Views, scooting, and tea.

1) We live on one side of the (river) Forth Valley, and on clear days we can see from Stirling to Edinburgh and further. Today was such a day, and I deliberately walked home from school a way that I knew would afford good views.

As I appreciated the scenery, I was reminded of a little incident that occured when I was coming down the front stairwell in the kids’ school last week. From the top of that stairwell, you can see over the top of all the houses across to the other side of the valley and, as I was coming downstairs I happened upon two little boys who had paused in their errand to admire the view:

“Wow, you can see the whole world from here!” said one to the other 🙂 .

2) On the walk home from school, I turned the corner away from the school into a quieter lane. Away from all the people, the dad who had been walking a little ahead of me pushing his child’s now empty scooter, suddenly jumped on it and sped off into the distance.

3) I very much enjoyed a cup of steaming hot tea, after a cold walk through the winter sunshine.

Camping weekend

1) We spent the weekend with a wide-angle postcard view of Islay and Jura in all its moods from our tent window – stunning sunrises, glorious sunsets, early morning sea mists, stormy clouds, and blue skies. Just beautiful!

2) The campsite at Port Ban is fab, and we’ll definitely be going back. We had such a fun weekend there camping, with friends next door. We walked, and talked, and forded streams, and played on the beach, and climbed hills, and ate icecream, and barbequed over a campfire on the beach…

3) Our drive home included a stop at Luss, and a visit to our favourite coffee shop for afternoon tea. It’s years since we were last in there, and it was lovely to find it was just as we remembered, and the cinnamon toast just as good!

Glen Einich

What a wonderful day K and I spent on Friday…  we walked the eight and a quarter miles in from Loch an Eilean, through the forest and on into Glen Einich, eventually arriving at Loch Einich by which point we were very much ready for lunch! Then we turned around, and walked all the way back.

1) The peace and the loveliness, the quiet of the lush green forests, the sparkling stream (we crossed 21 tributaries in each direction!), and the perfect walking weather.

2) Time. Time for just us. Time to talk. And space to think.

3) All the way there we walked into the wind. It was lovely to walk all the way back with the wind at our backs!

View, gardening, and substitution.

1) After the P3 Open Afternoon, K and I descended the stairs and were once again struck by the stunning views from the school stairwell. We paused for a moment and enjoyed the view.

2) The kids and I did some gardening after school.  A did an amazing job of clearing one of the raised vegetable beds of weeds, M carefully trimmed dead stalks off lots of plants, and I potted up a bunch of geraniums, pansies, violas, and a couple of hanging baskets 🙂 . The garden feels like it’s bursting with colour now.

3) We’d run out of runny honey, a fact I hadn’t realised before I’d started cooking dinner – poached chicken with a lemon sauce. I substituted maple syrup for the honey, and the result was a resounding success, with a depth of flavour that dish has never had before.

Compliment, view, and walk.

1) M’s house at school wins the termly House Award, and part of the prize was a non-uniform day today.  She chose to wear her Big Sister Dress, and the White Sparkly Hug Me cardi I knitted her.  When she gets home, out of the blue, she told me that she’d received compliments on her outfit from three of her classmates 🙂 .

2) I happened to be upstairs in the kid’s school at lunchtime today and it so happened that lunchtime occured during a sunshine break between snowstorms…

I hadn’t quite realised how lovely the view from their classrooms is (across most of the Forth Valley, with the backdrop of the snow-capped Ochils), and how fortunate the kids are to be able to see it every day. I wonder if they realise?

3) An evening walk, just K and I.

View, socks, and revelation.

1) The remnants of a beautiful sunrise and (almost) clear skies, ensured that the view from the school (which is up hill from where we live) across the snow-iced Ochils was truly stunning.

2) Two pairs of socks kept my feet almost warm on this crisp afternoon, as we walked along forest paths.

3) That mind-blowing moment when I suddenly realised just how my new scarf pattern was going to work. Then I understood just why everyone has been raving about the cleverness of the pattern.  I think I’m hooked already 🙂 .

Shopping, afternoon tea out, and mince pies.

1) K and I have our annual shopping day – we don’t go far this year (most of the shopping is already done), but find everything we need in one store.

2) We take the children out for afternoon tea. They choose the table furthest from the door, in a corner of the conservatory – because of the view, they say.

3) Making mince pies…  the kitchen smells of cinnamon and citrus, hot fruit and warm spices.

No rain, beautiful view, and got it after all.

1) It didn’t rain today. At all. 🙂

2) The kids enthused about the view they saw from the school stairwell this afternoon… I’ve been up there before so I could imagine what it would be like – the school sits on a hill, with an incredible view across the valley. On a clear day like today, it would have been beautiful.  Most of the hills were autumn-brown, but the highest peak (Ben Cleuch) was snow-capped.

3) I returned an item I’d bought online to the shop, because it just didn’t fit nicely.  I had wanted to try a different size, but they were out of stock online. So I returned the item, and was about to leave the shop when I noticed a rack of them hanging up…  I tried one on, and it fit perfectly 🙂 .

Early, warm enough, and fireworks.

1) K is up and away early to catch a flight this morning. I wake long enough to bid him good journey, then snuggle down into the warmth of my bed, and sleep for another two hours.

2) It’s not too cold, and I walk home at sunset, enjoying the colourful sky.

3) We drive up to the top of the hill, and sit a while watching multiple glorious displays of fireworks spanning across the whole valley.

Order from chaos, lovely view, and secret!

1) The path to finding M’s lost camera took me via the car and through several rooms in the house. As I worked my way through, I tidied and re-organised.  It wasn’t quite how I’d planned to spend the morning, but it was probably good in the overall scheme of things! And I found the camera in the end – in a bag, hung up behind the ironing board in the art cupboard.

2) We walked, the rain held off, we crunched through leaves, and the views were lovely.

3) I found some new winter pajamas for M today when I was out shopping. (She’s grown out of last year’s.) I haven’t given them to her yet, as I want to have them washed and ready-to-wear, but I know she’s going to love them when I do 🙂 .