Monday, 28 May 2018

Highland Games

It’s that time of year again were we celebrate our Scottish blood and watch the local Highland Games. As always, it was a great day out, though I fully intend to go to one of the other ones at some point in the future!

To shake things up a little this year, my mum, older sister and nephew came along. It was the first Highland games any of them had attended and I found I really interesting what they enjoyed and what they didn’t. It was also the first year I did the ‘add on’ stuff – the Scottish Police were there and my nephew got his finger prints taken in addition to us all getting a shot in the back of a paddy wagon.  The 105th Regiment Royal Artillery were also there and proved to be a real highlight.

I set Missy up for the above photo with the gun whilst the rest of the family dithered off and, after getting the shot and rewarding her, one of the chaps manning the area dashed over and asked if she could do it again! Naturally, I obliged (any excuse to show off and talk about Missy) and she had her picture taken again, so I suspect she’s going to end up on their Facebook. Since we’d gotten chatting, they then decked my nephew up in all the gear and showed him the gun - VIP treatment! They insisted on a photo of everyone with the gunner at the gun and, looking back on the photos, Missy is being an absolute flirt with the gunner…
I can’t take her anywhere!

Whilst I adore the dancing, it didn’t take the fancy of my sister and nephew, and he wasn’t keen on the pipe bands either. I was starting to get worried when the throwing the stone, the first event of the heavy games, had proven a fail as well to get their interest. We bumbled about the stalls again and I insisted that we give the heavy games another go for the ‘throw the weight over the bar’ (yes, the names are very imaginative!). This one is always a hit, its impressive, it’s dangerous, everyone loves it and that proved the case on Saturday – the day was saved!

Missy then made friends with a staffie in the VIP area, and alas, it was not to be as neither could get through the fence. Watching the dogs play filled the gap between events and we all watched the caber tossing – the most Scottish of the heavy games! The weather was one of those odd days were, out the wind it was baking hot, but when caught in the wind it was bitterly cold, so they had to change direction for the tossing. It’s the first time I’ve seen them throw towards the crowd, and I got some great shots out of it.

And that was the day. It was almost 5pm and we’d been out since 10am! A very different games for me compared to previous years, but still a great day.
And this little goofball had a great time!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Back to Regular Programming

Just a short post! The hubby and I are back from a two week holiday in Oz and, whilst we missed our Missy terribly, we really didn't want to come back to normality. I can officially say that I most certainly have a dose of the post-holiday blues...

Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou?
Whilst we were away doing all the usual holiday things (hugging koalas and dingoes, eating copious amounts of ice cream, trying all the new sweets and cakes, avoiding the enormous spiders and so on) Missy stayed with the in-laws. As I previously mentioned, Flash passed away and that was literally the day before we drove up, so it was a bit of a weird get together. I think Missy was good for them to have about, she certainly cheered everyone up with her Romeo and Julie antics with Duke next door.

I wasn't joking about trying all the desserts!
I wont go on too much about the holiday except to say that we had an absolutely amazing time, although trying to squeeze in Sydney, Yulara and Port Douglas into two weeks meant it was non-stop tour-de-force of a holiday. I loved every minute, but another week would have been nice!

Kangaroos and wallabies love sweet potato!
Highlights were certainly the tour days - seeing the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains, the sun set and sun rise on the Uluru, the tea tour in the Daintree rainforest and getting the train to Karunda were all brilliant. On our 'quiet' days, doing all the wild life parks and just exploring the cities was amazing. I wont go on any more, or I will be here all day, so I will leave you with one little anecdote of a story:
As a way to fill evenings in Sydney, we went possum hunting in Hyde Park. First and second night, no success. Finally, our last evening and we spot a man and his daughter pointing at something, lo and behold, a possum! We took a long moment to admire it and, after explaining what it was to the pair, waved them off before we hear a rustle - it must be another possum, but its small, a baby possum!?
Then it opened its wings and flew straight over my head.
A fruit bat! I got such a fright but it was equally amazing!

Friday, 4 May 2018

For a Special Someone

Just a super quick post today:

Well, it's Inklings first birthday this weekend (my sisters little boy) and sadly I can't make the special day. I knew this in advance so put in a little extra effort to produce this fine gift:

He is crazy into bunnies. Bunnytown is dangerous viewing as he just goes nuts over them and, after our lakes adventure, I figured a healthy dose of Peter Rabbit was just what we needed. On an aside, at Easter, I did a bunny photo shoot with him - had him in a Thumper costume with all my cuddly bunnies I have amassed over the years and he was in absolute bunny heaven (after the initial overwhelming BUNNIES moment).

I figured that this would be a good pressie as Felix (his big sister) could play with them too and start her letter recognition and early words whilst Inkling could chew on them and, perhaps by osmosis, the letter knowledge will rub off too. 
There was a funny moment when sorting this all out when I was trying to sell the idea to myself going, they could spell Inkling... Wait, two Is. How about his sisters name. No, she has two Is as well. Mum? No, two Es on her actual name and two Ms for mum. Dad? Oh, darn it, he'll just need two sets of letters! So I did just that and I am pleased to say that out of immediate family, Felix can practice everyone's names.

There is a second tote bag as well in the same fabric, so I think he's well catered for in the home made gifts department! Eagle eyed readers may have noticed the clue Missy gave on these when I first mentioned making them!

Well, that's all for today, except to wish Inkling a massive Happy Birthday from his crazy aunt and uncle and mad wee cousin Missy!

Farewell Flash

A short post, but a sad one. Sadly, Flash passed away yesterday. It was dignified and peaceful and his mum and dad were there with him, which I think is the most anyone can really hope for.

But I won't dwell on sad things.

My first introduction to Flash
I adored Flash. He was a great big slobbering mass of sheer love and energy. Everyone simply had to be his friend. Or, at least, share their sandwich with him. I first met him eleven years ago when he would have been two - described to me as 'mad as a brush', he didn't disappoint! He preformed his majestic trick of wrapping his own snot and slobber all the way round his snout and then insisted on cuddles. Truly a wonderful introduction!

He could, on occasion, look regal
Flash was spoilt absolutely rotten. He insisted on the ends of sandwiches and had a melt down if he wasn't bought his own ice cream - he had the most wonderful Scooby Doo impression and would stamp his paws until he got his own way.

He loved being scratched behind the ears, and would insist that now was the time to do so by ramming his head between your legs and wagging his tail at you. After losing his eye (which didn't slow him down any), he would insist on having that rubbed too in much the same manner. 

But not often!
I also have a lot to thank Flash for. 

When Missy first came into our lives she was quite frightened and didn't really know what to do about anything. She wouldn't play with toys and was terrified to be left outside on her own. Every car journey she was sick in stress. He taught her how to enjoy being a dog. How to play with humans and that car rides were great, they meant adventures and fun.

And I think we should all take something from that. Enjoy life. Run, play and sleep to your hearts content. And share that joy with everyone around you.

Although, perhaps, wrapping your own face in snot and slobber is something not to emulate.

Rest in Peace, old boy. You will be sorely missed by all.