Weekend Wanderings: Conversation

Some weekends adventures are not needed, sometimes what you need is some relaxed time at home and good conversations.

On Saturday we had the longest sleep in we’ve had in ages which was nice. I watched Great British Bake Off Extra Slice over boiled eggs for breakfast. It was a very pleasant start to the day, later we had a wander around the countryside where we live. I did some housework, we ate some leftovers, it was very relaxed. In the evening I went to St. Andrews for an event with one of my all time favourite authors at the wonderful Topping & Co Bookshop. Louis De Bernieres is a brilliant author, for those of you who have only seen the film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin‘ I urge you to read the book. It is at least a thousand times better than the film and the rest of his books are definitely worth reading and an extra bonus Louis was just as interesting to hear speak.IMG_20150815_163859 20150815_143922

On Sunday the Boyo was working, participating in an event as part of The Festival of Politics in Edinburgh. So I went to Edinburgh with him. I have to confess I spent most of the afternoon chatting away with my best friend over a croissant. I did not go to any festival events.  I met with the Boyo and a couple of other friends for a beverage and more conversation. It was a very nice day. Next year perhaps I will make more of an effort to go to some festival events but this year I am quite happy with our relaxed weekend.

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Recent Wanderings & Summer Planning

Today as I looked out my office window (this was written during a quick lunch break) I see grey skies and lots of rain. It was very stormy on Sunday and today again, it is very soggy indeed. We are hoping to sneak in a quick camping trip up to Aberdeenshire this month and my College also has a big fun day planned, and, at the very end of the month there is a big County Guide Camp. So I’m okay with it being damp and dreich just now if the sun decides to shine over the next few weekends. In particular the last weekend in May, the 8 Guides I have from my unit attending the county camp have never really camped before and I would like it to be a really good experience for them…. soggy sleeping bags might put them off!

We’ve managed to sneak in a couple of walks in recent weeks, Dunkeld in Perthshire, Balmerino in Fife and Boddin in Angus. As usual when in Dunkeld we called in at our favourite cake spot; Spill The Beans but we have no new fabulous cafe finds to report.

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 We have however booked our Summer Holiday! The Boyo has a conference in Australia to attend at the end of June and whilst we did consider a holiday in Australia we decided it was not the right time of year and too expensive for all the things we would like to do. We’ll save for a holiday in Australia another time (it also gives me more chance to get over my fear of spiders). Instead I shall fly out and meet the Boyo at Bangkok airport. 1 night in Bangkok then 6 nights in Koh Samui. We are very excited indeed. I’m stocking up on books on my kindle. I’ve bought a new swimsuit and I have the factor 50+ suncream ready. Have any of you been to Thailand? I’m on the hunt for a beach dress, something to throw over my swimsuit, I may even consider making myself one. I have sandals ordered this Merrell Pair for all the walking about we always end up doing and I think I will buy these M&S sandals, I got them last year in a pinky colour and there were great. Footwear is really important as we are never still for very long and I have a knee condition, usually referred to as dodgy knees so my shoes have to be supportive. I had a Merrell pair of sandals for a few years that were not very pretty but they did an excellent job. I unfortunately lost them during a flat move when lived in Hong Kong. I’m hoping this pair will do just as good a job but look a bit nicer as well. I don’t think I really I need any more clothes, although an extra swimsuit would probably be handy. I am finding them to be pretty expensive though so I may just make-do with what I have. I’m trying to stop myself getting too carried away with excitement. Do any of you have summer plans? Our original plan before all of this was a week camping in Skye so this is a bit more exotic and warmer than originally anticipated for this summer.

Now I hope you have a merry day… I’m going home for a cosy evening in, maybe even a wee hot chocolate, in weather like this it is almost obligatory!

Merry in The Ferry..

Weekend Wandering – Dunfermline & Auchterarder

Last weekend I had a training session for the Girl Guides in Dunfermline on the Saturday morning. We used that as an excuse to have a wander around Dunfermline later in the day. I was quite pleasantly surprised by the town. With some wonderful historic buildings and a fantastic park it was a very pleasant wander indeed.

I was particularly taken on that Dunfermline Abbey happens to have my middle name as part of the impressive tower. Not because of me I hasten to add, King Robert The Bruce is buried there. The Abbey wasn’t open for us to look inside but the grounds were quite impressive and we enjoyed looking around.

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We then went to the Andrew Carnegie Museum. It was free of charge and quite informative. I of course especially liked the information regarding the public libraries he founded. The wee lady working there was lovely and would have quite happily answered many questions, she gave us a toffee each when we left which was rather nice of her.

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We then had a wander around the large Pittencrieff Park, through woodland and over bridges and then out into the open, there is a lot of this park to explore. I found a train so I was happy.

For a late lunch we went to a lovely Italian restaurant called Carluccios on the High Street in Dunfermline. The food was very tasty and the pasta dishes were offered in half portions. We shared a garlic & mozzarella bread between us and it was ideal for lunch. I’d definitely go back again.

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The next day we went for a countryside walk around Auchterarder. We met some interesting creatures on a woodland section of the walk and enjoyed a good dose of fresh air.

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Muddy shoes are a sign of a happy weekend!

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Merry in The Ferry..

Weekend Wandering – The Castle of Gloom.

This weekend we ventured to Dollar, a small town in the Clackmannanshire region of Scotland. From Dollar you can venture up into Dollar Glen which is a very pleasant with wooded Glen. You climb up and down through the woodland over bridges and up steps and follow a tumbling Burn up to the Castle.

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Castle Campbell as it is known today is owned by Historic Scotland. Originally it was called Castle Gloom which comes from the Gaelic word glom meaning chasm. Personally I like the Gloom name more than Campbell but as the venue is used for weddings now I can see why Campbell may be more wedding friendly.

 

 

 

 

From the other side of the Castle you follow the other Burn down the Glen. The Burns are named Care and Sorrow, which I rather like. Dollar Glen, Burn of care, Burn of Sorrow and Castle Gloom would all rather well lend themselves to a dramatic story or two. Just after the Castle you reach a little viewing point to the Chasm where the two Burns meet and this splendid feature would have given the Castle its original name.

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On this walk we had a favourite little furry friend accompany us. We were dog sitting for a night which we were very happy about. Our little friend enjoyed the walk a lot and as an obedient wee dog she was able to be off the lead for the majority of the walk.

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We left her for a snooze in the car whilst we grabbed a quick bite to eat. Dollar had a couple of very nice looking places to choose from. We picked The Bridge Street Kitchen. We were both impressed with the menu. After a big breakfast  that morning something light for a late lunch was in order but another time we’d have ordered a few different dishes tapas style to share. We both had a pizzette and they were very tasty. The cabinet had a few very delicious cakes on offer but we resisted as I knew I would be baking later in the day.

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We stopped at woods near our house to let the doggy stretch her legs before heading home for a cosy evening on the couch, reading and watching tv whilst the dog took turns to snooze on each of us. She was like a little hot water bottle. She did wake up when The Boyo did a little fart though, she sniffed then whimpered then turned away! Poor dog.

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My doggy friend & I were quite content with snoozes on the sofa. 

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The next day I baked, I had intended to do it the night before but was too lazy. My vanilla and chocolate loaf turned into hint of mint and chocolate loaf though as I picked up the wrong bottle. Oops. Tastes okay though. We took our doggy friend a wander around the local countryside before my friends came to collect her at lunchtime.

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We did a little bit of housework but I mostly spent Sunday afternoon drinking tea and reading the latest Alexander McCall Smith book I bought at an event before Christmas. Happy Sunday afternoon Indeed!

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A weekend of wandering

I wrote the last time about my lack of motivation thanks to a big bad migraine but I am very pleased to report that a 3 day weekend has well and truly restored that motivation.

On Saturday we had some errands to run in our nearest town. Our car had not been cleaned properly for a very long time and we decided it was seriously overdue. So we opted to go for a bit of a cheat, we paid to have it valeted and washed. It was really worth it, it is like a brand new car. At the garage I also saw a lovely red mini. I can drive but only automatic so at some point in the next 6 months we hope to get a car that we can both drive but the Boyo is not convinced that a mini would be practical. L The funny thing is that although we live in the countryside and not a town anymore I can actually get to work and out and about by public transport easier than before so the car hunt isn’t as urgent. That afternoon we went wandering one of our nearby paths, a little bit in the woods and a little bit through the fields. We are lucky to live where we do.

Sunday was forecast to be a nice day but we didn’t expect it to be as nice as it was, it was a lovely sunny day. We went for a big wander around Crieff in Perthshire. The first half was around ‘The Hosh’, this was mostly a walk through woods and you go past the Glenturret distillery. Before attempting the second part we called in at Crieff Hydro for refreshments. We were very impressed with the hotel, so much so we’d like to save up and splurge on a weekend there. We were able to sit on a balcony and I enjoyed a delicious scone with cream and jam. One of things that impressed us was the amount of things going on in and around the hotel. On the lawn outside the bistro they had a trampoline, mini tennis, giant connect 4 and people were enjoying lunch outside and children were happily playing on the lawn. For a place that seemed rather posh it was wonderfully welcoming and friendly feeling. Around the hotel we saw big tennis courts, a horse riding centre, golf, a woodland treetops adventure course, and signs of lots of other activities. With the hotel being right on the edge of Crieff surrounded by beautiful Perthshire countryside it seemed like a terrific place to go on holiday. They had villas so perhaps it would be worth clubbing together with friends or family for a holiday. The second part of our walk was up and around ‘The Knock’. A short steep climb leads you to the top where you get magnificent views. I have problems with my knees so I can’t really do proper hill climbing, this was manageable and the walk was in splendid sunshine. It was such a lovely way to spend Sunday.

Yesterday we took advantage of an extra day off and after my hypnotherapy appointment we went to Inverkeithing where we walked a small part of the Fife Coastal path, over the Forth bridge and then down into South Queensferry. Walking over the Forth Bridge is something I have wanted to do for a while. I love the Forth Railway Bridge – to me it is such a magnificent icon of Scotland. As a teenager I kayaked under it, one of the great activities part of a Guide camp. From the road bride you get a brilliant view of the railway bridge. Walking over the bridge made me appreciate a little bit more the amazing architecture and volume that the bridge deals with everyday. Very clever people design these things! The new crossing is well underway and looks like it will be very big as well. I don’t know why I like bridges so much but I find something very interesting about them. It is probably because my brain is not mathematical in the slightest so comprehending how someone can actually design them is awe inducing then the feats of engineering as well.Forth

On Sunday it was also the final of the football – at long last! I am not interested in football in the slightest but I had said that I would make tea according to whatever two countries were in the final. So for Argentina we had a mixed meat grill including peppered beef steaks, chorizo and thin garlic rubbed minute steaks. For Germany we had some frankfurters and a cheese noodle baked dish. I had misgivings about the noodle dish but according to the Boyo it was just like the dish he had when he was in Germany last year. It actually tasted nice. All together a very random dinner!Football food

Now for the motivation, the theme of this blog is a Merry and healthy lifestyle so that is what I really am focusing on.

I have started taking my vitamins again.

I am working hard on eradicating my migraines and not taking painkillers unless absolutely essential.

I am consciously thinking about food again. This means not just cooking stuff on a whim but thinking about being good 5 out of 7 days. This means I will try to have 1 veggie day a week. I am reading about 5:2 and paleo diet principles again. I am unlikely to adopt either wholeheartedly but some of the principles are excellent.

I am working on tasks my hypnotherapist has given me.

And I am starting up a proper exercise routine combining walking, swimming, cross trainer and cycling.

And finally I am also thinking about what I am spending. For the future I need to save more and learn how to budget properly. There is an excellent post by blogger Still Being Molly that I’m using for inspiration with this.

So in short some sunshine and wandering can do wonders for your motivation!

Merry

 
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