Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday

A lot of people say they like driving.  I like the ability to drive.  Knowing that when my daughter is at a concert at night I can fetch her at 10 pm, despite the rain and the cold, and know she is safe.

Or I can take my car to go to a city centre church when my own church is up for sale.

Or I can go here and there, coincidentally looking for my daily blip.

All of which is a suggestion of why, despite my blog being five years old today, it barely gets any attention from me.  But I am glad I've got it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

It's in the post

The Philatelic Bureau used to be based at the main Waterloo Place Post Office in Edinburgh, at the end of Princes Street.  That was in the days when a car could drive along Princes Street and trams were in the past.  It was easy to go to the Post Office and buy the latest "pretty" stamps.  I used to enjoy First Day Covers and collected them for years.

Then the Waterloo Place PO was sold (allegedly too cheaply) and the Philatelic Bureau moved,  I had given Jonathan the Classic Album Covers stamps in hope but he put them up on his wall as too beautiful to use.  So I bit the bullet and ordered some from the Philatelic Bureau (it's the cost of post and packaging I don't like!) and browsed through their catalogue.  I like writing letters and I do enjoy putting an interesting stamp on the envelope.  It's rare that I receive a pretty one back, mind you, so many folk like the self-adhesive boring ones.  But I can dream.  And when the price of stamps goes up again next year I'll probably have a few in hand.

Today's word in NaNoJouMo is nicely appropriate.  One of the best ways of forging a friendship is by letter writing, and blog commenting isn't far behind.  There's no virtue, though, in saying that, at this moment, Dawn is linking to my blog and I face with equanimity the fact that I may be late for my next meeting.  But maybe all these references are too esoteric!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Saturday interlude

I like windows! 

The top of CEMC

I was going to a talk this afternoon in Nicolson Square but I went into town earlier with Alice.  I enjoyed wandering around St Andrews Square with my camera.

The Portrait Gallery
I was wondering how long this name will survive

Desolation on the north side

The Royal Bank of Scotland! 


Thursday, November 04, 2010

Earth Tongues

I took my blipfoto of these toadstools first thing this morning, not realising it was going to rain all day again.  I came home from work (and a little ball dress reconnoitring with Alice) in the dark so no more outdoor photography.

I don't really know much about mycology but Google took me to two interesting keys to help me to track down my toadstool and discover they are Geoglossum I think.  Earth tongue is very descriptive when you see a mass of them from the window, but they look different close up.


The word for today was quarter.  Perhaps I could say I've spent a quarter of my day on or around my computer.  Definitely not a waste of time: I've learnt a lot about toadstools, found out about  Stephen Leacock because of this blip and discussed various houses near my mother's house (where I grew up) while referring to Google Street View.  I do like the internet!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Which wash day?

 "They that wash on Monday
Have all the week to dry;
They that wash on Tuesday
Are not so much awry;
They that wash on Wednesday
Are not so much to blame;
They that wash on Thursday,
Wash for shame;
They that wash on Friday,
Wash in need;
And they that wash on Saturday,
Oh ! they are sluts indeed."

I have a friend who took early retirement and became the househusband.  He told me what he did on which day.  I was surprised when he said he washed the towels on Thursdays.

Now, I will admit that, when I was a little girl, wash day was Monday, but that was when washing machines had to be watched and the spinning done in a separate machine.

Nowadays a sunny, blowy day just begs for the towels to be washed.  By good fortune there was no rain today.

Laura Ingalls Wilder explained which chore should happen on which day:

 "Wash on Monday,
Iron on Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday,
Churn on Thursday,
Clean on Friday,
Bake on Saturday,
Rest on Sunday."

I don't imagine she would approve of my waiting for a blue moon!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

After a storm

Yesterday evening the rain started and was soon horizontal in the fierce wind.

This morning the rain stopped after Alice went to school and the sun came out. 

I thought it would be worthwhile putting out the washing

But the rain returned before I came back after coffee with two friends.  So I made the wrong choice of clothes line!

Monday, November 01, 2010

More photographs

I have become hooked on Blipfoto and it's fun each day to choose a single photo.  However, some days the decision is hard.  Here are two of today's possibilities, from Mary's garden.

It was a gorgeous sunny morning, but it began to rain after 3 and the evening was stormy, with very heavy rain and much wind.  This didn't affect us as Monday night means University Challenge and Only Connect.  Of course tea carefully coincided with Pointless.

I'm toying with doing NaNoJouMo.  In which case inceptionwould apply to the beginning of my love affair with daily photography and blipfoto.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I'm often impressed by people's daily photos for Project 365 but, since I don't remotely blog daily, I've never got involved.  However, now having found, which is not only British but Scottish and open to anyone to use, I'm now looking for inspiration.  Do have a look at blipfoto.
I'm really delighted with it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cup cakes

Helena on the blog hop has reminded me of my daughter's baking to take to her English class to celebrate her 16th birthday.  She had a fine time with food dye.

This was before she discovered her wheat sensitivity but that hasn't curbed her baking enthusiasm.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thank you to everyone who has left a comment

Today has been very busy and I haven't had much chance to go blog hopping but I hope to be able to visit everyone tomorrow.  I did take a few moments off when I saw the lovely sunset.

It's going to be a cold night.

Let's Eat ...

When I joined Amy's blog hop it didn't occur to me that it would happen at the end of half term.  So I haven't got any photos or other artwork. However, you are most welcome.

I was horrified the other day when my husband said that mince was my signature dish.  I'd heard the phrase and thought it had a far posher image.  I was also shocked my husband knew the phrase.  However, I suspect it's true.

When I was in the sixth year at school my mother thought if I took over the family baking it would improve my speed during Physics practicals (following a comment on my report!) and so I baked every Friday night, listening to Desert Island Discs which I'm sure was at night in the 70s.  I rarely cooked a meal.  I'd far rather read a book and wait for my parents (more often my father) to concoct something delicious.

At university I didn't need to cook but when I got a flat of my own I started to experiment.  I liked doing roasts and lots of vegetables but the easiest meal involved mince, a tin of tomatoes and tomato puree, chopped peppers and mushrooms, some stock and any herbs.  Leave it to simmer, cook some potatoes or pasta and you've got a tasty meal for family or friends.

If you would like a recipe here's one for wheat-free chocolate cake.  My mother found the original version in a magazine at the hairdresser's and we've used it for birthday cakes for decades.  This year I adapted it for my newly wheat-sensitive daughter:

6 oz butter
6 oz caster sugar
3 eggs
6 oz gluten free SR flour
2 level tbsp drinking chocolate
mixed with 1 tbsp warm water
4tbsp milk (leave this out if using ordinary SR flour but add 1.5 tsp baking powder to the flour)

Bake in a fan oven at about 160 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes

I use a handheld mixer to mix everything but I do it in stages, creaming the butter and sugar, mixing in the beaten eggs then the chocolate mixture, and finally the flour.  Cook it in two tins but it will not rise as much as a conventional cake.

Now let's visit the delightful Mel whose recipe blog is wonderful.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Me: The Abridged Version

Having heard that paperclipping is giving a discount on classes at Big Picture Scrapbooking I thought I would look at the Me: The Abridged Version class. 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mellow yellow

Shimelle suggested taking a photo and doing something with it.  I liked the yellow cones blocking a small road beside our house for resurfacing and photographed it recently.  I rarely "do anything" with photos other than store them on my pc.  So I decided to do some cropping and here's the result.

Now we have a pretty road with white paint beside us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creativity Boot Camp

When I first read about the Boot Camp I thought I didn't have the time.  Then it occurred to me that was exactly the reason why I should try to fit some regular creativity into my day.  So I've joined up with Maegan and we'll see what happens!

BTW Thank you to everyone who commented on the It's All About Me post.  It's lovely to read all the comments and to visit your blogs.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It's All About Me and a blog hop

The lovely Mel suggested another blog hop, this time using the It's All About Me project from Big Picture Scrapbooking.  It didn't sound too difficult so I signed up and started thinking.  The first ingredient was to be an accordion book in a tin.  I had a tin I'd painted years ago and I tried folding wallpaper samples to fit.

But one day I was flicking through Cover to Cover and remembered a favourite type of folded book.

With three cuts a wallpaper sample can become a 16 page booklet

I spent so much time thinking and planning the book that I nearly ran out of time making the book.  So I've been photographing it in artificial light in the early hours of Saturday.  But I hope you get the idea of It's All About Elizabeth before you go on to visit Helena.

The first of my quotes "We are the musicmakers, We are the dreamers of dreams".  The other page has an envelope with some journalling about maths.

A selection from my many tapes and brads, beside an allusion to my favourite shop.

When I was young autumn was my favourite month, now it's spring as I eagerly look for signs of green on the trees, longer days and (slightly) warmer temperatures.  The sea thrills me, especially when the sun is rising over the Isle of Rum.

All being well 2010 will see improvements to a few of our rooms.  (This is our first home and we were married in 1983.)  So our bathroom is not my favourite place but I love taking a bath, and I like the colour turquoise, so this would be a happy place for me.The other picture represents something I do nearly every day.  We love vegetables (being omnivores) and they steam very well in the microwave (which is an absolute essential in my life).

Two pleasures: origami and coffee or

..... what I'd do given some spare time.

How would I describe me in three words?

And colour makes me happy.

The second quote is "I am, yet what I am none cares or knows" and I love words and dictionaries.

Do I have a collection?  Yes, several, but my  button collection goes back to before I was born.

Thank you for exploring my book with me.  I wish I'd had the time to crop and tidy up the pictures but I can already hear the dawn chorus.  Now let's go and see what Helena has done, and many thanks to Mel for the inspiration.