Monday, 24 August 2009

Thursday 20th- Morning


Thursday brought a lot of errands. I went to the dentist... finally I decided to wave goodbye to my money and get my teeth checked out. I really like my dentist and we have always gone to a private dentist... are NHS dentists that bad??? Not sure I could get one if I tried though.

I was pleasantly surprised as after 2 years I only have to get a wee fisher seal. I do however have to get my poor dead tooth re whitened... or get a veneer...as the bleaching from 5 years ago is wearing off. My dentist made me a plan and it was like she could see the £ signs!!

I am also going to try a wee contraption to try and prevent me from grinding my teeth when I sleep and hopefully prevent my migraines! I am willing to try anything at the moment!

I am sure you are currently bored stuff but hey if you have nothing better to do have a peep here.

New Bike

Before I went babysitting on Wednesday we did have a chance to pop into Alpine Bikes. My work have just signed up to the UK Government's Cycle to work scheme. Click here to find out more info.

Tax-free bikes for work

Cyclescheme is the UK's number one provider of tax-free bikes for the Government's Cycle to Work initiative. It's a brilliant programme where everyone wins - employees make big savings on new bikes, employers get a healthier workforce and save money too! Cyclescheme has a great track record in helping employers of all sizes to set up and run successful Cycle to Work schemes. Our innovative online system is simple to use, and we have decades of industry experience and a vast supplier network of over 1,200 independent bike shops.

Nathan cycles to work everyday and we could take the same route- I would just have to cycle a little further. I am keen to get fit and I think this will be a great way to do it. I just wish my company had signed up earlier in the year and I could have made the most of what little good weather we got.

With the cycle to work scheme the tax benefit mean I will only pay for 60% of the cost of my bike and I will have it taken out of my pay before tax over a 12 month period. It comes directly out of my pay so I won't really miss it. Plus I am going to cancel my gym membership (which I never ever use!!) Let's hope I don't repeat that with my bike!

I am so so so so so excited as I went for an Amsterdam style... Above is a wee picture I took in the shop. (I am also going to get a wee basket on the front! I am now waiting for my voucher to purchase all my kit so I can still change my mind- I was swaying between the two (linked below) and the one pictured. What do you think?

Trek Navigator 3.0 Equipped WSD (exactly same style and model as the bike above just a different colour) I don't like the patterns though... not sure.

Trek Navigator 2.0 Equipped WSD This is the same type of bike but a grade down. So it's not so slick... it is however a better colour I think.... I like the black and tanned leather..mmmm...

Or should I just stick with the bike I have reserved (pictured above) the 3.0 better model and in a good colour.

I am a bit apprehensive about cycling on the roads but I have also ordered a fluorescent waterproof jacket- it is bright bright fluorescent yellow so hopefully no one will miss me!! (you can see the sleeve of one of the jackets in the background! Brigh bright bright!

I never thought I would be a cyclist but hey it must be all the Environmental projects I am working on.

Wednesday 19th

Nathan and I didn't do much of anything on Wednesday- we slept in for the first time in a long while!

We had to be up though as Nathan had physio for his back. The hard ground on their rugby pitch has really damaged his back so before the season starts on the 29th of August he wanted to make sure he was in peak condition.

We did however venture into town with the intention of doing festival stuff and ended up going to the Hard Rock Cafe. I had a craving for hot chicken tenders (I love hot Heavy Metal Sauce) our eyes then got a lot bigger than our bellies and we decided to have cocktails and mains as well as the chicken tenders. So about £55 lighter after lunch it was 4pm and I had to go babysitting that evening so we didn't have much more time to do festival activities but we did have fun.

....We were making plans for our next holiday later in the year.

Tuesday 18th

I was so glad of having some time off as it gave me a chance to go up to Perth and visit my lovely friend Kate and her two gorgeous boys, Alexander and Charlie. Charlie is my Godson and I haven't seen them in ages as I have been working so much. Kate is a doctor in Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and she has been working crazy hours too... she is now back to a 3 day week and is delighted to have more time with her boys.

We tried to get them both to keep their eyes open when looking the camera but without fail one of them had their eyes closed or wasn't looking at the camera! It ended up being a big game!!
I love this photo. Charlie looks so angelic and Alexander is being a wee monkey in the background! he he!
Alexander finally gave me a big smile!!

Kate and I had a wee cup of tea when I arrived and we (mostly me- there is a suprise) talked about all our news. It was so good to catch up!

Then we went into town to have a tasty lunch in the Bothy. After which we did a wee bit of shopping- although I was very good and restrained! We then picked up the boys from nursery and went back to the house for another cup of tea and cupcakes (which I bought from M&S) for everyone! It was such a lovely day!

Monday 17th

Most of our weeks holiday was spent eating! We weren't even good and tried new places- we went for commercial and fattening! We were on holiday though!!

On Monday I met my Dad's friend Anne for lunch and had a lovely long catch up with her in Coffee Angel in Cannonmills. It was mobbed! Full of people on lap tops working away, Mummy's with big pushchairs but it was a nice atmosphere and they had good coffee and Croque Monsieur!

After lunch I met Nathan and we went to the National Galleries and looked around the Scottish exhibition which included Ross Gillespie and Tricia Malley's photography exhibition celebrating the life of Burns and his influence on currently well known Scots. It was really good and I hadn't realised my company had been involved. Click here to read more: As others see us

We then wondered up the Royal Mile and met our festival letter, Pamela. She has a stall infront of St Giles and seems to have been doing really well- which is great. Hopefully she'll come back next year too!

We then walked down to the Grassmarket and had tea in Mamma's pizzeria. It was great as there was a brass band playing just along the way so we had fun live music playing in the background as we ate our spicy pizza!




It was one of those evenings where there is great sunshine and it just brightens up an otherwise dreary day (weather wise)

We then walked along to the cinema and saw Pelham 123. It was okay but I kind of owed Nathan a boy movie after seeing The Time Travellers wife.

An action packed first day of our holiday!

Thanks for your support!

Thanks to all my lovely friends who have sent some very sweet messages of condolence to my family and I.

I had a really busy weekend doing some extra work but I was able to spend the evening with my Dad last night. He wrote the eulogy for my Grandad and we looked at photos of my Grandad when he was wee. He looks exactly the same. My Dad also showed me some lovely letters which were written by my Grandad and his brother, Dan when they were in active service in the 2nd World War.

There will be a notice in the Scotsman and Evening News tomorrow and his funeral will be on Thursday. My Dad has been amazing organizing everything- I didn't realise how much there was to do.

I am back to work today and my head isn't quite in the game! I have so much to do too!! So I thought I'd do a wee bit of blogging and cheer myself up!

Friday, 21 August 2009

An Update

I have been lost without my blogging this past week although I have enjoyed being away from my work computer screen. I have felt very relaxed and that is really what I needed.

I am babysitting tonight so I am using the families laptop (with permission of course) It has been so good catching up on everyone's posts.

I have had a lovely week off work. I have done so many errands and caught up with a lot of paperwork plus Nathan and I have spent a lot of time together. We have done a lot of free activities and then seem to have then spent all our money on food!! I am the size of a whale and excited to sort out my fitness, exercise and food regime in the coming weeks.

I have lots to blog about too... and loads of photos. It may take a while for me to get back up to speed with all my work will be throwing at me. Next week is also going to be a bit of a tough week.

I have some very sad news. My Grandad Jimmy passed away this morning. He has not been well for a very long time. He slipped away peacefully.

So it has been quite a day.

I have been lucky enough at the age of 29 to still have had all my Grandparents living. So it is a little strange but we all have mixed emotions as he has been slipping away for a long time.

The funeral will no doubt be next week so I will have quite a bit on my plate. I am just going to try and help my Dad as much as possible.

I saw my Grandma today and she is doing okay. We knew it may have happened in the coming weeks and because of that I was looking at photos of my Grandparents and my sister and I this morning. Bizarrely I was showing Nathan photos of us at about the time my Grandad died in his nursing home.

I have so many happy memories of my times with him and my Grandma that I can't help but smile when I think of festival parades, breakfast in the garden, the ice cream man, walks on portobello promenade, Kirsty their dog, meeting so many local people on the promenade and waiting whilst he talked to everyone and told them a joke or two, my Grandad's butchers shop, going down for sausages on a Saturday, his bryll creamed hair, benson and hedges, soda streams, gladioli, roses, daffodils all over his garden, the Rowen trees, him sunbathing in his vest and panama hat, only ever eating meat and potatoes, ice cream and tinned fruit, cups of tea with sugar, reading the Evening News, watching Hearts football team, sitting in his chair by the fire with the sheepskin rug in front of it, the sweetie bowl in the front room, licorice all-sorts, chocolate, telling bad jokes that he always laughed at himself, his sense of humour is the thing I will remember most! When he would laugh and his suntanned face would wrinkle up by his eyes and he'd giggle.

It all makes me smile. I know that his funeral gathering will also be filled with similar stories and tales of how he effected other peoples lives.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Holiday!

I am will be on holiday from work for a week. Returning on the 24th of July. I am going to take a wee break from blogging as our computer is not accessible (due to renting out the flat for the festival)

I am not sure how I will cope with a week without blogging or reading blogs but I am really looking forward to Nathan and I's relaxing Staycation! Being tourists in our own town.

There will no doubt be a fair few posts upon my return! See you in 10 days!! HOORAY!!!

Thursday, 13 August 2009

More Cookies!

Following on from yesterdays cookies I have found some more amazing treats! I love the idea of making an edible floral display! Two of my favourite things together! Cookies and Flowers! I found these designs at the Flour Pot Cookies Website.

And there are also some amazing cupcakes at this website- Sibbys Cupcakery... I love the idea of a Cupcakery! And she worked in Advertising before she started her Cupcake business... so maybe one day!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Granton Harbour

Before I went round to Zara's last night I walked back from work to my Dad's. It was really windy but I took a wee snap of Granton Harbour, beside my Dad's house. My favourite part of the walk is from Newhaven Harbour (pictured in a previous post) to Granton Harbour.

Girlie night

Last night a few of us girls went round to Zara's house for nibbles. We had a great catch up and we all brought way too many nibbles to accompany Zara's delicious veggie soup and baked Camembert. I ate so much cheese! Oh well there goes the low dairy! (I have a mild intolerance and have noticed I drop weight when I don't eat it! Probably because the dairy I eat is usually in cheese, cream, chocolate etc!!)
Corinne and Zara
For desert Becky brought her chocolate fondue which went down very well. We had it with fruit- surely that makes it healthy!! No?
Becky, Hillary and I. The first pic I have been able to show you of my new hair. I have gone much darker- nearer to my natural colour. What I hear you say I am not a natural blonde!!??

There are some great pics that Becky took a couple of weekends ago but I need to download them from her. I am loving how much healthier my hair is without lots of bleach in it!

LOVE in cookies!

I am a big fan of Robert Indiana's Love sculpture. Why is simplicity always the best when it comes to art? Well it is for me!

It was first produced as a Christmas Card in 1964 and was then made into a sculpture in 1966. It has been replicated so many times over but I think it always looks good.
There is a Love sculpture in New York on Sixth Avenue (pictured above) and this Philadelphia bakery has used it to inspire their cookies. I love the idea. Whipped Bakeshop has some beautiful cookies, cupcakes and cakes and so much creative inspiration. Take a peek. I will be using some of their inspiration next time I am baking.

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Walking along the Firth of Forth

I work in Leith in an area called The Shore. It is right where the Water of Leith (river) goes into the Firth of Forth (water estuary). My Dad also lives close to the Firth of Forth so I have been taking the opportunity of being closer to work to walk to and from my Dad's house along the waterfront.
Last night I walked along and stopped beside Newhaven Harbour. It was so calming sitting there and just washing away the stress of the day. It takes me about 45 minutes to walk the 2.2 miles but it means when I get home from work I am much less stressed. I think the water calms me!
Right beside my Dad's is the Wardie Steps which come up from Granton Harbour. You can look back over the harbour and it just looks beautiful.

I hope I can keep this up all of August. I think it will be good for my fitness and mental well being!

Monday, 10 August 2009

Weekend

What a busy weekend!

On Friday I stayed overnight at Becky's and we had a girlie evening with Amber and Hillary. It was so nice to see Amber and Hillary, who I haven't had a proper catch up with in ages!

Then on Saturday afternoon Nathan and I went to the Botanics for a picnic. I love, love, love the botanics it is my favourite place in Edinburgh. After our picnic we lay in the grass and had a snooze and then lay watching the clouds go by! So relaxing!

The beautiful Glasshouses in the Botanics. I am really excited as they are holding another event similar to the Chinese lantern event that Nathan and I loved. This event is all about sound, music and light. I can't wait!
We sat beside the borders to have our picnic, although afterwards we saw a sign saying no picnicking! oops! I guess they want to keep the Botanics litter free. We were very good though and recycled our bottles and rubbish.
I love the Queen Mother's garden near the north entrance. Currently the Botanics is building a new building at the West Gate so they have had to open up the North gate and this has meant much more love for this part of the property.
The Queen Mother's garden is full of roses. I adore roses. Roses, Peonies and Sweet Peas!
There was also a beautiful collection of thistles in the Queen Mother's garden. The Thistle is Scotland's National flower.
On Saturday evening Nathan and I celebrated Ramin's birthday with Ramin and Kells. We started off in the Pleasance and then moved onto Bristol Square in the evening. It was just me and the boys. The Festival gives Edinburgh such a buzz and all these venues are transformed into great arts venues, with plays, comedy, dance etc all happening in the weirdest and most unusual venues. Everything becomes about the festival. I just love the outdoor drinking and socializing venues. We were going to go to Hullaballoa which has taken over from the Spiegel tent but the queue was too big. It looked beautiful though- lots of Chinese lanterns in the trees (love that!)
Finally on Sunday Nathan and I went to the movies to see the 'Ugly Truth' with handsome Gerard Butler- it was good but I didn't enjoy it as much as I liked the Proposal.

Then after having tea with my Dad I went babysitting for a couple of hours. I watched Revolutionary Road on DVD and unfortunately the parents came home just before it finished so I never got to watch the end! I will need to rent it out again so I can see the rest.

An action packed fun weekend. Now I just have one more week till I am on holiday for 9 days in a row (including the weekend though!) I can't wait! Staycation here we come!!

Mad Men

I love Mad Men. It is so well made. It looks great. I love the clothes, the style and the life that they all have (minus the relationship problems!).

I am however very glad that Ad agencies are not the same as they were in the 60's... I don't think my career would have gone far in Sterling Cooper!

I found a fun application on their website where you can make yourself a character from Mad Men.. I like my new look- what do you think? Click here if you want to make your own Mad Men character.
As a side note I also went to school in the States with Aaron Staton who plays Ken Cosgrove. (2nd in on the right in the top photo) I just about jumped out my seat when he came on screen in the first series!

I can't wait till the 3rd series is back on TV in the UK. Love it! Love it! Love it!

Friday, 7 August 2009

Festival Let

For those of you who have been following my blog for a while you will remember that last year we rented out our flat to a festival let. It worked really well and the couple we had to stay were lovely! So when they phoned us up last month and asked if we would rent the flat to them again we jumped at the chance. As we got to know them last year we feel safer leaving a lot of our belongings in the flat. Thank goodness! I don't think I could go through the mass clear out that I had to do last year. As we had no idea who was going to rent it from us and we had also heard some horror stories I cleared everything out except the basic furniture and put it all in storage- boy was it hard work!

This year I also had Nathan to help me and between the two of us we managed to turn it round in a few days and give the house a thorough spring (or summer) clean! The flat looked really lovely and as I waited for the couple to arrive last night I thought to myself- why don't I keep it this clean all the time!!

I took these snaps yesterday morning so the sun is in the bedrooms and the living room is quite dark. I was going to take more shots at night but I left my camera at work (I seem to be doing that a lot recently)

If you want to compare to last year take a peek at my post from the end of July 2008!. Some things haven't changed. I sadly didn't take the same shots as this but I will when we go back at the end of August. Has it really been a year!! The back bedroom and livingroom have definitely changed.
The kitchen
Our wee shower roomOur Master bedroom
Our spare bedroom. Last year we had our grey couch in here and we used it as a study. Last September after our festival let Nathan moved his friend Ed into this room so we moved a bed into it. I have now got my paws back on it so it is a nice guest bedroom/ study! It needs a few pictures and I need to sort out what is on the shelves but it's getting there.
Nathan's Aunt made our blinds in the guest bedroom and the curtains for our master bedroom. I will have to take some photos of them when they are not in silhouette. They are so well made and I love that the blind in the guest bedroom is a blackout blind. So good if you have a migraine!