Monday, 30 December 2013

Aims For a New Year

I've never been one for new year resolutions. I simply cannot keep them, and they're usually unrealistic and unobrainable anyway. For years I always pledged to lose weight and win the lottery and I'm still the same weight/heavier, and skint by the end of the year. 

So this year, I'm not making any resolutions. Instead, I'm going to set out a list of things I want to achieve by the end of the year. I will probably add more to it, or not be able to achieve most of it, but it gives me something to work towards. 

So by the end of 2014 I would like to:

1. Get the house the way we want it. 

We've been in our house for 4 and a half years and things still aren't the way we want them. I would like a new bathroom, new light fittings in some of the rooms, carpet in our bedroom and the wee ones bedroom, and the front bedroom gutted and decorated. 

2. Go outside more. 

I'm extremely guilty of just parking myself in front of the tv on my days off and not budging til bedtime. I don't want to pass this bad habit on to the wee one, so I really want to get out more. I really need to make a concerted effort to go outside. To the park, with friends, on play dates, whatever it takes to physically leave the house and get fresh air. 

3. Knit more.

I love to knit, I just don't do it now the wee ones around. I can't leave a ball of wool around for 2 minutes without it being unraveled and strewn all over the house. But it doesn't stop me from doing it when she's in bed.  I also want to be a bit more adventurous in knitting.  I seem to stick to easy patterns, as I don't think I can tackle anything more difficult. But I'll never know if I don't try, right? 

4. Get a new job. 

The hospital I work in is moving site in 2015, which means it will be further away and take longer to get there. Although I drive. I don't fancy the extra 15/20 min drive and I'm away from my family for long enough on a 12 hour shift. Plus we're not moving over as a ward or team; we will all be split up, which is a shame because we are an awesome team, and I don't think I'd be happy in the new place.  I discussed my fears with my ward sister, who basically outright said I'd better start looking for a new job.  So I am. I'm taking this opportunity go for for my dream job.  I'm not looking for a promotion or a higher grade.  I always wanted to be a community nurse, since before I started my nursing training, so it just feels like the right time to start applying.  Fingers crossed.

5. Get contact lenses.

I've worn glasses for a while now. I resisted them at first, but now my eye sight is getting a wee bit worse and I wear them full time now.  My glasses fall off my face most of the time, and I'm sick of having to push them up, so I'm going to invest in contact lenses. Also, my sister gets married in August, and I don't want to have to wear my glasses while wearing a lovely bridesmaid dress.  

6. Be a little more vain

I don't wear make up.  I don't fake tan. I'm ginger, pale and Scottish, I was never meant to have a tan. I only ever put make up on if I'm going on a night out, or somewhere special. I'm doing well if I even remember to shave my legs!  I really don't make much of an effort to look "nice". Poor hubby has got to look at my peely wally face, and my minimal effort.  But I'm going to at least try and make more of an effort, because I'm really sick of my colleagues saying I look tired and pale, and I want to look nice sometimes. 

7. Play with the wee one more.

The wee one has a great imagination for only being nearly 2 years old. I want to encourage that, and keep it going, so I want to spend more time playing with her and her toys, and feeding her imagination.

8. Spend more time with hubby. 

Poor hubby gets abandoned when I'm working. The twelve hour shifts mean I'm out from early in the morning til late on in the evening, and when I get home I'm so knackered that it's dinner then off to bed. He does most of the housework and looks after the wee one. But we rarely get time together. Sure, we sit in front of the tv together, or go to the shops etc, but I can't remember the last time we went to the cinema, or out for dinner just the two of us.  Not that either of us want to leave the wee one, but I would be nice to have some "just us time". 

9. Make more lists.

I'm not a great list maker, but my mum is. She finds that if she writes it down and scores it off as age achieves it, it's a great way of getting things done. 

That's all that was on my mind at the moment.  No doubt I will add to this list as the new year comes in, but be sure to check in over the year to see how I'm getting on.  What will your aims for 2014 be?

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Friday, 27 December 2013

Post Christmas

We are having a well earned PJ day today after a hectic two days. Christmas has been really lovely this year, as I took some annual leave for the week running up, and the way my shifts worked out I am not back until tonight. This means we've been able to prepare well in advance and spend the run up fairly chilled out. 

It also meant we were able to attend the church Carol Service, and the wee one took part in the nativity. She was a particularly hyper angel, but I must say she got out most of her energy during the rehearsal.  


We had one moment during the nativity where she waved and shouted "hiya granny" at my mother-in-law, but thankfully she was mostly well behaved. Although, we did have another spectacular meltdown when Santa arrived.
On Christmas Eve we went up to the local church where the wee one goes to playgroup for their production of the Elf a Who Stole Christmas. It was a wee hour-long play, but it was fantastic. All about a greedy elf who learns the true meaning of Christmas, told with puppets and songs and a lot of funny lines from the church's minister. It really was excellent and we all enjoyed it. Then when we got home it was time to get tucked up in bed to wait for Santa to deliver his presents. 

Christmas Day and Boxing Day have been very busy.  As the wee one still isn't fully aware of what Christmas is, she wasn't up too early, so we had a small lie in.  We spent Christmas Day morning in our own house, and my parents and my sister came up for an hour before they headed off to see my gran.  It was a family tradition of bacon rolls all round for breakfast.  I think the wee one was a little overwhelmed with all the presents and activity but she soon started to join in, eventually shouting "more presents" every time someone tried to open a new one. 

Santa was very very generous to the wee one this year.  Amongst lots of toys, he brought Dave, who I think Daddy has played with the most:

He also brought a kitchen, so the wee one can cook her favourite pasta for us: 

Mickey Mouse's clubhouse now resides on our living room:

And a lovely Minnie Mouse bike for when the weather eventually dries up:

Then it was time to head round to my mother in law's house for the rest of the day. Turns out Santa left presents there too! He left a Doc McStuffins chair amongst other exciting toys. 

The wee one then spent the rest of the day sticking Toy Story stickers on to her Uncle Bobs nose, while the rest of us relaxed and watched Christmas TV (or tried to). Everyone feasted on Christmas dinner, and enjoyed a tipple, except me and my sister in law, who were the designated drivers. Even my husbands granny had a wee sherry and lemonade, while tutting at everyone else having a drink! 

It was then time to go home, and the wee one had no problem falling asleep, as she was exhausted. 

Boxing Day was spent at my parents, and as hubby got a season ticket for the football for his Christmas,he went off with my dad and sister to the game. Which left my mum, the wee one and me to relax in the house and get dinner ready.  My best friend came up for a wee visit since she's home from Dubai. We were supposed to meet her fiancé too, who came over with her for Christmas, but he didn't come with her. I was quite disappointed as I've still not met him yet, but I think he's still acclimatising himself to the cold here, since he's used to the permanent warmth over in the Middle East. 

When the troops came home from the football, we had another lovely dinner, and stuffed our faces again. Christmas time really is an excuse to eat all day, isn't it? 

And so today it's almost back to normal.  Hubby was back to work this morning, I'm back at work tonight. I'm working 7 out of the next 8 days, but after that I'm on annual leave for two weeks, and that thought is what's keeping me going! I'm working New Year's Eve, the 1st and 2nd, but I don't mind.  I'm not a big fan of Hogmany, for some reason it always seems like sad time.  My old grans birthday was the 1st January, and since she passed away New Years Day has never really been the same.  So working and looking after folks stuck in hospital at New Year just seems right now.  

My house is a riot; it looks like Santa's workshop exploded in my living room. But who cares, we've had an awesome Christmas. 

Now if only Santa could spare some elves to help us tidy up...

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Saturday, 21 December 2013

It's nearly Christmas..

It's the Saturday before Christmas, and I'm sitting here, drink in hand, wee one in bed, Strictly final on the telly and feeling, well, organised! It's a rather odd feeling. 

I've been on annual leave for the last week. It's the first time I've ever been off on the run up to Christmas since becoming a nurse, and I have to say, it's the best idea I've ever had. The presents are bought, wrapped and Santas fairies have taken them away, so he can deliver them on Christmas Eve. 

It's been quite a busy week. 

On Monday, we had the Toddler Christmas party.  We were slightly early, meaning lots of time to play with balloons!!

The wee one is still not great with crowds, but joined in with some games. It all went pear shaped when Santa arrived. I'm not sure if it was because there were lots of people, roughly 25 kids plus their parents, in a small room, or because up til now Santa has just been a cartoon, or a picture in a book, but she completely freaked out. And of course, she was the only one to cry and melt down about it.  Embarrassed parent moment. Her daddy went up to collect her present, and even offered to sit on Santa's knee... He really knows how to embarrass me even further!! But she calmed down after that, although she did leave with a new phrase: " I scared of Santa" :o(

She couldn't wait to open her present from Santa, which turned out to be a baby, who she has appropriately named... er, Baby! Baby now goes everywhere with us. We also get running commentary about Baby: "Baby hungry" "I dropped Baby" "My Baby" and "Baby tired". Baby got so tired the other day, the wee one made her a bed on the floor, with a cushion and a towel. So cute. "Mummy, Baby sleeping!"

Guess Baby wasn't the only one who was tired...

Wednesday was spent at the shops with my parents, who were getting last minute Christmas bits and pieces. We left the wee one at soft play with grandad for an hour, whilst my mum and I ran round the last of the shops. 

Thursday we had a play date at my friend Jane's house, with her little boy. The wee one loves their house because there are lots of Peppa toys! I think she also grew rather attached to Jane's rocking chair, as it was hard to get her off!

On Friday we took a trip to the library, as my silly computer doesn't have Microsoft Word on it, and it had to complete a job application. Thankfully the wee one LOVES the library, it's a real struggle to pull her away from books of any kind, but the library has so many and it's like she's in a a wonderland. My mum kept her occupied at the children's section while I worked away. 

Today, well, we've had a very relaxed day. We went to the shops again, but really only for lunch. It really is quite strange to watch other people rushing around, doing their last minute Christmas shopping, knowing you're completely organised (am I? Have I forgotten anyone? *checks list* No, no I think we're ok). We visited Granny, and then came home and chilled out. Some more chilled than others:

Tomorrow, we have the Sunday School Nativity at the church Carol service, where the wee one is an angel (ha! Complete miscasting there...). I'm quite excited as for a few years I've not been able to attend the Carol service due to work, and it's always been a Christmas tradition. Despite the fact that I attend church regularly, the Carol service has always just felt more special, because it's a time for families to be together. Everyone seems to make the effort to be there, and that just makes the day for me.

All being well the wee one will be on her best behaviour tomorrow and I won't have to blog about a Nativity disaster. But then, she isn't two years old yet, so you never know! 

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Gallery: Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas Tree! How lovely are your branches?

Ah, our lovely Christmas tree has managed to survive ten days without being pulled down/destroyed by the wee one. She is automatically drawn to the sparkly lights, and the shiny baubles (she thinks the red ones are tomatoes tho, what the...) and wants to touch it all the time. 

We don't have any rituals or traditions in decorating the tree, only that hubby and I do it together.  When the wee one is older she'll no doubt be in charge of the decorating. 

This is our fourth Christmas in our house, with last year being the wee ones first.  The only baubles we've had are our red and silver ones from B&Q, but slowly we're adding ones that are significant to us. 

This one was given to us by one of my colleagues.  It says Baby's First Christmas on it, but I felt it was too pretty to leave off the tree this year, so we've hidden the writing so Santa and Penguin are on show.

At church last week, the children's story was about the significance of the candy cane. About how it was made in the shape of a J, to represent Jesus, but was also the shape of a shepherds staff representing Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Also each one has three thin stripes, representing the flogging Jesus got, and a thick red stripe representing the blood that was shed. Each member of the Sunday School got a little candy cane, and I suspect ours was the only one to actually make it to the tree without being eaten!! 

And then we have our, ahem, "angel". Our star is too heavy for the top of our tree, and we've never got round to buying an angel, so instead we have the very festive Christmas Penguin. 

The wee one will not go to bed until she's said goodnight to the Christmas Penguin, so he may have to become a regular on our tree.

Why not check out the other entries to The Gallery, over at 

Monday, 16 December 2013

In The Bleak Midwinter

So far, the December weather certainly has been bleak. We've had sleet, gale force winds, lots of rain and even thunder and lightening! And, during a night shift when the wind was absolutely howling through the ward, I got to thinking of the Christmas Carol, In The Bleak Midwinter.   Odd, I know but night shift does that to you.  It's set to the tune of Cranham, and though the words are lovely, I've always found it to be quite depressing. Especially when I was still in the Salvation Army band, and we played it while out carolling in the town. 

Anyway, on this bleak, miserable night shift, I started to think about my patients.  For them, it certainly will be a bleak midwinter.  Don't get me wrong, at least 2 of our regular naughty diabetics are in at present, and they will say so themselves, it's completely self-inflicted.  But for the majority, it's just downright miserable to be in hospital.  The majority will get home to family before Christmas. Some I know for sure will still be in hospital over the festive season. Some will go home to empty houses.  And a couple may sadly pass away.  And then, there will be new admissions, and the whole horrible cycle starts again.  A hospital during the festive season really is a very confusing place to be. You want to be upbeat, festive, full of the Christmas Spirit, but you're constantly faced with sad, frustrating and sometimes heart-wrenching situations. And somehow it feels wrong to feel happy.  But, us nurses, or most of us, try to keep the mood high, though sometimes it's very hard. 

There's a poster up on the wall, from the chaplaincy service, detailing when the carollers will be singing on the wards.  I suppose not everyone will appreciate the carollers at the end of the ward when they're seriously unwell, but it certainly helps to brighten the mood, if only for a little while. (Side note, the minister from the hospital chaplaincy is the single most loveliest man, and if I'm ever unwell, and end up in hospital, I want it stated in my notes that he must visit me daily, if only to come and talk at me in his smooth African accent.)  Lots of my patients even love to hear a Salvation Army band at Christmas (if any of my Army friends are reading, please send the band to the Vic, and don't forget us down on A floor!!).  Anything to keep spirits up. 

So, this Christmas, while you're enjoying the festivities with family and friends, please spare a thought for all those stuck in hospital, and their relatives who are frought with worry. And as always, my awesome colleagues who are looking after them. 

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Review: Palace of Holyrood House

I love history, especially Scottish history. We are a very old country, rich in history and subsequently, lots of scandal! I suppose this love of history was instilled in me at a young age by my dad, who has a great love of history and really is very knowledgable. Many a summer holiday was spent with my mum sister and I traipsing around castles, graveyards and museums with him.  It's only now that I'm older that I truly appreciate him trying to educate us.

The lovely people over at Superbreak sent us to Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh, or to give it it's official title, the Palace of Holyrood House. Hubby, the wee one and I, with both my mum and dad in tow, travelled through to Edinburgh on a beautifully sunny, but very chilly day. 

We arrived the Palace around 11 o'clock, having researched nearby car parks, and had planned to bite the bullet and pay the car parking charges to park at the nearest one. However, we discovered the holy grail of car drivers: FREE PARKING ON SATURDAYS!! Our day was off to a fabulous start. 

We presented our voucher at the ticket office, paid for my dads ticket and as he's a senior citizen got in for a reduced price, and kids under 5 go free. 

The palace is stunning.  This is what meets you when you go through the gate:

Unfortunately, and understandably, you're not allowed to take photos inside the palace. Which is a real shame because I'm kinda rubbish at describing! 

As you go in we climbed the grand stairs, which has beautiful tapestries and paintings of the monarchs and the royal family.  You most definitely need the free audio guide which, if you're like me and know very little about the history, is essential to your trip. The audio guide is really informative, and very clear.

We strolled through the rooms, the throne room and the gallery, listening to the guide, but the wee one was getting restless, understandably as there's not a lot to entertain her.  However, we found a room which was absolutely ideal! It has crayons, puzzle sheets, blocks, puppets, dressing up costumes etc

It also had interactive stuff (for the big kid!)

And beautiful seats with the thistle emblem! 

Dad and I left the wee one there with hubby and my mum, so we could continue on our little history tour.  The Gallery and throne rooms are still in use, for ceremonies and special occasions. It really is beautiful. We climbed some very narrow stairs leading from Mary Queen of Scots bedroom, to a very cold part of the palace, where the audio tour informed us that a man, suspected of being Mary Queen of Scots Italian lover, was murdered. It certainly was a creepy room.

I am most definitely not a fan of these stairs! 

But the garden in the middle of the palace is beautiful! 

We explored the abbey ruins, which were beautiful but it was exceptionally cold!

Walking over people's graves has always freaked me out

...but it doesn't seem to bother the wee one! 

The palace gardens are closed in the autumns and winter, so this was a close as we could get to them.  They look gorgeous in the autumn light! 

And of course, the wee one had to copy her grandad, who pretended to be a soldier earlier:

It took about an hour to do the whole palace with the audio tour. There were employees dotted about to answer any questions or to help, like keeping the pram safe as we couldn't take it up the narrow stairs. After our tour it was time to heat up in the cafe with a cup of coffee, and of course, grandad cuddles!

Holyrood palace is an excellent starting point for exploring Edinburgh. You can walk right up the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle from the palace, and the Scottish Parliament is right across the road (which in my opinion is the worst looking building, and looks totally out of place in such an historic part if the city).  There's also Arthur's Seat to climb, which is right behind the palace too. There were lots of people climbing it the day we were there, it was just a tad too cold (and high up) for my liking! 

We had a fabulous day, and I'm quite looking forward to a return visit when they have a specific event on for children (and most definitely on a warmer day!)

*Superbreak gave us a voucher admitting 3 adults in to the Palace, in exchange for an honest review* 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

The Gallery: A Younger Me

Ah, what happened to me? I used to be ADORABLE!! 

I must be about 3 in this photo. It's one of my favourites because I'm actually smiling! 

Why not check out the other younger mugs in Tara's The Gallery or check the hash tag #thegallery on Twitter. 

Monday, 11 November 2013

Why I Remember

The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is a very special moment, where the country stops what they're doing, and stands in silence to remember those fallen in the First and Second World Wars and conflicts since. 

I'm not from a military family. Only a handful of my relatives actually fought in the wars. My great, great uncles fought and died in the Second World War, one is buried at Loos Cemetery, the other's name is etched on the Thiepval Memorial.  The First World War is a passion of my dad's. He has books upon books about it and I'm sure it (alongside the American Civil War) would be his specialist subject on Mastermind. It's from this my sister and I have a lot of respect for Armistace Day. 

My Grandfather (Dads dad) was lucky in a sense that he was too young to fight in the First World War, being only 10 when it started, and too old at 35 to fight in the Second. My other Grandfather would have only been a teenager at the start of World War 2. So we were blessed in a sense that they weren't directly on the front line. But that doesn't mean their lives weren't affected. 

My fathers parents didn't meet and marry until the 2nd World War had started.  We think my gran may have had a soldier boyfriend who didn't come back, but we'll never know because he really didn't want to talk about it. My Uncle was born as Clydebank was being bombed. My other Uncle was born just before the end of the war, then my dad was a baby boomer, born in 1946. 

I don't quite know what my mums parents did during the war. I know grandad worked in the shipyards, and the aerodromes, so I'm sure he must have worked on some of the Naval fleet. I know my gran worked with the Salvation Army on the trains, serving tea and food to soldiers being transported around the country. I'm sure my mum's grandfather served and came back, as she has his medals. 

I wear my poppy with pride every year. I wear mine to remember the lives that were irrevocably changed by war, those who fell and never came back, and to remind myself how lucky we are as a generation that we have never, and hopefully will never, go through what our grandparents, and great grandparents generations went through. 

Saturday, 9 November 2013

My Profile Photo

Today, as part of NaBloPoMo, Vonnie over at Nowt Special is asking us to explain the story behind the profile picture on our blogs. 

There really is no explanation behind mine. I was getting ready to go to a wedding reception, yes, one of those rate occasions where hubby and I went out together without the wee one!

While we were waiting for my parents to arrive to babysit, I snapped a selfie. Usually I just delete them right say cos I either hate the way I look or it's just a plain rubbish photo! But I quite liked this one and for once my hair was perfectly straight! Pity it was absolutely chucking it with rain that night... 

So that's my (very boring) profile photo story. 

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Social Media: a rant.

Ah, social media. Home of the chronic over sharers and attention seekers. 

I admit, this is a ranty post, inspired by recent events on my Facebook timeline. 

I much prefer to take to Twitter these days, and reserve Facebook for posting photos of the wee one for my far away family and friends to see.  Twitter is a better place for conversations, though I must come across as really quite boring and moany, because I never have much to say.  I try not to put too much stuff on Facebook, and I keep my page private, so only those I choose to have on my friends list can see what I want them to see.

Some folk definitely reveal too much on Facebook, like having full blown arguments with their husbands in a conversation thread visible to the entire internet, or posting selfies every five minutes.  I am really sick of seeing certain folks duck face poses every time I scroll down. And those who post every 2 seconds: in coffee shop. drinking coffee. Here's a photo of said coffee. Leaving coffee shop. 

But what really gets on my last nerve is those people who post things like "today was the worst day, ever". They then get a slew of messages with are you ok, what's happened, etc. and then the poster types "I don't want to talk about it". 

Argh! Why? Why post it if you don't want people to ask if you're ok? Keep it to yourself if you don't want to talk about it. 

Then there's those who post cryptic messages, with no explanation, but is clearly a dig at someone. I'm of the opinion that if you've got a grievance with someone, or something to say, say it to their face, don't plaster it on Facebook.  This all leads to speculation. Speculation leads to gossip, where stories grow arms, legs and multiple heads, and before you know it, that bad day you were having has turned into something completely different. 

So, the moral of the story? Say what you mean, mean what you say, and if you don't want to divulge anything, don't post about it! 

Wednesday, 6 November 2013


Sadly, for the past two years I've not made it to any fireworks displays because I always seem to be rostered on to night shift! 

We used to go every year to Glasgow Green, in the days when they used to build a huge bonfire, to watch the fireworks. Then they built it right over a gas main one year, and the bonfire tradition was no more. They still did the fireworks, but it just wasn't the same. 

Thankfully, from my bedroom window at my parents house, we could see right over Cathkin Braes and my sister and I would sit, huddled up watching the little bonfires and the sporadic fireworks being set off. 

As we got older, we resurrected the Glasgow Green tradition. Nothing says reliving your childhood than pulling on your wellies, wrapping up in your hat, scarf and gloves, and trudging through mucky grass to watch fireworks with hundreds of strangers. 

We've not been to a fireworks display in Scotland since the wee one was born, but we did watch the big fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. And they were absolutely spectacular. I didn't include any photos of them, because my photos really don't do them justice. The wee one absolutely loved them. They really know how to make firework displays awesome at Disney. Well, everything is awesome at Disney!! 

What's your Firework Night tradition? 

Monday, 4 November 2013

Are you easily tricked?

I have to admit, I am one of those people who's quite gullible at times. People can string me a story for quite some time before I realise they're having me on. 

It mostly happens at work. Being a Staff Nurse I suppose I'm quite serious most of the time, but still have a laugh and a joke with my colleagues. On one occasion, I passed the ward board and found a new name in one of our empty rooms: Annette Curtaine. 

Naturally, I asked every staff member if we were getting a new patient down, did we have a handover, "who's Annette Curtaine?". Little did I realise I was being pranked, and A Net Curtain was a fake...

We had a male Staff Nurse who was particularly good at sounding completely serious whilst winding you up.  He was just one of those folks who had the knack for it. He would routinely concoct a fake handover that would sound completely convincing, but with something completely wild at the end, like "patient had third hand removed 3 weeks ago".  One night shift, he came up to tell me that he's had a handover from A+E, to come down into one of his side rooms, that patient was absolutely rigid, couldn't bend in the middle, and that the porters had delivered him to the ward standing up so could I help to get him into bed. When I went to the room I found a drip stand dressed up in a hospital gown with a mop for a head, gloves for hands, complete with a catheter! 

It has backfired on one occasion. I was heavily pregnant, and had been away on escort with a patient to MRI scanning, and came back to find the ward doors shut over. I met this colleague at the door who said "you can't come in, a patient has barricaded himself in the male 4-bed room, is using his walking stick and fork as weapons, and we've had to evacuate the other men out of the room".  Naturally, I didn't believe him, and strode on past him with my patient. He protested that he wasn't joking, but I didn't believe him until I actually passed the patient who threw his stick at the window of the bay, frightening the life out of me and my poor patient, and started hurling abuse at us.  He was a pleasant man(!)

Sometimes, I'm just plain daft. 

My grandad used to work in an aerodrome at a place in Fife, which I thought was with a company called Donny Bristol.  I only learned recently that the place in Fife is called Donibristle.

I grew up in the Salvation Army, and often wondered why the Officers all when to a place called Furlow for their holidays. I think I was about 25 before I realised that being on furlough meant being on holiday...

And only just this year, whilst watching Great British Bake Off, did I realise that Welsh Rarebit is NOT made with rabbit...

This is my post for day 4 of NaBloPoMo, using the prompt from Vonnie: Are you easily tricked? Do you fall for things

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Silent Sunday

Soup update!

Those of you who read yesterday's post about making soup, will be aware of how I really was just winging it. Armed with mums recipe in my head, I set out and put it on to boil this morning.

I put the pot on to boil, then down to a simmer before we went to meet my parents for a bit of shopping.

Casually mentioned to my mum that I was making the soup today, and that I'd left it to simmer while we were out. Her words? "Ooh, that's a bit of a high heat, you maybe should go home and make sure it's not dried out".

EEP! Panic. I had put plenty of water in, but stupidly, forgot that soup needs to be stirred!!

So I got home, gave it a wee gentle stir... And some of the soup had stuck to the bottom!! Argh!

However, it was rescuable, and turned out looking like this!!

And it tasted exactly like mums!

Hubby tried it and said it tasted great, but then he has to say that to stay married to me ;o) The ultimate test was giving a bowl to the wee one for dinner. The 21 month olds verdict?

"I like it"


Saturday, 2 November 2013

In which I try to be like my mother.

Now that I'm a mum, and I've turned 30, I've been meaning to try to turn my hand to the things that should be passed down the generations.

I already knit. My gran was the best knitter I know, and she would still be knitting away if diabetes hadn't claimed her eyesight, and dementia, her memory. My mum can knit well when she wants to, but she's got other things to keep her busy. 

My gran also made the best soup. Honestly, the most awesome soup ever. My mum makes soup the exact same way my gran did and it tastes amazing, but somehow grans was always that wee bit better. We think it was the good Fife water that gave hers that extra flavour. 

So I decided I would try and make soup on my own. I remember helping my mum make soup, so naturally I thought I could wing it. 

Turns out, I couldn't. 

After forgetting what actually goes into soup, I ended up phoning mum from the supermarket to make sure I had all the ingredients; veggies, broth mix, split peas, ham hough, etc. Yep, all present and correct, and she gave me some further instructions, ie soaking the lentils overnight.

Got home, laid out all my ingredients, and I poured my 3 packets of lentils, peas etc, in the pot to soak. It looked a but much, but I let it soak anyway. 

Three hours later, there's a LOT of expanded broth, and no space in my massive soup pot. I made another panicked phone call to my mum, who explained that I really should have only put 1/3 of each packet in! Arg! I'm such a numpty. Cue spooning out half the mixture into a Tupperware dish. 

At the moment, I'm left with half of the mix soaking in the pot and the other half waiting in the fridge, probable for my next attempt, because judging by the way things are going, this one is a disaster! 

I rally want this soup to work out, because I want to be able to make it and be like my mum and gran, and hopefully, be able to teach the wee one. And to be able to say to my husband, look, I CAN cook! (I can't really, I'm rubbish and he does all the cooking, but to achieve this one thing would be awesome).

I'm letting all my ingredients soak as I type, in preparation for actually making the soup tomorrow.  I really hope I'm able to post a success blog post.

Fingers crossed! 

Thursday, 31 October 2013

NaBloPoMo day 1

So. I have signed up for National Blog Post Month, aka, NaBloPoMo. This is a challenge to post a new blog post every day for the month of November. 

I am going to find this very hard. I already find it hard to write about something new every couple of weeks, so finding new things for EVERY DAY, well, I'm going to struggle. 

But I am really excited. I'm hoping this will help me to find my imagination, which I usually lack, and use it wisely. I shall apologise in advance if some of my posts are dreadfully boring, or just downright dull. 

So, to try and start me off here's a few things about me.

1. I just turned 30. I wasn't remotely phased by it, unlike some of my friends who appear to have freaked out. I celebrated by going to see Disney on Ice with hubby and the wee one. 

2. I'm a big kid at heart (See number 1). Give me Disney movies all day long and I'd be a happy girl. 

3. I'm a staff nurse at a busy hospital. I do love my job, but it's incredibly stressful at the moment, and I'm constantly looking for something new. Or a lottery win. 

4. I hate housework. If that lottery win ever comes, it's the first thing I'm delegating to someone else.

5. I love to knit. I'm not that great at it, but I find it therapeutic. I really wish I could be better at it. 

6. I watch far too much tv. If my school exams had been on tv and film quotes, I'd have had straight As. My knowledge of some tv shows from before I was even born scares me a little. And I always seem to manage to fit a Friends quote into any conversation. I know, I'm strange! 

I really hope this has set me up for NaBloPoMo success! Why not check out the other bloggers who have joined up in the linky over at

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Riverside Museum, Glasgow

I often struggle to find new things to do with the wee one on my days off. We do the usual things like soft play and we have playgroup on a Monday, but I often worry that I'm borning her with the same old stuff. She is only 21 months, but I like to keep her entertained and interested in new things. 

So we decided to go to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow. I loved the transport museum when it was at the Kelvin Hall, and it holds a special wee place in my heart, especially the old fashioned street. So I asked my mum to come along with us, to check it out in its new location. 

I always forget to take decent photos when I'm out and about, so apologies for the lack/poor quality of them. 

It certainly is very different from when it used to be in the Kelvin Hall. I remember being able to climb into the cars and buses, but there's only a few you can get into now. The wee one enjoyed being a passenger on an old fashioned tram though (so did her gran):

The cars are now mounted onto the walls, which looks amazing, but it means you can't get a good look at them.   I do love this yellow one though. I took this photo from the bridge; those bikes are suspended high up in the air on a velodrome type thingy (technical term, that). 


On the old Subway. I love how they specify No Spitting, but my mum assures me that was a standard message on both buses and the subway back in the day. The wee one liked it:

However, I did not:

The subway freaked me out a little. It's just....spooky. Like the real life subway. Scary places. Just looks like a ghost train:

So glad they kept the old fashioned street, I can totally imagine Glasgow being like this. Cobbled streets, proper shops, bakers, cobblers, tailors, cafés! You could even go all the way to Canada for £2, bargain! I was totally born in the wrong era. 

It was a but of a murky day when we visited, but the Clyde is still pretty, even in driech weather 

I can't wait to take the wee one back when she's a bit older and understands what things are,and how they were used in and around Glasgow. There are lots of interactive areas and computery (again, technical term) things that she's just too little and impatient for just yet. 


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