Archive for January, 2012

My 2011 in 10 Photos

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

Last year I did this same idea and reading back over it now its a lovely overview of the year, although I seem to remember it took me ages to do!  So, the rules – 10 photos from 2011 that I took with no more than 2 of a certain young man who I apparently go on about a bit too much!

Well, I’ve just spent…forever…looking through my photos and trying to pick the right 10.  It’s not easy.  I have managed to pick 10 with which I can demonstrate, explain and summarise my 2011.  However Owen is in 4 of them, I am justifying this by the fact that only 1 of the 4 is a photo of Owen, the other 3 he is just a small part of a photo.  So there.  They are my rules, so I’ll bend them if I want to.

Without further ado, please scroll down for My 2011 in 10 Photos.  This year I present them in chronological order.
Pretty rainbow over my lovebird companions

Photo 1: my beloved Jaffne and a gorgeous rainbow (and that bloke Ahlun who she was hanging around with).  I had various trips south to see Jaffne and we had much fun together as usual.  This lovely day we went for a walk over to Crammond Island and we were just so lucky with the weather – a common theme this year, often had very good luck with lovely weather it must be said.  We went beach combing, ate ice cream and saw many pretty sights.

Steam train compartment

Photo 2: the Robertsons and trains.  Unfortunately baby Maya isn’t in this photo, although she was in Nicole’s belly at the time!  Anyway at Easter we took Lucas and Owen to ride on Thomas the Steam Engine at Brechin.  Owen is quite train obsessed and I hope in the future he will appreciate the awesomeness of his first ever train journey being in a steam train.  It was a hard call as to who enjoyed themselves most that day it must be said – the train was pretty cool!  We spent many happy days playing with Ray, Nicole, Lucas and, since October, Maya. 

The BRIDE!

Photo 3: Royal Wedding in my work’s library.  I love my library, so much so I talked myself into working on the extra public holiday this year.  Well, I say “work” but our social events are often enjoyable and this was just one of the ones I really enjoyed.  It would be rude to complain about drinking champagne and eating cupcakes at 10am wearing a pretty dress and tiara and watching a wedding with most of the rest of the country (or was that world?!).  It was lovely to share the day with other people who were excited about the wedding, reminded me of when Charles and Diane got married and I watched it with the ladies who worked at the hotel my parents were employed by at the time.

My job was great in 2011, got lots done, got to know some of members much better, had some great events (chocolate tasting, cheese tasting, trip to Pitlochry to see My Fair Lady, farm trip when I got to sit in a John Deere tractor, a BBQ, walking tours of Aberdeen, a quiz, Stuart MacBride author event and, many lunches and dinners.)  Then in November the Society gained its first ever Lady President, this means I have a lady boss – a very keen, enthusiastic lady who is doing great things – and gave me an excuse to wear an Ann Summers outfit to work!  Click the events link above and scroll down to the bottom to see photos!! 

Oh yes, 2011 – the year the doctor told me I had to watch my weight didn’t go any lower – my dream!  I am now a size 10 and most of my clothes hang off me.  Totally awesome.  Obviously I haven’t taken photos of myself really so am cheating mentioning this as its on a link rather than in one of my 10 photos!  But it is important enough to be mentioned, goodness I’ve hated my body most of my life, never realised that the result of childbirth would be that I finally get the figure I’ve always dreamed of!  Anyway, back to the 10 photos.

Owen finds 2 eggs from his Grandparent's new chickens

Photo 4: my folks, their chickens, eggs and Creagan.  My parents got chickens at their restaurant this year, Owen is now really quite obsessed with chickens and eggs.  Ask him what he wants for dinner and the answer is usually “egg”.  He loves going to visit my parents, or just their house and chickens as we did when they were on holiday and we were in charge of the chickens!

One of our visits was for my Dad turning 60, I now have OAP parents – crickey!  For his special occasion we all went to Blair Drummond Safari Park-and we all had an ace time!  I couldn’t believe both my parents thought it was the first time they had seen live meerkats, poor deprived folk.

The scary thing is that at the end of the year my parents sent out a letter to their regulars and family to say that they would be putting Creagan on the market in 2012.  I had, of course, known for a while this was on the cards.  Indeed I have been told I need to move all my stuff out.  This is quite a mission as I still have loads of stuff there.  Obviously I’ve lived without it for a while though but things like my Wade pottery collection, postcard collection and rocking horse are essential – I just don’t know where to put them!  Luckily the property market is an unknown quantity in that it could take 2 weeks or 2 years for Creagan to sell, so I’m not panicking yet.  For those that know my parents, they hope to buy a B&B or place with self catering in Scotland.  They won’t fully retire but need to tone it down a bit as…well, they aren’t getting any younger bless them.  Big news but could take a while before anything happens.

Enjoying the beach

Photo 5: Summer holiday in Carnoustie.  Yes, this is Scotland in the sunny picture.  Bryan and I hadn’t been on holiday together since our honeymoon in 2003 so decided it was about time we did!  I was given the choice of the whole world and told to “just book something” and we ended up self catering in the every exotic Carnoustie.  We had a fabulous time though and traveling with a wee lad it was the best way, just a wee car journey and we could take as much paraphernalia as we needed.  I love my 2 lads and it was amazing to have a week just the 3 of us with no other complications or distractions.  Plus there was a swimming pool at our accommodation so Owen and I went swimming each morning whilst Bryan had a lie in and then during Owen’s afternoon nap, or once he was in bed, I went back for a “proper” swim and Bryan had some alone time.  This arrangement suited all of us very nicely.  We had lots of trips out – St Andrews Aquarium, Camperdown Wildlife Park in Dundee, Arbroath beach and mini railway, Brechin castle centre with its big bouncy cushion type things.  All great fun!

Combine Harvester groupies

Photo 6 – TRACTOR!!  This photo was taken at The Store in Foveran, where we went to a Farm Open Day and Owen and I were ecstatic to have a go in a John Deere tractor and sit in that huge yellow combine harvester.  It was brilliant!  Owen absolutely adores tractors – and as folk who know me have probably found out I love John Deere in particular.  We both had huge smiles all day, and Bryan seemed to enjoy it too, especially the yummy burger.

Dinner in the cemetary

Photo 7 – squirrel in London.  Okay so I just love this photo, the colours of the squirrel and the gravestone.  But also I had a brilliant time that day, several squirrels came over to speak to me and a lovely Australian lady gave me some monkey nuts to feed them in a lovely random act of kindness.  I ended up looking like the mad woman in the park with about 6 of them jumping on and off me and fighting over the nuts – amazing experience.

This photo also signifies my recent move to get more involved professionally.  I joined a committee which has given me the opportunity to go to meetings in London and Birmingham.  I also wrote a blog post for them – and an article for the Scottish Law Librarian’s Group newsletter (but its members only so I can’t share that!).  Feeling quite proud of myself but goodness knows what I can find to keep up with myself this year.

Wow! Disney!

Photo 8 – Disney and our wee man turns 2!  For Owen’s birthday we took him to The Disney Store for his first time.  Strange to think our son managed 2 years of life before making it into the wonderful world of a Disney store, especially as Daddy used to work in them and we are determined to take him to Disneyworld when he’s 5.  Owen was given the choice of the entire store and chose a little Simba teddy, bless him.  We forced him to add a cup to the purchase.

Unfortunately our savings account isn’t growing as well as we’d planned it to ready for our holiday once Owen is 5, but we have time to catch up, hopefully!  I am most determined that it will happen one way or another.  I’ve wanted to go to Florida Disney since I was tiny and now I have a child I have the perfect excuse – plus I don’t want him to grow up without the things I wanted.  Of course he will want different things than the things I wanted but you have to start somewhere and I won’t give up on the concept of us all going to Disneyworld.

We went to Crail

Photo 9 – my lovely gals in Crail.  Isabel, Lorna and Jennie are my special law librarian chums, we have an email based support system and in 2011 we went for 2 brilliant weekends away together.  Relaxing, chatting, eating and a wee bit of drinking and sight seeing.  Just what we all needed.  First weekend was at Loch Tay and ended up with my face painted as a dalmatian, second weekend was near St Andrews and included a dinner of chocolate eggs.  I love these ladies.  Lots.

Grandda Reg and his 'wee boy' Lee

Photo 10 – Bryan’s Dad and brother.  Obviously this photo was Christmas Day – I couldn’t get these macho men to wear silly crowns any other day of the year!  Lee lived with us throughout 2011 which was lovely, Owen totally adores his Uncle Lee – and is quite confused now he’s moving out – but that’s another story.  We invited “the Robertsons” round for Christmas Day and had a lovely time opening presents and eating too much – just as one should on Christmas Day!  We had a few days with them through the year and it was great to be together.  Watching Owen with his grandparents and the reactions they induce in each other is just amazing.

And that was my 2011, hope you enjoyed it too!

RSPB Bird Watch

Sunday, January 29th, 2012

This weekend we are, in effect, house bound.  Well, kind of.  You see before Christmas Owen suddenly asked to “pee in toilet” and has been doing it on and off ever since.  So we decided it was time to toilet train him.  After reading Gina Ford’s toilet training in a week book we set to work!  Well yesterday we got through 9 pairs of pants, today we’re only up to about 4 or 5.  I think this is progress.

Anyway it coincides nicely with the RSPB bird watch weekend so I thought we might as well take part.  As we were eating lunch a jackdaw and a magpie came into the garden so that was that – our hour had started!  We all spent most of the next 60 minutes by the window eagerly watching for more.
George and Owen help with #rspb #birdwatch by pointing out a blackbird

By the end of it we were able to record: 2 seagulls, 1 of each of the following: jackdaw, magpie, wood pigeon, robin, blackbird.  Results are submitted and I feel a bit helpful or something.

Gorgeous boy

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Just scrolling through my past few posts and realise you’ve been deprived of photos of my dearest lad.  Of course you can see him anytime you like on my Flickr page, but for those who can’t be bothered clicking here he is last weekend when we visited my gorgeous rocking horse..oh and my parents as he’s at their house!
Me and my boy on my horse

As you can see, I *ahem* kept him company for health and safety reasons…

Professional writings

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

Today the BIALL Blog features a post by me!  I wrote this blogpost about my attendance at the BIALL conference (most years in June).

Funnily enough it was published the same day as the lovely Management Committee at my work gave me permission to attend this year’s conference.  Belfast, here I come!

Nursery homework

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Owen loves his nursery, which is lucky as he’s there full time!  They do various projects and are good at trying to get the parents involved too.  Last Friday we got asked if we would take Lewis the nursery bear for the weekend – and along with him came a suitcase of pjs, toothbrush and a diary.  As well as being fun reading Lewis and Owen past diary entries at bedtime I knew I had to fill in what we had been doing.  Well, anyone who knows me well knows I don’t like my own handwriting, but I do like taking photos so I decided to use my secretarial skills and type something up to stick into his book.  The result, and what we got up to at the weekend, can be seen here: Lewis the nursery bear’s diary

Our Christmas break

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

We had an ace Christmas break, we were all off work and nursery inbetween, with Owen and I off the Friday before and Bryan off the Wednesday after so we all had some space as well!  Worked out nicely.  We managed to see various friends and all our key family members over the break which was great too.

Christmas Day Bryan cooked turkey for the Robertson side – that is his brother and their Dad and his wife.  Then Boxing Day we went down to my parent’s place for some more turkey.  The weather was bad so we ended up staying the night and Bryan made a new friend in Dad’s malt whisky cupboard…

During the holidays Ray and Nicole came to visit with their wee ones Lucas and Maya.  We had a lovely day together then Ray stayed with us and the men went out drinking before we all met for lunch the next day in town.  It was a lovely chance to see them all, and for the guys to chill out a bit. 

Well I hope 2012 is glorious and splendid to you, and that you had a good Christmas and Hogmanay as well. 

2011 round up

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Still being naughty and not blogging much so thought I could share the letter I sent with Christmas cards as a bit of a round up of last year (may edit it a bit to allow for public consumption):

So 2011, what have you been to me?  Great in the main – or is that just my family that’s great?!  I’m still loving being a Mum although I can’t believe Owen is 2 already.  He’s fascinating right now as he learns new words and meets new things “oooh what’s that?”.  He is super cute and awesomely intelligent (not that I’m biased at all obviously.)  The other day I counted to 5 and then he said “6, 7”.  Of course show him 2 or more of something and its “2” or “more 2” – yes, he’s still learning!  Obsessions seem to be: “heigh ho” – that’s anything to do with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; “yo ho me” – that’s pirates and his shortened version of the song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life For Me)”; “buk buk egg” – chickens say, so are called, buk buk and he loves collecting their eggs when I take him to Creagan to see his doting Grandparents; and, usually linked to his Dad and Grandda “football” – he could kick and dribble a ball long before he could talk very well.  One thing I hadn’t expected to come with being a parent is the amazing feeling when you watch your husband, parents and in-laws with your wee one and see the effect they have on each other, it overawes me frequently.

Bryan’s brother Lee is still living with us – we even had his 4 kids visit for a while in the summer which was ace.  Owen didn’t sleep very well as he was so excited to see his cousins but they helped with him so it worked out fine – and it was lovely to get some quality time with them.  Lee now has Access Rights sorted but its not easy as they moved to Hastings earlier in the year.

Bryan’s work took on a big new contract so he’s been working hard on that, whilst mine has continued to provide me with a varied and enjoyable social life all in the name of “work”.  I even got a bus trip to Pitlochry Festival Theatre to have lunch and see My Fair Lady in September.  It was so fab I got my parents tickets for their birthdays and they loved it too. 

I can now strike “Join a Committee” off my bucket list.  I have attended meetings in London and Birmingham accordingly and met some lovely people.  I’ve even written an article for a professional journal so may soon be a “published writer” as well.

For the first time since our honeymoon Bryan suggested we have a “summer holiday” together this year.  Given the choice of the whole world…I booked us a week in Carnoustie (east coast of Scotland!).  We had an ace time, with Owen and I making full use of the pool.  We had trips to St Andrews Aquarium, Camperdown Wildlife Park in Dundee, Carnoustie beach, Arbroath beach (and cool miniature railway!) and Brechin Castle centre where they have those huge bouncy pillow things.  And the best bit was…Bryan talked about “our next holiday” – hurrah!

I have toned down my concert going somewhat but still managed: The Script, McFly, The View, Take That, Noah and the Whale, Katy Perry, Bryan Adams and Kasabian.  Theatre wise I saw: Cinderella by Scottish Ballet, History Boys, Avenue Q, Jekyll and Hyde, Sleepless in Seaton (local student show), Thriller, My Fair Lady, Flying Pigs doing The Silence of the Bams and I went to 2 fashion shows!  I also had a lovely couple of weekends away with my “gal pals”, one on Loch Tay and one near St Andrews.  Whilst I was out gallivanting Bryan obviously had some bonding time with Owen – and dedicated a few hours to his Xbox and Playstation addictions. 

As a family we went to see Beauty and The Beast (darling Owen was good as gold for the whole 3 hours in the theatre!) and Disney on Ice – which was amazing.  Other things we did as a family were to take Owen to Edinburgh zoo, a Baby Boogie in a nightclub (actually Daddy didn’t make that one for some reason…), a ride on a steam train made up to look like Thomas the Tank Engine, a steam fair (“tractor” was one of Owen’s first distinguishable words!), a farm open day when we got to sit in a tractor and a combine harvester (not sure who enjoyed that more, him or me!), Christmas tree light turning on carol service, and we went to Blair Drummond safari park with my parents on Dad’s 60th birthday.  Yes, that’s Dad joined Mum in the OAP bracket now – scary!

Health wise the boys are good.  Owen was at the hospital again about his eye, he was born with an underdeveloped tear duct and we’ve been keeping an eye on it but it was deemed unworthy of putting him through an operation, thankfully.  It seems to have got better since then too so hopefully we’ll just be able to cancel next year’s appointment when it comes and forget all about it!  I am finally happy about my weight and body – not something I expected to happen after having a baby, but something I am doing my best to enjoy to the full.  I even wore a mini skirt recently – and I bought shorts this summer!  I’ve had some health issues but it’s nothing unusual after giving birth and getting older apparently! 

Talking of birth – Bryan’s cousin Ray and his wife Nicole now have a boy and a girl – perfect set.  I’ve managed to have a few lovely baby cuddles with Maya – and its ace watching Lucas and Owen interacting with each other. 

Hope this finds you and yours well, and that any 2011 was good to you too.

Memories…

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

My primary school teacher, Joan Mann, wrote an article for the local church’s newsletter “The Belfry” about our beloved wee school.  It includes photos, names and so is a lovely trip down memory lane.

Balquhidder Primary School

I don’t have permission to reproduce it here but they didn’t ask permission to use a photo of me in shorts so I think we’re quits!!