Monday, 15 September 2014

Dear Scotland

If you live in or near Scotland, you're probably talking about the upcoming independence referendum.

You probably have strong opinions on whether to vote yes or no, and are likely doing your best to influence the decisions of others, whether you're aware of it or not.

Maybe, like me, you've never talked politics before in your life, yet you find yourself having heated conversations and debates over dinner with close friends.

That's great.  It's good to be passionate about something, especially something as important as deciding the future of our country. 

You know what's not great?  The way in which we're sharing this passion.

Aggression, violence and threats, from both sides of the debate, is not how we're going to get through this, and get our points across.  It's no longer discussions between friends, but arguments between strangers.  I dread to think what would happen if we still had another 3 months before the decision was made, instead of 3 days.  There wouldn't be a country left to fight for.  We are falling to pieces already.  

After Thursday, we still have to live with our friends, neighbours and colleagues, regardless of the outcome.

Independent or not, we're still going to be Scottish.  Let's not damage the pride and honour that come with being from Scotland by fighting with each other while trying to fight for or against our independence.  

This is such an important part of our history, and we are very fortunate to be a part of deciding Scotland's future.

On Thursday, let us all vote, and be justified in our opinions.  Let's know that, whatever the outcome, the majority of us made that decision. 

And let's act in a dignified manner, whether we're happy with the result or not.

I'm not great with words or politics.  But I love Scotland.  I will continue to love it, yes or no thanks, and I really, really hope that what's left by next weekend will still be worth loving.  

Sunday, 10 August 2014

End of the holidays!

Well, this is it.  I can't actually believe that's the end of the holidays!  My flat isn't as tidy as I want it to be, I haven't packed my bag or put out my outfit for tomorrow or made my lunch.  I have those back to school butterflies that I really thought would have disappeared as I embark on my eighth year of teaching.  And, already, I am starting to miss the holidays, and I am feeling quite emotional as Ii write this.  WHAT a lovely six weeks I've had, probably the busiest holiday ever!  And I loved every minute :)

6.  I went to Stobo Castle.

For my birthday, my mum took me to Stobo for the day.  Now, I am not the biggest fan of spa days (particularly the walking around in a dressing gown thing) but OH MY GOODNESS I loved Stobo!  It was so relaxing and peaceful.  We had a delicious 3 course lunch, an exfoliating mud wrap and a facial which, had I not been on holiday, would have definitely sent me to sleep, so relaxing.  Plus, chilled (or boiled) in the outside hot tubs.  It was such a lovely day and I want to go back every week.  Thank you again, mammy :)

Look!  Dressing gowns!

Feeding the ducks is hard work
7.  More time with the babbies.

It's quite unusual, but so fab to have seen my niece and nephew (and their parents, obviously!) so much in such a short period of time.  May, twice in July and then they're coming again in the next couple of week.  I love these kids more than anything in the world, and they have definitely made my whole holiday.  

Pretty in pink

Playing with Daddy's old trains

8.   Taking in Glasgow and the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

I didn't get tickets for the games (I'd rather watch paint dry than any kind of sport) but the atmosphere in Glasgow was just fab!  We also chose a very sunny afternoon for our spontaneous trip, which made it even fabber :)

We started out with cocktails in the sun!

Then we headed off to Glasgow Green, which was full of things to see.

And got our picture taken with Clyde, obviously.  

Also had a lovely night #Jenspotting while watching the closing ceremony!

9.  Spending more time with my pals!

Often, I disappear from the radar during term time, so it was lovely to just have time for breakfasts, lunches and dinners, coffees and drinks and catch ups a-plenty!  I always vow that I will get better at this as the year begins...maybe this time it will actually happen??  I have the best friends in the world, anyway :)

Can't believe these are the only other friend pictures that I took!

Also got to hang out with this cutie and her mummy :)

10.  And, that thing I shouldn't do in the holidays...

Made resources, printed, laminated, cut things out, went into school, organised my classroom, threw things out, cleaned up therapeutic!  Because this:

If only...!

Summer 2014, you have been amazing.  I loved you, and I am so tired as a result of never being bored in six whole weeks.  Now, I am looking forward to the 2014-15 session, seeing all my work pals and meeting my new class :)

Monday, 21 July 2014

Halfway through the holidays!

I often wonder how I manage to fill these six weeks of holiday each year, especially when there are no major events, like weddings or babies arriving, to structure my whole holiday around.  I go back to work and feel a bit unsure about how I filled my days and worry that I've wasted it.  So, now that I'm halfway through I thought it would be a nice time to reflect on some of the lovely things I've done :)

Look at the shiney :)
1.  I went to see the Kelpies.  

Until recently, the only awareness I had of the Kelpies was what I saw when driving by them on the motorway.  Usually, I get a good look at because all the cars in front of me slow down when they pass (which makes me a bit ragey.) But the new Helix park in Falkirk was quite lovely.  Complete with pretend beach, boat trip (that is about 5 metres long...the actual trip, not the boat), huge horse heads and SUNSHINE, it was a lovely day :)

Lone Kelpie.  Eyeing up the peoples for lunch.

Very pretty stones on the fake beach.

 2.  Adventures with my favourite baby cousin.

We went on a tram.  All the way to the Gyle.  Then crossed the road and came right back.

He taught me how to make loom bands.  And now I am one of the cool kids.

We went to the National Museum of Scotland and looked at some old stuff.  And, of course, played in the race car thing.  We had a picnic, meals out, watched Harry Potter, ate popcorn and had lots of time for chats and games.  Don't get any older, wee boy!

3.  Adventures to Northern Ireland.

My little niece and nephew are soon to turn 1 and 3.  I love these little people so so much, and am delighted that I am able to see them this often over the summer months.  I had a lovely few days visiting them, having cuddles, going for walks, picnicking, playing, counting and taking photos.  Only a few days until they're here for more cuddles!
My wee bro and his boy :)

4.  Road trip the the Lake District.

Myself and a couple of my worky pals took a pretty spontaneous trip to the Lake District, and stayed in a tiny wee village called Pooley Bridge.  When we arrived, it was such a lovely day and everything just looked beautiful.  We took a boat trip on Ullswater Lake.  

Beautiful sunset

Look at how delicious (my) dessert was!!

Then we went for dinner in Penrith, had a wee wander, didn't get too lost and ate some yummy food!  

The next day, we went for a drive and got a bit lost.  We took my car ON THE FERRY(!!) across Lake Windermere, and then went to visit Beatrix Potter's cottage (and saw the real Peter Rabbit.)  There were a lot of Chinese tourists...
Note the umbrellas by the door.  It was pretty wet...

Then it was time for the trip back up the road, which involved driving down tiny country lanes behind a bus that thought it was double the size that it really was...luckily, it also involve Krispy Kremes and Starbucks :)

5.  Hanging out with my pals

It's quite sad, because I have managed to see so many of my lovely pals, yet have hardly taken any pictures!  There was cocktail party (with delicious frozen cocktails and chocolate cake!), a football party...with, thankfully, not too much focus on the football!  I had a trip to Glasgow to see one of my bestest teacher pals, and last night I had dinner with these lovely ladies :)  

And that's not including all the other lovely days, like spontaneous IKEA trips, 'helping' my uncle move house, a couple of very chilled out sofa days, joining the gym (and actually going!), a very fun planning sesh for next year and chilling in the sun with my mum.

Phew...I'll be glad of the rest when I have to go back to work!  What's next?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

7 things I can't

Go to bed early.  Every night, I decide to go to bed early.  "Imagine how refreshed I'll feel tomorrow", I tell myself.  "Imagine how much I'll achieve."  The next thing I know, I've used up all my lives on Candy Crush (on my phone and my computer, and still not completed the damn level), stalked some people on Facebook who I have one mutual friend with, worked out which Disney Prince I should hook up with by completing a Buzzfeed quiz and found the weird part of YouTube, again.  If I had no internet, maybe I'd sleep...


My kindle.  Still.  Last time I had it was November.  I think I might have left it on a plane or a bus, but I'm not ready to give in to the fact that it's gone yet.  Nor am I ready to hunt for it...I am fairly happy imagining that it's living happily in a secret (lost) place in my house thinking about books that I might want to read.  Thanks, Kindle :)


Percentages.  Mortgages.  How planes stay up in the air.  That time travel thing in the third Harry Potter book.  Car insurance.  Any kind of insurance.  Where all my money goes each month.  People who get up at 5am to exercise.  Why they make liquorice flavoured jelly beans.  (Not the people who get up early to exercise.  The people who make jelly beans.)

Only delicious flavours need apply.

Commuting.  It makes me grumpy.  I am generally a fairy happy sort of gal, but put me in a car to get across town during rush hour and I turn into a rage machine.  I tend to not be happy unless I have beeped my horn at least once.  Good job I don't have to drive to work, huh?


Taking my car to work (I know).  Biting my nails.  Using the word 'like' as an irrelevant addition to sentences.    Fidgeting (there is currently a clothes peg in my mouth, because I can't type and hold it in my hand.)  

Anything, when given a choice.  I usually don't mind.  I'm not indecisive.  I just don't mind as much as I expect other people to mind.  And I will tell you so.  If I do mind, you'll know all about it.

Crying at cheesy things.  Not sad things.  The Notebook?  I'm cool.  Titantic?  Whatever. That bit in Cheaper By The Dozen 2 when the wee tomboy comes out dressed in girly clothes?  Tears.  Any movie where the main character does something lovely and everyone claps and cheers?  Sobbing.  Don't ever watch a movie with me.  Or make me talk about this in real life.

So cheesy.  Love it.

In case you're wondering, I broke the clothes peg.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The kind of person who blogs

I'm the kind of person who spends a lot of time with my friends and family. The kind of person who spends way too much time on Facebook. The kind of person who tries to say yes and not cancel plans once they have been made.  I'm the kind of person who eats too much junk food and cares about what other people think a bit too much!

I once read that when you decide to make changes to your life and develop new habits, you should say "I am the kind of person who does this."  It is, apparently, much more effective than overthinking the process of change and making a big deal out of it all.  

One day I decided I'd like to be the kind of person who irons.  And now I am.  And although it's a bit of a task, and I hate having ironing on my mental to-do list, I do feel quite a sense of achievement at the end.  Plus, I get to watch TV without feeling guilty.  

Look how beautiful it can be!  

Obviously, I have failed at the attempt to be 'the kind of person who...' many a time.  I have tried to be the kind of person who goes to the gym, who makes the bed every morning, who walks to work and who has a skin care routine.  But life gets in the way, I get lazy, sometimes I'm running late...and there is always a more effortless shortcut to get through the day.  

I am attempting to be the kind of person who is more organised.  My friends and family, I'm sure, will completely disagree with my efforts in this, but I know I'm more organised than I was a few years ago.  It's not one of those things you can just decide, though - with being more organised, you have to play a bit of catch up before you are ready to start afresh!  And hopefully these long school holidays will put me just that little bit closer to being the kind of person who is organised.

Now I'm the kind of person who blogs.  I just decided that three days ago, and here I am, on my second blog post. 

Now, if only I could be the kind of person who hates chocolate...?

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Becoming a 29 year old nothing

Today I turned 29.

It was pretty uneventful.  I've had a busy couple of days, so I felt tired and lazy.  Usually I am very excited on my birthday and make lots of plans to see lots of friends, but being the single one in my group of coupled up friends meant that I just didn't feel like it this year.  This sounds like I feel a bit more miserable about this than I actually am.  I had a very lovely lunch with my mum then came home for a nap - talk about old!

We had wine.  Yum :)  This picture is from my instagram #fmsphotoaday challenge - interior.

Last year on my birthday I started a diary.  I saw The Happiness Project on Amazon and chose it as a gift :)  I have kept it up for the last year (we'll ignore the fact that sometimes I spend an hour reading back over text messages and checking facebook and instagram trying to remember what I did last Tuesday) and I am very proud of this achievement.  Sometimes, though, a line isn't enough to write down all my loving thoughts for the day (I have the tendency to be very cheesy).  Also, sometimes I want to have a wee rant about things, and a diary about happiness isn't really the place.  Enter blog.

So, I'm not yet sure what the exact purpose of my blog will be yet.  But expect my general ramblings.