Category: Journal

  • Good deeds

    Good deeds

    Elizabeth danced at a local care home today for part of a school assignment which required her to do some good things in the community. She chose the tasks and for one of them she wanted to dance at the local care home. It was a really lovely experience and although I was just an […]

  • We don’t get to choose our ancestors

    We don’t get to choose our ancestors

    Yesterday I was pondering on my blog whether any of my ancestors were suffragettes. My mother-in-law told me that one of her ancestors was a signatory on the women’s suffrage petition in New Zealand to grant women the vote. She was Annabella Naumann (nee Macaulay, born in Glasgow) and she’s even recognised on the New […]

  • The suffragettes and a tartan scarf

    The suffragettes and a tartan scarf

    I got myself a wonderful tartan scarf in the suffragette colours this week. I was inspired by the woman who was ejected from Scottish parliament for wearing a scarf in the Suffragette’s colours. Scottish parliament later apologised claiming it was a mistake but by then scarfgate had taken off and these lovely scarves have since […]

  • Meals that start from 9 pence per person

    Early last month I gave a short talk at Aberdeen Climate Action’s Climate Café where I shared my top tips on how to easily and cheaply reduce your carbon emissions. Taking action on climate change can sometimes feel overwhelming or even impossible. Many solutions are just not practical for the individual like putting solar panels […]

  • A weekend away in Angus and a trophy

    A weekend away in Angus and a trophy

    We just had a wonderful weekend in Angus and in addition to the wonderful visit we made to Glamis Castle on Saturday Elizabeth brought home a trophy. Part of the reason for the trip was so Elizabeth could participate in the Forfar Highland Dance competition on Sunday. These competitions typically start in the morning and […]

  • Glamis Castle

    Glamis Castle

    Glamis Castle is famous for being the ancestral home of the former Queen Mother, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. It has been in the Lyon family since 1372. Princess Margaret was also born in the castle. Perhaps an even bigger claim to fame is as the setting for Shakespeare’s Macbeth and also as a film location for some […]

  • Rocket the hamster pics and video

    Rocket the hamster pics and video

    We’re loving having Rocket. He’s such a cool little dude. He seems quite happy in his new home. At least he never tries to escape even when the door is open. He likes taking food from our hands but doesn’t like being held. He loves, loves, loves his wheel and is very fond of food […]

  • Winter, recycled cashmere, and soup

    Winter, recycled cashmere, and soup

    We woke to our first frost this morning. It’s very late in the season to only be getting a frost now. It has been the mildest autumn since we moved here with most daytime temperatures in double digits still. For the first time I was a little sad when summer ended as I’ve so enjoyed […]

  • Scottish things, foraging, and a haircut

    Scottish things, foraging, and a haircut

    Where did the weekend go? It’s nearly November and autumn is in full bloom. I wish I’d taken some photos today as Aberdeen is looking very pretty in its autumn clothes. My tomatoes are just about dead but there are still a few fruits ripening. Two weekends ago I picked this from the greenhouse. And […]

  • Elephants, chopsticks and the economy

    Watching the Tory government over the past few weeks has been like watching an elephant try to pick up marbles with chopsticks. It would be quite funny except that we all now have to pay the price of their blunder with higher mortgage rates which are likely to last for years. Just three weeks of […]

  • Royal Lochnagar Distillery and Albert’s Cairn

    Royal Lochnagar Distillery and Albert’s Cairn

    Yesterday everything seemed to go wrong with the Glenfiddich distillery being closed and our subsequent failed attempts to find a distillery with a tour that wasn’t fully booked and that permitted children. Today we planned to go for a hike in the Cairngorms and I decided to check Royal Lochnagar Distillery on the off-chance we […]

  • Three whisky distilleries and a castle

    Three whisky distilleries and a castle

    Daniel’s friend from New Zealand is visiting us for the weekend again and we wanted to take him to Glenfiddich Distillery for lunch and a tour today. Glenfiddich is the only distillery I’m aware of that lets children accompany adults on tours; however, despite their website and social media accounts and even their answering machine […]

  • Covid in the house, school camps, and Rocket the hamster

    Covid in the house, school camps, and Rocket the hamster

    Ben has had covid this past week. He started feeling unwell on Friday night over a week ago. On Monday he took a lateral flow test and it was positive. He says he’s felt achy, very tired, was a bit feverish and headachy for a couple of nights, and lost his appetite. He’s much better […]

  • Meet Rocket

    Meet Rocket

    We adopted another hamster from the SPCA. When Bella and Daisy died I looked on the SPCA website and saw Rocket there. He had been there since August and we decided he needed a home. We don’t know how old Rocket is or his history other than the SPCA taking him from his previous owner […]

  • Photos from our weekend

    Photos from our weekend

    Friends of ours who we haven’t seen since 2014 visited us from New Zealand this weekend. It’s wonderful to catch up with old friends again. Daniel in particular really bonded with the son who is a similar age to him. Here’s a photo in our backyard, complete with finger in front of the lens. On […]

  • Pets and wildlife

    Pets and wildlife

    I think Victoria has been missing the hamsters. She used to like sitting above Daisy’s cage watching her. It was hamster TV. Just before Daisy died she came out of her burrow and simply stopped moving. I knew it was over then. Victoria started making whiny noises and tapped on the side to try to […]

  • Another hamster death and the fox returns

    Another hamster death and the fox returns

    Daisy our hamster is dead. After Bella died earlier this month I decided I wasn’t going to make the same mistake with Daisy and a few weeks ago I took her to the vet. It can be hard to tell when a hamster is unwell as they’re out at night when we’re asleep and both […]

  • Street art for Deeside Way

    Street art for Deeside Way

    Earlier this year I applied for a grant from Sustrans on behalf of the Aberdeen Cycle Forum for art on a popular walking and cycling route in Aberdeen. Sustrans have an ArtRoots fund especially for projects like this. The funding application was successful! This was a very different campaign for me. I’ve organised protests, cycling […]

  • Who would be king?

    The Monarch’s Song from the terrific children’s BBC production, Horrible Histories, helps young people learn the names of all the monarchs in British history. However it has always bothered me that it starts with William the Conqueror because he was not the first King of England. The very first King of England was Æthelstan, the […]

  • Hövding deployed, a birthday and a BBQ

    Hövding deployed, a birthday and a BBQ

    Yesterday my Hövding helmet deployed the airbag and I wasn’t even on my bike at the time. The Hövding is an airbag helmet. You wear it around your neck and in the event of an accident while cycling, it deploys an airbag around your head. It’s got much higher shock-absorbing ability than a plastic helmet […]