Sunday, 24 November 2019

Santa and Cthullu Cults

Dont let the title fool you, Santa is not a Lovecraftian creation! The contrast between my sisters life and my own is sometimes too amusing - read on to find out why!

It's that time of year where all the Christmas markets spring up and all the rehoming charities start fundraising again. The Edinburgh Dog and Cat Home did their annual Santa Paws visit and I was pleased that the madness of life allowed me enough time to take Missy along and my mother came too. 

For a dog that hates Christmas, she really does enjoy the fuss and attention of these events. She got loads of cuddles and fussing and stared out several stall keepers in order to obtain biscuits (and even had those without biscuits apologising to me). Her Paddington stare, as we call it, has only intensified over the years! 

Missy did me well as always and was perfectly behaved for Father Christmas. He had a great big tin of gravy bones that he was being very liberal with so she happily sat up beside him and worked her charm on him. After being deemed the "best behaved dog of the day" we were all sent off with a sweet treat each. 
My mother was proud of such praise and I could only laugh that Missy had clearly pulled the wool over his eyes. But hey, I won't mention the squirrels if you don't!

We walked along the promenade afterwards and watched the sea attack the storm walls. It was a pleasant day, and we certainly caught the best of it, but I think the weather is going to turn again. 

On a completely different end if the spectrum, and a break from Christmas sewibg: Cultist Robes.

(Hat knitted by my sister for her crazy Cthullu Cultist weekend, which is outlined here). 

Long story short, my sister and brother in law batted their eyelashes at me for some cultist robes that would a) look cool but not like something horrendous from the KKK, b) not give them rashes like the polyester ones they could find online and c) not bake them alive, hence the felt and not fleece choice in material. 

I was more than happy to take the challenge and used this Fleece Fun pattern which I liked best. I was keen on a multiway design as I wanted more used from them than one weekend, and my sister and her family are always game for laugh and dressing up. I've been sent photos of my BIL playing a out in his with a lightsaber, so it's clearly the right choice! I also liked this pattern as my sister was going for a goat demon (hence the hat) with a thousand young and we had bandied about the idea of putting eyes inside the cloak. I wanted something she could easily swish open to show off said eyes - I didn't get 1000, but there are 30 sets of eyes on there! 

So that brings me full circle to what I found so humorous. She's off taking her children to a Cthullu themed party complete with bonfire and I'm taking my furbaby to see Santa Paws. I dont know why I think that's so funny, but it is!

Although I totally think Missy could have pulled off some kind of hellish Lovecraftian monster very well! I've listened to a few of the stories and they do give me the absolute heebie jeebies, so I may have to outsource to my sister on suggestions as to what horror might suit Missy best! 

Monday, 18 November 2019

An blast of a weekend

It's been a crazy weekend, but a good one, so I'll keep the post short! Basically, my Manchester based sister, brother in law and two of their random mates snuck up to Scotland for a Britcit nerf event. They went to a skatepark event on Friday and on the Saturday we all did iCombat.

It was a great day. Our team won the day overall and the 'rescue the Bob' game was a definite favourite! Good day all round. And plans are already being spun for next year! My sister posted a full summary here.

Missy was very much the centre of attention amongst our visitors. My sister had hammed up just how lovely she is and clearly expectations were met. The little tart (Missy that is) clearly enjoyed the non stop petting and endless supply of treats!

On the sewing front, I've started the mammoth task of the Christmas gift sewing. First on the completed list:

A quilt-come-sleeping bag for my eldest neice. At 14 it's hard to balance cute and grown up, so I hope it goes down well! 

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Looking for Vampires

So, on last weeks ghost walk, the story of William Henry Millar and his truly bizarre burial was brought to our attention. Buries in a lead lined coffin, in a shaft 40ft deep, was this man who had a huge collection of occult books afraid of grave robbers, of vampires or...was he a vampire himself?

Set in the middle of Craigintinny, near to Portobello, the Craigintinny Marbles, a 30ft tall monument, towers over the little council built bungalows and bowling green that surround it. There were  no information stands nearby, so I was glad I had done my homework before my mother and I went looking for it. Millar had requested to be buried away from the population of Edinburgh and, in the 1860s, this would have been farmland so it would have completely dominated the landscape. Whilst interesting, I was disappointed at the way it has mostly been ignored, like a large inconvenient rock, and built around. I felt it deserved perhaps a small grassy park and some trees, not a high fence and a car park.

Either way, it's an impressive monument, and it's peculiar situation fits the peculiar man it was made for. 

I had suspected it wouldn't be a long visit at the monument so had already organised that there would be a trip to the seaside. Portobello was only 5 minutes away and, despite the chilly day, there were plenty of dogs out walking their humans. I always love the visual juxtaposition of a blue sky and sand with people in wooly hats and thick coats. I don't know why, but it makes me smile.

Despite best attempts, I could not coax my mother into having an ice cream on the promenade and so we headed back to where I had parked the car. I have walked that beach a hundred times and lo and behold, yesterday was the first time I had noticed the absolutly ginormous pottery kiln, neatly tucked away behind some flats. 

Clearly a day for finding odd giant things in bizarre places! We detoured off and had a look at it (I had originally thought it was perhaps an old grain silo from when Portobello had a proper harbour, but the sign corrected us as to the rich history of pottery making in the area. News to me, but fascinating nonetheless.

I've been making Christmas the last few weeks and prepping an army of doggy bows and bandanas for a craft fair I have next weekend. Don't let the photos fool you, there has been so much Christmas fabric that I'm almost bored of the season and it hasn't even begun!
I've been putting together squeaky heart toys too, so will get a more festive photo later. Having lots of little things on the go at once has worked well as I can easily pick them up and put them down again, although I am looking forward to getting my teeth into a bigger project soon! 

Sunday, 3 November 2019

Spooky Fun

Missy had her Halloween party on Monday and I won't lie, it was an eagerly anticipated event! As it was organised by the same company that does Missys dog walking and classes (just about finished level 3, she doesn't need them, but we approve of anything that will mentally stimulate her) we knew that there would be dogs and people she knew.

So it was a party, that means games, right? Well, there was Dookin' for (gravy) bones, various Halloween themed agility toys and games for dog and owner to partake in. We came in second with the game were we had to have Missy perform a obedience trick (sit, stay, paw, beg (a work in progress), lie down, stay, touch, back up and, strangely enough for us, stand (we need to train her to stand on command so we can work on bow which is turning into a disaster, but I honestly don't mind, there are worse things than a dog that is over keen to sit and wait for a command!) and then we'd take a little sticker off the wall with different pictures having different values. 

Amongst the games, there was time for making some new friends, including the above whippet who, had we stayed any longer, my husband was going to put in the back of the car with Missy to steal as our own! The costumes on the dogs were great, we had a Halloween onsie on one dog, another painted up as a skeleton (most of it had rubbed off by the end of the night, so he was absolutely fine), harnesses decorated with devil wings and Missy went as a triceratops. She's clearly hit middle age and has done that odd thing  some men do were they seem to get broader, not put weight on, but just physically become more broad in the chest. Most of her costumes are a bit snug around her neck and chest, hubby thinks it's muscle from all the squirrel chasing and I'm forced to agree!

Yesterday was a bit of a different dog walk - we had a two hour ghost walk in Edinburgh with Thistle Knights Tours. They were great in responding to enquiries about which of their tours, if any, allowed dogs (the ones that go into the museum obviously aren't!) and I soon organised a puppy play date for Missy and Maisie together. My brother is game for anything really and we also invited my mother, who then invited her sister who then invited their other sister...
I will confess that I was annoyed that my play date had been comandeered by the three witches of McBeth (and I mean that as in they dressed up as witches. Without telling me it was now a fancy dress affair.) Mostly I was concerned it would be a bit pants (its a free tour, X Files Edinburgh, and you just tip at the end, so I was naturally dubious of the quality) and I would somehow be blamed for dragging them all out in the cold and rain. By this point in the week I'd had to scrape frost off the car 4 out of 5 mornings and then the last 24 hours were solid rain. I was a bit concerned it would be a literal wash out.

Of the 18 booked, we made 6 of the final 7 on the tour. And it was great, I shouldn't have been so worried. The rain had stopped but the dense cloud cover had brought the temperature up away from 0C and had also brought in a dense mist, perfect for ghost stories in a graveyard. At each point we got a choice of three stories, so we could make it as Spooky, gory or silly as we liked. I got to have a shot at dowsing and we made a very slow circuit from Greyfriars to the Canongate. The chap doing the tour was great and very quickly sussed out the nature of us all so didn't scrimp on offering us big laughs and gory details. Definitely a recommend for something a bit touristy in the capital!

I also finally got a picture of Missy with Greyfriars, it's normally far too busy to try. A group of Italian tourists watched in stunned silence as I had her neatly sit and stay, at which point it suddenly sounded as though this was the most adorable thing they had ever seen as a wave of "Awww" and other such sounds were made. Missy tarted herself out afterwards as they all then wanted to pet and cuddle her. She's a daft wee thing, honestly! 

Maisie was worn through after her first bus trip and the excitement of town. So we all headed home afterwards to a relatively early night. 

Not a bad wee week!