Saturday, 20 July 2013

France here I come!

With the warm weather not abating and yesterday being a lovely evening, I made the decision to take up an offer from Mountain Man to watch him and his comrades in arms (better known as The Borders Search And Rescue Unit) on one of their annual outings to the Kelso Common Riding last night. This particular Ride Out and ensuing races being the culmination of Kelso Civic Week.

Kelso Civic Week is actually a whole week of activity, which is more than can be said for Gordon (where I live), as you can see from the pic.

The picture tells it all!

I arrived at the venue just in time to watch the procession headed by the Kelso Laddie. Once they'd all dismounted and got themselves ready there followed loads of races up the field. It was quite a controversial affair, as, at the end of all bar 2 of the races, there followed complaints by disgruntled non-winners.

The Kelso Laddie arrives

Lovely horse!

Mountain Man had a bit of work to do as there were a few fallers, but no-one had more than their pride dented.

Mountain Man gets ready for work

Tonight we head for the National Theatre live production of Macbeth at our local cinema in Galashiels. I always enjoy these productions as it's rather nice to be able to watch great theatre and eat popcorn at the same time!

Tomorrow I head for London, where I have a meeting on Monday and then on Tuesday I'm off to France for a week of R&R courtesy of my lovely schoolfriend, Sara, her enigmatic husband Krzyzstof and their absolutely beautiful 3 Great Danes.

Sara, Krzyzstof, MM and 3 gorgeous dogs a couple of years ago

I love going to stay with them as the weather is usually very good, the company supreme and the food... well it is France! Undoubtedly more pics when I get home.

Bon voyage, mes amis!

Monday, 15 July 2013

It's in the genes

Saturday proved not quite as quiet as I'd hoped courtesy of my next door neighbour's penchant for The Dave Clark Five. In the end I had to remove myself from the situation and go for an extended bike ride.

Luckily yesterday they toned it down a touch and I managed to potter for quite a bit of the day, which was just lovely. Mountain Man arrived home and we went out on our bikes in the heat of the afternoon, followed by a couple of martinis in the heat of the evening... heaven.

Today was fence painting day. We went and chose what's called 'Medium Oak', which was rather more orange than I'd catered for. The good thing about this is that, after painting the second coat, I realised choosing a colour that's close to my tan isn't such a bad thing as I'd managed to spatter myself good and proper, but it didn't show at all.

My tan is coming on a treat. I feel I'm almost ready for my trip to France next week and now look more European than Scottish. There are definitely some advantages to having Russian peasant stock genes.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

All's quiet

Having had No. 2 Son to stay for the week and Mountain Man coming and going again, I'm now left to a quiet weekend all on my own.

I took my son back to Edinburgh for a movie session yesterday. He, No. 1 Son and I went to see Pacific Rim. I had read a review somewhere (which conveniently has disappeared from the web) which urged me to see it. It wasn't terrible, but it just wasn't terribly good. Far more style over substance in my view. However, it was a birthday treat for No. 2 Son who is 27 today and that is a whole lot more scary than the movie!

After the movie we got a takeaway from the Noodle Bar and then I left them to it and headed back to the quiet of the house. Far too quiet for my liking.

I will do a bit of pottering in the garden, but given that Peter the Gardener came for his first session the other day and blitzed the whole place in a 6 hour marathon, which has left me little to do - and yes I know that's the point of having someone help out, I just didn't realise how much he'd do in his first session. I also didn't realise quite how guilty it would make me feel, but I'm sure I'll get over that one in time.

And finally, I will get on with my course, which seems to have taken a bit of a back seat lately, but with no excuses left I'll just have to settle down to it.

Mmmm... now where's that course manual? That'll be the first task then!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Highball to the ready

This last couple of days I've had No. 2 Son to stay. It's been so lovely.

I haven't even minded in the least that I've done mounds of washing and cooked meals in between the bike riding, the walking, the sitting in the sun reading and the playing games. Just so great to have him around.

Tonight it was lovely and warm and, having bought some limes today, was just the night for a G & T or two. I even found my highball glass that I brought back from the States in 1979 when I came back to live in this country which always seems to make the G & T experience so much better.

Me and my highball glass
I shall be sad to see my boy go.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Needing good vibes

After posting my June coffee plant update I noticed there were a few creepy crawly-type flies in the soil of the two weaker plants, so before the Andy Murray match came on yesterday I went down to the garden centre in Kelso and sought advice.

I came away with some spray stuff and strict instructions to re-pot them. On the way to the till I came across some Baby Bio plant food tablets and decided to purchase them too. It seemed like a good idea if I was going to jolt them totally out of their comfort zone that I try and give them something to ameliorate the situation.

And so, at just after 9 pm last night, in the quiet of the greenhouse where only the pepper and chilli plants could see, I shook the poor little only just-green souls out of their homes, chucked out the soil and re-homed them.

I sprayed the new soil, stuck in a couple of food tablets, took them back up to their spot on the windowsill, watered them and prayed.

As you are aware, doing anything with coffee plants that involves moving of any sort does not bode well and I was incredibly worried that they would have a heart-attack and that would be that, so I'm really pleased to be able to tell you that they survived the night. In fact they did more than survive... they look quite perked up today. I don't know if this will last and maybe it's just a rally before the finale, but I had to do something.

Just for good measure, and because I don't want any complaints, I gave their bigger greener sibs a couple of food tablets each too. And they too have looked a bit perkier with their top leaves a little more upright today.

I'm keeping my hopes up here and further reporting will be done as and when. All good vibes will be gratefully accepted.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

I cried!

I was so overemotional after Andy Murray won, I couldn't contain myself and I actually cried.

What an amazing match and Murray, in my opinion, deserved to win. I couldn't believe some of the tennis played and I was totally keyed up by the end so a few tears were to be expected.

It didn't help that earlier in the day I'd been making some soup and managed to break my lovely blender. Luckily it is still under guarantee so I have to make a trip to John Lewis tomorrow to see what can be done.  I think it was down to a bit of stupidity on my part, but now I don't have a blender and I don't have any soup either as it had too many bits of plastic in from the blended spatula and had to be thrown out.

It did strike me as rather amusing that on one of the hottest and most beautiful days I was sitting inside watching the telly. It also was a bit ironic that I was making soup too, though that was to be a cold one, but cooking and hot days don't usually go together in my world.

So that's the end of this year's Wimbledon. And in spite of a few hiccups on the way and a few quite awful matches (the women's final for example), finally all's well that ends well as they say!

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

And Murray continues... just!

Tonight was supposed to see me, ardent tennis fan, at a drink and draw event in Edinburgh. I thought all matches at Wimbledon would be finished by 7. How wrong could I be?

I was really looking forward to drinking and drawing. Life drawing with wine thrown in to loosen people up. Luckily it was not too far from where I stay as it was cancelled and with Andy Murray and Fernando Verdasco at 4 all in the final set in the quarter finals I rushed home to watch the end.

Phew... I'm so pleased I did. Heartstopping, yes. But Murray showed his strength, mental and physical, to come through.

Sad in a way that the drink and draw was cancelled as the tutor couldn't make it, it sounded like it was going to be a blast, but great to see Murray come through such a tough match. Let's hope he plays better in the semi's or I might just have to settle down with a bottle of wine and a drawing pad on my own. Actually that's not a bad idea....