Monday, 30 August 2010


With Iain slowly recovering from his DIY fall in the house we have been leading a very quiet life. i.e. we are "At Home" like the Queen! He is getting on better this weekend. He feels he has turned a corner.

He changed to medication which helps reduce inflammation (of the muscles). The first time he took the new pills BINGO the muscle pain in his back disappeared. Now that means he will be able to move around a bit better. He does circuits around the garden to try to build up his muscles.

Our friend from British Columbia is now with us for 3 weeks so that means we have good company and good food (anyone else's cooking is always such a welcome change)! We have started putting the fire on at night so that calls for coffee and Calvados in front of the fire.

With the early autumn weather being so lovely it is a pleasure to get on with a few chores in the garden. Our BC guest, Alastair, helped out by taking the bay tree that I had hoped to plant on the east side of the house (still graced by 2 stories of scaffolding) and planted it in the herb garden next to Miss Wilmott's Ghost.

The gladioli are blooming this week but are somewhat hidden by other foliage in the garden.

These little plants I started from seed. I don't know their name. I found the packet in the bottom of the shopping trolly last spring when I was unloading my own purchases into the back of the car. I put them in a seed tray and here they are.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010


An unconventional wedding is when you get married in one place (and time) and then have the reception in another place (and time). That is what Alastair and Dawn organised this year. They were married in Las Vegas last year and in early August, this year, invited friends and relatives to join them for a reception at the Piping Centre here in Glasgow.

They flew from Vancouver to Glasgow at the end of July and departed today after having some time to holiday on the continent. Dawn brought over a lovely, marshmallowy wedding dress and Alastair had a kilt made for him (actually his first kilt).

The big 'do' was held August 6th and a big party of Dawn's people made the effort to fly from the States to Scotland. Many had never been here before. So we all had a good time (except for Iain who, unfortunately, remained in hospital during all of this).

Before the reception an official photo-session took place in the cloisters of Glasgow University. This is John's photo of the bride and groom.

The whole series of official photos (portraits, reception, speeches and dancing) are at this website of the official photographer NDK Wedding Photography. A password is required so you will need to email me for it.

Alastair and Dawn

Mairi and Alastair

Wee Alastair (2) and Ishie (3) in the cloisters. (John's photo.)

Everyone, including many of the visitors, turned out in kilts and a variety of tartan garments. Ever the imaginative one, Dawn just managed to show a leg (or two) where she was sporting Argyll socks!

I just love this picture that the official photographer took of John and Ishie at the top table. It is a long sit for a little girl!

Sunday, 22 August 2010


The days just seem to run into each other! Today is Sunday - the end of another week. Iain has been out of hospital just under 2 weeks. He is recovering from his fall but he feels the progress is very slow. Mainly it is his back muscles that ache so much that he just has to lie down. He is trying various remedies to either strengthen the muscles and/or relax them after activity. For example, John, today, took him over the CV Drive to have a hot bath to see if that would help. He certainly felt better, and cleaner (!) and I give him back rubs to see if that makes a difference.

The wee ones stayed with me while John and Iain were away. Knowing they were coming I was prepared for a wet morning (with bread dough at the ready) but in the end we spent time in the park at the back. They are getting bigger now and will takes turns on the slide and climbing frame. Believe me, that is progress!

The other day I went to put on my shoes in order to go out to the garden. I found they had been used as a garage! I am a great one for tracking in mud so keep several pair of clogs at the back door. I am constantly moving from the kitchen to the garden and back again whether it be a trip to the clothes line, out to cut herbs or popping something into the bins. The only shoes I wear, day in and day out, are Josef Seibel shoes in the form of clogs. Just as soon a I get a chance I will have to go out get another pair as one of my current pairs is falling to pieces.

The keys on the yellow ring are for the side door of the garage. Having mislaid them a few times we finally put the big yellow ring from the (discarded) Fisher Price stacking rings toy. Now they are easy to find if mislaid in the wood shavings or grass cuttings!

Thursday, 19 August 2010


The doorbell rang this afternoon and who should be there but a man with a basket of lovely flowers for Iain. They were from Neil and Christina! What a lovely surprise!

The basket sits on the desk, well a big table actually, opposite Iain's bed.

I notice that there is one of my favourite flowers in the bouquet, i.e. the purple one shaped like a thistle. It is called Eryngium giganteum and I first came across it in Neil's garden years ago. He gave me half of a very big plant which I put in my garden and, also, managed to divide successfully over the years.

I do have one in this present garden but it is not one of Neil's "offspriing'; it came from Anne's garden and does well.

But the thing I like about this plant, apart from the lovely spikey flower head is the story that goes along with it (which Neil told me years ago). It is commonly known as Miss Willmott's Ghost [BBC reference here]. Apparently this lady used to carry seeds in her pocket and when she visited other people's gardens she spread them about!

Wednesday, 18 August 2010


John and his mates have been in Wester Ross (north-west Scotland) in the Fisherfield area. Here are some of his photos from his Facebook site.

These photos feature the geological features of the area.

At first I thought this was a picture of the sole of someone's old shoe but I see from the comments it is "a clast of Jasper in amongst the sub-arkosic sandstones of the Applecross Formation - Torridonian Sandstone."

Find the ptarmigan!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Adam has had a bumper crop of vegetables in his garden this year. So today, after visiting him, I came home with these wonderful courgettes, some broccoli and one noble carrot! Adam gave me some of his courgette plants earlier this year but my crop has been downright pathetic! Every time I examined the 2 plants another of the yellow flowers had come off and was lying on the ground. Heavy rain damage? I do have 2 small courgettes growing at the moment but nothing like his specimens.

Ever since Alastair was small he just gobbled up broccoli! Today I had prepared a quiche for the gang arriving at 5 pm. I used some of the broccoli along with cheese and chives - yum-m-m.

Ishie likes to help set the table. She prides herself on being a Big Girl especially in relation to Alastair. She sees him doing something daft - which is most of the time - then turns to me stating earnestly (in confiding tones) "I have more sense in my head"!

Meanwhile Iain was having a pilates lesson from a lady who visited the house. They have established that he needs to think about his diaphragm and abdominal muscles. She feels that attending to this should help sort out the problem with his back muscles. He had been given a regime of exercises to do.

We are also trying to help Iain put on some beef and to that end he is being fed lots of meat and vegetables, eggs and cheese.

Monday, 16 August 2010


Mairi dropped by at noon today with the children. Both children started playgroup today. Ishie has been going for one year but it was Alastair's first day. (He is 2 1/2 years.) They were all wound up when they arrived so I took them to the park at the back of our garden. There was an extra treat for Alastair in the form of a digger pulling up 3 large (previously cut down) fir tree roots in our back neighbour's garden.

The lad driving the digger was from a local farm just half a mile away. (Yes, we live in the suburbs but on the edge of the country.)

The 2 sheep are just passing through. They are normally to be found in the Museum für Kommunikation in Frankfurt, Germany. They are made out of telephone cord with telephone handsets for heads and feet! The sculptor is Jean-Luc Cornec.

The roof in the distance is ours. You can see the dormer window that has been put in.

Sunday, 15 August 2010


The weather has been so lovely that Iain and I have been out in the garden. Now back from hospital, Iain is recovering his strength by taking tours around the garden in order to build up his muscles.

Meanwhile I shell peas. One of my earliest memories is sitting on the back steps with a bowl beside me. Whose peas? Whose bowl? I don't remember. But I just love shelling peas! These I bought at Tesco's as I don't know anywhere that has Pick Your Peas in our area.

The view from our seat in the sun is of these cornflowers along the fence at the edge of the garden.

I started them as seeds, having never tried this flower before. The colour in these photos is certainly Cornflower Blue however my view is that they are, in nature, more edging toward a purpley blue (unlike, as I recall, a paint tin swatch of Cornflower Blue being rather pale and soft).

Friday, 13 August 2010


Happy faces having been about us today in the form of visiting friends and neighbours. Also out in the garden are all the sunflowers that I started as seedlings in March.

Iain is now home from hospital and is sitting in state "receiving". So I am baking scones and (happily) running through our supply of coffee beans! Yes, we are new people on the block, so to speak; everyone has been most solicitous! Maybe it is because of the lovely weather that we are seeing each other on the street or over the fence. Wonderful! Everyone from Mum with new babe to Iain's Lady Fan Club (growing daily) is paying a call.

We even had Out-of-Town (Chilliwack) friend-of-a-friend visitors. After dinner I went into the city to meet and greet and ended up in the Merchant City having a cup of coffee and a sticky bun while the street - nay, the whole of the city centre - was absolutely jumping with folk heading for the discos, bars and restaurants. "Who are all these people?" I asked 2 roaming policemen. "Football supporters?"

No ... there is a big piping event taking place tomorrow (well, actually pipe bands have been here all week in the run-up to the World Championships tomorrow) and these are the players and the camp followers etc soaking up another popular form of Glasgow culture.

Full marks to the city(?) pipe-band(?) organisers! In these hard economic times I would say that they have hit on a very successful formula!


Photo of Piping Judge: taken at 2008 (I think) World Championships on Glasgow Green

Thursday, 12 August 2010


Iain is now home!

The Physiotherapist could see that he was able to move about with a walking stick which meant he could be discharged from hospital. The Occupational Therapist assessed (from our descriptions of height of bed, chair and toilet) that he could go home as there was no requirement for handrails or special equipment.

Thank goodness she didn't suggest a home visit first! (It doesn't bear thinking about!) Iain will be able to move about all on one level when inside the house but the outside is a bit of a building site still.

He is walking with the help of a stick until he builds up his muscles. Considering he has been on Bed Rest for 6 weeks he has done very well. His back muscles ache much like when he carried a heavy pack. He then feels so much better once he lies down. That aching tiredness should go as he builds up his (back muscle) strength.

Still, there is nothing like your own bed and bathroom, your own cup of tea as well as the garden to enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010


He's up! Today's the day Iain was allowed to get up out of bed after 6 weeks of Bed Rest to help the vertebrae heal. Though weak and a bit wobbly he was soon able to slowly walk about the room with the aid of a walking frame. I expect he will soon graduate to a walking stick.

The nurse took this photo. He is enjoying having shoes and socks on and being able to sit up for meals. He is allowed to the bathroom as long as someone is supervising.

He would like to get home as soon as possible but he may have to await the return of the ortho consultant to return from holiday and sign him off.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


Tomorrow is the Big Day. It will be 6 weeks since Iain's accident where he fell from the ceiling and injured himself. (See previous posts.) The bones that were cracked will now have healed and therefore he is now - and only now - allowed to get up. The idea is that the vertebrae will be stabilized and he therefore should not run the risk of spinal damage.

So it is time to get his feet over the edge of the bed! Hopefully he won't be too light-headed to stand and then walk with the aid of a support. He has been faithfully doing his exercises while on bed rest so I think he will be fine, i.e. the muscles will not have atrophied too much.

Meanwhile I will go out and smell the flowers (the above were in the walled garden at Ross Priory this week) and I will definitely have to cut the grass! Given that Iain finds ambulation fairly straightforward, I expect he will be home by the weekend.