Callendar Park, projects, and good things.

1) We head out to Callendar Park for afternoon tea in the tearoom, which are now situated in the beauitful Morning Room of Callendar House. Enjoying the lovely room, we also had a lovely view out across the park and over into the woods beyond. Afterwards, we walk along the paths we saw from the window.

2) The kids are hard at work on their various projects this afternoon. M is making a painting-by-numbers dolphin picture, and A is building Big Ben from a Lego kit.

3) A and I make brioche, for tomorrow’s lunch. K and I poach a chicken and freeze the meat and stock, ready to be made into a pie for Tuesday’s dinner.  I make candied orange and lemon peel, ready for K and M to add to the hot cross buns they plan to make for afternoon tea. K makes us a delicious citrus drink from orange and lemon. I make an orange drizzle cake, for dessert tomorrow.

Black Loch, us time, and Good Friday.

1) After our drive last night, we are keen to go back and explore in the daylight… We discover the beautiful Black Loch (Limerigg), hidden in the hills behind Slamaanan, and enjoy a lovely walk along the lochside and on through the forest. A wrote a lovely description of our trip here – it comes complete with photos.

2) A and I crunch through the pristine snow, and talk about all sorts of interesting things. It was nice having some two-of-us time.

3) K and M make homemade hotcross buns, which we eat warm from the oven.  Their flour-paste crosses symbolic of another cross

Holiday weekend…

It’s been a holiday weekend for us, and we’ve been making the most of having a few days off together.

1) On Saturday we went to one of our favourite swimming pool’s in Perth – it comes complete with flumes, rapids, outdoor pool, and whirlpool…  I was so impressed to see how M’s swimming is progressing, and how much her confidence has grown since the last time we were there.

2) On Sunday afternoon, we added another location to our 45 Minute Project.  M wanted to see some snowdrops, and we discovered that a Scottish Snowdrop Festival runs from the beginning of February until mid-March. So we ventured forth to Gargunnock House Gardens, and wow, were we in for a treat! A veritable carpet of snowdrops 🙂 .  K writes it up in detail (and with plenty of photos!) here, so do head on over for a peek!

3) Today was such a lovely sunny day that we did three things to make life better!

a) We bought (and fitted) new windscreen wipers for the car – what it is to have clean windows again!

b) Our replacement light for over the sink in the kitchen arrived. K fitted it this evening, and what a difference it makes 🙂 .

c) We discovered a new park, Almondell and Calderwood Country Park, (another of our 45 minute project locations), and had a picnic lunch before enjoying a lovely walk along the banks of the River Almond. This is definitely a place we will go back to 🙂 .

All in all, it’s been a pretty near perfect holiday-at-home weekend 🙂 .

A catching-up weekend…

Another weekend… and it’s just flown by! But here are some of the highlights:

1) K and I (and another leader) took some of our church youth group to Powerpoint (Scotland’s largest Christian youth gathering) on Friday evening… With about 1000 folks there, it was an incredible experience 🙂 .

2) a) On Saturday, we progressed our 45 Minute Project when we went for a lovely sunny walk through the Carron Valley Forest.  If you like, you can read more about it over on A and M’s blog, Two Adventurers.

b) Having watched the final installment of The Great Comic Relief Bake Off last week, I realised that I was failing in the education of my children in that neither of them knew how to transfer a sheet of rolled out pastry from the board into a tart tin… In response to that we made treacle tart on Saturday.  M learned how to make sweet shortcrust pastry, and make the filling. A learned how to roll out pastry, transfer it to the tin, and then make a proper lattice for the top.  Next weekend, we get to repeat the process reversing the techniques!

3) Having been away most of last week, today has been a catching-up sort of a day, not terribly exciting, but the sort of day that you feel good at the end of, and ready to face the week ahead.

3BT from the weekend

1) Mum and I went out for lunch on Friday – we shared bruschetta, and split a pizza. It was lovely having some uninterrupted time to catch up.

2) We continued our explorations of some of the local parks and forests on Saturday, with a refreshing walk around the loch at Beecraigs. We come here quite often, and the kids built a shelter by the side of the loch on one visit last year, which has been repaired and expanded on subsequent visits…

Aidan and Megan, at Beecraigs Loch

Aidan, at the shelterMegan, at Beecraigs Loch

Beecraigs LochFun at Beecraigs Loch

3) Once again, I’m struck by how quickly A is growing up – we cooked roast beef and yorkshire puddings for dinner this evening, and A was such a help with the veggie preparations! It was lovely cooking dinner, the three of us together.

Weekend fun!

1) On Saturday morning, we went for an explore of Plean Country Park. We loved it there, and can’t wait to go back later in the year when the winter-bare trees will be green and leafy.  We would definitely recommend a visit, if you are in the area.

Plean Country ParkMegan in the rhodedendronPlean Country Park

Plean Country Park

2) We went on our first surprise nighttime adventure on Saturday evening. After dinner, the kids got into their pyjamas and then wrapped up warmly, before we all hopped into the car.

We went to South Queensferry, and ate supper under the lights from the Forth Bridges, then we went across the bridge, and drove along the north side of the river, and came home via the Kincardine Bridge. It was a lovely lovely evening.

Forth Rail BridgeForth Rail Bridge

3) The kids went to a friend’s birthday party on Sunday. They all had a fab time, running around, playing games, and enjoying themselves. The other mums and I enjoyed a more relaxed cuppa and catch-up!

 (Thanks to K for taking all the photos at Plean, and to A for the fab photo of the Forth Rail Bridge!)

Dry, walk, and space.

1) As we leave the house this morning I notice something strange about the pavements and roads – they are grey in colour, rather than black!  It takes me a moment to realise that this is because it hasn’t rained for long enough for the ground to become dry!!*

2) A walk in the Devilla Forest. We parked at the edge of the forest, walked in, round a pretty loch, and looped back round to the car. After a few initial complaints of sore legs, the kids settled in and enjoyed the walk as much as we did.

3) To take down the Christmas tree, and reclaim the space 🙂 .

* It didn’t stay that way for long, but it was nice while it lasted 🙂 .