Mama & Me time

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Every great thing happening all at once! Whirlwind dot com!

The past few months have been super busy: went to Jupiter Artland, went to Manchester for a music festival, my mom visited for a MONTH and we road-tripped all over Scotland, went to the Highland Show, and to Paris. Can’t believe how much I’ve done in such a short span of time. Action-packed.

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Royal Highland Show

8. Do more animal-related activities

You’re right, it was silly to think that driving to the airport to collect my mom on the first day of the Royal Highland Show would be a good idea. And then returning to the same Highland Show midday. BUT HEY HO! I had a great time. I saw ALL the animals, ate lots of yummy food, and everything was amazing, even if my jet-lagged mom did fall asleep in the goat tent…

Highlights included

Many and sundry super cute sheep, every kind of cow, horses jumping over things!, lots of tasty food/drinks, and this beauty:

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And so many boots and gilets, tweed glorious tweed.

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Mama & Me roadtrip

We started with an east coast tour, heading up as far as Montrose. We bee-lined for Dunnottar Castle in the AM which was misty-moody when we arrived. Good thing we packed our waterproofs!

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We headed back by way of Steptoe’s Yard, which was fantastic, and also on my year goals list:

2. Go to Steptoe’s yard

I’m on the hunt for the perfect mid-century chair for the living room and had a hunch they might have something, but alas – it was not to be (#firstworldproblems). Still, we got a ladder for my new & improved chicken coop, and a few other bits and bobs. Nearly bought a dublin sink (to turn into a garden pond!) but couldn’t carry it to the car. My long-suffering partner sighs relief.

Then onwards to Glamis Castle! The tour at Glamis Castle was maybe the best tour I’ve ever been on, mainly because the tourguide was BRILLIANT! Totally knew her stuff, good mix of silly trivia, scary stories, and incredible detail on everything imaginable (she regaled tour-goers with info on where various cabinets and plates and art and books had come from). I was really impressed. Highly recommend! We wandered around the estate after, saw the highland cows and grouse.

We stayed the night in St Andrews, wandered around the castle and cathedral, had an epic meal followed by ice cream at Jannetta’s. Hot date! Next morning on the trip back we stopped by Cairnie Fruit Farm, my favorite place in Scotland. It was pretty pants weather so not ideal for PYO-fruiting. Instead I had cheesecake for breakfast (!) and we hit the road. We stopped at Hill of Tarvit garden and Falkland Palace which also had a beautiful garden, perfect in the glorious sunshine.

Roadtrip Part 2!

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Then for her bon-voyage roadtrip, we hustled up to Skye! I drove 8 hours the first day – stopping at Eilean Donan Castle, Skye bridge, Portree (where we had amazing fish&chips on the wee pier). Then we took the ferry to Mallaig, stopped by Glenfinnan Monument, and headed down to our CASTLE accommodation for the night. Amazing!

The way back, we stopped for a Skyfall reenactment in Glencoe, some warm cullen skink at the Green Welly Boot and then to Stirling Castle and the Falkirk Kelpies to finish it off! (Was nice to end on the Kelpies as we’d started with the kelpie maquettes at the airport when she arrived!)

 

What a whirlwind! Will post about Paris and Manchester shortly. *puts all the ducks in a row*

I miss my mama though, especially coming home to delicious dinners made for me, clean laundry, and her hilarious company. You’re right, my mom is the best. Love you mama!

General Update

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Spring has been good to me and my garden. We’ve been non-stop busy, but all the mange tout, potatoes, spinach, lavender, the various fruits, have done well on their own (I basically did nothing and just let the copious rain water them).

Chickens are all awesome as ever (dust-bathing under the buddlea in photo to right).

Finished my CIM course and awaiting results.

Started jogging home from work a few days a week.

Trying to keep my head/heart at an even keel is my #1 objective these days.

Looking forward to:

  • Using our Plumed Horse vouchers, and our Foxlake Adventures vouchers. (Not on the same day hopefully!) Thanks S’s family for all the cool gifts!
  • The Edinburgh Festival (for better or worse!)… getting my outta-my-way-tourists elbows shined up.
  • My impending birthday.

readingRyan Van Winkle – The Good Dark (this is amazing, Ryan!) Everyone should buy this!
Chuck Palanhiuk – Beautiful You (one of two I got at Shakespeare & Co – fun!)

Audiobooked Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which was great! It finished with an interview with NG who said something to the effect of ‘Writers should try to feel like aliens as much as possible,’ which resonates with me immensely. Then listened to the BBC radio version of Neverwhere (with James McAvoy!) – highly recommend! Also finished Michael Chabon’s Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

soundtrack

Listening to all the Oh Wonder playlist & hard-contemplating going to the Glasgow show in November. Midnight Moon is my jaammmm.

3Lau – How you love me
Made in Heights – Forgiveness
Hana truly – Avalanche
Hasley’s Badlands ep

Plus made some old mixcds into youtube playlists: old high school mixCD… *sobs*, 20th birthday cd #nostalgia

Be back soon!

Mommy&me vacation: DONE!

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Catalina with my mom was amazing!

Off the back of my trip home in April, I planned a mini vacation for my mama & me to go to Santa Catalina island, off the coast of California. Though a Southern Californian born and raised, I had never been to Catalina before; neither had my mom (despite living in OC for almost 40 years!).

Not knowing what to expect, we booked the ferry over and packed our overnight bags.

We stayed at probably the last available hotel on the island, what with it being Easter weekend, everything everywhere was totally full (at the inn!).

Once checked in, we went for a walk around Avalon, the main/only town in Catalina. We stopped for a coffee and then hiked up and down and all around the place. We even climbed a mountain on foot to go to the Wrigley Memorial (Botanical) Garden. My poor mom always ends up having to do a lot of exercising whenever we go anywhere together. =)

We went on an impromptu submarine ride and saw lots of garibaldi fish (the orange ones, apparently the special fish of Catalina!). We had some ice cream and I stocked up on salt-water taffy at the old fashioned candy shop.

As the sun set into the ocean, we stopped for an epic steak dinner on the water at a place called Steve’s. Seriously so delicious. The place was packed and the service was excellent. Glad to treat my mom to something nice. We miss so many birthdays and Christmases and everything with me being abroad, it’s only the tip of the iceberg really on what I owe her. But glad to get to spend time with her and take her out when I can. (I miss my mama so bad!)

Then the next morning bright and early we checked out of the hotel, and stowed our luggage in a locker before hiking around the other side of the island. This time we went all the way up the hill to where the Wrigley mansion is (Inn on Mt Ada). Good Japanese tourist photos taken by all. =)

THEN! To top it off, we ticked off another thing on my list, by catching our very own helicopter back to the mainland. An amazing trip all in all! Love spending time with my mama. She is so cool and the kindest lady I know.

Addendum: List of animals seen (up close!) in Catalina included garibaldi, seals, dolphins, pelicans, epic caterpillars, woodpeckers and deer!

 

April catch-up

IMG_1130 IMG_1038A month of fun, this April has been!

We started out with the burrito challenge at Taco Mazama. I opted out but cheered on my pals. Surprisingly (or perhaps not – if you saw the size of this thing!), they did not manage to beat the winning time of 6minutes to complete eating a 3x size burrito. I reckon we all still prefer the burritos at Illegal Jack’s, Edinburghers, and don’t see much reason to go to Taco Mazama again (least of all because no one wants to see their photo up on the wall of shame!).

Then we spent an impromptu night with pals at a lovely self-catering on the banks of Loch Fyne. IMG_1414Made a bonfire on the beach! Went walkies with the best puppy in the world! Played a million games of Dominion. =)

Then we moved house! The run-up to this was stressful and exciting and boy am I glad to be back and settling into our new home.

Then we traveled to the US (California) for vacation and to celebrate my friends’ wedding. So glad to get to be there for two epic friends on their big day. (#LeBigDay2014!) Great to catch up with home-friends as well.

While on vacation, took my Mama on a mommy & me trip to Catalina Island, and rode back by helicopter! (Watch this space.)

Went for 3 hours karaoke in LA (at Max Studio) with some of my old CLICC lab pals. collage

And although I’ve been lax on my Programming class, I found this amazing CodeAcademy app with an intro power-hour of programming which I completed on the plane home. Good fun!

Aside from this, I have found very little time to work on most of my other 30by30s. I mean, ticking off 4 major ones in a matter of weeks is no small feat, but I haven’t done any language study and I certainly haven’t made a dent in losing 30lbs! (Hello tacos-6-time-in-5-days!) And my fingers are crossed that the garlic I’ve been growing survives the move + my time away! Posting on this shortly. =)

readingOrson Scott Card – Worthing Saga

And on tape (in the car! Roadtrips!):
Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five
Tina Fey – Bossypants

Very little else!

soundtrackBinkbeats covering Aphex Twins – Windowlicker (from the Boiler Room)
Tom Player – Elaina’s theme
World Order – Machine Civilization
Zella Day – Sweet Ophelia
Wilkinson – Afterglow

Looking forward to May: S’s birthday, the first month in our new house & saying goodbye to our flat, a wedding, a championship game for my basketball team, and who knows what else!

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