The Big Trip

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Another award - thanks Doodles!!!

I received this award today From Donna a.k.a. Doodles Dumpkins) who has just this week joined the blogging world with a very pretty blog here. So many many thanks to Donna.

The conditions of this award are that I must name the person who has given the award and list their blog and link to it. (Done!!) I must list 10 honest things about myself. I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog. I must select at least seven other worthy bloggers & list their links. I must notify the bloggers of the award.

As I've already made this list I'm sure I will be forgiven for just copying it up as I'm really quite a boring person with very little to say for myself LOL!!

So here goes :

I hate ironing
I wish I could give up smoking
I don’t think I’m a creative paper crafter
I would give my last anything to someone who needed it more than me – but would have to give it long thought when it comes to my K&Co Blue Awning papers!!!
I don’t recognise stress in myself
I was a Scottish Under 18 archery champion
When my numbers come up, it’s a house by the sea for me
I’m terrible with money
My favourite colour is blue
I wanted to be a nurse when I was young but it wasn’t to be.

My 7 worthy bloggers are

Valerie-Jael whose work is absolutely stunning - go see!!

My dear friend Maria who in her very limited spare time produces some beautiful work and in her blog reminds us of the things in life which truly matter

Dyan Reaveley of Art from The Heart who workshops I aspire to attend at least once!!

Sall in Devon from her Aunty Gill

Sue - if you know her, you love her!

Caz - for courage

And last but by no means least - Ann Caldwell who first gave me this award - thanks Ann for my weekly doses of pure creativity!!


Sunday, 23 August 2009

The best laid plans ...............

Or to Quote Burns accurately in "To A Mouse"

"The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley,"

Here I am at the end of three weeks holiday from work and I seem to have so little to show for it. But then how often are we subject to influences beyond our control e.g. health, weather, other people's needs/wishes?

Anyway, here I sit, having determined today to get at last a little light crafting done before my life resumes it's normal hectic pace again tomorrow

First creation made using a new Cuttlebug die set and scraps from a secret project which will accompany this card. Also took a chance to air my Rhona Farrer Swirl stamps and my new Dex Drop Brilliance ink pads:

Next card came about when I was browsing through some printouts of downloads from Digistamp Boutique. Some Brenda Pinnick papers, titles cut using Cricut, unearthed my watercolour pencils and came up with this which, for some reason best known to myself, really pleases me.

The weather up here has been abysmal for the last few days and generally when I've headed towards the shed, Charlie has been hot on my heels and is quite happy to sit and keep my company!! On the days the other week when I couldn't really get up and about very easily, he acted as a perfect temperature hot water bottle, seeming to know just where I was sore and how to snuggle in without too much pressure. He's such a big softy and I just adore him.

Yesterday I was still in the throes of some flu-type lurgy and decided to snuggle on the cough in the afternoon and came across the most fabulous film, 84 Charing Cross Road. The lead characters of Helen Hanff and Frank Doel were played beautifully by Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins. I sat engrossed for the whole of the film and tonight am ordering the book of the same name, as well as Helene Hanff's Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. I will say no more but urge you, if you love a truly good film which doesn't contain sex or violence, to spare yourself a couple of hours and sit and watch it.

And so I must be off, to prepare the workday clothes and paraphernalia, and prepare for the sleepless night which always precedes my return to work after any lengthy absence. Strange thing that!

Take care


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Shopping, school and Demented Dad

Well dear reader

It's been a funny old week since I last wrote.

My darling boy was home from Friday until Wednesday as it was his birthday on Tuesday and there was no way no how he was going to spend that important day in school. The little soul was as good as gold the whole weekend with lots of interaction in the form of requests for "tickles", "tig" and endless food. This boy looks like a pencil with the wood scraped off so goodness only knows where all the food goes. I think he burns it off as soon as he digests it!

OH took Ross back to school yesterday morning and at about 11.30 the phone goes and the conversation runs:


"Yes Dad?"

"What are you doing just now?"

"Not a lot - why?"

"Good - get yourself down here now before I put this b***y paint away. I'll give you breakfast when you come down."

By way of explanation, my Dad is a true highlander and a man of few words!! The background to the conversation, as far as I knew at that point, was that he had been instructed the previous day, in mu mum's absence, to paint their small living room. It had also been planned that the Council would arrange uplift of their three piece suite that day as a new one was to be on the books.

So off I trotted like a dutiful daughter. On arrival my opinion was sought of the paint job - but what can you really say about Barley White? Mum and Dad were standing looking at me expectantly so I dutifully responded that it looked "Fine" (my most hated word in the English vocabulary!!!

In the adjoining dining room I noticed the should-have-been departed suite lying. When I asked why it was still there Dad reported that the Council men had appeared the previous day to collect it as arranged but that he had sent them away empty-handed. When I asked why he replied that my not-so-darling husband had commented that it would be good for our conservatory. OVER MY DEAD BODY - MEN!!!! My mum was well aware of my thoughts on that matter and was hiding in the kitchen trying not to wet herself laughing.

Meantime my OH had arrived in response to my text to get himself down to Dad's. Needless to say the men in the family were informed that the aforementioned suite was going to the council tip and nowhere else - certainly not within a mile of our house!!! Gill 1 - Men 0.

Longs story cut short, I had to phone the appropriate Council Department and ask for the suite to be uplifted. When the 12 year old girl on other end of phone asked for details I gave them and explained that the job had already been requested. She asked why the job hadn't been done as had been called in some 9 days previously. I explained that indeed they had but that my darling dad in his demented state had sent them away and told them he had changed his mind. I could sense that the girl was struggling with all this.

"So our men did come but they didn't take the item?"
"That's right"
"Because my father has dementia and got confused and sent them away without the item"
"So I can I please arrange for the item to be uplifted?"
"Can you hold the line a moment please?"
"No problem"

The girl comes back to my remarkably promptly and says that the item will be uplifted tomorrow (Today) but can was please ensure that it is outside the house and repeated this request about three times. I think the men didn't want to deal with the demented pensioner again!!

All the while this conversation is being relayed on hands-free round the kitchen table and my mum and dad are sitting in kinks and OH (who lacks our familial sense of humour) is just sitting shaking his head.

For the avoidance of doubt (in case anyone reading this knows the aforementioned Mr Sutherland) my dad is of extremely sound mind (although his hips are a bit iffy these days) and indeed lectured on psychiatry for about 30 years. He was however greatly tickled by the notion of losing his marbles and for the remainder of the day referred to himself as "your poor demented Dad". I have not enquired today as to whether the suite made a safe interrupted departure from their back garden where OH and I deposited yesterday immediately after the telephone conversation!!!

OF greater excitement to me yesterday was the arrival of my Cuttlebug from Cutting Edge Crafts. Fab price and fab service from them!

In addition I got a couple of embossing folders delivered:-

Birds and Swirls

And Leafy Branch

I could easily fall in love with this little machine!

Went off shopping today with mate Tania to Craft At Home and haven't spent such a joyous stash-filled hour in such a long time. This shop is filled with the most delectable stash assortment I've come across and adore their K & Co!!!! The two ladies who were serving us (repeatedly) were absolutely fabulous - funny, knowledgeable and absolutely ace saleswomen. Hence why T and I were both back at the till about 5 times between us. There is a funny story about this but if you want to read about it look here. If you want to meet these two wonders in person, visit Craft At Home in Blantyre or visit their stand at the SECC in October.

Will stop boring you to death now dear reader and put details of my crafty purchases on blog later.

Before I go I just want to send the biggest sparkiest hugs I can to Maria and Steven, mother and son, who endured the trauma and worry of Steven's general anaesthetic today. Hope all went well and without cause for concern.



Thursday, 13 August 2009

Girls on Safari

Good evening dear follower

I woke this morning and realised it would be the last day of my daughter's summer holidays during which we would have a chance to do something interesting without having to take into account the interests and thoughts of the male members of the household.

Accordingly I asked Alexandra what she wanted to do and her instant answer was "Safari Park". Well, the sun was shining, the housework can always wait and it's only 45 minute drive so it was all systems go. A quick call to my mum confirmed that she was up for this mini adventure. So by 12.15 we were parked up at Blair Drummond and ready for a bit fun.

See my slideshow below for some of my fave pics from the day. Have to say though, it's very much still a case of "Meerkats Rule!!"

We had a really fab afternoon and even found time to visit Chimp Island but unfortunately I couldn't get any good shots as I was on the wrong side of the boat - trust me!!

All in all, a fab day which might have started off pretty poorly with news that I'm more than likely going to need surgery to get rid of all this pain I'm getting - but that'll be a while yet so no point in fretting. Onwards and upwards!

Definitely need to get some scrapping done in the last week of the holidays, I think a Meerkat page is a must!

Now, must head for bed as am off down to collect Ross in the morning to bring him home for a long weekend as it's his birthday on Tuesday, so he's home until Wednesday - Yay!!!!


Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Holiday Week 1 - Mixed Fortunes

Dear Reader

Here I am with one week of the holidays gone already. The first few days were a miox of the usual stuff without the hassle of having to fit work in around them! On Thursday I had a rare opportunity to spend time with Ross down at school. These visits come in the middle of his spell between arriving back at school on a Monday and coming back home again on the following Friday. A welcome break for all concerned. We spend time just off campus in a cabin set in the middle of a beautiful sensory garden.

When you enter the garden you come under/through (never sure which) a gazebo over which is growing the most gorgeous honeysuckle with gorgeous yellow flowers and these amazing spirals blooms - they're just amazing to look at and I'm sorry my photography doesn't do them justice!

The cabin is up on your right and is just my idea of bliss - when my numbers come up on the Lottery, I'm having one just like this as a craft hideaway, complete with kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms!!!

You stand on the balcony and look out and see nothing but trees, trees and more trees with no traffic noises - bliss. My favourite tree is the red acer in front of the balcony. In the sunshine the upper sides of the leaves are dark red and the under sides are bright crimson but again my photography just doesn't do this any credit.

We had a lovely time chilling out on what was an absolutely gorgeous day down in that neck of the woods. There was scarcely a breeze, the air was warm, and Ross and I were quite happy just spending time together just the two os us - an unfortunately too rare occurrence. I took time, while he was watching a dvd, to try and capture some of the delights of this little haven for your enjoyment.

Friday saw me heading off to the hospital for more scans in an effort to locate the source of this damned lurgy which is causing me so much grief. Hopefully an answer this week! Friday night and my parents, DD and I went off partying in wild Coatbridge at a surprise joint 60th birthday party for my aunt and uncle. A fab time was had by all but guess who forgot her camera - idiot!!

After a lazy Saturday morning I got settled in the shed to do some serious crafting and about 4'ish remembered that I had to venture into the village to do a few errands so off I set. Fifteen minutes later, in middle of ASDA no less, I was struck down with the most awful abdominal pain imaginable - in ASDA I ask you!!! Weel, managed to stagger to car before passing out, made a phonecall to hubby who duly arrived with my Mum in order to retrieve me and OH's car. Funny how it's always his car I get stranded with when this pain comes on? Maybe it's the car? Anyway, that was me laid up until about lunch-time yesterday. I was truly not a happy bunny as I had to forgo a long-awaited visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery so that Alexandra could see the Dr Who exhibition. By Sunday morning it was patently clear I was going nowhere so bravely (with martyr hat on) suggested that Hubby took DD off, just the two of them. No arguments from either of them - I'm not a good patient!!!

Anyway, by Monday night I was muchos imrpoved so had a visit from the lovely Tania and the even more grogous MacDuff, hr fourmmonth old Westie pup. Isn't it amazing how four month olds, animal or human, can totally kill conversation (in the nicest possible way)? That little pooch is so cute!!!

Anyway, today finds me back to something resembling a normal looking (it's all relative mind you) so felt at leasst a little blogging was called for while waiting for rain to go off. Crafting planned for later, finishing the projects which were so rudely cut off before completion on Saturday!!

More later!!!

Thanks for allowing me to bore you dear reader!!


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Three Beautiful Weeks

Yes dear Reader, that's how long I've got off work. Three lovely weeks to do pretty much as a I please, when I please. Except that is, when I need to act as taxi driver to daughter, do occasional h*******k and i*****g. I plan to get off up to St Andrews this week, we all as a family just adore the place. I have a friend who is a golf pro and he's given me his card and that acts as an invitation to play a bit of some of the lovely courses up there.

For me there are rituals to be observed at the start of the summer break. You'll laugh at this one, but if you're a woman, perhaps not. High on the to do list is a handbag for the holidays. This year's delectation is a bright red moc-croc affair. Now I don't go for big expense - it's purely to make me smile and this one definitely does the trick so let me know what you think. Subdued it ain't!!!

Another thing that I love about the holidays s that first Sunday evening when you realise that you don't need to rush around like an eejit making sure all the ironing is done ready for the working week - now that really is my idea of bliss!!

While I was in the garden tonight pondering that particular pleasure, I noticed some lovely new blooming additions to my collection of pots. The first was this gorgeous crimson geranium.

And then this little beauty hiding up near my little corner of crafting heaven way down the bottom of the garden

Ross has been home this weekend, and has been in fantastic form, although going by the look of his face, perhaps that hasn't been the case at school this week. We just keep applying the arnica cream and pray for calm for his little soul.

I was all set to do the return trip to school with him tomorrow but OH wants to do it so Alexandra and I will stay home and do some errands and make lunch for his return. Alexandra has music lessons in the afternoon so I shall have a genuine couple of hours R&R as OH is working for the next two weeks. I SHALL NOT ACT PLEASED ABOUT THIS OMMISSION ON HIS PART - I should write 100 lines about that little fact!!!

The week will then be free for other jaunts and explores.

Take are dear reader and I shall post regularly from different destinations for your delectation and undoubted boredom!!


Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Missing Pieces and healing times

Good evening dear reader

I know I've been a really bad blogger of late but I'm afraid I've just been weary beyond belief. The last 6 months have been a bit hard going physically but hopefully that will come to an end sooner rather than later.

Anyway, come Friday of this week I'm off work for three whole weeks - BLISS. It's been manic at work this month with everyone else taking holidays and me holding the fort. It's been good fun but a bit hard going at times.

However, even better, my darling boy is home this weekend - a double celebration methinks.

A good friend of mine, Trudy, sent me the link for this YouTube video:

No matter the country, no matter the family, what this guy says rings true to anyone who has any experience of autism, however near or far. In my worst days, or more to the point, on Ross's worst days, I will readily admit that I hate autism and what it does to people. Like most physical conditions/diseases/syndromes, it is so damned unfair to the people affected. I don't just mean the individual with the label, but everyone in their circle. How so I get by? I just remind myself that there's always someone a hell of a lot worse off - and sometimes it works.

A less well known fact, dear reader, about my life, is that I share it with my darling 22 year old stepson. Andrew is 22, gorgeous and as good-natured as the day is long. Full of laughter and cheek but never a cross word or unkind action. The fact that he has profound and multiple learning difficulties and is profoundly affected by cerebral palsy are really just a sideline fact. I wonder if you are ever walking in your local town or village and see someone
, obviously with immense personal care needs, using a wheelchair with support? Maybe because of our experiences I'm aware but do you ever give thought to the provision of toilet facilities for these people. I think it really is tokenism at best in about 95% of cases. What if they can't sit on the loss - with our without support? How would you feel if it was you or your loved one and they had to be laid on a cold dirty floor to have your basic needs attended to? I know you're wondering where I'm going with this particular rant and here it is. There is a petition you can sign online to help raise awareness of this deficiency and campaign for increased appropriate facilities, with changing beds - adult sized ones, ones which are variable height to help the carer's backs. I could go on and on about this particular issue but instead I ask you to take a dew minutes to click here and sign the Changing Places petition. If you're in England you can do the same here. Think about it - if you need to!

Right - here endeth the sermon!! All blogs for the next three weeks will be fun, fun and more fun.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, 29 June 2009

Thunder Clouds and Silver Linings

Good evening dear reader

I think it's fair to say that I've been a bit distracted of late what with one thing and another. I was on a friend's blog recently and saw this imaginative way of summing things up without going into detail and I know Sue will forgive me - imitation being the purest form of flattery and all that! It really all got a bit intense for a few days but it's passed now and I'm dealing with it now the best way I know how - just get on with it and don't even think about moaning. My thanks though to Eileen for providing the knowing and listening ear.
Anyway. On a less challenging note, last week saw Graduation taking place at work. A few of our casual staff were graduating this summer and so I thought I'd make the effort to do some card which turned into word books. There I was burning the midnight oil, following helpful input from my friend Tania!

I have to confess that I scraplifted the idea from the Cricut Crafts forum and yet again counted my blessings where having my Cricut are concerned! You'll have guessed the the University colour is green which I put up along with the black of the graduation robes.

The "congrats" emblem was a fab find on the "George and Basic Shapes" cartridge (I think!) and the photos don;t really do it justice.

However, my favourite touch was these beautiful little silver effect lion rampant brads with a little bling stone atop - I absolutely adore them and am pretty sure they are by Delish. The tartan ribbon was a piece I had bought "just in case" at some point in the dim and distant past and only goes to prove that gut purchases can be wise ones!!!

The sun shone on Wednesday and Thursday and the Graduates all looked respectively handsome and beautiful and associated family and friends looked suitably proud. I think it's easy to forget that it's really the culmination of everything the University is about when we're all so busy running a really busy and large department like Sports Development. Anyway, it was a lovely end to what had been a fairly horrendous 7 days, which included a good bout of concussion and more tears than I care to think about.

Also, to top matters off, I went for a scan to see if a source could be found for some recurring pain I've been suffering and half an hour alter the radiographer lassie told me there was something on my right ovary which was probably causing all the bother. I have to wait until Monday next to get the final result - joy!!!

In search of a silver lining to a busy Monday I ventured out into the garden and was delighted to see that colour has arrived:

In the past I have been a real fuchsia fanatic but let it fall by the wayside when family matters were more pressing. My dad however, bless him, seemed determined to reawaken my interest and presented me with these two beauties about a month ago. Thanks Dad!!!!

On the bright side, schools here have broken up for the summer so no more roaring at daughter to get out her pit five mornings out of seven LOL!! Sadly, it's also a reminder that there's no such things as ordinary long summer holidays for my darling boy! It's more than he could cope with, and so we all make do with our treasured second weekends and occasional long weekends. Treasure these long breaks ladies when you start wishing your children back to school by the third week of the holidays. It's yet another one of those things that you don't miss until it's gone.
Here I am being a right little misery - my apologies. Still as my good friends on Docrafts would say - better in than out - eh ladies?
Right, onwards and upwards and off out to retrieve my washing in this lovely evening sunshine - long may it last. Only five weeks and then I'm off work for three glorious weeks - yippee!!!
Take care dear reader.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Look what I got - pardon the grammer!!!!

I was totally and utterly gobsmacked when I went on to Anne Caldwell's blog yesterday for my daily dose of creativity, and found that she had given me this award. Thank you so much Ann.
The conditions of the award are: I must thank the person who gave me the award. List their blog and link to it. I must list 10 honest things about myself. I must put a copy of The Honest Scrap Logo on my blog. I must select at least seven other worthy bloggers & list their links. I must notify the bloggers of the award. That'll be my challenge for the weekend.
Now, 10 honest things about me - well here goes:
I hate ironing
I wish I could give up smoking
I don’t think I’m a creative paper crafter
I would give my last anything to someone who needed it more than me – but would have to give it long thought when it comes to my K&Co Blue Awning papers!!!
I don’t recognise stress in myself
I was a Scottish Under 18 archery champion
When my numbers come up, it’s a house by the sea for me
I’m terrible with money
My favourite colour is blue
I wanted to be a nurse when I was young but it wasn’t to be.
My 7 worthy bloggers are:
While I'm on I just want to let Sue, Maria and Gina know that I'm thinking about them as they face their respective troubled times. We all face problems in life and it's how we deal with them and cope with them that determines what kind of people we really are. They are three lovely ladies who are toughing it out with grace and I send them my love and encouragement.
Anyway, onwards and upwards and catch up soon.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Come in Number 1366 and your time is.....

Evening all

Yet again I've been a bad blogger and committed nothing to the ether for about a week. Why - too busy living but not doing anything of any real interest.
Today however, a couple of things of interest to some though probably not all.

Firstly Alexandra took part in the Falkirk Race For Life on the most gorgeous morning imaginable, if a bit hot for a 5k run. It was her first run and she took part in the LHS Babes Team (LHS being Larbert High School) and she came in inn just over 35 minutes. Not bad for her first run and the really high temps, especially up in the forest parts.

I've done the race a couple of times myself and never cease to be overwhelmed by the emotion of the whole event. You can't help but read the comments on the runners vests but I try so hard not to for fear of ending up a blubbering wreck.

Anyway I'm so proud of my girl and even more amazed that she belted looking to the finishing line looking as cool and composed as when she's started. I'd have been a greasy little puddle!!!

My girl - No 1366 of 2,200.

What else? Oh yes, just for my mate Sue Bubbles and her kitty Bubbles, I've finally remembered to blog a photo of the King of Cool - Charlie Parker

In the absence of Ross, this is the real man of the house. He really likes to think he rules the roost. We got him as a rescue cat about 7-8 years ago and uses up his lives on a regular basis and just keeps on going. He is Alexandra's cat really and loves his girl and sleeps at the bottom of her bed - waiting until she's asleep then circling round and round until the poor girl is squashed against the wall on about 6 inches of bed and this big furry brute has all the rest to himself. He is considerate however, and doesn't wake her at 4 in the morning to get out - oh no, he comes to me for that one!!
Anyway, not a particularly awesome post but had to be done!
Take care

Sunday, 24 May 2009

A Good Luck book and a silver lining

Have been way too tired over the last week to even drop a blog line over the past week. OH has been working lates and have been running about after DD and trying to keep on top of housework and working some long days etc.

Anyway, on the bright side this has been Ross's weekend home which is always a joy, bless him. He continues to make progress and finally seems to be acquiring the better quality of life which is his due.

At work, we are losing one of our grads (graduate assistants) - Rona. She's off to work with the Minister for Sport in Zambia - how's that for different? It's not her first trip out there and I know she'll do a fab job - she's a wonderful girl. So come Tuesday, no more Rona and I for one will miss her perennially smiling face and infective laugh.

I was asked to make a leaving card for Rona for Tuesday - aaargh. As you'll know, I'm no cardmaker. I'm well aware that there's be a lot of people who will want to leave a message for Rona, so I decided to make a little book with plenty of journalling sports for people to scribble on. There are also plenty of little tags for people to use for their messages. The papers are from a Zen Garden kit which I got ages ago from QVC. I have it in red and blue and opted to use the blue papers for this little book. I managed to get this done over this weekend - think I work better under pressure. I think this also qualifies me for the "Using old stash" challenge over on Docrafts. Excuse the poor quality photos - fading light and shaky hands don't do the work any favours. See what you think below - comments good and constructive welcome!!!

Now for the silver lining bit of the evening. Those of you with a weak disposition turn away now though!!!! In school this week Ross has been sick a couple of times although appeared to be neither up nor down in between thee bouts. Anyway, yesterday I was in the sitting room when I heard him belting to the bathroom, and then an ominous cough and splash!. Poor little soul was really quite sick but not distressed. I hear you asking where the silver lining bit is to this story. Well, Ross is now 11 and a half years old and really struggles with personal care matters. He would until recently have been sick where he was, but seems to have learned very quickly about the appropriate place for this - given his autism, this is a really major achievement so another three cheers for the boy!!!! He's been fine today so hopefully the bug or whatever it is is passing.
As I type I'm watching Britain's Got Talent and as a true Scot I have to support Susan Boyle but boy, those dancers - Diversity - were just fabulous. I did think Susan was a bit nervous, but once she got into her stride we were reminded of why she caused such a stir in the auditions - and SHE's THROUGH TO THE FINAL - well done Susan!!!!! Diversity have just been voted through by the judges - well done boys!
This week looks like being another busy one as OH is working late every night so it will be up to me to run around after DD for various music lessons, Guides, athletics etc. No rest up at the weekend as I've got a busy day Saturday and DD is running in Race for Life on Sunday in Falkirk . Hoping to spend Friday night down at the school with Ross all being well and time allowing.
Back to work for me tomorrow and Ross is back to school, as is Alexandra. No half-term up here but at least the weekend has been dry and warmish for the dreaded w*****g.
Hope you've all enjoyed the weekend and the sun has shone for you. Must go get organised for the day to come.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

It's funny what you can get done when.........

......... when you're confined to barracks for supposed R&R.

I set off down to the school on Thursday and popped in by the house to pick up some bits and pieces for Ross. Wasn't feeling too hot so took some painkillers and other meds. Good move in that they got me down to the school.

Long story cut short - by 4 in afternoon I was lying flat out on a sofa in the school in agony. Had no choice but to lie there until meds kicked in a bit. Big problem was that there was no way I was going to be able to drive the return 60 miles home!!! OH was working so my precious Dad and brother-in-law came to my rescue. I was finally able to get up by about 8.30 and so Dad drove down with Al for company to the school and Al drove Jim's car back up with me in it. What a kerfuffle. Anyway, needless to say there was no way I was fit for work yesterday so did little else than mooch around and make sure that DD had packed everything she needed for Guide camp this weekend (there's another story!!).

Anyway, got up this morning still feeling pretty tender and with all the energy of a newborn baby. Decided this afternoon that enough was enough and ventured down to my little haven at the bottom of the garden while OH was working on my car in garage (hence why I had his car on Thursday!!). I recently downloaded some freebie images from Tinker & Co and decided that perhaps a little gentle card making was the order of the day. First up was some beautiful tree images and backing papers which aren't really done justice by my camera or scissors but see what you think.

I then remembered that I had an entry to do for a fat book by the end of this week and was totally flummoxed as theme was really quite vague. Knowing the recipient I decided to opt for using some of my treasured and gradually dwindling stock of K & Company's Blue Awning .

If nothing else, by this point, I felt that I had ticked one box on my ever present, ever-growing "to do" list over the past three days.

Doing a spot of surfing after making dinner (no eating for me) I got involved in a very funny cyber conversation and ended up drooling at the thought of a big bowl of M&S's chocolate profiteroles and Mackie's vanilla ice cream (it's gotta be the best ice cream i've ever tasted and is definitely the cure for all evils). Going back down the garden I remembered some other cute downloads from Tinker & Co and know just the lady to send this to!!!

Thanks for listening to the groans of the day. Tomorrow can only be better.


Tuesday, 12 May 2009

It's good to try something new

Evening all

Another busy day in the midst of what is turning into a hectic ole' week. As I said yesterday I thought I'd dip my toe into the world of water colouring. I treated myself to some WH Smith watercolour pencils and sat myself down last night and gave it a bash with some Tilda images. Has to be said I think the images looked a lot cuter before I got the paintbrush and pencils on them though!! If any of you have any ideas about where I'm going wrong or how I can improve them then fire away - I'm all ears.

I've had to arrange to take time out later this week to go back down to the school (another 120 mile round trip) as OH who usually makes the trip is working late and Ross will expect someone there so can't let the little soul down. I have to admit it will be lovely to have him all to myself as he id a definite Daddy's Boy and will generally walk over fire if it means getting past me to get to his beloved Dad LOL!!!
Also have to help Alexandra get organised for Guide Camp this weekend (fingers crossed for dry weather) and am rapidly running out of time to get all the things organised that need to done. Something's got to give and looks like it may be my precious Wednesday night swimming 1:1 lesson - sorry Sue.
Must remember and say that I'm delighted to see one of my favourite ladies, Gina, back on the Docrafts forum tonight - but just take it easy Gina, you don't want a relapse!!!

Bagged myself a bargain this morning, a snake LED torch thingy for my laptop, free and with no P&P - go to Grab It Now. Found out about this site from one of the girls over on UK Scrappers and think I will be waiting for my morning emails to see what's on offer each day. Let me know how you get on if any of you decide to give it a whirl.
Got another lovely free download this morning from Tinker & Co, just perfect for summer, so why don't you pop over and have a nose. Some beautiful images and matching papers available.
Must go and get on so take care all.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Meeting Tilda and the ability to breathe easily again

Hell it's been a long day and it's only 9.30. I got up as quietly as I could at 6 this morning as I wanted to get into work early but didn't want to disturb my bed fellows!!! Ross had fallen asleep in our bed last night - inside his sleeping bag - complete with bag of pickled onion Monster Munch. Shower was first order of day as I think I ended up sleeping on half of them LOL!

Into work just before 8 leaving Jim to sort Ross for his return to school - I know, I'm such a wimp. it's just a job I still hate two years down the line and only do it when Jim and/or my mum aren't available. Anyway I hit the ground running at work and for the next 3 hours all I heard was "Gill, how do I..." or "Gill, can you..." or "Gillllll, I need.......".

I had to leave work at 11.30 and mercifully the roads were reasonably OK. Even better, after three days of constant bucketing rain, there wasn't a cloud in the sky and the 60 miles to the school passed by really quickly. The reason for the visit to the school was for Ross's half yearly review. You'd think that after all these years I would take these things in my stride but there's still that little demon poking me in the back saying "You're getting complacent - watch out". However aforesaid little beggar was wrong on this occasion and it was all good. The staff in his new house are delighted with his progress, as is his new teacher, a lovely girl called Jane. Despite the fact it's only been two months since his move to Cumnock, his progress is quite visible and all concerned are shaking down and becoming accustomed to each other. Their dedication and compassion was summed up for me recently when I acknowledged to a member of staff that I was aware she had come on duty early because Ross was struggling - she said to me "Gill - I wouldn't have it any other way". The lady in question knows Ross as well as we know him ourselves and is a constant source of comfort and reassurance to us at home and I know the same 100 fold to Ross.

After the meeting Jim and I got chatting to other staff working with Ross and before we knew it it was late and we had to fly up the road before DD got home and thought we'd abandoned her. These meetings really exhaust me with the result that I nearly dozed off at the wheel so Jim had to keep chatting with windows open as we were in the midst of a 20 mile stretch of motorway with no laybys! So glad to get home.

After dinner (courtesy of Tesco at Silverburn!!!) I had a wash, got changed, and dug out my watercolour pencils. Reason being that a kind lady had sent me some of the Magnolia Tilda images for me to "try before I buy". Plonked myself in conservatory in lovely evening sunshine and just chilled for an hour - I'd forgotten how therapeutic a bit of colouring in can be, and this was my first attempt at water colouring but they're actually OK. Not great, but OK. Will post pics tomorrow night. Can definitely see how people can become addicted to the little girl from Sweden.

Right must go and sort myself for tomorrow so will wish you a good evening and a restful night.


Sunday, 10 May 2009

A bit of this, a bit of that, and nothing in particular

Well, my good intentions about regular blogging seem to have gone right out the window this week. However, a good friend from the Docrafts forum has been poorly this week and unable to access her computer so I thought I'd do my bit for when she's able to come on and catch up.

Work has been busy with long days and especially Wednesday when he had the annual Dumyat Hill Run. History on Uni website reads

"This race was created by a member of the Psychology Department. A £1 bet was placed that no member of the University could, without mechanical assistance, do the return trip from the Gannochy Pavilion bar to Dumyat in less than an hour. On Graduation Day 1971 the £1 bet was lost by 3 minutes. The first 'official' race was held in 1972. The event is now held annually on the first or second Wednesday evening in May. It attracts over 150 runners. The event is integrated into the Scottish Hill Running Calendar and it attracts professional runners and a number of students and staff. This year's event on Wednesday 6 May 2009 attracted 258 entries."

Well that kept me occupied until late on on Wednesday night as despite the pouring rain we had a really big turnout and I do all the entries and compute all the finishing times.

The rest of the week has been what can best be described as a bit of a guddle. My motivation seems to have all but vanished and I've been a crabbit witch at times.

The highlight of the week, obviously, was Ross's arrival home on Friday afternoon and he has been on really good form over the weekend with very little in the way of temper or aggressive behaviour. He's been really funny as well. I don't know if you remember the "Kanine Krunchies" song from 101 Dalmatians? Well he's been singing that all weekend in this high pitched wee voice - so cute.

In an effort to banish the gloom today I've been a regular domestic goddess and got the ironing up to date - no mean feat let me tell you considering how much I loathe and detest it.

When I finish here I'm going to plonk myself down and watch The Da Vinci Code. I have never read the book but have strangely enough just finished Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. that took me a while to gt into but once there I had difficulty putting it down. A fabulous read with a real twist towards the end. It was so good that I don;t think I'll bother going to see the film as I don't see a way in which it could truly positively reflect the book. As I haven't read TDVC I'm happy enough to watch the film and may even borrow my dad's copy of the book if I enjoy the film.

We have a big day coming off tomorrow and I suspect that's what's been at the back of my mind this week with theresulting bad humour but will fill you in on that tomorrow.

Final message is to Gina who knows who she is. Sorry you'vebeen under the weather but by the time you read this you'll be feeling better so don't go overding it girl!!!!

Hope you've all had a good weekend and thanks for reading!!!


Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Boy's on a full-scale charm offensive

Evening all

Before I forget, Happy National Scrap booking Day, especially to all my buddies on the Do crafts Scrap booking forum - have you left any BP kits for tomorrow? Am going to stand and do the dreaded i*****g while the parade of goodies is passing before my eyes!!

Well, today's post is largely abut the boy (just for a change). He went back to school on Monday as cool as a cucumber - no fussing, screaming or any of the other undesirable behaviours he's been known to exhibit when displeased. Reports all week have been of compliance with his programme, smiles, laughter and the giving out of many hugs. We've always known that Ross can be a real little charmer when the mood takes him but it's unlike him for the mood to last for more than a day! All week the girls working with him have been using words like "fab" "great" "cute" and best of all "no SIB (self injury behaviour) over and over again. It sounds like they're all having a ball and it would appear that Ross is working really hard to improve his speech and the length of the small phrases he can manage. He's really good at the short ones like "no school tomorrow" but then that's kids all over isn't it LOL!!! It's all just timely reminder that the majority of us take it so much for granted being able to communicate our hopes, fears, desires and general thoughts so easily in a verbal form - how easily we forget the people for whom that's just not possible, or near nigh impossible.

Anyway, we know that despite his difficulties Ross is a really smart little cookie and it seems that finally, 11½ years down the line, he's starting to make some visible inroads into some of the most trying aspects of the way autism affects him. He has a big multi-disciplinary review in just over a week so hopefully some of his achievements of late will be highlighted. Just hope I'm not putting the kiss of death on all this by posting about it - that really would be sod's law!

DD, Alexandra, went to the hairdressers this morning and I left her to it - at 13 she knows what she wants. She came out looking gorgeous with her hair merely trimmed to a shorter version of her bob. Our girl is growing up so beautifully - must take some photos before I forget.

I took delivery today of my new stamp from Foxcraft Cards - Graduation Poppy - and I'll reveal her to you tomorrow hopefully.

Lastly, a message to Maria. Maria, keep your chin up sweetie, you know that I know how hard it is at the moment and I just wish I could do something to help, so just know that I think of you every day (Stephen as well) and am sending you both cheering strengthening and brightening sparkles and hugs via t'internet. How I wish I was closer that I could do it in person.

Right folks, off to slob a bit in front of the TV and debate about whether to stay up for the launch of the Craft Day TSV on QVC. How much excitement can one woman cope with I ask you?!!!!


Friday, 1 May 2009

Total Wipeout !!!

Afternoon All

Such exciting news. One of my work colleagues, Rona, the loveliest, smiliest happiest person you could ever hope to meet, is flying our to Argentina tomorrow (Saturday) to compete in Total Wipeout. If you haven't already seen it, this programme has to be one of the best bits of television to hit our Saturday evening screens in a very long time. Certainly in our house we love it and Ross in particular just adores it and sits glued to his seat while it's on. Here at work we are all so proud of Rona and have no doubt that she will do fantastically well. Needless to say she is physically fit in the extreme and has been training like a good one of late since it was confirmed that she had been picked. Here at Stirling we all love our Rona and can't wait to hear how she gets on. I'll let you know when her particular episode is being put on air. By the way, she's doing all this while she trains for the Albert Bartlett Edinburgh Marathon on 31st May. La buena suerte mi chica y toma cuidado.

More later on more mortal deeds peeps - just wanted to post this for Rona in lieu of a Good Luck card!!!