Easter weekend was a lazy few days spent lounging in the sun in Grandma’s Somerset garden. Hot, hot, hot!  We played croquet and badminton, did the crossword and ate too much.  There were dragonflies hovering over the pond, hoping  there might be some water.  No such luck.  I did go for a run along the river, and was foolishly enthusiastic when the boys decided to come too.  It was sweltering, even in late afternoon, and they ran the socks off me.  Life is so unfair.

And on that note, I’ve been doing loads of running recently in this wonderful weather.  Last night a group of us ran around the There and Back tracks around Bolton and Gifford; a lovely route through woods, by fields, alongside rivers.  There’s a wooden finger post on one of the paths that points There and Back again; one of these days I’ll get a photo.  Today I plodded up to Fa’side with Lynne and Jeanette for fantastic views across the Forth.  It would be nice, just for a moment, to feel that it was having some effect and that I might be losing a pound or two of the post-chemo excess weight.  Life can be very unfair.

So here are my April photos for this week’s Gallery.



To do. A list of things.

This morning’s list:

  1. Send off forms for school travel passes (oops – should have been on last week’s list.  Oh well).   😳    
  2. Book our holiday.   😉    Started.  And we’re probably going here:  Dolphin Bay Divers (among other things)
  3. Tax the car   🙁     Why is the simplest thing never simple?
  4. Go through tender application.  A big one. It has to go out tomorrow. There’s a whole bunch of us working on it. I’m near Edinburgh.  They’re in Edinburgh, Weardale, Pembrokeshire, Dublin, Galway.  The world becomes small with email and phone conferencing.  8)
  5. Rearrange podiatry appointment for GP junior.  He’s now hobbling after every football/basketball/tennis/whatever session.  🙁  Good job he likes swimming. 
  6. Wonder if hubbie’s health insurance would deal with it more quickly.  And how do I find out? Arrange it? Find a decent podiatrist? Will it cover follow ups?    😕  
  7. Book our holiday.  Still not done that.   😀 
  8. Finish the next section of my current project. It’s already overdue and time’s running out.   😯       
  9. Find accommodation for September survey. 
  10. Start on next tender for a job in north west Scotland.
  11. Book our holiday     😆   
  12. VAT return.    🙁 
  13. Start (and finish) report for Menai Straits last year.    🙁 
  14. Go for a run – Great Edinburgh Run this weekend.  😯     I’m not in Mud’s league but you do what you can do.  I’m aiming for under an hour this year.  She’s tagged me, by the way – I’ll get round to it soon.  Put in on next week’s list perhaps.
  15. Nag.  When they come in from school, of course   🙄      
  16. Pay credit card bills  🙁     
  17. Hang out the washing.  We escaped for the weekend so there’s a backlog and yes it rained yesterday. 
  18. Wonder why the front door bell’s not working.  Had three different lots of people wondering how to break in yesterday.
  19. Book that holiday   😛      
  20. Displacement activity – write a blog post     😈    

Must dash.  Things to do, you know.

Why do some smilies work sometimes and not at others, she wonders?

Oh, and there are lots of entertaining blog posts to read in my spare time, in another blog carnival over at Mothership.  Do drop by! 

The days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…a basketful of dirty laundry.

So that would be GP1, GP2 and GPD.

It became a basketful or more after I collected 3 wet towels from one bedroom floor and 4 from another then went into the bathroom and threw a wobbly at the pile of clothes on the floor.  I collected it all, dumped it in the sitting room, and proclaimed that henceforth any clothes I picked off the floor would go into a bin bag and then the bin.  And I wouldn’t be the one replacing them.  It worked for a while…

On the 2nd day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…two piles of ironing and a basketful of dirty laundry.

Nothing new there, then.

On the 3rd day of Christmas my 3 boys gave to me…
…3am vomiting*, two piles of ironing and a basketful of dirty laundry.

*Poetic license. It was only 1 boy – GP2. Too much chocolate rather than alcohol we think hope.  Murphy’s Law, according to the Guardian, states Continue reading

Tri-ing hard

It was Friday morning.  The end of a glorious September week of sunshine, calm seas and early morning mists.  At about the time that you were all settling down to your desks with that first cup of coffee or struggling with the first class at the end of a long week, I abandoned my duties as an average mum, ignored the pile of laundry, spurned the siren call of the vacuum cleaner, forgot the data entry mountain and swam to Fidra.  And, you will realise, back.  It was fab!

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Now I’m not what you’d call an elite athlete.  In fact, those of you who know me will appreciate that ‘athlete’ is an over-generous term.  But over the last few years I have taken part in a number of triathlons.  No reason, really, except that, like Everest, they’re there Continue reading

4916 chocolate brownies

choc-brownies-at-london-borough-market.jpgPhoto credit: Pille Nami-Nami

This post is an unashamed copy of Pig in the Kitchen.  Hope you don’t mind, Pig; sincere form of flattery, as they say.  But you might be able to adapt the recipe to your own needs.

And no, I haven’t eaten that many chocolate brownies this week.  4916 was my finishing position in the Great Edinburgh Run a couple of weeks back.  Over 1000 people finished behind me, so it’s not as bad as it sounds, or so I like to think.   6 minutes and c. 900 places slower than last year but I’m not complaining; Continue reading

All emotional

I went for my diving medical on Tuesday.  I passed, despite having to step up and down off a chair for five minutes, which may be fine if you’re a 6ft North Sea commercial type but not if you’re little me.  I left clutching my certificate and on the verge of tears.  I’d put it down to hormones if I had any left.  It was at last year’s medical, in August, that this same doctor spotted the offending lump and so set in train the medical saga of this past winter.   He retires in June and so it will be a different doctor next year.   GPD saw him earlier in the year for his medical and thanked him for, in effect,  saving my life.  Sounds corny, but it’s true.  I’d had no symptoms so the cyst could have gone unnoticed for many more months and I would then have found myself in a totally different place.

The next couple of weeks mark an anniversary of sorts Continue reading

Guineapigmum goes running

business_woman_walking_hamster_wheel_hg_wht.gifSo it’s done.  “Done” may be stretching the truth a little – “started” might be a better description.  The Great Edinburgh Run (5th May this year) has my entry fee and I’ve set up a fundraising page on JustGiving.   All I have to do now is go and do it.  Easy, eh?

I’ve decided to raise funds for the Maggie’s Centres, which provide support for anyone affected by cancer.   Two reasons for this.  First, they do a fantastic job.  Second, if I’ve got sponsors I will definitely do the run.  Even if I walk it.  No backing down.   Lynne, I’ll see you at the start line!

If anyone from Ross High happens to be reading this, GP2 is doing the Junior Race on the Saturday so I’m sure you will feel duty bound to sponsor us.  No pressure, but he’s in your class Mr Meldrum.  And for everyone else reading – it’s all in a good cause, so go on.  You know you can.  Just click on that badge on the right.

The fund raising page may be the last rip in my veneer of anonymity but never mind.  Most people probably know who I am by now anyway and the sky hasn’t fallen in.   In fact, now I think about it, I might just put the blog link on the JustGiving site.  Oh why not live dangerously?

Image is borrowed with thanks from  Nienke Hinton 

Round Edinburgh the hard way

BUPA Run.jpgAnother of those pleasant, restful weekends with lots of time in the garden?  I wish!  Instead we spent Saturday morning cheering our youngest round the Meadows on the Junior Great Edinburgh Run and I spent Sunday morning pounding (or should that be plodding?) the streets of Edinburgh on the grown up version.  My run was the result of one of those good ideas that are so easy to have, so difficult to wriggle out of.  Youngest son’s run was because, for the last couple of years, he has wanted to enter the Great North Run and Edinburgh seemed more immediately accessible.  Having entered him, it seemed only fair that I should do my bit too.  So he managed his 2.4km in what seemed a very speedy 9m 51s; my more elderly legs took rather longer over 10km – 1hr 2min 30sec to be precise.  As I’ve never run 10km before, I was quite happy just to finish.   One success was a friend’s son, Hamish from Longniddry Primary, winning the Mini Run (8yrs & under) on Saturday; he came away with a trophy nearly as big as himself and a grin to match.

The 10km run was a great tour around the city of Edinburgh, taking in most of the sights.  From the Meadows to Tollcross, along Princes Street, up the Mound then down the Royal Mile to Holyrood Palace.  From there, there was a long, windy, but very scenic slog up through the park to the Commonwealth Pool, then down the Pleasance to Cow Gate, with a headwind through the tunnel, and the Grassmarket, fretting about all the hard-earned height we were losing.  Sure enough, the hill up past the Art School is very steep, but by then there wasn’t too far to go and I could begin to think that I would make it round in some sort of more or less respectable time.  And if only I hadn’t walked for odd bits up the steepest hills – not the Mound, I managed that – I might have got in in under an hour.  It was a great experience, running in a river of people through a wonderful city.