Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Uniforms, Mugdock and Mud

Mugdock Wood

There are promises everywhere of deals galore but the humble school uniform still ends up costing me a fortune. Three times everything soon adds up; it's not just the trousers and the shirts and the jumpers but then there's school bags, pencils, socks, hair bands, hats, a lung and a mummy's will to live.

The kids look forward to buying school uniforms so we make a day of it, usually involving ten shops to find Kelly the best jumper or Lucy the perfect hair band. Fraser just goes with the flow..."whatever, mum". We trawled the shop looking for just the right shoes for Kelly and school bags which could be customised. I resisted the urge to tell them that in our day a poly bag would have done and 'customised' meant graffiti, no matter what you called it.

We had grandpa to stay and quite a lot of trips planned over the past few days. The kids have had a ball and the rest of the week is just as busy. Next week, they'll attend the church summer school every morning, in preparation of getting up at a fairly reasonable hour for school. It's free, it's crafty and all three can attend....anyone up for coffee and cake next week, I'll meet you at the corner; it's on me!

In the meantime, I'm planning my trip to Canada and I'm really, really looking forward to it. I'll arrive in Toronto and fly out to Montreal for the weekend with the lovely Kate and Jill. Then I'll see Pauline, my old school friend who ran away with a tall, handsome Canadian and her lovely brood, one of which I haven't even met before and then possibly head to Niagara on the Lake for a tour of the wineries, a show at the famous Shaw Theatre and a slap up meal. After that, it's spa, shopping, walking, reading, swimming and cocktails. Happy sigh.

I've been walking daily, for miles at a time and yet these pesky pounds just don't seem to be shifting; actually, they are, but it's been so dang slow. I know it's supposed to be good for it to come off slowly but sheesh, come on! Months of walking every day, cutting down on what I already think of as a healthy diet and I've lost half a stone (7 pounds). I'd rather it was off than on, of course but come ON!! SHIFT, DAMN YOU, SHIFT!

We had a wonderful brunch for my mum's birthday on Sunday and afterwards I walked to Byres Road...a hub of activity in the West End of Glasgow...and sat outside Kember & Jones in the sunshine drinking their lovely illy coffee. I purchased some of their sunblushed tomatoes with oregano to have with pasta later on that evening. The family gate-crashed me chilling and we wandered around in the sunshine, stopping in Nancy Smillie and De-Courcy's Arcade along the way. When we got home, the kids, dad and Grandpa had an omelette with baked potato and salad whilst I cooked some spaghetti and mixed it with homemade pesto, the sunblushed tomatoes and a small handful of grated parmesan cheese.

Although I love the sun-blushed tomatoes from Kember & Jones, I've discovered that Tesco (a supermarket chain) sell them at half the price. I bought some and added my own oregano and they were delicious.
We walked through Mugdock wood yesterday, starting at Milngavie, the beginning of The West Highland Way. We headed up to the castle to catch frogs and newts and then for lunch at the little cafe in the courtyard. We got caught in the rain a few times but it was a brilliant walk, the kids not noticing how long it was as they were having a grand time with their pals. Fraser decided to see how deep some quick sand was though...eejit...and almost sunk in to the bog but we caught him just in time.
Kelly and Laura with the wee 'uns trailing behind.

Lucy with a newt.

Ciaran and Fraser as the Grim Reaper...apparently.

Lucy, Lemon and J.


Little Ms Blogger said...

I'm jealous - I love, love, love Niagara on the Lake.

Enjoy the trip.

Silver said...

weight issues.. sigh.. don't we all have 'em.


Helen McGinn said...

Silver, don't we just...regardless of size!
LMB...any suggestions or recommendations?

Ginger said...

Ok, So first of all, have THE BEST time in Canada - hopefully you remember to pack pink polka dot knickers (weight means nothing on a night when those babies come out under a moonlight sky).

Also, I love reading your writing voice. That's such an English teacher thing to say.. But then do newts really exist? And do daughters named Lucy actually hold them near castles and bogs? Lovely..

Gabrielle said...

I love your photos and your family is beautiful. The recipes look pretty good too!

Night Owl Mama said...

looks like a great time I love all your pictures thanks for coming by ww

JennyMac said...

Great pics. I love your kids names! And that plate of delicious looking pasta made me hungry. Its only 6 am here!

Single Mama NYC said...

I so love Fraser's laid-back attitude. He gives me hope that since all I have is a son, school shopping will be relatively painless when he gets to be that age. AT least I don't have to worry about hair bands, lol!