It is autumn, after all. Trees deserve several mentions. I went for a walk yesterday with Ray and Harvey, on a lovely autumn afternoon up through Ormiston Woods to find the yew tree. Ray has lived in East Lothian even longer than I have and, just as I had never seen the twisted pines until recently, Ray had never seen the Ormiston yew. Still, what’s 20 years or so in the life of this remarkable tree, which could be 1000 years old? It is recorded as a landmark as early as 1474 and John Knox preached in its interior at the start of the Reformation. It was presumably planted in the grounds of the original parish kirk, St Giles, which Continue reading
Tara’s prompt this week is T. Just that, T. So I thought I’d show you some trees.
The twisted pines are behind the dunes at Yellowcraig in East Lothian. All these years that I’ve lived here and I’d never seen them before – we always go straight down to the beach at Yellowcraig and never wander around the back of the dunes. But last week I was helping GP2 with his project on sanddunes for Advanced Higher Geography. Not only did we measure across the dunes from the sea to the trees, we did zillions of quadrats so I had to learn to identify some plants that weren’t seaweeds. GP2 had to learn to identify some plants. We sat in the sunshine and counted and named plants together and afterwards we both agreed we’d enjoyed ourselves. This is not an activity I would ever have believed that I’d be doing with one of my offspring, let alone a willing, happy offspring.
We saw some spectacular strangler figs on our Big Holiday. We have dozens of photos of trees – that’s what you get when you go on holiday to the Australian rain forest – but I thought I should show you these. It’s difficult to get the scale – suffice to say Enormous! We also saw lots of palm trees but this one from Fiji was my favourite.
Legend has it that teenagers have no affinity with soap. This is of course a complete fantasy, as any parent knows that modern teenagers must have at least one shower a day, preferably more, each involving a clean towel from the airing cupboard. So I wonder is the acronym SOAP an ironic nod by the East Lothian Outdoor Education team to this proclivity for cleanliness? Or does it have more to do with that early morning whiff that must have hit all of them at some time when they’ve unzipped a tent stuffed with teenagers on a Duke of Edinburgh trip, to try and goad them into action?
Anyhow the Secondary Outdoor Adventure Programme run by the Outdoor Ed team is taking a group of ten Sixth Years from the county High Schools into the Scottish Highlands for a series of weekends over the course of this year. Maybe it was the attraction of building snowholes Continue reading
Tuesday evening found us all glued to the radio listening to Sam, one of GP2’s classmates, in his new guise as DJ. East Lothian’s new community radio, East Coast FM 87.7 was launched on Monday, run entirely by volunteers and with a four week licence. Monday might have had Fish and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers to launch proceedings but Tuesday evening had Sam presenting a 2 hour slot for Ross High School and then his mum, Sally, with two hours of folk music. Of course we asked for autographs the following night at the brass Christmas concert.
Sam, I have to say, has been excited about this for weeks. There has been quite a long preparatory lead in that he and Sally have been involved in during what spare time they have Continue reading
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.
We went to the Royal Garden Party at Holyrood earlier in the summer and had a very pleasant afternoon in the sun. Yes, the sun shone, a rare event this year. We didn’t chat with the Queen but did pass the time with some friends we bumped into. I didn’t eat the cucumber sandwiches but did procure a plate of gluten free goodies – the organisers have clearly done this sort of thing once or twice before. I didn’t wear a hat and noone seemed to mind. I didn’t take any photographs because GPD made me leave the camera in the car; after all, the invitation firmly forbade cameras. We enjoyed the bands and marvelled at their cunning scheme, involving flags and flag poles, that allowed them to coordinate their playing from opposite sides of the park. There was pageantry and there were spectacular outfits. All in all, a very pleasant, very British afternoon.
And then, towards the end of the school holidays, GP2’s football team went off to Edinburgh to hobnob with royalty. Continue reading