Tuesday, 31 May 2016


Time to smell the flowers: Geilston Gardens in Cardross near Helensburgh, Scotland.  A joy! Rhodys and azealieas in full bloom.


The Loupin' Stane in the courtyard (you stand on it to mount your horse.)

Sunday, 29 May 2016


Ellie, 16 months old, keeps us on our toes. She's as bright as a button and has to be doing what all the older children are doing ... and that means head to the play park at the back of our garden.

Disappearing Act 1


 Take a bow

And by the way, that green sweater is one I knitted 40 years ago for age 2 years old.  That forest green colour really suits Ellie with her mop of dark hair.

Saturday, 28 May 2016


Company's coming ... It is rhubarb season so I picked what I had in the garden - not a lot - and added a bunch of stalks from my neighbour's garden.

I used Martha Stewart's recipe (Ref: Google). This is a variation on it

The last of the pie with the first of the Scottish strawberries - so juicy and flavoursome!

To make the pie:

[1]  Buy rolled out pastry from the many excellent brands in the supermarket.
[2]  Bake it blind. Cool, if you have time. If not, it doesn't make any difference!
[3]  Make rhubarb filling: Put chopped rhubarb into saucepan with sugar. Thicken the mixture with cornflour.  Cool a bit. If not enough fruit add some other chopped fruit at this point e.g. soft fruit is good; it will not need cooking as it will mush down a bit and give the 'stew' consistency some chunkiness.
[4]  Separate 2 eggs for meringue. Using the 2 yolks, add them to the rhubarb mixture.  (Slacken a bit by adding a wee bit of cooled rhubarb mixture to yolks and then dump this back into the saucepan.) Basically it is a custard now.
[5]  Make meringue mixture (adding sugar as desired).
[6]  Pour rhubarb 'custard' mixture into the baked pie shell. Dollop meringue on top and sprinkle with sugar.
[7]  Bake til meringue is brown.  It doesn't take very long!
[8]  Leave to cool.  It solidifies in the cooling.  

Best eaten same day. Photo above is breakfast next morning but meringue is 'weeping' and pastry is getting soft.

Monday, 23 May 2016


Polling Day for the UK Referendum on the United Kingdom's Membership of the Europen Union is June 23.

The option to vote by post is suitably in place ... that is, if you can read the reference on the back of the Polling Card.

Having spent a great deal of time working with text I guess I am a bit twitchy about things like grammar and clarity ... or maybe it is failing eyesight ... but here is another item for my Book of Bad Design.

Here is the text on the back of the Polling Card:

The address is   www.dab-vjb.gov.uk

Sunday, 15 May 2016


While at the school fete on Saturday Iain and I were on Granny Duty out in the front lawn where there was a very popular Bouncy Castle for the wee ones.

We volunteered to keep an eye on Harriet (3) and Ellie (15 months) while Mairi and Ishie headed off to the craft, baking and toy stalls.

After lots of 'goes' on the Bouncy Platform we suddenly realized we couldn't find Harriet.  Which point of the compass had she headed?

Quickly I asked the adjacent mums, all used to 3 year olds tearing off in unknown directions ... no one had seen her.

Then 2 lovely policemen strolled by ... I said "We have just lost a child..."  Quickly clicking into what  must be a familiar routine, they asked

"Boy or girl?" 


"Appearance?   " ... "Pony tail"   

"What is she wearing?" ... "A pink T shirt and pink flowery leggings" ... Iain 'helpfully' added "and pink Welly boots."   

At this point out pops Harriet from the Bouncy Castle ... I looked at the policeman ....     "Uh... well, sort of pink!"

Meanwhile Ellie is not be to outdone. She is amazingly agile and a real climber now.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


It's that time of year again ... another birthday!  Oh! How the years go by!  I'm a 'war baby', born in 1944 (on the other side of the world from the UK) sothat makes me 72 years old! 

Time to smell the flowers.  This is my view this morning as I sat eating breakfast looking out the window into the garden. The leaves are now coming out so there is that new fresh green colour everywhere.

I had a very busy day with a trip 'downtown' as the Americans say (to see the printer about a brochure I designed).
Then I headed back home for dinner at home, later, with Iain, Mairi and Iseabail.

A fair bit of leftover wine from the party at the weekend was consumed (by me... not the others who are TT) and then crashed in my bed.

This is a photo taken yesterday.  Iain is constructing a bridge for Alastair and Ishie.  It is a model of the one being built over the Forth.  Wee Ellie (15 months) in her red playsuit has now figured out how to crawl through he fence into the adjacent park.  

We love the park; it's great for the grandchildren!

I looked up when I started this blog.  It was 2007 which makes this now starting its 9th year.

And to mark the occasion here is a wee gem of a photo I captured yesterday sitting in the garden with Mairi watching Harriet (3)  and Ellie playing with the garden hose and an old washing up basin.


Sunday, 8 May 2016


I was given 4 bottles of wine when a neighbour was clearing out her garage.  In order to get help drinking the stuff I invited 16 fellow-drinkers to come and help.

The Two Davids were up for an afternoon of wine tasting and so, in our kitchen, around the dining room table we had a session of learning about wines that do not keep and ones that do.

Martin brought the above bottle for trying.  It was a recent purchase and definitely got the thumbs up from everyone.

I buy wine for the label and here is my old friend, 'Skulls' bought in the BC Liquor Store some years ago in Vancouver.  The arty label behind is another example of this ... Majestic. Milngavie Road branch,   a few years ago.  And lastly the bottle of the right is one I have Brian and Maggie at Christmas.  This was their contribution - though they were away launching their boat and missed the tasting.  I did not care for it (!) but everyone else said it was lovely... wierd!

Flower power - kitchen
 Flower power - hall table

My mother's canteen of Community plate Lady Hamilton.  I googled this to see the brand.  Oneida?  It doesn't say on any of the items; therefore I doubt it, i.e. it is Oneida wanna-be.  (It may have been originally but I see that many of the pieces have been added to/replaced and the size and weight are both smaller and lighter.)

Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Here are some photos of the grandchildren.  I took them in the park yesterday.

  Ellie (15 months)

 Harriet (3)

Alastair (8)  and Ishie (9)

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


Alice (who is visiting from Canada) and I had a lovely sunny day together strolling through the grounds and buildings in Greenwich.  The Maritime Museum and Observatory are there -  lots to see; lots of history.

These photos show the Time Ball in resting position, then raised, then dropped at 1 pm.  Ships used to set their chronometers to this time-keeping mechanism.  Indeed, the building is in a prominant position on the bank of the Thames.

There are still a few time balls around the world, e.g. New York Times Square which everyone watches at 1 minute to midnight on New Year's Eve.

Alice noticed the sundog feature in the sky above us as we stood below the time ball on its dome looking upwards.