Monday, 24 May 2010

Five Go To Camp!

Apologies for the interruption to normal transmission. I am here on the west coast of Scotland with 75 of my Primary 5 children. The weather so far has been glorious and as I'm off sailing and rock hopping today I'm hoping for more sunshine.

Yesterday the children did team challenge activities - here they are trying to get all of their team through the 'spider web'.

Here is Alexis - our drama teacher, fellow Bengal owner and my room mate here at camp - playing on the low ropes course...

Normal programming will resume shortly...

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Afternoon tea, sunshine & showers

What a weather day!?! - we've got bright sunshine now but had torrential rain when we were in St Andrews.
So today was 'birthday experience 1 part 2' - afternoon tea at the Old Course in St Andrews. We had a lovely little table by the window overlooking the golf course and duck pond (the ducks were very happy when it rained, the golfers weren't).

Not being a tea drinker I went for hot chocolate but I still loved how Jonathan's tea came in a see through tea-pot with a nylon pyramid tea bag inside.

The three tiers of diet busting loveliness arrived - we had ham & tomato sandwiches, egg sandwiches and cucumber sandwiches on the bottom layer. The middle layer had lovely soft warm scones (Jam and cream on the table to add to them) then the top layer had a selection of delightful cakes: pistachio chocolate brownie, white chocolate and passionfruit layer cake, coffee & chocolate layer cake, Dundee cake, chocolate & raspberry tart and a frangipan slice. MMMmmmmmm - maybe not the quantity of food you get for afternoon tea at Gleneagles but the quality was better and I felt happily full rather than stuffed at the end of it.

As with the concert additional entertainment was provided by those around us - this time a table of American girls who clearly had little idea of how to tackle a traditional afternoon tea correctly, Oh and a waiter who only charged us half the price (we were very honest though and pointed out his mistake). A drive down to the beach finished off our afternoon perfectly and this part of May's birthday experience earns 9.5/10. Not sure how it would get the other half mark - I just want to save my 10/10 score for a later month I think.

Thank you Jonathan...looking forward to June...

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Shrine sneaky peek

I thought I'd give you a sneaky peek of the shrine I'm working on for the Scrap pad shrine swap. Since it's a long way from being finished it won't be too much of a spoiler for my recipient. Also - she won't know which one is hers since I'm making two. I usually do this - make two of whatever I'm doing so that if I go wrong with a technique on one I still have the other as back up. I usually try and make them different though so that my recipient is getting a unique piece. Then if they both turn out ok I'll either keep the spare, RAK it or now that I have a blog, maybe it could be blog candy?I decided to go with the theme of past writers and I have Dickens in one and Robert Browning in another - these are from an old encyclopedia of literature - which I bought from a second had bookshop near Eriska for £4.50. I have used pages from the book to completely cover my foamboard construction.

So what next?...Well that would be telling, but it may involve some of the paint techniques I learned on my online course from Michael de Meng and a fair bit of embellishment. Once my recipient has seen it I will post a finished picture.

Money for nothing?

Ok - so I have to blog about my first birthday 'experience' - I went to see Mark Knopfler in concert at the SECC in Glasgow. So was it money for nothing? Well - not entirely - though it would have been good if he'd played 'Money for nothing' (or 'Walk of life' or...). I know he has a new album out 'Get Lucky' which he wants us all to buy (and I probably will) - but I have to admit to being a little disappointed that he didn't play more of his old / well known stuff. He played 'Sailing to Philadelphia', 'Romeo and Juliet', 'Brothers in Arms' and 'So far away' (which he changed a bit). Apart from that it was stuff I didn't know. That, along with feeling very tightly packed into my seat (I know - mainly my fault!!), all the bars being closed by the time I got out to go and get a drink and the gradually increasing heat made it a concert which I mildly enjoyed rather than one which I loved and raved about afterwards (like I normally do). I have to say the music was amazing - violins, flutes/whistles as well as Mark's guitar. It all had a very celtic feel and suited the (very voiciferous) Glasgow crowd.
The funniest moments of the concert were 1. before it started when the dolled up blonde in front of us said "Ooh it's really busy, is he popular then?" and 2. When a punch up broke out a few rows in front (it looked like someone had gotten up to go to the bar/toilet one too many times) - someone was wrestled out by bouncers and ejected from SECC.
Despite not being very close to the stage - I managed to get one or two fairly decent photos which I can scrap!!

All in all I'm giving experience No.1 6/10

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Finally a blog!!

Ok - big thanks to friends on Scrap pad (& especially Clare) for help setting up my blog. So many people have asked me what my blog address is and I've always said that I don't have time for a blog. This is still true so I'll probably have lots of gaps between posts (after the initial novelty of having a blog wears off!!).
The other reason I decided to start a blog was as a way to record the next 12 months. I turned 40 in April and as a present my amazing husband gave me 'A year of experiences'. I was initially terrified about turning 40 but he said that as life begins at 40, this year would have to be amazing. So what do I have in store?...

April........Birthday celebration on The Isle of Eriska (Ok - I've had that - but I'll still include it)
May........'Tea with Mark' seeing Mark Knopfler in concert in Glasgow & Afternoon tea at The Old Course in St Andrews
June........Tickets for 'The Rocky Horror Show'
July........A day at the races in York followed by 'Madness' playing live
August........Cookery course: 'Super suppers' at Nick Nairn's cookery school in Stirling
September........A day with birds of prey
October........Cruising down the Nile
November........A day of Life drawing classes in London
December........Tickets for Hairspray with Michael Ball
January........A day at 'One Spa' in Edinburgh including treatments
February........A day of one-on-one photography tuition with a professional photographer
March........Driving a Ferrari 360 round Knockhill track