Saturday, 28 June 2014


Ishbel and Alastair finished school on Wednesday, June 25 (2014) and return August 13th.

I collected them on their last day and enjoyed sitting in the garden looking through some of their workbooks.

Along with that, of course, are masses and masses of strawberries for lunch!

Alastair has a book (in Scotland called a "jotter") where each week he is to write a short story of about 6 sentences starting with a exuberant opening sentence.

Here is his report after the 70th Birthday Party we held in May.

"What a super weekend I had! On Saturday I went to my Granny's birthday party.  Then I walked to a fire station and it started to rain.  We got to go inside the fire station.  We were very excited. We saw a real fire engine. Sunday I went to ralf's Birthday.  He was going.... " [next page].

The story of our trip to the local neighbourhood fire department (before the garden party started) is in a previous blog (Sunday May18th)  here.

By way of celebrating that school holidays have started we had an afternoon 'inventure' into Glasgow city centre yesterday.  'Inventures' as I have explained elsewhere are Alastair's word for 'adventures'... and, by definition, we head off with a rough idea of Going Out but no exact plan as to where or by what mode of transport.

Our plan for this 'inventure' was to find an ice-cream shop called Big Licks!  What a great name!  After we ran an errand for our friend Anne we parked the car and the kids elected to travel into the city by bus and it had to be a double-decker.  No problem there; there are plenty and I have my blue (free) bus card to the Over 65's.  Off we went and we had a great outing!

We ended up in the city centre and had a few laughs as we chatted to various folk on our travels.  I guess we looked like what we were: Granny and 2 kids out for the day!  These days (maybe always?) Glaswegians are up for meeting and greeting visitors as we head toward to the Commonwealth Games.  I have realised that once they hear my accent they think I am a visitor to the city (well, I am, in one sense, certainly) and so there's lots of chat ... and directions ... and explanations ... starting with the much used Glasgow expression "To let ya un'erstand..."!

After another bus ride (always on the top deck) we found Big Licks on Argyle Street.  It's a somewhat unpreposing place (and no toilet which meant an urgent side-trip to some bushes for Alastair) but definitely lovely ice-cream.  There were no queues when we were there but apparently this is common!

They even sell Irn-Bru ice-cream.  This is something we have recently discoverd ...more on this anon.

Thereafter we had a couple more trips of hopping on and off buses to get back home.  It was a great outing if a bit chocolatey with Grandma being the worst off for melting ice-cream everywhere!

And the best quote of the day?  Upon clambouring up to the top deck of the bus when we first set off the kids both exclaimed "Hey! No seatbelts!"

Wednesday, 25 June 2014


The garden is a blaze of colour just now as we have had a spell of hot weather followed by some rain.

Anne B gave me this hanging basket for my birthday.  

The Erynigium (Sea Holly) has doubled in size from last year.

The climbing rose gives pleasure both to our neighbours and ourselves.

Saturday, 21 June 2014


I was in Glasgow's West End today.  The West End Festival is on.  All the cafes had tables out on the street and the shops and galleries were full of interesting exhibitions.

Glasgow University from the bridge in Kelvingrove park where it crosses the Kelvin (a favourite spot for taking photos).

Walking south and meeting the river a little further down where it is almost at the Clyde is a picture of peaceful countryside.  In fact, there were 2 men fishing here, just out of sight. This photo is taken on another bridge on Benalder Streetk, south of Dumbarton Road at Byres Road, looking north or up-river.

Standing in the same spot but turning 180 degrees to face south where the river meets the Clyde just out of sight on the left of the photo it was amazing to see a huge construction sight right on the river.  Apartment blocks going up?

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Yesterday the temperature reached 25 degrees Centigrade and today was almost the same.  This has meant that buds are bursting on the flowers. 

Sitting in the garden tonight after dinner I watched the evening sun catch the roses.  As it is just a couple of days from the summer solstice I thought I would record where the sun reaches along the east side of the garden.

The light on the flowers changing from sun to shade.

Half in light, half in shade.

Thursday, 12 June 2014


It is Sunday morning and the pair of swans on Kilmardinny Loch in Bearsden arrive at the lochside bench where Harriet, asleep in her pushchair, and I are enjoying a quiet moment in the sunshine.  We kept very quiet as a French family joined us to watch Mum and Dad engage in their morning wash and preening session.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


Alastair was with me today as he was unwell and did not go to school.  Seeing we had this unexpected time together without noise and other distractions we occupied ourselves with drawing and other quiet activities.

He is 6 years old now and in Primary 2 at Mosshead School, Bearsden.  (Here is a photo taken of him and Indy last month when Alastair and family were here for 3 weeks.)

As he arrived today with his current school reading book I suggested we sit and read it, i.e. he would read and I would listen so as to get an idea of what level he is at.  Well!  I was very impressed!


This book is part of the school's Early Reading Series and is published by Orion books.  Six years old and he reads fluently words which include: thought, continue, aisle, whine and whinge. It was a terrific story and we had great fun turning the pages.  Full marks to the author, Francesca Simon!

When we finished I asked him "What kind of book do you like best?"  "Chapter books!"

Sunday, 8 June 2014


Harriet is one year old!  This calls for celebrations which turned out to be on several occasions.  We opened up some of the lovely bottles from the May Birthday Bash we held and shared it around.

The birthday girl having some cake.

Grandpa and Harriet out in the garden at Mairi and John's.

Harriet in our garden just after we got back from Shetland at the end of May.

Flower Power!

Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Indy had an examination under anaesthetic today to determine if there were any cancer cells in his eye.  None were found so it is good news! 

Alastair, Dawn and Indy, aged 2 and a half, taken while on their visit to Scotland this past month.

Indy appears to be using his left hand mostly but often alternates between the two.  It is his left eye that has the prosthetic. It stays in all of the time; on the whole he doesn't fiddle with it, i.e. it doesn't appear to bother him.

Here he is in the back garden lining up the water jet into the watering can. He chatters away to himself "Got work to do." .... "Indy be careful."  Like all 2 year olds he is full on, i.e. busy running about the place playing with cars especially the ambulance.  He likes lining things up e.g. stones on the wall, cars being parked in his makeshift garage.