Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Another little stamp

This is perhaps going to be a bit of a controversial post, but I had a little rant at David at lunch time and realised he wasn't listening, so thought I'd try elsewhere.

You see, there are prisoners up here, (well, Glasgow actually) complaining about not having theirown pants, having to wear any old pants given to them, (presumably clean) now, I was under the misapprehension that people in prisons are being punished. They are paying their debt to society for whatever crime they have committed, whether it be murder, theft, rape, fraud, a crime whatever it may be. I personally think that prison should be a punishment and yet I think many of these convicts actually get a better life in prison. They may have to share a bedroom, but they are warm and dry, have three square meals a day, gym facilities, satellite television, pool tables, computor access, libraries, education, a daily thirty minute telephone call. (As far as I'm aware, our soldiers, serving in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, get a twenty minute telephone card. Weekly...)

Where is the punishment, the deterrent? Is it really beyond the imagination of these people to reoffend, simply to be reincarcerated and to continue living in the manner to which they have become accustomed? Yes, I'm sure there are dreadful things that go on in prisons too, drugs being a small part of the problem, but I do believe these people should be being punished and shouldn't have so many 'rights', otherwise, what is the point?

I maybe shouldn't mention that I would be all for the return of capital punishment in serious cases that are proven without doubt, or that I would love to bring back National Service, because I believe this would instill respect and discipline. Not to mention corporal punishment in schools. No, I'm not outraged that my children might be beaten, because they wouldn't be. When I was a child, our headmaster had 'the slipper' in his office, but I was not once aware of anyone ever actually receiving the punishment, the threat of it's presence was enough. Now, there is nothing to be scared of or respect, the teachers no longer have the upper hand, the pupils and parents do.

And another thing, bring back the 'beat bobby'. I remember being berated by our local bobby when I was about six years old for riding my (sister's) bike on the pavement. I was terrified and have never committed a crime since. It worked for me!

This post is a bit of a mess, trying to squeeze alot of moans into one, but it all boils down to discipline and respect, or rather, the lack of.

I'll stop stamping now.

(And the pants thing was merely to illustrate a point. They should be grateful to have pants at all!)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I'm a good girl I am

I just faced one of my pet hates. Telephone calls. I really, really hate making certain types of telephone calls, like ringing the bank or a mail order company, you know the sort of thing. I hate it. I come out in a cold sweat. My mouth stops working and I talk jibberish, (what's new there then?) so I'm quite chuffed with myself.

It was a certain high street retail company that had charged me for something I had never received. Now, it's out of stock. Pants. At least I made the call.

Yes, I jogged, yes I enjoyed (!!??) it and yes, I shall go again.

I'm quite impressed actually. I'm not the slightest bit sore. Must be fitter than I thought!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ho hum

I have been coereced by my dear friend Bev to go to a Jogging Uk club tonight. I'm all dressed ready.

Don't know about jogging tonight, won't be able to walk tomorrow.

Is it really worth all the pain just to get fit? I'll let you know.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A little excited

Nearly seven years ago, I planted a young Camellia in my garden. It's in a nice spot, but I must confess to never having fed it. I leave it to it's own thing really.

I've just noticed that the buds that had appeared, that I had assumed were the usual new leaf buds, look like they could actually be flower buds!

I'm a little excited about this. I am not reknowned for my green fingers.

I shall post pictures if I was right.

If I'm wrong, I shall keep very quiet...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The escapee

I made soup for lunch today, like I often do. Today was another new one, Irish Potato Soup. So, while my finely chopped onions sweated in a little butter, I peeled and diced some potatoes. Now, because I buy my local potatoes from the local farm shop, they come with local mud on, so I usually give them a good wash and peel them in the sink, often popping them onto the drainer till they're all done. I popped the diced potatoes into the pan to sweat with the onions and then decided to do a little washing up (occasionally I'm a tidy cook, not always) and to that, I had to empty the drainer first of the previous washing up, (tidy up until a point...). There it was. Behind the clean grill pan. An escapee. A peeled potato!

It was diced and sweating quicker than two shakes of a lamb's tail.

There is no escape in my kitchen...

And that is how exciting my life is. The Great Vegetable Escape.

Should have been yesterday really. Made Pea Soup yesterday...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Should have taken piccies really, however, it is Shrove Tuesday and I made pancakes for the children. Horrors, they had jam on them, not lemon and sugar.

The shame of it is I didn't make enough for me. Pants.

I don't ask the children to give anything up in particular, because they will chose things like tidying, bathing, homework, so it kind of defeats the object, but we do talk about it and how it all came about, Lent, Easter and all that. I am not going to give up anything this year either, but I am going to cut back on chocolate and wine, question myself each time why I want some, whether I need it and could I do without it. Thinking about it rather than eating or drinking without question is a step forward for me.

I have given something up in the past and usually successfully and without cheating, but the desire just grows to huge proportions, so come Easter, I'm likely to gorge. Not a pretty sight. This way, I'm hoping for more control and calm.

We'll see.


I've just been reading some of my older posts and came across (another) pinch, forty questions about me, basically. One question was "Do you have a secret nobody knows?" the answer to which was, "Yes, that's why it's a secret." Good answer.

Now, tell me, what was my secret?

It's like those things you put in a safe place, but then forget where the safe place is. Speaks volumes about my memory...

Causing a bit of a stir

I'm a bit of a saddo at times and just out of complete curiosity, I've installed a Stats Counter. It's interesting stuff, but I'm not entirely sure what I can get out of it, so I'll probably drop it sometime when I get bored. However, I've noticed alot of interest in one particular post recently, "I've been getting messages" and I suspect for all the wrong reasons.

Especially as this activity seems to come from the Houses of Parliament.

(There you go, I'll have done it again now, saying all the wrong things.)

Just for the record, I have never had, nor do I ever want to have an MP of any kind in my bath. Unless David has a change of career, but I can't see that happening somehow.

Nor do I want a cup of tea in my bath. It's got to be wine!

Makes you wonder though...

Oh, ok

You scored as Albus Dumbledore. You are very wise, observant,

and analyctical. You have a very "well-organized" mind, which

makes you function in a calm and fair manner. Though you get

angered easily, its rare of you to ever act our of temper. You are

constantly seeing the good in people and are naturally forgiving

because of it. You're easy to please and a great person to learn from.

Albus Dumbledore


Neville Longbottom


Bellatrix Lestrange


Remus Lupin


Ron Weasley


Luna Lovegood


Oliver Wood


Sirius Black


Hermione Granger


Harry Potter


Severus Snape


Draco Malfoy


Percy Weasley


Lord Voldemort


Harry Potter Character Combatibility Test
created with
Admittedly, another pinch...

Monday, February 19, 2007

I've been getting messages

Not in my dreams or anything like that.

BT kindly sent me some fridge magnets, quite a while ago now. They were just a collection of random words in a sheet that could be taken apart and therefore sentences made.

Whilst our eldest daughter is restrained and reserved like her father, her saving grace is obviously her sense of humour. It's like mine.

"To mum love you from the family and socks the cat"

We don't have a cat...

"Out with 2 friends and chatting to home using a mobile"


"1 cup of tea in the bath with Angus Robertson MP"

This one I think was the most disturbing, AR is our local MP, he visited the school a while ago and signed autographs (I should imagine he spoke to the children and answered questions too...) and it was this autograph that had been tagged onto the end of 'the message'. Disturbing because? He doesn't even preach the right politics let alone frequent my bath.

(Tea? More likely a glass of perfectly chilled Chardonnay!)


Could someone please post a comment, (anonymously will do, but not you Ruth, that won't help...!) and tell me why so many 'strangers' are interested in this post? It's about sentences made up out of random words. Random, get it? I'm just curious.

Friday, February 16, 2007



Growing up

My youngest daughter, Ciara, is a Brownie. My eldest daughter, Rhiannon, used to be a Brownie, but left at nine and a half and didn't want to be a Guide, so she isn't. Ciara, on the other hand, is an extremely sociable child and loves the interaction, so she won't leave before she's ten and will probably want to be a Guide.

I was a Brownie, (they didn't have Rainbows when I was a child, but these to were both Rainbows) and I was a Guide until I was about fifteen I suppose, but I can also boast Girls Brigade, Sea Cadets and the local Youth Orchestra (the windband and the recorder orchestra sections). In my day, Brownies was about being a little girl and learning useful things, like polishing shoes, making fairy cakes, plaiting newspapers to make a packaway seat, all sorts of stuff.

We had a Brownie parent meeting the other evening, to decide on the future of the pack, how to support the current leaders and collect ideas for activities. One mother suggested a pamper evening. For the Brownies. You know, make-up, nail varnish that sort of thing. There sat the other mothers nodding approval and "Ooo"s and "Ahhh"s from all corners.

Me, I'm silently screaming "NOOOOOO!".

Call me old fashioned or a prude, but I don't want to encourage my daughter to wear make-up, short skirts and cropped tops, to make herself appear older than her tender eight years and available. To make her vulnerable.

At first I thought I will just make Ciara 'busy' that night, so that I don't have to confess my austerity in public. Then I decided I will have a private word with Brown Owl and explain why I am unhappy for my daughter to take part in this activity. If other parents don't have a problem it's entirely up to them obviously, I don't want to make an issue of it, but it's just not for me and my daughter.

Although Ciara probably won't agree. She would probably love it.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Post champers

I've been reading the links from Anne's Blog about Valentine's Day and I enjoyed them all. The first in particular made me smile, because I agree wholeheartedly and I appreciate how lucky I am, (we are!) to have the relationship that we do. It is honest, supportive, reliable, loyal, fun, everything I am (and he is) as a person is our relationship. I feel lucky that we don't have to work at our relationship, it works itself because it is us.

That is not perhaps the most eloquent piece of writing, I'm sure someone somewhere could have made it far more beautiful to read, but it does just what it says on the tin, and so does my marriage!

So anyway, last night we cooked ourselves a beautiful meal, because we can produce something fabulous for a fraction of the cost of a babysitter, two taxis and the disappointing meal at a restaurant.

Goats Cheese Souffle

Baked Halibut (well, they didn't have any, so it was Talapia, or something, from Jamaica...) with Cabbage and Bacon, a Tarragon Cream Sauce and Potato Rosti

Baked Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce

Lush. Not to mention the perfectly chilled Tattinger (I may have mentioned that before?) and some Chardonnay Columbard.

The children aren't at school today. Or tomorrow. Or Monday.

Happy days!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Look at my Weather Pixie!

How cute is that? I love it!

PS I've been writing again, if you haven't visited the other blog recently. Or maybe you have and it's just too rubbish to comment.

PPS Was that a subtle enough hint? Sorry, halfway through a bottle of champagne for Valentine's Day. Can't guarantee my Cheese Souflees are going to turn out. Especially as I can't spell them...

UPDATE 15th February, 2007

It's gone now...

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Nothing much

As I was in the bathroom this morning, I was listening to Sarah Kennedy on Radio Two. "The Sky at Night is the longest running programme to still have it's original presenter, Sir Patrick Moore." Go Patrick!

A little later, I was vegetating in front of GMTV whilst eating my breakfast. I find thinking and concentrating at this time of day too hard. Some chap, (a complete madman in my book) was filming himself skydiving when it all went horribly wrong. We watched as the ground spun towards us at break neck speed, then the screen went blank as he hit the deck. Could be messy. His friend, who was also videoing whilst skydiving, lands safely and runs towards his friend, who has landed in six foot of brambles.

"Mate, speak to me. Are you ok?"


Talk about a silly question with a totally deadpan reply, this had me rolling around with tears streaming down my face.

(He escaped with a punctured lung and a smashed ankle.)

Nothing much has happened round here today.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Having a bit of a splurge

I popped into my local Millets last week, (doesn't everyone?) and spied a rather nice, PINK, ladies fit, 60-65lt rucksack. I didn't buy it, but I went home and told hubby all about it. Ofcourse, his reply was, "You should have bought it." Typical! I was trying to be frugal. So, I cagged a lift back the very next day and bought it. Along with a green, 65lt male version. So that all goes rather nicely with our new tent.

Reason being? Well, our trek into the wilderness, (well, close to the Cairngorms actually) is almost becoming a reality. I'm still not convinced that we'll get to do the Eastern Cairngorm Challenge, but as my sister and brother-in-law have decided to take the children to Gairloch for a few days without us in the summer, I thought we could make good use of the time. So, we are catching a bus to Aviemore, then onto Glenmore and camping overnight. Then we'll walk through the Ryvoan Pass to Nethy Bridge and onto Grantown on Spey, roughly 15 miles, (although I need to check that one) camp there, then walk along the Dava Way to Forres and home, roughly 21 miles. (Ouch.) I decided the Ryvoan Pass was a little more scenic than the Speyway from Aviemore to Grantown and we've done part of it before. Last time we saw a Red Deer stag, (a little too close for comfort as it was during the rutt...) and a pair of Roe deer, not to mention one or two other little delights.

Excited, me? I have made one or two lists and planning how I can travel light, seeing as I've got to carry my own rucksack with part of a tent, a sleeping bag and a roll mat. Not to mention the primus stove, a kettle, knife and fork...

Yes, I'm excited.

And I've got to wait until the second week in July.

Oh boy.

Friday, February 02, 2007

A little 'silent' poetry reading

I've been to Annes' Blog and she's taking part in this wonderful idea of a silent poetry reading. Just leave a comment and post a poem on your blog, your favourite or even one of your own!

I found it hard to choose, my favourite Wilfred Owen, from English Lit days, one of my own, (but I already have a blog for that!) or a good one for a nice Friday, like this one...

Breavin' on the Window-pane

It's cold an' grey an' still outside,
And everything is wet with rain.
I'm standing on the cushion seat,
And breavin' on the window-pane.
An' drawin' pictures with me 'and.
The window's high against the sky-
I can't see out unless I stand.

I've drawn a house an' chimley-pot;
I've drawn a man an' child'en too,
A napple an' a toasting fork,
An' someone who is jus' like you,
And Gran'ma sittin' in the rain.
The pane's so small I've filled it all,
And 'specks I'll have to breave again.

But Jane has spoilt it now; she says
I want a whippin'-an' I don't.
She's rubbed the window clean, and says
She'll fetch a policeman-but she won't.
And now she's gone downstairs again
I'm breavin' on the window-pane.
I'll draw a nugly one of Jane.