Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween / Urban Sketchers

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First things first, HAPPY HALLOWEEN,I hope you have lots of spooky fun planned for today? I have a whole day of cooking and cleaning ahead of me, in preparation for Oscar's halloween tea party later (expect a post all about it tomorrow).  But I wanted to tell you about a sketching group which I have joined. They are called Urban Sketchers and the title clearly speaks for itself. I had hoped to become a corespondent about a year ago, but at the time they required you to be part of a 3 person group and despite a facebook shout out, I couldn't get 2 other local sketchers willing to commit. 

They seem to have changed that now, and if you are part of the Flickr Group, there is a chance you will be scouted as a correspondent.

If you decide to join up yourself, do let me know, the turnover is so fast its easy to miss sketches.

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Saturday, 29 October 2011

This Week

Things have been ticking along here this week, as we get ready for Halloween. I think I may have mentioned before, Oscar has a predisposition for Gothica (HERE), so as you can imagine the sudden emergence in his 2 year old little world, of all things ghastly and ghoulish has been very exciting for him. I even took him on a wee walk around the 400 year old cemetery.

I have finally made a decision about nursery for him, and he begins 2 mornings a week on 7th November (unless I chicken out before then), and he has a place for Nursery School booked for next April (when he will be 3..............3!!!!).

Its not all been fun and ghouls this week though, Daddy has been poorly and Oscar slipped in the bath and burst his lip.

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

A New Path

Yesterday Oscar and I went on a nursery visit. At the time I was fairly happy with the nursery, but today I am having doubts. I cant tell yet, if it is the nursery itself, or if it is my feelings about separating myself from Oscar.  I am going to arrange a visit at another nursery either today or tomorrow, and then I may be able to tell what is causing the doubts.

For the majority of us, our babies are the shining star in our universe around which we orbit, exclusively for the first few years at least. Having 2 older children, I have experience of this already, but its amazing how we forget. As a mama of a 2 year old and a 22 year old, I can tell you without a doubt, the first time and the last time is the most difficult. The first time our little precious is left with daycare is heart-wrenching, but make no mistake you will feel exactly the same when the are all grown up and leave home for good (even if they are off having a lovely/drunken time at Uni, just like you did).

Oscar ran off into the nursery yesterday without a backwards glance, and he stayed in the dining room and then the playroom while I had a tour. He did not ask for me once. I am taking this as a good sign, but I also know the novelty may wear off once the penny drops, (mum is not staying here and I am).

Anyway, it was a busy little day yesterday, with the nursery visit, a trip to the museum toilets (funny how toilet trainers need to go to every toilet they have ever been to as soon as they see it), a wander around the blustery cemetery, The Howff, which is featured in a great book by the way Witches Blood, and a bit of shopping.

At 5pm we scooted home to the cabbage and ham in the slow cooker. Daddy came home at 6pm and Mama, for the first time ever, went out in the evening, to my first life drawing class in 15 years. I had a wonderful time, and it has resolved in me that its not just Oscar needing a new adventure, I do to.

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2011-10-24 14.38.27 I wouldn't say I was 'proud' of them, but I am proud of my effort. I look forward to improving over the weeks/months.




Sunday, 23 October 2011

Family Fun

On Saturday we spent ages trying to think what  to do for the day. I spent an hour on the laptop looking at the 'what's on' section with no luck. Oscar was looking a bit tired and anything overly energetic would not have been a good move. We decided to go out for lunch at the very least, and since we are not keen on taking the little guy into pubs, we went to the art gallery/museum, (at the recommendation of a friend).

The lunch was very nice, with a good selection of children's choices too. Afterwards we allowed Oscar explore the building. He has been to the galleries before, but it was about last year at this time, so he does not remember. This time, he thoroughly enjoyed the paintings (and especially the ones with little phones beside them, explaining  the work), and the display cases, with artifacts from all ages, including a viking longboat and an Egyptian sarcophagus, right through to 1970's fashion. The bones of a whale hang from the roof in one of the rooms, and I remember as a child being in awe of them myself. Oscar was no different, and it was lovely to know some things never change.

There is a Cecil Beaton exhibit running just now, and in honour of it, a family photo workshop was open. Oscar was able to draw pictures of us, look through old photo's and finally have his photo taken in (a weird mish mash), costume of his choosing.

The Mcmanus Art Gallery and Museum is free, and we spent much longer there than we had anticipated. I would highly reccommend it to locals.

The following photos are a bit blurry because they were taken on my phone, but I thought they were worth posting anyway.

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Friday, 21 October 2011

Shades Of Autumn

This weeks colour is orange, but due to a combination of rain and wind (so not getting out) and living in the city (which is mostly grey), we haven't managed to collect many orange themed images. So I give you.............Mama's Little Beats squash collection.

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Have a great weekend everyone.



Thursday, 20 October 2011


It sure is chilly around here. There was ice on the paths and snow on the Sidlaws which overlook us.  Oscar and I managed out shopping for a while though, and it was a welcome change from the wind and rain imposed imprisonment. We even managed a wee Halloween Biscuit from the bakery, possibly the nicest bakery we have. Just the ticket for a weight watching Mama

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Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Green Home

We finally started decorating last week, and despite the paint smell bothering me (it is apparently low VOC, but has a distinct farmyard odour about it!), it has been a welcome change. The last few lounges I have had, have been cream with red or red with cream, but the HUGE lounge window brings in so much of the green from outside that it seemed only natural to carry on the colour inside.
In the daytime, most people in the lounge spend their time looking out of the window, so the wall colour is secondary, but its nice to put my own stamp on it. I did well though, 6 weeks of white, that must be a world record for me ;)



Monday, 17 October 2011

The Plan

I have made a plan. Its funny how I didn't realise I needed a plan until I had one. The sense of peace which descended over me once I had made the plan told me it was the right one.  It may take as long as 5 or 6 years for the plan to unfold, but that's ok, because I am not free-falling any more. For the immediate future, the plan may or may not include knitting, vegetables, socks, books and paint brushes.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

The Urge

The urge was there, Duncan was free to watch Oscar, and so with a couple of false starts, I got to spend the day yesterday, painting. It felt really good to paint again.

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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Wave Of Light

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day across the world. We would like to invite you to take part in the global 'Wave of Light'. Simply light a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least 1 hour to join us in remembering all babies that have died during pregnancy, at, during or after birth. 
This can be done individually or in a group, at home or in a communal space. Wherever you do this, you will be joining a global wave of light in memory of all the babies who lit up our lives for such a short time.



Friday, 14 October 2011

Shades Of Autumn

The colour this week is Yellow. Living in the city, there are plenty of things yellow in colour, but they are mostly man made, street signs, buses, cars, road markings etc. I didn't want to give up on the challenge, so Oscar and I managed to go yellow spotting, and here is what we found.

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Thursday, 13 October 2011

A to Z

A-Z of Me

Me age 6

Inspired by Pixie Mama, the A to Z of me. If you do your own, be sure to leave me a link so I can check yours out!

  • A: Age - 41 :10

  • B: bed size -Double, and its not big enough for Duncan, Me and the starfish toddler.

  • C: Chore that you hate - Washing Dishes.

  • D: Dogs - I had a doggie as a teenager who I bought for myself, but I had to leave him with the family when I got married.

  • E: Essential start to the day - Tea

  • F: Favourite colour - Green

  • H: Height - 5'7"

  • I: Instrument you play - None, although I played trumpet at school, and having a husband who is a base guitarist means I have had a few guitar lessons.

  • J: Job - Domestic Goddess

  • K: Kids - 3 - Christopher 22, Aimee 20 and Oscar 2.

  • L: Live - Scotland

  • M: Mother's name - Dorothy

  • N: Nickname - Valdree

  • O: Overnight hospital stays - A few, most serious being a heart condition/surgery and a thrombosis - happiest was having the children.

  • P: Pet peeves - People who say 'you know me'  and proclaim themselves 'crazy'

  • Q: Quote from a film - Couldnt think of one, but this one is from True Blood "I am so over Sookie and her fairy vagina and her unbelievably stupid name, F*** Sookie'. - Pam

  • R: Right or Left handed - Right

  • S: Siblings - 1 sister aged 39 and twin brother and sister aged 36.

  • T: Time you wake up - Between 6am and 8am, depending on Oscar.

  • U: Underwear - Big uns mostly, with some nice ones for the right occasions ;)

  • V: Vegetable you hate - None

  • W: What makes you late - Having plenty of time

  • X: X rays- I have broken my right arm twice and left arm once, under the age of 20.

  • Y: Yummy food that you make - Nigella's Anglo-Italian trifle, the most expensive triffle in the world to make, but so bloomin good. Trifle Recipe (For non dieters)

  • Z: Zoo Animal - Not sure, not a real fan of the zoo. I saw panda's in London Zoo when I was a little girl, and was smitten.

Monday, 10 October 2011


We had a fairly slow weekend around here, which mainly revolved around eating meals and being together.
Daddy found a whole box of the old computer paper at the back of the garage, so Oscar was able to do plenty of drawing.
 I started the infamous 3 Hour Sweater and rattled it down again because I didn't like the look of it.
Oscar and Daddy tackled the jungle (some of it) at the bottom of the garden.
And they made a bed for some organic bulbs and seeds I have on order (autumn planting garlic, onion and broad beans). But mostly we hung out together. So when I woke this morning with a whole day of house cleaning ahead of me I was fairly unexcited. Then I remembered about a poem I saw over at Betty's Bletherins.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peek-a-boo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullaby, rockaby lullaby loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton

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Maybe Oscar and I will just hang out some more instead.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Shades Of Autumn

To kick off the challenge I have used photo's taken over the last month. Next week I will try and take enough photo's to fit in with the colour of the week 'yellow'. Please join in and link your photo's in my comments too.

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Thursday, 6 October 2011

Happy Winds Day

I had promised Oscar a trip to the park yesterday. The problem was, we don't seem to have a local park (odd for this city, so I may be wrong). The rain was blowing through in the wind, but he was undeterred so we took the bus to the victorian bandstand and went to the swing-park.
Eventually the wind did get the better of him though so we walked along Riverside until we found the penguins. And when you find penguins, you usually find a pirate ship.
By then we were both a bit wind swept and tired so we headed home (via Tesco for a wee, toilet training going so well, some organic snacks and a pumpkin).
Oscar was pooped when we got back and so was I, so he slept and I did some knitting. Its a good thing I had my new hat pinned on though because it was gale force out there and it would have been gone with the wind for sure. Are you guys still having a heatwave?

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Tuesday, 4 October 2011


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On Thursday and Friday of last week you could find me nursing a sick child in a heatwave (by Scotland's standards anyway). I was back to cotton dresses and the oscillating fan was on full blast. By the weekend the sun had gone although it was still warm-ish for October, and by today its back to wind and rain.  Its no wonder we are feeling out of sorts, it seems wrong to have pumpkins and ice Lolly's at the same time.


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I guess that's it though and we can go back to sweet potato curry, leaf and chestnut collecting and coats. I look forward to Autumn, it means my favorite season, winter, is just around the corner. I don't mind the odd bit of sunshine in the rain, because with it comes rainbows, but on the whole, I like to pick a season and stick to it.


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