To demonstrate the difference in North and South – or so I thought – I’ve taken two sets of pictures of plants flowering. I thought the distance would be more obvious …
As you can tell from my last post, I’m sort of confined to barracks – in Woolwich, home of the Royal Artillery Barracks and the Royal Household Cavalry – somewhat ironic! It has been cold but that hasn’t stopped these daffodils from blooming!
The plan for this week was to sort everything out here in our little pied a terre. After 5 people had stayed with us for Christmas and we dashed north for Hogmanay then to France to ski, we didn’t have time to do anything.
Sorting linen, doing x wash loads, ironing, packing up clothes that have migrated and settled here after 2 ski holidays is a bit hard when wearing a surgical boot and getting around on crutches! However, it’s all done now, only the car to load up and the last bits to sort out. I haven’t used the crutches for the last couple of days so hopefully am getting a bit better.
As a regular reader, you may recall that I have been battling for a year with a painful tendon in my left foot. Mostly overcome now with regular yoga practice so I am pleased about that.
However, I woke up on Thursday last week with a similar pain in the other foot! This time at the base of the second and third toes. Ow! No obvious cause, no obvious explanation as the exercise I have been doing was for both feet. I rested it a bit, carried on a bit, then it got much worse. So much so, that I ended up in the minor injury unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich. Most people don’t seem to come out of that place alive so you can tell I must have been in some pain!
The kind people there thought it was possibly a stress fracture but the X-ray pictures were not conclusive on that. So it might be a soft tissue sprain. They decided to treat it as a fracture. Now I have a delightful walking boot, in a trendy shade of black to co-ordinate with my usual clothes, along with a matching pair of elbow crutches. I am supposed to try and attend the fracture clinic at the Royal Infirmary when I get back to Glasgow. What will they say? Either ‘yes, it is a stress fracture and you are doing all the right things’ or ‘no, it isn’t, go away’. So I can’t see the point of that!
Meanwhile, sometimes it is fine, sometimes it isn’t. And on it goes. Tiresome.
Regular readers of this blog and/or FaceBook may recognise some of these highlights!
Our first challenge of the 2014/15 holiday period was to host Christmas for Kay (see link ‘my family and other animals’ top left for the cast list!) and my uncle at the rather small flat in Woolwich without buying anything extra and making do with existing dishes, plates and glasses! It was the first Christmas since my father died so we wanted to do something completely different which we achieved. We did it again for 2015 but with more people and borrowed furniture!
January – ski-ing for a week in Sauze d’Oulx in the Milky Way ski area … and meeting up with a long lost Irish cousin of mine to share ancient documents.
February – TopMan did jury service in London on a case presided over by Cherie Blair!
March/April – in Whistler at the end of the ski season and this time my family joined us. So we had BS, Bickford, NN and BN with us for a couple of weeks and included the obligatory meal at our local restaurant!
May – American cousins of mine were visiting London and BS flew down from Aberdeen to join us. We had a wonderful meal in St Katharine’s Dock and then met up again next day at the War Museum to see the Fashion on the Ration exhibition.
July – school reunion of my year for me and camping in Brittany in ‘Rosneath Towers’ for us both. Caught up with TopMan’s Aunty Judy and her daughter Jacqueline in Peterborough.
August – another outing for Rosneath Towers on the Isle of Arran with the Broons for a glamour dinner at Lochranza and then some hill walking in Aberdeenshire for my birthday while Canadian extended family borrowed the Woolwich flat.
September – opened with TopMan master-minding the Kirkintilloch Flower Show and then we went to Devon with Kay, via a Clan Davidson meeting in Stranraer. This year the weather was so good in Devon, we just revelled in it and didn’t do much else!
October – always a rush as we prepare for TopMan starting his, now regular, pre-Christmas temporary stint with John Lewis in Westfield, East London.
November – TopMan carries on working hard (!) while I and BS head to Whistler to check out the house after a summer rental and do a spot of skiing.
December – a Glasgow 2014 reunion in Glasgow for me while TopMan continues working hard and preparing for Christmas in London!
I blame the London 2012 Olympics, myself.
Well, instead of volunteering at the World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, there I was in sunny Woolwich accompanying LOML while he started out on his 4th Christmas stint at John Lewis Stratford.
I can’t stand for long, you see. Overuse caused weakness and pain along the length of the peroneal tendon on the outside, back and base of the foot. Walking miles, standing for 4 – 6 hours at a stretch in the summer of 2012 and then doing similar in the summer of 2014 … all pushed these tendons to their limits. Now I am condemned to daily exercise, orthotics and NSAIDs for who knows how long … started in March this year and still painful!
Yoga has really helped – better for pain control than the physiotherapists’ exercises, it seems. As well as providing leg strengthening for ski-ing. It worked for a gentle ski trip in Whistler a month ago but fingers crossed it works for the upcoming 6-day Morzine ski-a-thon!
I dragged LOML to a few exhibitions and when he refused, took friends! Thanks lom for the inspiration for this post!
From the Forest to the Sea – Emily Carr at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Truth and Memory – First World War artists at the Imperial War Museum
Fashion on the Ration – Second World War style at the Imperial War Museum
Vivienne Westwood: Cut from the Past – Danson House
Savage Beauty – Alexander McQueen at the V & A
Shoes: Pleasure and Pain – at the V & A
Following on yesterday’s post which is now deleted as it duplicated this …. The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 340 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.
This year, my birthday fell on a bank holiday weekend. A rare thing and, if I was still working, a rare treat to have the day off!
So, there was some pressure on me to a) visit my family for a family birthday celebration and b) plan a treat-filled weekend. Many times was the question asked of me ‘what do you want to do for your birthday?’ and the answer ‘just go out for a meal’ wasn’t enough.
My family live in the beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside and the weather forecast for the weekend was good so it made sense to get out and about. Saturday dawned bright and sunny so Baby Sis, Top Man and I went for a hike up the closest hill, Tap o’Noth, to a vitrified Pictish fort on the top for a picnic lunch with a view over a quarter of Scotland, so it’s said.
Next day, the weather was the same so we went to the sea, the shores of the Moray Firth at Sandend and walked the coastal path including a terrifying scramble to 15th century Findlater Castle. Bringing our historic visits forward by about one and a half millennia!
On the actual birthday, Baby Sis had to work as it isn’t a Scottish bank holiday although many companies do now recognise it. The weather threatened to close in around 14:00 and the plan was to hike up another local hill to Mither Tap o’Bennachie. So Top Man and I headed out and walked up the Maiden Causeway to another Pictish hill fort.
It’s hard to believe that these stone walls and steps have survived 2 millennia, at least, as well as the tramping hordes of 21st century tourists. Not only that, but the skills and knowledge was there to build them in the first place.
After sustenance at a local tea room, we headed back to my sister’s for hot showers and putting on glad rags for present opening and Prosecco. Somehow from here on, photos got forgotten. We toddled up the road to the local Indian and had a wonderful meal … bookended by walks there and back avoiding the rain!
A wonderful weekend, thank you everyone!
Back from the Brittany experience and time to take the tent to the Isle of Arran. Normally we stay with the Broons, friends/extended family who live there at Kildonan. But this time we all wanted to try out the Stags Pavilion restaurant at the Lochranza camp site. No likelihood that any of the party were going to be alcohol free to drive back; no likelihood of a taxi in that part of the world; even the local hotel was a bit far to walk.
So Rosneath Towers mark II was deployed in its full glory:
Sadly, the only pitch we fitted into was a trifle close to trees and, when the wind died down to under 4 mph, it turned into Midge Central! No matter, we deployed the citronella and were OK at the time but are covered in bites now!
The special at the Stags Pavilion was seafood platter which just had to have a picture all of its own:
Next morning, a round of golf was attempted at the Lochranza Golf Course, only two of us completed it (not me!). My first time actually using a driver and driving off a tee … mostly in the right direction but not very far and luckily never in the water!
Then the ironic thing was that we saw an M&J Seafood frozen fish delivery van queuing up for the return ferry. We know the M of M&J Seafood who has a big warehouse near Billingsgate Market. So we asked the driver if he was taking Arran produce down to London. No, he was delivering seafood from a satellite warehouse near Edinburgh to ‘the spa hotel’ – so that’s the Auchrannie Resort not using local produce! Hmmm
As you can see, I have been rather quiet since the beginning of July. The title of this blog post may give a clue. Yes, I have been away camping a couple of times. The first in France as a last minute idea due to another arrangement being cancelled.
We headed to Brittany on the fast cat ferry and spent the first night in the pretty port of Binic. There was a wonderful street and farmers’ market there the morning we left and the municipal flowers …. not like ours at all!
After extricating our car from the market parking, we headed south to a place called Lesconil. This was going to be our first overseas pitching of the tent and included the new canopy which had not even been out of the bag! Watched by interested locals (they seem to leave their house round the corner and spend July and August in their caravan by the sea!) we swore and shouted our way round the puzzle that was the canopy – here it is:
This was on a nice day … most of them were wet and rainy so we were glad we only had 6 days planned! The last was sunny so the tent dried out before packing it up. On a nice evening, looking up at the sky above us through the trees prompted these ..
The return journey was fraught … every route back to the ferry port was blocked by angry French farmers wanting a fair price for their milk and other produce. Much more militant than our farmers but the same issue. Whatever, we missed the fast cat to Portsmouth but got on a later slow ferry to Poole, which left Cherbourg a few minutes late. That would have been OK but the road across the New Forest closed for roadworks about 10 minutes before we got to it … the diversion was to go down to Bournemouth and take the slow road to Lyndhurst. We got home at 02:00! Tired bunnies!