Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Oooh, scary!

It's Hallowe'en and all the scary spooky things are out and about. Well, they were earlier on - they're now tucked up safely in bed. Vikki and I took the boys out guising which was actually good fun and the boys got a good stash of sweets. Scott from next door had a Mike from Monsters Inc costume so he and Calum made a good pair.

Scott also had one of the best jokes - "Why does a squirrel swim on it's back?"

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Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Burn, baby, burn.

Last night at the Beavers, we had the annual paper fight (made even more unruly because it was bring a friend night) and Guy stuffing event, before handing over the guy to the Round Table who organise the bonfire and fireworks. Next time I see my handywork it'll be sitting on top of a pile of flammable stuff and then it'll be gone. Probably some sort of metaphor for life in general, if you think about it, which I haven't.
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Monday, 29 October 2007

Burn o' Vat and Wedding Venue Nosiness

Yesterday we took the boys on a trip in the car since it was too nice a day to go swimming, and Iain wasn't hungover. Nobody was car sick which must be a first for the Slug and North Deeside roads. Iain's workmate Andy had mentioned going to see the Burn o' Vat so we thought we'd copy him. Have a look at some photos:

The walk in the woods and the spectacular geological feature were pleasant enough but I think the boys' favourite bit was the fancy piece at the Ramoir Garden Centre in Banchory on the way home.

Since we were in the area we took the opportunity to have a nosy at the Glen Tanar Ballroom. This venue was suggested for my sister's wedding to the Daviator and we were suitably impressed. We are on tenterhooks here waiting on Amy and Dave to decide where the wedding will be as it could be here or Yorkshire but the bride's side are definately pushing for Scotland. Cos we're traditionalists, nothing to do with it being cheaper and easier for us! Maybe we should have an online poll of all the venues so our readers can choose the venue for them. I'll keep you posted cos I'm sure you're very interested. Or is it just me?

Sunday, 28 October 2007

It's that time again!

British Summer Time ended in the wee small hours of this morning. I've better things to blog about today, so I'll just refer you, dear reader, to my previous blog entries on the subject (1, 2).

Anyway, it's almost Hallowe'en and the kids got dressed up for a disco. As could have been predicted, the vampire teeth couldn't be found, and I'm not really sure why Sully should have a human skull inside his mouth (Calum seemed to think it made sense), but the boys seemed happy with their costumes and had a fine time by all accounts. We'll probably have to go out begging guising on Wednesday. I just hope the weather's better than last year when it absolutely chucked it down.

And once Hallowe'en's out of the way it'll be time for bonfire night. Like last year, I got the dubious honour of making the guy's head. Not finished yet, but here's a picture...

After the kid's disco, we dropped the boys off at Vikki's folks (where they got to watch Lindsay Lohan in Herbie apparently) and we went to visit Dave and Carole, which was good fun. We got a bit drunk (well, Vikki stayed completely sober and I drank quite a bit so we averaged out at a bit drunk), chatted, listened to music (a selection of Dave's favourites including Aphex Twin, LCD Soundsystem, and Sparks) and had a wee shot of Dave's new PS3 (as expected I spent a lot of time crashing cars and pointing the wrong way). All good fun, and the much deserved hangover didn't even materialize.

Monday, 22 October 2007

I'm afraid that I was very very drunk at the time

It feels strange not to have been out for a long run over the weekend. For the first time in a couple of months, I haven't had a training plan to follow and no great incentive to leave a nice warm bed. Also, I woke on Saturday morning with a very slight hangover, and would probably have felt the same on the Sunday except that I slept longer. The reason for all this revelry? My dear sister-in-law Amy has recently got engaged to The Daviator and they came up to show off the ring celebrate the happy event with us. This meant dinner at Vikki's folks on Friday night (fish and chips from The Bay), and Sunday night, and a nice meal at The Carron on Saturday night, along with suitable amounts of alcohol (I'm told that I drank three very large measures of brandy on Friday although I can only remember the glass being topped up once). It was all good fun, although Dave was a bit disappointed about the rugby, and the Grand Prix. The girls are busy sorting out venues, dresses, and all that sort of thing. I'm going to keep a low profile for a while.
Enjoy the photos:

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Cool Runnings

My official race time has come back at 1:59:42, but the timing system doesn't appear to have taken time to reach the start into consideration, and some of the people who lined up alongside me reckon we can take about 1min30 off that time.
It was a really good weekend, nice to have some time away with Vikki and no children, and an enjoyable run with some great views of the hills and of Loch Morlich.
I managed to keep a fairly steady pace, helped by finding myself running along with a bloke I'd never met before (I found out at the end he was called Mark) and chatting a bit to him. The legs started to feel sore at about 11 miles but I kept it going, and resisted the temptation as we passed the Old Bridge Inn (one of the drinkers there could clearly tell I was eyeing up his pint as he insisted it didn't actually taste very good). I managed to up the pace very slightly for the last little bit round the back of the holiday resort - at this point the route goes round a stony path and I heard Mark fall behind me. I turned to see if he needed help but he was back on his feet almost straight away so I sprinted (as best I could) for the finish. It felt great to cross the line and see Vikki waiting to cheer me on (and talking to Dave Morrow who had finished in 1hr36).
There were a lot of great runs from the jogScotland folk - the jogScotland ladies were the 3rd placed ladies team (although were too shy to go up and collect their prize which was maybe just as well because there wasn't actually a prize) and could have been even higher (we think) if everyone had put "jogScotland Stonehaven" down on the entry form.
I've uploaded some photos (fine photography from Vikki) here:

2007-10-14 Aviemore Half Marathon

Sunday, 14 October 2007

That'll do.

I can tell you're on tenterhooks out there, so just a quick post before we head off to the pub for the traditional post-race bevvy, to let you know I completed the Aviemore Half Marathon in around about 1hr58 or so. Thanks to everyone who bothered to vote in the poll - I think Vikki was the only one who got it right.

More pictures to follow but this one shows the jogScotland Stonehaven members who took part.
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Friday, 12 October 2007

Just 13.1 miles to go...

Yes, I did say some time ago that 10K was quite far enough and I wasn't running any further, but the Aviemore Half Marathon just looked so much fun that I couldn't resist. This document shows the training plan I was following and how my efforts matched up (not too bad I thought). My target had been to beat 2 hours but I'm not sure if I'll make it since my last long run was about 2hrs for about 11.5 miles (you can see all the rest of my training runs here). That said, the half marathon is at a better time of day, there's more downhill than uphill (click to check the elevation profile), I'll be better rested, and races tend to be quicker anyway, so there's definitely a chance I can make up the time. Anyway, feel free to vote/comment as you feel fit.


Before you vote on the poll, I'll probably be posting some more thoughts about the race and my training, so you might want to wait until then. Thanks to those who have already voted - your confidence in me is appreciated.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

1st Class!

This is Calum's first school photo. The local paper always prints pictures of the new Primary 1s from all the different schools in the area. Can you spot the future high fliers in this lot?
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Saturday, 6 October 2007

Very good but I didn't see his feet leave the floor!

Last week,we got a letter from Lachlan's Cubs to tell us that he is working on his Home Help Activity Badge and Home Safety Activity Badge and he had to do the following (and I quote):
  • Under adult supervision cook a simple meal
  • Hover and dust a living room
  • Keep your bedroom tidy and make your bed for a week
He's been doing really well with the bedroom thing, and today he cooked his favourite meal of Nachos and Fajitas (with a bit of help from his dad or we'd have been eating at bed time) and also dusted and hoovered the living room (after saying for the last couple of days that he thought Vikki and I would mess it up deliberately - as if). Despite interruptions from pirate Calum, he did a good job but kept his feet firmly on the ground. Should we fail him?

Monday, 1 October 2007

Playoffs here we come

During our stay in Massachusetts, Vikki and I acquired a taste for watching the occasional game of baseball and became fans of the Boston Red Sox. I'm happy to say, the Sox have won the American League East and progressed into the playoffs. If all goes well, they could end up in the misnamed "World" Series against the best team from the National League, in which the Houston Astros (for example) play. But it won't be them. Because they didn't get through to the play offs. Just sayin'.

Life's a Beach

Yesterday, our friends Bill and Leslie came to visit with their kids. As expected with a total of five wee boys in the house, much chaos ensued but the sun was out so we went for a walk down to the harbour for ice cream and to let the kids play on the beach. Calum got his trousers soaked but everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

I managed not to get any pictures of Bill, Leslie, or their youngest son, Miller. I've no idea who the kid 2nd from left is in this picture.

I wanted to get a panorama of the full sweep of Stonehaven bay, complete with sailing boats, surfers, and kayakers. However, autostitch wouldn't put it all together, probably because the waves kept changing or something like that. Click below for the views South and North.