Thursday, 9 August 2012


"There's cold chicken inside it," replied the Rat briefly; "coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeef
sodawater - "  
"O stop, stop," cried the Mole in ecstasies: "This is too much!"
"Do you really think so?" inquired the Rat seriously. "It's only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I'm a mean beast and cut it very fine!"

      The Wind in the Willows

 The sun came out the other day so the kids and I had a picnic lunch in the garden. At the start of summer a lot of magazines seem to run articles about perfect picnics with recipes for perfect picnic food. It's all very pretty and some of the food looks wonderful* but I'm of the opinion that picnics should be (and in this part of the world often have to be) spur of the moment things. So the actual food tends to be along the lines of sandwiches, packets of crisps, bits of fruit and veg. Everything tastes better eaten outdoors on a tartan picnic blanket after all, and I'm inclined to think that the Perfect Picnic Food in magazines is probably not nearly as nice for the person who spent all morning in the kitchen making it..

This on the other hand took minutes and the kids were delighted. It's wonderful how just eating lunch in the garden can make them so happy. My friends possibly do think I'm a mean beast and cut it very fine, though actually I doubt that!

Wouldn't it be lovely to have a 'fat wicker luncheon-basket' like Rat though?

* They always, mysteriously, seem to include quiche as picnic food. The less said about that the better.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

a pocket full of sea glass

When you come home with pockets full of sea-glass you know you've had a good day.

 I have plans for that blue bead

Sticking two fingers up to the weather forecast, we went to Largs today. As is often the case the weather was better away from where we live, the town that has its own personal cloud and could easily be dubbed the Forks of Scotland (could be riddled with sparkly vampires and We'd Never Know..), and when we got to the coast it was lovely - warm and though overcast to begin with it brightened up nicely..

We took a wander and found a really great play-park we hadn't known was there. I was so impressed with this rope climbing-frame. I didn't get a good picture of the whole thing but there's a second 'peak' to the right of the one in this picture, connected a by a sort of rope tunnel/bridge. Somebody really put a bit of thought into this - it looks like my knitting would if a really mathematically-inclined kitten got hold of it. 

And the nice thing is that there's plenty of climbing and scrambling round to be done quite low down - neither of my kids like climbing particularly high. A lot of climbing-frames only really give the chance to climb up, but this one allows for lots of climbing round as well, which they loved.

Lunch was fish & chips for the second time in a fortnight which sounds bad, but then again it's probably only the third time this year, which isn't so bad. Ice-cream and sorbet were likewise consumed again -  Nardini's is a very well-known ice-cream shop, and it would be rude not to, surely? My Beloved tried the Irn Bru sorbet and I had raspberry sorbet again - predictable eh? 


 I don't know why that picture won't centre. I cut and pasted from further down and now it has a will of its own.

 We did a fair amount of ferry-watching - there are two ferries whizzing back and forth to Great Cumbrae all the time. I love watching boats, especially ones that do stuff, 'working' boats I mean.

And pebbly beaches mean treasure-hunting! Shells, pebbles, sea-glass, bits of dead crabs..

My Not-So-Beloved chucked a crab claw down my cleavage - that's the last time I'm wearing a low(ish) cut top to the beach.

To the south dark clouds loomed but it didn't rain until 5 minutes after we were up the hill and out of town - perfect timing as Miss Mouse hadn't wanted to leave and was having a bit of a meltdown about it.
 If you click on this picture to see the bigger version you'll see the sun sparkling on the sea despite the clouds.

When I hear 'Largs' I immediately think 'Battle of Largs, 1263' - it's just one of those battle dates stuck in my head, from our re-enactment days. Historically it's not an especially important battle, though one of the later battles involving Vikings (possibly the last one on mainland Scotland? I'm a little hazy on this and being originally an islander, slightly disinclined to be impressed by it), but the Largs Viking Festival is held every year (in September) with a battle re-enactment and Living History encampment and what have you.  Maybe we'll go this year - it's years since we last went.