Saturday, 27 June 2015

Project 365 week 26

Well half way through the year and still going strong. The longest day has been and gone and our schools broke up this week for the Summer holidays.


Today was Father's Day and so Daughter No3 and her other half took us and his parents out for a meal. We went to one of the Chef's World Buffet. Have to say the selection was amazing, the service was brilliant and the staff very helpful. Would happily go back. Hubby would not oblige and have his picture taken so got the "children" instead


We are only bothering with tomatoes and sweet peppers this year for the garden, nothing else grew last year. But even those have been a disaster so far, no bigger than an inch. So hubby put a shout out on a local free site and somebody had one of each that they kindly gave us.


The were a few mini packets of love hearts left over from the sweet trolley from the wedding, and I brought a packet home. Sadly for me all but two of them were purple and I don't like purple sweets.
So I left hubby a message on the cupboard, and he added his own message to it. Your never too old for a bit of romance.


Daughter No1 had bought Bob a swing set/climbing frame all in one thing for his birthday. She started building it a few weeks ago but could not go much further without help. So I said I would go along and help her. I was followed by both our other halves. Took us just over six hours to just about finish it off. Though I got out of some of it cos I took the gruesome twosome for a walk and SIL had to go to work. It took approx 22 man hours ( or woman hours) to build.  We had all had enough and there was just the cargo net and the rope ladder to go on. We had to make one adaptation as her garden was not safely wide enough for the slide to go where it was suppose to, so it went on the end instead.


I do relief holiday cleaning for a sheltered housing complex and this week they had organised an afternoon tea for the local hospice. So I bought some raffle tickets and  we went along to support the cause. Sadly we did not win anything despite their being a lot of prizes that had been handed in but we had a good old chin wag and a lot of money was raised.


Last day of term here. Fifi has just finished her first year at secondary school. Bits of it she has enjoyed and some bits of it were better back in primary according to her.


When daughter and the children were in the town yesterday they saw this and thought of us. It was a thank you for helping build the play equipment on Wednesday. Love the way the wings pull up to make handles.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Action for Medical Research #shareyoursandwiches

Today is Paddington Bears Summer birthday, his winter one is on Christmas Day, I have always said if I had a child born on Christmas Day they would have an unofficial birthday in the Summer.

As we all know Paddington enjoys a marmalade sandwich or two and so to help him celebrate his birthday he is asking us to share with him on Twitter Facebook or Pinterest  using #shareyoursandwiches .

Paddington has been  the mascot for Action Medical Research  since 1976. Michael Bond, Paddintion's creator met Duncan Guthrie the man who founded the  charity and Paddington's smiley famous face has helped to attract thousands of new supporters who raise millions of pounds to help babies and children.

Action for Medical Research tell us

We're funding medical research to beat the diseases that devastate the lives of so many of our children.
Today in the UK, there are hundreds of thousands of sick and disabled children who need help. We find and fund the best research to help these children
We have more than £11m currently invested in the work of more than 230 top researchers, working on over 75 projects across the UK. 
We have supported some of the most significant medical breakthroughs in recent history that have helped save and change children’s live 

Various celebrities have shared their favourite sandwich filling, people like Davina McCall  who says her favourite is a toasted bagel with cream cheese, salmon, lettuce and a drizzle of pesto. Kirsty McCabe tells us hers in weather dependant - in the warm weather she goes for a hummus and veggie wrap and it the cooler weather a cheese and ham toastie or panini.

We had a fund raising afternoon today at the complex where I do relief holiday cleaning. Was a busy afternoon and everybody enjoyed themselves. Proves your never too old.

our coffee afternoon raising funds for charity

Michael's daughter Karen has her own story to tell of how she grew up with Paddington and why she is a huge supporter of the charity. You can read Karen's story here.

Today my sandwich I shared was wow butter and lemon curd, what did you have in yours today? Share them with Paddington by way of celebrating his birthday with him.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Project 365 weeks 24 & 25

Well there was no week 24 as I was having far too much fun helping with the final preparations for the wedding. So I have a two week catch up to do.


When I got home from work the girls were enjoying a dust bath in the garden


This is still twin watching night, so I wandered up to my house with them. Minky decided he would follow granddad up the stairs, I went up a few steps behind him and he went for a nosey round the rooms, he came back down holding Granddads hand.


Went for a walk and came across a random flower.


We decided to take our time coming up and stopped off wherever took our fancy on the way up. We spotted these at the Duck Bay Marina at Balloch and I just had to photograph them. I added the line and the alien myself , just cos I could.


Today was about helping my daughter with what ever little bits and pieces she required help with. So it involved tablet making, making up favour boxes and wrapping presents for the bridesmaids and ushers. Later in the afternoon we went down to the wedding venue and had a run through for the big day.


Daughter went to get her nails painted, went for lunch with some of her friends that had come up for the wedding and then in the evening after the whole wedding party on my daughter's side had been for a meal together we came up the road and made up the place names ready to go on the table for the big day.


Well the big day dawned dry but a bit overcast. The bridesmaids arrived and we all went down to the hairdressers to get our hair and  make up done. Back up the road for just after twelve, a quick snack of tuna pasta, and into their dresses. Once we were all ready Louise made her big entrance down the stairs. Oh boy she looked beautiful beyond belief. We all had a wee tear at this point.
Well that is it, it is all over, and what an amazing day it was, from start to finish. Son in Laws dad has been quite ill but he managed the actual wedding, some photographs in the hotel, and then attended the evening reception for the first dance. Was lovely that he could make it as it was touch and go.


 A group of our family met up for a lunch before they all went back home. Daughter and Son in Law went off on honeymoon and I got chance to collapse in a heap, it had been a tiring few days. Daughter No1 had been staying over night in Louise's house so we went back round to see if we could help out with anything. I took the gruesome twosome for a walk while they loaded the car. Minky was playing with a shoe box, Dinky was running around with her huge big smile, and Bob was playing with his car he had been bought for being an usher at the wedding.


The first day of our holiday, and so we decided to make the most of the dry weather and go for a Three Isle Cruise. This would take us across to Mull, onto Staffa, then to Iona and then back through Mull to Oban again. Was a ten hour cruise with lots and lots of photographs taken so difficult to pick just one, but others will be shared on a blog post at some point.

I like this one as I think the puffins are just so ungainly in flight. 


A turn in the weather today, but we did get out for a while Picked up a few geocaches. The scenery was not worth photographing as the sea and sky was just a mass of grey with no clear lines.


Went for a walk, weather still not brilliant but these brightened my day, apparently they are part of a community project to raise money for a hall.A lot of the lamp posts have them on. They are hand knitted jumpers for want of a better expression.


Another dull day. Went along to Ganavan to pick up a cache. Took a walk along the cycle path and spotted this explanation sign post on the back road.


Well holiday is over, and we cached our way home as we had cached our way up. Stopped off at some lovely places. This being one of them. The Butter Falls at Glen Kinglass.


Cases are unpacked, washing is out, back to normal then. During my holiday I had to call on my lovely friend Sam to help out with an issue back home. So when we got back today the chickens had left her a message on their eggs, and I added a bunch of flowers and a few bits from the wedding for her by way of a thank you.

Looking forward to catching up with the other 365's this week.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

June is popular for Summer Weddings

June is the month that starts the run of Summer weddings,  My daughter is one of the statistics this month. The Summer months lend themselves to more people wanting weddings than in the winter months for a number of reasons including the longer days, more chance of sun, this makes for happier guests much nicer photographs to remember the day by and  not to mention it being a great time of the year to have a honeymoon. The schools have not broken up yet which means holiday prices have not been artificially inflated. Christmas is long over and the happy couple have had chance to plan and save.

The ceremony is an intricate part of any service, no marriage would be compete without one. Some people like to go for a religious service, others like my daughter will go for a registry office service, and nowadays you can have the service pretty much any where. Gone are the days when it had to be in a church or a registry office itself. A nice hotel like my daughter did, the top of a mountain or anywhere in between is accepted as normal nowadays.

The ceremony itself is the all important part, the part that people can personalise to suit themselves.
The ceremony is a public display of the happy couples love and commitment to each other as they enter into their marital contract. While the vows again can be personalised and some couples do write their own which reflects their thoughts and feelings that they are taking into the marriage to endure the years. My daughter had a couple of close friends doing a reading during her ceremony to add to the personalisation.

signing the register 

The thinking behind weddings changes considerably over the years,. Go back just forty short years ago and people did not cohabit then, you got married before living together and having a family.  The age of the bride is also changing, it use to be that the majority of them were under twenty five. But now due to many more woman enjoying a good career before they get married more of them are putting it off. My daughter is thirty five this year and is only just now settling down to married life and considering having a family. Forty years ago that was very uncommon. Maybe this has something to do with my daughters generation witness their parents marriages breakdown because they got married so young and do not wish to find themselves in the same position.

The weddings these days are more commonly paid for by the Bride and Groom themselves with them asking for contributions towards their honeymoon spending as they generally have a house and all the towels and toasters they actually need. In my day you asked for small presents like toasters and towels, then it went through a phase of wedding lists and bigger items, modern thinking just keeps changing.

making favour boxes and tablet
My daughter had done all her planning well in advance and she found this worked well for her and caused a minimal amount of stress. This suited my now Son in Law as he likes to feel in control and know that things are done. My daughter had left some of the smaller tasks to do towards the latter end, I think was primarily to keep up the excitement for the last week as well as to give her something to do to settle her nerves and keep her busy the last few days. We spent parts of
Thursday and Friday making tablet to add to her favour boxes. We made up the favour boxes and filled them. We also sat and did the table plans keeping family and friends in groups they would be comfortable with and she placed the children on three tables by themselves to give them some responsibility for each other. I have to say they all gelled well together with no arguing and the older ones naturally helped the younger ones.

She had originally been planning a barbecue for the evening before the wedding for the bridesmaids but decided this would be too stressful so we all went out as a big noisy group of twenty to a local restaurant and had a laughter filled evening.

part of the group out for a meal

What sort of wedding would you prefer to have and at what time of year if you were planning one?

This is a collaborative post but all thoughts and pictures are my own 

Sunday, 14 June 2015

My Mother of the Bride Speech

Yesterday I had an amazing day at Louise and Gary's wedding. I was honoured to be asked to do a Mother of the Bride speech and promised I would share it once it had been read out.

So here is my speech, straight from the heart, with only one paragraph that I amended after I originally wrote it as it did not really say what I had intended it too. English was never my forte, but Louise knew she would not get perfection from that point of view.

p.s she was on time.

My husband and I, or should that be my ex husband and I since Louise has had the pleasure of two dads to twist round her little finger? OK the three of us would like to thank you all for joining us to celebrate this happy day and I know how much your presence means to Louise and Gary.
It is nice to see so many people turning up and I think the fact that so many of you have turned up from far flung corners of the country is testament to just what an incredible lady Louise has turned out to be. I have been proud to watch her blossom from a reserved child, into an awkward teen who would not go to Glasgow by herself at 16, to suddenly shooting off down the country to University in Exeter.  I am very proud of my daughter and I think you will all agree she is looking exceptionally beautiful today. I admire the way Louise makes lifelong friends, so thank you all for travelling long distances to share in this big day.  Gary is looking amazing in his kilt as well.
Thanks to all the bridesmaid, Laura, Olivia, Rhianna, Claudia, And Zinnia, for playing their parts amazingly as well as the mini Ushers Ross and Connor who did themselves proud. and for helping to make to Louise and Gary’s big day.  Much bigger than I think Gary was originally anticipating when he jokingly asked Heather and I last year why he had the sister with expensive tastes!!
I am truly amazed Louise turned up on time ( I am not really surprised Louise was late)  for her big day, as apart from being born nearly 4 weeks early and arriving a mere 13 minutes after we got to the hospital, she has never been on time for anything in her life.
I would like to wish Louise and Gary a long, happy and healthy life together, whatever road that takes them down. I am sure Gary’s parents Ian and Mary will join us in supporting the happy couple as they start down the road of married life and the five of us would like to take this opportunity on this, your special day, to say congratulations and offer our good wishes for your future happiness.  
I will keep this speech short as they are other speeches for you to enjoy. I Hope you have all enjoyed the wedding so far and will enjoy the rest of the celebrations with us. Ladies and gentleman please join me in saying a toast to the bride and groom…….the bride and groom.

the happy couple and I

Wedding Day 1 - The journey north

Well D Day or should that be W day is getting nearer. Not long now, the excitement is building and just a few small things left to do. Yesterday we left home to travel up. It is the first really nice day we have had in so long, probably too nice to be honest with you for being stuck in the car without air con. But we took our time in coming up and enjoyed ourselves along the way.

As all my regular readers know I am a keen geocacher and so we decided to add to our total finds on the way up. We were not wanting to stray far from the actual road up, and so I planned a route along the main roads north. The programme I use has a great search facility and so I made use of that and only planned the caches within a mile of our route. We did not stop for all the ones I planned on, some of them we had passed before we could find somewhere safe to stop and the roads up here in the highlands are not the best to walk along safely, or for that matter to just go stopping on, most of them are barely two lorries wide.

So we started off our journey with a run up the easy bit to Balloch predominately motor way, by far the quickest part of our journey. So our first stop was for a cache to see The Maid of the Loch. She is the last paddle steamer built in Britain and sits at Balloch Pier. She is now a historic visitor attraction that you can look round for free, but sadly she is only open at the weekends.

Balloch Scotland
The Maid of The Loch

We then moved on to do pick up a few caches along a trail, we cheated with hubby driving and me getting out to get the caches and him moving onto the next. We sat in the shade of the trees and ate a packed lunch before moving on to Loch Lomond. The scenery going north is simply stunning, but again few places to stop and take pictures.

We stopped at Loch Lomond where DH had an ice cream and I had a cold drink. We admired the scenery and picked up a cache before moving on again.

From here we drove on, but had to stop at The Rest And Be Thankful.
REST & BE THANKFUL are the words inscribed on a stone near the junction of the A83 and the B828, placed there by soldiers who built the original military road in 1753. (wiki)
The views were stunning, along an old road, a cycle track and the main road as well as a loch that is there.

Glen Croe
Glen Croe

Have to say the simple things in nature like the sparkle on the water make for stunning views.

I was hoping to get a cache at Loch Awe as there is one out at the castle, but we ony managed to get this view of it, did not manage to work out exactly how to get to it.

Fraoch Eilean is a small island situated at the northern end of Loch Awe, a freshwater lake in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It is notable for being the site of a medieval royal castle, now ruined, which was given into the keeping of Clan Macnaghten by Alexander III in 1267 (wiki)
The castle at Loch Awe

As you head north the scenery and the lochs just continue and just get more beautiful, if that is possible.

So eventually twenty caches and one hundred and forty miles later we arrived at Oban. We arrived in time for a barbecue with other members of the wedding party who had flown up on Tuesday.

The food ready to eat

While we were eating our food we heard a brass band, apparently the local high school practice in he town square on a Wednesday evening.

Oban high school pipe band

We went up to McCaigs Tower  to admire the beautiful evening sun.

McCaig's Tower[1] is a prominent tower on the hillside (called Battery Hill[2]) overlooking McCaig's Tower[1] is a prominent tower on the hillside (called Battery Hill[2]) overlooking Oban in Argyll, Scotland. It is built of Bonawe granite taken from the quarries across Airds Bay, on Loch Etive, from Muckairn, with a circumference of about 200 metres with two-tiers of 94 lancet arches (44 on the bottom and 50 on top). It is built of Bonawe granite taken from the quarries across Airds Bay, on Loch Etive, from Muckairn, with a circumference of about 200 metres with two-tiers of 94 lancet arches (44 on the bottom and 50 on top). (wiki)

This makes me laugh, if the tide ever gets this high the rest of the UK is in serious trouble.

You get a view of the hills across the other side of Oban from inside the tower. 

view from inside McCaigs Tower

Then of course there was a random flower, just because I could.

Before we headed north we had to sort out a few issues with the car. It is thirteen years old and was due MOT'd the first week in July. We know it had a number of issues, some of them cosmetic and some of them possibly safety issues. We were not sure if it was going to be economically viable to spend money on it, so we popped it into the garage to let them have a look. The roads that we travelled on are not the best, twisty, narrow and a some points a bit hair raising. DH reckons they should have signs that say straight for two hundred yards rather than bends for half a mile, followed by another that sends double bends for half a mile.
So we really wanted to make sure our car was as safe as possible. One of the issues was our tyres, while they were not down to the legal minimum of 1.6 mm we prefer ours to be no lower than 3mm especially if it is raining on these type of roads.
One of the sites we could have looked to price up tyres and to arrange to have them fitted is Point S. They allow for ease of finding tyres in your area. You simply click your size. and type required, or pop in your registration number, and your postcode and then select your fitting centre that suits you, smooth and easy. Right now if you go to the website and buy two or more Avon tyres you also have the chance to win a brand new car - my dream win right now.

More wedding posts to follow.

This is a collaborative post but is all my own idea and photographs.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Project 365 week 23


I know I moan about my DH being a crabby old sh*te, but he does have a few useful traits, apart from washing, ironing, hoovering etc he is also handy for DIY. He has been re grouting the bathroom this week, and have to say it is looking much better.

looking better


The day I look after the twins while Bob goes to gymnastics. Normally we go for a walk round the fishery and play in the puddles, but it was blowing a gale and raining very very heavy, so had no notion to go out in it, even took the car the three quarters of a mile down to daughters house it was that bad. So we played indoors instead. We must have spent more than half an hour just playing on their cars with me pushing them backwards and forwards. They spent the whole time laughing. I really feel they have lost their baby looks in the last few weeks and are now looking like the toddlers that they are.

a collage of the gruesome twosome

You can watch our mad time here


For some strange reason have the only pictures I have taken today have been of a toad that DH found whilst cutting the grass, yes I am a nice wife who allows him to do that as well!!He made no attempt to jump at all so he got put in the wilder bit further down the garden, but he had gone later on that night.

a lazy toad


First dry wind free day we have had this week. Have been trying to get up and move one of the caches Bob and I have put out and moved a few times as it is in the wrong place. So as Bob was not available as he was having lots of fun at the pictures with his other Gran we went by ourselves. We went and moved cache No3 further away but it was still wrong. So decided to run with just three in the series instead of four.

admiring the tree


Have been working with Bob as part of his hobby Cub badge on geocaching. But we have been having issues on the placing of one of them. You can read more about it here. Here is Bob covering up one of the caches he re placed.

ayr gorge woodleands
covering it up


Car is away to the garage to get its MOT. As we were not out there was no need to send Bob down the road and so he was here till nearly 2pm. He was up in the loft helping granddad do stuff and found this disc shooter and decided to bring it down to play with. He told me I wasn't to get a picture of him shooting me and so he kept running off round the corner and behind the doors, but I got him.

a mutual gottcha 


Have been looking for a replacement wedding ring for a while now, lost mine a while ago. I don't tend to wear one all the time as I have allergy issues with jewellery but feel really awkward out without one especially if I am with DH as he always has his on, and do not want to be at the wedding without one, so this was bought as a replacement. It is titanium and it is suppose to be non allergenic, we will see what happens.
Not the clearest picture but will give you an idea. I don't like a plain band and spent a while looking through a large stock in a smallish shop, they had some lovely ones but settled for this.

my replacement

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Friday, 5 June 2015

Strawberry Omelette and vegetable frittata

One of the grandchildren's favourite meal is a pile of oven cooked vegetables with bacon and smoked pork sausage. Bob loves it because he helps me prepare the vegetables, I love it because it creates little mess, and Fifi loves it because she is toying with becoming a vegetarian, but still likes the flavour that the meat gives.

So yesterday Bob and I washed and chopped carrots and potatoes. No quantities specified as it depends how many you are feeding and what proportion of each veg you want.No hard and fast rules about what you can or cannot use either. A few soft tomatoes, an aubergine or courgettes, we just add what we have.  We then chopped peppers a red and a white onion.

Heat the oven to 180 oC, spread the chopped vegetable onto an oven tray and then we put in some cauliflower, green beans and broccoli from the freezer. Season to taste, sprinkle with oil and put in the oven for approx half an hour. Remove and add chopped bacon and a chopped smoke pork sausage. Return to oven for approx 20 mins until cooked. Stir through a tin of sweetcorn and serve.

Now when ever I am making this I make twice as much as I need, then on day two I can turn it into a frittata. Simply whisk two eggs per person with a little salt and pepper to season and pour over the cooked vegetable. Place in oven at 160 oC until vegetables are heated and egg is cooked through. Five minutes before the end of cooking top with some grated cheese and allow this time to melt.

Again you can be frugal here as this is very nice cold the next day for a packed lunch or to take on a picnic.This means you are only using one lot of electricity for the cooking.  We have the main advantage of keeping chickens therefore we have eggs available at any time we need them.

Eggs are very very versatile and you can also use them in an omelette, most people when they think of an omelette recipe you usually think plain or savoury, but we quite like a fruit omelette. This makes for a nice high protein breakfast, or again packs nicely for a lunch box or picnic if you omit the fruit and add that in time for serving.

When I make it for me I caramelise slices of banana and strawberries in some brown sugar and then pour two whisked eggs across the top as I cannot eat raw fruit.  But it does not make for a very photogenic picture. So if I am making it for DH or photographs I make a normal omelette, with added sugar and then when it is cooked place strawberry and banana slices on one half and then fold in half and serve.

This is a collaborative post but all ideas are my own.