Day 1146 a beautiful day outside!!

To be fair, it’s been a beautiful day inside too. Finally we have a day of shorts and vest top…. Out in the garden. You’ve kept us waiting for this, 2023!

I slept really well all night, again. Could not wake up this morning at all. Have been looking forward to some good weather and getting the bedding washed, dried and back on the bed, so,I finally got moving.

The day started with dog jog and very tangled leads 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Nothing is more beautiful than the colours on a sunny day. That sky…. 💙🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

These next two are just the cow parsley at the side of the road! It’s taking over the world!

The buttercups are out in full force too.

The cows are totally checking us out!

So back home and it was straight into doggy bath time…. It’s been a while and when you have 3 dogs, grooming can add up.

Freya was first and I forgot to take photos of her…. I am totally soaked after her!

Then Calaidh who was surprisingly dirty… she hides it well in that black coat of hers.

She who wants to bit the shower spray any chance she gets, is surprisingly traumatised by being washed! Then Bhru… she looks like she’s smiling but I think she thought she could get out the bath via the taps… she’d planned an escape 😂

Here they all are out in the garden, drying very quickly, all fluffy and clean. Note the bedding on the line as well…. It’s definitely washing day in our house!!

All that and 2 loads done and I t’s not even 9.30am!!

Next step was the rockery. Now I think it looks lovely and wild but it is FULL of weeds and someone I live with, is not a fan of a weed…..

I’ve done really well but it’s nowhere near where it needs to be. I hit a wall around 12.30!

So really for the rest of the day I’ve been sitting on a sun lounger and having spurts of weeding energy.

I did open my eyes to this…. At one point!

That’s what happens when you put yourself at their level… 😂

Another spurt…. Before.

…and after!

We’ve had a lovely dinner tonight…. Cooked over the fire!

Spiced venison hotpot. It was amazing!!

Craig did very well for his first South African potjie…. Or as close as we can get to it! The “rules” say it’s not to be stirred but we stirred ours….. ours I have a cheek… I stirred Craig’s 🤦🏻‍♀️😂. There’s lots of seasoning in it that we bought from Amazon. The meat is browned with the onions and them the veg layered on top. He made enough for 6 people. Guess what’s we’re having for the next few days?!?

So all in all, we’ve had a really lovely day. We’ve done lots but also rested lots too.

It got a wee bit chilly an hour or so ago so I gave in and put a T-shirt on… of course now the sun is back out.

The sign of a good day off is when it feel likes it’s been longer than one day and it’s still only 5.15pm!

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙☀️

Day 1145 feeling sleepy now!! 😴😴

After a lovely day yesterday, it’s much cooler today. Lots of people came in to The little gift shop, looking very summery, while I stood in jeans and a jumper and my big body warmer!

Once again I slept like a log all night. Usually during the weeks I’m off the progesterone, I don’t sleep as well but I’m not complaining.

I came home today and cleaned out Abbie the Campervan. I have to say it was a very half assed attempt. 🥴

I knew I wanted to do something but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what! Once I was in mid clearout, I realised that I didn’t really want to be doing that. But it’s done. Just needs washed and hoovered out now. F

I cleared out all the cupboards, brought things in for washing and scrubbed at the fridge. If I leave the door open, there a light on all the time but if I shut it, then it goes mouldy. Hmmm must ask about that this week. 🤨

I was going to go away this weekend. But I’m just too tired after a busy week last week. Also it’s bank holiday weekend so I figure everywhere will be busy!

So not much else to say today. Just sitting with my feet up, while Craig makes dinner. It’s very good of him as I’d have been inclined to get takeaway tonight as I am allowing myself to rest. (I had typed that I felt so lazy…… 😂)

Hope you all have a great Saturday night!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1144 another sunny day back at The little gift shop 🎁🎁

Out for the count all night last night again. Have slept so well after all the exercise and chatter this week. 😆

It’s 6pm and I am shattered tonight. I feel like I have hit a wall!!

I’m sitting in the garden, in the sun. Dinner is on but poor Craig is still at work!

I started the day with a dog jog, first time in, what feels like, ages.

It wasn’t as sunny as I expected, but it was warm.

This field has been freshly cut.

The hawthorne bushes are in full bloom. It’s a lovely time of year.

The cow parsley is also in full bloom at the sides of the road, replacing the daffodils.

There was something seriously interesting to sniff here.

The dogs love a munch of the grass at the side of the road. The Scottish Dog Behaviourist did a post about that today.

Please give him a follow for lots of hints and tips on his FB page. He’s up at 481 followers and I’d love to get him over 500!

Scottish Dog Behaviourist

It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, doesn’t have to be Scotland! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

So there were lots of new deliveries in the shop today. I’m always excited to see what’s new in.

For the first time in ages, I treated myself to a wee bracelet. I think I’ve done pretty well working there and not buying anything!

Surprisingly, contrary to popular belief, I am still able to chat plenty, it would appear and had a great catch up with Gayle. Who’d a thunk it?!?!? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

So I’ve just had dinner and I’m sitting outside with a 0% Birra Moretti.

The sun is hot but the breeze is cold. The forecast for next week is amazing!! Us Scots should get enforced holidays when the temperature gets over 20°C as it happens so rarely.

I forgot to take a photo of the lovely roses Craig picked up last week.

They look lovely on the new dining room table…. New to us that is.

Hope you all enjoy some decent weather this weekend.

Stay safe everyone ☀️☀️☀️

Day 1143 back to work on the sunniest day of the year so far 🥴☀️☀️☀️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙 so a wee recap on Mount Stuart mansion 🏠

Ok so it’s only been 14°C today maybe a high of 15 but for us Scots, that’s T-shirt weather all the way.

There’s not been a cloud in the sky all day and Ellison and I sat out at lunchtime again. Great to get a catch up on our wee outdoor lunches!

I was super busy today and the day passed really quickly. I haven’t caught back yet but hopefully it will be quiet on Bank Holiday Monday to let me catch up some more.

There were a few hiccups at work that I found out about while I was off. It’s hard to ignore them and I do feel bad if I haven’t ordered a part or missed some paperwork… I need to learn not to beat myself up. The part I spent at least two hours fretting over yesterday, turned out to be just enough after all…. Total waste of time spent feeling bad. I know that but it’s hard not to.

Anyway, I had the best sleep again. I remember nothing of last night but 25k steps will do that to you. I’ve managed a mere 6,880 today so far.

I know if Helen was still here, I’d be dragging her out on some adventure to enjoy the sun but, because I’m on my own I feel really tired and ready for an early night.

Helen being here has allowed me to break so many of my rules. Imagine still being out at the beach at 9.30pm last night and not actually worrying about it?!?! I would have been if I’d have been on my own. I’d have been much more aware of the time.

It was lovely just to throw rules out the window…. And yes, I hear myself, I set them all and yet are happy when they are broken so I just need to go on breaking them by myself!

I know you know I had a great time these last few days but I really did. It was like a breath of fresh air instead of having to entertain a visitor. It was really lovely to see her after all this time and I hope to go and visit her in Devon soon! Oooooh clotted cream scones with jam. Yum, just had that thought.

Anyway so I have had a lovely series of mini adventures so far in May. That’s me back to earth for a while until we have a week off at the end of June.

I also have so many things still to talk about! I haven’t forgotten my recap of the return journey from Jokülsárlón to Reykjavik but that will have to wait until a low news day!

Let’s get back to our visit to the 19th Century mansion that we visited yesterday, Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute.

It’s a really imposing gothic style mansion and has a breathtaking interior. While one wing houses a white marble Roman Catholic Chapel…

It’s very cool in there as the marble is freezing!

….the rest of the house is designed around the signs of the zodiac, which seems a total contradiction to me.

Each stained glass window is a sign of the zodiac, with the 3 windows on each side also coloured to represent the 4 seasons of the year.

The ceilings are all so ornate. There are 37 rooms in total and we only really saw a handful of them.

Not gonna lie but o lost track of all of the history…. Not even going to try and recount all of that.

It really is well worth a visit and the grounds are so beautiful.

I think I said yesterday, it’s £16.50 to get in but honestly nothing is stopping you wandering around the grounds alone. That usually costs £7.50.

It’s a really quirky visit.

The ferry trip back was just beautiful too. You cannot beat a blue sky.

A very lovely day!

Stay safe everyone ☀️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿💙

Day 1142 a beautiful day on the Isle of Bute, then Largs for a chippy tea and. Portencross sunset 🌅

I slept like a log last night. No wonder as we just didn’t stop yesterday and we’ve had way more of the same today.

It’s 8.30 and we are still not home yet so I will make this quick. We have had another amazing day and have been on the go since 7.30am!! We left the house at 8.30 and headed to Weymss Bay for the 10.05 ferry. A little bit of parking panic but otherwise all good!

We decided to walk all the way to Mount Stuart on Bute. It’s a stunning gothic style design inside. I’ll talk way more about it tomorrow.

It is a very, very, very long walk!! Not to be recommended, it took us about an hour and half… I’ve done 24,394 steps so far!!

And finally the sun came out. Woo hoo!

We had a wander around Rothesay after a bus trip back. yes bus trip woo hoo!

I bought a replacement Highland Cow for Helens grandson!!

Back in Weymss Bay station. It’s still so Victorian.

Then we headed down through Largs for a chippy tea.

And finally to my special place in Portencross where we are sitting now.

There are loads more photos to follow on another day!

I should just end by saying that I’ve had the best few days with Helen. She’s been sent to me to remind me to giggle and laugh way more (yes Craig I know, as you always say to me!!) She’s shown me that it’s easy to spend that much time with someone else. We’ve just settled into a giggly, comfortable life these last few days. It’s been a really, really special time. 💜

Everyone should spend time with a Helen! will miss her though will be found sitting in silence for a while… 😂😘

Stay safe everyone 🌅🌅🌅

Day 1141 the best catch up with a lovely friend in Beith, Loch Lomond & Loch Sloy Dam walk

I am exhausted!

I have not stopped talking since 18.44 on 22nd May 2023… precisely. My friend Helen has come to visit from Exmouth. We knew each other when we were teenagers!

We talked until about 23.10 which is WAY after my bedtime!! Sadly there was a MURDER (read with very Scottish accent!) during the evening, as Calaidh broke into Helen’s room, sniffed out a cuddly toy Highland Cow for Helen’s grandson Arthur…. And the cow is toast …. How bad did I feel?!?!

Then the Scottish Dog Behaviourist’s alarm went off at 5.30am…. 😳 and I finally fell back to sleep and then Helen actually woke me up at 7.45am…. On my day off?!?

You know I am joking about all that. I must have zonked back out due to the 4 hours sleep night before. 😆

We started talking again at 7.45am and I’m only silent now because Helen is on the phone home!

I am having a really lovely time.

Helen thinks I have to lie in the blog and say I’m loving it when I’m not really. Told her to shut up. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

So let’s be clear… Anyone coming to stay will cause me stress. Cleaning, disruption to the routine, the lack of control will generate an anxiety or nervousness of the situation.

We haven’t spent any time together since we were 17 or 18 and we have totally picked up from where we left off. I don’t have to try, don’t have to think what to say next, don’t have to make any effort. I can just rabbit away and talk the hind legs off a donkey and just be me. 💜💜 that’s pretty special.

So itinerary for today….

  • The little gift shop
  • Tianna Falls
  • Auchengree Tea Room and Highland Cows
  • Inveruglas -The Den tearoom
  • Walk to Loch Sloy Dam
  • Walk back from Loch Sloy Dam 😂
  • Wander round Luss
  • Dinner in the The Village Rest, Luss
  • Finally feet up in the house!

Here’s a quick run of photos as it’s 9.30 already!

The coleslaw matches Helen!

My new T-shirt… a gift from Helen!

A really lovely day. Now bed!!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1140 functioning on less than 4 hours of sleep!

Considering I got a mere 3 hours and 54 minutes sleep last night, I actually think I have functioned pretty well!

That “fair” sleep is while taking progesterone too, which usually makes me sleep like a log! Not so last night.

I felt really tired about 4.30pm and could have gone for a nap but decided it was too late in the day.

I was super thirsty so drank a pint glass of sparkling water…. Surely it isn’t that but I can’t think else would keep me so wide awake and wired to the moon!!! Poor Craig ended up on the couch with all my tossing and turning….

I am so lucky that I usually get a great sleep. I very rarely lie awake like that and my heart goes out to anyone who doesn’t sleep well. It feels like the end of the world at the time ( jeez let’s face it, I could make anything feel like the end of the world if I think enough about it! 🤦🏻‍♀️🥴😂)

Finally get to sleep at half 1 and Calaidh wakes me at 5.15am… barking.

I came out into the garden this morning and did some energy toning moments for Kinesiology….. I felt like I was being watched…..

It was Neville from the pub!

He’s being brave because the dogs were still in bed!!

I also took a photo of my second favourite plant in the garden, which is now flowering!

I just think these are the most beautiful colours ♥️💛

So after all that, I’ve had a really good day. My head’s been good, I’ve been focussed and on the ball. I’ve got loads done without any anxiety.

I do feel tired now that I’ve sat down! Freya always jumps up for cuddles when I try to write. 🥴

It’s been a beautiful day. The sun has shone all day and it’s been warm… T-shirt weather for most of the day. Really a first day of summer for us, I reckon, which is crazy considering it’s the 22nd May!! We’ve usually had a Scottish summer by now. I should also say that’s it’s probably only been about 15/16°C today which is warm for us, considering the weather we have been having!

So, the out of office is on and I have a lovely catch up for the next 3 nights and 2 days with one of my oldest friends… she’s not old, the friendship is 😂

I pick her up from the train station in less than an hour.

The forecast is good for the next couple of days so let’s see what we can get up to!

Stay safe everyone ♥️💛♥️

Day 1139 only snippets of living in the moment dammit!!

Jeez I have definitely not been appreciating the present moment today.

Everything I am focussed on is for the next few days. I know that’s not the right way to be so I’m sitting outside just now, trying to shake it.

When you have a house with 3 Border Collies and one man (🙊) the house is never going to live up to your high expectations.

I say that, but Craig is very good at cleaning so I shouldn’t include him in that, though I think women are much more of a “clean as you go” when men do a great one off clean…. That’s how I see it in my house anyway.

Not trying to start a war here by any means just blogging it as it ruminates inside my head. He was the one that made me write a list first thing…. He did say jeez that’s all in your head right now?!? Yup!

Let’s also say that Julie 2 jobs is also very lazy when it comes to housework as I always feel I need down time, a chance to relax.

So I’ve been cleaning now since about 8.30am and it’s now just after 1.30 and I think I might finally be able to allow my friend to come and stay. 🤦🏻‍♀️

I’m sure a lot can go wrong between now and Monday night, when she arrives, but at least I know it’s clean underneath.

The evil voice inside my head, has been on overtime today. Embarrassed at the “state” of my house, embarrassed at the things that need fixing, embarrassed by the things I’ve let go… if I’d just kept on top of them the it would be fine.

I should reiterate that we live in a 300-350 ish year old cottage. That alone is a challenge.

I also suffer from Hangxiety.

We still have stuff lying around that I keep moving from room to room. I know it needs to just go and when it’s gone, it’s gone, but I struggle to throw it out. So I find another place to stash it, which will just stress me out another day!

I’m passing up the opportunity to go wild sea swimming at Portencross, which has been my dream. She says.

It would appear it’s just not quite my dream when I’ve finally got the housework finished and I’d have to unpack all the swimming stuff and then getting it rinsed down, sand everywhere blah blah… you get the picture!

So back to reality.

We have beautiful house. There is nothing wrong with it. Parts of it are sparkling for the next few minutes. I’m outside still in jammies and there a real warmth to the cloud cover.

I can’t go back it the house and Craig is under house arrest, in the living room, watching the football as he cleans! I guarantee he will be the first to walk on a wet floor. AI did make him go to the loo so he doesn’t need out anytime soon 🤦🏻‍♀️😂 it’s ok I hear myself. I have so many rules!!!

This has been the first weekend in a long time that I have been thinking about Tartan over a weekend. I used to be really bad for that in my old job. Not so much now.

I think it boils down to what I said about trying to catch back from a holiday, while finishing up for another one.

So I think now I just need to stop and enjoy the rest of the day. I might actually put some shorts on…. 😂 it’s around

This next one is exactly what I need to hear.

And also this….

So I have 2 days off from work this week, with a lovely friend, which is amazing. The weather looks promising too which is another bonus. There’s a lot to be happy about.

A couple of funnies to end….

Have a great rest of weekend!


Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1138 the little gift shop, lunch out with lovely friends and a party in the pub… a busy day! 🥳

It would appear the 20th May has been a big day for me over the years… according to my FB memories. 😂

It’s mum and dad’s wedding anniversary today to start with.

Its 10 years since Craig and I completed the Edinburgh Kiltwalk… all 28 miles of it.

That was an amazing day! We really aced that kiltwalk…. I don’t think either of us were able to walk for at least a week after it but hey… 😂

It’s also 6 years since we brought Freya home!

I had a wee wobble at “I’ve asked her new mum to keep me updated with how she grows” 💜

Here she is the other night, totally torn between coming when I called her, and watching over her big bone. She did a wee wolf howl instead!

We brushed her this morning…. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

I don’t post anything on FB anymore really as I share my whole life on this blog. There really isn’t anything else to share… but it is nice to see the memories of nights out and old friends.

A very young Craigie, 13 years ago!

So back to today, a lovely wee morning at the shop followed by lunch with 2 lovely ladies from the Fit Body Farm!! They wanted to come see the shop and suggested lunch afterwards.

It was so lovely to see them.

They are both sooooo lovely and I really miss their positivity. They make everyone feel special by really taking an interest. They always have lovely things to say. Just the kind of people I want to be hanging around with. 💜💜💜

We had a lovely lunch at the Canny Man in Lugton. That’s the same place we went to with friends a few weeks’ back.

Same fantastic service, nothing is too much trouble, it’s a lovely restaurant with great food and an overall great experience. Especially the naked chef…. Ok so he came out the kitchen with shorts on behind his chef apron…. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂 but it did look like he wasn’t wearing anything under his apron 🤦🏻‍♀️😂😂😂

I can’t recommend it enough. I wish them every success and we’ll continue to go any chance that we get.

Thanks so much to Andrena and Linda for coming over today and for treating me to lunch!

A salt and chilli chicken burger!

The Canny Man don’t do cakes etc at the weekend, it’s just meals but that burger was uh-mazin’ 😂

So back home and into the village pub for a village party. The Marshall family have lived in our village for years and there are family members back from Vancouver Island and New Zealand this time. We’ve never met them before.

What a lovely afternoon and early evening. I don’t go into the pub very often anymore but yet again, I really enjoyed it. I’ve been on the Gordon’s 0% pink gin and slimline tonic.

It’s been so lovely to catch up with so many people. I’m talked hoarse!

It’s 7.35pm and I’ve popped home to feed the poor puppers who must be starving.

Altogether a really lovely day!

Stay safe everyone 🥳🥳🥳

Day 1137 back to the little gift shop 🎁 a reflection of our hotel in Iceland and the Sky Lagoon spa 🧖🏼‍♀️🧖🏽‍♂️

Jeezo I am shattered! Didn’t get to bed until 11pm which is late for me… I did doze on the couch last night. We watched The Forever Purge on Netflix…. It was great but I must have fallen asleep after it.

Then he who shall not be named… let his 5am alarm go off this morning and promptly fell straight back to sleep…. While I ruminated and pondered all things Tartan 🤦🏻‍♀️ I’m working in my head at 5am in bed on my day off…. 🥴🤷🏻‍♀️

Off to the little gift shop today and took some photos (as I do!) of the lovely new Tinsmiths jewellery. It’s so delicate, it’s made from old tins!

Love it! The day flew by as usual.

Chatting to Gayle today and I realised I hadn’t shared any photos of our hotel in Iceland 🇮🇸…. The Hotel Reykjavik Grand.

It was a lovely hotel, I’d highly recommend it. it was set up for conferences on most days when we were there so I assume it’s quite a business driven hotel.

Our window was facing into the inner atrium. Downside we had no view and couldn’t see the weather, upside, got to nosey on people in the hotel 😂

So this time last week Craig and I were in the Sky Lagoon which was only 11 minutes from the hotel.

Check out the website!! The Skye Lagoon .

It was another amazing experience.

It’s and oceanside, geothermal spa. The ocean is behind me!

It has a waterfall!

Waterfall monster!

We only took the phone in at the every end for photos. Some taken in my phone waterproof bag… which look awful… others we just took it out the bag and held onto it very carefully.

This is where the 7 step treatment takes place.

Step 1 geothermal spa

Step 2 freezing cold plunge pool.

Step 3 is a sauna with a view out over the sea. The window must be 8m x 2.5m and they say it’s the largest window in Iceland. It was breathtaking

We sat in there for over 15 minutes. Such an amazing space…

Step 4 was a misty cold spray

Step 5 and oily salt body scrub

Step 6 the steam room

Step 7 is a shower, freezing plunge pool and back in the warmth of the spa!!

We went to the bar for two alcohol free beers as Craig was driving.

It was such a lovely time relaxing in that pool. Really special.

It did actually start to rain but that felt so good as the pool was so hot.

It was a really special time for us. A memory made that we will never, ever forget.

So tonight, back to reality, I have my jammies on, we’ve had dinner and I’m not moving for the rest of the night…. Life in the fast lane huh?!

Stay safe everyone 🧖🏼‍♀️🧖🏽‍♂️🌊

Day 1136 work followed by a lovely massage!

I didn’t sleep that well last night…. The two alcohol free Gordon’s pink gin and slimline tonics, that I had with the Crochet Hookers, kept my heart a-pumping all night!!

I did enjoy them though. It’s my fav alcohol free.

This makes me smile!

It’s been a really busy day at work!

I have another 2 days off next week as my friend Helen is coming to stay, all the way from Devon! Since I’ve just had 2 days off, I’m trying to catch up but at the same time, prepare for being off next week. It’s a tricky one! I could have done with another day at Tartan to get everything done this week.

That said I had to fly out the door tonight as I had a lovely massage booked with Norma in Harmony – Beith at 4.45pm. It was a bit of a rush to get there but soooo amazing.

I felt all kinds of tension melt away. it’s such a lovely space and lovely to see Norma.

So Craig and I are going to have dinner and a movie night tonight so I’ll not do the 2nd half of my trip in Iceland, just yet.

One last thing, I’ve had a song running through my mind for days now and I finally looked it up today. It’s an oldie!! It’s Ace of Base – Life is a Flower – click on that link if you fancy a listen.

I just think the words of the chorus are really powerful and are thing to tell me something. I’ve honestly had it in my head for days. I’m signing it as I write.

Carry on smiling and the world will smile with you. 🎶

Stay safe everyone 🎶🎶🎶

Day 1135 a little warmth to the sun today! ☀️

I’m not going to get a chance to tell you about the second half of the trip tonight as I have got the Crochet Hookers at 6.30pm.

It’s a while since we’ve all been together and in that time sadly one has lost their dad, one lost their mother in law, one’s been in Spain and I’ve been in Iceland so I’m sure we have a lot to catch up on!

Another great sleep last night that saw me dead to the world. I woke at 5am when the Scottish Dog Behaviourist set his alarm (and didn’t get up!!!) 🙄 and couldn’t get back to sleep for thinking about work stuff.

I was STARVING yesterday.

I’ve been fasting since 20th December and I’ve done it every day, even on holiday. I am very rarely hungry. The odd grumble but yesterday was hunger on a ravenous level. I had to cave at 14 hours (which is still excellent!) but I could quite easily have eaten my own leg!!! Nothing filled me up… and trust me, I ate loads. I ate anything and everything I could find.

I had a huge bag of crisps all to myself as just one of the snacks. I finally stemmed the craving hunger about 7pm. Don’t know what that was all about.

Thankfully I’m back to normal today.

So nothing much else to report. I still haven’t taken the meds the doctor prescribed. I don’t feel I need them. I’m definitely happier on holiday than I am in the day to day routine of working but hey, I’m sure I’m not the only one…. The main thing is I’m not crying at work which is always a bonus. 🤦🏻‍♀️😆

The sun was quite warm today. Definitely not hot but it was lovey not to be freezing. Ellison and I sat out at lunch again too!

This next one made me laugh a little bit too hard!!

Dinner is just about ready. Salt and pepper chicken crown with potatoes and broccoli . Proper food! We’ve done good this week eating fresh food for a change. (Except yesterday when my body said it wasn’t enough!!)

Long may that continue!

Stay safe everyone ♥️♥️♥️

Day 1134 a day at work so let’s focus on the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach trip in Iceland 🇮🇸 on Thursday last week (long heading!)

Could not wake up this morning at all. My plan was to go a dog jog but honestly, bed wouldn’t let me go!! Work was busy. Sat outside with Ellison at lunch and was home for just after 4.30…. Blog in one para again!!

So last Thursday we decided to book a 14 hour bus trip with Bus Iceland 🇮🇸. We had a hire car, with Craig as the only driver, but just felt that kind of drive was far too much in one day. Despite the extra cost, it felt right to let the driver take the strain and for us to sit back and enjoy the trip.

Now this trip was not for the faint hearted. At 14.5 hours, it was a very long day. It also converted into a whopping £386 for us both to go….. but it was honestly worth every single penny and we would highly recommend it.

We did have a fair palaver booking it through Get Your Guide. They had been recommended to us as the booking platform but what works perfectly for someone, I guess doesn’t work for all. We couldn’t get the Get Your Guide app to allow collection from our hotel. Calling them took over an hour to get finally booked. My recommendation would be to book directly through Bus Iceland but that’s with hindsight.

We were collected just after 7am from our hotel. I think everyone in Reykjavik is told 7am so you just have to wait your turn. From that point on, everything was just perfect.

Here’s the overview of the trip.

Probably the equivalent of us having a day out in Yorkshire… which you just wouldn’t do in a day!!

We left a dry Reykjavik and headed straight into a super misty Reykjanesfólkvangur volcanic range.

Remember the majority of these photos are taking from a moving bus!

There are several stops along the way. We are all reminded to “use the bathroom” at every stop. They are usually about 1 hour 15 to 2 hours apart at most. Each rest stop is like a very well stocked service station with everything you could wish to buy. It has freshly cooked food, coffee, cakes, you name it. Not like ours with fast food joints.

Our lovely guide, Mia, is French but can pronounce the Icelandic names like a local. Without her commentary we would never learned half of what we did…. Well any of it really.

We drive though Selfoss which is one of the only land locked cities on Iceland. This bridge over the river was only built about 1891 I think. Before then you took your ice in your hands crossing in such a fat flow… not the best pic!

We pass right under Eyjafjallajökull which is the volcano that brought world flights to a standstill during its eruption in 2010.

She tells us about farmers who move back home, with trepidation, a year after the eruption, to find their crops had doubled in size due to the ash.

We drove on to Vik which is at the foot of the Katla Volcanic range. No one wants a permanent house here as Katla has 10 active craters and when Katla blows, Vik will be right in the firing line. I do wonder how house insurance works there!

The big issue is that the volcanic eruption will melt the huge glacier cap and Vik will be right in the flood plain. It was a sobering thought.

Icewear is a huge Icelandic brand with all things very expensive and outdoorsy. This massive store is based in Vik.

All of a sudden the mist clears and the sun comes out.

There are lots of glacial rivers. Many are heavily silted and some are quite crystal clear.

Then we near closer to the glaciers and you can see them in the distance from the bus. We must pass about 10 along the way until we get to the Glacier Lagoon.

We are headed to Vatnajökul National Park.

Its breathtaking. I’ve only ever been close to a glacier once before in New Zealand in 2005.

We head to Diamond Beach first. It’s a purely blank Sandy beach, from all the volcanic activity but the Glacier breaks off into a lagoon which was only formed in 1930 and has continued to grow with the amount of melting ice. These icebergs break off and flow down into the sea.

The strong artic tides push the ice back up onto the beach and the small pieces look like diamonds.

Here we are looking back up into Jökulsárlón.

I cannot put into words how awesome this place is. That’s a hugely underrated word. It literally is out of this world.

An amphibious boat tour was included in the trip. There are speedboats following each boat trip. Constantly on the lookout for falling ice and making sure no one falls overboard. It’s really quite dramatic.

We were here for a total of 1.5 hours before making the return trip back to Reykjavik, with different stops.

So I think this is maybe more photos than WordPress can cope with so I’m going to stop this one here and continue another day.

Wish we were still there!!

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸

Day 1133 back to work so let’s focus on Reykjavik! 🇬🇧

Wow the holiday seems like a distant memory already!

As I said when we were away, I’ll focus on parts of our trip to Iceland in coming days or weeks when in reality I had a great sleep, went to work, it was a good day, came home, weeded the garden and the sun shone! Today’s blog in a paragraph!!

So Reykjavik (not getting any easier to spell!) was founded in the year 874 by Ingólfur Arnarson from Norway. The name means Smoky Bay after the steam rising for all the hot springs in the area. It should really have been called Steamy Bay!

It has a population of 140,000 and the country has only 387,758 people precisely 😂 to give that some perspective, Glasgow has 635,640!

Our hotel was on the outskirts of the city with about a 40 minute walk into the centre. In a straight line which always helps!!

We stayed in the Hotel Reykjavik Grand and we were lucky enough to get 3 nights for £600 inclusive of flights. We picked those dates because it was the cheapest deal in May. It’s a cheaper time to travel as you’re less likely to see the Northern Lights due to the lighter nights. Also it was cloudy at night time which didn’t help!!!

Some photos taken in the city….

It’s a lovely city to wander around. There are lots of museums and a couple of churches to visit but we were more than happy walking about and soaking up the atmosphere.

Everyone spoke exceptional English. Everyone we spoke to was lovely and couldn’t have been any more helpful. They seemed very pleased to welcome you to their country. Some of them even recognised we had an accent… confirmed when we said we were from Scotland! There were no uncomfortable moments because we didn’t speak the language.

Sadly they think that the Icelandic language will soon be replaced by English as so few people in the world actually speak it. In order for Icelanders to become something worldwide, they need English to communicate and all the youngsters are aware that English will make them a worldwide brand. It would be a shame if that happened as it’s lovely to listen to.

We spent a full day, over two days walking around and chalking up steps and these were 3 of our favourite places.

Ahhhhh I’m missing it already!

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸

Day 1132 a lovely Sunday back home!

I slept like a log last night. I was a bit later in bed but out for the count. Woke at 5am and then again just after 6.45am.

I lay in bed and felt that familiar slump of a Sunday…. “What to do today….”

All excitement gone. Only, this is the last day off feeling…. I could so easily have slipped into a darker mood.

I literally dragged myself out of bed and Calaidh and I got our running gear on and headed out. (Yeah I know…. She didn’t really!) The hardest part is going to do it. Once I’m doing it I’m totally fine.

It’s a lovely morning, rain is forecast but there’s no sign of it yet.

The sun is trying so hard to get through the cloud. It’s quite atmospheric.

Everything looks SO fresh and green. I don’t know if it’s just because we were in Iceland 🇮🇸 that it looks so different. In 3 days it seems like everything has sprouted. I love this time of year.

Some of the coos were back out!

Calaidh had a paddle in the burn. Makes a change from just standing on the edge, not wanting to go in.

We ran round Spiers Old School Grounds which was green on steroids!!

The wild garlic smells amazing.

You forget how soft all the fresh growth is to start with each year. I know how random that sounds but the leaves are so soft and new.

My favourite gate!!!

Hey I did find a gate in Iceland and forgot to post a pic of it…. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

It was just so exciting 🇮🇸😆

Anyway back to my morning….

I tried to get all arty with this shot…. I wanted to get the head of the dandelion with the sun directly behind it but I missed a wee bit!

Back home and a quick tidy around the house before my haircut at 9am!! I’m so lucky that our hairdresser lives across the road and could fit me in. I hated the brassy ends on holiday.

Look how lovely her new salon, in the back garden, looks.

It’s such a lovely place! She’s done it so beautifully. I also love my hair. It’s amazing how cutting the brassy ends off makes such a difference to the colour.

I came home and got changed and went to Aldi in Stewarton for a food shop. The rain is on by now…. I bought loads of the food that we had in Iceland. A super healthy shop… as you do when you’re just back!

Back home and tidied up before having a Mediterranean style salad lunch with toasted black rye sourdough bread.

Coffee in my fav Slothy mug and some Icelandic chocolate from Omnom.

We only had two squares each… that’s unheard of. 😆

And after all that I lay on the bed upstairs and had a huge nap for an hour and 40 minutes. It was sooooo good. I didn’t want to waste the day but I needed it.

I’m writing this outside as the sun has finally come out. It’s windy but as I sit here I notice the fresh regrowth on the tree next to me. It’s all soft while the darker green is hard and spiky.

So as reality kicks back in I’m just gonna take it easy and see how I feel. Holiday has made everything all right again and I hope I can maintain that.

Stay safe everyone 💚💚💚

Day 1131 Reykjavík to Keflavík Airport and on to Edinburgh 🇮🇸✈️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 all before 9am!

It’s just as well we don’t mind getting up early these days…. Another 5am alarm! Of course that meant we almost had the road to ourselves on our way to Keflavik airport.

That’s our hotel. We were a good 30-40 minute walk from the centre of Reykjavík but it was a straight walk in.

This next building is Happy Campers Iceland! didn’t notice it until the last minute.

We had chicken Caesar salad for brekkie, as you do. A mere £10 a head!

It was the best Chicken Caesar salad takeaway I’ve ever had but then I did say to Craig, I’ve also never had a £10 takeaway salad before 😂

As we took off we turned to the left and I got a great photo out over Keflavik airport!

Bye bye Iceland. You’ve been a real tonic.

Once again everything went really smoothly.

Ok so let’s be really clear here…. I have been able to look on the bright side of everything on this trip.

Are there any medals for this?!? If so I feel like I deserve a bloody big one.

I am remarkably calm, taking everything in my stride. No sign of stress or anxiety at all. I am extremely comfortable travelling and I guess that is because it’s all I really want to do.

I am finally at peace.

My head isn’t fighting me every step of the way.

Think anyone will pay me to do this for them?!? Go check out places before they do?!? Just to make sure they are ok?!? 🤦🏻‍♀️😆😂

I used to be scared of flying. Not this trip. I am aware of finding things to ground me. (No pun intended but it kinda works) 🥴😬😆

Just before we took off I found myself watching the wind sock billow about in the wind…. A voice inside my head said “just flow with the wind sock” 😂😂😂 I am so grateful that I scooped up my inner guru before we left home the other day… and left that tearful, inner banshee far behind.

I guess you can say I really needed a break… as short as it’s been. It’s been so packed full of amazing things to do that I’ve been super excited all of the time. Like Craig in his chocolate shop yesterday 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Most importantly I have not been a jerk. We’ve not argued once…. We’ve come close but that was all Craig and not me! (He’s just emerged from his headphones on the flight to read that over my shoulder 😆 almost like he knew I was stretching the truth!)

This is our current view. Look at that blue sky!

We had another perfect flight. We descended quite quickly and manage to get the most amazing views over Skye, Loch Ness and the Forth Bridges.

If you zoom in very closely on this one, you’ll see the Old Man of Storr on Skye!!

Loch Ness!

And the photos of the bridges is very poor due to the high level cloud around!

They are there…. Honestly!!

It was glorious when we landed in Edinburgh.

We were home by 2pm which was a great run and I’ve been in shorts and vest top every since. Slathered in suntan lotion too. i believe it will be raining tomorrow… hope not!! It was really strange coming home to sunshine and heat as that doesn’t happen often in Scotland! 😆

Abbie the camper van cost me £693 for an MOT, service and front ball joint because of “they big wheels”…. Hmmm again….. I wonder if I can afford to take the big ones off and go back down to the normal size?!?

That’s a decision for another day.

The washing is already done and hanging out and right now it’s about sunbathing, ☀️☀️☀️

Stay safe everyone 🇮🇸✈️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Day 1130 Reykjavik Café Röst, Omnom Chocolate shop and The Sky Lagoon!

Oh wow we have had an amazing day. A day that dreams are made of.

As we sat over dinner in the Sky Lagoon, we remarked how this holiday is the kind of thing that happens to other people.

It really has been out of this world. I would kill for another one day but hey, it’s not to be and we are home tomorrow morning. 🇮🇸✈️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

As I’ve done the past few days, I’ll post a few photos and then this will be a total write up in itself over the next few days or weeks.

We had an actual lie in this morning. I did wake at 5.30 but finally fell back asleep and didn’t wake until 8.30am.

There is so much of Iceland still to see but we have run out of time. We could have spent the day visiting the famous Golden Circle but neither of us had that length of drive left in us. We realised that yesterday’s trip was the equivalent of taking a day trip up to Ullapool and back home in one day, with stops along the way! It was a huge drive!!

So we decided to have another reccy in Reykjavík this morning and managed another 17k steps. (It doesn’t get any easier to spell regardless of how many times I type it!!!)

Our favourite Reykjavik eaterie where breakfast cost us £55. 😆 it was exquisite so you really can’t get too bent out of shape!

Sage and Maple latte….

Serrano ham and cheese platter for me and Craig had a smoked lamb sandwich. I mean the food really is as amazing as it looks.

Craig found a doggy in his favourite chocolate shop, Omnom.

So by this time we are stuffed. I should say I managed almost a 23 hour fast as I didn’t eat after our huge lunch yesterday as I was so full.

I actually love this next photo of me. It’s not often I see pure joy in a photo of myself. This is it.

We were booked into the Sky Lagoon this afternoon for 3.30pm. I will tell you all about it when I have more time. We booked the date night package which gave us use of the geothermal heated lagoon and a 7 step spa programme.

It was OUT OF THIS WORLD. We both feel so lucky to have been able to do that today. It’s definitely a day that we will never forget.

2 alcohol free beers as Craig was driving!

Followed by the Sky Platter for dinner. This plate was close to £30! Again… just exquisite food and perfect amount.

I can’t find the words to say how amazing this holiday has been. Everything has gone just perfectly. No stress, no drama, no pressure. It doesn’t feel like we have only been away for 3 days… we’ve done so much.

I haven’t even considered taking antidepressants…. Lots of food for thought when I get home.

I will miss these crisp, pure white bed sheets without dog hair. 😆

It will be good to get puppy cuddles though!

Stay safe everyone 🇮🇸✈️🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

Day 1129 just over half way on our 14 hour bus trip to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon today!

Wow. It’s 3.50pm and we’ve been on a bus since 7.15am travelling the south coast of Iceland to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and Diamond Beach.

We still have about 6 hours to go and more sights to see on the way back.

Here are a few photos of the lagoon as it really is out of this world. A once in a lifetime experience I reckon.

This is a beautiful island. The landscape is constantly changing.

The lagoon started forming in 1930 as the glacier started to melt and its now 250m deep! The icebergs are 10% above water and 90% below.

Testing the fresh ice 🧊

It’s been 15°C today and the guide said that’s about as good as Iceland summer gets.

We’ve been so blessed! this makes me very happy…. Can you tell? 😬😆

Stay safe everyone 🧊🇬🇧🧊

Day 1128 Gateside to Edinburgh to Keflavik Airport in Iceland and on to Reykjavik 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸

It’s 5.27pm Iceland time and we are an hour behind Scotland. We are SHATTERED but we’ve had the best day!!!

Bed at 8.30pm last night.

1.30am someone gets up for the loo. 🙄

Pre 3am I open my eyes and wonder what time it is?

It seems it’s just before 3am as the alarm shrills soon after. Jeez….. it’s time for Iceland baby!

It took me a bit longer than I hoped, to get ready this morning, but we’re on our way before 4.30am and have a great run to Edinburgh, despite several road closures and diversions along the way.

It’s a beautiful sunrise.

And quiet roads.

Craig says “you’re from Edinburgh you know, why do you need a photo?!?” ….. you’d think he knew me by now 😬🙄😆

I took this at 6.30am. A beautiful morning in Scotland.

Looking back to the Pentland Hills during take off. A wee hi to mum and dad who live just behind them. Gutted we never took off over the Forth Bridges.

Just love the blue sky! 💙

We landed just before 9.30am UK time which was only 8.30am and so we’ve had the whole day to enjoy.

Keflavik was very foggy when we landed. They announced that they we had to switch all electronics off if we were to have any chance of landing in the fog.


It actually wasn’t that bad and cleared pretty quickly.

We got the car rental bus to Ice Rental Cars. The young girl behind the counter was very surprised at how old Craig actually was, after seeing his date of birth, given how young he looks…… 😆 you can only imagine how he reacted to that!!! She was so lovely apart from that obvious error of judgement. 😆

The drive into Reykjavik is easier than spelling Reykjavik every time you have to type it. I say that as Craig is driving. He did really well. I think we’ve agreed though that we could have done it without the hire car but at least we are under our own steam on the days we need it.

The landscape is obviously volcanic. Can’t wait to see more of it tomorrow.

We got to the hotel Hotel Reykjavik Grand and stored our bags before heading into the city…. Walking!

And we have walked ALL day. 19,768 steps so far.

I’m so shattered I’m not gonna cover the whole day today but a snapshot of photos and then it gives me content for the days where I do nothing but work 😆

These are the highlights. The sun shone for most of the day and we found so lovely eateries.

This is Hallgrímskirkja.

The sun came out and it was taps aff… well the fleece and jacket off anyway. It was lovely and warm. It’s nothing like the expected forecast. We were so lucky!

This is Cafe Röst that we found on the harbour for lunch. It was amazing!

Iceland is not cheap!!

This is a maple and sage latte with and Iceland pancake, which has rhubarb jam and cream in it. It was £9.20 for the pancake and £6.36 for the coffee!

To be fair, that wasn’t too bad and it was amazing and we didn’t grudge it as the view and atmosphere were pretty special.

Craig’s Honey and Cinnamon Rue Toast was also £9.20!!

We then did loads more sight seeing and stopped for an early bite of dinner. Loved this photo of Craig in Einstökbar.

Here’s the handsome barman as he called himself 😆 again a lovely atmosphere an what a welcome.

We were able to order Latin food from the restaurant next door. We got ceviche – a shrimp and a duck one.

That plate was £17.94!!!!!!! Here’s me laughing when we sussed it out after we’ve eaten.

I’m on the alcohol free and I loved it.

Will finish up for now. Loads more to show you but I don’t have the energy!!

We are on a full 14 hour day trip tomorrow to the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lake so I definitely won’t get a blog out tomorrow. I know that none of you mind. I can’t keep enough phone battery for photos and blog writing. The photos have to take precedence 😆

I haven’t taken the antidepressants yet and I’ve been remarkably calm today despite being so far away from my comfort zone.

I also think I’ve managed the day without being a jerk. 🤷🏻‍♀️

There’s still time I guess 😂

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸

Day 1127 out of the office is on!! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸

Wide awake at 3.30am this morning thinking about everything I needed to do on my last day. Jeez I’m only off for two whole days which was probably why it was so easy. 🤦🏻‍♀️😂

Had a relatively calm day and got through everything I needed to.

The sun shone today and we sat out at lunchtime. It was so nice to feel the warmth of the sun! The temperatures are picking up here but Iceland will be a few degrees cooler. Obviously. 🥶

In less than 12 hours we’ll be flying from Edinburgh to Keflavik Airport in Iceland.

It doesn’t look very far does it?!

So super early start for us! Trying not to wake the neighbours. 😆

It’s been so long since we flew anywhere and my new found indecisiveness is convinced I’m taking all the wrong clothes 🤦🏻‍♀️😆 I packed a last minute pair of shorts and flip flops in case the sun shines in some freak weather event!!! Gotta have that optimism.

I dropped Abbie the Campervan off to the garage for her holidays…. MOT and full service along with a knock at the O/S front 🤦🏻‍♀️😬🤷🏻‍♀️😂

So despite all the excitement, I do feel a bit flat tonight as I had the call with the Doctor today finally.

The call comes through in the middle of your working day and I felt very much like I’d been thrown into a discussion that I hadn’t had time to think about.

In the past, you would sit in the surgery and rehearse your “lines”. The call is great and it saves you going to the surgery but the two hour window makes it difficult to stay prepared.

I told her how I’d been feeling and how the anxiety was taking over again. I explained the fear that seemed so overwhelming at times. And of course in true me fashion I ended up crying on the phone…

The purpose of the call, for me, was to ask for Testosterone which is the next step in the HRT cycle.

Did that word even register in my thought process once during the call?!?! Nope. Zero. Nada.

She has re-prescribed antidepressants.

I have to say I am completely torn between being devastated and slightly relieved as there may be some light at the end of the tunnel of fear that’s been building up.

I can’t tell you how hard this is for me I write.

It feels so awkward and vulnerable.

I’m cringing at the very thought of posting this yet I always said I’d be honest. If I can help one other person see how difficult life can feel for someone who looks like they should have it all together, then it’s worth it. (how do I think that is actually one sentence?!)

It feels like s step back to me. Like I’m admitting defeat. Like I’ve given in.

Yet I am so tired fighting these feelings AND I wouldn’t say any of that to a friend who was considering taking them.

When I should be super excited about a holiday I’m worried that I ruin it by being a jerk when we’re away. There’s a very fine line between happy and excited me and jerk me. (Forgive the shocking English… 🤦🏻‍♀️😂)

So… to take or not to take. That is the question.

I haven’t yet.

I am sure I probably will but I could do without that life changing decision tonight. I have a holiday to sleep for!!

Calaidh is not letting us leave without her.

So, I’m not sure what will happen with the blog for the next few days. I may or may not be able to post but rest assured there will be a million photos being taken while I try my best not to be a jerk!

Here’s Bhruic and Freya guarding the bags now 😂

I’m off to post this before I chicken out but I must admit I do feel better for typing it.

Stay safe everyone 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿✈️🇮🇸