Day 1085 our 13th wedding anniversary 💕

Happy anniversary to us!

It’s been a miserable day and it has poured with rain ALL day. What a difference to the blue skies of yesterday.

They day started off with a lot of unusual activity….

A smashed up car appeared in the village overnight….

Now I swear I heard a spaceship swoosh through the village about 9.30pm last night. It “could” technically have been a car running on its rims. I guess…. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ I was woken by voices about 6 am… with 4 police officers walking around it chatting away. On my day off. They put police tape around it and left.

Then our neighbour Holly phoned to say her back tyre was flat and she needed a run to the garage. We pumped it up and Craig drove her there… we had to stop once to re inflate but by they time they got there it was almost on the rim. I followed them and we p*ssed some guy off when we stopped as he couldn’t get past us for the some total of about a minute and half…. People really do need to learn a bit of compassion and a bit more patience. My anxiety sky rocketed as he hand gestured his impatience.

Anyway, about 20 minutes after that, a giant rock was dropped on the main road, right in the middle of the bit of road next to the dumped car.

Check the size of it compared to Abbie the camper van?!?

I mean you couldn’t make that up?!?!

Here’s Holly and I, on the pub CCTV, trying to move it…

An Artic truck driver stopped and managed to get it to the side of the road by rolling it.

Then Iain from the Plant Centre saved the day by moving it with his forklift, thanks to Elly for calling him.

She also told us the truck has dumped mud all over the roads on the way out the village.

Elly’s photo!

So much drama before 10am!! It was pouring…. Obviously…. So we just took the dogs out as we were soaking already.

The daffodils have come out in force since yesterday.

There’s a house just at the blue wheelie bin…. I’d messaged the lady who lives there last week with a lovely photo of daffies with her house in the background. She says she’d planted the daffodils years ago to make people smile as they walked past, to let them see spring was coming. How lovely!! She also watched a woman pick loads of them recently….. 🙊🙈

Anyway, I digress. Bhru was being a cheeky pup when we got home, hiding the ball from Calaidh!

Calaidh is telling me here that Bhru has the ball.

Craig made a lovely breakfast.

We booked lunch in the Waterside Hotel in West Kilbride for 1pm.

We had vouchers for my 50th birthday! We had 3 courses and now might sleep for a week!!!

I had mussels in a smoked cider, bacon, tomato and chill sauce and Craig had the traditional Cullen Skink.

For mains I had hot smoked salmon and prawn salad and Craig had the Scottish beef burger and chips. I order chilli fries on the side but ate about 5 of them! This is the most I’ve eaten in ages.

Of course I had dessert after a wee break. A teeny Maltesers cheesecake for me and a mahooooosive Lemon Meringue pie for Craig.

The food was amazing and we were so grateful that it was free!! Thanks to Craig’s sis Lisa and our friend Elly for the vouchers!!

I had to run next door back to the garage to pick up the car but I’m shattered now. Comfies on and Craig is in the process of lighting our tea light village. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂 it takes a while.

Cheeky Bhru is at it again…… she knows fine well Calaidh wants the ball!

Love this face!

Oh I forgot to say I got beautiful flowers this morning and a lovely card from Craig!

I’ve said before that we’ve had our ups and downs…. As I imagine every marriage has. Craig has stood by me through some pretty difficult times and he drives me round the twist and back a fair bit. I feel like we’ve got it more together these days. I’ll take the credit that it’s my new calmer demeanour 😂😘😂 but honestly, we get on so much better these days. I’m super proud of him with his Scottish Dog Behaviourist venture. It’s lovely to see him so focussed on his work. Here’s to many more years Craigie 😘 then and now.

Back to work tomorrow…. 😢 hols never long enough.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1084 Scotland you did us proud today. Just stunning ☀️🕶️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

I need to find a better describing word than Wow. It seems so underrated when I use it so often. But wow….. what an amazing day so far and it’s only 2pm.

I slept really well. The warmth, the cathartic sound of the diesel heater or the progesterone induced sleep did the trick. The diesel heater was on all night and it was a bit warm at one point, but I did wake up to ice on the inside of the windows, despite that.

I looked for Aurora at 2.30am but decided I was far too chicken to go out on my own in the pitch black. Not sure why I’m scared of the dark?!? Will need an Aurora buddy to go Northern lights tracking!

At 6.30am the sky was turning a pinky blue shade. The sun didn’t actually come up over the Pap of Glencoe for a while after that. The light was stunning as it hit some of the mountains.

I had taken my running gear and was desperate to go for an early morning dog jog sans dog! I mean, who even am I these days?!? Do I need to rebrand The Rambling Sloth as The Jogging Photographer?!?! 😂 doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?!?

I have no idea how I am going to sort through the gazillion photos I have taken today.

I ran from the Invercoe campsite down to Glencoe and then back up to the Glencoe Lochan again. Running felt good.

This mornings mood was all about reflection. Not a ripple in the sea or the Lochan. Everything was a reflection.

I am in my element. I am blown away but the beauty I see. I even giggle to myself, have a look around to see if anyone else is there… and go hug a tree!!!!

😆😆😆

I ran right around the Lochan and back down to the campsite.

There were even a couple of wildlife shots!

Heron

I was out for about an hour and a half. It was bitterly cold. Even the seaweed was frosty but it was so exhilarating.

I feel an excitement bubbling through my veins…..all the time….. I have found something that makes me truly happy. A husband who is happy to let me go away, if he doesn’t want to and a real passion for writing and taking photos of beautiful nature. I could not have picked a better few days to come away. I have been so full of joy for two days, it’s so lovely.

This is the view from the van. Honestly it’s out of this world.

I had a shower… forgot deodorant but that doesn’t seem to have been as issue for me today. It’s so beautiful but FREEZING!!

I made myself a decaf coffee and headed down to the water.

I sat on a rock and watched the word stand still for a while. My bum got very numb on the cold rock but the sun is warm.

I got Abbie all packed up and put everything away in its place before heading down to Oban.

I can’t explain my connection to Oban, this little coastal town by the sea. Craig thinks that I picked up dads love of a CalMac ferry here and that’s why I love it so much.

It’s such a transient town. So many people are headed out to the islands. There are lots of English accents here today. Think there’s a coach tour in. I love nothing more than siting watching the ferries coming into port and heading out again.

I can see 3 as I sit on a bench by the sea, writing this.

Ok they’re dots on the horizon but I know they are there 😆

As soon as I got to Oban I headed to the Oban Chocolate Company. I was going to say you can visit Oban without going there… of course you can… but it’s a very decadent treat! I broke my 17.5 hour fast with a delicious rich oat milk hot chocolate with a little pot luck of choccie goodies to go with it.

I then had a wander round the harbour and a couple of shops before sitting down at the water to write. And breathe in the sea air.

It’s 2.30pm and I really need to make a move to head home. Craig’s had a lovely day in the sun too. Think it’s maybe warmer at home than it is here.

I feel like I have had the best form of reset. I’ve been SO lucky with the weather and I’m so pleased that I came this far. I might not get away in the van until the end of June now.

Right.

Moving.

Back to the van.

Of course I had to stop on the way. It was the most beautiful drive down. I stopped at Inveruglas as there are stunning views of Loch and Ben Lomond.

Finally home at 5.30pm and cooking rump steaks for dinner.

Just want to end with last nights sunset. It was breathtaking. I stood outside for an hour or so watching it.

And finally the view from my bed.

I am so grateful to bursting for these last few days.

Still a millions photos to share.

Wow.

Stay safe everyone ☀️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🌄

Day 1083 the clocks spring forward and ROADTRIP!!!! 🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Check our little photoshoot this morning!

We got the 3 of them lined up with our backwards clock so Craig could do a FB post for his business page. Freya just didn’t get the sit straight up memo!

Funnily enough the backwards clock was already at the right time without moving it forward…. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂 shows how much we try to read that eh?!? Been an hour out for the whole of winter! It is very difficult to figure out, it seemed like a good idea when we first saw it in someone else’s house. It’s now the most pointless thing as we have to discuss the time we think it is, after we’ve looked at it! 😂

So after a lot of thinking I’ve finally decided to head away overnight. Craig has loads to do over the next few days and I know I’d be climbing the walls stuck at home with no real plans. Since I only work 4 days a week at Tartan, I only get 13 floating days to pick from over the year. I need to make the most of them.

Current view at time of writing. Very dramatic. Waiting on snow that’s forecast.

I don’t think there’s enough signal to get a huge amount of photos loading tonight.

I’m on the Invercoe campsite on the banks of Loch Leven in Glencoe. I’m all the way up here!

I cleaned out the van this morning, just emptied all the drawers and cupboards and put a fair bit of it back in 😂 and set off about 10.30am.

I’ve honestly been really excited and nervous in equal measures today. I didn’t have to come this far, could have stayed somewhere more local but honestly, if you’re going to do Scotland in a mini trip, it’s Loch Lomond, Glencoe and Oban for me, every time. It’s just a bit out my comfort zone these days after everything that’s gone wrong with the van recently.

I was going to make so many stops along the way but actually only stopped to “spend a penny” as Gran would say. Turns out that spending a penny costs you 50p these days in Luss…. And you flash your bank card at the turnstile now. Who knew?!? It was a 20p coin in a slot last time I popped past. Guess the new machine cost more… and they’ll have charges for card payments to cover.

The drive up the side of Loch Lomond is just out of this world. Ben Lomond is covered in snow. I have no photos as I was driving, obviously. It really has to be seen to be believed.

It’s a really narrow, windy road that does give me the odd fright every now and then. The “what if” anxiety runs away with me at times.

I say all that and I’ve been totally fine all day. Hardly a car on the road in front of me, or behind me and any point in time. It’s a great time to travel. Most people are heading south on a Sunday.

Then finally heading across the Rannoch Moor.

Here she is at Buachaille Etive Mor, the mountain at the head of Glen Etive.

I stopped again at Glencoe Falls also known as the Meeting of Three Waters. These waters form the River Coe.

This is the road into the Glen. It’s so narrow and windy and yet once you’re in the Glen it opens into a huge expanse with high mountains all around you.

The next photos are Aonach Dubh, Beinn Fhada and Gearr Aonach, the Three Sisters or Bidean nam Bian of Glencoe.

I then drove round to the campsite. We’ve stayed in Glencoe on and off for years and yet never knew this one existed until my friend Evelyn recommended it. I am in a spot right on the water front.

I set up and walked straight into Glencoe. I picked the wee craft, gift and coffee shop and had a scone with butter and homemade jam and a decaf oat milk latte. I sat outside as it was quite mild in the sun.

I walked into Glencoe village and popped into the local shop to pick up some food for dinner.

The Pap of Glencoe (Sgorr na Ciche) reaches a height of 2,434 feet (742 meters). It can be seen from all around Glencoe.

I walked up to the Glencoe Lochan. Wow. It was beautiful today. So calm and peaceful and the perfect mirror image.

I’ve done 15,000 steps today. Been back at the van for the last few hours trying to get photos to load. One of the three sisters just doesn’t want to be published at all 😂😂😂

It’s been pretty windy despite a really calm forecast. It’s tried to snow and it seems to be calming down now. I’m expecting a brighter sunset if the forecast comes true.

I’ve also had an amber alert for Aurora Borealis… how good would that be?!? If I can stay awake long enough for it to get dark!

It 6.45pm and the sun isn’t due to set for another hour yet. LOVE the lighter nights.

Will leave you with me at the Lochan. Got a couple to take my photo after I’d taken one of them.

And current view, taken from inside the van!! I am so very lucky to be able to do this.

Wow.

Stay safe everyone 🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿♥️

Day 1082 dog jog and The little gift shop, food shopping and holidays!!

No work for 3.5 days…. Well technically only 3 days left now but hey… 3 whole days in a row off . Woooo hooo!

Now. you all know me by now, I’ll be climbing the walls trying to decide what to do with myself for the best.

I really want to go away in the van but haven’t planned anything yet. Also the 5 of us away in the van is no mean feat and it’s been pointed out to me that I’m not always the most relaxed in that situation . 🤔 Moi?!?!

Anyway, back to today….. started with a dog jog today. Now, I could have soooooo easily not gone out today. I was tired and only woke as the dogs barked at 6am. It was 7.30 before I took them out… but I did it.

It was actually a lovely morning. It was really still and calm. That’s the reason I went out with them. It seemed too nice to sit around and do nothing.

The daffies are out in full force! I love this time of year. Everything seems so fresh and full of promise. Things beginning to grow, the possibility of spring just around the corner.

It’s just the yellow ones that are out just now, the white ones and white and orange ones come later. Smiling there at my technical terminology of the daffodils… they may have official names, I go by colour 😆💛🧡🤍

I’ve decided that Sunday will be a day of rest on the dog jog front 😂 bet the dogs are pleased about that!

I have had the loveliest wee day at The little gift shop. I was on my own for the whole shift for the first time. I opened and closed up all by myself. I know you all know I can do it but sometimes it still surprises me. I expect my anxiety might take over and send everything into a huge spiral but it didn’t.

I was really busy and the time flew by. I did a FB post, priced up loads of new things and took loads of photos… wait until you see the Easter stuff in the back shop waiting to come out. Pic a bit blurry for some reason.

Loving the bunnies!

I love these by Rosie made a thing….. Go wild – you only live once! but always use a coaster 😆😂😂😂 obviously!!

I was buzzing at work again today. Some lovely neighbours came in, Anne and Brian and I shouted across the shop that he was the most handsome customer I’d had all day. 😆 I love that part of working in the shop. The banter, the chat…. It’s always bright and breezy. You can cheer people up with a bit of chat about the weather, the nice things in the shop. It just makes me feel so happy.

I was about to leave when 2 customers came in at 1pm! Instead of being annoyed they were holding me back, I was excited to see what they bought.

Finally finished up and headed straight to Home Bargains as we were in dire need of all things cleaning wise and I find that Home Bargains and B&M Stores are by far the cheapest. I even got food again today. It’s not the best selection but it definitely did the job.

I’ve been sitting on the couch with the candles on since about 3.30pm. It’s darker now that it’s raining. The fire is lit. My feet are up and I’m watching a series called The Fall on Netflix.

Hope you have a great Saturday night. Dinner’s ready. Check me. Cooking. Whatever next?!?

Stay safe everyone 🧡💛🤍

Day 1081 another early morning dog jog and The little gift shop, the pub (alcohol free of course) and chillin’

The Scottish Dog Behaviourist was up at 5am this morning to work on content for FB posts. I lay and tried to get back to sleep but my brain wouldn’t let me. I eventually gave in after 6 and got up to take the puppers out for a dog jog again.

It was dry surprisingly, as it had been really wet through the night. It’s windy again though.

Back home for cuddles with Bhru…. I swear she’s smiling.

This was the scene as I dried my hair. 😂

Bhru has a tennis ball… Calaidh is fixated on it…. Freya is fixated on the hair dryer. 😂

I was working all day at The little gift shop today. It say that but it doesn’t feel like work.

There’s load of new things in again this week. It fascinates me! I love unpacking the boxes and seeing what’s coming in.

Love these wee tiny houses… no Craig, we can’t have them. 😂

I priced all these cards…. If you can, zoom in on the ones in the front rows… they’re all Scottish.

The words are amazing. They’re by a company called Pink Pig. 🐷 it’s such a great brand. The cards say it all.

Also love these wee houses.

My legs and feet are gowping tonight (tired, achey, sore) and I’m sure I’ll sleep tonight! look how dramatic the sky was when I came home. It’s been sunny and wet on and off all day!

When I came home I popped into the pub next door and had a 0% Whitley Neil Raspberry gin with slimline tonic.

Then back in the house and had 0% red wine….. apart from the fact that it’s pretty rotten, it seemed all kind of wrong.

It’s been a very long time since I held a large wine glass like that. I felt like I was actually drinking…. Until I tasted it 😂 funny how the action of holding that glass triggers all the memories.

Feet up now chilling for the rest of the evening.

She is me.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1080 23-3-23 : 3 years to the day since Scotland went into the first COVID-19 lockdown 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🦠😷

3 years ago today the word lockdown came into our vocabulary. Until then, it was rarely used, certainly not by us.

The announcement from our First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on 23/3/20

This is t the best graph but is shows the dates mentioned above.

Lockdown. What does it mean to you?

For me, it was terrifying to start off with, as I had just been made redundant on 28th February due to my anxiety and depression. Sorry, of course, the official line is that my position was made redundant due to a restructuring of the department. I’ve always been very bitter about this, but let’s be fair…. I’d been off sick for 10 weeks from Sep-Dec 2018 and then again from June 2019 to the February of 2020 so I shouldn’t have expected it to be waiting for me with open arms.

I felt a deep shame at being made redundant.

I had completely failed at my job. I wasn’t hard enough. Wasn’t strong enough. Wasn’t good enough.

Other people could manage, just not me.

I was a daft wee lassie in a hard man’s world.

I had tried so hard to please everyone. Came in as early as I could and left later than everyone , just to be seen. I tried to keep the peace in a political business. I had to pull my big girl pants up for almost EVERY confrontation…. And there were A LOT.

My big girl pants weren’t big enough.

Anyway, I digress, as usual. You get the picture. I’m feeling really fragile, without my high flyer job that, to me, completely defined who I was.

Boom. Lockdown. Everything is closed. You can’t even begin to start looking for another job.

I’m another way I really quite liked it. It was the excuse I used to allow me more time to recover. Truth be told, I wasn’t ready to look for another job let alone sell myself to anyone.

Suddenly the rest of the world joined my new “stay at home” life. Craig was there every day. We didn’t need to worry too much about money as I had my redundancy.

We had no idea what to expect. We weren’t allowed to mix with anyone outwith our own household. I remember back thinking we followed most, if not all of the rules to the letter. I’m not sure I remember much of those first few months other than the lovely sunshine we had.

We got loads done in the garden and the house. We made a point of doing somethin every day and got up and got on with the task at hand.

We’ll never have that kind of time again in our lives I don’t think. I doubt people would adhere to a lockdown as much if it happened again.

3 years ago eh? How time flies. In such a short space of time we do now wonder why someone might be wearing a mask now that it’s no longer required in most places.

We painted all the sheds.

We had zoom campfires with members of Overland Bound.

We also had zoom meetings with our family and friends… my poor mum had a zoom 70th birthday.

I took a lot of photos of the dogs!! Nothing new there then…. 😆

We planted things, we baked, we got creative. I crocheted hearts for our local Funeral Directors. I crocheted a lot.

We worked on Craig’s Jeep transforming the back of it into a camping vehicle.

We washed and painted the house.

Our hair grew out of control, at least Craig’s did…. And most of all we relaxed and enjoyed each others company.

It seems like such a distant memory yet so many people are still catching Covid now. And the glorious sun kept shining!

Of course the lockdown was the reason I started my blog. Our local Beith Trust asked people to keep a diary during lockdown and it grew from there. I think I started on the 8th day of lockdown… so that’s almost 3 years of my daily blog…. Minus a few on the really bad days. I never thought I’d still be writing!

Also a year ago today I finally caught Covid-19 for the first time. Couldn’t believe it was on the 2 year anniversary. I had no idea how I caught it.

So this year, I started the day with another run with the dogs. Bhruic joined our morning jog today.

It was lovely and calm after the strong winds of yesterday…. And no rain.

It was like the sky was on fire.

It’s been a really busy day at work but I’ve finished up Tartan for a few days, back on Wednesday. Looking forward to a wee mini break.

A lot of memories stirred up today. I’ve enjoyed the wee trip down memory lane.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1079 the Scottish Dog Behaviourist returns! 🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Craig and Bhru are back from their mini adventure!

I came home from work, raced in the door, shouting my hellos and screaming that I was desperate for the loo… only to find later that he was on a call… on speaker phone. 😳 classy.

The seem to have had a great time and I am determined to keep looking for things to do around the house. She says sitting on her backside writing this at 5.45 😂

I’ve already had dinner and washed the dishes, that’s a good start.

He’s also cleaned the van, washed the dog marrow bone sheepskin rug 😳🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️washed all the blankets. if I’m really honest there is t any sign that he’s been away. I have to admit to taking photos of the hall and the kitchen this morning before I left for work… in case of comparison. Oh me of little faith. That’ll teach me!!

Anyway, we went out for a run this morning again. The forecast was awful, but it was actually dry but very windy.

Come on mum says Freya!

Check them bounding along. They’re loving it.

I actually had to stop a few times to catch my breath as the wind was so strong. A good excuse that!

The sky was lovely and the clouds were moving so fast.

Huge puddle in the road!

Spotted these little beauties on my run…. They are lit up by the head torch.

So home, fed the dogs, put away all the dry washing, shower and out to work…. Super productive all before 7.30. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy to get up, I could just roll over and not bother, but I force myself for the sake of the dogs. Once I’m outside I’m totally fine. It’s just getting there takes the effort.

Work was super busy again today and the day flew in.

I’m still fasting and doing really well at it this week. I’m doing more of an 18 hours fasting, 6 eating…. And I’m not giorging myself when I do eat… says Mrs 8 Custard Creams today… believe me, there’s been a lot worse. 😂

I really enjoy it. I love eating dinner, feeling full and setting the clock. After that I know I won’t eat anything else. I’m meeting the Crochet Hookers in the pub tonight and I will just drink soda water.

Love this next one. I’m really finding the appreciation of the present moment. I say this a lot but life is right here, right now with my feet up on the couch writing this. It’s not waiting for crochet or living for days off like we have this weekend. It’s right now. Calaidh is sitting next to me. The tennis ball is on my legs. Her eyes keep looking at the ball and then looking up into mine…. I can type this and still watch her and not make many mistakes. Check me!

It feels like there is so much extra time in a day when you appreciate it all.

I also love to examine how I’m really feeling, and why…. You’d never have guessed that would you?!? 😂

Anyway I’m rambling now so I’ll finish up.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1078 still home alone with doggos 1& 3

The Scottish Dog Behaviourist is still up north with Bhruic and Abbie the camper van.

They’ve been to the Glenfinnan Monument and Glenfinnan viaduct (made famous in the Harry Potter films) today.

I cannot tell you how proud I am that Craig is off on his own in the van…. Taking some alone time and sitting watching the Loch flow by when I spoke to him earlier. He NEVER does that. He very rarely has silence. I’m so proud of him for doing something different and I love that it’s totally my vibe.

I’ve also been so envious of his trip but I am equally loving the home alone time.

I have a nice wee routine going now. I’m doing way more around the house, looking after it and tidying as I use things like I used to do when I lived by myself. I’m not sure why I stopped, why I’m more lazy when we’re both here. I’m going to try and be more aware of that in future.

I am way more mindful of the dogs…. I’m not irritated by having to walk them early snd , I’m enjoying spending time with them. it sounds daft but I feel more responsible for them. Also 2 of them are way quieter than 3….. it took Sherlock to figure that out. 😆

We were up and out before 6am this morning, it was still quite dark. Had the head torch on the whole way.

And it was raining… got this head torch lit daffodil shot!

Work was really busy again today and the day passes by so quickly.

When I came home from work the dogs were in their dog robes!! Holly had put them on when they came back from their afternoon dog walk! So sweet to come home to them all wrapped up.

I brought the wheelie bin back in, did a quick poop scoop around the garden, fed the dogs and had some pub Mac n’cheese for dinner! It was soooooo good!!

We had a kick about in the garden.

And then we played with tennis balls inside…. While Calaidh gives the ball the manic stare.

Look at her wee floofy paws…. Bless.

They’re both fast asleep now. Silence again. Candles lit. Fire not on as I don’t have enough kindling and it keeps going out… but hey…. I need a man to start a fire 🔥 😆😘that’s just a standing joke between us 😂

A lovely evening.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1077 bright and breezy Monday to start the week!

That’s me that was bright and breezy this morning. Not the weather…. It was pretty miserable. That fine rain that soaks you as Gran would have said! It’s been misty and murky all day.

I was awake at 5.30 and up soon after as I had to get Calaidh and Freya out for a walk before work.

I had the head torch and hi vis vest on!

I took them for a run/walk…. First time in weeks since we left the Fit Body Farm. I felt tired and clunky but I did it…. And actually enjoyed it!

Here they are in their goonies to dry off after the walk. Wee cuties.

All of this before 6.30am. I also cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom and did a washing and hung it up AND had a shower and got lunch ready, all before I left for work at 7.25am. I mean, come on, machine or what?!?! I only say that because I’m surprised at myself. I was on a roll!!

It’s now 6.50pm and I’m absolutely shattered, yawning my head off on the couch. I peaked early!

I’ve had a really good day at work. It flew in. I honestly don’t know where the day went.

The puppers had another great walk through the day as Holly (next door) took them out for a run up the hill. Great to see them getting that while I’m at work.

I played out the back with them when I got home too.

So yeah, I’ve had a really good day. I’m sitting in complete silence and all I can hear is a clock ticking and the light tap of my fingers on the keys. Bliss.

Craig is having a lovely time. He’s sent through some amazing photos of his location and Bhru. He’ll be sharing some of them on his Scottish Dog Behaviourist FB page (click the link to see the!)

I’m so proud of him for doing this. For taking Abbie the camper who is being a man’s van these few days, and going away by himself for some rest and catch up on work.

All cuddly toys are removed in Abz the man van….. one of my fake sheepskin floor rugs was popped outside the van, on the ground, so that Bhru could eat her marrowbone on it 😳

😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱😱

Is it any wonder why we argue while we’re away camping?!?!? 😂. I need to seriously lower my standards for future family camping trips. I’m always so worried about things getting dirty and wet with muddy paws….. I can feel my insides squirming at the very thought. You can only imagine what my insides do at the thought of marrowbone smeared rug………clenches fists and digs nails into palms… while grinding teeth.

Think Calaidh is broken….. 😂

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1076 Happy Mother’s Day (UK) and the Scottish Dog Behaviourist heads off on a working holiday 🚐🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🐶

So yes, today is Mother’s Day in the UK. Here are some photos of my lovely Mum.

I’m not going over to see her today but we’re meeting for a shopping expedition in a few weeks.

I was really sad and tearful this morning.

First of all I was just tired. I stayed up until 11.20pm last night watching Line of Duty…. Only to find it wasn’t the last episode as I thought it had been. I couldn’t keep my eyes open by then!! Then wide awake at 5.30am. So only 6 hours sleep on the one day a week I can actually get a lie in. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😂

I feel really bad I’m not going over to see Mum today but there was too much going on this weekend for me to think straight and organise anything.

Also I was never able to become a mum…. Now in all honesty, let’s not pretend that it isn’t by far the best outcome for us. We often look at each other and say how glad we are that life turned out the way that it did, but that doesn’t erase the years of trying, knowing there was nothing wrong with either of us. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Instead we have the Three Amigos and Craig has his wonderful business as a result. Here they are today….

So we took them out for a walk really early on today.

It’s actually a really lovely mild morning.

We headed up to Craig’s Mum’s for 11am and had this amazing spread!!!

French toast with crispy bacon, fruit and maple syrup, was amazing!

It was lovely to see them both and Douglas’ sister and son who were over visiting. A lovely brunch and catch up.

So the Scottish Dog Behaviourist has found himself with a couple of days off work, unexpectedly, so is making the most of it and heading up north of Fort William, with Bhruic, to have some much needed R&R but also to start filming some training videos in some stunning Scottish locations. That was a very long sentence. 🙊

Here’s Bhru all secure in her harness ready for the journey north.

I feel like this next one needs a caption. We were just having a last minute cuddle. 😆

Her eyes 👀 😂

And here he is all set for the off. Eventually. After he’d gone back into the house about 3 times. 🤦🏻‍♀️ why can men never leave the house once?!? Sorry broad brush generalisation there!

Keek Bhru!

So I have an “empty” as we say in Scotland.

You do know my “party” means lots is silence, a tidy bathroom and kitchen and a whole lot of SILENCE….. bliss!

Of course you also know I do miss them both a wee bit already. 😂

Calaidh, Freya and I settled down in the sun for a coffee and a tennis ball throwing session.

The sun didn’t last long sadly. So back indoors to clean said kitchen and bathroom (how can he leave such a mess in the bathroom?!? Hopes he has so signal to read this?!?!) I’ve hung a washing, cooked a chicken (thanks to my lovely mother-in-law… affectionately known as maw law!), got the fire going (finally) and lit the candles for a cosy evening in.

Sadly there is no one to bring me snacks tonight….. but we do have CLEAN BED to look forward to!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1075 dog walk and 2 little gift shops in one day!

Ok…. I hear myself so don’t shoot me down. Those of you who have been here through some of the worst days will know this doesn’t happen very often….

I’ve woken up so full of gratitude for everything. I’m bursting with joy and excitement inside. It’s such a lovely, calming feeling.

I got up early to take the dogs out before work.

The girls were great today. Actually I know fine well it’s because I was great today. We had a lovely peaceful walk at 7am and only saw 2 cars. No one else.

Calaidh sussed there’s a puddle ahead and is already body swerving it! 😂

There was a tiny bit of sunshine on the horizon!

It’s super mild after the last few days.

The dogs swap around all the time! I laughed that they are in different places in these photos.

Love that they all settle down just before I head out to work.

So I’m now writing the rest of this at 3pm now and I am shattered.

We had another very busy day at The little gift shop. The last shopping day before Mother’s Day.

It’s lovely to see so many guys popping in with their kids. The quote of the day…. “You know for guys who hate shopping, wee places like this are a godsend!” That’s exactly why Gayle does what she does.

We couldn’t get out at 1pm. We had a couple come in at 12.59 and then another 2 folk after that…. We put the lights back on for one guy!!!

I then took a wee run up to The little gift shop Lochwinnoch branch! Ooooh check us. It was torrential rain outside but really lovely to get a wee look inside the shop, and to catch up with Gayle quickly. She did have lots of customers in,

So yeah, this mornings buzz has been replaced by a headache and I’m really tired. I’m just gonna get into bed and have a wee nap.

It is hard working 5 and half days a week every week but I do love my weekends at the shop. It’s good therapy!

Love this next one!

Happy Saturday to you all!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1074 a very busy day in The little gift shop… while Abbie the camper runs up another bill in the garage!

Wow.

I have had the best day. I am buzzing!!!

I’m on a high like Tartan Campers at the Motorhome Show high!!! I am using so many exclamation marks.

We have been so busy in The little gift shop. I just love it!!!

So many lovely people in for Mother’s Day….. met another lovely reader today too, so lovely to put a face to the name… the day just flew in. I didn’t even get time to eat cake!

I was working with Lindsay for the first time today as Gayle is in her new shop in Lochwinnoch.

Lindsay told me about the self catering holiday home she has in Anstruther called Ainster House. Wait till you see it! I’ll post the link to her website below. It is stunning!

Ainster House – Anstruther

Wow, I’m blown away but how beautiful it is inside. Keep it in mind if you fancy a wee holiday to the east coast. Anstruther is beautiful.

So, in other news obviously Abbie the camper van was back in the garage today for a rear wheel bearing. The only reason she didn’t get that last week was that another garage had done her wheel bearings in November and they felt it should be a warranty repair to that other garage. Other garage said “no way wi’ they big wheels” so I took it back to my normal garage to do it.

I work in The little gift shop to fund my aging Camper van it would appear…. I say that and Craig paid today…. Thank you kind and wonderful husband 😂😘🥰

So many people say that I should get rid of her now but in all honesty it is as 2009 plate van so I don’t really think it’s out of the ordinary for it’s age. I guess if I could afford it, I’d take “they big wheels” off and lower her back to normal height but that ain’t gonna happen any time soon….

I am very grateful for my beautiful camper van. She says. Reminding herself.

I had this tag on FB today from the lovely Isy….

How beautiful is that?!?

I have always felt like I was never good enough. Never thin enough, smart enough, trendy enough, rich enough, cool enough, fun enough, pretty enough…. This list comes really easily to me. I can rhyme these off. I have always been disappointed in myself for something.

You know what?!?

I have finally realised I am good enough for me.

I am enough. I’m actually in tears typing this. Sometimes these wee revelations come out of the blue, I certainly never saw this coming until I typed these words. I am enough.

I’m really aware of my gratitude, my ability to be present in the moment and appreciate each day for what it is. Some are still tougher than others. I’m honestly so grateful that I got the chance to see all this. I never would have without all those years of anxiety and depression.

I am enough.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1073 technology was not my friend today… 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️😂

The printer wouldn’t talk to me today…. I didn’t really notice the cold shoulder this morning, but by 12 I was trying everything to get the laptop and printer to connect. I ran troubleshooting software…. Bossman printed just to prove the printer WAS still talking to him…… 😤

I spent a good half hour before lunch. I switched everything off and had Ellison’s lovely lentil soup and a buttered roll…. Life felt so much better until I sat back down at my desk and remembered we weren’t talking. At least another hour of faffing about. I still have no idea how I fixed it, but its working now. Printing it’s little head off….

It’s funny how something so simple can totally knock you off track. It’s like I couldn’t function because I couldn’t follow the set process I have in my head….. how would my job actually work if I couldn’t print out that bit of paper I needed.

I have yet to achieve a paperless desk although the printer sure tried hard to get me to, today!!! Smiling but still secretly a wee bit raging…. 😡

I also feel my wifi was playing up as the phone wouldn’t do exactly what I wanted to do either…. Grrrr 🐯

So last night was my first of 2 weeks back on the progesterone….. I woke up with such a start as I had been dead to the world. Such a deep sleep until 5.20am. It’s a really lovely feeling but also a bit disconcerting as my fist thought was “where am I?” …. I am ALWAYS in the same place 🤦🏻‍♀️😂😂😂

I did another Suzanne Robichaud meditation. This one for stress and anxiety… I did feel a wee bit off when I woke.

It was a lovely meditation. With headphones on it really relaxed me. I wanted to go back to sleep but had to get up. I’ll pop the link below in case you fancy trying it. I love Suzanne’s Canadian accent….

Meditation to relive stress and anxiety

It was torrential rain for a lot of the morning. Absolutely stotting down. It was pretty dark, misty and foggy. Not the nicest day. That said, it’s way milder tonight than it’s been in a long time.

Had to dash out of work at 4 as I had a 50th birthday massage with Norma in Harmony in Beith!! It was a lovely chat and massage. Didn’t realise how tense I was. I’m very lucky I still have more vouchers to use up, so booked back in for April.

So that was Thursday. I’m tired but we have some more Line of Duty to watch tonight. Finally catching up with the show that everyone in the UK seemed to be talking about, back in the day.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1072 a beautiful sunrise Wednesday!

Ok ish sleep but awake at 5.30 so I decided to listen to Suzanne Robichaud mediation on gratitude. A wee ten minute meditation focussing on gratitude. I’ll post the link below.

Suzanne Robichaud – Gratitude

I’m doing really well with gratitude at the moment but another focus wouldn’t hurt. It helps stop any overthinking at that time of the morning.

By the time I got up, I decided to pop out to the van and put on the diesel heater. Did I mention it was working again?!?!?! Fuse out and back in and all good. Also full tank of diesel might help. It was super cold and frosty this morning so I thought it would help defrost the van while I was in the shower.

I spotted the sky shining in my rear lights randomly…. so lucky I went out early or I would have totally missed it.

So, not much to say about my day. All good at work. Rachel two doors down popped in after work so we could do some Memorial Hall accounts and then I had some lovely fish and chips for dinner.

The Crochet Hookers are meeting in 10 minutes so this is the usual wed night super fast blog.

Had this shared on FB from our dog breeder. How lovely…. I like to show her Freya’s progress but we hadn’t heard from her in years. Lovely to hear a bit about Freya’s early

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1071 a snowy morning on Freya’s birthday!

Little Freya Runtie pup turns 6 today!

What a difference 6 years makes. These next photos are the first time we first saw her, when we went to collect her versus today.

I am not kidding when I say her tiny size took our breath away. She was hand reared by the breeder as her mother rejected her. She was in a kennel with some 6 week old Labrador puppies and she looked like a teeny rat compared to them. She was shockingly tiny.

When we first saw a photo of her, she looked like this.

She had virtually no ears. No one expected her to survive.

Look at the state of our grass!! No wonder we had to go artificial 🤦🏻‍♀️

Here they are out the back today. Bhru as usual with her very unladylike pose 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Other than that, today was all about the snow.

I woke at 2.45am and listened to my heart palpitate away (is that even a word?!?) it was pumping blood around my body like a machine. I know it’s meant to but this was loud!

I tossed and turned but never really got back to sleep. I finally got up at 5.30am. It had been snowing!!!

I had the most wonderful walk with Calaidh. It was so peaceful and quiet and so worthwhile getting up early. As you will be able to tell by the photos, I was in my element. Now I’m not going to chatter away in between shots as I want you to experience the walk in silence as I did….. until I get to the deer 🦌 🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌

Calaidh started to pull on the lead as if something was wrong. I then spotted 7 deer running around in a field trying to get away from us but running towards us! They finally ran in the opposite direction and I got hundreds of photos!!! This is the best one showing 3 of them in action, bounding away from us.

And these poor daffies know it’s meant to be spring. They were a little bit sad at being snowed on…. But very beautiful.

It was a beautiful way to start the day. I love being up and out before the world wakes up.

It’s snowed on and off all day but been too wet to lie. By the time I left work it was pure blue sky and sunshine.

A good day.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1070 a miserable day weather wise but still waiting for the snow!

I was pre-nervous for leaving work today as heavy snow was forecast! Did it snow?!? Naw! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙

Someone who thinks he’s always right did suggest it might never happen… 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

Anyway, today was a good day.

I had another great sleep after a very lazy Sunday. I honestly hardly moved off the couch after I’d written the blog. We got pub chicken thicken masala delivers for dinner. It just turned up, it wasn’t ordered but it was VERY welcome.

Work passed quickly and I got loads done. There were no dramas. Just how I like it.

I’m home now after an easy drive and making a Peanut Curry from the Pinch of Nom cookbook.

It smells amazing! Can’t wait. It’s worth the effort and nowhere near as difficult as I thought it would be.

Better than a takeaway…. I need to remember that!

I love this next one. 💜

Still waiting for the snow!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1069 a very lazy Sunday with some housework thrown in

We were up early this morning.

The lighter mornings are lovely. It’s only 1.30pm and it feels like blog writing time already! 😂

I’m having the laziest day. I’ve hoovered, cleaned and dusted but I’m also sitting down and doing precious little for the rest of the im time.

😂😂

Now how good would that be?!? I’m doing the bare minimum but it’s so much better than it was!

I think in the last few weeks I’ve realised that, my life, this year, is going to be very different from last year. I’m hiding under the safety net of work. I’m kept so busy by having two jobs, I don’t really need to think about what else to do. I don’t have time to fill.

This is the first Sunday in 3 weeks, that I’ve had no plans and I cannot for the life of me think what I’d rather be doing. I’m annoyed that I’m doing nothing but I also need the rest. This time last year I was taking off in the van, any chance I got. This year I can’t face driving it anywhere.

Acht that’s unfair and it’s an exaggeration. I don’t want to go anywhere that might be busy and I can’t get parked. I’m ok heading out first thing before anyone else.

I know I’m hiding from crowds, I’m hiding from people but I’m just doing what’s right for me. It keeps me happy.

It was snowing when we went to bed last night.

It was lovely, so peaceful, apart from the Christmas night out in the pub next door. How funny they got snow on their Christmas night out in March!?!

We also took the dogs out this morning and this is the only photo I got! My favourite gate in Spiers old school grounds. Not been there in ages!

It was a really bleak walk…. Drizzle, misty and super cold to start off but we soon heated up. We tried to get footage for the Scottish Dog Behaviourist FB and website, but the dog cam didn’t work properly. It was attached to Bhruic and just wobbled about all over the place. Shame!

As usual on a Sunday I get my positive motivation from my FB feed.

I love this next one… I have nothing to numb the reality or struggles in life now that I no longer drink.

I have to sit with everything and feel it all but I’m becoming more aware of the positives of that. What are these struggles sent to teach me?! What am I learning? What is next?

We spend our lives wishing for the next big thing. The words in this one are so powerful.

Of you could just live. Appreciate every day. The good and the bad and be grateful that you are alive.

The courage to accept…

The strength to embrace….

The wisdom to really see…

… what you have.

I smiled as I wrote that 😊

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1068 early dog walk, The little gift shop, food shopping (check me), housework and a lovely nap!!

My day in a nutshell, once again you read the title and it sums up the blog. No need to read on 😂😂

I had to get the dogs out before work today as Craig was out all day. It was a cold morning with a low wintry sun.

I took all 3 at once which could have gone either way and actually they were really good. Actually I was good. I was in control. I didn’t overthink it, we just went for a walk.

Love that the minute I go to take a photo, Freya looks back and smiles 😂

The sun is desperately trying to get through the clouds.

Let’s all fan out!

Check these wee guys. The white one is checking us out.

The poor daffies are suffering from the frost.

Arty portrait shot of the top of a frosty hedge.

I love when the sun is like this. I call it a watery sun but I’m not sure that’s the right way to explain it.

It’s so peaceful and quiet. It must have been around 7.15am. We didn’t meet a soul.

I did a FB post on the bench page that I’ve joined 😂😂😂 I did it when I got home, not on the walk.

I love this next one. I have 3 dogs in tow, crossing a road and I still manage to get the shot!

I would be happy if I never hear the news again. I know I’m maybe a bit too insular at times but it suits me and really helps my head.

There’s a lady Isy, that I’ve never met, that’s now a friend on FB and she shares all these wonderful posts. I know we have connected for a reason. I feel like these speak to me. This next one absolutely!!

So off to The little gift shop for 9.30 and the morning flew in. We had some great chat!

After work I headed to Tesco and did the first food shopping in ages… I’m determined to try a recipe that Evelyn gave me through the week. Will see how that goes tomorrow.

I filled the van with diesel and it cost me £120!!!!!! It was very empty but wow…. I bought a fairly minimum shop for £58. Everything is crazy expensive these days.

Home, put the shopping away, put a washing on, made some soup, kicked balls with the puppers, tidied the kitchen, sat down and realised how tired I was….

I climbed into bed and had the best nap. Not been able to do that for a while. Musta needed it!

So yeah….. another good day. Tealight village is lit. I’m sitting in the living room with only the candle light, writing this. I’ve ordered Chicken Karahi from the Indian takeaway and I am soooo relaxed. I have a whole day to myself tomorrow with no plans whatsoever…. Oh except for some cooking. Hopefully!

This last one just in from Tracey in Canada. Just in time for the end of the blog. A lovely one!

Happy Saturday night.

Stay safe everyone 🕯️🕯️🕯️

Day 1067 we woke up to snow, the little gift shop and Abbie back from the garage (at a price!)

We have snow!!!! Ok so we had snow when we woke up and it’s all gone now.

I had no idea. It had started last night but I had the blinds shut so I missed most of it. It came as a surprise when I woke up.

It’s freezing but beautiful.

It looks really picturesque…. I can hear my gran saying picture-skew bless her.

I ran a doggy acrobatics class 🎾🎾🎾

They love a bit of jumping around. I’ve been really lazy this week and not done any exercise so it was nice to get outside in the fresh air and play about with them.

They’re not posing as much as they used to… reckon they’re sick of it. 😂

The sun was glorious!!

Check my heart log. ♥️🪵 I remember when we got these logs to burn and I was so excited to see this was a heart shape. I kept this as a garden ornament 😂 think we finally burned the rest!

I also got arty with the stones!

Even our big shed looked amazing in the snow. Everything looks so much more pretty, even our messy garden!!

Glorious sunshine. Really good for the soul!

😂 we have SO many potholes just now

So I was in The little gift shop early today as Gayle went to Lochwinnoch as she’s getting the new shop ready for opening. It’s exciting times and I can’t wait to see the new shop!

That means I was left on my own in Beith today and for the first time I actually did some rearranging…. Now that is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone and yet I loved every minute of it. I pootled around and tried to find new homes for things I was moving, to make way for the sunglasses, beach bags, summer bags and summer scarves. Of course it was on the day that it snowed… 🏖️🏝️👙☀️☃️☃️☃️

The new beach bags are lovely. I can’t decide which of these two I prefer.

Check the arty scarf design. 👍🏼😂

As soon as Gayle came back, I pointed it all out and said I wouldn’t be offended at all if she wanted to move it all!!!

Me of little faith…. And that’s not even the saying! 😂

I had a lovely wee day though missed my chats with Gayle!

By 4pm Abbie the Campervan was ready for collection…. At a mere £391 this time but she’s driving like a dream. It was the near side brake callipers that had seized. I also have the rear wheel bearing screaming…. But that was fixed in November so I’m going back to the garage that did that, to see if there’s a chance it’s covered under warranty. Here’s hoping. 🙏🏼

So yeah, I’ve had a great day. We have Mac n’cheese for dinner, with garlic bread so it’s cooking while the Scottish Dog Behaviourist makes enquiry calls. Love how I refer to him like that now… 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

I totally appreciate everything I have ♥️

Looking forward to a sit down shortly…. happy Friday night to you all!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1066 the Battle Hastings 😆 ok not… just another day in the life!

I had the best sleep!!! 8 and half hours. Almost straight through.

Somehow Calaidh snuck into our bedroom last night 😆 so she moved around a couple of times, I woke and went straight back to sleep.

It really is the best feeling.

So I’ve been thinking a lot today bout nutrition…. As you do.

I’ve been fasting now since 20th December. I don’t really feel like I’ve lost weight but I still feel so much better for it. I’ve found the thing that really works for me. I don’t feel bloated anymore. I enjoy it controlling my food intake.

However, I’m still not eating properly the rest of the time. I need to make more effort and get back to proper food shopping and cooking again.

Even as I write this I get the fear, how many times have I said it?! How many times have I not done it. But writing it puts it out there.

My friend Evelyn send me some lovely recipes today and this…..

She says this applies to the food. I am going to make that meal. 😂 maybe one day…. Soon. I will try. See what I’m doing here?!?

I’ve had a really good day again today. I smiled to myself this morning when I realised that I am so contented at work when everything goes my way. I had tasks that needed doing, I plodded through them. I tidied my paperwork, cleared my desk and then tackled all the samples and cleared through the storage area. I need everything sorted so I can concentrate.

I was in my element. I then started working through other jobs that need doing. All without interruption, without any stress, without anxiety.

Now life is not like that. It cannot be like that all the time. Life throws you curveballs. Hey my job revolves around interruptions…. They’re not even called interruptions!!!

So I chuckled to myself today when I realise how happy I was when everything was perfectly ticking all of my neat little tidy boxes. I think how crazy my head gets when it doesn’t. It’s lovely to have a day where I appreciate that.

The Scottish Dog Behaviourist is out at work tonight so I have the remote to myself. I’m watching a movie and will have a lovely early night.

Craig got some amazing testimonials from his new clients and put them up on his website. I’m so proud reading them. He’s doing so well.

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️