Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's all in the preparation

We were expecting friends to visit yesterday, which was nice. We don't get many visitors up here! However, when they rang to arrange a time, they said, "Oh, it'll be between 3 and 4pm, we'll ring again and give you an hour warning."

They lied.

Having thought I had most of the day to prepare and it being a hot day, I decided to stay in my jim-jams and do a bit of ironing first, my usual start to a weekend, drooling over, sorry, watching James Martin on Saturday Kitchen. Then, after pizza for lunch, I would do a quick clean.

So, imagine my horror when, 1.30pm the phone rings and said visitors give us a twenty minute warning.


Didn't even have time to swear as I sprinted upstairs to perform a miracle, (go on, picture it!) returning in twenty minutes to find the visitors already ensconced on my settee. I just calmly sat down and continued drinking my, now slightly tepid, cup of tea. Polite conversation ensued and a fine time was had by all.

As luck would have it, it's only a few days since my parents visited so the house was relitively clean, (as it can be with four children and a herd of their friends) and soon after they'd left, I had a massive urge to tidy the shelves in the lounge, which are now immaculate, so that saved time.

Went into shock on their departure though, had to hit the V&O, followed by a nice bottle of Chianti with a superb homemade lasagne, (even if I do say so myself) followed by a smashing Chateau Neuf du Pape. Far too much and very naughty, but luckily, doesn't appear to have had any nasty side effects.

Maybe lucky isn't the right word. Maybe I need more blood and less alcohol coursing through my veins on a regular basis...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another "Aha!" moment

The WeatherPixie

Thought I'd see if I could move this...
Hey Presto!

And bow

I'm really pleased I took the plunge.

The feedback on my new blog has been amazing, so positive and I'm very grateful to you all and very proud of myself!

I feel very relaxed, writing in this anonymous fashion, it's much easier to let it flow. There's no pressure or expectations and I thoroughly enjoy it.

I shall keep it up.

Without wishing to appear too smarmy, thanks again!

Perhaps I'll get bored of stealing, in time...

1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?
No. I was once stopped (My tax disc appeared to be out of date. In fact, the tax disc holder was discoloured through age)

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
Winter before last. Schools were shut one morning, so we trolled to the local 'hill'.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Someone other than my hubby? No. Unless it was Robbie Williams...

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
I'm not convinced either way

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
Yes , but that doesn't mean anyone else would!

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
He is a bit shifty looking.

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
I tend to misstrust someone who would take a taken person, so Jennifer

9. Do you stay friends with your exes?
Not that I'd noticed.

10. Do you know how to play poker?

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?

12. What's your favourite commercial?
"Belly's gonna ge' ya". Nike or Reebok, I think. Oo, and the pepperami ads are good, "A bit of an animal!", chortle.

13. What are you allergic to?
Pollen, cats, some dogs, horses (pants!((NO, not I'm allergic to pants. It's pants I'm allergic to horses!)).

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around do you run red lights?

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
Yes. That's why it's a secret.

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
American 'sport'? Who cares.

17. Have you ever been ice skating?

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Most days.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
During a phone call with my sister quite recently. Mentioned I'd trimmed my friend's (who lives next door) bush that had grown through the fence. We cried for sometime. If I don't stop reliving the moment now, I'll be in tears again. Maybe you had to be there.

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?

21. What's the one thing on your mind now?
I need a pee.

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass Barbie is?

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?

24. What cell service do you use?
Like almost everything else in my life, it's Tesco.

25. Do you like sushi?

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?

27. What do you wear to bed?
Bare naked lady

28. Been caught stealing?

29. What shoe size do you have?

30. Do you truly hate anyone?
Not any more. I've learnt tolerance.

31. Classic Rock or Rap?

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
Think I've already answered that one.

33. Favourite Song?
"If you're not the one", but it depends on mood, etc.

34. Have you ever sung in front of the mirror?
Most mornings. Without my glasses, before I put my lenses in. Looks much better that way...

35. What food do you find disgusting?

36. Do you sing in the shower?
Everyday. And the bath.

37. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
No. I'm quite brazen and do it in front of them.

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
I'm very loyal to friends, but generally don't get involved.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?
Yes. By my bully at school. Except it was outside the school gates at the time.

Now, about that pee...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Leap of faith

Ok, so I've been thinking. I seem to be getting a few lovely comments for my poetry posting, so...

I've decided to start a second blog. Words at
I shall still be here, everyday if I know me, (...addicted) but my other post is devoted entirely to my 'Words'. So there.

This is mainly thanks to Ruth's kind words , but my audience does appear to be widening. Thank you Ruth!

I'm soooo excited!


I'm waiting, waiting, waiting.
What for?
For the telephone to ring,
Or for a knock at the door.
Don't panic, he's here.

I'm waiting, again and again.
What for?
To say I love you,
More than ever before.
Don't panic, he's here.

It's my turn now

I spend my time doing what you want,
Things you should have done yourself;
Don't you ever thnk of what I want?
Maybe it's too late for you,
But I've still my own life yet.
The time has come, you must let go;
I've got to leave,
And take your baby away.

The Great Race

When will it end, everyone fighting till that last second,
New entrants all the time, everyday, every minute.
Nobody loses when they race no more, lie a corpse, hidden,
So who will win when it's all gone, they'll never know.

When time ends, does our race too?
People work all their lives, competing, trying.
Our Spring is a game, people racing with us,
But we are entered too, limbering up, starting.

When Summer comes, we run for our lives,
Things come too soon, we learn to hurdle.
In Autumn, a steady jog, happy, content with our position.
Winter, regrets of wasted time, still fighting, teaching.

Then, nothing.
Individual races are over,
But the Great Race continues, small worlds competing,
The race of the World has no losers.


Isn't technology a wonderful thing?

I can be terribly slow on the uptake sometimes, call it a blonde thing, (for those that don't know, I'm brunette, but I have my moments...) or maybe it's a senior moment thing, but I've only just worked out how I can save my poems to my computer.

Yes, yes, I know, you are all screaming at your computers, all one of you, (Ruth, you are my audience!)
"What?!" in total exasperation.

I may have worked with computers for several years at my local newpaper, here and back 'at home', but I never said I knew what I was doing!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Take me with you

I watch you soring high between the mountain tops,
Your wings spread wide, you glide with ease.
The sun shines golden on your back;
An eagle, master of the sky,
Majestic, graceful yet powerful and feared.

You have freedom, grace and strength unrivalled.
My spirit strengthens as you fly above me,
I yearn to reach you, breathless with desire.
I ache for your power, release and wandering,
Take me with you.

Monday, July 17, 2006

...and the poems

Well, I must confess. I did lie in my sleeping bag one night, trying to compose some poetry. At the time, I was working with words like buffeted, blown, blasted, windswept, torrential, battered, lashed... I think you get the picture.

It was windy at night. On a few occasions. Windy? That may be an understatement.

We had no bother during the day, it didn't rain and we were never prevented from doing anything we'd planned, in fact, it was perfect hillwalking weather, considering Aedan's pre-dispostion towards heatstroke, so our life was made easier.

At night, however, some sleep would have been useful.

It wasn't every night. Seven nights out of eleven. Should have been twelve, but after the eleventh, we had finished all our planned excursions and decided not to endure another night and spoil the holiday. So we went home a day early.

Plans for the future? We will go back, probably to the same site, but I plan to buy two new tents, perhaps offering a little more stability and without the vent on top, (flaps noisily in the wind and made it feel far worse than it really was) but each with two bedrooms so the children can be in one, (they are at an age where I think they'll be fine 'next door') we can have the other with a bedroom for storage so all the kit is out of the way. Marvellous!

I'm excited about next year already. I've been looking at tents. And campsites.

David says I have to calm down...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Pony Trekking

Yes, we went pony trekking, the photos are from the second trek, when 'the family' had a forty five minute trek, minus me. I had an hour trek on my own with the proprietor, Danielle, which was a treat. There were a few closeups of me on Jake, but not so flattering to my thighs, so we stuck with this view! Aedan, Conall, Ciara and Rhiannon on pony back too, but no David. How did he manage to escape? I'll get him next time. The ponies are Tarsha, Robbie, Lady and Carrie, David rode Belle. Super time was had by all!

...and more

The Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail. As you can see, David took this photograph of us before I managed to compose my face. I had struggled up the last few yards, it seemed to me to be a cliff face and clung on by my fingertips, crawling parts on my hands and knees with French tourists on my heels. If I could have said, "Give me some space!", (or words to that effect, but probably less polite...) in French, I would have. At this point, we were able to 'let them past'... then continue up another few yards where I wished my mother had been a mountain goat. She was not and nor am I. The views from the top were stunning (I made it!), Slioch to the front, Torridan range again and Loch Maree below.
We went to Inverewe Gardens towards the end of the holiday and saw some big plants. Didn't spend enough time here, so we will have to go back...

Holiday pics!

You have been warned...
I have been having difficulties with this, so, bear with me, please!
Home from home, seats, table with bench seats, three bedrooms, fridge, cooker, all mod-cons! The view from our tent, just a few yards from the beach, as you can see.
We walked up Flowerdale Glen to see the waterfalls and saw... a Golden Eagle! Yes, it is. I know, it looks like a dot, but it was HUGE in real life. Honest.
A view of the Torridon Mountains from our boat trip with Gairloch Marine Life Cruises. Some of us found this more interesting than others, but it may have had something to do with the travel sickness tablets I'd given them. Ooops. Saw Porpoise, which was a treat and loads of seabirds I've only ever seen with Sir D before, Gannets, Fulmars, Skuas, Guilliemots, Razorbills etc. The chap who took us out spoke seven languages aswell as having his marine life degrees and knowledge. Wow.
We climbed a BIG hill, the Beinn Eighe Mountain Trail...

Friday, July 14, 2006

I'm back!

Just in case anyone has missed me (?!), I'm back.

We've had a wonderful time.

Mountains! My word, they are beautiful, awesome, outstanding.

The beach just outside my tent flap. Well, ok, that was the draw for the children, mine was watching the gannets diving, the guillemots and razorbills floating by, the skuas pinching fish from the gannets, watching for fins (basking sharks. I didn't see any, but Rhiannon did) and all that kind of nature stuff.

We walked and saw beautiful things. Some of these walks turned into a bit of a scramble in the high places. We saw a Golden Eagle! Breathtaking and we watched it soring between peaks for nearly 15 minutes before the children became restless. Enough, already! The Mountain Trail at Beinn Eighe was just that. I am no mountain goat, as the french who pushed past me on the edge of a precipice will vouch for. I did bits of that one on my hands and knees in terror, realising halfway between the two hard bits that there was no going back and that despite my utter terror, I had to go on. Felt no sense of achievement when I got to the top, just relief. It was a fabulous view though. If there is a next time I'll do that one backwards. No, not facing backwards. From the end to the top, turn around and go back down. I think.

Pony trekking, twice! Once as a family, then the family minus me, I was on a longer trek. Stunning views of a waterfall and the Torridan mountains in the distance!

Marine Life boat cruise was great, seeing gannets and stuff in real life, instead of with Sir DA, fantastic.

Too much to go on, I'll download the photos from the stick thing (technical stuff that plugged into David's laptop) and choose the most stunning and memorable ones to post. Maybe even the one of me, terrified, taken just before I composed my face. Can't trust a man with a camera!

I'll be back...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Another steal

I have never been such a copy cat and haven't been at all comfortable with the idea. However, the more I blog, the more I come to realise that's how blogging works. You have a nosey at other peoples and take something away with you, a new idea, a new perspective, a new post. That's the fun of it and I need loads of fun after a long drought.
What also intrigues me are the similarities between people whom I have never met, maybe miles apart but are in very similar situations. I keep coming back to that and will post on it, later.
I pinched this at 6.30am the morning of going on holiday, did a copy and paste and completed on return.
So, thanks Anne!
The Questions
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink

02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (the storm was at sea, not me, does that count?)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper (once or twice...)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne (once or twice...!)
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can ( I don't like the Miami Sound Machine ride they have at the Summer Ball. Not one bit.)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster ( Don't like these either!)
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales

45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie

74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand (Ooops. Pre-marriage, obviously!)
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children. (Well, still doing it really)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking (ALL THE TIME!)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived.
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school OU?
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes.
134. Read The Iliad – and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone’s life

Just reading that through, I realise not only have I not done much, I don't want to apparently. Food for thought...