Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Gran's Badge

At 31, I am very lucky to still have my Gran around. Granted she has dementia, and lives in a nursing home now, but she still knows who we are and I'm very thankful that The Wee One is able to know her Great-Gran and have a relationship with her. 

On Friday, my Gran appeared to have a stroke. She was confused (more than usual!), hallucinating and aggressive, which is completely out of character for her. Her coordination went out of the window and she wasn't able to get up on her feet. When my sister and I visited her on Sunday she was a little better but still not quite herself. 

Happily, when I visited yesterday with my mum and The Wee One, she was a thousand times better. It was almost as if nothing had happened and she was just her usual self. 



My Gran doesn't have many personal belongings anymore, but as The Wee One rifled through a box in Gran's room, she found this badge:


If you can't read the writing on the red bit, it says, "The Salvation Army Red Sheild Worker". 

I am what you would call a third-generation Salvationist. The Salvation Army is my church, it's where I go on a Sunday morning (when I'm not working), it's where I went to Sunday School and where I take The Wee One too. It's the church my parents and grandparents went to too. 

My dad's family came to the Army though my Old Gran. Old Gran and her sister attended the Home League, an afternoon club if you like, for housewives and women to meet and have fellowship. From there Old Gran sent her three sons to the Sunday school and as they got older they attended the services, joined the band and it became their church. 

My mum's family is almost the same story; Gran's mum attended the Home League and so Gran went with her. The Salvation Army became their church too and, when my Grandad met my Gran, he made it his church as well (he was originally from the Mission). 

But back to the badge. Serving HM Forces. That could only mean serving Her Majesty's forces. My Gran was 13 when WW2 broke out, 19 when it ended. She wore this badge while working in the Canteen on the Troop Train from Perth to Thurso, serving tea and food to soldiers being transported to and from their stations. When she wasn't on the train, she would work in the stationary canteen at Perth, serving the troops while they waited to go. The Red Shield on the badge is an icon of the Salvation Army; looking at it everyone would have known that Gran was not only serving them tea, but serving God as well. I always knew that she was active in The Salvation Army, but to have had a part in the war effort serving actual soldiers makes me quite proud. I wonder what kind of impression she made on these men as they went to war, or what kind of impression they made on her. Did she know some of the boys who went to war on those trains, were they boys she went to school with or grew up with? Wouldn't it be strange to see them off to their stations, knowing they might not come back?

Sometimes it's hard to think that my Gran was once a young woman, as she's 88 now. She was 57 when I was born, what else did she achieve, take part in, or witness? We forget that older people had a life before children and grandchildren. This is just a snapshot of my Gran's teenage life, and it is already far more interesting than mine! 

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

An Autumn Walk in the Woods

One of my favourite things to do before the Wee One came along was to take a walk in the heritage trail that is a stones throw from our house. It's one of the most beautiful, peaceful walks I know, and is gorgeous in all weathers, but absolutely stunning in autumn. 

I've not been down there since the Wee One was born, mostly because it's inaccessible with a pram and there's bumps, steps and terrain that you just can't navigate with a buggy. But now that the Wee One is that wee bit older, we took a stroll down there this week. 


It was pretty chilly, so hats and coats kind of weather. 



Parts of the trail look over quite a steep drop, so naturally my daredevil child had to climb up to look over. 


The leaves on the tree are still quite green from a distance. 


Our primary aim for this walk to collect interesting leaves and sticks to make an autumnal picture. We took our very pretty tree print canvas bag (made by Tickled Pink Crafts - she's awesome, follow her on Twitter, @T1ckledP1nk) and set about collecting lots of interesting leaves. These spotty ones were my favourite. 


The leaves have made carpet, covering the pathway (and subsequently masking some very muddy, boggy dips in the path that we got stuck in!!)




After an hour or so of wandering, it was time to head home, get warm and start out autumn craft. 




Not a bad effort I must say! 




Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Autumn

I love autumn. The weather turns colder, the leaves turn all sorts of beautiful colours and the world just looks so pretty. It's also a good excuse for digging out wooly hats and scarves, getting wrapped up warm and going for a walk. 

And that's what we did today. The Wee One and I got our cosy clothes, hats and boots on and went out for a walk to one of my favourite places. It's hard to beeline that it's only a five second walk from our house. Five seconds away from a housing estate and you feel like you're in the middle of a magical, enchanted forest. 


We picked up interesting twigs and leaves to make an autumn picture when we got home. 


Why not check out the other entries to Tara Cain's Gallery over at www.thestickyfingersblog.com 



Monday, 29 September 2014

Holiday Friday Visit to New Lanark

Before husbands came along, my sister and I spent a lot of time together. Bank holiday Monday's almost always saw us take a wee trip to New Lanark. It became a little bit of a tradition. It's one of my sister's favourite places and it's totally easy to see why. It's steeped in history and beautiful to boot. 

On Friday, my sister invited the Wee One and I to tag along with her and her husband on a wee drive down the Clyde Valley to New Lanark, since my husband was working. The last time I was there, I was only a few months pregnant so it was nice to be able to take the wee one 

It was a windy, but bright day. Typical Scottish September Weekend Weather. 

We watched the water wheel go round for ages. There's something relaxing about it. 


Then we took a wee(!) walk up to the Falls of Clyde. It's such a pretty, picturesque walk, but when you've got a 2 and 3/4s year old wanting a carry all the time, it's a loooong way up. 




We were on the lookout for different birds and animals, and the sign said there were woodpeckers and beavers to be seen. We could hear them, but sadly didn't see anything. 


The water is so pretty, and really clear in places. We saw little tiny minnows swimming in there!


Those stairs may not look steep, but my goodness me, it was some trek up there. Thank goodness for uncle Robert offering to carry the a Wee One. 


When you get to the top of the trail, the beautiful Falls come into view. There is no photo that could actually do it any justice, especially not this one as it was only taken on my iPhone. 

The noise coming from them is amazing. I love it here in the autumn because the trees are just beginning to change colour but are still full and luscious looking. 

There is a higher observation point to the one we stopped at, and if you look very close, you may see a Lesser Spotted Wee One lurking in the trees!


On the way down, the view really is lovely, with the old mills nestled in amongst the trees. 


And of course, a visit to the adventure playground couldn't be missed. Although, I think it was more for the big kids benefits... 


And it's not a Bank Holiday weekend until you've had some ice cream...


...pretending to be Annie MacLeod...



...or getting locked in a phone box!!








Sunday, 28 September 2014

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Referendum Day

Unless you've been living underground, with no tv, social media etc, you'll all be completely aware that today is Referendum Day. The day where us Scottish People decide on our future; continue to be part of the United Kingdom, or go it alone and become and independent nation. It's been hard to escape any mention of it. The referendum has been the top story on every news bulletin for the past few months. Social media is awash with various people opinions and the amount of leaflets piling through my letterbox urging a yes or no vote has been astonishing. 

Yet, I'm sitting on my break at work, still completely undecided. My heart says one thing, my head says another. I'm full of "what ifs". And to be honest, I'm quite scared. Scared of going it alone, becoming independent and all the upheaval it may cause. Scared of staying in the union and things never getting better. 

For all the campaigning, the leaflets, watching the tv debates etc, I still feel completely uninformed. Perhaps I would have liked someone from each side to sit down with me in my living room, one on one and say "here's what will happen". 

I'm worried. Worried about stupid things, things that in the event of an independent Scotland will probably work themselves out. Like who will regulate us nurses? The NMC does it at the moment, for the whole of the UK. Will scotland have their own version? Seems silly to worry about that, but these are the things I think noones looked in to. 

What's bothered me most about the campaigns running up to the referendum is the bitching back and forth. People being berated for posting their opinion, or divulging their vote, comments being misconstrued and the casual racism that's slowly but surely creeping around. I've muted a lot of discussions on Facebook because of it. But then what happens on Friday, when the result is revealed one way or another. Will we go back to being a harmonious nation? Or will there be protests, outrage and unrest. 

Who knows. 

I can't vote until after work. If the polling stations had opened at 6am I would have been the first there, to get it over and done with and I wouldn't be sitting her still humming and hawing. I will probably still be undecided until I'm physically in the voting booth, with the pen in my hand. 

Whatever the outcome, I hope it's what is best for Scotland. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sunday, 7 September 2014

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