Saturday, 28 June 2014

Signing off

It's Wimbledon, which means that for the next couple of weeks I become (a bit!) tennis obsessed. I've decided I won't bore you with it all, nor will I bore you with details of my latest bout of illness, nor my rants at BT, nor Odi's latest adventures. Instead I've decided to sign off the blog for a few weeks and give myself, as well as you, a rest.

Before I go I'm attaching a few very fetching photos of our latest visitor... a hedgehog, who was on a suicide mission heading from our back alley onto the main road. We decided to give it a chance to change its mind and brought it in and put it in our back garden under the hedge. I'm pleased to say we haven't seen it since and there's no sign of an ex-hedgehog on the road. Phew!

'You're not going to stop me'

'Really you're not'
'You stopped me!"
Odi says hello to the hedgehog

And a final photo, which is of Odi (of course) at her visit to Camera Obscura this afternoon. We went to see No. 2 Son at work and have a go on the stairs and look at a few of the attractions. We hadn't quite realised it was the first day of the school holidays and it was a bit crowded, but Odi coped magnificently. She loved it as you can see from the smile on her face.

So that's it for now. See you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


I usually manage to blog a couple of times per week but the last few days or so I've felt particularly disconnected. This might have had something to do with me not feeling particularly well, not really sure, but this has been a bit of a nothing-happening week for the most part. Here's a quick resume for you:

Last Friday I went to the Borders Book Festival in Melrose where I helped out on the Borders Writers Forum table and listened to a great talk by 7 authors, who are all local. I couldn't really stay terribly long and managed to do my stint and then had to rush off to relieve Odi, who was home alone as Mountain Man was off on an event looking after all those sterling folk who walk/run for charity.

After a mostly relaxing weekend where I managed to cobble together a poem for my poetry course and spend hours angsting over it, Monday saw Odi and I at a Guide Dog Training event at the Museum of Flight. This entailed 8 Guide Dog pups going on and off a couple of aeroplanes a few times. Odi did really well, but I managed to bang my head on the very low door of the bus that took us from one end of the airfield to the other. I don't have any pics sadly.

I was ill the whole of yesterday and, although I'd have preferred to stay home today and recover, I had a very long work meeting about a conference I'm supposed to help organise and so had to get myself together and scoot into Edinburgh for the day.

And tonight I'm off out with No. 2 Son who's coming with me as my meat eater to a restaurant I'm reviewing for The Food and Drink Guide. It's advertorial copy and not being a food critic and is usually fun to do.

And that's pretty much it. Hopefully will feel back up to full strength soon.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Do thoughts come true?

Because it's not easy where my house/taps are I usually take my car to the diy car wash in Kelso which costs £1 (if I'm quick) for a shampoo and set for my lovely Audi TT.

Today I needed to go to Kelso anyway, so decided to go for a wash. Little did I know that when I had that thought it was literally going to come true. The hot wax brush was leaking so when I pressed the trigger I got completely soaked.

I have to admit that it took a moment or two for me to see the funny side and next time I'll make damn sure I stipulate in my thoughts that it's a wash for my car I'm needing, not a wash!

Sunday, 8 June 2014

A working Sunday...

... for Odi at least.

Today we had to go to Torwordlee Golf Course in Galashiels for a Guide Dog fundraising activity. The Golf Club were putting on a special tournament to raise funds and Odi's job was to go and hang out, look pretty and be nice to the punters. She did very well at it too and even managed to go to sleep for a while. It's hard work but someone has to do it!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tales from London

Well I have to say that London was 'interesting'. Work was work and ok, but my mother was in a foul mood and I escaped whenever I could manage it when not working so I could spend as short an amount of time with her as possible.

On Monday night I went out to dinner with my niece and her fiance. We had a lovely evening but the restaurant made us wait an hour for our table and our annoyance (and hunger) was slightly ameliorated by the fact that we bumped into Harrison Ford who held the door for us. It's always a bit sad when you meet your heroes and they don't quite match up to expectation. I wasn't so phased by the fact that he was a whole lot shorter than I'd ever imagined, but more that he was wearing an earring in his left ear which looked incongruous and just didn't fit my perceptions at all. Ah well... the company was good and the food, although average was, palatable.

Last night I went out with my cousin from the US. We spent a lot of our time together when we were young and I adored his parents and grandmother (his grandfather died before I was born) and it's always great when we get together. We went to Langan's to spend my £100 voucher (easy peasy) and had a delicious meal accompanied by some good live jazz. If you ever go there do try the spinach souffle, which is just fantastic. I left a good review on Trip Advisor this time.

One of the interesting things about getting together with people who you grew up with is that they have things to tell that you never realised... and in my case it was that Michael, who's a few years younger than me, was intimidated by me when we were in our teens. I never used to wear shoes - well I was a bit of a hippy - and apparently Michael, who's always been a bit of a geek (in a lovely way) couldn't quite get over that. It was an unexpected turn of conversation that opened up some very fond memories.

The stuff with my mother had some hysterical moments, like when I was getting ready to go out and she wanted me to post her 2nd class letters before 6.30 pm. I couldn't work out why she needed them posted that evening as I was sure one day for a 2nd class letter would make little difference but she was having none of it and, just as I was going to capitulate and not have that bath I was hoping for, she snatched them out of my hand and went off to post them herself. She didn't take her keys and when she returned I didn't hear the doorbell, so she enlisted the help of members of the Met who stand outside the Egyptian embassy almost opposite her house who rang me to ask me to let her in. Sadly I thought it was very funny... my mother, needless to say, wasn't amused!

I spent some of my non-mother time at the Veronese exhibition at the National Gallery, which happily inspired a poem for my poetry course. I was struggling to write anything for this week's assignment so it's a relief that something is in writing. 

After a few days with a bit of culture, a bit of hysterics and some work it's lovely to be home again in the damp greyness that seems to be the summer so far in the Borders, relaxing in my pj's and having a happy puppy to spread good cheer and a man who cooked me my dinner. Definitely good to be home.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Off to a sunnier place

I've been enjoying the wonderful weather by taking the dog for walks and spending as much time sitting in the sun reading as I can. Sadly we're due rain here in the Scottish Borders tomorrow, which is actually ok by me as I'm heading south to London for meetings and work and dinners, one with my niece and the other with my American cousin. The weather is supposed to be lovely down there for the next few days, so you won't hear me complaining.

The dinner with my American cousin is at Langan's Brasserie, which, if you're an avid reader of this blog, you'll know I had a crap meal there back on Mother's Day and they gave me a voucher. The voucher is worth £100, which is a whole lot more than I paid for my share of the bill to take my mother and my brother's wife there in March. I'm always up for a bit of a freebie and, given the word from the manager who organised my voucher, we should be up for a good evening. You'll get a report, no worries.

I also have meetings to attend, which isn't quite so great, but needs to be done, as does my time with my mother, though my niece is coming, along with her fiance, to dinner tomorrow night with us, which hopefully should take the weight off me considerably. I'm only saying this because my niece phoned to ask if it would be alright if her fiance wore sneakers. I couldn't care less, but I have a feeling sneakers don't quite fit into my mother's idea of 'normal dinner footwear' and I have a feeling I'm going to have to take several deep breaths and keep my mouth firmly closed more than once in the next few days. You'll get a report on this too, no doubt.

So that's me. I'll 'see' you back here later in the week. Have a good one!