Friday, 23 January 2015


Mairi and John, and big sister Ishbel, big brother Alastair and wee sister Harriet now have a lovely new baby sister who was born 3 days ago.

She weighed in at 8 lbs 5 oz, a lovely healthy baby!  Mother and babe both well.  She is named after and grandmother of John's and also the daughter of Iain's cousin, Ken.  She is going to be called Ellie.

Who is she like?  She is just like her 3 siblings.  John pulled out the other childrens' newborn photos and we had difficulty telling them apart!

Ishbel and Alastair are very excited about her arrival and are very good at holding her when seated on the sofa.  Harriet, aged 1 1/2 is quite bemused by this new person in her life!  Like Ishbel and Alastair these 2 are close in age which means they will have each other as playmates.

Sunday, 18 January 2015


Today we got a lift.  It was a bright, sunny day after many days of snow storms and gale force winds. Yes, it is cold but definitely a day to be out.

Sunday morning and Harriet and I headed to the park then the back yard.  It was marvelous!  Back in our own garden I enjoyed sitting in the sunny corner at the back door where it was warm and invigorating.  It's contrast that makes for life's little pleasures.

Mairi's orchid which sits on the window ledge at the dining room table.  The sun lit it up from the back while I was eating breakfast.

A Little Red Munchkin!

Saturday, 17 January 2015


Ishbel, Alastair and wee Harriet are getting excited as their new baby brother or sister is now due.  As I anxiously look out the window at the falling snow I hope it soon passes over so we can manage to get out and about in readiness for the delivery of this new little person.

First thing this morning I shoveled the driveway just to make sure there would be no hold-up if I got a phone call to say Mairi had gone into labour and was off to the hospital.

Meanwhile, at home, Mairi's 9 months is nearly over. This is John's photo of Ishbel and Alastair building a snowman outside while Mairi and Harriet look out the window.

I looked out the window at 10 pm to see Mr Fox heading down the street, no doubt hungry in this winter weather.

Babies come in their own time ... time to close the curtains and put my feet up in front of the fire.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Harriet, along with the rest of us, is waiting for a new little brother or sister due any day now.  Mairi's expected date of confinement is tomorrow!

Today this little popit and I spent some time together ... doing what she like doing - 'shopping'.  (She like to trail around the house with a shopping bag full of toys.)

So off we went to get supplies as we ride out this bad weather we have been having lately. Snow yesterday and gale force winds today.  Today the snow has melted so it was time to run to the supermarket for supplies.

We all love a French baguette and nothing keeps this little person seated in the trolley better than a baquette wedged vertically into the corner of the trolley.

Who is the little Munchkin Mouse munching the end off it as we head up and down the aisles?

She loves seeing herself in the mirror!

 A close-up, taken of her image in the mirror.

It's coffee time...

Harriet likes to people-watch ... and made the shoppers smile as she says "Bye bye" to the people, often elderly, who are leaving the check-out for the exit.

When departing she wouldn't sit in the infant seat but wanted to stand in the front 'driving' the trolley.  At this point she had taken my wooly hat off and was an object of great amusement to all watching us head to the door!

Our short route to the car park goes along the Allander burn which was in full flow from all the recent rain. The wind was pretty strong so it was only a momentary stop en route to the car .. as we headed home along with what was left of the baguette!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015


Whenever I find I have learned how to do something which involves using computers or using the internet it changes.  This invariably happens when a particular software application is updated.

I wanted to top up my account on iTunes by adding money to my account which I had set up, some years ago, on the computer.  I spent ages trying do it.  Ho hum ... everything had changed... but I figured it out eventually.

This is what needs to be done to put money into an existing iTunes account.  For starters you cannot do it directly from your computer.

You have to purchase a "Gift card" from your local outlet (I assume in the desert these are in handy locations) and do it that way.

To redeem it:

[1] Use main iTunes home page. 

[2] Top right near Search bar is Name (of your ACCOUNT) typed in plain font, lower case.

[3] Clicking on this there are 4 items: Wish List, Recently Purchased, Redeem and Account Info.  Click on Redeem.

[4] At this point in time the way to operate the card is to either scan (which worked) or type in the code number on the back of the card.  

[5]  My problem was that I was trying to put money into the account using the part of the site called 'Account Info', as was the case previously. There is no instruction here to go to a different part of the menu (namely, up the way) where it says REDEEM.

Photo: Mac OSX Leopard and iTunes card (mine).

Tuesday, 6 January 2015


This is about bank charges or, more accurately, it is a tale to impart information about a particular  bank charge that is hard to find out about on the internet.

As they say in Glasgow, "to let you understand" ... I went into our local Clydesdale bank, the one where we have an account, and requested to transfer some money (£50) to the account in ... not the Clydesdale bank (this is important) ... but different bank, i.e. the Bank of Scotland.  (Now I could have sent a cheque or, if I had an online account set up I could have done the payment on line but, as it happened, I agreed to do a bank transfer having been given the recipient's bank account number and sort code.)  

I thought walking into the bank and simply asking the teller to do the transaction would be simple. I got a shock when the teller told me how much it would cost ... £24.00!!!

The money transfer arrangement is called "CHAPS which is an acronym for Clearing House Automated Payment System. CHAPS is a British company established in London in 1984, which offers same-day sterling fund transfers." [Source: Wikipedia which explains it rather well.  There is nothing on the Clydesdale bank website.]

Clydesdale Bank website here

I walked out of the bank, dumbfounded!  Actually on the way out I bumped into the Security Officer coming in the door who answered my question to the teller "What does CHAPS mean?"  (She didn't know....)

The outcome:  I walked to the other end of the village to the Bank of Scotland and simply did the transaction over the counter with the teller there.


Gargoyle is my photo taken of St Mahew R.C. Church, Main Road, Cardross, G82 5NY.
Piggy photo is Harriet's piggy.