Sunday, 30 November 2014

December Playlist

There are certain things about this time of year that transport me instantly back to the Christmases of my childhood and one of the biggest memory joggers is music.
Christmas in the early 80's to me, was velvet pedal pushers (mine were bottle green, worn with cream tights), house parties with the neighbours in our street, upon where we kids got to stay up late, providing we all stayed upstairs.  Latterly in that same decade, it was more neon highly flammable party attire , but the same constant : music.

(My Mum bought this album <on vinyl of course> when it came out in 1985)

Christmas just isn't Christmas without (in no particular order) :

Slade - Merry Xmas Everybody
Elton John - Step Into Christmas
Wizard - I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Shakin Stevens - Merry Christmas Everyone
Band Aid (original) - Do They Know Its Christmas?
Wham - Last Christmas
Mike Oldfield - In Dulce Jubilo
Paul McCartney - Wonderful Christmastime

Over the years new songs have been added to my nostalgic festive collection.  The best though were from my childhood.
Cliff Richard - Mistletoe & Wine
Mel & Kim - Rockin Around The Christmas Tree
The Wombles - A Wombling Merry Christmas
Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry
Chris Reah - Driving Home For Christmas
Dean Martin - Let It Snow
The Beach Boys - Little Saint Nick (where the line "Run Run Reindeer" was misheard/misunderstood by my young ears for many a year....I first heard it a child and heard "Run Run Rabies"(!!) and never actually thought to figure out the correct word....)
Chris De Burg - A Spaceman Came Travelling
John & Yoko - Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
Eartha Kitt - Santa Baby
Bing Crosby & David Bowie - Little Drummer Boy

That is up until 2003, whereby there were a few Christmas songs in the charts (yay) which have earned their place in my list. Songs such as :
The Darkness - Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)
Bo Selecta - Proper Crimbo

However, the X Factor has ruined the traditional Christmas Number 1.  I perhaps wouldn't mind so much, but their songs aren't even festive!

This year I have gone digital and made a Crimbo Playlist on Spotify, so I can have my tunes where ever  I am at home, rather than just in the livingroom,  Kiddo is starting to like music (has stopped telling me to "turn it off!") so hoping that he also likes my "choones", not just because he's going to be hearing them for the next month, but also to start his musical memories of family traditions and festive times. Such as signing along as we decorate the tree tomorrow.

Of course, I can't leave this post without a mention of THE best (in my opinion) festive tune,
Guaranteed to make me feel all festive and of course, sing along : Fairytale Of New York


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Firth of Forth : Sold ( #ffs)

Firth of Forth : Sold ( #ffs)

Fracking is cracking,
Or so we've been told.
An energy boom; not doom.
Claims so bold.

Westminster says shale is the energy holy grail,
But of course, minsters' interests are vested.
They are the *NAMBY's backing fracking.
While our patience is being tested.

Local MP on Twitter, only to litter
timelines with scorn.
Acting on our behalf? What a laugh,
Constituents left feeling forlorn.

They think the public can be bought, now Ineos have got
the licence to drill.
What will be your prize for believing their lies
once your life is destroyed at their will?

 The extraction of methane from the coalbed is "boring" DART said.
Already been doing it for years.
The public are no longer unaware, and certainly care
about their families, their futures and justified fears.

This exploration leads to contamination.
So what will they do?
Well, the solution to this pollution
is to buy you .

It is of no consequence, your health, when it come to their wealth.
Economically, the area will flourish.
Really? Poisoned livestock whose food is not good,
and money doesn't nourish.

House prices will crash in a flash
when the go-ahead is given to start.
But never fear, Its perfectly clear
The whole area will go together, to hell in a hand-cart.

Stop and think about the water you drink.
So fresh and pure to taste.
Stop and think about the water you will drink
Once its flavoured with radio-active waste.

The chemicals required for the shale gas desired,
are carcinogenic to all.
Our planet is being destroyed by legal terrorists deployed
by the self-serving governance of Whitehall.

So what can be done to stop the run
of prioritising profit and greed?
We can't afford not have the public on board.
Its a fight the local people must lead.

Just look at The States to see what fracking creates.
That is the future for gas.
Its time to up the pressures for renewable measures
and utilise the safe clean resources the earth freely has.

(*Not In My Back Yard - name used by local MP for all of us who questioned his support of fracking)

By Lissa Orr, 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Shoe Rack Make-over

I bought a much needed shoe rack about a year or so ago, with good intentions of "zchuzching" it up.  The reality was that it took about 3 months to actually build it (once I discovered the joy of my father-in-law's electric cordless drill, the rack was built inside 30mins). Since then, it has remained in its raw pine state, performing its only job of functionality. A few Skubb shoe boxes from Ikea, and our messy pile of shoes had somewhere to live, that was accessible too.  Pop a colour co-ordinated basket on top and bingo, somewhere to keep hats, gloves and scarves.

Aside from being functional, it was also really boring, bland, and rather annoying, as I knew I wanted to 'do' something with it, I just didn't know what!
Yesterday, Hubby was on his day off from work. Both he and Kiddo were both busy playing with, actually I'm not sure what they were playing with, but suffice to say they were busy!  In a flash of inspiration, I decided this was my chance to get a bit of 'me-time' and the little creative bubble in me was desperate to burst.  Today was the day the shoe rack was getting "zchuzched"! Bland be gone!

Cleared and cleaned, the rack was given a based coat of white emulsion (didn't have any primer, but true to my styl-ee, I went with what I had), which dried in record time.

There was still practically a full tin of purple paint left over from when we painted the window architraves, so decided this would be the colour of choice.  I love the shade, it is what I call "Dairy Milk purple", although the photo makes it look more beetroot-y.  Two coats required.  I thoroughly enjoyed the peace to just get on with painting - it's very therapeutic.  Also, it was fun to listen to Kiddo and Hubby reading about dinosaurs. I think Kiddo was taking Hubby through every book he had on dinos.

Next was the 'aging' process' - sandpaper!  I just rubbed a piece of sandpaper (no idea if it was rough or fine sandpaper, it was a rogue piece I found in the cupboard...) across the edges, some parts more vigorously than others to 'scuff' and  make it look 'worn'.
I had bought beautiful wrapping paper in Hobbycraft a while ago but never used it.  One of those purchases where it was bought for its "that'll come in handy for something", but wasn't sure what I wanted to use it for.  I cut out 6 butterflies from the sheet and glued them on with Kiddo's PVA glue,
Once everything was dry, it was given a coat of clear matt varnish.

And... Tadahhh....

I am delighted with the result.  Just a shame my photography skills do not show the rack and all its 'intentionally scruffy' bits off very well.  


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

What have we been up to?

(I would just like to point out that the reindeer earmuffs are Kiddo's!)

WOW its been a quick week!
Its been one where I feel as if we have done nothing, yet when I look back over photos of the week, they suggest other wise.
I don't intend on listing every single activity we par take in every week, but today is more of a reminder for me of how (and where) our week has gone. So what have we done? In no particular order :
*Soft play with friends
* Babysitting my nephew for the day (got him tomorrow again, love having him spend the day with us).  Kiddo is desperate for a sibling, regularly asking for a brother and sister - yes, he wants twins!!! His fascination with having a baby has been going on about a year now, having told me last December that on the Thursday of the week we chatting in, that I would have a baby in my tummy (I didn't - he was not impressed).  A couple of our friends have had a baby this year, as has my sister, so he is used to and loves babies.  Having my nephew spent time with us on his own, I thought it would be interesting to see just how much Kiddo would like to have a sibling...Munchkin (Kiddo has called him a Munchkin since he was born) is 21 months old and a total chatterbox, copying everything he hears. Driving past Stirling Castle, I pointed it out and for the next 6 miles, every time Kiddo opened his mouth to speak, Munchkin chimed in with "Casssooo". Personally, I found it hilarious - Kiddo is constantly interrupting when people are talking. He did not like being interrupted himself.  Nor did he like Munchkin helping himself to his toys or touching any of Kiddo's belongings in our home.  To keep the peace, I asked Kiddo to give Munchkin one of his toys to play with, so that he would leave the rest alone. Thankfully this worked.  After dropping Munchkin back off at his own home, driving back I asked Kiddo how he enjoyed having his little cousin all day, expecting him to be annoyed or frustrated, but no, he LOVED his day, even loved 'sharing' his toys and telling Munchkin stories (!!!). O-kaaayyyyyy.  The conversation continued, with Kiddo telling me that he wanted twins, not just one baby. I explained that babies take up much of mummy's time, but he had thought of that already - they were to be his, and he would do the taking care of.  That is, except for dirty nappies, that would be my job!  I went on, but I would need to feed the babies. Again, Kiddo has this all figured out : "I'll be doing that. I have a chest, you know!"
*Role play - oh how we have role played many, many, many versions of dinosaur and wild animal expeditions.  The dressing up box is never far from reach.
* Park and woods - exploring and just playing with friends, drinking hot choc in the park and splashing in the puddles. When we arrived at the park, it was nice and crisp, we fed the ducks and made friends with a goose, who would not leave our side. The rain started pelting down as soon as we made it to the play park - result in Kiddo's book! Then the sun shone as bright as a summers day, 20 mins later. You just never know what the weather is going to throw at you at this time of year. Its all part of its charm.


* Baked muffins - Nigella's Christmas morning muffins, made with cinnamon, nutmeg, clementines and cranberries.  Kiddo has been asking to make these for the past couple of weeks, so we made a batch. He is so helpful in the kitchen ordinarily, (we have a routine - he reads the recipe, and shouts out the ingredients, which I get from the cupboard, and together we follow the method to make) but this day was hell bent on making this the most difficult baking session ever! He was hyper and shouting and overly excited, just wanting to chuck everything in and mix. Nooooo!!!!  However, they actually turned out fantastic, so light and tasted perfectly. At least, Hubby and I thought so.  Unfortunately, after one bite, poor Kiddo declared : "I don't like it!".  After picking the cranberries out, he did actually eat one, and liked it.
* Made Christmas cake - Kiddo deeply unimpressed that he cannot eat it for another few weeks!

The cake smelled just like Christmas and delicious. I hate that I hate Christmas cake - its like with baked beans; I hate beans, or Jack Daniels - wish I liked them, but just can't.
* The usual stuff - reading, colouring, painting, watched a movie (and again with the same movie a couple more times - Lego Batman)
* Been bored - this is the whiney stage which usually happens when I am washing the dishes or trying to get a shower, but this week has ended up each time, with some inventive play - Kiddo has made his own Batcave from his duvet (dragged through to the hall).  I loved this as he had shaped it and gave it pockets for a 'wardrobe', garage for Bat mobile and a 'bit' for the Bat computer (Not sure what that is called...)

 From the Lego people in his box,  he created The Penguin, Poison Ivy and The Joker.

* Geography - Kiddo has a large world map on his bedroom wall which he loves looking at and finding countries or finding different flags.  I sent away for another map which arrived (addressed to Kiddo, much to his delight at receiving his own mail from the postman) this week.  Kiddo enjoys those fruit yo-yo things, and by collecting 10 barcodes and sending them away he got a big map and stickers - the stickers being the flags of the world.  He has spent ages finding out which flag belongs to which country and sticking them on. There are 80 flags in the set, and he's about half way through so far.

*Elfie and Tinsel are well and truly established in our home now, with Kiddo regularly including them in our activities, which I find utterly adorable.  He's not taken on many of their kindness suggestions yet though....

We have also had a plethora of battle of the wills clashes over some of the most silly things or just stuff that Kiddo does not want to do (like get dressed to go out, or just leave the house for instance).  Therefore, I have been doing a fair bit of reading over the past week - I keep finding blog posts and articles about raising strong willed children, just coming to me. There must either be something in the air, and many people are finding ways to parent strong willed kids, or else the universe is trying to give me a helping hand. Regardless, it has been enormously helpful *thank you*.  So too has been getting a couple of hours to myself, whereby I have gone to Morrisons for the shopping (and getting my points now, so hopefully alleviate the need to split shopping between Aldi and Morrisons, although I prefer Aldi coleslaw, cheese and meat), and made a start on the Xmas shopping, and the chance to browse of the home section in TK Maxx - always wish I could buy half the stock!
I have also finally cleared out and properly organised my storage (bureau, chest of drawers and sideboard) which were essentially filled with an assortment of crap stuffed where ever and a nightmare to find anything.  Feeling good that it has been 'sorted'.  Ooh ohh, I also got a hot glue gun!!!! Let the crafting commence!  I am a little bit excited at this, can you tell?

I have been suffering from 'writer's block' when it comes to writing about important issues at the moment. I cannot think to string sentences together  regarding the aftermath of the referendum, the Smith Commission, about fracking or TTIP or even think about the fortth coming General Election in 6 months time, or the GIRFEC legislation being debated in court currently.  Important stuff that matters, that I enjoyed researching and writing about. I hope its not for long, and I get my groove back soon.  In the mean time, there are 6 weeks left of 2014 and will be keeping up to date with our wee adventures from home.

Who knows what lies instore for next week, will just have to wait and see.


Thursday, 13 November 2014


What does it mean to be kind anymore?
Have we forgotten how to be kind?
Do we really need to have World Kindness Day?
What sort of a world are we living in and creating daily, if we need a reminder on a scale of World Kindness Day 2014? Which incidently is today, 13th November.

Acts of kindness happen all the time and are not shouted about.  Some people perhaps view kindness to be as the same as good manners ie giving up a seat on the bus or letting someone with a couple of items go infront of you at the supermarket checkout - are lines blurred or is there a definitive destinction between the two? I think they are different. We see many memes, Buzzfeed links, pinterest pictures and links to articles about Kindness such as 16 Acts of Random Kindness (I do like this one and have it 'pinned'). I particularly like the act of 'paying it forward' - doing a 'good deed' for someone and expecting nothing in return other than for that person to do a 'good deed' for another, and so it rolls on.  Many independent coffee shops participate in the pay it forward concept with coffee - buy an extra coffee with your own, and a person in need can receive it in the future when they need a warm beverage.  Reading such articles makes us feel all warm, makes us smile and generally go "awww, how sweet/nice/cute" and then move on to the next thing in our lives, often without a second thought.
In real life, I see and hear (particularly in my place of employment) any act of 'kindness' treated with suspicion (what is (s)he after?) , or mocked or scorned  (how pathetic/soft touch/ gullible) and it is so sad. How did we become so jaded? So cynical? And I guess, ultimately, so self-involved as to not notice or acknowledge those around us?  Does kindness need some pop-culture over haul to make it "cool to be kind"?  I believe that kindness is in all of us, its just that some people need a little help learning how to release it.  Does that make me gullible or a soft touch? I don't care - to think of me as daft maybe says more of the person with that judgement.

Surely to be kind is a positive attribute, something one would wish to be thought of as?  I regularly hear (and use myself) parents telling their child(ren) to share/take turns/play nice, but how often are they told to be kind? I don't actually think anyone should be told to be kind, its not something we are told to do then obediently do it. That is not kindness. Let me re-phrase that:  How often are they shown what it is to be kind, and to receive kindness?  I have many friends who regularly demonstrate kindness to those around, including their children, with gentle reminders to said children, if their behaviour needs brought to the child's attention.  Simply changing from yelling "NO, don't do that (whatever 'that' may be)",  to which I know I am guilty of (but aware of and working on. It is a constant internal battle of mine, wishing I had handled situations better/ more gently/less like how I have been programmed to over the past 36years.  I am getting better though) to saying in a calm and evenly toned voice, "That wasn't very kind, was it?" or "That was really unkind" brings the action/behaviour to the child's attention and makes then question it themselves. At least, this is how I have seen it to work in my experience.  It is a more gentle approach to helping little ones understand what is and what is not kind, consider their actions and how it affects their friends/people around them.  Practicing what we preach is so important, as our children really do mimic and relate to the world around them by what they are living. I just need to listen to Kiddo arguing with Hubby, me or his Gran to hear my words and tones tumbling from his mouth!

Raising a child in today's world certainly has its challenges and we all want our children to grow up and be the best they can. I also would very much like for my son to grow up and be not a big strong man (with me standing barefoot at 5ft 7.5 and a wee bit inches tall and Hubby over 6ft, I think its a given that he will be big and tall), but grow up to be a kind man. In order to assist his journey there, he needs a little guidance in what it is to be kind.
Step forward the newest edition to our home - our Kindness Elf, and her pet mouse, Tinsel. (NB I originally named Tinsel, 'Mistletoe', then remembered that the white berries of mistletoe are poisonous and should not be touched by children....not ideal then! Name change required)

Whilst looking into Christmas traditions and seeing what other families do, the Elf on The Shelf kept coming up again and again.  I know of a few friends who have played with the Elf on The Shelf in previous Christmases, but its not quite right for our set up.  I don't agree with the 'plot' of this wee elf spying on the child and reporting back to Santa as to whether the child is good or bad.  Is it trying to tell kids that only 'good' children get presents? No thank you - I don't use reward charts (and they don't work with Kiddo anyway - he will not be bribed!), and I'm not going to tell him that Santa won't come if he's 'naughty'.  He has to want to be 'good' for himself, not just because he'll get presents. The other side to the Elf On The Shelf is his mischievious streak, which I actually find highly amusing and would love to get all creative and a bit crazy with the endless fun of situations the Elf could find itself in, but since Kiddo is a very literal thinker, I don't think I could handle any more mayhem, either by copying, or joint force of partners in hi-jinks!
However, I came across  The Kindness Elves.  Anna who writes The Imagination Tree blog came up with a twist to the Elf On The Shelf theme.  Her idea is for these little elves to help spread kindness and joy with little ones over the season.  I love this! Her Elves now even have their own Facebook page.
Kiddo doesn't know the story of the Kindness Elves, or in his case, Elf, so I'm going to let him figure it out with the help of of his own elf and Tinsel the mouse.
Elfie (my name for her for the purpose of the blog) took a wee while to be discovered, but once she was, the look of puzzlement as to who she was and why she was in his room, soon dissolved upon reading the attached note. Puzzlement lead to glee, enormous smiles and cuddles, then disappointment and a little huff - the latter being due to the fact the Elfie wasn't staying here for ever, only until Hogmanay (why stop at Christmas once Santa has been?  Lets go to New Year and she can help with resolutions).  That was quickly altered to "for as long as Kiddo needed her" in a Mary Poppins/Nanny McPhee way I suppose? Free-styling and winging it are very much part of the parenting ethos of this house. Calm restored, Elfie was given a name - I was trying to help with festive suggestions, all of which were veto'd. Kiddo chose her name, which is not festive in the least but certainly unique.  All 3 are now fast asleep tucked up in bed.  Wonder what message of kindness Elfie will bring tomorrow?

Our (my) first act of kindness today was deliberately choosing our elf from Ikea.  They are running a campaign in conjunction with Save the Children and Unicef, whereby £1 from every soft toy purchased is donated to supporting education in developing countries.

I will keep up to date with how Kiddo and Elfie are getting on (many of the kind suggestions are already planned in my lists as part of our festive preparations anyway). I am really excited to see how this goes.

Happy World Kindness Day

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

It has started...

This is the first year since I can remember that I have not been working (or in school) whereby I can fully plan, prepare and get ready for the festive period. Plus I have my own little elf to help me - bonus!

My lists have been written, and already rewritten (told you!) I have 7 different lists (oh I do love a list) and from now on, my journal will never be far from my side, for either ticking things off, or scribbling new things or doodling ideas.
So far, I have ticked off the 3 books for Kiddo - the Lego annual, and 2 science books from the Usborne 'see inside' range, with lift up flaps. We (Hubby and I) are as yet undecided if these will come from Santa or from us.

Today Kiddo and I set about preparing to make our Christmas cake - we made them as gifts last year and although they were very well received, we're only making 1 this year (for our house. Well, for Hubby, Kiddo and any guests who wish a slice - I just canny bide it), as I just don't have the space for more than that to store for the next 6 weeks.  Kiddo loves to bake and create in the kitchen, so imagine his disappointment as we checked off the ingredient list against what I had in the cupboard and found that the bits we needed today (ie the fruit for soaking) was all out of date, all, that is, except the brandy (!) and some raisins. I thought this kind of stuff had plenty of life on the use by labels....oops!
Tomorrow we are off the shops for, amongst other things, raisins,currants, glace cherries and almond essence.
Also on my 'food' list are sweet treats Kiddo is making as gifts, and some recipes for festive meals, all of which come from one place - my Christmas bible.

I don't do Christmas without this lady : Nigella Lawson.

Tonight, I have made a start on the first of this years homemade handmade gifts, by sketching and planning, and cutting and measuring, whilst The Family Stone dvd is on in the background.  I absolutely LOVE this film. I could be a Stone - I always wanted to be a part of a large family, it looks like fun.  It is also the film that started off the tradition of our Christmas morning breakfast - Stratta. I don't make Merideth's exact recipe, it's tweaked to our taste, but it is delicious and a firm favourite under this roof.

Christmas time is a time of tradition. Old traditions passed down through the years, over generations, and new one started with our own families.  I find that traditions can give warm sense of 'home', belonging, comfort and nostalgia, especially at this time of year.  As such, I have carried some from my parental family home into my own home with Kiddo and Hubby. We have also created our own traditions, which I plan to write about in due course in the run up to and over the festive period.

For this week though, our cake will be made (but not iced) and left to settle, a glue gun will be purchased for all the crafting I have seen (pinterest, I love you) and want to do, the surprise boat trip to visit Santa's Grotto at the Falkirk Wheel is now booked and ticks will start appearing on my lists.


Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Perfect Day

Some days are a joy to be treasured and remembered - usually for daft things.  Yesterday was one such day.

Seeing it was a gorgeous day and deciding what to do with it, Kiddo declares boldly:
" The only place I'm going today, is to Uncle's coffee shop!"
(Uncle being our Best Man/Hubby's best mate, who we will call Scunnered, owns a fab coffee shop in Stirling)

Okay, a jaunt through to Stirling it is - but stopping at the garden center first - they have their Christmas range in now and I want a gander. With his 'wages' (pocket money from his Papa) burning a hole in his pocket, Kiddo got a flashing Santa badge with his name on (Kiddo's name, not Santa's) and a pair of Santa earmuffs (!).  I, on the other hand didn't see anything I wanted other than strawberry flavoured candy canes, but will need to wait for another day (without child) to get those - he hates mint, and we 'grow' candy canes for the tree and parcels. I haven't seen different flavoured ones before (there was cola flavoured and another one too). Although Kiddo did want me to buy "this lettuce" - the lettuce actually being a holly ball!

Shopping complete, sunglasses back on and off to the coffee shop. Thankfully it wasn't too busy as, as soon as the coffee and cake/ milk and cake were scoffed, Kiddo decided to pay Scunnered a visit in the kitchen, where he stayed for the next however long 'helping' and discussing important matters such as orders, ingredients (of course he knows what chard is, he informed his Uncle.... - no he didn't but he won't tell you that!), how to make a cheesecake and soup.  The kitchen is open plan to the seating area, and Kiddo has little concept of volume especially when excited or learning something new, so the whole coffee shop was pretty much involved in his experience. The customers who were waiting on the their take-away orders were certainly kept entertained. And Kiddo LOVED every minute.  A kitchen is one of his favourite places to be, and as he was getting a chance to see how Scunnered worked and what he did, Kiddo was in his element. After a while and the need for a coffee himself, Scunnered got the chance to park his backside down for a breather and was straight away hit with :
" OK, so now I want to talk to you about Dinosaurs!"
Where, if given the opportunity (which he was) Kiddo will go into great depth of detail about every and any dino you can imagine.  
Thank you, Scunnered. You are a star xx

So that was part 1 of our day.  Part 2 was the evening - first fireworks display!

I have never taken Kiddo to see the fireworks before as he is sensitive to loud noises, but this year he has been fascinated by fireworks that have been lighting the sky for the past week (!) and the noises have not bothered him in the slightest.  So,  with the weather being perfect I decided to take him to the local display.  Its been a number of years since I last went.  When I was a kid, we used to go every year (when it wasn't raining) to see the massive bonfire, firework display, and the best bit - the shows! The shows being the funfair.
Armed with my memories of childhood and of my last venture to the display, I was rather disappointed to find that there were no shows and no bonfire! Just 3 stalls selling glow stick toys for a fiver, and an hour and half wait for the fireworks to start. Thankfully Kiddo cared not one jot. He had his new toy to play with, he was out in the dark (with his hi-vis vest on, and his torch in his pocket), he could see his breath in the air and he was "going to see real fireworks".  The joy and excitement on his wee face was amazing. The hour and half passed a lot quicker than I expected, maybe I don't give Kiddo enough credit, I never in a million years thought he would wait this length of time for something.  The park was mobbed, we moved up onto the hill to get a better view before the count down began, and I'm glad we did - Kiddo said he had never seen so many people all at once before - below us was a see of glow sticks ( and the odd sparkler - seriously who brings sparklers to a packed out park?).  The sky was clear and the moon shone bright. And the fireworks started. For 20 mins my child stood still head tilted back watching the sky in sheer wonderment, his eyes wide and a grin fastened to his face.  After  it was over and we walked back to the car - his torch showing us the way - he chatted non stop "did you see the one that went ALL the way to outer space and came back to earth?" "They were real fireworks mum!" 
Once home and the entire day, fireworks first, was retold to Hubby, who was just getting ready to leave for his nightshift (its a shame, he misses so much of the fun stuff).  Kiddo was promised, and I was very much looking forward to (inorder to heat me up), a cup of hot choc and mini mallows when we got home. However, he decided that he didn't want this! I'm sorry, what?? Are we sure this child is mine?? Instead he had 2 juicy pears and went to bed.  The bedtime story was not one from a book but I was to make it up, he wanted one about Fireworks.  No probs, said I, and began the story of Guy Fawkes, upon which I soon realised that apart from wanting to blow up parliament, I don't actually remember much of the story of gunpowder and treason, so I free-styled a little, and we agreed to look it up to today to "find out what really happened, mum".

We don't often have 'perfect' days - who does? But I will certainly remember, remember 5th November 2014 as one I was so glad to have shared with Kiddo.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

7 year hitched

7 years ago today Hubby and I said "I doooo!"

The day when not a lot went according to plan, and if I could have that day again, I would do so many  things differently, apart from the marrying of Hubby, obviously! 
Moon River still gives me butterflies (walked down the aisle to it), and I grin widely as soon as I hear  All You Need is Love (accompanied the signing of  the register) and When I'm 64 (as we chuckled our way back up the aisle together).
The best Best Men's (we had 2 Best Men) speech ever, had us all in stitches, and the scenery (Perthshire in the last legs of Autumn) was nothing short of glorious.
Ordinarily we are on annual leave from work, but this year we couldn't get the hols, so we are not celebrating our anniversary today as I am backshift and he's straight out to work, but hey, next years are booked already.
Heres to the next 7 years 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

1. Make a List

2. follow list
3. tick stuff off as it gets done
4. compete list

I always follow points 1 and 3, 2 - mostly but not 100%, 4....? nah, I just make another list!

Now that Samhain has passed, I can start preparing for Christmas (Yule).  I refuse to start entertaining anything remotely festive before Hallow'een.  This year I saw Christmas cards in one particular card shop in August before the kids went back to school! Ridiculous!

Anyway, now I can begin my lists for 2014. I start the same way every year:
Main list of everything I need to do, then break that down into specific sub-lists with deadlines, such as presents, food, cards, crafts, activities etc.
It may seem like a fair bit of work, but I love lists, so its more fun than work. Honestly!
These lists while be re-written a few times over the next 6 weeks or so, just because I like writing new lists (I think I may have a problem with lists... its the same as my love for stationary, I can't explain it, its just pure joy!)
I will spend the next few evenings compiling my 'Lists', sitting with recipes books (always including Nigella's Christmas book), diary, Smyths catalogue, internet. I can't wait, but have to wait until Kiddo is fast asleep so I can have complete peace to get busy.