Day 762 breakfast out, coffee with Claire and puppy sitting for Cookie the Chihuahua 🍪🐶

It’s been a busy day!

I had to get up through the night to take painkillers for my knee but I fell straight back to sleep again. I woke up at 7am and got up before 8am to sit in the garden with coffee.

The forecast is for rain today… for the first time in a very long time, so we’re making the most of the early morning sun.

I love these mugs with my wee family on it. It’s warm this morning but the sun goes pretty quickly as it starts to cloud over.

We decided to go out for a late breakfast and went to Auchengree Farm Shop and met these lovely beauties!

This one is not for turning round… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

I should say here that poor Craigie has some form of man flu and is sniffing and sniggering away. In fact the cow’s breathing close up sounds just like him…. 😆😘

We had a lovely breakfast and it was lovely to spend some time together after a very busy few weeks.

Eggs, bacon and Hollandaise sauce

When I got home Claire popped in for a cuppa and a chat. Was great to catch up and it’s been too long!

The jumped into Abbie the Campervan and came up to my in laws in East Kilbride to puppy sit for Cookie the Chihuahua!

She’s a wee cutie.

So I’m sitting on their couch crocheting a border around my blanket enjoying some peace and quiet away from Mr Man Flu 🤣🤣🤣 I have my mawlaw’s lovely lasagne in the oven and to be honest, Cookie doesn’t seem to care whether I’m here or not. She got most excited when I put Mr Man Flu on speaker and she was looking for her Uncle Craig!! I am slightly jealous. I usually get Cookie cuddles when I’m here.

I did pinch a few… 🤣

This next one is called…. “kisses on the nose”… 😆 it’s very hard to take a selfie while you’re being licked to death 🤣

Check the size of this lasagne!!

Do you think there’s enough?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣🤣 to be fair Craig was meant to be here too so he’d have had a good sized portion.

It was really tasty. It really is her signature dish!

I meant to say a few things about my visit to Inveraray yesterday but got too carried away posting photos 😆. Not like me eh?!

There was very much a mask… no mask… mask… no mask… situation yesterday. I wore my mask when I went into shops and yet felt like I was very much the odd one out. No one in the shops or restaurant had them on so I wasn’t sure what to do.

It’s funny how at my age, I still wanted to know what everyone else thought rather than what I felt was right. Overthinking much!

I got chatting to a few lovely people as well… one lady who was at the end of a fortnight holiday and hasn’t had a spot of rain for two weeks. She was over the moon at the beauty she had seen in her fortnight in Scotland. We met in the ladies toilet and had such a lovely chat.

The man in the gift shop is coming to our local Gielsland Craft Fayre on 4th June and he couldn’t believe he’d met someone who knew where it was!

Also met a guy with a Bernese Mountain Dog and we ended up talking about camper van conversion… as you do.

I love chatting to strangers as it reminds me so much of my lovely Gran. She always had a smile for everyone.

Anyway I’m rambling now. Hope you all have a lovely Saturday night.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 761 ROADTRIP to Inverary 🚐☀️

I’ve decided to make another ROADTRIP today and I love that autocorrect insists on putting it in capitals… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣 even the blog is excited for me!

I woke at 3.45 am…. All ready for the Fit Body Farm at 6am…. Far too early…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

My knee really bothered me this morning. My whole leg has tightened right up and it made some of the movement painful. I had a good chat with Gavin, the owner and he talked me through foam roller exercises to do this weekend.

The session was great though, mainly because we got some space hopper action again. So much fun!

So, home and straight out with the dogs. It’s a stunningly beautiful morning.

I’d had to scrape the windscreen this morning so it was misty but it was clearing.

I decided to hit the road and head to Inveraray this time. The only downside to me driving is that I can’t take photos of the stunning scenery along the way.

It’s a beautiful drive up the side of Loch Lomond, turning left at Tarbert to Arrochar and then up the Rest and be Thankful.

If I can’t take photos I’ll have to quote the internet…

This was my first stop a few miles outside Inveraray.

There wasn’t a breath on the water.

The bridge to the right of the photo is the main road into Inveraray from the south and is called Aray Bridge.

It’s controlled by traffic lights so it’s single lane and I always have a wee moment as I drive up and over it. It’s very humpy to use a technical term 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣🤣

Inveraray is beautiful and all the buildings in the main town painted white. It’s very pretty, especially in the sunshine.

This is the view from the car park that I parked in to the north of the town.

This wee row of cottages is called Fisher Row. Aren’t they beautiful in the sun?

As you walk into Inveraray from the north, Inveraray Parish Church sits in a roundabout in the middle of the road. Obviously the road was built around the church… I know that!

I’ve now walked around the Parish Church and am looking down the other end of the street.

The street looks very similar approaching from the other end looking up to the Parish Church again… but this is the touristy bit. Lots of lovely wee gifts shops and not just full of what we call “tartan tat”… there are some lovely Scottish gifts on sale. I managed not to buy anything….. Craig will be impressed I didn’t come back with another cuddly toy for the camper van.

I had a late breakfast in Brambles Tearoom which I highly recommend. I had porridge with coconut milk and fresh berries. Check me with the healthy choice 🥰.

Looking back at Aray Bridge.

Tried to get this seagull posing in my pic but I spooked it… still made a good shot!

It’s a beautiful day.

Looking south on Loch Fyne and over to the Vital Spark.

This next building used to the the loveliest gift and curiosity type shop before lockdown… really sad to see it’s gone.

Inveraray is famous for the Inveraray Jail… obviously it wouldn’t be called after another town but I wanted to give it its full name. 🤣 It was a 19th Century prison and courthouse.

Craig and I have visited the jail before and it’s a fascinating tour. You see in the court room and into the cells and even see where they tortured people back in the day.

It also has the majestic Inveraray Castle but I didn’t walk out to that. It looks stunning from Aray Bridge but you can’t take photos when you’re driving!

Love this next building which might just be a house. 🤷🏻‍♀️😬

I took a walk out to Co-op and this is the view heading back into town. Just stunning. The breeze has picked up a bit but it’s still warm.

I’m currently sitting on the shore of Loch Fyne on this wall….. writing away.

This is my view…..

The water is crystal clear and as I sit here the tide is going out.

Looking back up to Fisher Row from the old stone jetty.

Not kidding this is the view in my rear view mirror as I leave! I parked in a layby to get it!

I left just before 2 and headed back down the Rest and Be Thankful Arrochar, back through Tarbert and stopped on the banks of Loch Lomond.

Pulled into a layby heading south and opened the sliding door to this. Wow!

I took my wee step with me and had a seat looking down on the water.

As I sat I noticed a few people down on a stony beach next to the water… went to investigate.

It’s actually a “wild camp” site with permits.

It looks positively tropical.

There’s no one else here now, just me. i love that solitude.

Alone but not lonely. Just at peace.

Looking right across the water to Ben Lomond. It’s clouding over a bit now but still really warm in the sun.

So before the blog actually explodes with far too many photos… I’m done now. There are hundreds more to share but you get the gist.

It’s been a lovely day. I’ve had a really nice time wandering around but I am really tired now I’m home.

Restful evening but more happy memories made.

Happy weekend to you all!

Stay safe everyone ☀️☀️☀️

Day 760 a rather lovely day in control 🤷🏻‍♀️😬🤣

First of all I need to share an amazing plus about writing a daily blog….

Last night I published the blog just before 7pm as I was meeting the Crochet Hookers in the village pub. I mentioned my rage at Calaidh sooking a hole in my favourite jeans. At precisely 7.03pm my neighbour Anne, walked into the pub with a new pair of jeans for me!!!

She lives at the other end of the village, which is not the end of the world, but I couldn’t comprehend how she had time to read it, digest it, find the jeans and get to the pub in under 5 minutes. Now that’s impressive!

So I can only suggest that my lovely wee day has been attributed to my jeans. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣🤣 see what I did there?! 🤣

I’m sitting out the back again having felt in control all day. I managed to finish up everything I planned to do, was sitting for about 10 minutes before I left work with a calm mind and a clear head. I mean…. Come on…. Those days are what dreams are made of.

We were busy but things went well. I didn’t have the same irritability that I’ve had for the last few days. I dealt with things as they came up and moved on.

I should say here that I just smiled to myself and said “you do know you’ve missed a huge clanger… something that you forgot to do that will come back and bite you”… but I smiled at that voice and shut it up.

Tonight is my Friday night AND I’ve already had a back, neck and shoulder massage in Harmony in Beith. Norma worked her magic, as usual!

For the first time I think I fell asleep on the bed….. but it was one of those where your arm falls off the bed and wakes you up with a fright!

Not sure if I’ve said but my knee has been really uncomfortable all week. One of my many excuses for not being at the Farm. I have structured trainers to allow my ankle to remain in a straight line as I run. I’ve been wearing these trainers to work for the last two days and the knee pain has gone but instead I have upper thigh, back of the leg, butt cheek and back pain now as a result. Maybe need to rethink wearing these as daily shoes. I’ve had to take pain killers when I go to bed for the last few nights to relax it.

It’s not agony, it’s just toothache equivalent. So Norma had a good go at that and hopefully will help stretch it out a bit. I thought the wording on the cushion in the massage room was lovely… forgot to tell Norma I’d taken a photo of it! 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

So yeah… back to this unusually good mood. It’s not a screaming and shouting with excitement good mood it’s a wee smile to myself, calm, relaxed and chilled out good mood…. And it feels really good.

I love leaving work on a Thursday feeling organised. We’ve had a great week and I shared a sneak peak of our new rental van on Facebook today on the Tartan Campers page….

Checking the arty Tartan Camper symbol in the window… was proud of that!

I guess today I’ve been able to switch off completely to any drama around me and get on with what needed doing. That’s an important step as the last few days I’ve been overreacting to it all.

I’ve cooked and ate dinner and enjoyed it. All while sitting outside enjoying the sun.

And relax….. 💜

It’s all in the “jeans”.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 759 a scorching hot end to a working day!

I did not go to the Fit Body Farm today… I was too tired. I had a late night last night and really just needed the lie in. I felt a huge amount of guilt missing it but I booked for Friday morning so I can’t keep down this avoiding it path! That gives me some accountability.

I’m being much better with food but feel super cranky that I’m trying not to pig out. It feels a bit like when I tried to give up alcohol…. Just that there’s nothing to look forward to if I can’t have crisps and chocolate at night. I am huffing and puffing like a stroppy teenager…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I know I am using snacks as a reward or relaxation after a busy day…. Something to look forward to, in the same way that people use booze… myself included up until 3.5 years ago. I’m so glad those cravings have gone. i just have to try and get back on track with the food cravings as I could inhale hubdreds of calories in a heartbeat just because I feel I deserve it.

Now this next bit is soooo true…

It’s a scorching hot evening.

It’s been a cold day. My hands were freezing in the office this morning…. I’m convinced that “cold mouse hand” is now a thing. The hand that sits in the mouse 🐁 (not a real mouse🤦🏻‍♀️) is cold all morning till the portacabin heats up.

The sun came out around 3pm I think and it’s just been getting hotter ever since.

I had lunch in Abbie the camper van again today….

Minestrone soup left over from the village pub this weekend!! It’s lovely.

I even put the pop top up while I sat. A nice wee relaxing quiet spot for lunch.

I stayed back after work today to wash he outside of the van as it was really dusty.

I took a before photo but forgot the after pic 🤦🏻‍♀️

So yeah there’s not much else to report. I have the Crochet Hookers tonight and I’m planning to do more work on my blanket. It’s coming on great now that I’ve turned the back to front squares front to back… 🤣

Oh I did have a hissy fit when I went to bed last night. Calaidh had chewed a chunk off my jeans up at the waist band. I was livid…. So angry and poor Craigie got it between the eyes…. So much so, he actually looked for them to buy me new pair today…. Turns out they are from Primark.

Honestly… I freaked over a damaged pair of Primark jeans. (It’s a very cheap shop for my non UK friends….)

It did make me laugh this morning given how upset I had been…. They are the only size 14s I have and that fit me like a glove. It’s amazing how you can overreact though.

So that’s me off to crochet now. Leaving this hot beautiful sun!

Stay safe everyone ☀️☀️☀️

Day 758 a busy day at the office!

It’s 7.11pm and I don’t know where the day has gone. It’s flown by being back at work.

So this is going to be a quickie… 🤣🤣

I didn’t sleep well because Snorey McSnorerson was back in the room last night. Oh my…. Goodness gracious me…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣 don’t know why it was so bad but I had fingers stuffed in my ears trying to drown it out!

I must have fallen asleep at some point but I was restless for the rest of the night.

The early morning sky was lovely this morning.

So work was super busy but given the solitude of yesterday… there were a lot of people in a small space!

So I had some lunch in the van today like I was on a wee trip away.

This is a good way to spend lunch! A mini camp out during the day.

So the rest of the day flew by and I popped into my neighbour Helen’s on the way home from work and had a good natter with her.

I cooked salmon and cauliflower for dinner… super healthy. Check me!

And then it was 7.11pm… just like that!

It’s already half way through the week…. Love a Monday off!

Stay safe everyone 💜💜💜

Day 757 day trip to Girvan…. Randomly 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Woke at 3am with the fear that I was going to be wide awake on my day off…. Not so it seems… back to sleep until a random 6.30 alarm went off and then back over until just before 8. Didn’t go to the Farm this morning… I should have but I didn’t.

I was determined to have a wee day out today but the sun has gone and it’s rowdy cloudy. Still makes for some dramatic photos.

I’ve been checking the forecast since yesterday and while I wanted to head north to Inveraray, the forecast showed better in the south.

I spent all night romanticising about a boat trip to Ailsa Craig…. But didn’t bother to call them to see if there would be any space as I just assumed not. It’s ok I hear myself…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

So I got up, sat with Craig while we had coffee before he want to work and then took the dogs out for a walk. We did a lead walk today I aced it. Took control no issues… none of this… I can’t manage my dogs malarkey…

Walking back into the village

I sat for a bit when I got back when I got back trying to figure out where to go for the day… love that Bhru sits on this bench outside… still near me about ready for action.

So I randomly decided to head for Girvan which is where the Ailsa Craig boat trip goes from…. Knowing I’m not going to go on the trip but thought I’d investigate anyway.

Here’s the trip I did.

I’m currently sitting at the big blue dot and can see right over to Campbeltown passed the south coast of Arran.

So Girvan was ok…. It’s pretty rundown to be honest, I think it might be a nice place to live as there are lots of lovely cottages but I walked through the town centre and, like most towns in Scotland now, the shops were all boarded up, charity shops or butchers. I had been looking forward to a wee rummage around some charity shops but there were none.

The harbour is pretty.

There were two lifeboats moored in the harbour. I have a wee donation in their collection tin… never know when you might need them!

The tidal estuary was particularly pretty.

The tulips were stunning!!

Ailsa Craig is the big rock in the distance. It’s where the rock comes for the curling 🥌 stones!

Wee rock pretending to be bigger than Ailsa Craig…

Ailsa Craig zoomed in 10 times!!

The sun is trying so hard to come out… have to say the forecast for today was not entirely accurate… the all day sunshine did not appear!

I then took a fascination for the old red mooring points….

The beach looked really moody under the cloud. We’ve had blue sky for 3 days now… not used to this… but very dramatic!

You can park motorhomes overnight for £10 now. It’s just a car park to be fair, so not best for the dogs but still great to see small towns offering this now.

I decided to head north via the coastal route up past Trump Turnberry which was truly beautiful but I couldn’t stop for photos… then onto Maidens.

I am now sitting right here. On my camper van stool…

I made a coffee in the van… first time in ages.

Watch out if you have Ailsa Craig in almost every photo today… 😬🤣

There is no one around. I’ve been here for just over an hour and have maybe see 10 people in total and they’ve all been walking dogs on the beach…. Except the young guy randomly crossing in a kilt… now I know you shouldn’t randomly photograph strangers but it needed doing….

Just going for a walk in my kilt… as you do! Culzean Castle is at the end of this beach so he maybe works there. I can’t get a photo from this distance as the light isn’t right…. Check me eh?!? I sound like I know what I’m talking about 🤣

A helicopter just flew over and landed further up the beach! 🚁

I found it further up the coast!

Not sure if it’s just an exercise as they just seem to be hovering. I sat here for about 5 minutes along with another 2 cars… it just kept hovering so I moved north.

Then drove off up the road through Dunure and didn’t stop at the castle 🏰 and carried on through Ayr, Prestwick and into Troon and stopped at South Beach.

There she is again…..

Troon Beach had loads of sand worms.

It’s really atmospheric.

The breeze has died and the water is like glsss.

Troon now has its very own big wheel 🛞

Sand worms everywhere!!

I love these next few shots.

So I’ve had a really lovely day. I’m home now and it’s sunnier than it’s been all day. 🤣

Back to work tomorrow but need to plan more travels soon I love exploring.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 756 a beautiful sunny day and the wind has almost gone ☀️☀️☀️

I had the best sleep last night. Properly out for the count. Slept really well… it could be the clean sheets I put on last night. That and the lack of caffeine I’ve been drinking and all that fresh sea air yesterday.

Today is a boring day blog wise I’m afraid. It consisted of housework before 11am…. I even mopped the floors!! I was on a roll though. It feels so good to blitz it and stop stressing about the mess. It also felt good to do it before it was a compete mess. Made it easier to do….

A quick shower and then out with hoddit, doddit and ploddit the 3 puppsketeers!

Spotted another Scotland flag in the sky! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Took some pupper close ups…

Freya
Bhruic
Calaidh

Watched the huge Emirates flight ✈️ start approach to land at Glasgow. It always looks like it’s hanging in the air.

Freya posing in the dandelions
Loved this wee meadow flower

Once I got back home the wind was really dying down. I got set up in the back garden with all my crochet and started adding a row onto my blanket.

I have spent all afternoon crocheting squares and adding a full new row….

I HAVE ADDED IT ONTO THE BLANKET BACK TO FRONT!!!!!!!

My legs are under here!!!

I am breathing very deeply because it’s not the end of the world. A huge waste of a few hours of crocheting but hey….. it’ll be easier second time around.

I’m taking tomorrow off work too as I really needed a wee 4 day break so I’m planning a wee day out. Not sure where yet…. Will be checking the weather and looking for ideas.

There’s a few people in my life that need to see this right now.

No matter what you are going through right now….it will get better. I’m my darkest hours I never believed that it would. I wanted the world to take me away. Now I want to live in it and see every single square inch of it… all by tomorrow of course. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I wish that for you all. ♥️

Remember that you can take anything this week throws at you.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 755 another beautiful lazy day in the windy sun!

It’s still sooooo windy but the sky is blue and that will just have to do.

I feel a lot less of life’s stresses and strains when the sun shines. Maybe we are all the same but a good dose of vitamin D really helps improve or maintain my mood.

I feel so full of gratitude on a sunny day. The vibrant colours, the warmth of the sun, everything is magnified. I can sit for hours just looking around and nothing runs through my head except the need to write it all down. 🤣🤣

I had a lovely walk with the dogs again this morning.

I didn’t feel anxious, I felt in control and in command of my little doggy family pack.

I took some arty shots…. 😬

They had a great time running around in the field. Calaidh went off exploring while the other two herd me and try to get me to through a stone for them…. Has never happened once so don’t know why they think I’ll change a habit of a lifetime. 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Every year I’m surprised but these late bloomer daffodils and every year I think I’ve never seen them before….. then remember I’m surprised, every year. The first one looks like the inside of a cream egg!

I had to hold them steady as they were blowing in the wind.

I got home and pottered around and Claire messaged to see if I fancied a cuppa… not seen her in weeks so had a good catch up… on THE bench in the garden.

Then…. Check me… on a Saturday lunchtime… I went for an actual food shopping. I know…. no one is more shocked than me.

Auntie Jac said yesterday that I really needed to think about getting back into some nutrition and being kind to myself by eating the right things. She struck a chord as I know she is right. I’ve been very lazy since we had Norovirus and have been eating my preferred grab and go.

I did a lovely healthy shop and am determined to at least think about what I eat before scoffing.

So, I’m sitting right here as I write. I’ve rushed back to my happy place as Craig is working. It’s a jacket on, jacket off kind of day.

I have been down on the rocks for an hour and a half already.

I’m having a Lidl’s pretzel for lunch. Ok so my healthy eating starts after I’ve finished the pretzel 🥨 🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I’m right out on the edge of the rocks. No one can get to me here. No one will walk out here when someone is sitting. I am alone but I am not lonely. I am at peace.

This time I sat for a bit then did some scrambling for some different angled photos and now I’ve found another place to sit over by the castle.

In all my time here I’ve never noticed this giant rock pool.

It’s lovely to get a different angle…

Every rock pool is different.

I love seeing the Scotland flag flying above Portencross Castle.

The tide is coming in fast.

The bit where I originally sat is now under water.

This next one is a panoramic… best viewed if you click in it and scroll through.

I had such a lovely time, I could have sat there all day.

Folk were actually starting to put up tents on the grass at the car park which I think is incredibly rude. It’s not a campsite. I don’t mind if people turn up late in the day but pitching a tent at 2pm in between two benches and one picnic bench seems a bit unfair. Watch out if you want to take over the whole place. A second tent pitched right in front of a couple as they sat reading papers. He took out some kind of chain saw to chop wood into small bits. I mean… come on.

That’s a negative end to my very positive blog. I’ve just been brought up to respect other people and not to start pumping up air beds when someone is sitting enjoying the peace and quiet…

I’m back home enjoying a Corona Cero…. Who knew that was a thing. It’s really nice. There are no tents here to spoil my view 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 754 a lovely sunny day but toooooo windy!! ☀️💨

It’s been beautiful all day today but the wind is incessant…. It’s been so windy all day that the heat of the sun is literally blown away the next minute. This wind doesn’t seem to have a name so it can’t be anything to worry about… though the trees are blowing as much as they did in Storm Barra at the end of last year. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

I didn’t get a lot of sleep… trying to write the blog at 10pm definitely didn’t help… I woke before Craig’s alarm at 4.45am so I’ve been tired all day.

It was a stunning sunrise but we worked out through the best of it this morning!

Was lovely to be chauffeured by Craigie this morning, the first time in ages. I got to take photos on the drive!

The half moon was huge!

The drive way to the Fit Body Farm.

Looking back over sunrise.

It was a hard workout today with lots of running. It was really good though as we worked in pairs which always makes me work harder. I’d already done 7,000 steps by 7am.

The view when we left.

Auntie Jac and I took the puppers out for a big walk up the hill onto the old disused golf course. They were in their element.

Amazing views down over Beith.

I love the gorse or whim bush….. the yellow against the blue sky is just beautiful.

I took a few…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

We sat for a bit on one of the old stone bridges.

The colours just blow me away in the sunshine. It’s so beautiful. Nature makes everything calm for me.

Meanwhile back in the garden my forest flame is starting to bloom. I love this plant!

We took a quick run down to our local Mocha Jaks and had brunch.

I have a photo of the food but no pics of us!! Jac had French toast with bacon 🥓 and maple 🍁 syrup on the side while I had Avocado toast with a fried egg and Siracha… oh and some maple syrup obviously 🙄 🤣.

2 tattie scones dipped in maple syrup!! It’s the way forward.

It will catch on. I’m sure of it!!

So Jac left about 12.30 and I have done nothing for the rest of the day. I am really tired but couldn’t sleep, couldn’t read so just sat outside and allowed myself just to be.

It’s relaxing in itself.

The sun is hot but that breeze is cold so I’ve been in shorts and a jumper most of the day. It’s been lovely to have a good day off.

I had a wee Nozeco in my Julie glass too.

A quiet night now that I’m out of the wind. 💨💨💨 Dinner and a movie I think.

Hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll leave you with last nights sunset again.

And breathe….

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 753 a very early start with a sunrise and a stunning sunset! ☀️☀️

Wide awake at 4.18am. To be fair I think I was awake long before it but I finally gave in.

🤣🤣 not quite… but I did pick up my phone in an effort to quell my caffeine induced alertness. It was not to be. I tried to sleep but I was getting angry that I was so wide awake.

Last nights chatter was running around in my head. I never hide the fact that I am not great making small talk these days and over dinner our conversations went from car accidents to hospital stays… dramatic things that people talk about on a regular basis but I haven’t had much opportunity in the last few years.

I felt really dizzy after dinner. It welled up inside of me and I had to stop the conversation to take a minute. I was worried I was going to faint. A real air of fragility swept over me. So many things “could” happen in my life that might spin me off my axis again….. I think it was a wave of fear at my own vulnerability. Now please don’t think for one moment that our chat was awful and I didn’t enjoy myself…. I very much did. These are just my observations as to how conversations tend to go when you are catching up on years of little contact.

I also had coffee about 4.30pm and a Diet Coke with dinner…. It was better to get up and head into work and face all the things that were now firing on all cylinders in my head.

It’s a cold but beautiful sunrise.

Zoomed in from in front of the house
Stopped in a lay by at 6am

I actually stopped twice on the way in to work… why not… I was in no hurry!

I’ve stopped at this river in Drybridge before. I was stunning this morning.

I could look at this next one for hours….

I wanted to get over to the right a bit to get the reflection of the sun in the river but there’s a wall right next to my right shoulder so I couldn’t… without crossing it and being in someone’s garden! Even I have a line…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

So I was at my desk at 6.45am working away and I didn’t leave until 4.45pm tonight. That’s nothing compared to what I used to do in my old job… but why is it I had to shout it from the rooftops all day?!? I wore it like a badge. I was really busy today…. So much so that the day flew in. I got stressed but it was a normal person stress at normal person issues…. Not anxiety driven panic. These last few weeks have felt very different in regards to my anxiety. It’s good.

So anyway, busy evening as Auntie Jac has popped down for the night and we went to Portencross for sunset….. it’s now 22.01 and I’ll need to throw these photos in so I can get to sleep… 🌅

It was just absolutely stunning and out of this world.

A lovely sunrise to start… a whole lotta work and a lovely sunset to end. of course my photos aren’t loading now and I’m so very tired so I might just have to go to bed and deal with this tomorrow.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 752 a lovely visit from Auntie Marion!

It 9.26pm…… I am only just started the blog now… how late can I be?!?

This was me crossing the road at 5.30am.… well not me but the road I crossed!

The Farm at 5.50am.

I was weighed this morning and have put on 2lbs… that’s what happens when you have a cake every single day for 3 weeks… I guess. Changes need to be made!

This was really sun when I left.

It’s been a lovely day all day. Cold this morning but got warmer as the day went on. I’ve not stopped all day!

It was busy at work as usual but I left sharp tonight as my Auntie Marion and Gordon had come over to a hotel in Irvine for a few nights.

It was so lovely to see them. I haven’t seen her for so long especially since COVID so it was lovely to get some quality time together.

We took a drive down Irvine Beach and it was beautiful…. It was so stunning.

The sea was calm and it was warm enough for a T-shirt. Positively tropical. We went for a walk and sat on a bench and had a good catch up.

It was just so calm and peaceful and a lovely way to spend a “school night”.

We went back to the Riverside Hotel and had dinner. I was super impressed with the meal. I had Tandoori Salmon for mains.

And the trio of desserts…. Not the best photo!!

Highly recommended for those of you who are local.

So apologies for the rushed blog but I need to get to bed before I turn into a pumpkin.

A lovely evening with a good catch up, stunning views and wonderful food.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 751 a lovely sunny evening ☀️☀️

I have absolutely no idea what to write about today. She who can’t shut up…. Has writers block. Had to happen sometime.

I’m antsy, narky, a bit irritated and I can’t really put my finger on it.

I said that with a grin though so it’s not all bad.

I think I’m just tired. I have the patience of a saint…. She said through gritted teeth.

It’s been a beautiful day but cold and as I get home it seems to warm up, which is lovely. I really wanted to go to the coast but I couldn’t muster the energy to drive there.

I think it will be a lovely calm sunset too but I might not make that today.

We’ve had dinner and are sitting outside now and I feel calmer than I have done all afternoon. Nature is amazing.

There’s a wee bat 🦇 flying about out here making that whirring noise that they do and we are comically scanning the sky for it every few minutes…. Yet never seeing it.

My antsy-ness has gone. An early night is on the cards.

I also feel calmer I’m not trying to create war and peace 😬

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 750…. 750 days of blogging…. Who’d a thunk it?!? Also watch out if you’re one of the only folk working on Easter Monday!!

I had no concept when I started writing this blog that I’d still be going after 750 days. The milestones seem to come around pretty quickly these days.

I’m surprised that even I can keep talking for that long…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣 here’s to many more.

We did an Easter Egg hunt at the Farm this morning…. And sadly no… they weren’t chocolate. We had to find the eggs which had a word on them and the worst equated to an exercise we had to do before we could go back out and find another egg. It was a good laugh which always makes exercising easier!

And yes… was I one of the only people that had to work on Easter Monday? We seemed to be the only people in our decimated industrial estate today and both local sandwich shops were closed. Catastrophe!!

We had to send out for emergency McDonalds….

I can’t tell you the last time I had a Mickey D’s but it’s been a very, very long time. Despite my initial excitement, I remember why it’s been a very, very long time. It may be quite a while till the next one. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

Work was actually really busy today and it flew by. We had a couple of people drop in so it was well worth being there. I also quite like working when everyone else is off… it means I get to be off when they are all at work!

When I got home we moved the sunroom around, as you do… then we had roast chicken, potatoes and veg for dinner followed by the most amazing chocolate trifle.

I’m ready for a sleep now and it’s only 7.15pm. Too much chocolate pud!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 749 Happy Easter 2022… we went on a bear hunt to find the Gateside Bear 🐻 (honestly I did…)

Those of you who know me will be amazed that I spent most of the day with 22 primary aged children. Me. Kids. 22 of them. And…. I actually enjoyed it once I stopped feeling uncomfortable in my own skin. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Holly who runs the village pub, has organised a Bear hunt for the village kids.

Now…. I’m not a particularly kiddie person, I’m shy with kids and never really know what to say…. When I was “asked” to help I honestly wanted to say no with every ounce of by being. The new me doesn’t agree to things I don’t want to do. Yet the new me cringed and screwed up my face and agreed with an “if I really have to” look about me but already dreading the day in advance.

And suddenly it’s here….

I look way happier than I feel…..

The kids arrive and I honestly feel like a fish out of water. I don’t know where to put myself, where to put my hands, what to say, where to look, I just feel so awkward.

Then it’s time where I’m announced as a team leader and 4 little gorgeous girls find their way over to me… and I’m tongue tied, get their names mixed up and yet I try to introduce myself. I try to relax.

We head to the park. There are hidden envelopes for the kids to find which make up a bear’s name which will be the name of our team. We are Team Paddington.

I slowly start to relax and look after my 4 lovely little girls. They are so polite, so sweet and so innocent and I am blown away by their excitement for the adventure. They are genuinely so excited to be looking for the bear that has gone missing in the village and to reunite it with Mummy and Daddy Bear.

The next clue takes us to the Village Hall where we do arts and crafts. They decorate Easter cards and paint eggs. One little girl bashes her painted egg and just eats it. So comical, she has the blue paint all over her face as she scoffed the egg 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

We then get a phone call to say the Bear has been spotted in the Gateside Plant Centre and we have to head up there to find it!

You know what… I actually had a really nice day. It was nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be, I relaxed and realised how lovely it is to spend time with wee ones. Something I never do.

One girl said she had “no idea I would have such a nice teacher”…. She may have been talking about her actual teacher but I decided I was taking that!!!!

One wee girl clung to her mummy at the very start, terrified to be looking for a bear.

She walked back down the road to the pub, hand in hand with said bear. 🐻 🤣 it’s lovely to see that.

So, I’ve had a lovely day and no one is more surprised than me. We also blitzed the housework this morning too so everything feels fresh and clean.

I have a strange reluctance to part with my ears…. 🐻

Hope you all had a lovely Easter Sunday!

Some of us are working on Easter Monday for some reason so hey… no rest for the wicked.

Except for tonight…. Jammies on, feet up… as usual!

Stay safe everyone 🐣🐰🐻

Day 748 a very lazy day and another trip down memory lane in New Zealand 🇳🇿

Jeez I have done almost less than nothing today…. But that’s ok. I needed a day to myself.

I had a great sleep and lounged around in bed until after 9 even though I wasn’t sleeping.

I say I’ve done nothing and then remember I had a shower, went for a quick food shop… check me, yeah it was painful 🤣 and then we went for lunch into the pub next door.

I ordered chicken tempura to start and then the Cajun Chicken Burger 🍔 check the size of them! I only cut Craig’s head out as he was making a funny face and wouldn’t have thanked me for the photo. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I only managed the onion rings, a few chips and the coleslaw and I was stuffed!! We brought the rest home in a box 😆

I’m back into the pub at 18.30 to help prep for the kids Easter party tomorrow so I’m sitting with my feet up looking back through old photos from New Zealand.

My photos are so different back then, there are more photos of me than any views…. That’s back in the days of a digital camera… when it took a million years to upload anything. I think I was less inclined to take photos as it took so much longer to do anything with them. Here are a selection from New Zealand.

This first one was particularly special for me…. There’s a brewery in Pahiatua called Tui Brewery. When I was wee I couldn’t say Julie so called myself Tui….. 😬 mum and dad have always called me Tu (which became the number 2 in the digital age) so it meant a lot to me to go here and send them a photo of me with a beer, back in my drinking days!

Tui Miss
Milford Sound

Apparently it rains in Milford Sound about 300 days a year… yet I got it in the scorching sunshine and it was absolutely stunning.

My friend Carla and I hired bikes and cycled around Milford Sound after we took a boat trip.

Carla was from Germany and we met when I arrived in New Zealand. We travelled the South Island together. We got on so well and had such a lovely time together. I left her in Wellington as I travelled up to the North Island.

I was unlucky that the weather turned on the day of my glacier visit and we were not allowed on the ice. I think it saved me hundreds of pounds to be fair and we only walked up to the front of it.

Franz Josef Glacier

This next batch are from Waiotapu Thermal Park.

Lady Knox Geyser

It was the most fascinating place to visit. It’s so different from anywhere I’ve ever been before or since.

This next photo actually has very bad memories…. I was violently sick the night before we took on a 7 mile trek in Abel Tasman National Park and I was determined to go ahead with it.

The view from up here was just so stunningly beautiful but I can only remember how dreadful I felt. I had to find a Ranger to radio in to get a speed boat to take us back to base as I didn’t have the energy to complete it. It took a few days to feel well again.

We had great weather in Queensland.

Mount Tongariro
Bay of Plenty
Inside a Māori Meeting House

I had the 7 weeks in New Zealand 🇳🇿

The weary traveller!

Hope you’ve enjoyed some of the few photos I can find. I must have more elsewhere. I’m enjoying the reminisce and have itchy feet so see so much more of the world!

For now I’ll be content with Downton Abbey, sitting on the couch. 🤣🤣

Happy Easter Saturday.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 747 a wee trip down memory lane… Australia 🇦🇺 2004

It have started looking back on my Australian trip and have managed to find some of my photos online.

Back in those days…. 2004 -2005…. We didn’t have smart phones and it was difficult to be in touch with home. You bought phone cards and had to find a phone box and call at Ra some times in the day to try to get Scotland in the evening.

Then you found an internet cafe to send emails…. That part didn’t always come easily to me… they days of dial up!

I hope you enjoy some of my photos!

Sydney
Whitsundays
Sunset at Hamilton Beach
Sunbathing on Magnetic Island….. oh to look like that again. AND I thought I was fat!!
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays
Sunset on Hamilton
Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island
Sand dune surfing near Adelaide
The Pinnacles, Western Australia north of Perth
Fraser Island
SS Maheno in 2004
Fraser Island
Climbing in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia
Sunset on Hamilton Island

Have a great Easter weekend! Easter 🐣

Stay safe everyone 🐣🐣🐣

Day 746 an angry encounter before 7.30am 😤

I had a great sleep again last night woken up at 5.30 by the village jogger who ran past the bedroom window 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣 of course I couldn’t get back to sleep as I dramatised everything that might go wrong in the day….

I can’t believe how much these roadworks in our village have incensed me. I can’t seem to let it go. It’s not the roadworks but the human reaction to them. I spend most of my life hidden away in a wee Julie bubble, I don’t watch the news and I try to stay away from drama as much as possible.

This week we have seen people moving cones, driving through and now even driving around the cement bags that have been placed in the middle of the road up on the pavement or on the grass verge at the other side.

Who actually are these people? How have you been brought up to think that you have the right to do that? Why have I been brought up to be so incredulous at it. Why do I care so much?

I’m a people pleaser, I don’t break any rules… ever…. For fear of upsetting someone else. These folk don’t give a flying f about that. Somewhere in the middle I guess there is a common ground.

So I sets off to work this morning on the single track back roads. Noticing how the grass verges are becoming wrecked with the amount of traffic on the diversion. All the while my anxious brain is working overtime thinking I hope I’m not one of those people that gouges out a grass verge as I might get stuck. Always on the lookout, always catastrophising….. so I basically manifest exactly that a half mile down the road.

I have 3 cars behind me… already creating a level of overthinking in me, I’m I driving too slow blah blah blah…. I see a small white van bombing towards us.

If he knows the road, he has just passed the place where he should have stopped as he knows we don’t have any passing place where we are. He can also see I’m in a VW T5 so not the smallest of cars.

He flashes and pull in onto the grass in the only bit he can giving be centimetres to pass him. The tarmac is curved at my side as if the road is built up on top of the ground so I have a good rut to fall into if I get it wrong.

Now I should say here’s that I ALWAYS thank passing motorists for letting me go. Not so today, it seems….. I was worried that I could fit past him, panicking I didn’t fall off the road… next thing I know we are side by side and I catch his waving arms out the corner of my eye.

Sh*t what have I done or what am I about to do wrong…… I put the window down….

“Aye yer F****** welcome“ he shouts… what wait a minute…. I’m incredulous. I keep using that word today. I say “sorry I was trying not to let my van fall down the big hole at this side of the road…. Sorry” by this time his window is already up and more crazy gesticulating as he implies that I should hurry the f up and he’s in a hurry…. Pointing at his watch and waving me on….

I drive off thinking how dreadful I am for not thanking him for stopping.

Welcome to my world.

I then burst into tears as the adrenaline released.

I talk to myself as if there’s a voice at the back of my mind trying to speak up…. Wait a minute… you always wave, you always thank people, why didn’t you do that this time… and then the realisation that he was in the wrong all the way and I was actually annoyed at his careless driving as I passed him.

Did any of that come out of me. Did I wind down the window was I passed and say how inconsiderate he was for not reading the road…. No.

I just let some angry man have a go at me. Maybe he should have left the house earlier so he want in so much of a hurry.

As I get to work I’m shattered. It takes so much energy for me to negotiate the world some days that I think this morning that I just want to find a remote island for us to go and live on where we don’t see anyone else.

I need my life without drama. Drama is so draining.

I also had another “run in” with my nippy wee supplier lady but I put her straight after writing an email to her at least 4 times!

So a busy day and have come up to Auntie Jac’s for a wee impromtu visit and to stay the night.

We went for a drive to the Firth of Forth and sat on a log by the shoreline.

The tide went out soooo fast! They are mudflats so not the prettiest but it was stunning when the tide was in.

Just remembered my photos of the moon last night… it was a stunning night when I was out with the dogs before bed.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 745 what’s the opposite of”full of the joys of spring” ?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

That’s an unfair title as I’m actually ok but at 4.45 this morning I really could have cried.

I had the best sleep but I could have slept for hours longer. I swithered about going back to bed and cancelling the Farm but I was awake anyway so I may as well just go.

This is 100% true!!

When I got there I did think about he opposite of full of the joys of spring. I felt tired and heavy, like a rock unable to move. A teensy weensy wee bit grumpy!

The Farm was great despite lots of running. I dragged myself around but really enjoyed the weights that we did. I upped them a few times!

DEFINITELY!!

We got some official photos from the Hyrox challenge at the weekend…. Here they are!

Sled push 🛷
Burpee Broad Jumps
Sled pull 🛷
Ski-erg
Rowing machine

I feel like I’ve been full on all weekend and all week without my treasured “me” time. If I can just keep going for one more day then I’ll get the chance to relax.

Work is full on which is great as I’d hate to be bored. I find it hard leaving when I still have so much to do but actually the old me would never have left and just stayed on for hours.

Even as I write this I realise that I’m over dramatising my day. It’s time of the month which is a novelty for she who approaches menopause and the old me would have been a nightmare this week. I would have been so full of tears, I’d have cried at everything, been foggy headed and really lack lustre.

So my huffing and puffing this week is NOTHING compared to what used to be.

There’s something to be very grateful for.

Thanks for being around!

And this….. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 744 a very busy day….. adulting 😤

It sucks to be an adult sometimes…. I have way too much adulting to do today and I’m ready for a rest!

It’s 19.11 and I haven’t even thought about the blog… well of course I have… I’ve just started it so that’s a ridiculous statement. 🤣

I had an amazing sleep last night, hardly surprising after the night before, I was out for the count until just before the 6.30 alarm.

My anxiety was pretty active when I woke up and I would go so far as to say I felt really off kilter this morning.

I felt calm and in control but there was a mini panic attack taking place inside. I felt jittery and a real sense of doom as if something was going to go very badly wrong. Of course it didn’t.. nothing did.

I had a task at work that was going round in circles so I kept putting it off, maybe that was eating away at me. Today I “ate that frog” 🐸 and just concentrated on it to get it done.

That was a phrase Craig said to me with when I was struggling with anxiety in my old job. It stuck with me. Eat that Frog….Once it’s done, it’s done.

So another busy day and lots of customers in today which makes it go even faster.

I had to rush home tonight… ok leave on time… as we had a man coming to help us write our wills…. We are not getting any younger. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️🤣

I had to talk him around the village road closure so he was a bit late arriving.

We finally have two large heavy bags in the middle of the roadworks to stop everyone from moving the cones and driving through our road closure. So many people ignore the signs and drive through…… not this time!!!

It’s funny how that bothers me so much… Mrs follow the rules watched a guy move the cones and drive through this morning and he then went and put them back?!? Should I have been less mad at that??

Anyway, the will guy was very lovely and helpful and we ended up organising Power of Attorney at the same time. We could have put that money towards a trip to the Maldives but hey…. We’ve been very sensible instead. It’s tough being a grown up at times. 🥴

No rest for the wicked as we had to go over to the Village hall to check the oil tank to see if we needed to order oil. Craig has very kindly agreed to check this for me as my short 5ft4ins is not conducive to sticking a bamboo cane into an oil tank while balancing up a step!!

We noticed an apparent issue with an overflowing septic tank…. Right next to the oil tank… another issue to be resolved… but definitely not tonight! 🤦🏻‍♀️ I will not share that photo….. 💩

Then….. home to stick some pizza in the oven for a quick dinner.

I feel frazzled but it’s only because I’ve not had that essential time to chill…. I need some down time or me time every day.

I have an hour before bed. Need to get out do these work clothes and watch some mindless tv!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 743 a lethargic day… 😴

There’s been a lot of huffing, puffing and sighing today. I am tired but also in one of those really lethargic slumps.

Ever have one of those days? Everything is too much trouble. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

In all honesty, despite that, it’s been a good day. It was quiet in the office as it felt like everyone was on holiday apart from me (not entirely true!) yet I was very busy and got lots done.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I get like I was switched on all night.

My heart rate was above resting heart rate for most of the night. I felt every beat… ok so not quite, drama Queen… 😆

Our road is closed this week which means I needed to detour on the way home… and despite my lethargy I actually remembered! There are cars doing 3 point turns all over the place though as people try to get through them.

I’ve just watched two cars fly past the window which is ridiculous seeing as the closure isn’t far from the house… someone had opened the road?!? People just don’t follow any rules these days!!!

Anyway…. the Farm was great today though I really struggled to move my legs! When I left I caught these lovely daffies…

This is where we work out….

The sunrise was stunning this morning.

So I’ve been thinking about our lovely neighbours travelling through America to Australia, all day. I’m so envious but not in a bad way… I wish them an amazing journey.

It reminds me so much of my solo journey to Australia, New Zealand and Thailand in 2004-2005. It was the journey of a lifetime. At times I still can’t believe I did it. I was scared of my own shadow for most of my life yet a burning desire to travel consumed me in late 2003.

Great Uncle Ernie emigrated to Australia 🇦🇺 when he was 19 so we’ve always had a family connection and I’ve always had a fascination with the country. Gran and Grandpa went out, Mum and Dad went and then my brother went on a gap year. I was the only one that hadn’t been.

My previous marriage ended in September of 2002 and the Scottish electronics industry was in turmoil. I had lost 2 jobs already with the transfer of production from Scotland to either the Far East or the Czech Republic.

I was lucky enough to earn a years salary by the time of my third redundancy package. However, I couldn’t face trying to “sell myself” again. Pending divorce and losing 3 jobs left me feeling pretty despondent.

I was desperate to travel. I spoke to everyone I could think of but everyone had commitments that meant they couldn’t come with me. I had just bought my own flat which meant I had commitments that I couldn’t just run away from.

Yet I couldn’t put the idea out of my mind.

So…. On 24th January 2004 I flew out of Edinburgh Airport.. on my own… bound for Melbourne via Singapore. All by myself and I have never been more excited and more terrified in my life. My flat was let out for 6 months and yet I was certain I would only last 2 weeks.

In the early days of mobile phones, my dad and my brother actually navigated me around the airport in Singapore. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤣

I remember thinking I could actually manage that part myself but I know they were worried about me.

I went to stay with Great Uncle Ernie and Auntie Margot and they were the most amazing hosts and made me feel so very welcome.

I also spent a lot of time with my mums cousins Steve and Callum and in particular, Steve’s wife Linda. Looking back I lived with them all on and off for about 4 months. They were so accommodating and welcoming. They made it easy to be away from home on my own.

I worked for 3 the mobile phone company in Melbourne for 3 months and saved some more money before I started my tour.

I travelled from Melbourne in June 2004 through the Great Ocean Road to Adelaide. I visited Kangaroo Island before heading up through the centre of Australia on a Groovy Grape backpackers tour. We took in Coober Pedy, Uluru, Alice Springs, Katherine Gorge, Kakadu National Park and on to Darwin.

Then flew from Darwin to Cairns and travelled as much of the east coast as I could. The longest trip was a 12 hour bus journey from Brisbane to Newcastle, north of Sydney… by the time I got there my ankles were as big as my knees!!

I headed back to Melbourne then flew from Melbourne to Perth and toured around some of Western Australia. I worked as an Outback Barmaid in a place called Dowerin for a month before heading back to Melbourne for Christmas. That was an experience and a half.

I have so many photos of my trip that I really must get them off the computer and onto my phone…

Anyway, I’ve been reminiscing a lot. It was a very special time for me. I stepped massively out of my comfort zone. I did things I could never have even imagined. Sea kayaking with dolphins, whale watching, sand dune sledging (😳😬🤣) sleeping in a swag, driving a 4×4 across the beaches on a Fraser Island….. to name a few.

Yet I came back to hit the rat race because I felt I should….

I’m rambling big time now… but I’m smiling at the memories.

To be continued one day…

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿♥️🇦🇺