So we started the year with a new car and are now ending it with another one. I hope this one lasts a bit longer!
This is the lovely view that greeted me this morning (taken from our front step). I was on my way into Glasgow for an OU meeting, no snow there which is probably just as well as Christmas shopping was stressful enough. It’s quite chilly here, but at least the awful wind has subsided.
The cards are starting to arrive now. Better get round to buying some (I don’t always manage!).
This was a very very welcome sight indeed after a 3 hour journey home (I took a few hours annual leave to leave early). Scotland is facing 90mph winds today and it is hideous out there. There are some photos from around Scotland here.
I have seen online that lots of the locals are referring to the weather as ‘Hurricane Bawbag’. This made me laugh (probably because I am very immature).
[Actually taken on 7th, oops]. One of the 20 million cushions left by the previous house owner.
As I’m without a car this week I am having a long long old journey to and from work. This book is really brightening up the journey. The author is (or at least was when the book was published) a presenter on Radio 6 and film buff for Radio Times, but more importantly for my purposes he’s just a few years older than me and is from down the road from where I’m from. This is just a very gentle memoir, based on his childhood diaries (kept from age 6 to 19) of growing up in Northampton in the 1970s. There is so much I recognise, from approximations of the accent (it’s totally true: we do shorten ‘this afternoon’ to ‘sartnoon’) to the places he went on holiday (same places as us!). What is striking me at the moment (he’s probably about 10 by this point) is that in his diaries he writes about the presents he gets for birthday, Christmas etc and they’re so simple (felt tips, Action Man) and yet he seemed so chuffed with them, not like all the electronic gizmos kids get these days. This is my book group book, I’ll be really interested to see what the others make of it – with one exception all of us are probably within 5 or 6 years of my age, so will get lots of the cultural references, but I’m not sure how much of the book is accessible to any UK-based 70s kid and how much of it is more specifically resonant to someone from the Rose of the Shires (yes that is what it says on the signs, believe it or not).
Mind you, he’d better not reveal the Northants ultra-secret, how to pronounce Bozeat. That’s the easiest way to tell someone’s not from round ‘ere.
I haven’t shown many Stirling views yet, so here’s one to rectify that. This is the view across the Forth river up to the Wallace Monument. We’ve had a dusting of snow today, it was too wet to settle much but now it’s getting cold so I wouldn’t be surprised if the melting slush freezes overnight. That’s something to look forward to! (not).
We have bought a car, and pick it up next week. I was hoping to borrow a friend’s car for this week, but she phoned this afternoon to say her car is making worrying noises so she has to take it to the garage tomorrow. I am beginning to think I am the Angel of Death to cars! Might have to take some previously unplanned annual leave this week ….
We finally got our broadband sorted out today, a month after moving in. So HD is catching up on the latest series of The Killing on iPlayer, which means I probably won’t see him for the next week or so! In other news, the car ended up not salvageable after its dip in a Glasgow puddle earlier this week, the automatic transmission is wrecked, so we have had to look for another. It was getting a bit complicated – I have to have a car for my job, but don’t want to stay in my job much longer, and we had hoped that the Golf would last long enough that it would see out my job and then we just wouldn’t bother with a car but hire one as and when we needed. When we found out the car was definitely terminal we looked into a short-term lease, but the insurance got so complicated we had to give that up too. Now we have found a car which we will be test-driving tomorrow and if it’s OK we will pick it up next week. It isn’t the world’s most practical car, and probably falls into the more-money-than-sense category, but it is less silly than the Daihatsu Copen which HD spotted and will do us for a while assuming it is OK. We will borrow a friend’s car for a few days meantime so I can get to work this week. It’s been a bit stressful, but it looks like there’s light at the end of the tunnel. Moral of the story: don’t drive through Glasgow puddles.
Out of my front window I saw bright sun through pouring rain so thought there was bound to be a cracking rainbow around. I found the rainbow, but it was barely perceptible – this is the view from the kitchen door.
This is from a painting we have, painted by HD’s late grandfather. We have still to find the perfect spot for it. I wish I could paint this well (or in fact at all).
Not, it has to be said, the world’s most flattering photo of me, but anyway here I am at the Glasgow STUC march up in the city centre earlier today. Public sector workers throughout the UK were striking today – there’s a Comment is Free article about it here.
I ended up marching with a different placard – much as I agree with the sentiment of this one, it was too big and as it was a bit windy I was worried I was going to end up bopping my fellow marchers on the head with it!
We’ve been having seriously good weather for ducks. Glasgow had well over half its monthly average monthly rainfall in less than 24 hours, and don’t forget that in the west of Scotland we already get plenty of the wet stuff. Stirling was even worse.
I drove through a great big puddle too fast and gubbed the electrics, so we broke down just after we turned onto the M8 on the way home. This was taken with HD’s phone, and is of the car while we waited for the man from the RAC to rescue us. Of course by the time he came the car started, but he dried it out and sprayed it with industrial amounts of WD40 and it got us home OK.
I liked the morning sky colour here.
This clematis is by our front door. It’s going to look lovely in the summer.
This (very zoomed) view is not far from our house. As you can see the hills got a dusting of snow.
Confession: I totally forgot to take a picture on the 24th, so I took a picture of white nothing on the 25th. Whoops!
These carnations are left over from the bouquet I got from my colleagues (see previous photo) (actually they’re still alive a week later on the 30th too!).
I had an interview in the afternoon for a reduced-hours health visiting job, I didn’t get it (though they said I interviewed well), but it did give me the chance to hang around Queen’s Park before it got dark while waiting for HD to finish work. I tried lots of close-ups of the swans, got quite a few pictures I liked. This one had just had its head in the water, hence the dripping.
The best thing about moving house! 🙂
This is our local parish church (which coincidentally has the same name as our church in Glasgow).
This is the best takeaway we’ve had yet here (the Indian and Chinese have been a bit disappointing).
I had a haircut this morning – it’s quite a bit shorter than before!
I nearly didn’t make it, I am still using my Glasgow hairdresser as I like and trust him (I find having a haircut quite traumatic which is why I don’t do it very often, but when I find a hairdresser I like I stick with them) so came over to Glasgow as usual this morning to the flat. HD went off to work, and it was only then I discovered I had left my purse in Stirling (at least I hope I did!). So I had to call him at work and get him to come back here and bail me out – I didn’t even have enough money to get the train to the city centre. However as the hairdresser said it was a good way of getting HD to pay for my haircut, perhaps I should try this again next time.
I had no idea HD has a little mini-collection of these beautiful old typewriters, as they have been living in storage the last few years. I have found more than one in the unpacking!
One of my least favourite aspects of the new house is that all the ceilings are artexed. Oh well, there are plenty of worse things. At least the carpets aren’t swirly, even if the ceilings are.
This collection has built up over a number of years, in a big glass thing. I have contributed to it in the past, but last touched a drop on 16th March (viva day). Next year I shall probably contribute a bit more 🙂
Bit of an epic post here, I remembered my card reader and needed to come back to the flat to send an essay back before going home. I’m here longer than expected as HD was called back into work so I have got pizza, internet and am slobbing out 🙂 No photo for today yet as the camera is back in Stirling, but here’s moving day till yesterday:
I spent much of the day trying to sort out my study. Having already taken a study photo (see below, I think 4th Nov) I thought I’d go a bit more abstract, this is the edge of the lightshade.
Where I posted the last blog entry from – the living room of the Glasgow flat, with no furniture so it was a bit echoey!
Hanging on – this is by our front door in Stirling, refusing to give up.
This was also left by the previous owners: giant yucca.
A most welcome housemoving gift from a friend in Glasgow.
A most welcome housemoving gift from colleagues in Glasgow (emerging theme? What emerging theme?).
Another housemoving gift from my lovely colleagues.
Early morning mist from the front garden.
Dusk at the end of the road.
One corner of the study, getting there slowly.
At the end of a very exhausting moving day. Every last nook and cranny was full of Stuff.