Catching up with Tom and Ray at the Etape Caledonia. Tom talked me through what to do if you have a bike crash in downtown San Francisco, as he’d just done. I may have over emphasised his beat up look, but not by much. The next day we thrashed round the 81 miles in the wind and the rain. Tough if you like cycling in the sun, perfectly fine if it’s the grit in cycling that you like.
The kids being chased round the garden of Grays Court hotel by Henry the resident dog. Our slightly rowdy bunch spent a warm and sunny afternoon in their elegant, calm garden.
Back in Edinburgh we are inside waiting for the hailstones to stop and the icy winds to die down.
Luckily some of the excellent Dr Seuss books are being made into films. We stayed in and watched ‘The Lorax’.
When the ‘quine’ wobbled through reception at 5.00pm, belly hanging out over her pyjama bottoms, leather bomber jacket, no shoes, trailing a toilet roll, I sensed this was going to be a little different from my normal night in a Travelodge.
The next morning, checking out, I mentioned to reception that I couldn’t hear the rowdy night in the street outside for the party going on in the corridor. “Aberdeen at the weekend sir, I can only apologise.”
We spent the day recovering in a beautiful, if unfinished, family house on a farm.
“Which way’s the countryside?” said Innes (he’s a city boy, like me) so we went for a walk to show him.
The next day was back to normal life between London and Edinburgh.
Bananas:I dislike the colour, the smell, the texture, the taste, the shape and the word. Everyone else seems to like them though, so I accept them and we live in peace.
Isla and …
…my mum, telling us how it is.
Innes listening, or maybe thinking about something else. He loves bananas.
A girl on the train back from Glasgow at 8.30pm on a Friday night.
Andrew Gillespie of the A@131 society had been kind enough to ask me along to talk about sketching to Strathclyde University students. I studied at Strathclyde so was keen to go back and they put some effort into advertising it, so it was well attended.
I hadn’t talked about my drawings before and enjoyed it a lot. It’s good spend a little time thinking about what you are trying to do, after all.
Earlier in the week, after a late Christmas do, I spent some time looking at a coffee machine: modern on the inside, classic with a hint of modern on the outside. In the design world, from suits to buildings, that’s a popular mix.
Innes and I missing the outing to the Singing Kettle. He’s on the sofa, ill, and he can’t get comfy.
Innes & Fraser asleep after an afternoon in Fife.
Heisker is a wee island off North Uist, and a new face at Gran’s for lunch.
Before that, reading some funny French words.
A week in London, and 3 nice places to spend some time
1. London’s public space has had a makeover since I lived there.
The focus is kids and the device that gets them active is fountains you can play in. People used to point to Spain to show how kids playing could be a welcome part of civic space, but London does it too now. This one is Princess Diana’s memorial, swishest of the five we came across on our travels.
2. Ben’s shed. I spent some time looking at it and thinking about spaces to be creative in (with some help from the White Stripes*).
This might be what Ben would describes as ‘rus in urbe’
3. Eames lounge chair 670. You need somewhere cosy to relax after a day in central London with three under fives.
Big Ted and I on a Saturday night with the beers out and the football on. We don’t normally do this, but Julie’s in London for three days so the place is ours.
Yesterday Innes and I took Big Ted to Innes’s playgroup Teddy Bear’s picnic: 40 mums, 1 dad. The mums were keen to know the details of how J had left me looking after three under fives for three days. I kept quiet, aware they were only gathering evidence for use in their own time-off negotiations.
We all survived and I recovered by watching a man changing some light bulbs in a café. It made me think of independence which is a common topic of conversation in Scotland and pretty much the only one when I’m in England.
Innes & I got to go to a party with a bouncy castle.
He had lots of fun, so hanging around with me next time big brother and sister go out will definitely seem like the short straw. We watched a film after, to recover.