Sunday, October 30, 2011

The clocks go back

Sunday morning on the Moray Firth

The clocks went back across the UK last night and here in Scotland we are about to experience the flipside to those wonderful long summer days. This far north our days will gradually shrink as we head towards Christmas, until at their shortest, we will only have light between 9:30am and 3pm.

If we lived in our own house I'd throw money at buying an enormous log-burning stove and the best brightest interior lighting money could buy, and then I'd hunker down and embrace winter. Sadly the closest I'm likely to get to any of that in a military quarter is an electric fire and some strip lights...Oh well!


But it's not all glum, Scotland can still surprise us! Just when you resign yourself to dark winter days, the weather Gods pull something unexpected out of the bag! We spent this morning on Lossiemouth beach, 6 adults, 4 dogs and 3 babies all enjoying the winter sunshine and fresh air, and then we followed it with a trip to our favourite local tea room, the Harbour Lights for brunch Scottish style... Sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and haggis. Now we didn't get that in Cyprus!

Hope you've had a weekend of pleasant surprises?!

Friday, October 28, 2011

What we've been up to...

Sunlight through trees

Gosh, where has two weeks gone?! We've spent most of the last fortnight getting ready for Jim's imminent departure to Afghanistan. This has meant furthering my quest to find the answer to the great question How Do You Walk Two Dogs & A Baby? After lots of trial and error, there are many answers, not just one. A coupling lead has made local on-lead walks possible, a twice weekly dog walker gives the dogs those odd extra energy-burning afternoon walks that Jim would normal do, and recruiting other wives to do walks together (more babies, more dogs) makes bigger further afield walks a little less daunting...


We've also been spending some time talking about the Big Holiday which will come at the end of all of this. We're planning to head to the east coast of Canada next spring, to see the part of the country we didn't get to when we were living there. I have 5 months to enjoying planning food, accommodation and places to visit, so I would welcome any suggestions of must dos in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island...


I've also been working on a few projects which should keep me out of mischief while I'm home alone over the winter (don't get too excited there's nothing in the Etsy shop yet...) 3 years ago when Jim went to Kenya for six weeks, he bought me a sewing machine to keep me busy and as chance would have it there's a second one on its way for this trip, but more on that in a later post...

And we're preparing to put a family tradition on hold for a while. This evening we're having our last Friday Night Pizza Night with heaps of fresh toppings some wonderful foccacia on the side. Jim will miss his homebaked bread while he's away, there really is nothing to compare to it.

And finally some of us have spent the last fortnight just hanging out in the house and relaxing... It's a hard life being a dog!

Curly beagle

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another quilt for Theo!

Fiona's gifts for Theo

How many quilts is too many quilts when you are just seven weeks old?! Personally I think it must be a pretty high number, as there's always somewhere to use them... One for under the play gym, one for over the back of the nursery chair (lovely to run your baby fingers over when you are being burped) one in the pram, another to kick about on in the sewing room (naturally) and a couple of spares for when the others are being washed...

Fiona's quilt made for Theo

And Theo is an amazingly lucky boy (again) because Fiona, another of our friends whom we lived near in Canada sent us this quilt last week, along with some burp cloths and some gorgeous sewn gifts.

Fiona will probably kill me for mentioning this, but the funniest part of the story is that after hurriedly completing all her sewing and dispatching it to us, she woke up in the middle of the night to realise with absolute horror that she'd forgotten to sew up the bottom of the fabric book pages after she'd turned them in the right way! So a little hand sewing project for mummy too... perfect!

Fiona's fabric book made for Theo (back with mini book in pocket)

When I consider the multitude of ways in which quilts have become used by our family, I do sometimes wonder what we did before we had them!?

Friday, October 14, 2011

A few good reads...

Vine reads

First of all, thank you for all the kind messages you sent after the last post they really meant a lot. I found out today about a friend-of-a-friend whose husband has just gone to Afghanistan and who is expecting her first baby in a few weeks, so that was a reality check! At least we have had Theo's first couple of months together as a family...

Today I have decided to add a new page to the blog for books (link is top right.) I've always been a voracious reader and it's the one indulgence I've managed to hang on to since Theo's birth. In fact I've found that by reading when he's feeding, I'm actually getting more time to read than I did before he was born! (But alas less time to sew!)

I've also been part of the Amazon Vine program since January and I've been lucky enough to get my hands on some great pre-release books, most of which I wouldn't have discovered otherwise. So I thought I'd share some of my reading experience with you and perhaps point you in he direction of some good novels. The page is work in progress at the moment, but if you have a book you love, please share your recommendations too...

And finally the titles on the page are linked to the real old-school paper copies of books on Amazon as that's the way I still read them. However after seeing Jim's Kindle today, I think I could be wavering...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Artwork for the nursery

Atticus poem in the nursery

The last bit of the nursery was finally put in place today, and it's got quite a story behind it...

Many years ago I was sent home from primary school with a project to write a poem about a cat. Of course like most children with homework, I asked for adult help, and on this occasion got it from my dad. At the time he was renovating the bathroom in our house, and I have a vivid memory of him concocting this poem for me whilst doing the plumbing (multi-talented chap my father!)

The original poem has long since been lost and when I was looking for ideas to decorate the nursery, I thought it would be a good excuse to rescurrect the poem (which I still had in my head) and perhaps see if I could find an artist to illustrate it.

I found the very talented Jane Eccles on Etsy and she created a beautiful picture for Theo at a very reasonable price. It arrived shortly after he was born, but we had a 5 week wait for it to be framed... Today we at long last got to pick it up, and it now hangs in pride of place above his cot. A little piece of family history to hand down...

Atticus poem

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