Friday, 26 July 2013


 I've been too hot to blog :-D. Never thought I'd get to say that!  We have had a heatwave, though not as hot as down south (and apparently Scotland doesn't officially get heatwaves, in that we don't get a heatwave warning - 'code red - drink water, stat!' - in the way that England does) but that's probably as well or I'd just melt. And it's all relative anyway - unaccustomed as we are to sunshine and heat, pushing into the mid 20s deg C is a bit of a shocker.  It started, conveniently enough, the week that My Beloved had a week off work and we did 'staycation' things, i.e. what used to be called 'going out for the day'.  Such as Largs (above and below) - it was tremendously sunny and the Boy and I were scuttling from one patch of shade to the next. My Beloved and Miss M cope better with the heat. But we had loads of drinks, went to the playpark (where Miss M scared the living daylights out of me by climbing to the very top of the very high climbing frame), watched the ferries come and go (though not talking of Michelangelo), paddled, looked for sea-glass, ate ice-creams and sorbets and then came home.

 Then a couple of days later we went to Stirling Castle..

 ..which is always fun. Miss M joined in the excellent children's tour and to her delight got to be the queen (had a plastic tiara plonked on her head).  The Boy happily drew plans of the castle and tried to work out if he could build it in Minecraft.

The day after that we went to Edinburgh, parked in a park & ride carpark on the outskirts (nobody in their right mind drives in Edinburgh when they're unfamiliar with it - not more than once anyway), got the bus into the city centre and went to the castle. Now this would have been a tremendous disappointment if we weren't Historic Scotland members and would therefore have had to queue for a while and pay a lot to get in. As it was, we are members and got fast-tracked in so it didn't matter that we didn't really enjoy it. I think the problem is it's such a martial castle, and if you're not into military history, well, it's just a rock on a hill. It's all very well presented and the staff were pleasant and helpful but it just didn't grab us. As my Beloved commented Stirling Castle is all 'come and see how much fun history is' but Edinburgh Castle is more 'come and be impressed by our history'. We had our picnic, admired the views, were there for the one o'clock gun, mooched around for a bit trying to be interested, then gave up and pottered back down the hill. I took the picture above in Ramsay Lane which takes you down from Castlehill to the Mound, purely because I liked the shape of the metal balustrade.

Since that week it has stayed hot, which has been, well, weird. We've been out and about a bit but have been taking it easy. It's the longest hot spell of Miss M's life - I think it was a fairly nice summer the year she was born, but she was born in October so she missed it and I had all the joy of being pregnant in the summer. A winter pregnancy is much more bearable! It's the longest hot spell in the Boy's memory too, though I remember his first summer being pretty hot at times, such as the day he had his 3-month jabs and it was stifling in the health centre.  All the babies were stripped down to their nappies and they were all miserable even before the needles got near them.

Consequently the kids have got fed up with this heat and having been hoping for rain and cooler weather.

 It has cooled a bit now but has been very muggy so we've had some thunderstorms, luckily in the daytime so no sleep has been disturbed. Miss M was a bit nervy about them initially but has relaxed now. We just switch off the computers if they're on and retreat upstairs to read on the big bed, which is quite peaceful.

 It was lovely on Monday though and my mother-in-law took the kids and me to Culzean Castle.  Actually we didn't go to the castle itself (really more a grand house than a castle) but parked at the far end of the park, next to the play area and the Swan Pond, and then headed down through the trees to the beach, where we had a great time eating our picnic, paddling, exploring the rocks, drawing in the sand and so on.

And the really good thing about the warm weather is that our strawberries are doing well this year!
Mmm, delicious.

There's just under three weeks left of the school holidays - it's gone so fast, I suppose partly because we've packed so much into it for once. So much a for a knitting-ish blog though - it's been too warm for much knitting!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

The ceiling saga

 Last month we had a leak in the teeniest little pipe under the floor in the bathroom, right over the kitchen inconveniently enough. It turns out it was the most awkward pesky place to get to and half the kitchen ceiling had to come down to get at it. The actual leak was quickly fixed but the kitchen did not look good. Also we found out that it used to be a not particularly nice shade of green - and I love green, so that's saying something.

But a month later and the ceiling is back where it should be, the cabinets that had to be taken down are back up, I've repainted the kitchen, got a new clock as the old one was a bit rubbish and running slow, and the small cat has found a new place to perch.

All the fun and games coincided with the last few weeks of term and we had workmen in plastering and putting the ceiling back up on the first Friday and Monday of the summer holidays. It's all been just a little stressful. So I treated myself to some colourful sock wool that I have been pining over for a while. It's Trailing Clouds' Primary/Secondary (as in primary and secondary colours) and it is self-striping loveliness in a skein. 

I have other things to finish before I cast on but I'm so looking forward to having bright stripey feet in the winter!

But enough of the w-word, it has been warm and sunny here and I've been chasing bees around the garden, trying to get a photo.

Here's one headbutting a lupin. Whee! *thump*

I think this is a carder bumblebee, very ginger thorax. They move surprisingly quickly, I always think, and I have umpteen fuzzy pictures of a ginger blur and as many closeups of a bit of flower that the bee has just left. Exit bee, stage right.

The dyer's chamomile is just starting to flower now and the garden looks very happy in the sunshine.