Phones, Animals and Kitchens

Yesterday, whilst driving down the east coast between Aberdeen and Edinburgh, Catherine's mobile rang.

The conversation on Catherine's end went something like this:

Cath: "Awww. Awwwwww. Awwwwwww."


"Wow! Aww. Twins. Oh my pet."

Silence while she listened to conversation from the other end

Cath:  Oh. Oh dear. Right. In the kitchen.

My ears tune in at this point. For a moment earlier in the conversation, I reckoned she must have been talking about a newly born lamb. The first newly born lamb. 

But now she's mentioning 'The Kitchen'. My Kitchen, I presume.

Yep, you guessed it. I'm away just over 24 hours, and already there are animals in my kitchen.

I can't make up my mind whether I ought to get home. Quickly. Or whether I ought to stay away even longer.

Animals. Kitchens. My kitchen. These terms are not supposed to be used in the same conversation...

Anyway, here are some of the scenes passing by my eyes while I had to endure the thought of the aforementioned animals, kitchens etc

Llamas. Furry Llamas. Very odd looking creatures, but lest I offend any llama-loving friends, I'm sure they are delightful creatures. Delightful, but quirky.

Fields ploughed and ready to be planted. What a wonderful feeling it must be for farmers to see their seed sprouting in a few weeks' time.

Further south, and along the east coast the soil was so red. The difference in such a short distance was amazing.

Rows and rows of polytunnels. They my be used for strawberries, but I'm not sure about that.

Crossing the Forth Road Bridge, with the 
Forth Rail Bridge beside us.


Our Trip 1

Inverness is for ...

the castle
...with the monument to Flora MacDonald
for meeting friends ...

and for Birthday cake made by friends.


Happy Birthday, Part II

Today is this girl's birthday.

Unlike Katie, who is a pink girl, this girl was born to be blue.

Here's the evidence...

Okay, so it may have been that I was dressing her in DR's cast-offs, but I still reckon she was born to wear blue. 
I mean, c'mon.... does this girl look like she was born to be pink?
See! A dress! She had a dress. Okay, it was for a wedding, and even the dress only suited her in blue. She loved her daddy, and her daddy loved her. Did I say 'loved'? I meant 'loves'.

 And another dress! This is her with Grandpa, my Dad, and it's one of my favourite photos from this stage of her life.

At this stage, DR and Catherine shared a room: DR had his own bed, and Catherine was in the cot. Almost every night when we'd go in to say our Goodnight, this is how we'd find them.


Sigh. If any of you have children at this stage just now, I've gotta say this to you: 'Enjoy it'.

Oh, I know it's busy, and there's loads of work, but take time to savour it, treasure it, photograph it (anyone else out there with loads of photos of the first child and only a handful of the second? Yep, me too!)

 This was in our back garden when we lived in Glasgow. We had trees! Trees and bushes. Ahhh, them was the days... the days of no gales, and of gardens and of no gales, and of flowers.

It was also the days of living in the city and not seeing the sea, and not being near family and not seeing the sea, and not having a vegetable plot and not....well, you know what.

Was that really us, living there?

This was us in Colonial Williamsburg. Aren't you glad I told you this, because I know you'd never have guessed it from the photo.

Anyway, we couldn't believe there was a sign for homeschoolers. 'You mean, they know what we are?!'

So, that was then

And this is now ...
 and this...
 and here with her cousin, Emma, with whom she's going to spend three whole days next week.

Every stage of their lives is precious, and I do s-i-g-h when I look back at the earlier years. But having daughters at the ages our girls are at is so precious too. They quickly become your friends as well as your daughters. I treasure every moment I have with them right now. I pray nothing will ever spoil the relationship we can have as mother and daughters, and for them, as sisters.

As a birthday treat this year, I am taking the two of them to the mainland next week for a few days. We leave on Monday morning and will not be back until Friday night.

(Anyone want to feed some guys while we're gone? No? Oh well, I guess it will be a case of filling the freezer and labeling each day's food.)

Us girls are going to Inverness and then on to Edinburgh. No doubt, I'll post some photos over the week, but don't expect to hear too much from me. We're planning on having a ball!

Oh, I may, though, have a wee surprise for you on Friday night.... That's all I'm saying, but - stay tuned!


A Trip to Harris

Our congregation in Scalpay have their communions, so we went down for a service today.
Harris isn't strictly an island (and neither is Lewis, I suppose): they are joined in one island, so I guess the proper way of saying it is, The Isle of Lewis & Harris. However, we do think of each other as two separate islands, and the accents are quite distinctive - both in Gaelic and in English.
 The welcoming committees were out in force. In Harris, the sheep are as laid back as can be, and if they're enjoying their spot on the road, then it's up to us drivers to drive around them!
 I've shown Harris photos before, but the scenery is so different to our scenery here in Lewis - particularly in the Northern part of Lewis - so I reckon another lot of photos will harm noone.

This is the bridge crossing to Scalpay. Until a few years ago, Scalpay was reached by a small ferry which ran back and fore every day (except Sunday). The island now has a bridge and so there are no mad dashes any more for young guys rushing to catch the last ferry at night.
 Er, the Wee Guy had the camera in the back of the car, and this kind of 'scenery' had more appeal!
 Fish farms in the nearer part of this sea loch
 Rugged. But beautiful.

 The sea on the west side of the island, just north of Tarbert. The colours in the foreground don't come through in the photo, but they were a stunning mixture of blues and greens and all shade in between.

 Remind me later to tell you about the road seen here on the other side of the loch. Too much to tell here...
 No matter how inaccessible a place appears, everyone in Lewis and in Harris is simply a click online and a delivery van away from any shop in the UK (or further afield). Yes, it may take a day longer to reach us, and it may cost extra in carriage, but it sure makes living on the island a whole lot easiers.

 As I said, the Wee Guy had the camera. On the way down to Harris, he loved the journey, and had comments and questions every so often along the way.
On the way back though, he's 'seen it all before', and the books he'd taken with him were better company.

And so ends this post of gorgeous scenery with the Wee Guy's favourite topics.

"Oh, and did y'all know that Ghengis Khan was absolutely amaaaazing? Wait til I tell you...."


Happy Birthday...

to our little girl young lady!

This daughter is a pink girl.

Last month, she looked like this.

And just a couple of weeks ago, she looked like this.

I think this was just last week.

And these must have been yesterday.

And this was taken the night we were at Severance Hall listening to Cleveland orchestra.

And this is the photo that made me realise that yes, I am getting old.

You see, mirrors, into which we look each day, are pliable, but photos Do. Not. Lie.

This was her this morning, surrounded by pink balloons, having her hot chocolate and toast taken to her side, and reading...er, hang on! Is that a cookery book Katie's reading?! 

No, surely not, not our Katie.

"Oi, Katie - is that really a book about cooking you're reading?"


"Er, may I ask a couple of questions.... 

Are you well? 

What happened to you overnight? 

Who are you, and where's the real Katie?"

This was her choice of cake. Catherine made it for her, 

dutifully made it into a Birthday Cake, and


Katie will huff and will puff, and will...

yep, blow them all out!

Please don't tell anyone this, but Catherine has now made a Chocolate cake to have for when the Builder comes home. I am not kidding, but the first cake Is No More. 

We are all suitably ashamed. But we're licking our lips too.

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