Archive for April, 2012

Big Adventure to Edinburgh

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to take Owen down to Edinburgh to catch up with some friends and generally show him off!  Last weekend I finally did it, whilst Bryan took the chance to have some guys over for an xbox weekend.  The Monday was a public holiday so it gave us a nice stretch of 3 days.

Owen was getting excited about our “holidays” and “big adventure”, bless him!  “Mummy and Owen, no Daddy” he also seemed to totally understand which was all promising.

We set off on the Saturday morning and drove south.  First stop, just over the Forth Road Bridge, was my friend Tony’s new house where we were going to meet his new twins and see his horses.  I couldn’t believe the twins were 20 months old already, ridiculous it took me that long to get down there and meet them, but then he hadn’t come up and met my wee one either and he’s 2.5 years!  Anyway we had the grand tour of the house and Owen was introduced to Mac the Shetland Pony, who he thought was rather lovely.
Owen meets Mack

Mac liked Owen so much he asked his Mummy Lesley to give Owen one of his rosettes, which made my wee guy very pleased!!  Playing with the twins, having lunch with the whole family, and meeting the animals was obviously all quite tiring as within 5 minutes of leaving there he looked like this…
Mack gave Owen a rosette, and tired him out!

Next we went to see Lyndsay and Kieron in Balerno, this was the first time Owen had met a lady with “baby in belly” and he thought it was quite exciting, enjoyed seeing the nursery room all ready as well.  He even agreed to giving the baby his buggy which he had been very against when we were at home, even though he never uses it!  “Luckily” I happened to have it in the boot of the car, and he was very happy to hand it over to them before we left.  Unfortunately he wasn’t so happy that we weren’t staying there as he remembered staying there before and went into “Owen’s room” and looked disappointed when I said that it wasn’t!  And so we moved onto our last stop of the day in Musselburgh.

Angela had very kindly cooked some macaroni cheese for Owen’s dinner so he ate that all up and then got ready for bed.  Our friend Louise arrived and I started to worry about whether he would go to bed as it was his first time sleeping in a sleeping bag on the floor.  Now I don’t know if it was due to the practice run of him sleeping in it on his bed the previous weekend, or if it was just that the day had been soooo exciting, or if it was the promise we’d go to the zoo if he slept properly….but there he went.  Off to bed and there wasn’t a squeak out of the baby monitor all night!

That left us girlies free to do what we always used to do regularly when we all worked together, outwith work hours of course, we opened the vino, ordered a Chinese meal delivery and got chatting!  We had a really nice night (and yummy dinner!) and then headed off to our beds at a reasonable time as we were all needing energy for the zoo the next day!

Sunday morning we set off to the zoo, meeting another ex colleague Iain and his family Laura, wee Rose and baby Charlotte.  I’d been quite disappointed as earlier in the week I’d heard you needed tickets to see the pandas so had gone onto the website and seen that it was booked up until later in the week.  However when we got there we were offered tickets!  I was told they always keep some for on the day, although apparently we were lucky there were still some left by 10.30 when we arrived!

First we got the zoo bus up to the top of the hill and worked our way round the animals.  Highlights were the baby baboon, baby pigmo hippo, and a spider monkey trying to get Owen’s raisins through the glass!
Pigmy hippo and baby

Owen’s highlight seemed to be playing with Rose (I was assured “I love Rose”), even though just after this photo was taken came the worst bit of the day – he fell face first off the rock and got covered in mud!  Luckily it washed off though and he didn’t notice the bit of blood that appeared on his palm so the tears didn’t last too long.
He looks up to her no end

Iain and Laura’s time spot to see the pandas was earlier than ours so we got a report from them before we went, you only get in for 10 minutes and the time is split between the internal and external or his and her accommodation.  So its sheer luck if you see them at all and if they do much whilst you are there.  I am glad to say that we got to see both of them, and we were lucky enough to see them both moving as well.  We started off inside and Tian Tian was there and eating.  I got in before the crowd and Owen and I got a clear view of her and saw her walking outside before we had to move back and let others see the view of her backside!  Then we went outside and saw her walk round a bit before heading back inside to various cries of “oh no” and the like.
Lady Giant Panda

Next we went round to see Yang Guang who was busy gnawing bamboo.  He didn’t seem to want to do much (didn’t even turn round and wave at his very excited fans!).  After a while he did stand up (cue lots of shrieks) and stretch up to the roof..and then he lay back down and went back to his bamboo!  Just as we were told we had to leave though he stood up and moved down to the ground and walked around.  Suffice to say we had to get yelled at before we moved on!!
Yummy bamboo

We were so lucky with the weather as it was a glorious day, and the 3 kids were all really well behaved all day.  I think we were there 10.30am – 4.15pm and Owen walked most of the day.  When we got home he wanted pasta again so got the leftover mac cheese and then it was such a lovely evening that I took him out to the beach to play in the sand.  We didn’t even wear jackets it was so nice.
Digging at the beach

Again he went straight to bed and straight to sleep, although this time I am pretty sure he was totally exhausted!  Angela and I had a nice quiet night just the 2 of us until it was time for bed – poor Angela had to work the next morning.

Monday the plan was to go to the Advocates Library where I used to work, and pop into the Signet Library to collect some books a nice solicitor had offered me for my library.  However that wasn’t until lunchtime so I decided to continue the weekend’s theme of “animals” and take Owen to Butterfly World.  This also tied in nicely with the fact that he’d come home with green painted highlights in his hair from nursery one night as they had been painting a caterpillar. 
So umm that's a snake huh?

He wasn’t sure about the snakes, and was worried about a couple of “butterfly not happy”s (i.e. dead) but we had a nice time wandering around.  I think he liked the spiders most but he was quite taken by the cocoons as well and I was explaining that was like his Very Hungry Caterpillar book and how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.

Afterwards we went to the Dobbies next door and wandered around the pet shop.  Himself may have enjoyed this bit more than the bit I paid for to be honest!!  He named the rabbits and examined the gerbils, hamsters etc.  We even found Nemo in the fish section.  Then we bought some yogurt raisins and went and had a picnic snack next to the playground, after going on the swings and slide of course!

The Signet Library had given me permission to park in front of the building to collect my box of books so we parked up and went into the first library of the day.  Owen made me a proud librarian/Mummy by “shhh”ing noticeably!  Then we went through to the Advocates Library and saw some of the folk I used to work with.  A few of us went out for lunch, and we nipped out through the National Library of Scotland, so giving us a hat trick of library visits for the day!  Owen seemed to enjoy Vittorias with a massive ham and cheese panini – and a balloon to take home!  It was nice to catch up with Andrea, my ex boss, and let her see how my wee boy was progressing.  Of course we couldn’t leave for the journey home before Owen took the chance to pace Parliament Hall like the Advocates do!
Pacing Parliament Hall

Heading out of the city I realised we could probably fit in a wee visit to see some relatives too, and luckily my Aunty Kathleen was in.  Owen was excited to meet my cousin Claire’s Dalmation, although not so impressed with his full facial “kisses” and general bounciness!  Hope he never really meets 101 Dalmations at the same time!! 

It was lovely to get home and see Daddy again, and show him the shells and postcard we got for him, but I think we were both ready for bed and then back to our usual routine the next morning!!  Although saying that when I collected Owen from nursery this Friday he told me “I no want go home, I want see Mac horsey”.  If only every weekend could be a fun adventure!!

Easter weekend

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Happy Easter from Owen
So we had a nice weekend.  Bryan doesn’t get public holidays off work and nursery doesn’t shut for Easter so I was a naughty Mum on Friday and sent Owen off to nursery whilst I stayed home.  I had a very busy day cleaning and clearing out the room that Lee had been living in.  The plan is to redecorate it and move Owen in there with all his toys as its bigger than his room, and we want out lounge to stop looking like a toy shop!  I did loads of bits of housework that its difficult to get to do when Owen’s around and then I collected him a bit earlier than usual from nursery. 

They had decorated eggs earlier in the week and were supposed to go out and roll them but unfortunately the weather hadn’t been nice enough so we got the egg to take home instead.
Glittery egg in clay nest, as made by Owen

On the Saturday the boys got haircuts in the morning then we went down to Owen’s Grandda’s house as Lee had collected his 4 kids the day before and brought them up for a visit.  It was lovely to see them all and Owen was very excited to see “cousins – Maz, Blue, Berrie and…ummmm….”.  Not sure why he can’t remember Frankie’s name but we’ll work on that for next time!
Blue and Berrie gave Owen pictures they had coloured in for him

Saturday night I was working…well I’d been asked to write a review for a Steps concert anyway!  I took my pal Jen, or rather she took me, so I got free taxi as well as concert tickets!  Nice!

Sunday morning the 3 of us hit the pool and had a good splash, so that was fun.  Then it was back to the house for lunch, and pudding of Owen’s Easter Egg, a present from my boss. 
Rabbits mummy!
I also gave him his special Easter present from us – a film cell from Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (he’s really quite obcessed with “heigh-hos”).  This was taken upstairs immediately and put on his wall. 
Snow White film cell in pride of place on the cool wall
In the afternoon he watched some of the football with his Dad then he and I went to roll his egg.  We were going to go to a wee hill near the high school but it started raining so I pointed out the slope behind the church.  For some reason as we passed the church he pointed to the cross on the top of it so I took the chance to tell him the story of Easter, reminding him about baby Jesus from Christmas and then telling him about the cross and rolling the stone away.  He seemed to take it all in and I felt quite virtuous as we went and rolled our egg, and then again, and again.  Seemingly they were very hard boiled!!  We did manage to get it to crack eventually!
Rolling his egg

It was only when we got back to work yesterday it occured to me I hadn’t got any chocolate eggs myself, the down side to becoming a grown up/Mummy.  Although to be fair my Mum sent us money to get an egg each but we decided to put that money towards lunch with the family on Saturday – much more important!

Hope you had a good Easter too!

Katy Perry

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

So, last October I went to see Katy Perry and wrote a review for my chum who was maybe going to use it on their website.  It just occured to me that they hadn’t used it so I thought I would stick it on here instead… 

Katy Perry played the AECC the Saturday before Halloween. It would be interesting to see if the audience would have been as eye catching any other time of the year.  Obviously there would have still been the blue wigs and high heels, but maybe not the zombies (although they were very effective costumes!). Audience apart, it was an amazing spectacle of an evening. The support act One Land seemed to be a lady in a floaty nightie, a quick Google search found she’s Danish and popular back home. To be fair the songs were enjoyable.The main act was very well constructed, an Alice in Wonderland inspired fairy tale ran between the songs, with the lyrics and costumes tying into what was happening on the big screen. Cupcakes and sweeties featured highly, and Katy Perry often looked sweet enough to eat!Outfits ranged from a white 50s prom style dress with twirling red and white discs, to a black slashed looking catsuit, to a long red and silver evening dress. Im sure I’m not the only girl in the room desperate to be let loose on her wardrobe!

She covered all her hits including Ur So Gay, Kissed a Girl, Teenage Dream, Last Friday Night and E.T.  Everyone joined in with a cover of Adele’s hit when it made an unexpected appearance.

There were a few surprises through the evening, (she sings live you know!) like when Katy Perry picked a young man out of the audience to join her on stage for a smooch, then pretended her husband was coming. She also impressed the locals by having researched the area, and not just doing the usual ‘your city is lovely’.

Then there was the encore.  Katy had of course kept Californian Girls for last, and out she went with a bang..and beach balls…and foam machines! What a show that girl puts on, what a high note she finished on, what a night we had!  Hurry back please gal.

Yes please!

I did take a few photos and videos and they are available online at: