Monday, 7 June 2010


Second Born just appeared at our living room door wearing pyjamas and a straw boater. Things like that happen all the time in the Loth Clan Headquarters, and I invariably think "Ha! I must blog that." and then something else happens to distract me and I forget, for I am now 43 and Getting On A Bit and my memory is not what it was. In fact, I don't think it was ever what it was. If you know what I mean.

Anyway, I managed to write about the straw boater outfit purely because I actually had the laptop on my lap at the time. SB has now gone upstairs to his bedroom. His parting comment was "I had better remember to give Big Nick his hat back or he will be angry..". Big Nick is the King of the Cotton Humpties and he lives on our landing. Have I told you about the warring Humpty clans which occupy our house? No? Must remember to do that sometime.

So what else has been happening in our little corner of Edinburgh? Well, Husband and I have a new hobby. I am so pleased that the lettuce and courgette seeds I planted continue to grow that I have declared war on the snails. We have a lot of snails in our garden. Seriously. A lot. I don't know whether they just really like all the dense undergrowth or if they like the old stone wall that surrounds the garden (there are always a lot of snails asleep on the wall), but whatever the reason, there are loads of the little critters hanging around. Especially when it is wet outside. And since this is Edinburgh, it is pretty much always wet outside. A couple of nights ago I looked out of our kitchen window and counted over 20 snails on our little patch of lawn - a lawn you can cross in about 10 paces. They were advancing across the grass in a line like a little synchronised munching team. If they only ate the grass I would be delighted - save me cutting it for one thing - but they don't. They like my little herb garden (particularly the lovage which strikes me as an odd taste preference but there you go) and I am of course now fretting about my baby lettuce leaves.

So Husband and I now go out in the cool and damp of the Edinburgh dusk, hunt down the snails and chuck them over the garden wall. I hasten to add there is a nice grassy border with trees and everything on the other side of the wall and I checked first thing in the morning and found no snail corpses lying crushed in the street, so they presumably survived their flight. It is a strangely satisfying and relaxing pastime and it's nice for Husband and me to have a hobby we can share. I do slightly worry that at some point we will be mid-fling when a neighbour passes by outside and is caught in a shower of flying molluscs. But not worried enough to leave the little terrors to do their worst.

In other news, First Born has not been able to pluck up the courage to invite a girl to the end of year dance but he is pretty laid back about that and happy to go solo, so that's okay. He has however, just been told that he has won the school Poetry Trophy for the year so will actually get to go up on stage at Prizegiving this year and collect a prize. "An actual silver trophy!" as he has told everyone he could find on speed dial today (the chinese takeaway were surprised but very supportive). We couldn't be more pleased for him as we had sort of resigned ourselves to the fact that his particular strengths were not of the kind to result in prizes from his very traditional school. That he has won something for poetry that he wrote is just fanastic. I have not seen the poem which won, but FB tells us it was inspired by Edvard Munch's painting "The Scream". I will confess to being equal parts proud, intrigued and scared by that information.

There is almost certainly more to tell you but my cup of tea and square(s) of Green & Black's are calling to me so I will leave you with another photograph. This demonstrates what always happens if you leave a box lying around in a house where cats live. ANY box, no matter how small.

PS: Hey XUP/Alison! Husband is on the other laptop (yes, we are somewhat geeky, what of it?) and has just found a Sequential Circuits synthesizer on sale on Ebay for some ridiculous sum of money. It is in Ontario. He says I can come and visit you provided he comes too and is allowed to buy the synthesizer. I suspect the ridiculous sum of money is truly monumental if he is willing to do that deal, what do you reckon?


  1. Have you thought about killing the snails or would that be too cruel?

  2. Hey... love your kids :)
    but, first and foremost.. what is a Straw Boater?
    have never heard the name....
    I know I can google but sheer laziness stops me :)

  3. You, the hub and the synthesizer are all welcome. Please write soon as the cupboard under the stairs is booking up quickly now.

  4. Awesome! You're not just teasing us are you? Where in Ontario is this synthesizer anyway? It's a freakin' big province you know -- not like Nova Scotia. Also, about the snails I recommend pouring a nice line of Epsom salts around your crops. It's the best thing ever for snails. They crawl through it and since they're 99% water they get completely absorbed by the salts. Fun to watch, too.

  5. If Alison is booked up, we have "guest suites" that can be had for $40 a night. Thye're very nice.

  6. The reason there are no snail corpses over the wall is that snails have a homing instinct and by the time you're looking for their splattered innards, the entire snails are back feasting on your baby lettuce.

    And by that time, they've really worked up an appetite.

  7. We have guest suites at $40 per night in our complex if Chez Alison is all booked up.

  8. PS: Ontario is one huge freakin' province. A million times bigger than Nova Scotia, for instance. Where in Ontario is this synthesizer?

  9. Have you gone? You're very very quiet...