Monday, 31 August 2009

A quick update

Chilled out Jess

Hullo there ma wee blog,
Dont mean to have been ignoring you but have been busy with oor guests and all.
Lemme see what have we been up to

Our visitors arrived thurs and we had a night at home with the weary travellers. Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner - almost anyone { me included } can make a spag bol without thinking too hard about it.
Friday was the Lady Boys of Bangkok - see previous post for the gen on that one!
Sat I took my sister in law to see Michel Blanc at the Book festival - fantastic, very entertaining, enthusiastic and passionate about everything he spoke about. Then we met up with the lovely G, Leen and our Dutch visitors for a meal of Tapas and a few drinks.
Sun was a nice walk with our friends down the road to Cove, then airport and after on to the cinema at Filmhouse to see Laughter In Paradise - another of the Alastair Sim season - see the "Giggling in the dark" post.

Today I had a couple of emergency hearings for the childrens panel to prepare and attend and thats about us up to date.
see you later..............
listening to Roxy Music.........'Avalon'

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Lipstick on my collar...............

                                                    Photo - Jeff. J. Mtchell/Getty images

Hullo there ma wee blog,
Tonight we took our Dutch friends to see a show at the Edinburgh Festival. All arranged by the lovely G. A nice meal in a hotel nearby beforehand and then a liesurely stroll down to The Meadows to see the Ladyboys of Bangkok.
Aye the lady BOYS of Bangkok.

"Ah well", says I "all part of life's rich tapestry".
Actually what I thought was they wouldn't fool me for a second and that I would be sitting there wordly wise "told you so!" while all around agreed that they were definitely blokes in frocks. and it was all a bit cringe worthy.

Hold my hand up to that one.

What actually happened.

Lights down and opening music please.............







But, I,

But they,

But its not,

Oh my GOD,

Cant be,



Aw Naw,


Crivens jings and help ma boab!

But she's,

I mean but he's,

They've got,


She is absolutely.......




No of course she's not gorgeous,,


this cant be right,

Is this right,



And Wow,

Naw sweetheart of course I didn't wolf whistle.
Another beer?. Oh my God yes, please............

What do you mean close your mouth?

And then of course I noticed

"There are stairs off the stage down into the audience"
And during certain numbers they come down into the audience and strut their stuff - in a very nice manner - and get up close and personal with some of the audience members in a funny and lighthearted way but usually to the expense of some poor, shy, innoccuous and conservative male in the audience.


I put my head down slightly and think why do we have to have a table at the front of the audience. yes its got a great view but how would I react if..........

Wait a mo, why is everyone at our table looking at me?

No, not actually at me but past me



Lights, giggles of anticipation from all around

The smell of perfume wafts through from behind me

a finely manicured hand a slim wrist and naked arm glide past my ear and snake down my arm and across my chest

A rather fulsome chest is pressed into the back of my neck, warm and soft, then fingers run through my hair and caress my neck and on to my cheek.
the table is in histerics.
I haven't blushed like this since I was twelve

Puh- Lease........

Oh Mum.........
the hand on my cheek turns my face towards its owner and I get a kiss on my cheek and a hug and some further exploration of my chest regions from the only Growler in the cast. I am frozen solid.
The lights move on and the table around me is still in uproar.
Still at least its over now.......
The fantastic floor show goes on till its foot stomping, arm waving end and slowly the lights come back up.
The lady sitting next to me at the edge of our group - and whom I dont know - takes one look at me and starts to laugh so hard I think she might fall out of her chair.

Yes ok, you guessed it but me being me had never even thought.

I have bright red lipstick smeared from jaw to ear.

I blush again, just as fiercely

thanks for that Mr/Mrs/Miss Ladyboy...........
Fantastic night,
Fantastic show,
What a laugh.
Dont think they are all from Bankok though. I'm sure I saw a couple of Brazilians..............
see you later................

Thursday, 27 August 2009

"And are there two G's in 'Bugger Off'! "

Well thank you very much, RAF flyboys.

The tranquility of the garden, a perfect cup of tea and a great roll and sausage is spoiled, and almost dropped, by you pair of numpty school bairns coming from absolutely nowhere, screaming over the garden at about 200ft going full pelt in your bloomin jets with afterburners glowin'.
I nearly had a heart attack, Bailey has done a runner and Jess is up the apple tree completely terrified and tangled in her harness, claws dug deeply into the bark and any chance of gettin her calmed down in the next half hour is some work away . My roll - Aw man, if only you knew how much patience had gone into that, and how much expectation - is cold now and I can still hear you in the distance circling round for another low level pass.
Bugger off up tae the Highlands where all you will scare are some tourists, a few sheep and some deer.................JESUS!

How much do you get to the gallon with one of them things anyway.

listening to - you pair in the distance creating mayhem for some other poor sod nae doot.

There are people who work night shift you know!!!!

The Sacred Art of Sausage

Hullo there ma wee blog.

Good Morning, what an absolute stoater of a day! Clear blue skies and the gentlest of breezes barely stirring the leaves of the apple trees at the back of the house. A complete change from the rainy, grey and windy day that was yesterday.

The lovely G has been chauffeured to the local station and departed in a work wise direction. I made and packed her lunchtime sandwich and a yogurt before we left slightly late which made the journey with its challenges of slow moving lorries and the harvesting farm machinery a mild 10 minute challenge, enough to make sure I was fully awake and not on auto pilot as I can be sometimes. The return journey was more leisurely and gave me time to appreciate what a great morning it is.

The cats have been fed and stroked and have now abandoned me for the garden, Jess harnessed to the anchor of the closest apple tree { see previous posts }. I walked her out barefoot, the cold and slightly damp grass - I wouldn't dignify it by calling it a lawn, which is more an English expression any way - was beautifully soft underfoot thanks to the mosses, to such an extent that it felt like THE most luxurious foot massage and caused me to pad smilingly and almost purring, around the rest of the garden for several contented minutes before coming back to my usual place at the kitchen table and the first dense, delicious coffee of the day.

And so now, my day ahead organised - I have to be at Edinburgh airport later to pick up our Dutch friends - and understood, I am patiently waiting for the pair of plump sausages, links, bangers, snags or snorkers - call them whatever you like - which are sitting murmuring, not quite a sizzle anyway , at me from the other side of the kitchen where they have been cooking for the best part of 40 minutes.

Now you might think that 40 minutes to cook a couple of sausages is a long time, but trust me, I know what I am doing here. The perfect sausage takes some time to do properly and, as they should be a - fairly - rare treat { this mornings guilty pleasure} that its got to be worth getting them as near perfect as possible.

Vegetarian readers should perhaps look away now as they say , or at least skip the next couple of paragraphs which may be unpleasantly graphic for you......

Firstly they are pork, not that beef is out of the question but pork is just a bit better I think. Secondly they are the right size, neither large enough to make you feel bloated and like you really shouldn't have eaten that first thing, or so small that cooking them is going to leave them dry, dusty and disappointing in the mouth or having gone to all that effort that you are still hungry. Decision time therefore - is it two or is it four?

Next, they are the right pork sausage, with a high meat content and not a miserly amount of poor quality meat padded out with rusk and God knows what else, and they are bright, glistening and packed tightly in their skins, not flopping sadly at the bottom of a pack. There is enough fat content to ensure that carefully slow cooked they are going to come from the pan moist and unctuous, tender and toothsome and with the critically important sticky chewable crust from prolonged contact with hot metal. They have been carefully lifted into a pan prepared with the absolute minimum of oil, not butter for this as the long cooking will cause it to burn and become bitter, but a nice neutral oil. Lets say sunflower as its whats to hand here in the kitchen. Again I ignore the olive oil as that too is too flavoured and I don't want anything to detract from the taste of the main event.

I don't think you should ever prick a sausage either. Leave it alone for goodness sake. In time the skin will split naturally or at the very least any excess juices will find their own way out and the fat will run free into the pan leaving the finished article hot and succulent, neither soggy or dry but with just the right amount of resistance when you bite in.

Finally take them from the pan and leave somewhere hot for just a moment or two while you get the rest of your breakfast together. This morning its just a scots morning roll, light and pale and dusted with flour. Oh, and a cup of tea. Serve them after a cooling moment - tongue juggling a mouth full blistering hot sausage is no fun and doesn't do the flavour any justice.

I intend to eat mine slowly and reflectively at the patio table in the garden.

While I have been speaking to you they have finished cooking. So, got to go as I don't want them to be past it after all that effort and the garden is calling with the promise of another foot massage...

see you later...........

Listening to Queen, 'Its a kind of magic' Seems appropriate!

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Listen to them. The children of the night. What music they make.

Hullo ma wee blog.

Aye, its that time o year again when Simon Cowell et al are wheeled back out on to the manipulating, formulaic, money making gravy train that is 'X Factor'.

That also means that the last few sad, pathetic remnants - sorry, CONTESTANTS - of the Big Brother Hoose are also being whittled down, evicted and thrust into the ever decreasing circle of glare which is the spot light of the 'public eye' so they can preen and prance before the electricity meter runs out.

OH. god.....

But dont get me wrong. I find the idea of reality TV very - no, actually not very, but quite - appealing. To have 12 or 15 people in a house together for a period of time and to watch and understand whats happening to them and their relationship with others I could quite enjoy. Celebrities too. And what about celebrities and general public together in da house if you wanna go that way? Ok, all a bit voyeuristic I suppose but even so.

And I really DO approve of the concept of the talent contest. There are some really talented people out there who for whatever reason are undiscovered, and others who while not truly 'star' material can entertain effectively and who can and perhaps should be doing that for a { hopefully substantial and fullfilling } living. Its great to see ordinary folk do extraordinary things or display truly amazing talents, and its right to celebrate that.
Surely its also right to show families or individuals struggling against adversity whether is child behaviour, food phobias or embarrasing illnesses. If the content and the editing respect individuals and the end result shows the positive benefits that can be achieved with professional support, or shows that there is a lesson to be learned in parenting or education for the wider population then isn't that surely to the good. Would that be reality TV at its best? Its difficult. It can be entertaining to see someone perform who is not nearly as good as they think they are, and maybe it will help them reflect and laugh at themselves or not take themselves so seriously again. But its such a fine line. Is that what makes it so cringe inducingly addictive.

I dunno.

But is it really right to pander to those increasingly deperate, media aware, self seeking fame hags. Or the TV companies that deliberately put together skewed cross sections of society to supposedly represent "the norm" when they are actually aimed at a clearly defined target audience.

Is it right to stick a microphone in the hand of someone who is clearly deluded of their talent and lacking any family or friend able to say 'actually, you cant sing and are never going to be a star, but we love you none the less. ' Are we breeding an acceptance 0f scathing mockery into ourselves and is that really helpful? Is it right to deliberately manipulate audiences during shows and by voting methods to milk even more cash from gullible teenagers with mobile phones. After all its neck and neck and you decide so keep voting.....

Is it a talent contest or a popularity contest { in reality! }.

And is it right to pander to Mr Cowell, hard working and successful as he may be, by making him so much richer for such a cringe inducing exhibition and paying for the priviledge while we do it.

Whats the answer? You decide.

see you later............

Listening to Suzanne Vega......' my name is Luca'

Did you hear the one about............

photo - 'sectarian pandas'
A new doctor is being shown around the hospital and is being walked down the ward. As they pass the first bed the patient calls out

" Fair fa your honest sonsie face! ".

The new doctor sees the other is unconcerned and they walk on.

As they pass the next bed, this patient also calls out:

" poor wee coo'erin, timerous beastie! "

Now the doctor is slightly more alarmed, but again, the other is unconcerned and they walk on.

As they pass the next bed, once more the patient calls out

" some hae meat an canny eat and some nae meat that wantit! "

This time the doctor pulls on his colleagues sleeve and says

"I didn't realise this hospital had a psychiatric ward"

the other turns and replies

"Oh. No, we dont. This is The Burns unit"

Aye, awright............sorry.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Scots, and Wry

Hello there ma wee blog.

Just crawled back from the second of two trips to the Edinburgh Book festival this weekend and am having a coffee before heading to bed.

Well, two completely different events.

Last night we went to see Irvine Welsh, author of "Trainspotting" among others. The lovely G came along even though she hasn't read any of his work and so didn't really know what to expect, although she has seen the film. His stuff, if you dont already know, is tough and very uncompromising, set in the hard hitting, violent and aggressive world of drug culture and depravation, inner city life and mindless thuggery. Its written in the rough language of the streets that it comes from so it doesn't pull its punches.

He read from a collection of short stories called "Reheated Cabbage". The name he explained came from translating an Italian expression which describes someone repeating the same mistakes in life over and over. Its a collection of stories which were mainly written in the '90s, some published and some not, which he has put together as a volume representing the kind of work he was doing then. { the unkind among us can read that as "I need the money but can't be bothered writing anything just now" but we could be being uncharitable.} The story he chose was about a character from "Trainspotting" called Begbie, who was the uber violent psycho in the film and tells of him spending Christmas day with his family. It was loud, energetic and totally engrossing and he held the audience enthralled because under all that coarseness and swearing, bigotry and hate was a story of well observed character and situation told in a way that held you fixed by its raw power and its honesty. Just fascinating.

Tonight was Frank Skinner, TV presenter and stand up comic. A world apart from last night, he was presenting his second autobiography which deals with returning to stand up after some 10 years of TV work, caused by in his own words " the work drying up". He was again, very honest, especially in talking about his own insecurity in going back to stand up, an area where he had been acknowledged to be a master in his previous career. He was absolutely terrified of failing publicly and damaging his perception for more TV work and also was afraid of how the new generation of comedians working now would react to him. Would they accept him or would they just think he was up himself and out to grab the cash?

He read a couple of passages which reflected different sides of his experience and I found that once again they were masterfully observed and nicely self deprecating. He was very open during the interviewing questions and with the audience and, as he had come in with a small musical case - explaining that he had just come from his fringe show and that he thought that if the readings weren't going well he could try and win us over with a song - he was persuaded to give us a song. Surprisingly the instrument was a ukelele and he sang a song in the style of a hero - George Formby! I thought he was just using this as a comedy tool but he IS an absolute afficiando of George Formby and proceeded to give us a rendition of a song which he had created with great affection in the style of aforesaid WWII icon.

Of course it was a funny, bringing Osama Bin Laden to life through the eyes of GF, and absolutely hilarious.

So, two good nights, and more still to come. Love it, Love it, Love it....................

Tonight though I have yet another Childrens Panel training session, but, as the lovely G is oot an aboot in toon hersel', at least I'm not at home on me tod.

Ah well, got to go. I really didn't mean to be writing a mini review.

listening to Sia, 'little black sandals'
see you later.........................

Saturday, 22 August 2009

In a manner of speaking

I'm a Scot and like many of my kind, fiercely proud of that.

Being brought up where I was, when I was, and especially by whom I was, I have always had a keen sense of who I am based on family, family values and heritage. Its a fact that most of us share regardless of where we live in the world and part of that unique and diverse cultural identity that makes us,, no matter if that is German, Italian, French, French Canadian, Catalan, Schweizer Deutch or Occitan.

One of the most important aspects of that heritage was the language I was brought up with, which is deeply rooted in rural Ayrshire and its past. My father was a great natural speaker of Lallans - Lowland Scots - which unlike the Gaelic, is rooted in English but IS different and IS still the everyday speech of the ordinary man in the street.

Like any mother tongue, any living language, it constantly changes and evolves with new words, and developing dual or even new applications for words or phrases. This change is happening faster than ever before thanks to modern communication and constant exposure to influence from film, TV and music that previous generations couldn't have experienced, { at least until the second world war. }
Change is no bad thing though, in fact it can be really positive. After all the whole point of language is to allow us to communicate, share and touch other lives. It also lets us share our heritage, culture, identity, character or whatever you want to call it. But we seem to be in danger of losing just a bit of our identity, our uniqueness, by becoming homogenised to the constant onslaught of American TV shows and gansta rap among others. Being what most kids seem to hear most its only natural that some is incorporated into daily use. As a kid was I any different.? After all we deliberately create a language partly to be different to our parents generation, to help define us in our time and place. { What would Aberdonian rapping sound like I wonder?}
{ Despite signs of resurgence in modern writing and poetry, to many, especially to institutions and even shamefully it would seem our own parliament, Scots is regarded as a non language, only a dialect or even, with a complete lack of tolerance and an active policy of educational reduction, as a bastard aberration that should be actively discouraged, regarded somehow as degraded, common, or showing a lack of culture or intelligence.
Much like the Gaelic was culturally ignored 50 years ago and the language was dying on its feet, so Lallans in all its dialects and its own cultural diversity is ignored and underfunded, never to be heard in civilised circles or so it seems. Strangely, and thankfully, the Gaelic has undergone a real change in perception and with funding and encouragement is growing in popularity and influence. }
I wouldn't propose that it should be even the norm for communication. After all English is possibly THE most common international language today.


What I love about Scots is the timbre, the tempo and the connection it gives to a tradition of communication. It has its place. Its OF its place. All language is important and the loss of language is a loss to the world.

So, I have decided to introduce some of my 'mither tongue' to you. I'm not a scholar but I love the language and as Dads not hear to talk to me any more I'm probably a bit scared that I will lose much of my grasp on the older use, Dads kind of speech which was pretty auld fashioned, even when he learned it. The Ayrshire tongue of a hundred years ago maybe. But, from now on you can expect to see some wee bits of it creep in. When there is a need, then of course I should explain what a particular word or phrase means. In fact perhaps my next post should be a glossary of some of the more common - in the true sense of the word - expressions and words that I will use. As Scots is much more common as a spoken tradition than written and as far as I know there is no written standard thanks to educational neglect then I'll write it phonetically.
Don't worry either that its going to take over the blog. Its about communication and after all its just a bit of the real me. It'll be fun !

Aye that micht jist be a guid place tae stert efter aw.

But now I've got to go. Its an all day training session for the Childrens Panel to keep us on our toes and up to speed with legislation.

Oh Joy!

see you later...........

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Family, festivals and finding a job.

Hullo there ma wee blog.
Not posted for a while as the lovely G and I have been busy with the usual mundane daily rituals of work - her not me - and home - definitely me - and the festival.
Edinburgh Festival is in full swing and the whole city is stuffed with tourists - see previous entry - and of course I am partaking of the opportunity to get a wee bit o' culture myself in between job hunting and stuff. I love Edinburgh at this time of year. Its absolutely at its best, even with all the upheaval of the new tram works which have left half the city roads closed off and dug up, making driving and parking even more impossible than normal. I always feel that during the festival there is an excitement in town I find hard to resist.
Being a bit of a bookworm I love the Book Festival - Edinburgh Festival is actually 10 different festivals running at the same time { so I found out from the TV anyway } Edinburgh International Festival, The Fringe, The comedy Festival and The Book festival to name but a few.
In the Book Festival lots of authors come to give readings, be interviewed and have question and answer sessions with the audience and its become a tradition for me to go and see as many of my favourites as I can { or afford }. I usually get a couple of tickets for each author and persuade a friend or member of the family to come along with me. Everyone seems to enjoy it and its a nice way to spend some one to one time with friends or family at a different kind of experience. Usually it takes in dinner and drinks either pre or post event and as each event lasts an hour there is usually time for a drink or coffee after and a chance to talk about the show and life in general.
So far I have seen Ian Banks with my brother in law, Ian Rankin with my brother and Gerald Scarfe with the lovely G. Still to come are Christopher Brookmyre with my sister in Law, Gryff Rhys Jones with the lovely G, and Michel Blanc with my sister in law. Ian Rankin, Ian Banks and Christopher Brookmyre are old favourites and never fail to entertain, real highlights in my festival each year. Gerald Scarfe was also riveting, really entertaining, scathing, acerbic and witty in his description - or dissection - of politics and politicians.

On Sunday my cousin Elspeth and her husband Dave arrived for a short stay till Tuesday, and had time to visit the town and take in the sights. Elspeth is a probation officer, the daughter of Dads twin brother Bill, and this was the first time we had spent any real time together as adults as that side of the family live in Leicestershire. It was really Mum and Dad that visited most often. Gordon or I visited only for infrequent short stays and had seen Elspeth and her family only for a couple of hours at a time within the wider family circle. It was good to see her and to get to know her as an adult, and to find out that she is the kind of person I can get on with.

As Dad died recently we spent a lot of time talking about family connections and history and reaffirmed many of the shared memories of our childhood back in rural Ayrshire before they moved south. She called it reshaping our relationship, I teased her that I was not one of her clients and we had a good laugh. They left saying they felt chilled and refreshed and promised to come again. I hope they do.

Next weekend our Dutch friends arrive for a short break from their farm near Eindhoven.Its been a couple of years since we saw each other and are looking forward to them coming again, even though this time their two daughters cant come with them.
On the job front I have applied for a couple of positions, one with the Parole Board for Scotland { long shot I know } and with the NHS as a controlled drugs inspector.
I am determined to go for jobs I really want to do and fortunately our redundancy cover gives me the opportunity to do this. These kind of jobs are few and far between and I desperately hope something comes along soon. I am just not cut out for not working. I feel my self confidence very low some days.
ah well better go.

see you soon.
listening to Talk Talk by Talk Talk..........

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Giggling in the dark................

photo - Alastair Sim, actor.

This afternoon I picked up the lovely G from work when she finished at 3pm.

We headed off across Edinburgh on a bright but blustery afternoon and parked the car at Kings Stables Road car park. We talked about whether we { or I} should take the big umbrella out of the back of the car as there were a few dark clouds about, but decided to leave it as if it should rain we would just dive into a coffee shop or a pub till it blew over. Anyway it was blowing a gale!

From there it was just a short walk up St Johns Terrace by the side of the castle to the top of the Royal Mile where we stopped at The Hub for a drink and to watch the tourists go hurtling past, battered by the wind, high percentages of them wrapped in those see through blue tinted plastic waterproof wrappers that seem to be made out of economy bin bags, as others, with varying degrees of success, struggled with umbrellas against the strong wind. There were a number of great photo opportunities but sadly I hadn't my camera as we were planning on going to the cinema a bit later.

Once the wind had died down a bit and we had finished our drinks we walked down the Royal Mile. It was absolutely crammed with tourists and we found it really hard to make any headway as people would just stop in the middle of the pavement to look into a shop window not noticing there was anyone else near and that there were streams of people trying to get past on one side or another. I was quite fascinated as usual with people watching and listening out for the various languages that come at you from every direction. American, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Swiss German { I can recognise some of the accents by now } and of course the ubiquitous Japanese, all vying to get into the shops and take advantage of the weak pound and buy all the tat that everyday Scots find most cringe worthy. You know the stuff, the tartan equivalents of the stuffed donkey and over sized sombreros that us Brits are so fond of bringing back from Spain: the Braveheart tee shirts and those beautiful little plastic Highland Piper dolls dressed in garish tartan and black and stuffed into a plastic tube sealed with a red lid.

Aye that's the one - made in China or India especially for us by five year olds being paid 50 pence a fortnight to work 14 hours a day so we can exercise our basic human right to buy complete rubbish!

G and I lost each other in the crowd for a bit - I wasn't paying attention of course - but found each other after a while.

So after that we headed to The Filmhouse to see 'The Happiest Days Of Your Life', part of the Edinburgh film festival season celebrating the work of Alastair Sim { photo at top } who was "born near here" according to a plaque on the wall of The Filmhouse itself.

The film was great - very funny in a typically british "jolly hockey sticks" kind of way but our enjoyment was increased by the presence of three lovely elderly ladies who sat in the row behind and had a fantastic time right from lights off when the adverts and trailers started. They "Ooh'd" and "Ah'd" as every product was revealed regardless of whether it was a well known brand of vodka or a designer car and giggled infectiously with each other and promised to buy each other one or other of the goods on offer and discuss who would best suit each one.

This continued through the trailers as they described their amazement with the actors, actresses or special effects and you could feel their excitement build as the main film started. G and I sat hand in hand and listened to their quiet banter and hoped we would be so full of life at their age. Like us they really enjoyed the film and its look back to simpler times and gentler humour. It was just hilarious and even more so as we saw it through their eyes perhaps just a little.

Thank you, Girls..........

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Unholy bin bag of Lothian

Blessed be the most unholy and mighty bin bag of Lothian Council for you are the sanctuary of things unclean.

You provide a resting place for that which is ripe or rank.

You rain strength and security down upon us and bear without rancour the weightiest of our problems.

You carry and lighten our loads and deliver us unto cleanliness and perspicacity.

You are thrice blessed.

You bless those who manufacture and purchase, and those who use and honour thy strength

You never fail to support us in our time of need or remove from sight that which doth offend us.

May your mighty double strength walls and tie handles never tear or pour forth offense for you are the great and the good unholy bin bag of Lothian Council.

A curse on makers of economy bin bags! I hope you have to use them yourselves forever.

Monday, 3 August 2009

The start of another week

'Towards Torness'

Hullo there ma wee blog.

Well all went well with the first of August celebrations on Saturday evening. The lovely G planned the evening out and her two brothers and wife and girlfriend { what is the simple pc way to say that?} came with Leen and K staying over and T+T heading back home to see to their kids, who at 18 and 16 must have had their plans for a parent free Saturday night spoiled in all probability. Its one of the few pleasures left for parents I imagine. We had the table decked out with Swiss tablecloth, napkins, placemats and even had some traditional paper lantern 'lampiones' with real candles swaying outside the patio doors - even if it was too windy to go the whole hog and light them. We even downloaded some Swiss music { definitely no yodelling or alphorns thanks very much}. All very twee but a good laugh as its not taken too seriously........

We had Raclette using the rarely displayed Raclette set brought all the way from- UM - Edinburgh now I come to think of it. We have only used it a handful of times so it was good to do it again. A Raclette set is basically a table top cooker with a communal hot plate/griddle on the top and individual cooking/grill slots underneath where you put whatever you fancy into a metal spatula type affair and grill it to your liking under the hot plate. Raclette is the name of the melty cheese you are supposed to use in the dishes but it can be hard to come by especially up in rural Scotland so I used Tallegio instead which turned out to be a very suitable alternative.

So we used whole boiled baby potatoes, cheese, onions mushrooms bacon, ham, and peppers with various pickles and other nibbles to go along. We polished off a few bottles of good wine and had such a great time chatting around the table that we stayed in the dining area for most of the night and only when T+T went at about 11pm did we move to the lounge. Its a very kind of retro meal I suppose in a 70's flairs and fondue kind of a way but we were introduced to it in Switzerland many years ago and we kind of like the kitschy feel to it and its a bit of a laugh.

We finished the meal off with one of G's fabulous Bircher mueslis, bursting full of fruit, yogurt and a touch of cream and oats. Just the absolute dogs do dahs.........

After a late night it was a late brekkie too with just some simple bacon rolls and the last of the Bircher muesli. Then Leen cycled back home {50 miles} and K followed on after with the car.

G and I took ourselves off to the Riverside bistro in Abby St Bathans late in the afternoon for a quiet drink and a wee walk along part of the Southern Upland Way. Not far, just enough to loosen up and get the kinks ironed out a wee bit. Then we had a quiet night in to get G ready for another week of pure slog at work.

Today I have been surfing the job sites as per and getting a couple of applications ready. When I have them complete a contact who vets applications for the police is going to give them the once over against the selection criteria and give me some feedback so I can hopefully iron out any issues before the application deadlines at the end of this week. In the late afternoon I drove through to pick up G from the office in Edinburgh and we went to the Filmhouse on Lothian Rd to see "Fermats Room" in a lovely little cinema which looked like it only sat about 80 people. We had a drink and a light bite in the cafe at the filmhouse before the show which was nice but expensive. Still, look on the bright side - at least I qualify for concession rates for the films as I am now one of the great unwaged.

The film was ok but as usual I struggled to stay awake. Honestly put me anywhere dark and warm and I am going to be nodding off in about 15 minutes. Its really frustrating when I cant sleep at night even when I'm completely knackered.

Oh well

gotta go, see you later.................

listening to ' Playing for Change'...... " One Love"

The Sunday Posts 2017/Mince and Tatties.

Mince and Tatties I dinna like hail tatties Pit on my plate o mince For when I tak my denner I eat them baith at yince. Sae mash ...