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Back in the blogsphere

August 2, 2016
Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle

Hello. How are you? Thanks for being patient and waiting for me to return to this blog. I’m not sure what I want to write because everything is so…I can’t exactly explain it, but nothing feels right at the moment. Ian’s death has left us reeling. I can’t concentrate properly so haven’t been doing any writing and I miss him so much.

His death has left a huge hole in our lives, but he was adamant: he wanted us to be happy and to go on and live good and happy lives. So, I’m trying to get back to some sort of normality by coming back to this blog. Hopefully it will go back to being a happy place where I can share…well…happy stuff.

Anyway, what’s been happening over the last few weeks is this. After Ian’s funeral (which went really well and thank you again to the Argyll Roadrunners (Ian’s scooter club) for riding out for him and for the many many people who braved the dreadful weather to come), I took the kids up to a lovely old farmhouse near Crieff for a week’s rest and relaxation.

We did a few things up there…

Another part of Stirling Castle.

Another part of Stirling Castle.

We painted pottery – I did a mug, the boy painted a porcelain shark complete with blood dripping off its teeth and a black eyepatch because it’s a pirate shark, and the girl painted a lovely little fox.

Gargoyles at Stirling Castle.

Gargoyles at Stirling Castle.

We visited Stirling Castle. Unfortunately, the boy has the attention span of a gnat so (as usual) rushed us all round the castle. Still enjoyed it though. My grandfather had been a regular in the Argyll & Southern Highlanders and was stationed there so I always feel the family connection when we visit.

Tapestries at Stirling Castle.

Tapestries at Stirling Castle.

 

DSC_0677 (2)My parents came up and took us out for lunch, which was really nice. They have been fantastic over the last year – thanks mum and dad. Then my step-kids came up and stayed overnight and we ate and drank wine and talked about their dad. It was good cos we were able to reminisce about Ian and some of the daft things he said or did (he was mischievous and loved a good joke).

Décor in the castle.

Décor in the castle.

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The other thing we did was go to a local animal park. My girl, who is a pre-teen but already showing signs of being a teenager, didn’t want to go and was all huffy in the car about it. However, she and the boy enjoyed it. They got to hold chicks and see lots of different animals.

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Some of the animals we saw.

Some of the animals we saw.

We’ve also been to two birthdays at the tail end of last month. My nephew turned five and my dad celebrated his 70th – happy birthday to you both. It was difficult being at family occasions without Ian, but we still went anyway. Oh and my father-in-law also turned 88 so me and the kids popped into see him with a pressie.

Actually when I look at it we’ve been really busy over the past three-and-a-half weeks since Ian died. I think keeping busy has helped. I find it keeps my mind off things. Can’t believe it’s only been three-and-a-half weeks, it somehow feels an awful lot longer. The dog and the kids have been keeping me going. Millie is now almost fully grown and is a right wee character. She sleeps on top of my bed and is a heavy breather, but I don’t mind. She’s also very affectionate especially first thing in the morning. She wakes me by draping her head over my neck and licking my ear. I wouldn’t mind, but she likes to do it at 5.30am!! Thank goodness I am able to go back to sleep and get up later.

Anyway on that note, I’m going to finish this here and I’ll see you again soon. Til next time.

Dawn xxx

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Still here…

July 20, 2016

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…will be back soon. Just taking some time out at the moment following the trauma of the last few weeks.

Dawn xxx

 

ps the picture’s in cos it amuses me! Just in case you were wondering.

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A Tribute to the Best of Men

July 9, 2016

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I write this post with a heavy heart. You see I’ve not been around on this blog recently because I’ve been busy caring for my beloved husband Ian who passed away yesterday at the age of 52 from cancer. He was the love of my life and my best friend and I am utterly devastated. All our family and friends are.We had a very happy marriage and a great life together.  I cannot believe he is gone.

This post is a tribute to the man I’ve shared my life with for the last 16 years. He was the best of men: kind, considerate, generous, intelligent, mischievous, cheeky, funny, witty, thoughtful and a fantastic father to his four kids. He leaves a huge hole in our lives and in the lives of many, many others, and we will always love him.

This is also an opportunity to say thank you to my fantastic family and our fab friends for all their love and support over these last few months. Thank you too to the NHS and Marie Curie staff who cared for him in his last days and to MacMillan for their advice.

It’s been a tough time for us and no doubt the coming months will be just as tough, but I look to the future knowing I had the privilege of loving and being loved by the best of men and that some day we will be reunited.

I’m going to finish now, but before I go this is a message to Ian: I love you Ian Thom, to infinity and beyond!

Dawn xx

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Writing lots and rescuing Mortimer

June 15, 2016

jackdaw

I’ve been a bit lax in writing this blog lately. Okay, truthfully I forgot to write it last week. ‘Ma heid is mince’ at the moment due to hubby’s illness and the million and one things I seem to have to do every day. So apologies for missing it last week.

Anyway, how are you all? Hope you are well and have been enjoying the good weather (last week) and not so good weather (this week).

Let’s see, what’s been happening in my life? I’ve been continuing to write. I give myself 500 words to write every day and I’m managing it most days. This teensy amount of words is great because I can easily rattle it off without the pressure of writing more. If I do write more (and I often do) then that’s a bonus! Am currently at 20,000 words, so am totally impressed with myself! (gives self a pat on the back).

The last week or so has been taken up with hospital visits as usual, but I’ve also been enjoying taking the dog for walks and meeting other dog walkers. Yesterday, we met a lovely big bulldog type dog (I’m sure her owner called her a French something…bulldog?…but she was too big for a French bulldog. She actually looked more like an American bulldog) called Heidi who wasn’t that fond of Millie I’m afraid. Anyway, she was a lovely dog.

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richmal crompton

I am currently reading a biography of Richmal Cromptom (above) who wrote the Just – William stories. I haven’t read these books (although we have some of them in the house), but I loved the 1970s tv series of the books starring Adrian Dannatt as William and Bonnie Langford as Violet Elizabeth Bott (who would thcweam and thcweam and thcweam until she was thick!). Richmal’s story is really interesting. She was a very accomplished lady. Am enjoying the book. Might just have to read the William books now!

William Brown

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Oh a wee bit of excitement on Sunday night. Two magpies (evil birds them!) attacked a young Jackdaw (it still had some baby feathers on its body) and had it pinned down to the grass in the back garden. Me and the girl went out and rescued it. I put it in a box in the potting shed as I didn’t think it would last the night. I gave it some water and hoped for the best. The crow was still alive the next morning so, after naming it Mortimer (after the raven in Arabel’s Raven by Joan Aitken , illustrations by the fab Quentin Blake) and giving it some water and dog food, I rang the SSPCA and they came and picked it up. I’m not holding my breath for it surviving as it was quite injured (a hole in its chest and damaged wings), but it’s in the right hands now. If they think it won’t survive at least they will have put it out of its misery.

Arabel and Mortimer

Arabel and Mortimer

Magpies are now off my list of animals and birds I like (I like most of them). Poor Mortimer.

Right, well that’s about it for this post except to say well done to the girl and her school netball team who came third in a local netball tournament last night. Well done all of you!

Anyway, on that final note, with hope in my heart that the poor bird survived, I will say adieu for this week! Until next time!

 

Dawn xxx

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A better week…so far (not counting my chickens or anything!)

June 2, 2016

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Hello, how’s things? Hope you’re all well. This week has been better thank goodness with no piggy deaths, no suspected broken bones and only one trip to the hospital (so far…not counting my chickens as it’s only Thursday) for hubby. Plus the weather’s been great, which is always a good thing.

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The only  downside to this week is the dog’s love of pooing and peeing in places she shouldn’t. This week she has poohed in a pile of washing that was waiting to be washed on the floor of the kitchen next to the washing machine. Last week she also poohed on a plastic folder hubby had foolishly left on the floor. She has also peed in the girl’s bed and last night did it in ours. We were NOT amused. On the plus side she is now barking to get out in the garden when she needs (although didn’t last night – I didn’t think she needed cos she had been out in the garden only HALF AN HOUR before!). Ah the joys of being a doggy mummy!

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So what else has been happening this week? We were off on Monday for the Bank Holiday, but didn’t do much. I just wanted a wee quiet day and it was great. Just what the doctor ordered. I’ve not been sleeping that well recently…keep waking up at 3am and 5am. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s summer and light or if something else is waking me. On Tuesday, it was the girl (for some reason she was up at 5am and bright and breezy – so not like her) and this morning it was two magpies sitting on our windowsill making huffing noises that sounded as if the dog had somehow gotten out of her crate and was upstairs in our room. I’ve invested in a sleeping mask to see if that helps – hubby says it’s like sleeping with Top Cat! Of course I couldn’t wear it last night because it got lost in the rush to pull all our bedclothes off our bed to prevent the dog pee reaching the mattress (it almost got there so I have a tonne of washing today)! I’ll have a good search of my bedroom tonight for it!

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I’ve actually been writing again. I’ve given myself a target of writing 500 words a day and it’s been working.  500 words isn’t a lot and I’ve been going over that every time. I wrote a short story for a competition (I never get placed in competitions so am wondering why I bother, but I enjoyed writing it and I like my story so it’s a win win already for me) and am working on a book for adults. I had started a young adult’s book last year, but kept stalling so decided to shelve it for this other one. Am loving writing the other one. I get totally lost in the process and daydream about the storyline during (rare) moments of quiet in my life. (happy sigh).

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Am back knitting too. Currently working on a lap blanket. I’m emulating Jane Brocket’s blanket where you knit strips of different colours and then sew them altogether. I like making blankets. You don’t have to concentrate too hard on it and it’s relaxing.

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Am doing yet another attempt to lose a bit of weight. I’ve put on a couple of stones over the last few years and I’d like to get some of it off and be a bit fitter generally. I’m taking part in a work related walking challenge and I’m cutting out rubbish which is hard cos I’m a comfort eater. Plus I enjoy cakes and wine. Sigh. Wish me luck!! I’m hoping to lose some weight along with a friend. We talked about it yesterday so am hoping he does it with me. We can support each other.

Right on that note, I’m away to do the housework and get the first of the washings out on the line (in the sunshine!!). Til next time,

 

Dawn xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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RIP Piggy

May 29, 2016

We are not amused!

It’s been a helluva week this week…and it’s not all down to hubby’s illness. Okay, so we did have a couple of trips to the hospital and hubby got some treatment and he seems a teensy bit better which is good.

And by Friday I was beginning to sigh a sigh of relief that we had got to the end of the week without any emergency races to hospital.

Twas not to be though. I shouldn’t have counted my chickens for not only did the girl fall on school Sports Day and had to be taken (by me) to hospital to see if she had broken her arm (she hasn’t, but she’s badly hurt the muscles so is all strapped up), but our darling Guinea Pig, Fitzwilliam Darcy (pictured) decided Friday was the day to die.

We shall miss our Darcy. He was a great pet and I was very fond of him. He hadn’t been well though and I was glad he went himself because I was considering taking him back to the vet’s to get him put down. But the wee soul had other ideas – went himself, in his own bed with his pal beside him.

The boy was distraught. He’s only eight and had never come across death before. He insisted we bury Darcy in the garden so we went out to the river shore and found a suitable stone for a gravestone. The boy wrote RIP Darcy on it with a black marker pen.

On Saturday afternoon, I dug his grave (putting my back out for my troubles) and we said a few words. I planted a scaredy cat plant over the grave so the dog or local cats wouldn’t dig him up. The girl laid some forget-me-nots. It was a quick, but nice ceremony. The boy had another wee cry and that was that.

The grave has now become a bit of a ‘thing to see’ by the boy’s pals. Sigh.

Anyway, that was our week this week. What can I say? Our lives are a bit mental just now and the near arm break and the piggy death just put the tin hat on it! And here was me complaining in my last post that my life is boring! All I can say is this – Thank God for wine!!

The good news for the week though was that both the boy and the girl were placed in the races. For the skipping race, the boy came second and the girl came first (seconds before she ‘timbered’!). Unfortunately, I had to take both of them out of school before the medal ceremony due to the urgent hospital visit, but hopefully they’ll pick up their medals on Tuesday when they go back to school.

So that was the tailend of my week. How was yours? Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the fab weather today (if you’re in the UK and in the sunny areas). It’s been roasting, which is lovely.

Right, am going to finish up now and make some tea. Til next time!

Dawn xxx

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Dogs rule!

May 24, 2016

13255956_10207384595586864_1730845943824072265_nI am dedicating this post to my friend Hina who LOVES dogs!! Pictured above is our little lady fast asleep on my bed. The rest of the pictures are of cute pooches to lighten your day and put a smile on your face.

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So how’s things with you this week? Check me out – posting a post earlier in the week! Ooh er! So not like me. The laptop was on cos I was (am going for a gold medal here for diligent work) writing (and, okay, ordering some books of Amazon for the kids – well I have to encourage the boy to read somehow and he loves David Walliams and put in a request for a new DW book). So, I thought I’d drop by, say hello and try and writie something interesting about my not-so-interesting life. It’s difficult cos my life has been busy but BORING over the last couple of days! I will try my best, but I warn you this won’t be the most scintillating of posts. (Deep breath) Here goes…

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I’ve finished the biography of F Scott Fitzgerald and  left it with the feeling that both him and his wife Zelda both needed a good shaking when they were both younger and healthier. Okay she went on to have severe mental health problems and he was an alcoholic, but both her behaviour and his was just childish. I keep thinking if only they had toned it down a bit, grew up, stopped being brattish then maybe their sad story would have ended better. Reading the book I felt like they were trying to outdo each other for who could be the wildest, but in fact only succeeded in putting off friends, getting chucked out of places and generally being looked down on. I suppose they were trying to push boundaries, but being downright rude never works! It’s a shame – they both were brilliant but had really sad lives and tragic, wasteful deaths. Still Fitzgerald’s writing lives on. Am of a mind to read The Great Gatsby again.

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My next foray into literature is a book my friend Jane’s partner leant me. It’s called Straight Outta Scotland and is the true story of two guys from Scotland who try to be the UK’s first hip hop superstars, fail, pretend to be American and then get offered an enormous record deal. Eventually they had to ‘fess up. I had read about these guys online some time ago so was delighted when Kev offered me his book to read. Will let you know how I get on.

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Okay so the pup above is a bit Christmassy, but I say you can never have too much of a cute pup no matter what it’s surrounded by!

Right, ) I am going to end this here. I have another episode of Devious Maids (my current addiction) to watch. Enjoy the pics.

Final word: Dogs Rule Hina!!

Til next time!

Dawn xxxx

 

 

 

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