Thanks also to Mary of Mary's Mixes for doing all the work on the blog's heading. You are great, Mary!
Friday, 29 February 2008
On Monday morning I got a phone call to say that Leslie, widow of cousin Jim, in Dunfermline, had died peacefully in her sleep. As her nearest kin I have all the arrangements to make regarding the funeral. I spent all day Tuesday in Dunf, going between the doctor's surgery, registrar, lawyer and funeral director, and to tell the truth it was quite a difficult day with nothing going the way it should. I think if I had been a far closer relative of Leslie's and was absolutely devastated by her loss, I would have been pretty upset by the way things went. The worst bit was feeling that to the funeral director Leslie was just another number - another body - another job to be done! He couldn't even get her name right and I had to remind him on several occasions. Even when he spoke to me on the phone the next day he was still calling her by the wrong name, and I have to say I was not impressed by his - how can I describe it.... his attitude? his demeanour? I can't think of the right word.
Well, the funeral has been arranged now for Tuesday afternoon, but that was only sorted after a series of incidents that could really have upset a closer family member far more. As it was, I still did get a little upset.
Well, as if that wasn't bad enough I came home on Tuesday night from Dunfermline and opened my emails. "Sad news" said one and I read that a good friend from my few years in Yorkshire, just over twenty years ago, had died. He was only a couple of years older than me, but he led a poor lifestyle and I'd say was a heart attack just waiting to happen. I had been very fond of John, as I think everyone was who knew him, and was so glad I had seen him last year for the first time in a good number of years, when I went down to Yorkshire for a visit. His funeral is on Tuesday too, so obviously I can't go, but I have spoken to a friend down there who may be able to go instead.
Oh and I'm not finished with the bad news just yet. My great friend Vina, is losing her battle with the lung cancer. We had all hoped that the last news we had about the tumour having shrunk, was a good sign, but it seems that the cancer is still active, and she now has blood clots in her lungs. The consultant has said there is really little he can do as she is so weak, and that he doesn't expect her to last more than a few more days. I saw her today before I went to work, and felt that the Vina I knew had gone already. It was a strange woman lying there, looking so frail and out of it. She did respond a little to me talking to her but I think her brain is shutting out stuff, and she wasn't really understanding everything. She looked puzzled most of the time, staring out of eyes that look too big for her face.... Crumbs I am getting morbid now, but believe me this is helping me to come to terms with the fact that we are going to be saying goodbye to her very soon. I'm crying now. Perhaps that's a good thing.
Sorry no pictures today. I will do some new layouts soon. Bear with me, and forgive me if I don't blog for a bit.
Talk again soon.
Sunday, 24 February 2008
My photos of that time are all prints and I haven't got round to scanning them yet, but I'll show you a layout of Clare's and Nathan's visit to Scotland last year. In this photo we had just had lunch at South Queensferry looking out at the Forth Bridges, before they headed off on the next stage of their journey to visit rellies on Clare's mum's side. It was great to see them.
However, back to the invitation.... much as I would love to go over to Oz and be at their wedding - and incidentally, also at her sister's wedding the following month - I just cannot afford the time off work, at least part of which would have to be unpaid, as I have already got some of my holiday entitlement earmarked for the summer lacemaking week in Knoydart and a trip to Ireland a little later.
Here's another layout... of Sally and her fiance this time.
They came to Edinburgh for a few days in the summer where Sally had talks with some medical people about the possibility of doing some work here. Watch this space!
They are both lovely girls, Claire and Sally, with gorgeous guys as future husbands. It would be so lovely to share their special days with them, but I will have to be content with seeing photos, and perhaps I can do them a scrapbook page each as a present.
Meant to say about that Spanish group I was off to the other day.... There were only three of us, Helen, Tony and myself. The other two have been studying together for a while, self taught I would think, as from my memories of school their pronunciation leaves a lot to be desired. Tony wants us to speak Spanish ALL the time which is ok when you have the vocabulary, but at this stage, I haven't, so I will do my best and use English where I have to, to ask questions that need a bit of explanation, for example. Despite his obviously frequent visits to Spain, I don't think he 'hears' the correct pronunciation or inflection, so that his conversation is very hard to follow. At least Helen speaks slowly and clearly and is easier to follow. She has been kind enough to lend me some books and papers that will help me to revise! After all it is 40 years since I left school, and I have hardly used any Spanish since then. Despite all the problems, I felt I acquitted myself pretty well, and am looking forward to the next meeting.
Tomorrow morning is the Genealogy group! I missed the first meeting so mustn't forget this one! It's English genealogy we are doing, as the people who have organised the group are English, but that's fine as my mother's mother and her family came from the north east of England. Maybe I should set up a group to do Scottish genealogy though, as there are big differences in the way that data was collected and how and where it is to be found.
I laughingly say I could bore for Scotland on the subject of my family tree, but surprisingly people seem to quite interested in the stories I can tell about the ancestors! I am really lucky in that I have manuscripts from two branches of the family giving lots of historical and social details about themselves and their families. However I have also researched a lot about my other families - mother's, grandparents', great grandparents, etc....... so not only do I have a family tree, but a small forest of them!
Well, I had better be off to put all my notes together for tomorrow!
Saturday, 23 February 2008
Thursday, 21 February 2008
Sunday, 17 February 2008
And now - the artist! I made a discovery yesterday! We have a customer who comes regularly into our shop. Nice guy, early 50s. Up till yesterday I was under the impression his name was James - that's how he registered for the DVD hire - but on visiting a newish art gallery in the town yesterday I discovered that "James" is actually "Joseph", and an artist whose watercolour paintings I have always liked. Somehow I'd always imagined the artist to be an elderly man, but not at all! I also discovered that he teaches art classes, something I've often thought about doing, and they're on Tuesdays, which just happen to be my day off. Much as I like watercolours, well painted, I didn't think that would be my forte. A friend paints with acrylics and I have an acrylics painting by another local artist so thought that would be my preference rather than oils. However Joe also paints with gouaches, and I think that would definitely suit me, so I've expressed an interest in a class! Of course I may not be any good - but.... watch this space!
Meanwhile have a look at Joe's paintings...Well, once again, time for me to clear off!
Thursday, 14 February 2008
Bonnie belonged to his mum, but came to stay with David after his mum died. She's a lovely cat, who is relishing the freedom to roam in the countryside after a life in the town. Saying that, she also likes to sleep a lot!
Tuesday, 12 February 2008
I am signed up for several groups - intermediate Spanish, gardening and genealogy (English genealogy at that, because the person offering to host the group is English!! Actually it suits me quite well as I have mother's side of the family to investigate. They were all Geordies - in other words they came from round about Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I know a little but am hoping to find out more.) Jane, my great grandmother, was born in South Shields, but married a Scotsman. Her daughter, my grandmother, was also born in South Shields and she too married a Scot! Mother used to say about Jane that she never felt properly dressed until she had her earrings on!
Monday, 11 February 2008
We are now into a 6th day of sunshine! Can't believe it! It's February, for heavens sake! The forecast is good too! Temperatures around 10 - 12C (50 - 54F) and sunshine - all week! It's pretty cold at night though!
Friday, 8 February 2008
Then he was introduced to pioneer photographer Robert Adamson, and the suggestion was made that 'photos' could be taken of them all and at a later stage Hill would paint them into his picture! The two men began working together, Adamson taking the pictures - or calotypes - while Hill did the arranging of the subjects to make the most of the available light. Later, they worked together on other subjects, and a series of pictures were taken in the village of Newhaven, a fishing village near Leith, outside the city of Edinburgh on the south bank of the Firth of Forth.
Thursday, 7 February 2008
Grandfather was a very early member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club founded well over a century ago now. His peers were the pioneers of the day, exploring the previously little known routes up to the Scottish summits. One of the men he would have walked and talked with was Sir Hugh Munro, the man whose name was given to all the Scottish mountain tops over 3000 feet in height. Munro was the compiler of the original list of these tops, but though he listed them, he never climbed all of them, to become the first Munro-bagger! It was quite an achievement in the early days, to "bag" all 277 or so of them, but now it is quite commonplace, and I believe there are even people who have completed the list twice! Grandfather wasn't one of them and nor was my dad. Although they climbed a lot of mountains neither of them managed to check off the whole list even once - and as for me, well you could count on two hands the number of Munros I got to the top of! I was certainly not a "bagger" of mountains!
This has taken several attempts, but here we are! At last!
Unfortunately Sir Hugh doesn't appear to be on this trip, and although I have the names of most of the members in the photo I am not familiar with more than a couple. The most important person to me though, is the man standing to the right of the group - grandfather! The original glass slide of another photo of this same group, this time taken by grandfather, is in the SMC collection. Grandfather also contributed articles to the SMC journal, some of which were re-published in the book brought out for the centenary of the club. What illustrious ancestors I have!
Well, once again, that's it for now.
Talk again soon!
Wednesday, 6 February 2008
I think this photo was taken on the top of Arthur Seat, the volcanic plug round which the city of Edinburgh grew! Well, it began to grow up round the Castle rock, a smaller volcanic plug, but in time spread out round the higher hill, taking in more and more small villages on its outskirts. We really grew up in the shadow of Arthur Seat, so it was an obvious choice for a first ascent! I was probably carried up there many times before I actually achieved it on my own two feet!
So whenever I am out in the countryside, I feel dad is there too, even at 98! He certainly would have been if he could have been!
Talk again soon.
Tuesday, 5 February 2008
Saturday, 2 February 2008
Friday, 1 February 2008
Haven't blogged for a day or two! On Tuesday night I suddenly realised my tax return had to be submitted by Thursday, so spent all day - off and on - on Wednesday trying to find the info I needed to fill it in! I got it done, but not in time to post, so yesterday morning I drove up to Edinburgh - in the snow and howling wind - and handed it in personally!!!! Talk about cutting it fine, skin of the teeth, and all those sort of expressions! Anyway, it's done! THANK GOODNESS!
On the way home I called in at Linda's school and had lunch with her and some of the other staff in the staffroom! I have met quite a few of the staff there over the years, so feel quite at home with them! The drive home wasn't too bad as there wasn't a lot of snow for most of the journey. It just seemed to be when I got near Peebles that it got worse! Anyway, it didn't last! Again it turned to rain and by last night when I finished work it had all but been washed away!
By the way, the dance wasn't on Tuesday night! It's actually tonight! I've managed to get someone to cover 3 hours out of my shift so I can accompany Vina, but I'll have to be like Cinderella and be back at work, but a darn sight earlier than midnight! I have to be back by 9.30 to do the last hour and a half - packing up the day's newspapers, facing up the shelves (bringing all the things on shelves to the front to make it look tidy with less gaps), etc.
Haven't put in a scrapbook page yet! What can I show you today? Well, there's my little hamster picture! Priscilla aka Moosie, has been running around in her three tiered cage behind me here, but at the moment, is chucking food from her dish in all directions for some reason! She's sitting IN her dish, burrowing into the seeds and grains and things, and shoving it out with her nose and feet! So here she is: well she would be if only I could get the page to load! I've not had this problem before! It has all gone very smoothly up till now. I just can't get the browser page to open!
Wow! Did it! Had to close the draft blog and reopen it - and I found out how to do that too! Hurray!
Anyway, here's Priscilla! I just call her Moosie! She's really cute, and so funny. You know how hamsters fill their cheek pouches and then empty them into their sleeping area? Well I hung a treat thing in Moosie's cage for her to nibble on and she demolished the whole thing in one go, put all the seeds and things in her pouches and then proceeded to empty them again - in her dish!!!!!
Well, I've taken so long to get this far that it's time for work!
No more time!
Talk again soon!