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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

10 reasons Colonsay is better than Edinburgh

1. My commute

In Edinburgh this involved an hour on a bus surrounded by sweaty strangers many of whom were clearly not acquainted with the bristly end of a toothbrush. On colonsay 20 minutes by bike during which I may not encounter another human being but am guaranteed stunning scenery and unpolluted air.

2. The shop

In the Colonsay general store it is acceptable for ones two year old to wander in without you, meander up to the carousel, select an apple and start eating it. If you forget your purse arrangements can always be made and if you happen to be partial to a particular flavour of crisp you may just come in one day to find that Shopmeister has saved you the last packet from the box.

3. Hedgerow pickings

I can’t really imagine finding things to eat on a walk in Edinburgh – I suppose one could rake through the bins as one went along, this technique seems to work well for tramps. Today we picked brambles (blackberries) as we walked, both girls looked like vampires by the time we got home!

4. The quiet

Last night I couldn’t sleep for the sound of my mother-in-laws Pekinese snoring in the next room. In Edinburgh we were often kept awake by sirens, traffic noise, football fans, people randomly shouting in our stairwell and if all else failed the people upstairs snoring. Muffin (the snoring canine) is in fact an Edinburgh resident and therefore the fact I couldn’t sleep last night is the fault of our mighty capital!

5. Sarah Moss’s cakes

You may think you have tasted good cake, you may even consider yourself a good baker but you have not lived until you have sampled the culinary delights of this local heroine. Even better you can purchase these little nuggets of heaven any time day or night via a self service cake counter in her porch. If you prefer to eat your cake in a more formal setting you can visit the lovely wee cafe at Colonsay House Gardens and have some of Willie Joll’s delicious bread to start. Even Edinburgh’s Michelin star restaurants can’t compete.

6. My mum is here

Edinburgh’s loss is Colonsay’s gain.

7. The weather

Really? I hear you say with incredulity. Yes really. OK things got off to a bad start this summer but over the last month we have pretty much had sun everyday. Helen even has a wee farmer tan despite my best efforts with the factor 50.

8. No library fines

Yes it’s true, you can borrow books from the well stocked library in the Service point and bring them back when you’ve read them without living in fear of crippling fines. I’ll never forget the time I ran up a fine of £16.05 on a single Mills and Boon.

9. The Edinburgh Festival

Ok I may complain about Colonsay being busy but that’s nothing compared to the amount of whining I did during the festival each year. You have no idea how irritating it is to be working full time in a city which is populated by tourists and performers who seem to think that life is just one big holiday. Each morning and afternoon I would have to run the gauntlet of walking up The Bridges to my bus stop with only my wits and my icy glare protecting me from being buried in a mountain of flyers for shows I would never have the chance to attend because I’M WORKING. Also is Edinburgh the only city in the world where you have to pay to get on the bus? I only ask because the average festival tourist always seems surprised to be asked for a fare when they are MAKING ME LATE FOR WORK. Speaking of buses and being late for work I leave you with reason number ten……….

10. The Edinburgh Tram Project

I rest my case.

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It’s so hot here we even eat naked!

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Helen post berries.

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Paddle board at Port Mor

Paddle board at Port Mor

You’ve read the blog, now view the photo. Auntie Jen and Helen Paddle-boarding at the beach near our house.

A plague is upon us!

Forgive me WordPress for I have sinned.  It has been ten days since my last blog post.  Actually I can’t believe it’s only been ten days.  It seems like a lifetime.

I am pleased to report that we are now officially visitor free (until my mother in law arrives on Wednesday – I can’t wait to inflate the airbed to its full bouncyness again).  I have thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in my own bed (often for periods of several hours at a time as Sally suddenly seems to have got the idea that night time is for sleeping) and having full access to my wardrobe.  Sadly most of my clothes don’t fit as I’ve eaten far too much over the last couple of months and will have to return to the temple of weight watchers once the winter months set it.

We’ve had a lovely week with my aunt and uncle and sister.  They were staying with my parents and thus did not infuriate me at all.  My mother, being a saint, seemed to breeze through the whole visit as though catering for at least five people every night (and often 9 as we were frequent dinner guests) didn’t faze her at all.  Admittedly my aunt had brought a lot of ready prepared food with her…….yes she’s amazing.  She also brough Helen what are quite possibly the cutest trousers ever.  Do I have a photo of them? No not yet she doesn’t really wear clothing on the lower part of her body at present so I haven’t had a chance to snap her in them.

After several weeks of cold weather poor Allan ended up shearing the sheep in what must have been 30 degree heat.  He and my Dad performed a lot of bizarre maneuvering with said sheep before finally getting them into the shed (I think this may have been due to lack of training of both my Dad’s dog Bess and Allan himself.  Although Allan did proudly report that my Dad only told him to F*** off once during the entire procedure which indicates strong approval on the part of my father.) I’d never seen a sheep pant before and it was not a pretty sight.  I’ve included a picture of Allan looking all manly shearing a sheep.  Try not to swoon ladies…………….

Do you come here often?

 

I know after such a long absence I should really be writing a vast post telling you all about the amazing things I have done.

  • Singing at the concert held to raise funds for the music festival.
  • Going paddle boarding with Jen – yes it really was fun – almost worth the numerous near death experiences we had just getting the board round the island.
  • Attending a meeting for the next book festival, we’ve got an author I really really love coming but I can’t say who it is………….for those who know me really well – it’s not Jilly Cooper.
  • Trying to potty train Helen who is proving extremely resistant although my mum reported that she did a poo at the side of the road yesterday (Helen not my mum!).  Here is a photo of our alfresco attempts though.
  • Walking to the most disgusting beach on Colonsay with Allan and Jen; three kinds of animal faeces and two types of jellyfish – eurgh. (not photographed although Jen does have a lovely snap of Sally brandishing a fistfull of goose poop)

Sadly I am too tired to write more as Allan was conveniently struck down with an evil lurgy yesterday.  This timely illness meant that I had to spend seven hours cleaning a six bedroomed, five bathroomed, two kitchened holiday home.  This morning I was actually aching as though I had been to the gym.  Now that all risk of him having to clean seems to have passed he has made a miraculous recovery although he is still too delicate to change nappies.

Winter is coming…………

………..not fast enough for my liking though. I’ve had enough of summer.

Now before I start this extremely controversial blog I would like to assure all of the friends who have visited us this summer that I have enjoyed seeing each and every one of you. I’m delighted that people have come to visit and I know it will be a long lonely winter but…….

I’m so tired! I’m tired of sleeping in the loft on a sagging airbed which deposits me on the floor whenever Allan gets off it. I’m tired of living out of a washing basket in the utility room like some sort of hobo because other people are sleeping in my bed. I’m tired of missing episodes of my favourite zombie drama because I’m politely socialising with friends. I’m tired of not being able to update my blog because it seems rude to be on the computer in the evenings. I’m tired of our kitchen table being permanently extended causing the kitchen to be tiny. I’m tired of having an audience for Helen’s potty training. Yes I have some issues with cleanliness. No I don’t like it when she has her bare bottom on the sofa or when she poops on the doorstop and Yes I would prefer not to have witnesses to my discomfort. I’m tired of conversation – I’ve been ‘reading’ my book for three weeks now and I’m less than halfway through it – this is a unprecidented situation. I’m tired of drinking too much and staying up too late because I feel like I’m on holiday too even though this is actually just my life and I have to get up and go to work. I’m tired of eating meat. I long for the days when we can go back to eating pasta with vegetable slop every night.

Furthermore I am not just tired of my own visitors, I tired of everyone else’s too. I’m longing for the days when I can take the girls out in the buggy and get all the way to the beach without having to stop fourteen times to let cars come past. I’m tired of cyclists who don’t get off the road to let me drive past them. I’m tired of people who can’t reverse their enormous four by fours into passing places. I’m tired of people asking me my life history when I’m in the service point trying to work. I’m tired of having to que in the shop when I want the place all to myself for a good gossip.

It’s pouring with rain and blowing a howling gale it might as well be winter.

I know I know I don’t deserve all of my lovely friends. Bah Humbug!

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