Sunday, September 17, 2017

A Highland Sunday Drive

After not leaving the house at all yesterday (rain and a headache kept me indoors) we headed out for a Sunday drive like a couple of old pensioners. First we went to Aviemore as there was a craft market on, but because of the rain it was a bit of a washout. As we couldn't get into the nice cafe there we then headed off to Boat of Garten and the lovely 1896 Gallery and Coffee Shop.

My latte arrived with a slightly deformed heart on top so I preceded to create my own piece of art - I think it looks a little bit like Bramble.

Onward we meandered and then we came across Edinkillie Parish Church and graveyard - how wonderful.

Next door to the church was the rather grand Relugas House, and on the fence you might be able to make out a little Robin. This house was built in 1980, but the previous dwelling was begun in the 1700's.

In the graveyard is the below headstone for Kopuri "Tom" who was a servant and died at Relugas House. He was from the island of Rotumah (Fiji island of Rotuma) in the South Pacific. I thought it was lovely that they had given him a proper grave, and Ken thought it was the rich people appeasing their guilt of having a servant who died so far from home.

A view of the graveyard and the headstone on the right is for James S Ferries who was the commander of the R.M.S Zealandia - he died at sea and is buried in Honolulu. Here's a link to a description of one of the journeys he took with the ship and what the ship was like - Click Here.

This lopsided headstone is from the 1700's.

A few more headstones for you to enjoy (yes, that is the right word to use) with intricate carvings and a couple of lovely crosses.

One of the Commonwealth war graves at this site - a pilot and he was only 20.

Two more lovely crosses - the symbolism of the cross is so interesting as there are so many different versions of it in graveyards across the world.

Cute little shed in the corner of the graveyard - I love how it is built into the wall.

This headstone has seen better days - I hope it was just aging and mother nature that caused this and not someone being totally disrespectful to the dead.

One of the church windows - it's purple! It must look lovely from the inside so we'll have to find out when the church is open for viewing. Note that the window is another version of a cross.

There you have it, our lovely Sunday drive (minus the flat cap and hair rollers) exploring more of the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a fabulous week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - Chores

This week's top ten is about chores - the ones we love (really??) and the ones we loathe (too easy). My biggest problem with this list is that I'm going to come out of it sounding like a houseworkaphobe (and yes that is a serious medical condition). Thanks as always to Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom blog for setting the theme.
1. Vacuuming: hate it and my beloved won't let me do it so who am I to go against what my husband says.

2. Ironing: why can't someone just design clothes that never wrinkle, or better yet let wrinkles be a fashion choice. Early in our relationship I was ironing my nurses uniform and Ken demanded he take over as I wasn't doing it right (he was in the air force for many years so is a bit of a perfectionist with ironing) and since then he sort of does most (all) of my ironing.

3. Washing: I don't mind this as such but rarely do it as my beloved (who you're feeling more and more sorry for) does it whilst I'm at work.

4. Changing the duvet cover: I used to be quite good at this on a smaller quilt, but on a kingsize duvet I'm hopeless, so yes, you guessed it, Ken takes care of changing the bedding.

5. Hanging up clothes: I drive Ken to distraction as whenever he goes to hang up my clothes they are always inside out - I don't know how it happens, I think there must be a naughty little pixie living in the bedroom.

6. Baking: I love baking and it's really nice if people enjoy something that I've made. I don't do it very often as we'd end up eating too much of it.

7. Cat Medication: one of my beloveds little idiosyncrasies is that he can deal with any type of dog, and yet faced with having to give a cat a tablet and he becomes a big chicken. I'm an expert at getting a tablet into a cat, having had years of practice with our little Muffin Monster who had kidney problems for several years before she died. He's just as bad when we take the furbies to get their vaccinations each year - I'm the one who has to hold the cats whilst they get jabbed.

8. Making fire: I love an open fire, but I'm not very good at getting them going. This doesn't stop me from trying, but then Ken usually has to come along afterwards and fix it.

9. Booking holidays: this is definitely my job and despite it stressing me out a bit (worry that everything is as it says it is) I like doing all the research into where we're going and where we're going to stay.

10. Christmas Cards: I love Christmas (101 days away) and still send out cards and a holiday letter which I love composing and choosing interesting facts to include in it - I do let my better half check it before it goes out, just in case there's something in it that he wants to change.

Do you have favourite chores, or like me do you have a major allergy to them. Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog, Part-time Working Hockey Mom, and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and don't do too many chores this week.

Pamela & Ken

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge - problematic confetti

It's hodgepodge Wednesday time and I'm cutting it fine but at least there's still an hour to go of this day. The questions are set by Joyce of the blog From This Side of the Pond.

1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.

Pictures evoke so many different thoughts in  people, some bringing back beautiful memories whilst others can bring you to tears. I looked after an elderly man once who was the only one left in his family and he would pour himself a glass of red wine, get out his photo albums, and spend the evening with his parents, brothers, sisters, and friends that were no longer with him.

These two photos are from our wedding in 1999, and they are worth way more than a thousand words. They speak of the happiness of the day, the make me think of all the people that shared it with us and then I think of the ones that are no longer with us. It brings back the overwhelming feeling of rightness to be marrying the man who had become my best friend and who really is my soulmate. And most of all it reminds me that confetti may look really romantic in pictures but it gets absolutely everywhere, especially if your mother empties a whole box of it down your cleavage - my beloved is getting out handfuls of it.

2. Have you ever driven any part of the Pacific Coast Highway? If so what was your favorite stop? If not, is this sort of trip on your bucket list?

I'm thinking that when I was on my six week trip to the states with three friends in the early 90's that we probably did travel part of this road but I don't remember. It's not on my bucket list, but the great ocean road in Australia is. I'd love to travel along this with my beloved, stopping regularly to enjoy the area.

3. How do the changing seasons affect you? As the seasons change do you find yourself looking more forward or backward? Which season-season transition bothers you most? Why do you suppose that is? 

My least favourite time of the year is when the weather starts to become cooler, warning that winter is on the way, so that's probably now. I quite like most of Autumn, the crisp days, the colour of the leaves, and knowing Christmas is round the corner, but I really don't like it when the days get shorter, the skies get grey, and it rains a lot.

4. It's your birthday and you get to pick the dinner menu. What are we having? Do you ever lie about your age?

Can I have just chocolate? No, that's probably not a very sensible thing to do so I'll add some other things in. I'd start with deep fried breaded camembert with crusty bread, followed by a plate of perfectly cooked scallops, and then sticky toffee pudding with lashings of runny cream. To drink during the meal I'd have a nice Pinot Grigio, but after the meal I'd have to have a lovely latte accompanied by mint slices, my favourite biscuit in the world (and not available in the UK).

I never lie about my age as all the important people know how old I am and the rest can just wonder and guess (usually wrong).

5. What's a life lesson you've learned recently?

This isn't a new life lesson, it's one that I keep reminding myself about regularly - you know those days when life can really get in the way of how you feel. It's a reminder to find something good in the worst situations, to know that no matter how bad things may seem at the time, they will get better.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Something that has always intrigued me is when you see people sitting in picnic chairs by their car in a car park to have their lunch, when if they walked about ten metres or so they'd be in a much more picturesque spot to enjoy their food. Is it just a British thing or do people do this where you live? They've bothered to bring their fold up chairs with them and yet they just use them to soak up the atmosphere (and petrol fumes) of a car park. 

So there you have my answers, I wonder what yours would be to the questions? Before you go, pop over to Joyce's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for the Wednesday Hodgepodge.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and do something nice for yourself this week.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Glamping in Glenshee

At the weekend I ticked another item off my bucket list, and that was glamping (glamorous camping). We stayed at the wonderful Glenshee Ecocamp which is in Perthshire and 94 miles away from us. The drive down is through stunning scenery and even the sky was spectacular.

I love the quirky things we find when we're out and about - this garden is adorable with different Buddha statues throughout. At the top is a platform for sitting out which must be very peaceful.

Another picture of the very rugged scenery of the Cairngorms.

Look at our tent of loveliness! It's beautiful and so my colours. Our tent was at the very edges of the campsite which meant furthest from toilets but it also meant it was the most peaceful spot on the site.

Even Bramble was catered for with a pink food bowl and a giant dog treat - I love it when places we stay do something like this as it's acknowledging how much a part of the family our furbies are.

This puppy dog was staying at the campsite as well and regularly came to visit - she would make me laugh as she would sneak into the tent as if we weren't going to notice her, but then she would pick up the scent of dog food or treats and start investigating.

Bramble meeting one of the permanent residents of the campsite - she was very nervous and Ken had to spend ages encouraging her to get near. The donkey just patiently waited for her to come and say hello.

We went out for tea on the first evening at a pub that was about ten minutes away. We had fish and chips, but not just any battered fish, the batter was made using prosecco! It was scrummy.

On our way home we came across a very Scottish road block - pheasants everywhere. The campsite bordered a huge Scottish estate where they breed pheasants for shooting (murdering) with the season starting on October 1st. It was lovely lying in bed listening to them talk to each other at night.

In our tent was a tiny wood burner which helped to keep us toasty and warm at night - here's Ken doing his man thing with the fire (I tried and was a disaster at firestarting).

Inside the tent was a low table, a bed, and lots of lamps and candles. There was also a kettle if you wanted to put it on the woodburner. This is looking up at the top of the tent from the bed.

At night........

In the morning.......

Apart from the donkeys there were several other residents of the farm including llamas which they do trekking with.

Lots of chickens and in amongst the chickens there was a goat.

This is looking towards our tent across part of the site. There were two of the green wagons plus several pods near the main house for people to stay in. If we were to go in winter I think I'd choose to stay in one of the wagons as they look really cosy and cute.

Me and Bramble relaxing at the tent. There were some really pretty floor cushions that we could use outside - it was so relaxing sitting there, reading and enjoying the view.

As you can see, I dug out my festival wellingtons and they fitted in with the colour scheme of the tent perfectly.

Down the road from the ecocamp was this very cute library in an old phone box. It wasn't the only one we saw in this area and I think it's a great use of them and lovely to have somewhere to recycle books for others to read.

Both the lovely donkeys.

Someone (Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom) commented on my facebook post that our tent looked like a unicorn tent, so what do I do, go out and adopt a unicorn for the tent. Importantly it's a purple horned unicorn.

What better way to enjoy Prosecco than drinking it out of the bottle through a purple straw whilst enjoying the great outdoors.

Sunset on our second evening - we sat outside the tent to eat and it was beautiful.

Another view of the tent of loveliness - you can see the smoke coming out of the chimney. I should add that again I tried to light the fire with no success and then Ken stepped in like a proper bushman and made fire.

Bramble sleeps in her crate at night but in the morning she took great pleasure in getting into bed between the two of us - I personally think it's more about being next to her daddy and pushing me out. This photo of the two of them is so cute (and slightly disturbing).

Really loved this weekend in the tent of loveliness with my wonderful husband and one of our furbies. Have you ever tried glamping, or do you prefer all the comforts of a five star hotel.

The area we explored will be in another post, as there's way to much to put in this one. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and make sure you're kind to yourself this week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Top Ten Thursday: Decisions

Today's top ten Thursday is all about decisions - the regular everyday ones and the huge life changing ones. Thank you to Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom for setting the theme. I'm not always the best at making decisions, and can ruminate over things for ages.

1. Clothes: I've never been very good at deciding what I'm going to wear to work each day and no matter how many times I tell myself I should get them ready the night before I always find myself standing in front of my wardrobe in the morning debating my choices (and yelling out to Ken to see if certain items are in the wash or not).

2. Coffee: Now this may seem like a foregone conclusion, but I still go through the decision making process when I have a coffee. It goes a bit like this; shall I have a coffee? yes, yes I should have a coffee - decision made.

3. Politics: Another thing that I sometimes struggle with making a decision about. I'm usually pretty clear in my mind who I definitely won't be voting for so the person or party I vote for is usually decided by a process of elimination.

4. Holidays: this decision is about whether we holiday in this country or abroad. If it's this country do we take Bramble Jelly with us or leave her with someone? By the time we come to a decision it's usually so near to our holiday time that we can get a good late deal.

5. Films: My beloved and I haven't been to the pictures for ages as usually we can't decide what to see and don't very often want to see the same thing. This meant that flying to and from Australia gave us the chance to still be together but watch films that we wanted to watch - Ken watching moody serious films, and me having a monster/disaster film festival of my own.

I had an interesting discussion with someone recently about whether or not we do actually have any choice in life or if it's just an illusion. We're all just walking a straight path and it's when we look at the past that we think we could have made different decisions and then our lives would have been different.

6. Nursing: going by the above thought, it could be said that when I decided to be a nurse at age seven, that was when my life was set on a path to my beloved, because if I hadn't been a nurse then we wouldn't have met - or would we?

7. Meat Free: the decision to give up meat when it happened was quite easy and yet it had been in my head for years. I used to say to people that I'd be a vegetarian except I would miss chicken too much, or I'd miss bacon. I made the decision in May 2016 and not once since then have I missed either type of meat - makes me wish I'd done this earlier in life.

8. Shopping: sometimes when I go into the supermarket and Ken stays in the car I'm sure he often thinks he should send in a search party as big supermarkets totally bamboozle me and I end up wandering around for ages, backtracking on myself as I forget to get things and then forget where they are in the aisles, and have little debates with myself about what to buy. They basically turn me into the most indecisive person in the world.

9. Marriage: probably the easiest decision I've ever made was saying yes to my beloved's marriage proposal.

10. Love: here's a decision that I believe we have no control over whatsoever, our heart and soul decide who is for them and all we can do is hang on and enjoy the ride.

Are you good at making decisions? Do you think that life is planned out for us or do you believe in destiny?

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself this week to something nice.

Pamela & Ken