Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Spring Nearly Here, Maybe

With hopes of warmer weather on the way, Olive and I took to the "local" garden center to collect what we needed to house and grow this years crop. After creating MY own yard exactly how I wanted at Hoadly, it's still a little difficult to carve out niches in my land lord's mature landscaping. I still miss my WA yard more than the house. So, it's containers with a patch of flinty soil to create my gardening opus for the year out of unheard of varieties of UK hybrids. New learning curve here I come.
Things to look forward to: round carrots, striped aubergine, and three crops of potatoes (they LOVE their potatoes here) Now if only the weather would warm up a smidgen I could get cracking. 

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Scotland



Last weekend Josh was feeling the need for a third country to visit in three months, so we took a quick trip up to Edinburgh, Scotland. Hopped aboard an Easy Jet flight (more leg room & kid first boarding Yeah, more expensive Boo) and arrived to our hotel by 10am Friday morning. It was a lovely old family run hotel/B&B which offered us accommodation on the 3rd floor... a mere 70+ steps to the top.  The day was spent in the pouring rain exploring what the city had to offer. We walked through Old and New town, grabbed a sandwich from the Deacon's House Cafe, & took cover in the National  Museum. My favorite natural history wing was under construction, but, seeing it has been for the past 3 years, I didn't feel as slighted. Olive did enjoy the cannons, train, and various other historical tidbits (we'll I think she did, she really likes the idea of cannons now).

Using the Map to Find Our Way


After leaving the museum we did more walking about, looking at shops, and took a tea in a department store cafe which Josh, mistakenly, was told to visit. All gray haired ladies chatting away with us in the corner wondering how could THIS be the place to be... granite the recommendation did come from a 60 year old woman. After tea, a much need drying out and nap before dinner.  By the time we set off again, the wind was really blowing. So, of course we head to the top of Calton Hill for a twilight view of the city. See video below. Afterward, we spent a great deal of time looking for a local pub with decent food and would have Olive in... we settled on a restaurant.
video


Saturday we were off early up the Royal Mile to visit the Castle and luckly the weather was improving. We were able to see Parlement on the way from the hotel , a cemetery, and a few other notable sites.   Olive got to play dress up in a Scottish tartan, visited many a wool shop, and did more sight seeing.

That night we finally found a Pub that met our basic criteria (and wasn't showing the Scotland vs. France Rugby game) for a lovely meal. Josh got to have his whiskey and Haggis. Olive got to have her fish and chips. And got I sticky Chicken a Real Ale.  

Sunday was our last day in town and we went off to buy a souvenir or two. Got a lovely wool blanket from the mill (where Olive learned traditional Scottish Dancing), a long sought after bottle of whiskey, and shortbread cookies for the babe. The weather pushed us inside for a bit, and we looked around the National Gallery to see works by Poussin, Vermeer, and Degas (Os favorite, why?, ballerinas). The rest of the day was just winding down. Had a pub lunch, visited the Museum of Childhood, had a tea at a Clarina's Tea House (much better), and started walking back to grab our bags and catch the bus to the airport. A bit disappointed that we didn't know you could hike up the big craggy hill outside town, Holyrood Park, until our last hour in town. But that will leave us something to do next time we make it back to Edinburgh.

video


Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Last 30 Days

Somewhere in the last 30 days we have:
Celebrated Josh's 35th  Met Indy Drivers & signed names on a Indy Car
 
Discovered Olive is a Hamster
Bought our 1st Antique 
Visited the largest Beer outlet in England

Gone to a "Zoo"
Walked Devils Dike
Went to National Trust sites : The Abbey Gardens & Wimpole Hall/Farm