Friday 31 August 2018

Have rucksack will travel.

We live on the west coast of Scotland and  one thing that is unpredictable is the weather. We are well known for four seasons in one day. So this means when we go out we need to be prepared for any eventuality.  A body warmer, a base layer fleece jacket, a windproof waterproof  breathable jacket, and some waterproof trousers and in the winter months a neck tube and gloves -  Ski wear is not just for the ski slopes. Well they do say there is no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing.

We got out and about a lot with the dog so it also includes water and a bowl for her as well as her jacket, they all have to be carried. It's also a good idea to keep your pup calm during long days out. A dose of hemp oil with CBD for dogs can help reduce any anxiety. This way, the trip can be kept memorable and calm. I was lucky enough to win a fab rucksack the other week and so I now take it out when I go leaving hubby with the older one.

I had put my bag down while I ducked under trees to get a cache

When I heard that one of my blogging friend Fozia from Muslim Mummy was coming to Scotland for a few days holiday we decided to meet up at The Kelpies in Falkirk.  This for us entailed travelling from the west coast across to the east coast and who knew what the weather would be like when we got there. We travelled through some rain at Glasgow but apart from that all seemed to be good. We have visited the Kelpies a few times in the past both by day and at night to see them lit up.

Hubby and Dixie in front of the Kelpies 

So we met with Fozia for just over half an hour as she was trying to fit in as much as she could into her day.

Fozia and I in front of the kelpies. 

 I have to say the girls were more interested in Dixie dog than they were the actual kelpies.

Fozia;s daughters took turns in walking with the dog

So we set about doing some caches before heading off.

an old camera with the working taken out makes a novel cache container 

found a painted rock but not the cache 

Next off we went to The Falkirk Wheel, and yes we played lazy and took the car the four miles. I may well have taken a bike had we had one as there is a fab path all the way from one to another right along the canal. You pay £3 to park for the day but have free access to the grounds in an evening.

We have been here before as well on more than one occasion including with DD1 and the grandkids when the twins were young toddlers. We rode the wheel the first time we came about 15 years ago. This time we were going for the sake of a walk and to pick up some more caches.

the view from the top car park

watching the barge come up

It turns out that Fozia and her family were on the barge you can see, and she spotted us and sent me a message to say she was on it, so of course we had to get a picture for her.

Fozia and the girls 

watching the boat turn round 

Dixie dog had a lot of fun 

There are plenty of other attractions on the site to appeal to the whole family including zorbing and the bumper boats as well as a great play park.

a view across the complex

zorbing looked fun

needed the waterproof trousers to fight through to this cache. ( I put it back on the ground)

shame there is a need for such a sign. 

there are lots of rocks in differing shapes

We headed back tom the car just before four and decided to go and get something to eat, and by then decided we may as well head somewhere else as the motorway would be busy and no point in spending two or three hours getting home when we could spend that time exploring some more.

I use to live near Falkirk years ago and my children were all brought up there but we only really went to one end of Callendar Park but it has a massive woods extending out from the grounds and play park my children knew so we headed off to one of the other car parks to do some more caching.

There were a lot of signs up highlighting the cycle paths that were prominent in the woods.

the sun was beginning to set when we arrived

there was a cache under the boardwalk

lots of information signs 

we spotted two deers, the other one only the head is visible. 

All in all we were out the house for nearly twelve hours so taking all the clothes with us is a very sensible idea.

I have to say my favourite item of clothing is my waterproof trousers. They come in handy not just for keeping you dry but keeping you clean as well..

One of the hazards of rural living combined with dog walking is the mud.

been raining down the woods making it rather boggy

It is much easier to come back from a muddy walk with your waterproof trousers muddy as they are so easy to wipe and it saves you coming back with your trousers looking like this.

dried mud on the trousers

They also protect your own trousers from staining when out picking blackberries

Dixie helping to pick blackberries

picking blackberries with wellies and waterproof trousers on

I got my waterproof trousers from Simply Hike.

The Mens Deluge Waterproof Trousers from Berghaus is a classic waterproof overtrouser now made from Berghaus Hydroshell rather than AQ2 and are ideal for hiking and trails that easily pulls on over regular walking trousers for guaranteed water protection. Designed to be comfortable and practical, the Deluge Pant comes with an elasticated waist to fit over any lower layers and zips on the side of the legs for quick removal. The lightweight materials and articulated knees also allow for a great range of movement, making these trousers ideal for more active pursuits.

They are great, they unpop and unzip all the way down making it easy to get them on and off over your boots. They are waterproof and breathable and are comfortable enough to wear when cycling, or walking, no need to worry about stopping to put them on if it starts raining. I find it pays to put them on before I start cycling with the organised cycle rides saves stopping and holding everybody up. The zips also unzip from the top to allow access to your trouser pockets.

We have also acquired two new pairs of wellies this week, so we are all set now for the Scottish weather. Had to laugh the ones I bought had a tag on telling me they were waterproof, pretty useless pair of wellies if they are not!!  Just need to get a decent jacket for Dixie, need her to be dry and visible come the winter, she is hard enough to see in the woods in amongst the leaves let alone in the dark.

This is a collaborative post but we had all the fun using the products provided.


Saturday 25 August 2018

Project 365 week 34


Been doing bits and pieces of cross stitching. This is another one I have finished. Have to say it looks better from further away than it does close up.


The gruesome twowome started school today so I went down this morning to wish them luck and wave them off. They were both very excited. No tears at all. DD1 took them and brought them back this week, next week it will be a taxi, though DD1 not pleased that the taxi is exempt from needing car seats and does not use them. Sadly in the event of an accident that exemption wont save them!!

I hope they do as well as Fifi who did amazingly well in her exams this year and makes all of us proud on a regular basis.


A normal day, housework, walk the dog and then watching these three for half an hour while DD1 re-registered the twins for dancing classes. Was easy to leave them with me that take them as she wanted to bath them before she went out and did not want to have to redress them. They both enjoyed it last year and wanted to go back. We read stories and played various games including pop up pirates.


DD2 came down to drop Bob back off, She had her twenty week scan before she came down. She is to go back for another scan in two weeks when she sees the consultant.

Got our Sky fitted today. Have to chuckle they turn up wearing a harness to enable them to climb approx three feet off the ground, a hard hat, with ear defenders and a face mask attached. The safety equipement was on the whole time the two of them were here, even when in the house.


Little Miss Ziggy turns two today. I made a birthday cake for her and DD1, Bob and Spud came round for a while. We let Spud have a go at blowing them out as well.

Once they had gone home hubby dog and I went for a walk round the beach park in Irvine and did some shopping.

in the evening I went to my first Clean Up Tarbolton Woods Committee meeting.


Made lunch for work at the weekend.I am very unimaginative and really tend to rotate a similar idea most weeks. Difficult to come up with new things, with the limitations I have, but only thing I can guarantee is edible for me is the chips, and that is not my idea of a lunch at 11.30 am.

So this week I cooked up some wholemeal spaghetti, oven cooked some carrot and parsnip strips with a finely choped onion and a chopped tomato. I dry fried some turkey mince and stirred it all together with some egg fre mayo.

Made a sugar free raspberry jelly and stirred through some cooked fruit and left it to set.


I had spotted an offer to try an electric bike, its a Home Energy Scotland initiative to encourage more people to cycle to work. They are offering interest free loans to buyone. I have spoken to them and I am going to borrow one for the three week maximum you can borrow them for and take it all over Ayrshire and blog about it.I am going for the foldable one so I can fit it in the car. Have told them I am not in a position to buy one but they are still happy enough to lend me one to blog about. This is one of the forms I need to fill in.

Friday 24 August 2018

5 Essentials To Improve Your Pet's Life

Adopting a pet can significantly change your life in ways you wouldn’t have suspected otherwise. However,
if you want to develop a strong and powerful bond with your new furry friend, you need to work actively to
make their life better too. Indeed, a pet is not just an exciting gift you get for Christmas. It’s a long-term
commitment. Consequently, you need to understand everything that pet adoption and pet ownership involve to
ensure that you can have the same positive effect on your pet’s life than it has on yours.
Let’s assume that you’re ready to commit to love and look after a pet – cat or dog. Don’t be fooled into thinking
that your responsibilities stop at feeding and providing a roof! You have a lot more to give to become a dream
pet owner for your dog or cat. In fact, you’ll be surprised to know to these are the top 5 essentials that most owners
tend to forget.

#1. Get an insurance cover
While receiving medical treatment through the NHS is free, it’s not the same for your pet. Veterinary treatment
comes at a price – and you’ll find it extremely high if you have never had to pay for a medical appointment in the
past. On top of the appointment, you will also face high bills for your pet’s surgery requirements. As an example,
surgery on a cat following the absorbing of a hairband can cost around £800. On the other hand, if you were to undergo
an appendicectomy – aka if you were to have your appendix removed –, it wouldn’t cost you anything.
Ultimately, the difference here is the health insurance cover. While the NHS covers for most of your personal
medical costs, you have to pay for your pet’s costs. Consequently, taking insurance cover is not just helpful in
terms of prevention. It is essential to look after your pet without breaking the bank!

#2. Massage your pet
Do you love the sensation of a massage when you’re feeling tensed and nervous? A good massage can
relax your shoulder and back area and help you to relax. Your dog and your cat, if they enjoy being petted, can a
lso benefit from a massage. First of all, a massage lets you establish a trust bond with your animal. It’s also
an excellent way of checking on your pet’s health, as you can notice skin and muscle issues early. As a general
rule of the thumb, a pet can experience pain relief through a massage and reduced tensions, which makes it a
fantastic alternative support for arthritic dogs.

#3. Yes, your pet can get stressed too
Everybody gets stressed in life, whether you’ve just received an unexpected bill or you’re stuck in a traffic jam.
Dog and cat also struggle with stress issues for a variety of reasons. However, while you can use a mediation
app or find a therapist to help you through your problems, your dog will need a different approach.
An effective and safe calming treatment is the natural dog CBD oil, which can be used to treat anxiety and
boost appetite. You’ll find the oil in different forms, from capsules to treats, so you might need to try a few options
before finding what works for your dog. Cats also respond to natural ingredients, catnip being the most famous
of them. You can help your cat to experience stress relief through the consumption of the plant –
but it’s also beneficial to humans!

#4. Play at least 15 mins a day
A cat or a dog is a companion. It’s not an item of decor that you can forget when you’ve got no time.
Consequently, it’s essential to maintain regular interaction with your pet. Playing with your dog or cat
at least once a day keeps your animal mentally, physically and emotionally fit. In fact, an animal that is
left unattended can develop boredom, depression and destructive habits. When all you need is
15 minutes to strengthen your bond, it would be a pity not to take the time.

#5. Create their room
When you adopt an animal, you agree to share your home with them. Of course, it doesn’t mean you should
make room for them in the wardrobe. But ultimately, your pet needs a space to call their own. Just like you’ve
got your bedroom, your dog or cat needs a bedding solution too, where they can relax. Cats also enjoy climbing toys,
from a cat tree to floating shelves as the construction allows them to stay agile. In fact, if you want to avoid
accidental damages at home, you’d better find a climbing toy to keep your cat occupied!

In conclusion, there’s only one question left to ask, and it’s not whether you’re guilty of forgetting any of these
essentials. It’s: When do you start to do everything right for your pet?

This is a collaborative post.

Saturday 18 August 2018

Project 365 week 33


An evening walk round the fishery with the lights of the village twinkling on the pond.


A nice letter telling me about a win. Not saying what I won as it will be used as a present for the grandchildren at some point.


A wet rainy day with an afternoon walk. The wild sunflowers have done better than our ones and were certainly attracting the bees.


A visit day to Stirling. We leave Fifi dog sitting for us. A walk round the fishery in the morning before hand with the dog and then back round in the evening. The guinea fowl were making an awful racket. Lilly dog would have had to have been put on her lead as she would have chased them, Dixie dog does not bother with them at all.


An amazing fun day at Calderglen Park with DD1 and the grandchildren. You can read about it all here. 

In the evening I attended the AGM for the Clean up Tarbolton Woods group. I have added various pictures when we have been down there. They have made a massive difference to the woods in the last year and it is so much more pleasurable to be down there. They were looking to recruit new members to help out so me being me I decided to volunteer. Looking forward to helping out in whatever way I cam.


My poor little fit bit fell to pieces. Going to try a spot of superglue later on to see if I can sort it. Did contact fitbit and as it is out of guarantee they offered me 25% off another one. Still means I have to find 75% so guess I am going to have to hope the glue works.


As my regular readers will know I have been joining in with organised cycle rides with the Active Travel Hub and I joined in with a bingo game they were running last month. I managed to complete all sixteen tasks which put me in a draw to win a bike. I was told only three of us were in the draw but sadly I did not win first prize of a new bike, but I did win a Proviz REFLECT360 back pack. I love my rucksacks and this is a great prize for me and will be well used. . I also qualified for a bike tool kit and a travel mug. No more bent spoon handles for me anymore as the tool kit has tyre levers in it.

The rucksack pic was taken in the dark this morning with the flash, so showing up as it would when out using it.

Friday 17 August 2018

A day out at Calderglen Park

The gruesome twosome will be off to school on Monday, going to be a shock to theis system, going by bus, being away all day and having to go for a school dinner is a lot to take on board for a four year old but thats the way it is. I am sure they will settle in fine along with the rest of them. 

Anyway I had said to daughter about getting some days out with them during the holidays and so as this is the last week we fitted in another day. 

We decided to held to Calderglen Country Park. A place I have never been before and last time DD1 ad her friend went was back in February and that day they did less than fifteen minutes in the park before they decided it was to cold to stay any longer. I have never been before but it is a faily straight through road going through Stathaven rather than up the motorway and round the dozens of roundabouts in East Kilbride to get there. 

Calderglen Country Park has a children's zoo, tropical glasshouse, ornamental gardens, nature trails, adventure & toddler Play areas, Gift shop, Cafe, exhibition gallery, Golf Course and a whole lot more.

It was drizzling as we got out of the car so we decided to head to the mini zoo they have. This needs to be paid for but at £1.45 an adult and 50p for children with under 3's going free the six of us got in for under a fiver. 

So we wandered from place to place and doubled back to some of the displays as the children had found the intersting. There are indoor bits as well as a large section outside as well. 

Below are a selection of photos taken though in no particular order. 

This bit was quite funny there is a glass window you can peer into and if you look in there is a grizzly bear head ( not real) and I did not realise this and I was stood at the side playing with the buttons that made noises, one of them being a tropical storm, and I so happened to press the button at the exact same time as Fifi has stuck her head in and spotted the bear, and to say the least she got rather a fright and jumped back, and which point her mother knotted herself laughing

miniture turtles and gesome geckos 

Evie's favourite - a baby burrowing owl

dwarf cavendish banana flowers. 

a Fennec fox

one of the algee eaters, they were massive and must have been there for a number of years 

discussing the different types of venus flytrap plants

looking at the harvest mice

rather cute harvest mice 

Spud at the harvest mice 

I did not venture into this area as there was a massive ( about 6ft) model of a spider above their heads

leaf ants carrying pieces across the ropes strung round the building 

watching the fish and the small marmoset monkies 

loved the refelction of Dinky peering in at the fish 

looking for the meerkats. 

what a great plan by the porcupine, womder if us humans could adapt it. 

prairie dog

climbing on the wall 

trying to wake up the walabies

round at the rabbits 

Minky a bit concerned with the storm noise 

on our way out 

wandering round to the picnic area

picnic time, the cups and crisps were blowing off the table 

After the picnic we went and sent a couple of hours in the park. The park has an awful lot of rquipement in it. Seesaws. a big enclosed slide, a few swings as well as a tic tac toe game. They had two slides built into the hillside which is where ours spent a lot of the time. I have to say the climb back up was rather steep and my front thigh muscles ache today. Not sure how many times I went up and down but was dozens,

climbing back up the hill 

feet first down the slide 

Fifi helping Spud up so they could go down the slide 

going down together, they spent ages doing this 

bouncing on the trampoline 

Dinky sat on the wooden bear

playing tic tac toe

Fifi amusing Spud 

Fifi following Spud down the slide 

The older two were using the two slides to race each other to the bottom and back up again, and Bob was running down the side of the slide when Minky was on it, so at one point when Bob went on it Minky decided to run down the side to see if he couls beat him to the bottom. Why do younger children always have to copy the older ones when they are not physically capable of  doing it? He came a cropper at the end, you can see it on the video but luckily enough no major damage done.

Bob takes the cargo net

Fifi taking Spud up the big slide 

At one point Spud had managed to get herself up inside this slide, nt sure quite how she managed it, but then got up the first part of this ladder and got stuck on the second part. I had to yell Fifi across to rescue her as I could not find anyway for a lady of my build to get through the tubes designed for children. Thankfully she got to her before she fell.

a nice picture of Mimky 

Minky on the wooden bear

a statue near the entrance/exit 
On the way into the play area Fifi and I had spotted a sign for a waterfall so we decided to take a wander and have a look before we headed back to the car.

Was not an impressive waterfall and I expected it to be at the top of the hill not the bottom.

a small waterfall 

After we had been to the waterfall Bob and I decided to pick up a cache that was not far away. Minky and Spud came with is and Fifi and Minky went with DD1 to the benches and sat and waited. I sent Bob scrabling under the bushed to retrieve it. 

rolling downhil 

Maybe go back one day with hubby and dog as there are more caches there as well as

The park extends along a scenic wooded glen forged out by the Rotten Calder River, a tributary of the River Clyde. The Glen extends over 5km and has many attractive waterfalls and important geological features.
so it sounds great for a good walk.

Country Kids linky