod in my pocket, plugged in my ears turned up the tunes and set about doing some housework

Beds were stripped, dirty dishes from small people's rooms were collected and washed.

Well that didn't seem to be stopping the occasion eye wetness so I sat and wrote a huge to do list - man that was a bad idea! If I wasn't feeling sorry for myself before well I was now.

Then I remembered I had bought this on our wee camping holiday so first I had to clean the fridge....yeah ok maybe I didn't do such a great job of the cleaning bit.

Aren't they cute. I do love owls. Home Bargains the shop was, they have all sorts of lovely ones and the black bit is an actual chalk board. I wanted the robot one too but that one appeared to be all gone. Ah well.

Then I got back to finding things that no longer served their purpose, looked beautiful or were needed and I came across this.

An old memo board that had seen better days.

So I gave it a helping hand in its own demise and reclaimed the metal board from its innards.
Gave it a good scrub to remove the glue and what not.

Debated covering it in fabric and attaching hangers. But as I do have a bit of a thing for shiny silver I ended up just sticking it on the wall and covering it with all the latest little pictures the smalls have given me recently.

And yes then I sat and had another wet eye moment.

Then I had the joy of trying to source a reasonable car insurance quote, oh what fun that was. NOT! Drives me crazy that I have been a named driver on my ex's insurance for a million years with no claims but now I am back down to only one year's no claims. Cheers for that!
Anyway got fed up of very expensive quotes so attacked a huge pile of papers that needed shredding and sorting instead. Very theraputic

Thank you to everyone for your words of support and understanding. I know the girls will have a lovely time and their Dad will look after them and it won't be long before they home with all their news. I'm off down to Wales later in the week so my pals down there have a few plans to distract me further. And there is a possible meeting of two mad women from the blogsphere happening eh wifey? :D

Saturday, 24 July 2010


my babies are leaving on a plane for two weeks in the sun with their Daddy.

Apparently I'm supposed to pack their cases.

I've been putting it off all week. Packing their cases means they're really going doesn't it?

One side of Taz is biting on her lip very hard trying not to cry. Failing sometimes but only when no little eyes or ears are about.

They've never spent this long with their Dad on their own. They're 15 and 9 years old...I know they'll be fine but. :(

The other side of Taz is putting on a brave face and telling the smalls when their bottom lips start to wobble what a lovely time they're going to have with their Dad. "You won't have time to me darlings, you'll be too busy having lots and lots of fun."

Big one gets her exam results while she's away too and I'm hating that I can't be there to hold her hand as they come in. (She's getting them texted direct to her.) Relief and so forth usually results in tears and Dad doesn't always know how to deal with that. But I know he'll do his best.

Today we went to see Toy Story 3 - yeah that was a good idea! At least you can cry in the dark at the cinema ;) (Great movie btw but you will need tissues)

Ok stiff upper lip and all that. Cases will be packed in the morning - unfortunately they're too small for me to climb into though.
I know, I know as soon as they've gone the sooner they'll be back. :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

What's left?

I came across an interesting article the other day/week/month - anyway sometime ago. And the article by Donna Werbner was about British Brands that are no long 'British.' So after reading that I thought I do a bit of further investigating myself...

As your probaby already aware lots of our iconic cars are now made and owned by foreign companies.
Rolls Royce. (Now BMW)
* Bentley. (Now VW)
* Jaguar.(Now India's Tata Motors)
* Mini. (Now BMW)

Did you know that Gatwick Airport was bought out by an American private equity firm this year? I didn't!

But what about our very British cup of tea?

Tetley Tea - yes Tetley tea of the wee men in white coats and flat caps fame
are now owned by India's Tata Group.

And your sugar lumps? Apparently Tate & Lyle were bought out by American Sugar Refining this year too.

And the very cup you're drinking from? Wedgwood was sold to an American private equity firm last year.

Now our food.

Our beloved Cadbury's established in Birmingham in 1824 was we know bought by the America firm Kraft this year. Pray that they don't make our chocolate taste like theirs!! Seriously American chocolate is not so nice!

Walkers crisps of Mr Lineker fame, first made by a pork butcher in Leicester who due to the World War Two rationing of meat had to find another way to earn money looked to the un-rationed potato. Well Walkers was bought by Fortune 500 American firm PepsiCo in 1989.

Most of our (favourite sweets) such as Kitkats, Smarities, Aero, Fruit Pastilles and Yorkie bars are now made by Nestle - a Swiss Company. Don't even start me on the whole Nestle boycott debate!

Fish and Chips anyone?
Harry Ramsden's was sold in 1999 to a Swedish firm.

HP Sauce - well you can't have chips without sauce can you? Bought out by Heinz in 2005.

And if all that food gives you a bit of indigestion and you need the chemist? Boots which was established in Nottingham in 1849 by John Boot was first sold to a foreign company in 1920 to the American United Drug Company. Part of Alliance Boots since 2006, it is now owned by the Italian tycoon Stefano Pessina and the American private equity firm KKR.

So if you're wanting to support Britain during your afternoon tea break?

Well you can still enjoy a nice cuppa

and a slice of toast spread with some lovely British butter. ;)

I hope you had one (cuppa) while reading all that. :)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Pink to make the boys wink

I realised today I never came back to share my Lidl special offer peonies with you once they'd opened.

This is a home made strawberry smoothie. I planted some strawberry plants into a grow bag many many moons ago. Then a couple of years ago I chucked the bag onto my veg patch which I am sorry to say I have done nothing with for the last 2 years. But the strawberry plants have taken over nearly half of it. Big one ventures out into the middle of it every few days and comes in with a bowl full of juicy red strawberries so it's all good. :)

Monday, 19 July 2010


Ok someone has stolen the sun, could you give it back now please? It's done nothing but rain today. Actualy that totally matches my mood but that's a whole other post.

Camping was a success - well it was sunny when we pitched the tent. Then the early hours of Wednesday the rain started and carried on until Friday lunchtime.
But it didn't stop us having a great time. I haven't uploaded all our pics yet, to be honest we didn't take a great load of pictures - too buy enjoying ourselves.

Wednesday we went to Linlithgow Palace. Beautiful Palace but as it has no roof it was a bit wet traipsing around. :D But we stood where Mary Queen of Scots was born - got to love history. Also did you know she was 6 foot tall? In the 1500s she must have been like a giant and I think I have it tough LOL

Then we had a look around Saint Michael's Church which is still a working church.

Then me and the dog stood outside Subway in the rain while the smalls sat dry and warm inside eating their Subways. :D

In the afternoon we checked out the Annett House Museum and Garden. we're still not sure why there was a Scotty (Star Trek) memorial display as he has no connections with Scotland as he was Canadian born and bred and his parents were Irish but hey ho. :D

Thursday we went on a steam choo choo at Bo'ness.
I took this pic on the bridge that my poor dog nearly had a panic attack crossing.

I'll tell you all about the rest of our hollybobs once I've uploaded the pics ;)

Good news while we were away though - my friend that has beaten cancer before had the results from her biopsy and all is clear. Woohoo!! That totally made my day.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Trying to exhale.

Thanks for all your comments (((((hugs)))))

Friend A has to wait 11 weeks for her results - unless of course there is something bad and then they will call her in sooner.

Friend B has had a biopsy and awaiting results but she says the hospital seemed positive that all was well and she says she has a good feeling too.


The small people and I are taking off for some quality time before they go off for their 2 week holiday with their Dad, we're going to check out some castles and hopefully relax in the sun.

I'll have lots of lovely pics to share on our return.
See you soon xxx

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Sorry I've not blogged

much this week.

Thursday I found out that one of my dear friends who has already beaten cancer once has found another lump.

And then

Friday I took another dear friend up to the hospital for her to get a mammogram as she has found a lump.

Bit of a shit week.

I know I don't have to remind you all but please do check yourself ladies.

Monday, 5 July 2010

A walk at the beach

The sun came back today! (yesterday was horribly wet.) So this morning we took the dogs down for a good long run at the beach.

We're currently looking after this handsome chap.

Excuse his messy chops but we'd been running around like mad things so he was a bit slobbery. :) His Mum's off in Turkey on holiday and her usual dog sitter let her down last minute so Jaz is having a wee holiday of his own with us. And she has very kindly given us the dog sitting money to put in our Malawi jar.

Today my darling Monster dog proved what a big pudding he is.

Have you ever heard of a dog letting their owners do this to them? LOL Daft thing he is, he kept so still and didn't attempt to move. Don't worry we didn't hurt him, he was only in the sand for as long as it took to put a layer over him and he was wagging his tail like a very happy dog when he finally could be bothered to move.
Oh before I forget I treated myself to some peonies at the weekend. On special at Lidl £2.49 a bunch. Quick go buy! Treat yourselves. :)

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Summer's here

Well that's the small people home for the next 6 weeks or so. They broke up for summer this Friday just gone. Much to their and my relief. I can't tell you how thrilled I am not to have to set the alarm clock for tomorrow morning. :)

I see I was not alone in thinking that coffee machine thingy was a tadge expensive. I'll definately be sticking to my kettle and spoon for now, especially as no company has been forthcoming in wanting one reviewed. LOL

We've had some exciting news since I last posted. Big one has been selected to go to Malawi next summer with the Scouting Association. I'm so proud of her for having the gumption to want to do this. Now we have to start some serious fund raising though as she has to raise £2,200. Yep I did say £2,200. :o Any suggestions for how to fund raise will be gratefully received.

Time I got my bum into gear and set up a shop maybe.