Wednesday, 8 April 2009


It is on days like today that I am really, really grateful for my life. I finished work at 1, drove home and released Husband to go into work for the afternoon. The boys had been in the house all morning, amusing themselves to let Husband work from home and they were champing at the bit to do .......... something. They didn't know what that something was, but they knew it had to be done, and quickly. Preferably while consuming sweets.

The weather today was encouragingly spring-like and we decided to walk up to the park and, on my suggestion, to then continue the walk a bit further to a nearby garden centre (I needed to buy some parsley plants for the patch of wilderness by the back door which I laughingly refer to as my herb garden). I have mentioned this particular park before - it is only a 10 minute walk from my house but feels like you are out in the country. And the daffodils are out at the moment, and with the sunshine and the blue sky, well, it was lovely. Look.

That is the lane leading to the park. Nice, isn't it? I released the boys into the park itself and just enjoyed the fresh air and the view. Edinburgh is really quite a nice city to live in you know.

That bump you can see is Arthur's Seat with the Crags to the left of it. I'm not sure if you can see from that photo (you can click to enlarge) but you could see right across the Forth to Fife and out to North Berwick too.

I had cunningly supplied myself with a book before leaving the house, so as the boys tried to make each other throw up on the roundabout, I lazed on a bench, reading. This bench, to be precise.

And I chatted with a lady exercising her dog and I ate a mint Aero. Ahem. Eventually the boys got tired of spinning themselves senseless and we headed off beyond the park towards the garden centre. Luckily we were able to use a "back route" which goes through fields and woodland rather than along the road. We met more dog walkers and everyone today seemed happy and stopped to chat while my children fussed over their dogs. Horses were grazing in a particularly picturesque way and the odd rabbit was spotted hopping about in the woods.

We passed the area known as "The Schtump", famous for the running route which SB and I like to call "Schtumpenback" because it involves running to the Schtump. And back. There were a couple of weird creatures on there claiming to be The Lorax. I was not convinced. They were not in the slightest bit mossy, for a start.
Just a bit weird really. As we walked on, SB commandeered the camera - he has decided he likes a bit of photography and he knows from our previous runs that there is a herd of Highland cows which hangs out near the garden centre. Assuming three or four cows count as a herd. I certainly feel they ought to, seeing as how they are very big cows. Anyway, SB snapped away taking pictures of coos and in particular, of one coo's backside. I kind of like that one.

The garden centre was duly visited and my parsley purchased. I bumped into an old work colleague who is still in the property side of the legal profession and has been working a 2.5 day week since Christmas. Things are still not rosy for lawyers, I am afraid. SB spotted strawberry plants in pots and decided he wanted one despite the fact that (a) I know nothing about growing strawberries and neither does he and (b) he doesn't even like strawberries. Apparently in the unlikely event that his new friend ever bears fruit, I get to eat it. Bonus! Not to be outdone, FB plumped for a primrose plant. Called Sonny.

Bearing our new purchases, we wandered homewards, chatting about what to have for dinner (sausage and mash) and where we were going to plant the new arrivals. SB continued to take photos all the way home and I silently gave thanks for digital cameras where you can see your results immediately and junk what you don't want. This photo of the local rabbits coming out for their evening meal, for example, will not win any photography prizes but FB and SB were so delighted to see all the rabbits venturing out that the photo was definitely worth taking.
And then we went home, as all my stories at primary school used to say, to listen to FB's drum practice and play poker with SB (what? you don't think poker is a suitable pastime for an 8 year old? I'm grooming him to be a card sharp and then I'm going to release him on the internet with a £50 stake and see if he can pay for next year's Canadian extravaganza! The boy is good, I tell you!)

Husband came home later and is not quite sure if he has caught the dreaded lurgy from which I have now recovered. I hope not. I would hate to spoil a good day.


  1. What a fruitful afternoon. It's always even better when I bring something for myself to do, when I am out with the boys.

  2. Sounds like such a fun day :)

    Edinburgh definitely seemed like a really nice city to live in while I was there. And we saw a lot of it, because we got lost. Horribly, horribly lost. In fact, in many other UK cities the amount of lost we were would have gotten us stabbed, beaten and/or robbed. So the fact that we didn't earns Edinburgh a lot of points.

  3. Strawberries in a country that gets no daylight? It doesn't sound promising. They take 2-3 years to send out runners. During that time you need to pinch the blossoms to discourage fruit. You don't want fruit until at least the 2nd year. Strawberries need lots of straw to keep them warm and lots of heat and sunshine in the spring and early summer. Wish him well from me, okay?

  4. Wow, what an absolutely lovely day out! I love the tree stump picture too - why is it all kids HAVE to get up on a tree stump? :-) The first picture of the lane with flowers at the edge is lovely too.

    I wonder, could you possibly email me the location of that park? We desperately need new park fodder, and it sounds as though that one isn't a million miles away from us. I'm pig sick our nearest one, been going to the dratted thing for six years now!

    Anyway, grand to hear you had a good day out - and that the lurgy's better.