Sunday, 29 July 2007

Who needs campsites?

Another fun weekend. I'd mentioned camping to the boys which they thought was a great idea (Father Of The Year Points: +1) but I didn't fancy a long drive or going to the effort of finding a campsite (FOTY -1). So I said we could camp in the back garden on Friday night (FOTY +1) which also meant no car sickness, not forgetting anything and no cold toilet blocks (FOTY +1). We even managed to have hot chocolate cooked on the stove (FOTY +1) and persuaded mummy to come out and join us (after Big Brother). It was all good fun but Calum woke us all up at half past one to go to the toilet (Husband of the Year -10).

Saturday was a fairly lazy day (after an early morning run). We went for a wee walk down the town to get the boys some school shoes (Calum's first ever pair) and a school bag for Calum. After much mucking about, they both ended up getting Clarks shoes with toy cars hidden under the insole (no, I didn't really believe it either but check it out here if you're interested).

Today, we were down at Mugdock Country Park near Glasgow for the Albinism Fellowship barbecue. Calum was car sick about five minutes before we got to the car park but it was a nice day out for all.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Stonehaven in Sunshine Shocker

Yesterday evening, it was nice and sunny so we decided to take a wee stroll down to the harbour. I thought it would be a nice idea so that the boys could have an ice cream and a play in the sand.....

...Vikki could get a bit of sunshine....

...and I could enjoy a little (ahem) fresh air! Very refreshing.

Posted by Picasa

Monday, 23 July 2007

Spot the Mistakes

Vikki reckons I shouldn't bother but this has been annoying me for a while and I feel I need to get it out. Across the road from my office there's a fairly nice wee sandwich place. Every day, I pass this place and I see the sign in the window which reads:

Fresh Ground Coffee's



My attention was grabbed by one error in the sign straight away and since then I've decided there are at least two more. It shouldn't bother me, but it does. Or at least it has been bothering me but my mind will now be purged by the power of the blob.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

The Sun Has Got His Hat On

Today, in Stonehaven, it was a warm sunny day (honest). I was running at 7:30am (honest) with some of the jogScotland folk which was a good start to the day. Since the weather was nice, we decided to go to the outdoor pool, despite Calum's protestations. As it turned out, we all enjoyed ourselves so much we had lunch at the cafe there and stayed for a few hours. Lachlan absolutely loved it and wants to go back as soon as possible.
Afterwards, we softened the blow of having to go to the supermarket with some really nice ice creams.
There's a good chance we all got a bit too much sun, but it's easy to get carried away after several weeks of crap weather.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

A walk on the wild side

It's sometimes difficult, when planning an expedition, to find something interesting and challenging without overstretching anybody. Unfortunately, today's trip to Invermark at the head of Glen Esk was probably a bit too much. It was a bad sign when both boys were car sick and we had to stop at The Retreat in Tarfside on the way there for them to be sick.

We set off following the route on the map below, a 7(ish) mile route with a bit of a hill that didn't look too bad and would mainly be on a fairly decent track.

It started off well enough with a walk down the road, past a dead snake, and we found the bridge where I expected it to be. The gate at the end of the bridge looked locked so we climbed over, at which point the gate swung open under my weight. At this point we also acquired another travelling companion, a white collie who followed us for a mile and a bit, over three cattle grids, past a bunch of horses who tried to scare us away from a foal (and chased the dog off), through a farm with heaps of other dogs barking, and only deserted us after we stopped for some lunch and didn't give it any.

The walk up to Cairn Caidloch dragged a bit and the boys were both moaning before we reached the top, despite some nice views (none of Loch Lee which was slightly disappointing). You can imagine their reaction when they learned we had another summit to climb before the final descent.

Family relationships were being stretched near breaking point but we continued along the track over Burnt Hill until it turned into a thin path with a stream running down it. Calum could hardly keep his feet so he ended up on my shoulders as we made our way down the bank of a stream which was getting steep and boggy. By the time the path started again, we all had dirty, soggy boots and trousers and were tired and fed up. The tramp along the banks of the loch back to the car was uneventful but seemed to take longer than expected. The whole walk took 5hrs 45min after my initial estimate of 3-4 hours.

Next time, if there is a next time, we'll be trying to find a shorter walk, with a maximum of one hill, with a toilet near the start/end, with a guarantee that there'll be a really good path all the way. Wish us luck. I love walking in the hills, and really want the family to be part of that but it's difficult to meet everybody's needs all the time.
Despite everything, the day ended really well when we stopped at The Reatreat on the way back for our dinner which was very nice and cheered everybody up.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, 12 July 2007

What's Cooking?

Continuing our run of domesticity, Vikki decided to make some scones to compliment the raspberry jam. "You taste absolutely great, jam", said the scones, shortly before they were gobbled up. Mmmm, tasty.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Pump Up The Jam

I'm using my bread maker to make some jam with some raspberries that Vikki and the boys picked from a friend's garden (Ditta invited them which isn't as much fun as scrumping (if scrumping can be applied to soft fruit) but never mind - she's away on holiday so maybe we could sneak in and get more). There's a great smell in the house and it should be just about ready so I'm off to have a look.....

....well, it looks like raspberry jam, it smells like raspberry jam, and a lick of the spoon tells me it tastes like raspberry jam. The big questions are whether it will set like raspberry jam (who knows?) and whether it'll go off before it gets eaten (unlikely).

By the way, if you've arrived here because either Vikki or I have sent you an email saying there's some interesting news on the blog, you're looking for the previous post.

Saturday, 7 July 2007

What on earth were we thinking?

Towards the end of last year, Vikki and I decided it might be a nice idea to have another baby. Well, one thing led to another and I'm happy to say that we're expecting a little bundle of joy in January. Vikki had a scan on Friday and I'm pleased to say everything looks fine (correct number of limbs etc) although I'm slightly disappointed it's just one (Vikki is very relieved by this). Lachlan has taken the news well but Calum is upset about not being the youngest (in a complete turnaround from not wanting to be the baby of the family).
And this solves the problem of what Vikki's going to do when both the boys are at school.

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Green Cone Is Go!

I finished digging the hole for the green cone this evening, complete with extra depth for drainage, and stuck it in place. There was a nice build up of waste stuff in the caddy so it's all off and running. I'll be expecting a forest of rhubarb and strawberries the size of melons next year.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, 2 July 2007

Almost There

The gecko mosaic is just about finished - all the tiles are now in place. The next stage will be to get some cement and pour it into the mould with some wire to strengthen it. Unfortunately there was no time to go to B&Q this weekend but hopefully next week.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 1 July 2007

A. This

It's my green cone kitchen waste disposal unit, the latest addition to my home composting arsenal, which we got really cheap through the local council who are desperate to reduce landfill because of various European directives. Sadly, it's not actually operational yet because it needs to be partially buried in a hole, a bigger hole that took a lot more digging than I'd appreciated. And my hand's sore. And I'm tired. And I've got other things to do. Saving the planet will resume shortly.
Posted by Picasa