Sunday, 7 August 2016


How was your weekend? Ours was just fine with a mix of jobs to be done and fun to be enjoyed. I am sad it is Monday again tomorrow!

When I got home from work on Friday evening I was overcome by a moment of madness and made the entire family help me clean the house. Richard was delegated to the kitchen to cook (a good job he did, too!). The thought of waking up on Saturday and feel like living in a filthy cave was just too much to contemplate. To be fair, I cleaned the two toilets, shower and bath myself so I don't feel that guilty. It was such a delight to sit down in a living room with the cushions plumped up and the dog nose prints cleaned off the windows. Richard made big Margaritas with Cachaça to mark the beginning of the Olympics. I don't give a toss about the Olympics but the drink was very welcome. Unfortunately, Cachaça always tastes a little like vaseline smells and I ended up not drinking it. Still, it was the thought that counted. Tequila is on the shopping list.

Saturday started gently, got turbulent quickly but thankfully ended quietly again. James had his all afternoon Birthday bash. His two best friends came at noon. The kids wound each other up into a mad frenzy, gobbled down hotdogs and talked about a three letter word that ends with x. I kid you not. I nearly joked on my food. James and Alistair haven't had 'the talk' yet and didn't understand. They have never shown any interest in procreation and with life questions I am usually guided by what the children ask, when they are ready. I guess we have to be more proactive with the two. Then we went to see the BFG, which was just so so funny, particularly the farting Corgies. I also laughed about more subtle punch lines, my favourite one was probably 'your valise, Sir' when the BFG was having breakfast with the Queen. Ok, I admit, it is not really funny without the context but I am sure you'll crack a smile when you actually see it. After the film we went to Pizza Hut where we couldn't get a table so went home and ordered pizza in. I was glad when peace and quiet resumed.

I was and am heartbroken over a comment I overheard James' best girl friend make to his other best boy friend, about James. It was not very kind and I picked her up on it and asked her to confirm what I thought I had heard. I now feel a bit guilty about that but Richard says I shouldn't. I have noticed for a while now that James friends are developing away from him. They are more mature in many aspects of life. I just love him to bits and hope his feeling won't be hurt. I am sure he'll make more friends, but for now he is fiercely loyal and doesn't make new friends lightheartedly.

I went for a leisurely walk along the Kelvin today with camera, dog and an excellent radio programme* on my phone. It has been a while since I went on this particular walk and I was amazed about the changes since my last walk. Summer has peaked in my part of the world and is slowly but noticeably making way for autumn. It is still a while but already summer fruit are disappearing (raspberries) and late summer fruits are ripening (blackberries). There are rosehip and berries on trees. Foliage is a deep dark green that tells of times past with light aplenty, of energy produced and invested in new growth and energy stored for the winter. 'My' injured swan has found two new companions, cygnets that have appeared from nowhere and seem to be quite happy with their adoptive parent. She is still not using her right leg but her wing power seems to have returned, I have seen her using the wings.

Further decluttering has happened. I sorted through some kitchen cabinets, disposed of long forgotten and no longer palatable preserves and sorted through our baking stuff. I also sorted through our crockery cabinet which contained a surprising amount of random stuff, for example a jar of buttons. Annie decided to sort through her playmobil mountains. She had a hospital and a school, both of which she has dismantled ages ago and repurposed. The grey plastic slabs of the buildings are now waiting to be passed on. Figures and accessories have been donated to James and Alistair. They now play wars with the nurses and doctors and other assorted professionals.

Richard went shopping for a sledge hammer and other boy toys to knock down the back wall for access during the extension building. Half the wall is now down and a temporary fence is in its place (to keep the dog in). The battered trampoline has been dispatched to the recycling facility and the quince tree is awaiting its fate. It is unfortunately blocking access and has to be moved or sacrificed. We are not sure what to do. It hasn't cropped in years and is quite large. Any tips would be appreciated. Other plants will have to be moved, one of the two mature redcurrant bushes has to go (if you fancy one and live nearby, please do tell). Blueberry plants will be transplanted into temporary pots and our mahoosive bay tree has been pruned into a manageable pretty tree to be living in a pot from now on. Smaller flowering perennials will be transplanted to the front garden.

Talking of the extension, on Friday after work I bravely stepped into a kitchen shop, the kind that sells German kitchens that make you want to weep with joy when you open a drawer and weep with sorrow when you look a the price tag. I also looked at the British makes that are a bit less exiting in terms of quality and exiting inner lives of cabinets but are marginally more affordable. I thought to get a couple of quotes for each to have it in writing that we really can't afford such a kitchen and then go back to Ikea for a consultation. Our current Ikea kitchen is just fine and has suffered well through years of children swinging on cabinet doors. Secretly of course I am dreaming of smooth German drawers and indestructible kitchen units. Maybe I'll buy lottery ticket or two and go busking on Byres Rd. I am by the way completely not fussed about design details like handles and taps or even the work top but I do get exited about well planned cabinet and drawer interiors.

I spent the evenings working on my crochet blanket and have to say that I am already a bit bored. I am starting Sam's quilt next week, I need to get to the quilting stage before all the kitchen stuff is moved to where I sew. I am looking forward to making this quilt but I am a bit disappointed that Sam wants a quilt made out of 4 inch squares. I was hoping for a new design but it is his quilt and his choice. I am going to ask Sam sew a few blocks I think.

James went to the Highland Games with his friend today. This was a birthday treat, instead of a toy, how cool is that? A memory is the best kind of present in my mind. I am not sure what he did, he was too exited to talk about it. I bet there was some caber tossing and a tug of war or two. Alistair meanwhile was playing with our neighbours daughter and enjoyed not having to share her with his brother. The dolls and prams were moved up and down and 'mum' and 'dad' changed their outfits many times. My favourite was Alistair in a turquoise leotard, green tutu and a superhero mask.

The teenagers went about their usual teenage business.

We've got one week of summer holidays left. Actually, the kids do, Richard and I have been slaving away for three weeks already. Oh to be able to take the summer off, wouldn't that be grand?

Wishing you a wonderful week, whatever your plans may be. xx

* Inside the Ethics Committee on BBC Radio 4. Today's episode was about the ethical and legal aspects of withdrawing nutrition and fluids in patients in a permanently vegetative state. Based on real cases with the families involved in the programme. Very touching and thought provoking.


  1. Sounds like a busy but quite productive weekend!

  2. Love, Love, Love your post today, so well written Christina. We used an online Ikea kitchen planner and it was brilliant (search for it on google). You kept adding units to an imaginary kitchen that was scaled to the size of your own and watched the shopping list (an price) change as you added things. When we had completely decided we printed off the list and Andy made sure he ticked every single item off as he picked it up so we were never short of the bag of thingys that said some random Swedish word on that turned out to be crucial. Exciting stuff. I am back at work tomorrow but at least with a tan! Jo x

  3. I feel I have lived your weekend too, you write so well. Sounds like you are full steam ahead with the preparations for your kitchen. Hope you find a lovely set of units that are Germanic in style and IKEA in price! Good news about the swans gradual recovery. I love listening to radio programmes too, particularly when I knit. Nothing like a good drama. Have a lovely week. B X

  4. You are so brave to take on a kitchen remodel. I want my kitchen cabinets painted, but I can't face doing the job and I'm almost afraid to find out what it would cost to have it done.
    How sad that our friends abuse us to others, you were right to call her out.
    I use to love having summers off when I was a teacher, it wasn't the best part of teaching, but it was one of the better parts.

  5. I have just heard the news, the wind in Scotland has reached record highs so hope all is well with you and there is no damage. Apparently the Cairngorms are the worst hit with winds reaching 110mph. How sad that friends can be so cruel about us, not a nice situation. I like to watch this home programmes on TV, they do suggest that employing a carpenter to build you kitchen often works out cheaper. It may be worth getting a quote. Take care.

  6. A wonderful description of your weekend. I put my fierce face on on Saturday morning. Housework seems to be delegated to me on my days off. I was sufficiently fierce enough to ensure Mike started decorating the hall, not quite the result I expected but a job ticked off the list. I'm sorry to hear of the issue with James and his his friends, it's a tough life lesson to learn. It sounds like he enjoyed his birthday treat though. Take care x

  7. I'm so glad to hear that your swan has company - I've never seen the young in the wild before - great photo. After your cleaning session, you deserved that quiet walk by yourself.

  8. I really enjoyed this post, Christina. I love reading about daily life in other families and homes, as you know. I also whip people into cleaning the house, so I totally understand. I think there are few feelings better than the one you have just after cleaning everything. I like to stand around and admire my house when it's clean. Maybe it's a sign of vanity, I don't know, but I love my house and I love it even more when it's picked up! I'm sorry to hear about the situation with James. I wonder if you might mention it to his teacher when school starts? Our school's counselor offers a discussion group for social skills; maybe something like that would help James? Although it might be his friends who need the help more. I don't think I've ever heard of Cachaca. I will have to look for it next time we're in the liquor store. We make our margaritas with Tequila (Cuervo Gold) and Triple Sec (Bols). I love variations on the theme, though. I had to chuckle about Pizza Hut because around here, Pizza Hut is like a ghost town. There is one just down the road from our neighborhood and it's always empty. If you ever visit me, I'll take you to Pizza Hut and we'll sit there all night long. :)

  9. Thanks for taking the time to type about your days, Christina. I enjoyed the visit, too. I am glad you spoke to Jame's unkind friend...and hope that will help the friend be kinder in the future. My youngest adopted son [now 40!] and I had a conversation recently in which we looked back on things his friends had said to him in his teens and were sad that we had not picked up on the prejudice they were expressing at the time...and confronted it! I am interested in your take on kitchen product lines. We have been eyeing some of the Ikea organizational solutions with envy. The Ikea daybed and bookshelves I bought seven years ago have been wearing well and I was hoping their kitchen products would be good, too. I will be interested to hear your quince tree's fate...not ever having been around one with or without fruit...that I know of, at least. Wishing you and yours a good week. xx

  10. I loved this post - I know it's odd but I do love hearing other's moans and gripes, it makes me feel I'm not alone. I know exactly what you mean about the Friday cleaning and not wanting to come down to mess on a Saturday morning. I usually clean the downstairs of our house on a Friday before going to work, and I love unlocking the door at 4.30 with the kids and seeing the floors still shiny, and cushions still plumped, and the feeling of the weekend about to start.

    I feel for you re the kitchen decisions. We also admired those German brands but they are pricey - worth it, but pricey - and it doesn't help that my sister is about to spend £20k on a bespoke kitchen... But we went for Magnet and they were very good. Our cupboards are in the affordable range so we could get better appliances and worktops, so it helped that we didn't go for their top of the range one, but it's worth a look if you have a Magnet showroom nearby. xx

  11. love your writing style - it makes me giggle in parts. I did a whole lot of housework on Friday when I was supposed to be doing university work, but was as pleased as punch when I woke on Saturday to a much cleaner house!

  12. Reading your posts often brings back memories of the crazy, busy days when my kids were young. I'm glad James had such a wonderful time with his birthday bash and at the games. It makes me both mad and sad to think that his friend was unkind. You must feel a hundred times more so. As moms we always wear our hearts on our shirt sleeves.

  13. Hey Christina,
    I just adored this post. The minutia of family life. I'm sorry to hear about unpleasant things being said about James. I've had a similar thing happen here, but it's Olly's best friend's mum who is the culprit. For the record, I would have pulled her up too, in the same way as I would have pulled up any of my own kids if they had said something mean.
    All is well here. Our kitchen is getting a make over next year, so I'll follow your progress with interest.
    Leanne xx

  14. Great post Christina, I was engrossed. I think you were justified in asking James' friend to clarify what she said. I hope it made her squirm a little and realise she had not been kind. Sad that ypu are losing some trees to make way for the extension but I am sure it will be worth it all in the end. I, too, love when my house is tidy. It is still a mess after our return from holidays and will take a few days to sort out washing, unpack and get fresh amd tidy again. X


Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx