Two more sleeps is the only significant thing about today, as far as certain small people are concerned. So Daddy did the most amazing amount of work this morning and afternoon. So it was the last day of term, so cool things were bound to happen in school. So Mummy went to the hairdresser's and came out with drastically different hair. So we went to visit Grandma and Seanair. All that matters is that it's 2 more sleeps!! No holiday obsessives here. Nope, none at all. Don't know anything about that kind of thing. Nothing whatsoever. Yeah, right!!
Thursday, 30 March 2017
It's a good job I like photography...today was spent entirely engrossed in photography work. I've lost count of the number of products I've photographed and edited. Trying to finish everything off before we leave on holiday is such fun! Meanwhile, Colin is frantically packing all around me, trying to get everything organised for the holiday. Everyone else's bags are pretty much ready to go into the car...I've still to start on mine though! Ah well, there's always another day....just!
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
I spent most of today at home, catching up with all the things I need to do before we go on holiday. I achieved a lot more than I expected, given how good I am at procrastination. Even managed to finish ploughing through all of the Celebrate photos - cut nearly 600 down to 100, so it took a while! We spent a brief time at the school too, seeing the work all of the children have been doing and enjoying some tea and cakes.
Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Today was an ordinary day at work, except for developing some new products. Colin managed to fit in a lot to his working day, with his ladies, some gardening, a changeover, some more gardening, some electrical work and a slight element of childcare as well. Come the end of my working day though, I discovered that I will be working from home for the rest of the week, so suddenly it felt like the countdown to the holidays had properly begun...happy days! Hope the weather in France is as stunning as it has been here these past few days....it'll be hard to beat some of the views here, but I'm sure France will make a pretty good effort!
Monday, 27 March 2017
At first glance, I thought today was quite quiet really. A warm welcome from Dougal and Flo was followed by a pretty relaxed day at work, although we did get lots of orders out. But then again, we did achieve lots of other stuff too, so not so quiet on the work front. Colin had his ladies, followed by a changeover, then lots of work at the house, sorting out the hen runs and houses and probably doing a million other things at the same time. Then it was time for fire training, and for the kids and me to head home...only for the kids to head straight back out again to rampage around the countryside while I prepared dinner and then hosted a Community Trust meeting...so I guess it didn't turn out to be quite as quiet a day as I thought!
Sunday, 26 March 2017
After a lovely family service in church, we all headed off to Piazza for our Mother's Day lunch. As ever, we had wonderful service and gorgeous food, all in beautiful surroundings. The children and I also enjoyed several wanders around the pier looking at the boats in between courses. Then it was off back home on the "big boat", leaving Ealasaid behind to go to a birthday barbecue for one of her friends. She and the boys still managed to fit in lots more wandering in the hills when she did get home though!
Saturday, 25 March 2017
You could almost believe it was a summer's day today...beautiful weather, warm and sunny with just a gentle breeze. We all spent just about the entire day outside, Colin and myself in the garden, the kids sometimes in the garden, sometimes careering up and down the road on go karts and sometimes roaming the surrounding hills. Safe to say they were never quiet, no matter where they were!
Between us, we managed to transform the garden and the garage from their previous slightly (!) untidy state. We even managed to fit in the first barbecue of the year - much to the delight of the hens, who are rather partial to sausages!
Friday, 24 March 2017
The end of a busy week...and a productive one too. Quite chuffed to have got all the orders out, despite being on my own at work all week except for when Colin was free to come in to give me a hand. We had a lovely end to the working day too, with some more quality time with the horses and the most amazing sunset as we drove home. Sadly, we were a little to knackered to make it to the 10th anniversary evening at the Comann Eachdraidh, to celebrate just over 10 years since Ionad Naomh Moluag opened...and as for having the energy to make it to Fort William for the An Comann Gaidhealach AGM, well, that just wasn't happening!
Thursday, 23 March 2017
It was a busy day at work, with lots more orders made and sent out, but by far the best bit of today was the time I spent checking up on the horses. Great excuse for some quality time with both them and the camera on what was a beautiful, sunny day. Just as well really, as Cass had killed her rug - she was quite grateful for the warm sunshine on her back until we found her a replacement victim...I mean...rug!
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
A cold but beautiful day...no snow falling, but plenty to see on the surrounding hills. It was a productive day at work - five sacks of mail went out despite there being a distinct lack of staff this week! The upside to the clear, wintry day was that there were beautiful clear skies come night time and it was apparently a great opportunity to see the northern lights. The downside to the wintry part of the day was that there was a howling gale, so I spent half an hour on the hill behind the house trying to remain upright, while the camera did its best in slightly challenging circumstances! Don't think I managed to capture any stunning images tonight...maybe next time!
Tuesday, 21 March 2017
So, today started with a brief snow fall and ended with bright sunshine. It started with work as usual, perfectly healthy, and ended with me crawling into bed feeling rotten and missing a Hall meeting. Definitely a mixed day! We also had some quality time with the Port Castle horses....fun and games at feeding time! Anyway, having been vaguely upright for a few minutes, I think it's time to crawl back under the duvet....bring on tomorrow, if tomorrow brings better health.
Monday, 20 March 2017
After what can only be described as a frenetic weekend, it was time to slow things down a bit and breathe! Work as usual, school as usual, fire training as usual...really nothing to report, except some major battery recharging. I think it's safe to say the weather was the most exciting thing today, with mist and wind and rain assaulting us on all sides. No ferry issues, but tomorrow promises to be even more interesting weather-wise...watch this space!
Sunday, 19 March 2017
Despite our late night last night, we were all up bright and early to head off to Glasgow on the first boat. The first excitement happened as we got off the boat, when we all got our first sight of the new car. Needless to say, the boys were just thrilled with it...and the rest of us were quite chuffed too! Lots of space for everyone and everything, drives beautifully and it's high enough off the ground to cope with most driving conditions.
Off we headed to Andiamo in Giffnock, where we had lunch booked for all eight of us. We'd been to the Andiamo in Milngavie before, but this was our first time here. I have to say we did much prefer the space and light that the actual restaurant building in Milngavie has, but we were still in perfectly pleasant surroundings in Giffnock. The staff were lovely - very friendly and helpful, even in the face of three pensioners, two frazzled parents and three tired but still lively children. Nothing was too much trouble and we were served promptly but were not rushed. The food was lovely - we all had different dishes and every plate was cleared. Even the children ate everything that appeared in front of them...the boys even took some chicken goujons that they couldn't quite finish at lunchtime and had them for their dinner when we got home. All in all, it was a lovely day for everyone.
Saturday, 18 March 2017
A chilly, misty morning, so a good day to be indoors printing off the last few photos for tonight's event. Not so Colin - despite the weather, he decided to go out and do some car repairs. The ancient Terrano and the equally ancient Discovery (not the new one!) are therefore currently undergoing surgery. We might even have a car each to drive down to tonight's Celebrate event at this rate!
Friday, 17 March 2017
Well, we still haven't seen the new car, except for Colin, who drove it all the way back from Manchester today, but it is now residing in Port Appin. It's not easy for the boys trying to remain patient until Sunday, when they will meet it for the first time!
Most of today was spent scanning and printing lots of wonderful old photos to put up in the Hall for tomorrow night's Celebrate event, followed by an evening making bunting and generally decorating the Hall. It all looks pretty good so far!
Thursday, 16 March 2017
Today started as normal, with children going off to school (and their swimming trip to Oban) and Colin and myself going off to work. This did involve an impromptu spot of fencing for Colin, as we discovered that the horses must have been partying during the night and had had a slight altercation with one of Nicky's fences. Fence and horses all back to normal now!
We arrived home from work just as Grandma and Seanair were also arriving on the island...accompanied by two excited wee boys who had "found" them on the ferry. We were then regaled with Ruairidh's swimming prowess...he has now been in the pool twice, yesterday and today, and is already swimming around on his own with a float and is an expert on the slide. That boy just doesn't know what fear is!
Colin and Dad then disappeared off on to North Connel, as they are off on a road trip tomorrow, both of them as far as Glasgow, then Colin is travelling to Manchester by train to pick up the new car...rather them than me, with a lovely 5am start. A lovely rainbow appeared just as they were leaving to guide them on their way...not that the photos can do it justice.
The final act of today was the Lismore Public Hall AGM, followed by a short Directors' meeting. Quite a good turnout and several new Directors, although we will greatly miss our retiring Chairman, Anita Bachuil, who was a wonderful asset on the Board.
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
It was a mixed kind of day, if you hadn't guessed! I was at work, which included some innovation, as we developed new products. Colin worked with his ladies, then worked on the old Terrano...it's not moving yet (due to only having three wheels attached at the moment!) but it started, so life is good again!
The hens now have an almost completely landscaped area...their paths are done and there's only a tiny bit more gravel needed to make it perfect. Now I just have to find chicken proof plants to put in their planters and we're sorted!
This evening was spent ploughing through old photos and information which we can use for this weekend's Celebrate Event...now trying to get them into a presentable form for display on the night.
Tuesday, 14 March 2017
We woke up to a rather windy morning...didn't seem too bad really, but it was uncertain enough for the school to decide to cancel today's trip to Oban. The children weren't overly happy but not too disappointed either, as they'll hope to get to go tomorrow.
I was at work as usual while Colin spent a large chunk of his day running back and forward to Point collecting gravel and stones for the landscaping efforts happening in and around the hens' enclosure. It's really starting to take shape and is looking much better, not to mention being a lot safer, as it's no longer so slippery with mud.
Monday, 13 March 2017
Ok, so not that manic, not for me anyway. Colin had the joys of driving the school bus today, so that kept him on his toes, as did all of his usual Monday morning jobs, not to mention having a big training session at the Fire Station this evening. Ealasaid and Alasdair had the excitement of a trip to Oban with the school, for swimming and a visit to the police station. They both really enjoyed it, though Alasdair was shattered after the day's exertions. Ruairidh was not impressed to be missing out, but it looks like he's getting a chance to tag along tomorrow, weather permitting.
Due to Colin's school bus shenanigans, I finished work early to go on child-watch. We headed down the hill from the school to Achnacroish, where Ealasaid and Ruairidh went rock climbing...I thought Ealasaid was exaggerating when she said that's what they were going to do, but when I glanced over after taking my eye off them for a second, I realised she was being scarily accurate. Quite adventurous wee people, the darlings! Alasdair, of course, was sensible and stayed with me in the car park, only joining the maniacs when they returned from their adventure.
We stopped off to say hello to some cute locals on the way home.
Sunday, 12 March 2017
We all headed off to Church in Oban, where we arrived as the Minister was welcoming everyone. Hope he wasn't too distracted by Ruairidh yelling hello to Seanair and Seanmhair and waving madly at them! After church, we went to drop off Dad's car at the garage for its pre-holiday service...fingers crossed it gets a clean bill of health. Then it was up to Port Appin, to catch the 2pm ferry...much misery ensued as Ruairidh realised that Seanair and Seanmhair weren't coming over with us...not a happy bunny! However, he was slightly pacified by the news that we do seem to have finally selected our new car...well, new to us anyway. Unless it turns out only to have three wheels or something, we should soon be the proud owners of a Discovery 3...not the most up to date model, but no point getting anything too special, as it probably won't last 5 minutes in Pot-Hole-Ville aka Lismore. Still exciting for little people though...and also for the big people, it has to be admitted!
Saturday, 11 March 2017
No long lie for us this weekend...we were off the island on the 9am ferry, so that I could make my 10am hair appointment. Colin and his three amigos went off to do the shopping, then after I was finished, we headed out to North Connel. Colin was soon hard at work fixing the floor and laying new tiles in the back porch for Mum and Dad. The children were all hard at work ransacking the garden. Thankfully, the flowers that are coming through somehow managed to survive the stampede.
Back to Lismore and it was time to go check the horses at Port Castle. Colin, Ealasaid and Ruairidh trooped down the hill, while Alasdair and I waited up top taking in the beautiful sunset, followed by moonlight from a perfect full moon.
Friday, 10 March 2017
I had the laziest morning ever...can honestly say I achieved absolutely nothing! The dogs had an equally hard morning...it's not easy being them!
The afternoon's activity promised to be a little more productive, with the latest meeting of the Lismore Photography Club taking place.
Thursday, 9 March 2017
One of the most significant things about today was Colin's efforts at car repair. Well, I say repair, but I suspect major surgery could be closer to the truth. Still, he is hopeful that he has found what ails the Discovery at least...looks like with a bit of luck we might get one of our vehicular invalids back on the road in the not too distant future. Let's just not mention the others though...!
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
Today started depressingly early, as the children were all going off on a trip to Taynuilt Primary School today, even Mr. Ruairidh. We were especially glad that he was getting to go too, as part of their travel was to involve a train journey from Oban to Taynuilt - Alasdair and Ruairidh had never been on a train before, so it would have been a shame for one to get to go and not the other. As it was, they seemed to take it all in their stride - I think I get more excited going on trains than they did having their first ever trip on one! The further excitement of the boat they were meant to return home on being cancelled and them having to come back a different way also failed to capture their imagination. And as for gaining any insight as to what they actually did all day at a strange school - still waiting to hear that they did anything other than play!
My day was spent taking and editing more Seahorse photos...not all plain sailing, but I'm hopeful that I'm now on the right lines and have produced something useful. We shall see!
Tuesday, 7 March 2017
A normal morning at work today, with today's orders completed along with tomorrow's and the next day's. This gave Florence great joy, as it meant lots of post for her to oversee.
Monday, 6 March 2017
An ordinary day at work for me, but definitely out of the ordinary for the inmates of the primary school! Today was the annual visit to the school by the island's fire truck and crew. Much excitement all round, especially for Alasdair and Ruairidh, as Daddy was driving the fire truck. Even the older children who were really too mature and sophisticated to be overly interested in visiting firemen managed to work up a fair degree of enthusiasm when they got the chance to chase their teacher with the fire hose!
There was even more excitement to be had later when Grandma and Seanair arrived over...lots of snuggles, playing and general quality time for everyone.
Sunday, 5 March 2017
Despite someone evil and wicked (i.e. Colin!!) waking everyone up an hour early by mistake, today was quite a relaxed and chilled day. We made it to Church in plenty of time, although the parents didn't make it today, due to Mum being up all night coughing. So much for her new course of antibiotics and steroids! After Church, we headed off to see Grandma and Seanair...lots of fun, playing and soup (that last bit was Ruairidh, of course!)
Saturday, 4 March 2017
A blustery day gave us slight doubts that we would get off the island today, but there were absolutely no problems with the ferry at all. Off we headed to this month's Fèis. Fèis Bheag for the boys, with lots of singing, dancing, whistle, chanter, crafts and general playing. Ealasaid had clarsach, group work, music tech and Gaelic song. They all had a wonderful time as ever, with Ealasaid particularly loving her group work and music tech. She then did some more socialising, this time with a friend in Appin...lots of outdoor fun, which is always a good alternative to too much iPad or laptop time. And of course, the first thing she did when she came home was to head straight back out for a run!
Friday, 3 March 2017
Friday is usually my day off, but due to fire trauma training, Colin and Simon were otherwise engaged all day, so my morning was spent at Seahorse, helping Nicky with today's orders. With Florence to help us, we got through everything nicely...it's amazing the contribution a Collie pup can make to making and packing orders! She's a great post dog too...we just couldn't manage without her to help!
My afternoon involved one of my usual conflagrations...the rubbish evicted from the office yesterday is no more. Much fun was also had by Alasdair and Ruairidh, as Grandma and Seanair were here for the day too...Miss Ealasaid was out socialising, so she wasn't home till late. Not good when she's got a better social life than the adults! Ruairidh definitely takes today's prize for adventurism though...he should really come with a health warning!
Thursday, 2 March 2017
I had a day off work today, which was a great chance to get lots of other stuff done. The changeable weather meant that we couldn't get anything done outside, so it was the turn office's turn to get a makeover. It was getting to the ridiculous stage in there, with piles of, erm, important paperwork and equipment...ok, so I mean mess...everywhere. A few hours later and the transformation was more or less complete...and I have a good start for my next bonfire.
Managed to fit in some photography after our fun and games in the office...this week's challenge on my photography course was pancake day related, so Colin had to crack about a million eggs and sift half a ton of flour and sugar so that I could play with shutter settings. We now have industrial quantities of fairy cakes to eat, as we didn't fancy pancakes after all that!
Wednesday, 1 March 2017
It was another beautiful winter's day here in Lismore. Ok so some people were saying that since it's now March, it must be spring, but the hailstones that were falling this afternoon suggested otherwise! That said, they did only last five minutes and were very localised...that rest of the day was indeed very springlike. Wonderful photos opportunities again...definitely a day to let the camera do the talking.