Monday, December 05, 2016

Walking


The walking group set out on Saturday from East Linton after an excellent, if not perhaps healthy, brunch at the Linton Hotel. It was a mild, still, overcast day; somewhat muddy underfoot for quite a lot of the way.


We walked inside Hailes Castle, which evidently looked like this in 1240...



but has deteriorated somewhat since then. Well, you would, wouldn't you?



One of the less muddy stretches.



People had brought mulled wine and mince pies. It would have been rude to refuse.



Seven miles later (tramping through mud is more tiring than dry walking) we got to Haddington. The river hadn't a ripple. It was about four; night was beginning to fall.






We admired St Mary's Church on the other side of the river and then went into The Riverside to have Christmas dinner. I'm not sure that we'd worked off our brunch, mulled wine and mince pies by then but... anyway, it was a lovely day.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Star dust


A few days ago, while Grandson was at school, I took Granddaughter L to the museum. We sat at the front of the bus and she drove it. (Not really.)



We had a snack and then she carefully examined the Lego version of the museum, pointing out where all the things in the model are in the actual museum.



Then we went to the Discovery Room. She dressed up as an explorer to look into the cases.



Then she dressed up as a deep sea diver who might be about to go on an Arctic expedition (so was wearing a furry hat).



There's a good view out of the windows.



Then she examined the half-globe which you spin to show how the atmosphere moves more slowly than the earth. I'm not sure that she totally grasped this. Mind you, I'm not sure I do either.


It's such fun to spend time with her, and so easy to have charge of just one child.


Later, she murmured meditatively under her breath, "We're all made out of star dust." This surprised me somewhat. Daughter 1 tells me that there's a video at the museum in which the narrator says this. Evidently it's one of Carl Sagan's sayings. I hope he would be pleased that someone was listening.








Monday, November 21, 2016

A foreign country...


A few months ago, I bought a bound volume of 1925 "Good Housekeeping" magazines. The book sits on my desk and every day while I'm waiting for my computer to chunter itself into readiness I read a few pages. I was born in 1950 - only 25 years after these magazines appeared - and yet they seem to portray a different world from the one I remember from my childhood. But the past 25 years seem to have passed in a flash.

The above advert for knitting wool, for example, with its references to Granny's "shrewd old eyes" and "gnarled and seamed old fingers" - so flattering to grannies! But one of my grannies was only 55 when I was born and I imagine this was the case for many grannies in the days when women tended to have babies at a younger age.



And I know it's an advert, but - attitudes to housework have possibly changed somewhat. This text may have been written by a man - you think?



And as for this one - if only it were that simple. It makes me think of my grandfather, who was very interested in medical matters - he was a vegetarian in the 1930s, for example, which was very unusual then. He was a great advocate of wholemeal bread, which was again quite unusual among Scottish people at that time. But he didn't claim it as a cure for cancer!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Boys and girls


Daughter 1 tries hard not to treat her children gender-stereotypically. I'm not sure that this has totally succeeded. Yesterday, Grandson asked to play with my collection of old pennies. "I'm going to use them as cobbles for my roads," he said.


"I'm going to use them as flowers," said Granddaughter L.


(?)


Today, we asked if they would like to go to the Glasgow Museum of Transport. Grandson was very keen. "There won't be any bunnies or butterflies like you would like," he remarked to his little sister (who has never shown huge interest in either of these, as far as we can remember). She was instantly indignant:


"I want to go to a museum with bunnies and butterflies!!!!!"



A long time later, we got there. Vehicles everywhere. "Are there any bunnies?" she asked, looking round hopefully.



There were traffic lights, though. And Granddaughter L liked it too.

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Was that really a good idea?


I don't usually mention politics here, but like many of my Facebook friends (some of whom are also bloggy friends), I'm shocked by the American election results. I realise that I'm not American and that some people are happy with the new President and - what do I know? - it may turn out ok. I'm trying to reassure myself that the time will come when it'll all be a footnote in history anyway. (Then I suddenly wonder if I'll still be alive at the end of another possible eight-year presidency. I would like to live to find out that things turn out better than we're fearing. I'm feeling quite well at the moment... .)



But what is there to do other than to go for a walk through the autumn leaves



and pin Mr L's railway quilt, prior to quilting it? I must remember never again to make a border with fabric consisting of images in little squares surrounded by slightly inaccurately-drawn black lines. This required a lot of fiddling.

Now I'm going to listen to Haydn's Creation to encourage thoughts of the sublime.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Activities for small people


Son and Daughter-in-Law have been here with their baby to coincide with Daughter 2's weekend visit, which has been lovely - Daughter 1 and her family also came. Daughter 2 helped Grandson make a tube train on his recent visit to London and today she helped him make a station. She is a good aunt. There are lots of signs involved also.



An adjacent overground was constructed.


Son read to Granddaughter L.



He is very enamoured of his baby.

Grandson is continuing to dictate stories for his father to write down.

Grandson: ... Den [then] the farmer decided to feed his animals because it was nearly tea time. Den -"
SIL [interrupting]: Don't keep saying "then". Try to say something different like "next" or "after that".
Me: And can you say "THen" and not "den"? Dens are where foxes live.
Grandson [with an all-right-but-whose-story-is-it? look on his face]: NEXT the farmer went to feed the foxes in their - DEN... ."

Granny: 0
Grandson: 1

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Autumnal pursuits


The beautiful autumn weather has become somewhat chillier, though not cold, as I seem to remember the autumns of my youth. The Botanics are beautiful in the sunshine.









Grandson assiduously creates road layouts in his garden.



Some of them are quite complicated.



Some have road numbers.



Or bus stops.



He's the bus driver. He likes to have a passenger behind him.



Granddaughter L, whose interests are quite other, does a jigsaw while dressed as a pirate, in the company of her daddy.


And I, whose interests are also other, have been getting on with Mr L's railway quilt, or at least the piecing thereof. The big squares made it easy to put together - once I'd redone quite a few of the too-small random four-patch squares generated by the method advocated by Jenny of the Missouri Star Quilt Company. I'm not sure that I'm a great fan of random, but it's interesting.


One day I must do something radical such as - ooh - triangles or even circles (do you think?).