After a six-week summer (Ha!) holiday, the girls headed back to school. Considering the crappy weather which has prevented them from spending as much time outside playing as they, and I, would like, we made it through without anybody getting killed, maimed or rocking in the corner. (Although the rocking was a close call over the last couple of weeks)
Once again we didn’t get to do many of the things we wanted, and the tent stayed packed away for another year, but we got to visit a couple of places on my to do list.
One was a boat ride on the Falkirk Wheel. It’s a great piece of engineering and the ride is so smooth you don’t realise you are rising up in the air until glancing out the window you can see the top of the trees. I was the first time the girls had been on any kind of boat, so they were really excited to do the trip.
The best visit though was to The Kelpies. They are amazing and so damn big. I had seen photos of them plenty of times, but it wasn’t until you are stood below you can see the amazing size and beauty of these sculptures.
To get a proper perspective, in the photo to the right, AJ and Bart are stood at the bottom of one of the horses.
They really are amazingly beautiful and I am so glad we made the trip.The girls watched a couple of movies at the cinema and we headed to the beach whenever there was a small window of opportunity. Living only forty minutes or so from the coast is great for waking up, finding a clear day and just jumping in the car. Having been spoilt by our easy access to the beaches since moving north, I cant imagine living anymore inland than this.
Last week was spent again, dodging raindrops and racing around getting the last-minute stuff ready for school.
Finally the day arrived. I am really lucky in the fact both girls love school, so getting them orgainised Tuesday morning was not a chore at all. We were all up, dressed and ready to go in plenty of time and I waved the girls off in their school bus, huge smiles on all our faces!
Between heavy rain showers this afternoon, Jay and I took the girls into the village for an ice-cream.
After perusing the variety of flavours both girls decided to go for “Cookie Monster”, bright blue ice-cream with Oreos and cookie dough mixed through it, in a chocolate waffle cone. Jay went for his favourite, a double scoop of Scottish Tablet ice-cream in a chocolate waffle cone.
The young lad who was serving us then looked to me for my choice and I just shook my head and got out the money to pay.
“Are you not having one?” he asked.
“No,” I replied with a smile, “Slimming World.”
At that he gave me a puzzled look.
“You don’t look like you need Slimming World.”
I could have leaned across the counter and kissed him (even though I am old enough to be his mother).
I left the shop without an ice-cream, but I had the biggest smile of all of us.
“I woke up this morning,” ba-dum, ba-dum,
“The rains comin’ down,” ba-dum, ba-dum,
“This is my weeks holiday” ba-dum, ba-dum,
“I think I could drown,” ba-dum, ba-dum.
We are on the last “hurrah” before the girls go back to school next Tuesday, so both Jay and I have taken the week off work to do stuff and go places, have fun in the sun, ya know?
Well I hope you know. Because we don’t.
The weather has been crap!
Gale force winds, temperatures in the lower end of single digits and rain.
And more bloody rain.
Saturday was okay… well
most some of it. Also, we managed to hang the washing out on Monday, before we had to race out and get it in again.
Yesterday was, lets face it, sodding cold. I wore two jumpers and we had both the wood burner and the central heating going.
Its August people!
Where is my summer?!
I know I live in Scotland
And in the Highlands at that.
But come on.
Its bloody August and this is the forth evening in a row we have lit the wood burning stove.
Where the hell is summer?!
It was with much sadness this summer that Jay and I lost one of our closest most loyal friends. Our beautiful Border Collie, Willow.
When Jay and I came to the decision to stop fertility treatment and received very little help with the adoption process from the local authority where we lived, we decided to get a dog. Jay wanted a Border Collie and I didn’t mind what breed we had. I did some research on the internet and found a breeder with some puppies. All were reserved, but one could possibly be available again. I was sent a picture of a tiny black and white pup on a white blanket and I knew she was mine.
We went to view Willow when the breeder confirmed she would be available. I remember going into a huge farm kitchen and five three-week old pups came over to play. After a short while Willow tottered on short little legs to the Aga and managed to reach the tea towel hanging there. She pulled it down and lay quite happily chewing away.
We brought her home in September 2000 at seven weeks old. To say the next thirteen years flew by is an understatement.
She took everything in her stride. From losing and gaining our family cats, to moving from one end of the country to the other to having a pair of noisy children come to live with her. Nothing fazed her. As long as she had a walk, a bed and a ball she was happy.
She and Jay adored each other and as the years ticked on, I dreaded the day we would lose her. I used to joke she would live until she was thirty. If only that had been true.
She was only a couple of weeks over her thirteenth birthday and still looked so young, with very little grey on her muzzle. We knew she was slowing down a little and then one day Jay noticed she had a lump near her back passage.
A visit to the vets confirmed the worst. She had cancer. The lump on the outside was only a fraction of what was happening inside her body. The vet sent her home with ten days of pain killers and time for us to say goodbye.
At first both Jay and I were in denial, she looked so well, how could she be sick? Then on the Thursday she had a “bad day”. She slept most of the day on the front step, her favourite place to watch the farm vehicles go by. She didn’t want to eat her breakfast, or the left over cereal milk the girls would pour into her bowl.
I telephoned Jay at work and we both came to the decision that on the following Monday, when her medication ran out, we would take her to the vets to be put to sleep. So with my throat choked up I made the appointment.
She didn’t make it.
Willow took a turn for the worse on the Saturday and passed away at home with Jay by her side. AJ and I were racing home from a guinea pig show in the Scottish borders and finally made it ten minutes after she took her last breath.
It seemed appropriate that it was raining the next day as Jay dug her grave. We wrapped Willow in her favourite blanket, the one my mother in law had knitted her, and lay her to rest, a goodbye note from AJ tucked under her paw.
Unknown to us, Jay’s dad had taken some pictures of Willow just days earlier, then spent time in his studio creating a beautiful pastel portrait of her which now hangs on our living room wall.
Everyone who has a dog they love with all of their heart believe they have the best four pawed friend in the whole world. I know we did.
Rest in peace Willow. We love you and miss you. Always
I had a huge shock this morning when I realised how long it has been since I last wrote a blog. It seemed the craziness of summer grabbed me by the throat, shook me around and is only just starting to loosen its grip. I have spent the last couple of months lurching from one drama to another, or so it seems.
I lost family, both people and paws.
Bart started school and both she and AJ have moved to a different school to the one AJ attended before.
Somethings don’t change, laundry is still taking over the house and the girls still haven’t learnt to share the TV. I am very close to breaking my house rule and buying a second television set.
Now we are only two weeks away from the half term holidays and I am still chasing my tail.
But in amongst racing in circles, washing clothes and doing the hundreds of other chores around the house, I am determined to take time to write again.