Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What a difference a week makes

We have one of those automatic lights that you can set to come on. This is partly so that those up to no good will think that we're home, but also because it's so nice to come into a house that has a light on (ok I know this is a waste of electricity - but it is an eco friendly bulb).

Well last night I was sitting watching TV around 6.30 and couldn't work out why it was so dark in the living area, and thought the light wasn't working. But then was informed that the light wasn't due to come on until 7. It made me realise that the nights are drawing in now.

However, having not had to go to work for almost a week and leaving at my usual time of 6.45 am, I was particularly shocked this morning to find that it was dark out there. So it's not just the nights, but the mornings too.

It's not going to be too long before I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark. Oh joy of joys.

Monday, 27 September 2010

On a losing streak

Yesterday was a bit of a loser's day.

I had the last club bowls competition of the season, and the idea is that you turn up and get picked out of a hat to play with a partner. Only 4 of us turned up so we decided to go ahead and play anyway, and yes... I lost again. Actually I didn't play all that badly and neither did my partner, it's just that we couldn't co-ordinate our good play. Still the weather was fine and it was nice to be outside.

Then my beloved and I went to a pub quiz at The Fisherman's Arms in Birgham in the evening to generate money in aid of The Borders Search and Rescue Unit. We had lovely fish and chips with the best tartare sauce I've had for a while. We joined together with a couple who had just moved into the village, and we managed to not do too well there either, coming around 6th out of about 10 with the grand score of 67 out of 100. The winners got 96, so we weren't even close.

Will my losing streak ever end?

Friday, 24 September 2010

A whole new beginning?

I took the momentous decision to give up my work as I know it and plunge myself into the unknown territory of not doing what I've been doing! Of course this will bring a lot of changes, and also of course these things don't happen overnight, so I still have to work in my current position for another month but after that it's all change. What we've decided is that I'll still work there but only on 'special projects'... though of course these are unknown and in all probability don't actually exist, but at least I leave on friendly terms or I suppose you could say that I leave but I don't leave. All very exciting.

Just one slight fly in the ointment and that is my secretary told me I had loads of holiday still to take, but on questionning it, it was discovered that because no-one had updated my annual leave entitlement when I dropped a day, so it now turns out that I probably owe them rather than the other way round. Though I have to say it doesn't feel like I've had any holiday time, and that's because in order to do the other jobs I do I've taken leave from this one. So effectively all my holiday time has been spent working, apart from my lovely week in France... ah well.

Anyway, that currently leaves me with only 3 jobs, all of them part-time. Wah hey... it's the good life for me then!

Monday, 20 September 2010

A visit to the dentist

Today I had a visit to my dentist, the Delightful Chris, who as far as dentists go is the nicest, kindest, most gentle one that I've been to. I've been going to him ever since moving south and he came highly recommended by my friend N. Whenever she recommends someone I always pay attention as she's no pushover that's for sure.

Previously the Delightful Chris was housed in the bowels of Optical Express on George Street, Edinburgh. It somewhat worried me that a dentist who spends his whole day underground without so much as a peak at a window, and one who's housed in an opticians at that, would most probably suffer with some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder and would then take it out on me. So I was pleasantly surprised at just how normal the Delightful Chris always seemed.

And now he's moved to very deluxe premises in Dublin Street, conveniently placed down the road from Harvey Nicks in a lovely building, with light streaming in from the windows and I think has gone some way to prove my theory re SAD and underground dentists as he was unbelievably bouncy and up. To add to the general cheeriness he even offered me discount on a new night time device to stop me grinding my teeth.

I decided to accept the offer just in case my theory's wrong and by the next time he's back to being gentle and kind without the bounciness and the discount.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Wasting resources

A great weekend of doing not much at all. My beloved is away and not due back until later tonight, so I've been walking the dog, exercising and getting on with the ubiquitous cleaning. I've also had the guilty pleasure of having the heating on, which I know is a bit of a waste of resources but autumn is almost upon us and it has definitely gotten colder. So I'm currently luxuriating in a lovely warm house.

I've also been wasting my brain resources too as I've been playing a stupid game on my iPhone which is totally addictive. It's called Lineup and it was only when I realised I'd been playing for well over half and hour that I realised it was time to stop. It's an absolutely ridiculous waste of time, but it's my current favourite.

Luckily my boredom threshold is pretty low, so this one won't last too long.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Home again

Back home after a hectic, but fruitful time in London.

Meetings went without too much of a hitch, and the Mindfulness workshop I did with my friend Jenny had good feedback. We did the workshop in Syon House, which belongs to the Duke of Northumberland and is, I think, his London pied-a-terre. As you can see from the photo, if he has friends to stay I doubt there will be a need for anyone to sleep on the couch.

Magnificent eh?

But somewhat quirkily I found something that I thought was even more magnificent. I was wandering around Mayfair and spotted a full size horse sculpture standing in the window of what looked like another rather fancy pad. I did wonder why they decided not to draw the curtains as all and sundry could look in, but maybe it's because they wanted to show off their masterpiece.

Not a great photo, but this was taken around 9.30 pm after a rather delicious dinner at Miyama my favourite Japanese restaurant which included 2 sake martinis. So under the circumstances I think I did pretty well.

After our workshop Jenny and I decided to treat ourselves and go for a drink.  We ended up in Trader Vic's on Park Lane and splashed the cash on a couple of Raffles Bar Gin Slings, which are a fab concoction of gin, lime, liqueurs and ginger beer. They went down rather well, but thank goodness Jenny had to get back to where she was staying otherwise we might have been tempted to have more.

And finally, I played the bowls handicap final today and even with a 6 point start I lost 17-21. I was very disappointed as I thought I actually had a bit of a chance, but having not played for a couple of weeks I was really off form. Never mind will just have to try again next year. My fear is that having got through to the final I'll have points taken away next year, and let's face it, I need all the help I can get.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Off again

No grandchild appeared yesterday, which was a bit disappointing. However, the good news is that we managed to clean up a bit and we now have a clean house. We also had a lovely walk down by the river when the sun was shining and followed by a relaxing evening a deux.

Today I'm off to the Big Smoke for a week's worth of work, catching up with family and friends, and eating and drinking too much too no doubt. I do like visiting London but only for short periods of time, but as the weather is not terribly good here and it promises to be several degrees warmer there, I feel good about going.

Meanwhile my coffee plants seem to be flourishing, and although there has been a bit of shedding so far the mass shed hasn't happened... I'm just hoping I haven't jinxed it by mentioning it. But I am pleased about a couple of things. Having spent so much money to get the lamp and the automatic watering set up for them, it now feels worthwhile. I can go away without so much as a thought about them and know that all will be fine.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Grandson alert!

Last night I received a phone call from my beloved's daughter to say that she, her man, Gerry, and Nathan, the grandson, might call round tomorrow. They're out seeking the warmer spots of Scotland (they live in Glasgow) and have spent the last few weekends heading west to the beach as the weather has been lovely out that way. Apparently tomorrow the sun is heading for Kelso and its surrounds, hence them coming in this direction.

This left me in a bit of a panic. Most of the phone call was spent telling me how much Nathan has grown and how he has his hands into everything. I took one look around the house and realised how completely child unfriendly we've become. When they were last here we had a picnic in the garden and Nathan was just walking, so much of his energy was spent doing that. But now he's 'into things' in a big way.

I've tried to tidy up and put things out of the way, but frankly I've given up. I've decided that we'll just have to distract him and hope for the best!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Season of mists

What a drive into work today. Thick mist, which suddenly dissipated and in it's place was bright, bright sunshine, and then back into pockets of thick mist. This was all the way into Edinburgh and was just fantastic.

Makes me pleased to be alive!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Another win

Today I was at work in my office in Edinburgh when I happened to notice a box that had my name on it on my secretary's desk. When I asked her about it she apologised profusely and said it was my prize as part of the winning team in our annual away day event. We had had to produce a newspaper front page for which there were events that were going on all day and each team had to take photos and write up the bizarre happenings. Contrary to my thoughts about my team's efforts, we won. However, as I had to go to France very early the next day, I left before the dinner and no-one told me how well my team had done, and I was blissfully unaware of the whole thing.

Anyway, I was thrilled to receive a mug (no comments thank you!) as my competitiveness will out no matter what the task or the prize.

Now I just have the final of the Gordon bowls handicap to play. I wonder if I can make it another win, but maybe that's a wonder too far!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Nothing to do with me

Well folks, not only did the weather stay fine for the bowls competition, but we got through to the semi finals! We also won £20 between the two of us for the honour which was just as much a shock for me as getting through to the semis.

Sadly I have to admit that I played pretty badly and it was only thanks to JT that we did as well as we did. There's another competition coming up on October 2nd, and I just have to hope that I haven't put him off totally and he finds something better to do on that day. He was saying he wasn't playing well today, but from where I was standing it was very good and I only wish I could play as well.

Still something to work towards.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Better late than never

After my last post summer arrived, and we have had 3 fantastically sunny, warm days. Heating has gone off, shorts have gone on, and all is well in the world.

I'm so hoping that this lasts until Sunday as I have a bowls competition. An old friend of mine who is actually a brilliant player said he wanted to come down and play in a competition with me, and this weekend is it. I think he just wants to have a bit of a laugh. He's played at the Scottish finals before now, though he reliably informs me that this year he's playing crap. So that's ok as I have a feeling his crap is in a totally different league from mine. I play really badly in the rain, and he says he does too, so please do some kind of sun dance to keep the sun around, or at least the rain at bay... that way we might have a chance of having a bit of fun.

Meanwhile my beloved went off to Ireland at 5am this morning. He has an event in Ireland to medic at, and will return home on Monday and then will have to scoot down to Bristol as he's moving No. 2 son's things to his new home down there and Monday and Tuesday are pretty much the only days going free for about 3 weeks.

So my youngest has finally flown the Scottish nest and has headed south of the Border to start a new life in England. He's going to uni to study Philosophy and it's taken him several years to come to the conclusion of what he really wants to do. I'm very happy for him of course, but having him so far away is a real wrench. No more cosy lunches in Edinburgh's less salubrious spots, no more cosy chats in the student style doss house, no more arguments/disagreements (at least not face to face for a while). But the good news is that it's No. 1 son's birthday in November and No. 2 has promised to return, and Christmas (I can't believe I've mentioned it!) will see another return of the prodigal.

Lots to look forward to then.