Monday, 28 February 2011

The Rites of Spring or Back to the Fuchsia

Spring sprung. The sun came out and I wandered into the garden to see what was doing.

It was pleasantly warm so I hung the washing out for the first time this year, and the cats were prowling around. As often happens in these circumstances I idly pulled a few weeds out - then found myself hacking away at the Fuchsia of Doom that's trying to take over, and 'pruning' some of the stragglier bushes. I don't really know what I'm doing so it's all very Darwinian in my garden I'm afraid. I should probably point out that these plants were here when we moved in so I'm not sure what some of them even are, hence the sightly cavalier approach to pruning. I take more care with things I've planted myself, though it has to be said not with significantly better results.

Then the Boy came home from school and went for his first bounce of the year:

We're lucky that our trampoline survived the gales - our friends over the road have a similar-sized trampoline that looks as if it's not in Kansas anymore and is just a huddled wreck of metal and shredded net, though fortunately without a witch's stripy tights sticking out from underneath. Actually I'd be tempted to add some if I were them!

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Where was I?

Looks rather Mediterranean don't you think? Stirling Castle actually..

The Great Hall on the right there has been restored and has a very pretty peachy limewash exterior (some information here, isn't Google amazing!) which looks to modern eyes most un-Scottish. You can see it a long way off too, especially in the sunshine. Most of the castle is greyish stone as you see from the Chapel on the left-hand-side of that photo, and the castle sits on a grey hill in the middle of a plain. And there's that peachy confection sitting in the middle of it :-).

We had a great time wandering around - the kids loved that it's a proper castle-y castle with weird stairways leading in odd directions and lots of exploring to be done. In fact sections of it are inaccessible at the moment as there's work being done on them..

.. and entry is cheaper at the moment due to that, but there was plenty to occupy all of us. My favourite bit and the thing I was most desperate to photograph (but couldn't due to 'no photography' signs) was the Tapestry Studio.

There it is at the end of that row of buildings - the little purpose-built building at the end. In there they're weaving recreations of the Unicorn Tapestries - so fascinating and so much to see. I was there at one o'clock when the weaver present downed tools for a little while to explain about the project. She said each tapestry takes approximately four years - the one they're working on at the moment, this one I think, is nearly finished with only a few months to go. At the moment they're about at that man with the rich red velvety-looking sleeve on the right-hand side (as tapestries are worked on their sides). Ever since we moved to the Glasgow area I've loved the tapestries in the Burrell Collection so to see similar things in the process of being woven was brilliant. In looking for links about the Burrell's tapestries I found this blog post which details a trip by the Burrell Tapestry folk to the Tapestry Studio at Stirling Castle and includes a couple of pictures of the studio.

So that was my highlight but we all had a great time. Miss Mouse and I liked this chilly-looking mermaid on the Great Hall.

The last time we'd been to Stirling Castle was for a re-enactment event seven-and-a-half years ago when the Boy was just a Tiddler:

Here he is being a Mediaeval Baby! But as is often the case with re-enactment events we didn't see anything of the place apart from the bit we were in, in that case the 'Bowling Green' area near the entrance:

It was great to see the rest of the place. A Grand Day Out for all of us.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Saturdays wipe me out

It must be the pressure to have fun! Actually it's the weekly Taking of the Kids to Their Swimming-Lessons. Miss Mouse's class is immediately after the Boy's. Sometimes (like today) I'll swim with one while the other is in their class and then swap over. It should wear them out but mostly it wears me out.

So here I am wiped out on a Saturday evening again. This evening MrBorg and I watched one of my current Lovefilm loans, How To Lose Friends and Alienate People, which unfortunately had a 'problem', a sticky point where it stopped, stuttered then leapt forward - so now we're left wondering how did he accidentally kill the dog? Ooops, is that a spoiler? Nah, it's hardly vital.

The Boy is doing a Castles and Knights topic at school so we may go to a castle tomorrow. Weather-dependent of course.

Monday, 21 February 2011

A belated Splash of Colour

That was a long blogging pause wasn't it? We all caught colds at the end of January and have been a bit wiped out so I've just not been in a blogging frame of mind. I haven't even done much knitting which is unusual. But I did continue to take photos so there are a few splashes of colour. First Lego Luke Skywalker goes to soft-play:

Miss Mouse has a bead-set that we got ages ago but decided she was a bit young for yet, but I finally allowed her (after much begging) to have a go with it. She made a necklace and a bracelet and then we decided that the beads looked like a ball-pool so we got one of the Boy's Lego minifigures to play in it.

We had a long weekend last week and went up to my parents in the Highlands for a few days - mostly it was cold and wet :

but the sun came out on our last morning and lit everything up:

Granted it was lighting the ice up, but sunshine's better than no-sunshine, eh? We had a lovely weekend - very relaxed and the kids loved seeing their grandparents. Wish we could do it more often really. I notice from the school calendar that March will be the only month of the school year without any holidays or in-service days - it's going to be a long haul to Easter!

The official Splash of Colour is over now but as we're far from the end of winter in this neck of the woods yet (it's been snowing again today, we usually get snow in March and the daffs are nowhere near blooming yet) I'll do the first week of March as well.