Tuesday, 31 January 2017


It's Alastair's 9th birthday tomorrow.  Here is a recent photo taken by John when he and Iain took Ishbel and Alastair to a local museum a couple of weeks ago.

Ishie is now 10 years old and getting tall and leggy. Iain in the middle and Alastair on the right.

Today was a wet day today so nothing for it but to do what my mother would do - get out the baking tins and the beaters.

I decided to dig out the Chatelaine (magzine) book of about 1957 and make a chocolate cake from scratch.  I am quite pleased with the result -  a Spiderman Cake for Alastair.  The recipe starts in the bottom left column and runs on to the top right column.  This recipe really works; not too big and is made with sour cream (or in my case I used yogurt that I had in the fridge).

I had fun making Alastair a card. I like Andy Warhol' s image of running shoes - very Alastair!  And as luck would have it, there are 9 in the poster!

My attempt at an Andy Warhol Che Guevara type poster was not successful.  I simply have not got an good image of Alastair, a least an image that takes blocks of colour.  Another time; another poster.


Wednesday, 25 January 2017


This book by the daughter of a Swedish friend sits on our bookshelf.

 The 2 wee ones enjoy the pictures as they cannot read Swedish.

At least that is what I thought. The other day Ellie was playing with the blue and red merry-go-round music box which sits on the same bookshelf.

"Boken" she told me .... which I eventually understood when she presented me with the merry-go-round  in 2 pieces. Fortunately, a PVC glue repair was all that was needed.

 A recent photo taken by John:

And then I tried something arty with it:

Sunday, 22 January 2017


Alastair, Dawn and Indy headed to downtown New York city to join the Womens' March. They now live in New Jersey which means they can take a 40 minute  ferry ride to Manhattan Island.

They then headed off to the National Museum to see the dinosaurs.

Saturday, 21 January 2017


Yesterday was Ellie's 2nd birthday. This is me fiddling about ... a nod to Andy Warhol.

Sunday, 15 January 2017


Ellie is just coming up for 2 years old now... so it is "The Terrible Twos' time.  She is very independent and full of mischief.

I reckon we have the making of an engineer here.  I was working in the kitchen. She likes to play about and usually is busy 'role playing' i.e. sweeping up, stuffing the washing machine etc.  I am in the habit of giving the kids a saucepan and wooden spoon so they can 'stir' the pan while I am working at the counter.  Not Ellie; she simply turns the saucepan over and uses it as a ladder to get to the shelf!

And again... not for her is my Tupperware bowl of 40 years ago.  She found it had a better use as a stool to get up to the kitchen sink!

She and Alastair were enjoying some hot chocolate ... with Rabbit being fed some of Ellie's mini-marshmallows.

Friday, 13 January 2017


It's been a few years since I have seen these lovely apples... Macs from Washington State, USA. I found them in the butcher's shop at Bearsden Cross.

These are so much a part of my childhood.  We had an orchard (13 acres, I think) and these apples were in my lunch box every day of the year!  You never see them in Britain ... there are many other fine species, e.g. Cox but they are not a patch of these rosy red, flavoursome apples.

People of my age (war babies) recall getting boxes of apples which were shipped to the UK from Canada and the States.  This is what they were - Macs!

I got a Marks and Spencer voucher from Alastair and Dawn.  "Buy yourself something with a label on it." which, of course, means buy some wine which has an interesting label on the bottle. Here they are in the trolley. I will report on them once they have been tested.

And finally, Mairi gave me a tea cosy for Christmas.  My other one disintegrated.  It's old fashioned, I know, but I really like to have one to put over a pot of tea.  A folded over tea towel just isn't the same.

Friday, 6 January 2017


I was in London for a quick day trip this week.  The choice of travel was by air rather than by train as the reason for the visit was a funeral which was only a short drive from Gatwick airport. The weather was clear and fair and flying EasyJet, I have to say, was easy. The whole trip was smooth and pleasant.

Our flight home was on a clear, starry night.  It was great fun to look out of the window and see the lights of London - Birmingham - Manchester as we passed overhead. It was 1 1/2 hours Gatwick to Glasgow, then a 25 minute drive home as I had parked the car at the airport (very expensive!).

The joy of flying reminds me of the time I flew back from Canada to Glasgow some years ago. I was coming out of Toronto this particular time. About an hour out the stewardess announced that there was a wonderful display of Northern Lights that evening.  If anyone wanted to see them, they could put their hand up and be selected to view from the cockpit. Can you imagine that happening nowadays?!

I put my hand up. Some hours later I got a tap on the shoulder and was beckoned forward.  I was shown into the cockpit where it was very dark.  I became aware of the backs of two men and was told to kneel down on the ledge that was between the two and look out the window.

There was a glorious display of white aurora reaching to the zenith all along the port side of the cockpit window.  Absolutely thrilling!

 After about 5 minutes I was escorted out again.

I returned to my seat and replaced my Air Canada headphones ... and this is what was playing... the Hallejulah chorus from The Messiah.

This is my copy of a 1943 edition. I was unable to attend a performance this New Year but there is plenty from which to choose on YouTube.  (I am a great fan of YouTube!)

Tuesday, 3 January 2017


Thanks to Jane in Canada for these little sayings:

Once all villagers decided to pray for rain.

On the day of prayer all the people gathered,

but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That's FAITH.


When you throw babies in the air,

they laugh because they know you will catch them.

That's TRUST.


Every night we go to bed

without any assurance of being alive the next morning,

but still we set the alarms to wake up.

That's HOPE.


We plan big things for tomorrow

in spite of zero knowledge of the future.



We see the world suffering,

but still we get married and have children.

That's LOVE.


On an old man's shirt was written a sentence

'I am not 80 years old;

I am sweet 16 with 64 years of experience.'