Sunday, 31 July 2016


Glasgow city centre was abuzz with folk demonstrating about leaving, or rather, not leaving the EU.  George Square had lots of flags and placards saying that leaving would be a daft idea; it is better to stay.  Basically they want another vote.

Last week the whole of George Square was given over to the Homeless Footbal game taking place.  That is typical of the City Fathers; none of this putting the event for disadvantaged people out in the sticks ... host it right in the city centre outside the City Chambers.

 Ignoring anything and everything going on in George Square is one of the Victorian worthies whose statue graces the Square... possibly Pitt?

This graffiti art on the end of a tenement on High Street just near the Barony Church caught my eye.

Close-up ... so clever!

Saturday, 30 July 2016


Time and fashion have passed me by. Somewhere along the line I have missed out on high street trends in clothing.  Maybe it is because when I shop I observe that most of the clothes are the style and size for 12 year olds, e.g. hipster trousers, blouses that leave half the midriff showing.
Be that as it may, I bought these socks recently at The House of Bruar in Perthshire.  I always thought this was a one-stop shopping 'experience' for the mature individual looking for quality cord trousers (men) and button-up cotton shirts for women ... something you might wear to the office.

They also carry Austrian and German brands which, needless to say, are Quality with a capital Q.

Well, I bought these socks (above) , Burlington brand, made in Germany. When I got home I took the card tag off by cutting the thread which was stitched in 2 places to one of the socks.  (At least it wasn't stapled.)

I then noticed that there was a stud located mid-sock ... I would call it a 'rivet' because it has a metal back to match its metal front. As shown in the photo above, it is about the size of the end of a pencil.

For the life of me I couldn't get it off.  If I used scissors it would only make a hole in it.
Before I phoned The House of Bruar to ask how I would get this bit of packaging off I decided to google the brand.  

Yes... you guessed it ... it is meant to be there! It is called a 'clip'!  Nowadays we not only have ironmongery in people's noses and every other part of the human anatomy but we also have them skewered into ... the humble sock!

Friday, 29 July 2016


I made a lovely discovery today: Landsdowne Church 416 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G4 9HZ has been converted into a theatre and bistro bar "serving  moderately priced food in an informal atmosphere".

The new name is Webster's Theatre and Webster's Bistro and Bar and is at the corner of Park Road and Great Western Road ... and, indeed, has a lovely atmosphere.

One of the main reasons for this is that the bar has 2 coat fires, real fires! the 2 Victorian fireplaces.

Apparently they have just opened the bistro bar this week.  There is a theatre in the main part of the church called Websters Theatre.

The walls are going to be stenciled.  Here is work in progress.

Yes, the food was good, reasonably priced and I note it is family friendly, i.e. high-chairs but best to phone ahead to book them.

Saturday, 23 July 2016


On the road and out of the city gas stations and corner stores were the only place in which to purchase 'basic' supplies like milk or something for lunch.

They should have a big banner outside, if not flagging up a Government Health Warning, certainly an equivalent Dentist's Health Warning!

On the road we had an ice-cream stop.  Long lines of families were eager to try a bowl (the size of soup bowls) from their list of 30 flavours.

Friday, 22 July 2016


The fertile trench of Central British Columbia, Washington and Oregon states (which lies between the Coast Range and the Rockies) has now got many vineyards which produce increasingly good wine.  This has all come about in roughly the last 50 years; Okanagan and USA orchardists took out the fruit trees and replaced them with grape vines.  

Our planned route to Portland went from from Kamloops where we had an overnight stay at Sun Peaks - seen here above.
We took the fastest route, i.e. the Coquihalla Pass and pressed on to Wenatchee.  No vineyards in them thar' mountains.  Okanagan vineyards anyone?.... miles away!

Never mind... maybe in Washington state or Oregon....

Ellie and I spent a lot of time together in the van.  Strapped in her car seat desperate measures were needed over the journey to keep her occupied.



 Shout from the driver 

"Who wants to go to a vineyard?!  
Grandma and Ellie give a pathetic cry from the back.  

"Who wants to go to a play park?"  
Loud chorous    "Yeh-h-h-h!"

Play park (actually this was in Merritt but one is much like another!)

Like Ellie and the Jenga blocks in the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel foyer ...  best laid plans come tumbling down!

Stick to whisky?!

Thursday, 21 July 2016


At Alastair's house in Portland, Oregon all the children were able to play together for a week.
On the back deck:  Ellie, Harriet, Alastair, Ishbel and Indy

Ishbel, downtown Vancouver

 Another day, another playpark:  John sorting out shoes for Harriet and Ellie 

Ellie (1.5 years) on the balcony of our hotel room at Sun Peaks, Kamloops

 Alastair and Ellie in Portland play park

Alastair and I spent some time in the early morning shooting baskets in the play park near Big Alastair's house. All those years of being chosen as Centre on the basketball court finally gave me the very smallest of rewards: I was at least able to show Alastair how to bounce the ball, dribble and shoot.  
What a funny word 'dribble'.... it is over 50 years since I every thought about, much less used, that word.  Why don't they say 'run with'?!

Alison and Indy in the Vancouver Century Plaza Hotel pool.  Indy has spent time in Grandpa Dave's pool in Florida.  As a result he is now very comfortable swimming, jumping in and larking about in the water.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016


The eleven of us traveled from Vancouver to Kamloops and then on the next day on to Salmon Arm to meet up with all the (Booth) family in the children's park opposite the Fire Hall.

Here we are in the rock band van that Alastair hired for our week in British Columbia.

Bascially each day we traveled from play park to play park until our (respective) destination ... except for when we had a pit stop for a nappy change.  Here we are at the side of the road near Chase. Nessie is having a quick break for a comfort stop plus a slurp of water.

Gathered were Don and Carol Booth, their daughter Kim with baby Hugh Zachary Allen Booth (and is called Zach), my mother's sister, Mary (nee Sansum) Harrington and her daughter Pat plus all of our gang.

Later:  This is John's photo which has a proper line-up:

[Back row] John (Albiston) with Harriet Albiston (3) on his shoulders, Pat Phipps (Mary's daughter), Iain MacLeod (my husband), Don Booth (my brother), Alastair MacLeod (our son), Dawn (Alastair's wife, nee Brooks) holding  their son Iain David MacLeod, aka Indy (nearly 5), Kim Booth and son Zak Hugh Allen Booth and Kim's mum and Don's wife, Carol (nee Brown).

[Front row] Me (Barbara MacLeod nee Booth), Margaret and Allen Booth's daughter, Mairi (Albiston, our daughter nee MacLeod,) with baby Ellie Albiston (1) on her lap, my mother's sister Mary Harrington (nee Sansum, formerly wife of Bob Phipps (deceased) and wife of David Harrington (deceased), Ishel Albiston (9) and Alastair Albiston (8).  Missing are Don and Carol's 2 other daughters: Heather Osachoff (husband Kyle and daughter Kalyleigh, aged 8) and Deborah Churko, husband Scott and daughters Alison (13) and Lauren (11).

 Kim and Zach (1.5 years old)

 Auntie Mary (Harrington)

Don and Mairi

And finally .... Glenna who also comes from Salmon Arm and I (a couple of days earlier enjoying some lovely Okanagan wine and cherries.

Good heavens! .... was there some talk of cherries?  This photo was taken by me in July 1973.  It is Kim in her baby seat inside the fruit stand where we sold cherries on the highway.    Yes, it was the Trans-Canada highway and was roughly opposite Ruth's Fruit Stand, South Broadview, which is where we lived (and my father had his trucking/haulage business).

I have many memories of (picking and) selling cherries every July - not all of them happy.  However one image that still sticks in my mind was how cars came from the east (namely, the prairies), and just past South Broadview cross-road  the driver's eye suddenly caught sight of the cherry trees at the edge of the orchard which was next to the highway.  They were absolutely loaded with fruit. There would be a screeching of brakes, great clouds of dust billowed everywhere as they pulled over and all the family tumbled out exclaiming "Wow!  Cherries!"  

.... and often there were more exclamations when they caught site of my mother's glorious display of roses along from the fruit stand.  There was a long row in straight line (all planting was done in straight lines!) which ran along the edge of the lawn right back to the edge of the house.

Price of the cherries?   25 cents a pound!

Monday, 18 July 2016


It was great to meet Deb and her daughters, Alison and Lauren in Nelson Park near St Paul's Hospital, Vancouver. Deb is Don and Carol's middle child and lives in Nanaimo.

The organiser, Do-for and Go-for was Dawn who marched along to Denman to get everyone pizza.

Mairi with Ellie in the pushchair and Lauren in the pink outfit.

Ishbel, right talks to Alison while Indy plays on the climbing frame.

Deborah and Alison

Alison and Indy in the pool

Saturday, 16 July 2016


By means of an Air Canada (propeller) flight I paid a visit to an old friend from university, namely, Dave King who lives in Prince George.  

He and Judith showed me around the city and gave me a bit of the history of the area.  Their city park has a community garden with an impressive display of poppies.

Dave is very involved with the establishment of a trail in The Ancient Forest, in the form of a 1600 ft boardwalk, located a grove of trees 113 km east of Prince George. A full description is at

He was involved in deciding where to put the trail which is a circular route through an ancient grove of cedar trees. The trees are similar to coastal forest but, in fact, are located in the interior of British Columbia.

A squad of volunteers and local business contributions have enabled the building of the car park and trail.  It gives easy access to tourists driving up the main highway from Williams Lake to Prince George and is wheelchair friendly.

Cow parsley grows in the open areas of forest where, perhaps, an avalanche has cleared a stand of trees.

Dogwood flowers were in abundance growing on the forest floor or up sides of tree trunks.