Exercise makes you smarter and Robert Burns

I wasn’t thinking very clearly last week and I did a lot of dumb things. I blame a lack of physical activity. Busby was out of action for a few days due to frozen brakes and when I did go out for a bike ride I had to cycle very slowly because of the ice. Yesterday it all melted and I not only went running, I also went for an exhilarating cycle ride with a full load (two children) when we went into town for dinner last night. I raced up the hills and flew down the other side and it felt terrific. It’s great to be able to go out for dinner and eat a huge meal but then cycle home afterwards and put some of that peak in blood-sugar to good use. I’m very fortunate to be able to live somewhere where we can cycle to and from the centre of town.

Physical activity improves brain function in areas like memory, planning, scheduling, and inhibition. It also helps to prevent cognitive decline as we age and improve academic performance in children. This is in addition to all the physical benefits we get from exercise.

Last Friday afternoon I went to unlock my bicycle to collect the kids from school and I couldn’t find the key. I hadn’t used the bike for a couple of days and it turns out I had left the key in the lock: practically an invitation for someone to come and take Busby. Although one of my friends here pointed out that everyone in Aberdeen knows that Busby belongs to me now so it would be silly for anyone to try to steal him. Then as I was cycling to school and laughing at myself for being so careless I realised that I cycled off without locking the front door of our house. Not only had I not locked the door, I hadn’t even shut it! Thank goodness Aberdeen is such a safe place. Or so it feels anyway.

Today is Burns Night in Scotland: an annual celebration of Robert Burns. Daniel had to learn a Robert Burns poem off by heart to recite to the class. We had to rip all of Daniel’s teeth out of his mouth to get him to learn just the first two verses and gave up after that. Then Friday afternoon he came home with this note:


Ben and I were like:

I asked Daniel how he managed to recite the last two verses when he hadn’t learnt them? He said that some of the other kids went before him and so he remembered what they said. Well if it was that easy …..

Elizabeth on the other hand is a model student at home and *wants* to do homework. After reading her reader to me the other night she asked to read it again. I initially said no because parents are supposed to say no, right? Wait! I realised my error and let her read it again 🙂 Then this morning she got up and hopped into our bed and began discussing negative numbers. She’s five for goodness sake and it was Sunday morning. This is not normal. I blame the father.

In celebration of Robert Burns, I give you A Red, Red Rose.

A Red, Red Rose

O my Luve is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

So fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.


And lastly, the lake at Duthie Park yesterday looked like this: