Thursday, 16 March 2017

just another day

How's life where you are? Here, all is within normal parameters.

Of course not the same can be said of the wider world. This week Britain has seen some extraordinary political action, which may well shape the years to come, and will affect my personal future. It is of course the month when Article 50 is scheduled to be triggered by Mrs May, starting the messy process of detanglement from the European Union. She is a frightful, dangerous individual. I think it is fair to say the Mrs May's unwavering stance has opened the debate for a second independence referendum here in Scotland, which is also quite unsettling. On the other side of the pond, courts are defeating yet another travel ban whilst the administration continues continues to wreck havoc. Today's news included a 31% proposed budget cut to the Environmental Protection Agency - imagine that! The only positive political news this week has been the Dutch elections, where the right wing populists have not won. There is hope still. Elsewhere in the world, the most vulnerable suffer terribly as a result of war and civil unrest. There is so much wrong in the world, and yet, we keep on finding joy and happiness in our small personal worlds. We are a resilient bunch, us people but a destructive bunch, too. I have decided to educate myself and to not be put off by confrontation.

As I imagine myself a key element to changing the world for a better place, life trundles on. I have pretty much finished week three of my 5k training up and I am pleased to say that I have now managed to replace boring Laura from the NHS app with the much more exiting Mr Yao from the ZombiesRun app: I learned how to create my own training sessions using the times and modes (walk/run) from the NHS app. The result is a far more fun workout with my very own music playlist. Did you know that I like to listen to good old German punk when I am running? I bet you didn't expect that. I like to lighten this up with rocky tunes, nothing beats a grovelling Billy Idol or the sweet sound of the man of all men,  Dave Grohl. Don't judge me.

Our house is haunted by a hacking cough that is slowly but steadily reducing us all to miserable cough mixture craving people. James was really ill last weekend, Alistair followed with a two day delay but didn't get quite so unwell. Sam has been clearing his throat continuously (I can't bear that sound) and now Richard and I have started coughing and I have to admit that I am also clearing my throat noisily. Only Annie seems unaffected. Last to fall I guess.

I continue to expose my offspring to food they don't like. I am nothing but stubborn in my pursuit of a more varied diet. I have been thanked with threats to vomit at the table, disgusted faces and 'accidental' dropping of food onto the floor (the dog loves that). No doubt they will start saving their pocket money to got and get a Subway. Meanwhile, I rather enjoyed recent dinners.

My hip still gives me grief when I am sat on my desk at work. The only other time it is sore is in the car. I cannot explain this. At work, I find relief in wandering through the deep underbelly of the building I am working in. You have never seen anything like it. It is old, very old and it is big, very big. It is bigger still on the inside, which is of course impossible but - and I would swear to that - true. It is taller on the South facing side also (built into a hill). I think but can't be sure that there are four levels all with very high ceilings. The central asymmetrical staircase (which is not centrally located and does not allow access to all levels) is in a cathedral like cavity. The winding of the stair case defies all logic. In between main levels there are half and quarter landings with offices, labs, broom cupboards and who knows what. It took me a while to find the nearest toilet, which is hidden away about halfway up the main stairs in a dark and narrow corridor that can be reached by climbing a set of creaky wooden steps that are at a 90 degree angle to the main stairs. My own temporary office is is on the lowest level on the North facing side. Again, a set of creaky wooden steps lead down to it. These steps take a turn into the darkness to the south facing side - I haven't quite dared exploring, who knows, maybe there is a cafeteria there. My office is also right next to the lower exit - only I haven't found a route that leads me to the door yet. Crazy, yes? Still, it adds a bit of excitement to otherwise monotonous days. I make sure to have a fully charged mobile phone with me when I go on a wander.  I should probably carry the charger, food and water also.

Some of you have wondered what my new job is. I am leading the development of an online taught Masters programme at the interface of human, veterinary, public and ecological health. At the moment, I am writing and rewriting programme and course specifications, which is boring but crucial. Every word counts because what is written there is the law for content development. We are hoping to have approval soon, then I can get started with the fun part that I am more qualified to deal with, content.

I am reading Ian McEwan's 'Nutshell', Niall Williams 'Four letters of love' and the hefty 'One Health - people, animals and the environment' edited by Robert Atlas and Stanley Maloy (top notch scientists only nerds like me would know). This latter is something I have to read for work and I have to say, it is rather pleasant to sit down with a coffee and read whilst being paid for doing so.

I have noticed buds on our fruit trees and the Christmas red solar powered string lights on the pear tree finally get enough sun to light up in the night. Christmas time is not great for solar powered lights in Scotland. I also noticed that my recently planted Lily of the Valley are breaking  trough, I love these flowers and I am impatiently waiting for the flowering season to start.

My spring time sewing inspiration is slowly awakening, no doubt you'll read all about it soon. I have a few things in mind, starting with a top or two and maybe a dress for the summer and one for those few occasions where I have to look smart at work. Meanwhile I am working on Annie's quilt.

I'll leave you with a snippet of a conversation:

Me, talking to Richard: Would it be ok if I clear the dresser in your office and put my dahlia pots there until they can be planted out? 
Which dresser? Richard asks
Me: There is only one dresser in your office,
Richard: Oh, I thought you wanted to store linen and towels in there?

Yes indeed.

Have a good day! xx

P.S. The photos were taken during a lunch time walk just outside my work. Glasgow is full of green places, you are never far from a park here.


  1. It is indeed gloomy out there in the wider world in places. I fear desperately for the environment. Nobody in power seems to care two hoots. Well done on the varied diet thing. I press on here too. Some people ate sprouts the other day. I shall look forward to seeing your sewing. CJ xx

  2. I hope you all feel better soon. The illness here is so stubbornly slow to leave. I can't wait to feel better. Good for you exposing your kids to new food. They'll come around eventually, I think. I'm fortunate to have kids who will eat almost anything but they both hate potatoes. I love them, so this is hard for me to understand. And they're cheap and easy to cook, so I told them too bad - potatoes will appear on your plates now and forever. Get used to it! :)

  3. Finding joy and happiness in our own personal worlds is a way to cope and escape from all the scary things going on in the bigger world. The building you work in sounds like a higgledy-piggledy sort of place where rooms were added or created wherever there's space. Very interesting but yes, always have your phone with you, just in case. Have a nice weekend! x

  4. Hey Christina,
    I fear that I have completely retreated from the hideousness going on beyond my front door. I'm burying my head in the sand about it all for a little while. Sam will be home for Easter, and no doubt he'll pull me back out. It's just too much sometimes. Your place of work sounds like Hogworts! I'd like to believe that a place like that does exist, so from now on that's how I'll see you. Conjuring up potions and transfiguring into a pony. We have escaped much of the germs, but Olly has had nits forever. s soon as I clear them, there're back. He's constantly itching, it's so frustrating. Good work with the running. It feels as if we're all running around like lions at the moment. Is it an age thing?
    Leanne xx

  5. Add Linen and towel manager to your already long list of things to do!!! So Funny! I sat and realised on Sunday ,when everyone ate potatoes without leaving any, that it has only taken me nine years t get them to eat them!Jo x

  6. It was fun to see your rhodie buds.. we have those here too. I agree with you on the political situation - do keep in mind that 3/4s of Americans did not vote for 45. And wikileaks colored our election. And the Mrs. Clinton won the popular vote. And many did not vote as they thought she had it in the bag. So many of us are also devastated with what is happening here and have no idea how to proceed. And the evil Republicans have control of both houses of government so the good Democrats can't outvote them. Worse, is the Repubs COULD save us.. but won't do it because they want the rich to be richer. Sad state of affairs. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  7. It is impossible to ignore, but we have to find solace in the beauty around us. I thought of you when a second referendum was raised and remembered your fluent well-argued reasons for saying no to independence. Brexit has changed everything though. I must have been a terrible and dogmatic mother because my children never refused to eat anything I served up. I cooked from scratch every evening and could not possibly have pandered to fussiness. I now realise how lucky I was. The MA course sounds very interesting. My daughter who submits her final pieces of coursework for her English Literature on the 7th of April is considering doing a Medical Humanities MA. Oh to be 21 and on the cusp of life again!

  8. Yeh!! Everywhere it is unrest.. nothing good is happening.. Still we have to find happiness from somewhere, just like beautiful flower has made me happy..

    Please visit:

  9. Good on you for keeping at the running with a very alternative sound track:). Just been laughing as I've seen a great photo of Nicola Sturgeon by Hadrains wall saying. 'We're going to rebuild the wall and England's going to pay' Go girl I say! Love the sound of your new work place...or should I say ancient workplace, try not to get lost. I really must visit Glasgow one of these days, it looks like a fascinating place. Have a great weekend having food fights:). B x

  10. Stubborn coughs are a nuisance. I'm not sure which is worse. Having the cough yourself, or having to listen to everyone else who has it. It happens to be one of the major downsides to a large family. And one of the things I don't miss about having five kids living under my roof. :-)

    I look forward to seeing what your plans are for sewing. I'm currently on an Ebony kick. It's a pattern by Heather at Closet Case Patterns, and has a dress, tunic and crop version. Needless to say, the crop version is not the one I'm making.

    As for the state of the world I think you are doing something to contribute to making things better, and that's caring for your family and raising your children to be loving and kind people.

  11. How I enjoy reading your posts about your day to day life. We are indeed living through unsettling times and I fear for the future of our countries.

  12. Our USA President is a con man and pathological liar and far too many people fell for his BS during the election. Having said that, the Dems pushed for Clinton versus Sanders as their candidate and that only helped Trump.
    He is an embarrassment to any of us over here that have common sense, and he is also frightening. I hope for his impeachment or removal every single day that I read the news.

  13. Hi Christina, Ive just stumbled across your blog. I like your rambling style, your topics, and your photos.... your new job sounds fantasticly interesting. Can I just comment on your sore hip... I'm not even yet 50, but I've just had a hip replacement. I had some symptoms similar to what your explaining. In the last 3 years I was ramping up my running training 3km, 5km then 10km.... I was having issues on long walks, sitting for long periods, sleeping and in the car!! Please getbit checked out by a dr. I spent 2 years seeing different physios who put me through a range of painful treatments (dry needling, rolling and stretches) but to no avail. It turns out I had congenital hip dysplasia (and certainly didnt know it). just came to the fore with my active and demanding lifestyle.. I dont wish to diagnose from the otherside of the globe, but I dont want you to continue in pain if there could be an answer. Anyway, I hope to pop i fro time to time and keep in touch.

  14. I am so in agreement with you re our prime minister and the rush into Brexit and the other upheavals it's triggering; my sister 'emigrated' to Scotland when the government department she works for transferred large parts of their business to Scotland; the thought of travelling to a totally disconnected country rather than to a neighbouring friend is strangely poignant. It feels as though she would be so much further away. We are moving through disturbing times.

  15. Oh yes, I remember writing those programme specs and the wonder that is the approval process. But, as you say, after that comes the enjoyable bit. Well done on the running training (I haven't the foggiest about German punk. Does Iggy Pop count?) We're certainly living in challenging times. It feels like all the holes in the cheese are lining up for, well, something momentous.

  16. I appreciate that you are torturing your children with food they don't like. lol
    I am always in awe of people who can read multiple books at the same time

  17. Ah, a fellow public health person! Your new job sounds fascinating, as does the building you are based in! I have the same hacking cough, and am hoping it abates soon, I feel like I haven't had more than a few weeks without some bug or other since the start of the year, though I'm guessing sharing close quarters with a new baby might be the culprit. Good luck in your continued endeavours at the dinner table! xx

  18. Hold on, you mean Richard remembers where you want to store towels?? What a detailed grasp of domestic arrangements. Derek wouldn't know a towel cupboard from a greenhouse ( though is wonderful in may other ways of course). Your new job sounds very interesting and complex, and you are obviously workimg in the building that Hogwarts was based on. I would have a stout rope round my middle when setting iff on subterranean adventures, or at the very least a piece of chalk to mark the return journey. Dreading the thought of another referendum, can hardly bear it, we might just move now, before it all starts. X

  19. Yes, the world is a grim and depressing place sometimes, and I feel we are moving backwards - socially, environmentally - with every week that goes by this year. But you have to look for the positives I guess, or you go mad. Anyway, well done on feeding the family new food, even if the dog did rather better out of the deal than the children. :-) xx


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