Archive for June, 2011

Children's Gala Days

Children’s Gala Days

As summer approaches and the school year draws to a close ( yes, we are still in school), many towns and villages prepare for their summer festivals or Gala Days.  The activities, dates and traditions vary regionally throughout Scotland, but almost everywhere has a local summer party that can last a day or up to a week.   Here in Dunfermline we have the Children’s Gala, which is the largest and oldest celebration of its kind.

Statue of Carnegie in the Glen
Originally organised by the Dunfermline Co-Operative Society in 1902, the Gala’s Organisation and Funding was sponsored by Andrew Carnegie  and his wife via The Carnegie Trust from 1903 through the mid 1970s.  Each year a parade of children representing their primary schools and some local bands would parade down the medieval high street and enter the newly accessible ground of Pittencrieff Park, known locally as The Glen.

Gala Day 1972 by Ken Spowart - gifted to Dunfermline Museum

These were grand affairs  and much cherished by all.  After the parade finished upon entrance into the park, a lunch was provided and an afternoon of games and entertainment rounded off the event.

Thought to be the earliest known photo of Dunfermline Children's Gala - date unknown

 Please bear in mind that at t he turn of the 20th century this area’s main income was from mills, coal mines and farming, so an event on this scale – paid for in full –  would have been a highlight of the calendar for everyone.

Children in the Dunfermline Gala 1954

 
 The Carnegie Trust had to withdraw its funding for the event in the 1970s and the organisation and fundraising switched to the larger community.  Each year the Gala Committee and hundreds of volunteers raise funds, organise and host the Gala to keep the tradition alive.  Last year over 3,000 primary school children took part and over 15,000 people watched the parade and entertainment in the Glen.

Mermaid in the 2011 Gala

This year’s theme was “Under The Sea” and I have to say I was very impressed with the array of mermaids, undersea creatures,  bands and performers.

Gathering for the Big Event

Everyone who was to take part in the parade gathered in a parking lot just off the parade route.  I tried very hard to prise my terrified children from each of my legs just long enough to capture some sense of the mounting excitement.

Mermaids on stilts - very impressive!

The costumes were fantastic, the bands resplendent in their regalia and each child was given a balloon to create a sea of colour and energy on an otherwise grey day.

Giant Deep Sea Divers

There was a great mix of samba bands, these drummers – on stilts – with their heads covered – walking downhill –  on a cobbled road – drumming out some sick beats (like ya do), and of course…

Bagpipe bands.  Because you just can’t do anything in Scotland without the bagpipes!

My Big Girl's First Parade

Finally, it was my  Pirate Queen’s turn to join in the fun.  After securing the hand and support of her friend Lucy she marched all the way down the High Street for the first time with her school – Go Ladybug!

 

View from beneath statue of Carnegie looking back up the High Street

The crowd poured into the Glen and the energy shifted from cheering to congratulating the brave schoolkids, and enjoying the afternoon’s festivities.

 

Enjoying Her First Gala Day Picnic

As a part of the parade each child get a packed lunch, drink and some treats in their goody bag.  It was lovely to enjoy a day full of so many firsts for us but that also continues on our communities’ traditions that have lasted well over a hundred years.

And then the heavens opened and we went home for hot chocolate – ah well!

Major Improvement

Major Improvement

 Who would have thought that such a neat little piece of kit that cost just £35 ($50) could so totally transform what is possible and practical to photograph!
Who’d a thunk?

 I have really been struggling to get an even passable photographic representation of some of the recipes I have been cooking up as of late. 

Baked Croque Monsieur - super tasty but hideous when photographed:(.

 
This was a super yum Baked Croque Monsieur that I made for a girls lunch one day.  It was a sunny day, about 12.30 – decent light, and golden brown when it emerged from the oven.  But I could only capture a rather sad-looking grey appearance.  Totally JV (amateurish) and not at all what I was hoping to show you.
 

Even tea cakes in the Conservatory look less than glamorous.

Even my friend’s homemade tea cakes that she artfully arranged for a get together were OK when photographed but nowhere near how lovely they were in real life.  (She is starting a vintage china hire/rental service for hosting high tea in your home – how fab!)

Still lots of room for improvement...

But as of today a whole new day had dawned.  I am so excited to get cooking now that I can have some hope of presenting you with a pleasing image that may just want to make you give it a try!  Hooray and thank you Laura!

Farm Shop Survey - Pillars of Hercules

Farm Shop Survey – Pillars of Hercules

 Continuing my Farm Shop Survey I thought I would mosey along to the highly recommended Pillars of Hercules, set in Falkland, Cupar. 

Pillars of Hercules Cafe

 
The Pillars of Hercules started as an organic farm in 1983 by Bruce Bennett, and the site has grown to just over 6 hectares (about 12 football pitches/fields) to include a cafe, camping sites and of course lots of organic fruit, vegetables, free range chickens for eggs and turkeys for Christmas dinner. 
 

Farm Shop Sign for Pillars of Hercules

The cafe and farm shop very much embrace the whole organic “thang” and as someone who maybe spent a leetle too much time in knee-high moccasins and gauzy skirts in her youth, the distinct “hippies welcome here” smell of dried legumes and patchouli hit me rather hard.  That said, this was obviously a location much embraced and frequented by locals, equally represented by those who were rather fuzzy of face and those who arrived in jaguars and Barbour coats. 

The menu in the cafe boasts the bumper crops of the farm with lots of soups, bread and home baking.  According to their website there is also a periodic evening  “restaurant” event that includes  jazz music with a four course meal – yum.

Set amongst beautiful countryside with a selection of walks.
The farm has a strong community outreach program that welcomes visitors, organisations and schools to tour the farm and learn more about the mission and techniques employed in organic farming.  They also have a vegetable box delivery program if you wish to enjoy the produce on a weekly basis, and additionally supply to other area shops and restaurants.
 
Bothy for Hire
 
The area surrounding the farm is rich in historical and outdoor recreation sites.  You can even hire/rent this bothy (just a short jaunt from the cafe) for a week to sample some of the fantastic surrounding areas.    A nice day out and a just reward for climbing the Lomond Hills or touring Falkland Palace.  http://www.pillars.co.uk/index.htm.
Scottish Woodland Trust

Scottish Woodland Trust

In the effort to coax my three-year old along to aid in my eclectic “To Do” for this blog, I try to entice him that we are ‘going on an adventure’.  While for me it often is just that, for him it is often long car journeys interspersed with visits to sites where good behaviour is paramount.  He usually gets a sweetie out of the deal.  That is until the day we set out to find a piece of untreated, indigenous ash wood to experiment for my Beltane Plank Smoked Salmon (which is coming by the way), and a real adventure ensued.
After several futile calls to builder’s warehouses, lumber yards and many fruitless trawls around the internet, we were directed to the “Scottish Woodland Trust” a small artisan wood mill.  Now most businesses and charities make some effort to be accessible but finding this site was like searching for Brigadoon.  After driving about 20 minutes on a country road to the town of Oakley, you have to find an unmarked entrance to what was once Inzievar Estate, now Dynamic Woods of the National Woodland Trust Charity.
After finding the unmarked entrance – travel down this unmarked road

The feel of the place brought to mind the scene from The Chronicles of Narnia, when the children return to what was their Kingdom of Cair Paravel, only it is hundreds of years later and they realise what appears to be a dense overgrown forest was once their apple orchards.  You are aware that this was likely a wealthy estate, but the woods are so dense that they block out what little sunlight makes it into Scotland in the first place, and completely disorients you as well.  It was about now that my son started to freak out.

The “Sign” for the shop
Somewhere along your travels down the unmarked road, you have to live in hope of seeing this sign post – see it?  Well, I certainly didn’t.
See it? Yeah, me neither!
After several wrong turns we were re-directed back to this sign, which even close up is so less than clear and finally found our destination.
The House the Forest Hides… Inzievar
But look what we found in our wanderings – Inzievar House.   A spooky gothic looking beast that emerges from the woods in a very surprising manner.  The house was built for one Archibald Smith-Sligo in 1855-6 by the renown architect David Bryce.  The Smith-Sligo family owned several coal mines in the area and the Forth Iron Works in Oakley.  As in the case for most estates, the public was not allowed on the grounds, but the house did host a very important guest in Jules Verne, the french science fiction author, who detailed his account of the house in his book Backwards to Britain.

Illustration of the Grand Salon of The Nautilus from Jules Verne's 2000 Leagues Under the Sea, based on interior of Inziever House

Even groovier was that Verne was to have based the interiors of the submarine The Nautilus from his classic novel, 2000 Leagues under the Sea on those of Inzievar House.  The house is now a collection of private apartments and is sadly no longer open to the public, but one was recently for sale so you can have a peek here….http://maloco.co.uk/property_pdfs/1276267034.pdf.

Oh, much better!
See what a wrong turn can teach you?  Anyway, back to our original mission to find the elusive Scottish Wood – that is clearly marked once you are already there – very helpful.

A small but fabulous mill

Apparently, Scottish Wood is the commercial arm of a much larger not for profit organisation call Woodland Trust.  The overall woodland was purchased in 1995 and is now open to the public  for education, walks and school trips.  The Scottish Wood focuses on  raising money from the sale of wood convenanted to the Trust to be used for local, environmental and community projects.

Woody hits the shop

They have a “shop” ( kind of) that you are free to rummage around to find what you are looking for….either in rough or very rough form.
Luxuriate amongst the selection
And you can ask to have your selection milled and cut to size right there on the spot.  On my first visit there was artisan furniture maker (didn’t get his name) loading up a fair bit of stock onto his rugged looking Landrover, with wife, toddler and dog in tow – tres idyllic.

Until next time...

Well we finally found our ash planks, took a quick detour 2000 Leagues Under The Sea, and emerged from the mysterious wood blinking away the magic of the experience – eager to return now that we know where the heck it is!  I think a family walk in the woods is on the agenda as well.

Carnegie - Dunfermline's Homeboy

Carnegie – Dunfermline’s Homeboy

Whether you pronounce it Carr-niggy (like the Yanks) or Carn-egg-ghee (with equal accent on all three syllables as it is locally)  most people know at least a little bit about Andrew Carnegie, Dunfermline’s “Most Famous Son”.   What may not be as well-known is how connected he stayed to his local roots and how his generosity still contributes to the daily lives of all those who live in Dunfermline.

Andrew Carnegie – Dunfermline’s “Most Famous Son”

Andrew Carnegie was born here in Dunfermline in a typical weavers cottage to William Carnegie and Margaret Morrison (mother’s maiden name is important so please take note).

Carnegie’s Cottage – The Door & Windows on the Left – Not the Whole Building

Below is the actual room in which he was born.  His brother and parents would live, cook, play and sleep in this space, and his mother would wind bobbins to drop through the floor to where her husband worked in the main room below.  To the right of the open door is a double bed that fills the remainder of the room.

Room Where Carnegie was born 25 November 1835

Room Where Carnegie was born 25 November 1835

Snug ‘eh?  And I think my kids are always underfoot in the winter!

“Main” Room of Carnegie Cottage Where His Father Worked on a Hand Loom Weaving Damask Linen

His father worked in this room on a hand-loom, weaving Damask Linen for which Dunfermline was famed in the early 19th century.  In addition to weaving, both his father’s and mother’s families were very involved in radical political views including; campaigning for a parliamentary electoral system, Catholic emancipation and even had family that had participation in the “Meal Riots” of the 1770s that swept Europe.

Looking from "Main Room" into the Neighbours "Main Room" who was also a Weaver

Looking from “Main Room” into the Neighbours “Main Room” who was also a Weaver

The life of a weaver and his family would not have been and easy one, and would have been a noisy, cramped and exhausting existence.  Now for all my affection for the place, when you say to someone that you live in Dunfermline –  even today – you  are not automatically met with the sharp intake of breath and the narrowing of the eyes that would signal the thought, “oh, you lucky devil”  in the mind of your conversant.   Back in young Carnegie’s day I could only imagine how challenging (and cold) it would have been.

Misty view from inside Pittencrieff Park looking toward the Abbey

To add insult to injury, right next door to the cottage sits 76 acres of the most glorious cultivated landscape known as Pittencreiff Park and The Glen.  In Carnegie’s’ youth the grounds of the property included the Palace at Dunfermline (another story for another day) and Dunfermline Abbey, as well as the land known as Pittencrieff Estate and Glen.

Like most private estates the land was not open to the public, but the fact that it also had encroached onto land that had been monastic and now excluded people from the additional sites that were considered national treasures was too much for some.  Carnegie’s uncle Tom “Bailie”  Morrison eventually applied  for a court order to grant access to the public – for one day a year – and was successful.  However in doing so, he so enraged the Laird of Pittencrieff, Colonel James  Hunt, that he too secured a court order that no Morrison was EVER to be allowed onto his estate.  Thus, Carnegie as the nephew of a Morrison was legally and permanently banned from the grounds.

View from Carnegie's Front Door to the Abbey, Palace & Glen from Which He was Banned

View from Carnegie’s Front Door to the Abbey, Palace & Glen from Which He was Banned

By 1848, the rise of industrial looms and worsening economic times in Scotland saw the Carnegie family heading off for better fortune in America, specifically Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.  From this point Carnegie’s story is more well-known.  The “rags to riches” story of a young immigrant who worked his way up from bobbin boy to telegraph operator, and eventually becoming synonymous with steel, railroads and a “Captain of Industry” of the newly industrial America.  Even though his wealth was garnered not without some grave controversy, such as the Homestead strikes of 1892,  his philanthropic works were becoming legendary.

Not too Shabby, Skibo Castle stayed in the Carnegie Family until 1982.  Now a Super Posh Private Golf Club and Can be Hired for Weddings like Madonna & Guy Rithche

Not too Shabby, Skibo Castle stayed in the Carnegie Family until 1982. Now a Super Posh Private Golf Club and Can be Hired for Weddings like Madonna & Guy Rithche

In 1895, as a surprise 60th birthday present, Carnegie’s wife purchased the original Carnegie cottage in Dunfermline. (What to get for the man with everything ?)  Perhaps it was being able to revisit his physical origins,  or maybe it was something that burned in him deeper and longer, that even though he could afford (amongst his many other residences) his Scottish summer retreat of Skibo Castle,

the thing he craved to own above all else was this – the key to Pittencreiff Estate – from which he was STILL banned.

Key to Pittencrieff Park

Key to Pittencrieff Park

FINALLY, in 1902 Carnegie purchased Pittencreiff Estate and Glen, with the express intent of turning it over to the people of Dunfermline, so “that the toiling mases may know sweetness and light”.  He did retain actual ownership of the Tower House as with it came the inherited title of  “Laird of Pittencreiff”, and so at 67 years of age he took his first stroll amongst the grounds he had been denied entrance in his youth.

Pittencrieff Tower House, Ownership of which made Carnegie "Laird of Pittencrieff" in 1902

Pittencrieff Tower House, Ownership of which made Carnegie “Laird of Pittencrieff” in 1902

 

True to his word, in 1903 a caretaker was installed and the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust was created to manage and maintain the cottage, and the former estate for the public. In Carnegie’s own words, “No gift I have made or ever can make can possibly approach that of Pittencrieff Glen”, also adding it as “the most soul-satisfying public gift I ever made or ever can make – to the people of Dunfermline”.   Now, I read this on plaque  in the park on one my first visits and recall thinking – oh isn’t that nice.  Now that I understand a bit more about his back story I realise that this gift must have meant so very much more to him.  Pittencreiff Park is deserving of its own entry so I will wrap it up by pointing out that in addition to giving Dunfermline one of its greatest resources of  “The Glen” as it is now know locally, Carnegie also provided for a free public library, public swimming baths and a wide variety of other great additions to his hometown

800px-Louise_Carnegie_Gates,_Pittencrieff_Park[1]

A few additions to the Glen came after his death in 1919, all at the instruction of his wife Louise.  She commissioned the impressive iron gates that mark the entrance to Pittencreiff Park at the bottom of Dunfermline’s High Street,  and also the Birthplace Museum now connected to the original weavers cottage.

IMG_1694

Admission is free and there is still loads to see (I didn’t give it all away), so it is well  worth a trip.

PS This is not an advertisement, just me having a blether.

Things On My List To Covet Today

Things On My List To Covet Today

At any  given time there is usually a pretty impressive list things of which I am desirous.  The vast majority of which is food, kitchen and entertaining related must have’s, that exist on a scale of mild craving to white-hot, keep-you-up-at-night  blind yearning.  As with most people with small kids and ever rising food and power bills, most of these darling must either remain in the golden haze of Jeantopia or be put a very long waiting list until they can be accommodated.  It is alright….I can be very patient.  So in the spirit of sharing, I thought I would take you window shopping into the realms of things that are tickling my fancy at the moment.

What is driving me to distraction is the big news that Anthropolgie http://www.anthropologie.eu is opening in Edinburgh (on George Street) at the end of the month.  Back in the day when I was single and gainfully employed, I would often frequent my local Anthropolgie in Boston.  Except for the briefest of visits last summer, the eight years free from the temptations of this store have provided some relief in these difficult economic times.  Now, it’s back.

OOOO I want I want I want....particularly the orange flowers

Now I am just  trying to think of a way this could be a tax deductible purchase.  Perhaps if I used the one with the orange flowers solely and exclusively for the photographing of food for this blog that would qualify?  Do you think a pair of earrings might be pushing it a bit?

How Fabulous are These?!

And speaking of pushing it – did you know that Brits will simply NOT help themselves to any platter, dip, buffet or canape unless they have a plate? For real, even when you tell them specifically to just grab a napkin (artfully twisted with a wine bottle for full fan effect) and help themselves.  No smoked salmon blini with sprig of dill, no seven layer dip, or for some reason under no circumstances can a deviled egg be eaten without the security of holding a plate in your hand – maddening.  It can really interrupt the flow of a casual cocktail event and make getting a bigger event underway a big bother – not to mention increase the load for clean up.

My Current Solution to the Conundrum
Up to this point I have resorted to this caddy of appetizer plates which I am reluctantly willing to put out along side a spinach dip.  A good solution, but limited in number and the moment people have a plate in their hands – they sit down!  What is a girl to do?  And then, I saw them…

You Could Even Bring Your Own!

Finger Foods from Fred, miniature catering plates on RINGS to slip on while your get your mingle on – or take seconds of something really tasty in the server is passing your way.

Come On!

 Blissfully negotiate deep-seated cultural reservations and increase conversational mobility, all while looking fabulous throughout the evening.  Not to mention this makes great strides in moving ever closer to abolishing the dread first course for the much more versatile hor d’oeuvre spread – allowing the host to actually join the party.  The verdict is in  – utterly fabulous!  (Available from Amazon)

A Table Top Photo Studio to combat my lack of natural light.

 You may also have noticed that there has not yet been a whole lot of food on this so-called Food & Lifestyle blog.  Well, truth be told my food photography is leaving much to be desired.  Things that look fantastic and welcoming when they emerge from the oven are appearing grey and poxy in the photos.  I blame the lack of natural light.  Today I took a few shots at 12:30 pm, right inside a south-facing window, on a mostly sunny hour (see Weather).  The result was blech.  Therefore, I have decided that I must augment the “natural” light that seems to be the written law of food photography with a little help.  If anyone can think of any reason that this must not be so, please comment now …….

Wait a minute….does this mean that these are already in my possession?! (Oops, Just don’t tell my husband)

I mean really, here is an example of some sample photos from today…. just dreadful don’t ya think?

Farm Shop Survey - Loch Leven Larder

Farm Shop Survey – Loch Leven Larder

Many of my friends live quite some distance due to the fact that we all met in Edinburgh and then dispersed to our husband’s various home turfs after the kids arrived.   This means that to see each other, we often split the travel (as gas is currently an eye-watering $10/gallon) and agree to meet somewhere central, which is usually a Farm Shop.  They can offer great locations, the kids get to play and we get a decent cappuccino and a bit of gourmet shopping to boot.   These are places that Mums love during the week and Dads get dragged to (somewhat begrudgingly) on the weekends.
 

Farm Shops are different from Farmers Markets (think chilly, drizzly car park/ parking lot on a Saturday morning), as they are usually stand alone shops attached to a single or group of farms selling meat, eggs, produce and some high-end bits and bobs.   As such,  I have decided to conduct a completely non-objective  survey of the farm shops in my area and any other ones I may come across in my travels. 

To begin, I start with the Grand Dame of them all…..LOCH LEVEN LARDER.
Travel a few miles from down this road

 First take the M90 Motorway to the Kinross exit, head to Milnathort and follow this wee country road out of town otherwise known as the A911. 

Continue past Burleigh Castle (pronounced “burly”) on left…
You will continue past this castle on your left,  (they literally have these things just laying about here) and in just a mile or so you should see this most welcome sign.  Look close it can be hard to see.
Hooray! You have arrived!

 

Congratulations – great pleasure awaits.
 

Greeter #1

 
You are initially greeted by the requisite Heilan’ Coo (Highland Cow) for proper rural flair.
 

Greeter #2 "Sky the Horse"

 
And as an added bonus you are also welcome to come and pet (but don’t sneak up on) a lovely one-eyed Welsh Pony named Sky.  She slipped on the ice.
 

Unassuming but tidy exterior

 

The exterior provides little clue as to what is come.  Unfortunately, I was unable to get any interior shots (cut me some slack I am new at this) but if anyone has seen Meryl Streep’s cafe in “It’s Complicated” that should give you some idea.   It wasn’t my intention but a menu just happened to come home with me (I blame the kids).  It may not be the done thing but I just had to include a copy to show how simple but freaking fabulous just about everything is on the menu.  Feast your eyes…. 
 
The Embodiment of Fresh, Seasonal & Local.

 

My friend’s little girl ordered and egg roll (US translation just the egg of a bacon, egg muffin) and as she bit into it the most ridiculously deep orange yolk slowing oozed out from the buttered roll – truly glorious.  I had the Puddledub Bacon Roll (US translation – just smoked back bacon on a buttered roll not dissimilar to a good quality hamburger bun, sounds unimpressive but I assure you it is not)  that I originally intended to split with my son, but it was so good I am afraid to admit he was mightily short-changed.
 

Brunch with Eggs Benedict AND High Tea - Nirvana.

 

As the menu boasts two of my very favourite concepts in eating, brunch AND high tea, I need to make a fair few more trips (a few without kids) until I can declare myself satiated.  Another big bonus of the interior is that the entire rear of the building is plate glass – wisely weather proofed to provide enjoyment of the view.  So if the weather is not so nice, kick back and relax.
Stunning View Looking East

However, if the weather is nice in the least, get yourself out back because the views are breathtaking.  There are about five different seating areas and a kids play area, each providing a different angle to the views.  This one is looking east from the back of the building with crystalline sunshine.

Stunning View to the South Overlooking Loch Leven

This is my favourite view looking due south at Loch Leven (it should look familiar).  There is an  island in the middle of the loch  in which Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned from 1567-1568 and from where she was forced to abdicate.  In the summer there is a boat tour out to the ruins of the castle, but while pondering this over your eggs benny, you could also opt for the amazing network of walks, bike paths or local nature reserves.  All in all,  a cracking day out.

The Weather

The Weather

OK, I realise that you can not have a blog in any way related to Scotland without addressing the weather. 
Scenes from My Daily Commute in Big Sky Country

Here is the deal, in truth – it is not that bad.   Scots seem to take their less than stellar weather very personally and I think that it is both unnecessary and  unjustified.  The problem is not really the cold winters, which except for this past year, are neither as freezing or long as say New York,  Boston or anywhere above.  Folks here don’t seem to be aware that much of the worlds exists with even colder, stormier and slushier weather than their own (and we are on the same latitude as Moscow for heaven’s sake).

Except for this past winter, the cars don't need much shovelling out in winter.

And on the eastern side of the country, it is not actually that wet or rainy either.  Unless it is actually raining on your head (which can on occasion reach car wash intensity) it is usually just very dry and windy.  The relative humidity of the Northeastern US is always brought  home when in high summer you can hang a damp beach towel on a line/ fence overnight, and there is a very good chance it will not be fully dry for your next day’s dip in the ocean. 

Some these bad boys (whirligigs) can hold upwards or 3-4 LOADS of wash at a time.

Here in the Kingdom of Fife people hang their washing out on the line ALL YEAR ROUND in an impressive display of determination.  If you are lucky, you can get 2-3 full loads up on the line and dry in about 2 hours.  If you are not, you and the majority of folks at the bus stop roll their eyes heavenward to bemoan the weather – not for the weather itself, but rather they had, “just put a wash out”.

Average walk to the shops in Fife

The problem is this –  the grey.  The fact that there is often not huge difference between October’s, March’s or July’s weather can wear on you after a while.  But here is the total upside of Scotland’s weather; it is very easy on your wardrobe budget (particularly for growing kids) and you can have your relatively monochrome world EXPLODE into the most brilliant sun shining day (or hour) which can make you feel like this on a regular basis:

Sunshine through the clouds

Every year people optimistically buy new garden furniture, open-toed sandals and sundresses.  Those same things may see little to no action in the months deemed to be” summer”.   As a new transplant I would often scoff (to myself mind you) at the  pre-marinated chicken on skewers all frozen and BBQ ready. (please read the “cook from frozen” stamp on the front packaging)

Pre-marinaded chicken skewers?

I thought , “really – is it so hard to invite some friends over, pop to the shops and grill up a bit of chicken?”.  Now I understand.  In the 45 minutes it would take to form the thought and complete the action you could totally miss the window and pass into a different season.  So when it is sunny, still and warm you better be prepared to jump!

Really, the weather is not so bad if you have the right clothes are willing to be prepared for any eventuality.  It is just when Scots (and everybody else) compares the indigenous summertime weather to that of Spain, Greece, South Africa or of course Disneyland Florida that it doesn’t seem so great.

My Blessings, My Wrinkles

My Blessings, My Wrinkles

A Brief Introduction to My Dreams Come True

Boudicca

 
My Ladybug is an amazing combination of Snow White looks and Wednesday Addams world perspective.  She chose to dress up as Boudicca http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boudica for World Book Day at school. She also runs a booming Rock Shop from our home most days after school – even in near hurricane conditions. That should provide a good clue as to her interests.
 

Rebel Without a Pause

 
 
Then there is my Rebel Without a Pause.  I am very tired at night – and come to think of it most of the day as well.  Still, I am very happy he is here and I have it on good family authority that he will settle down, eventually.
And here is the man who has made it all possible.  Thank you for making it soooo worth it to change my name and run off to a foreign country.

 

On Our Way to Elope

 I will do my best to keep you updated on all of our adventures!

 

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