31 March 2010

Road closures

This is a picture of the main road to Aberdeen I need to go along tomorrow to take Samuel to the Ortodontist. At the moment it's closed and it has just said on the news that it might be open by the morning!!
He's waited 18 months for an appointment, a few more days won't make much difference.

Picture from Traffic Scotland > Live-Eye

Day 90 of 365

:: Crochet update ::

30 March 2010

Decorating time

I had originally intended to paint Samuel's room after Christmas but with John having to go away I couldn't move the furniture by myself. I'm now doing it this week as 1. The hall work isn't being done. 2. Ruth and my nephew are coming to stay next week and 3. It really needs doing. It is just going to be Magnolia with red, white and blue bedding. Very teenagerish.

Before = Pale green.

It's also a good excuse for me to put to charity all those games, books, toys etc he hasn't looked at in the last 3 years. Less is more is my motto
3 hours later = first coat finished

I hadn't realised when I started this morning just how difficult it is to paint embossed paper. I normally like plain, plastered walls, but the walls in Samuel's room are so uneven that we had to use embossed. I can see why John went to France today on business!!

Tomorrow the second and hopefully final coat.

Day 89 of 365

We had unexpected bad weather today. Rain, sleet, hail and snow!!
The drop in temperature steamed the windows in the porch.

Day 88 of 365

:: Surveying the damage ::
The building inspector came yesterday and hopefully the claim will be finalised in the next few days. I hope so as my floor boards are getting very bouncy!!

29 March 2010

Day 87 of 365

:: Flat as a pancake ::
Samuel's bike has a flat tyre and he's non too happy about it!!

27 March 2010

Day 86 of 365

:: Heaven ::

A day of domesticity

Today is the first day of the Easter holidays, even though Easter isn't for another week. I love being at home and today was the first of many where I can choose what I like for the day.

Today was hanging the washing out in the sun,

making chocolate muffins,
a bit of crochet and watching the new Andrew Lloyd-Webber programme to find a Dorothy for the new West End musical "The Wizard of Oz".

Day 85 of 365

One of the teachers at work was leaving yesterday and she gave flowers to all the girls in the office. Mine were beautiful pink and 'lime' green. She will be missed, especially by our plants as she was the only one who watered them!!!

25 March 2010

Day 84 of 365

:: These boots have walked their last. They have served me faithfully for 7 years but the fabric on the inside is worn and nearly gave me a blister. I have new ones on order already ::

Sponsored walk part 2

So here we are at the beginning of the old railway line that leads from Elgin to Lossiemouth. It's approx 6 miles long and if I'm honest not that interesting!! There's not a lot to see apart from farmland, the old Spynie Loch (marsh land that is thick and difficult to see through), a small section of the river Lossie and Spynie Palace.
This place, I love and have walked past here many times in the last 21 years. It was originally the Palace of the Bishops of Moray and had the original Cathedral attached to it (although that has long since disappeared). Some evenings in the Autumn the Moray Rangers do talks about the bats that live there. Unfortunately the time we went some one had taken their brood of 6 kids and let them run riot so you couldn't hear what the ranger was saying. But that's a whole different story!!
It took the last group just under 2 hours to walk there. That was because they were the slowest group in the school (and they were the seniors!!). After lunch there was time for a walk along the front to the ice cream shop and a quick view of the beach. Some kids wanted to go on the dunes but that was a no, no!

Then at about 12.30 it was homeward bound. My friend Elaine and I, plus a couple of the teachers, brought up the rear. This wouldn't normally be a problem but a few miles from the end the moaning started. "I've got blisters", "I'm phoning my Mum to come and get me" "How much further is it?" and that's just the staff!! LOL Only kidding. Not being accustomed to dealing with kids on a daily basis I found it very difficult to be sympathetic!! But found that the promise of a lift back in the mini bus if they made it to the end of the railway line was enough to stop them complaining (for a little while anyway!). The kids I have to say did really well and some of them managed to run/walk it in 3 hours. Way to go.
5 hours after we started out we were back at school for a sit down and the best cup of tea ever. It was a shame that we were expected to do some work when we got back but as I only had a hour to do I shuffled paper for a while :0)

Back home it was a hot bath for me followed by more tea and something to eat. This is the position I will be adopting the second I get off here. The remote control, the settee to myself and more tea.
The end of a perfect day.

Sponsored walk

I'm off on a sponsored walk today with the whole school. 12 miles to Lossiemouth and back. See you later if I'm still standing :0)

24 March 2010

23 March 2010

My favourite room

I thought that while it was tidy I would show you my favourite room in the house (so far). If you had seen this room before you would know why I love it so now. It had a horrible blue carpet, a wardrobe with white wooden doors that didn't close and mirrors that were too low down (the lady who owned the house before us was only 5ft) and a light above where the bed goes that had a cable running down the wall. John did a fantastic job of redecorating it all himself. Now it is a lovely place to be and many a person has had a sneaky afternoon snooze on my bed!!

This is what it used to look like when we moved in. Sorry about the quality of the picture but I had to copy it from the PDF copy of the house details!!

Day 82 of 365

:: Getting ready for my nephew's visit ::
He's only 3 and mad about planes!!
Lucky me as I LOVE Memphis Belle.

22 March 2010

Day 81 of 365

"Wall Art"

I'm loving some of the wall art you can buy at the moment. This one is destined for my hall (if they ever get the claim sorted) but for now is hanging in my bedroom.

21 March 2010

Day 80 of 365

Trying to "Cat Proof" the garden. I have nothing against cats but when they sneak along the wall and try to sit on the bird table I get a bit miffed. Hopefully the trellis will stop them coming in.
I really must paint that wall!!

20 March 2010

New book

I've just started reading The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory. I got it for Mother's Day from my Mum and so far it's really good. I have to own up to not knowing anything about the War of the Roses back in 1400 and something!!! Hands up who does?

Day 79 of 365 - Another JBP

Isn't it nice when something you're not expecting arrives in the post? Today I received this cute bag from my Mum. Perfect for putting my magazines in to take to work (to read at lunch time of course!). She bought it at a craft afternoon my Auntie was having this week and it's right up my street :0)

Day 78 of 365

:: What is it with boys and their hoodies? ::

18 March 2010

Day 77 of 365

My last Scrap-a-Go-Go kit.
I don't seem to be doing a lot of scrapping recently and have decided to save the money for something else. I don't know what yet but I'll know it when I see it :0)

Day 76 of 365

From John.....Just because

16 March 2010

15 March 2010

Day 74 of 365

Believe me these things are HUGE but we love them as they are helping with the bypass.

Felt Hearts

I meant to post these yesterday. These are the felt hearts I made for Mother's Day.

14 March 2010

Day 73 of 365

:: The tree we had to hide under when the heavens opened while walking the dog ::

Mother's Day part 2

I've had a good day today which started with breakfast in bed,
John went a little overboard with the toast and butter but it was the thought that counts and check out the icing sugar heart.

followed by the ironing, changing the beds, helping with Samuel's homework, getting soaked walking the dog and general tidying up. Still it was all worth it as instead of getting a present I asked for afternoon tea
and the boys did a grand job making it for me. All I had to do was eat.

Happy Mother's Day

(0: Happy Mother's Day to all Mums :0)

Day 72 of 365

"" Beautiful Iris ""

12 March 2010

Day 71 of 365

:: A family favourite ~ Toad in the Hole ::
The recipe especially for Sherry:

Serves 4

8 Pork Sausages
110g (4oz) Plain White Flour
300ml (½ pint) Milk
2 Small Eggs
½ tsp Salt

Place the flour in a bowl, then make a well in the centre and break in the egg.
Mix in half the milk using a wooden spoon, work the mixture until smooth then add the remaining milk.
Beat or whisk until fully combined and the surface is covered with tiny bubbles.
Allow to rest for 15 to 30 minutes, whisk again before use.
Preheat the oven to 230°C; 450°F: Gas 8
Fry the sausages in a pan to lightly colour and remove excess fat, reserve the fat.
Place the fat in a small roasting tin adding a little oil, if needed, to bring the amount of fat up to about 4 tbsp.
Heat the fat until smoking hot then pour in the batter.
Add the sausages and place into the hot oven.
Bake for about 5-10 minutes at 230°C; 450°F: Gas 8, then reduce to 200°C; 400°F: Gas 6 and bake 20 to 30 minutes or until the batter around the sausages has risen and is a deep golden brown.
Serve immediately or the pudding will deflate.

11 March 2010

10 March 2010

Day 69 of 365

** A few minutes to myself while everyone else is out **

Lambing Live

:: Lambing Live BBC 2 ::
There aren't many good programmes on the TV just now but this is one of them. Kate Humble on a sheep farm in Wales waiting for 600 lambs to be born.

9 March 2010

Day 68 of 365

Renewing Samuel's passport. It's going to cost nearly as much as the holiday as it's £49.00 (Approx $73.00) and it only lasts 5 years!!

8 March 2010

Granny squares 2 to 7

The next installment. Squares 2 to 7. I'm really getting into making them now. I just have to figure out how to sew them together as some are a lot bigger than others!!

Day 67 of 365

:: Samuel in the local paper for being on the school newspaper team ::

7 March 2010

Day 66 of 365

:: No trip to Cullen is complete without an ice cream ::

Mr Whippy with strawberry piping.

Could John have bought a bigger one? Did we manage to eat it?

Along the Viaduct

This morning we've been out to Cullen. A small fishing village about 15 minutes away from us that is famous for being the home of "Cullen Skink" (or a John says "it's just fish soup!"). Instead of a walk along the beach we walked along the top of the viaduct.

It's about a mile from the golf course to the village square. We'd gone out early as the sun was out and it was lovely and warm walking along the top.
I was so busy looking at the view of the village that I didn't notice this little Folly on the other side of the bridge. It's actually across the road but it looks like it's right next to the viaduct in this photo.

I love the way the old houses are so tightly packed together. I assume that's because originally there wasn't a lot of space to build them but I could be wrong.

In this picture you can just make out the harbour which was designed by Thomas Telford who was a Scottish architect and all round smarty pants!

Cullen Skink


1kg (2 1/4 lb) smoked haddock fillets
600ml (1 pint) milk
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper to taste
handful chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation method
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the haddock and milk. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. When the fish is done, remove it with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl. Add the potatoes and onion to the milk and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
2. Transfer the contents of the pan to a blender, in batches if needed, and blend until smooth and creamy. Return to the pan and flake the fish into the soup. Heat through gently, do not boil. Serve immediately. Season with pepper and garnish with parsley to individual tastes.