The Big Trip

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!!!