41. the one where the bathroom ceiling bursts its banks

*occurs during drizzlepocalypse of late september 2012*

d’you know what’s a really bad, non-waterproof construction method for a roof?
answer: moss and cobwebs.

i’ve been ignoring the exclamation mark shaped tidemark on the ceiling for some years time now, but late on sunday night whilst cleaning my teeth, actual WET occurred…

seriously. i thought only cartoons collected roof-leak drips in buckets and pans.
(i used an old bath towel and a washing up bowl which worked equally well, fyi.)


in a pretend home makeover show, ^ those would be the before pictures.
here is the after:

see? with a shiny new bucket, a piece of string (to direct the water down off the beams), and all of the saturated & stinking plaster neatly bagged up (along with my sense of humour) ready for the dump, it’s really quite tidy now.

all we need to do now, is save up for a new roof before we can fix the ceiling.

you know those things? off the telly? fund raising thermometers?
i made one for my fund using the rotten ceiling beams as markers

and i have coloured in all of the money we have raised so far.
awesome! :D


40. the one with the meteor

i was having a crafty ciggie out the back kitchen window late last night, when all of a sudden, reflected in the condensation, was a really bright green moving thing!

when i leaned right out, this is what i saw:

(artistic impression)

at this point of course, i didn’t realise it was a meteor.
naturally, i assumed it was aliens. or my imagination.

shoes! i need shoes! so i can go outside! and see exactly what it is that i am imagining that i am seeing!”
(obviously at 11pm i was only wearing hand knitted socks for best)

by the time i got outside it was gone :(

much later, the news media would report “…people immediately took to twitter and social networking blah blah blah… ”
not me.
i sat very quietly for an hour, wondering if i was officially mental now. or if it was aliens. or the beginning of the apocalypse etc.

eventually curiosity got the better of me and i tentatively asked (in private):

helpful sister.


“im so happy that i got to see such a thing!
now that it’s a thing.
not just me being insane.”


39. the one with road trip back to england (scotland part four)


on day 9 after one last walk along the beach, we packed up and set off on the looooong journey home :(

bossy satnav lady: “take the A. EIGH-TY. TWO towards. glaah.sgow”
me: “noooooo! make a U-turn when possible! make a U-turn when possible!

the return journey through glencoe *sigh*

picnic in a lay-by near rannoch moor *sigh*

sal in a car park in tyndrum *lol*

gridlock round loch lomond *sigh*

23764876427 hours later we reached our hotel for the night

anakin: “but our room is so far from the restaurant – will you hear me yipYIP YIPYIP YIP YIP YAP YIPyip YIP?”
yes anakin. yes, we will.

day 10


“welcome to england”

welcome to cumbria…

welcome to lancashire…

< insert all of the other wet places here >


38. the one with the scotland trip (part three)

when we booked a holiday right up the very top, in september, we didn’t reeeeeally expect glorious weather to occur.
we secretly hoped, and i might’ve had some misty-dreamsequence scene in my head whilst packing my suitcase… but day 6 actually REALLY looked like this
although the wind was a little arctic still.

perhaps it’d be all sheltered in the cove by the golf course?
perhaps i could even SWIM!!?  <— misty-dreamsequence of a crazy person who took a bikini on holiday “in case”

but no.
still arctic, and getting blacker & rainer by the minute.

^ wearing a bikini under a thermal vest & winter coat, yet still turning a peculiar colour.

anakin didn’t join in. because border collies are not stupid.

on day 7, as predicted, the hurricanes arrived.
you know those tragic idiots you see on the news? and you *tut*, “but really, who would actually be stupid enough to go out in THAT??!”
answer: us.
we are those stupid idiots.

it was wild and anakin LOVED it!

it was also really, really wet. and cold, like icy needles in the face whichever way you turned. awesome!

i would’ve stayed out for longer, but my jeans were so heavy with wet they were pulling my knickers down with every step. invigorating!

day 8
in mallaig again, we’d planned to take a boat trip out to knoydart, to see some real remote. i wanted to go here:

and if i had done, i would’ve gone on this very boat:

but i was being lame from all the cold and wet and hurricane-y, so we went to the pub instead.

the actual steam train to hogwarts was in mallaig station as we walked by, and i did my best to take a decent picture, but harry potter tourists kept getting my way…
… no matter where i went >:(

on the drive home, we stopped off at another beautiful beach. in the film ‘local hero’, this is the beach where they want to build an oil refinery. lol – imagine!

and then it was back to the cottage for the so-sad task of packing up all our shit to leave the next day  :(


37. the one with the scotland trip (part two)

i’ve been deliberately vague when people asked where exactly in scotland i was going. see, i have long-held and elaborate plans for after the zombie apocalypse, and this remote, inaccessible area seemed perfect on paper. i just hadn’t actually been to check it out yet. imagine my delight when we arrived at the cottage and even the weapons had been laid on.

day 3 
do you like this view of eigg and rum? i hope you do because i’ve taken approx. 78464876 pictures of  it. in a variety of weather conditions.

when not taking photos of eigg & rum across the sea, or teasing anemones in rockpools, or collecting tiny shells, or sitting listening to the sound of the sea, i was just happy to watch anakin playing; paddling, digging and tossing seaweed around.

happy collie! :)

day 4
was a bit (only fractionally) nicer weather-wise, so i paddled in that beautiful clear north atlantic water.
don’t let this picture fool you, even just standing on the arctic wet sand was painful.
but once i’d lost all feeling in my feet, it didn’t hurt as much. of course, Husband had to go one better and dive in. show off.

anakin didn’t join in. because border collies are not stupid.

later, we all enjoyed a cosy pub lunch at the cnoc-na-faire inn, just up the hill and overlooking the campsite… i do hope they’re still serving in post-zombie-apocalypse times. but if not, the heather will still be pretty to look at.

after lunch, we drove along the coast to traigh

dad and Husband were hoping to fit in a game of golf here, but as it turned out, the days were just too damn packed (eating / paddling / shells…)

when all the guys disappeared over a hill, i couldn’t really be arsed to follow. they were waving vigorously though, so i plodded on to see if it was a. a view emergency, or b. something importants
answer: A

even though i knew there was clear blue sea and white sands up here, it was still a surprise for my brain every time my eyes actually saw it.

after hot drinks back at the cottage, we headed down to the beach to watch the sunset.

and there is archie’s beard watching the sunset

on day 5 we inched our way a little bit further up the coastal road, to the beach at morar. it was quite a scramble down from car park
but worth it for the soft white sand
(even though mom got a bumble bee inside her jeans. wtf??!

we went to loch morar next, but the winds were picking up and the rain was drizzling down so it was a bit miserable.
on a whim, we drove on to mallaig

where it really started pissing down. cold and drenched, with a wet collie in tow, the super lovely staff at the chlachain inn sorted us out with a booth in a quiet corner where we wolfed down their locally caught, home made seafood stuffs. for true, i cannot rate them highly enough for customer service!

then it was back to our beach for another glorious sunset fail.

36. the one with the road trip (scotland part one)

on & off, 2012 has been a complete shit of a year.
my friends and family have lost people, and so many of my friends have lost parents, which prompted my mum to suggest our family take the trip we’ve been talking about for years. the trip i’d wanted to take for my 40th birthday.

in a family where all the women suffer from a host of anxiety disorders, ocd & agoraphobia, that’s really not as easy as it sounds. but we booked the holiday and *brainskimmed* the logistics of the thing.

day 1
Husband, anakin & i set off in the most glorious hot of late summer.
“i do wish you’d cleaned the windscreen, Husband. now that black thing is going to be in all of my road trip photos” >:(

meeting up with sal & archies beard along the way, anakin was beside herself with excitement and kisses. we just lol-complained about the unbelievable TOO HOT.

british weather is so changeable though, eh?

being stuck behind vehicles with large loads is one of my WORST THINGS (inside my brain, i get stuck in worst case scenario fantasies where they lose the load and i am crushed to death), but at least this was a modern day haywain rather than a car transporter (my no. 2 worst thing to be behind) or a lorry carrying giant steel girders like in that one film <– absolute no. 1 worst thing.
and the sun was back out :)

at joyful last, we crossed the border into scotland!
“gargh! Husband, there’s an effing foreign car in the way of my FAILTE picture

it’s not even raining!” (it always rains)
2 minutes later: rain.

… more hours pass …

we arrived in callander (a small town on the edge of the trossachs) in late afternoon, and checked in to our b&b. despite the town’s pretty, and the mist covered hills that overlook it, i have no photos due to the harsh, time consuming realities of convincing an elderly ocd border collie that a wee would be a good idea after 7 hours squished in the back of the car. and then that she should sit in the room QUIETLY while Husband and i ate our aberdeen angus beef burgers in the restaurant.
(there were just 2 doors between our room & the restaurant, so i hope all the other patrons enjoyed the yipYIP YIPYIP YIP YIP YAP YIPyip YIP soundtrack as much as i did)

day 2
i have no geographical idea where sal & archie spent the night.
mum & dad were camping just 20 minutes up the road, at killin, but we didn’t manage to catch up with their slow-ass campervan ’til lunchtime.

probably because i kept making Husband pull off the road for spine-tingly atmospheric photos.
like this one.

so listen, i managed to fuck up my one picture of the piper – due to being buffeted by strong wind and anakin tugging on her lead – so i have seamlessly photoshopped him in from a photo i took last year.

and then we had to stop in glencoe, obviously.

(my) photos cannot do any kind of justice to the mountains, valleys and lochs of the scottish highlands, so there’s no point in trying. it’s all about the shadows swooping across the hills, as the mist rolls back and the sun peeks out, as all of the colours change and change again.

apparently i went to fort william aged 4.
but i’ve never been that far north again until now, so we left civilization behind as we headed out of town, going even more north (and west a bit) :D

this is the glenfinnan monument at loch shiel.

bonny prince charlie gathered the clans here in 1745 to… oh, look on wikipedia – it’s really interesting.
all i did here was have a wee.

we met up with mum & dad here for a coffee, which was lucky because if they hadn’t pointed it out to me, i might’ve missed… the glenfinnan viaduct! (from off of the harry potter films!!!)

there! by the arrow ^
much excitingment as we witnessed the steam train going by, but i couldn’t get any closer as the ground was all boggy and i had my good trainers on.

back on the road, and much stunning highland-y scenery later, we reached our coastal destination.

^ anakin approves.