I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

I Heart Scotland

With less than 640 hours to go, my Christmas preparations are gathering momentum. As well as some tinsel and a couple of woolly snowflakes, I now own enough baco foil to wrap the castle in, Christo-style. I must remember to acutally order the fuckingturkey though. I fear it may get forgotten about amidst the excitement of DIY decorations and crocheted gifts and it would be monumentally tragic if we were forced to split cousin Janey’s vegetarian haggis 13 ways.


Stitching and bitching

I decided to take another wee trip ‘up the road’ at the weekend under the guise of doing some Christmas shopping somewhere other than the evil blue, red and white supermarket*. My real motive however, was to spend as little time with the children as possible and wallow in the lake of ME for a bit whilst my parents and sister rushed around after the wee terrorists, exhausting themselves trying to meet petty need after petty need. It was bliss.

I even managed a Girls Night In with two of my oldest and bestest pals. It was WILD. Over half a bottle of prosecco, I attempted to teach them how to crochet a stylish winter headband. I’m sure they won’t mind being described as beginners but by the time my parents came crashing in, drunk, at midnight, they had both cracked it and were well on the way to a finished item. I was so proud. In my review of 2013, that night comes top of my list of nights in or out. I haven’t laughed so much in ages but it really made me miss the girls when I got home. Luckily they’ve both been harassing me on Skype and Facebook for emergency crochet advice so I don’t feel so far away.

Back at the castle, winter is settling in nicely and is rewarding us with spectacular colours and views and crisp, sunny days. Even the mundane school run is a joy as I try to concentrate on the road whilst soaking in the astounding scenery. I am feeling very much in love with Scotland at the moment and VERY protective of my amazing country. My heart has always said ‘no’ to independence, but as the campaign gathers momentum, I find myself drawn to points from both sides. I am only beginning to realise the vastness of this decision and it terrifies me just a little bit but I am determined to arm myself with as much information as possible and remove my ‘politics filter’ that I usually apply to printed and digital media. I have even downloaded the referendum white paper on my kindle which I will peruse shortly. Just as soon as I finish Bridget Jones’ Diary. One must prioritise.

*because the evil green and orange supermarkets are so much better. :-/

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It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…..

Sparkly Tat

Sparkly Tat

The castle is gradually filling up with sparkly tat which can only mean one thing – Christmas is so close I can SMELL it! Or is that my christmas pudding burning in the Aga? According to my Christmas Countdown twitter feed, there is only 5 weeks, 5 days, 1 hour and 38 minutes until the Big Day and I can’t bloody wait. This year will be extra special as it will be our first in the castle*, and my first experience of hosting, EVER. There’ll be 13 adults plus the two weans and four dogs and I’m already getting nervous about the turkey. I predict that by 8am on Christmas day I will be referring to it as ‘thefuckingturkey’ but be too pissed on cava to really care about salmonella or campylobactor**.

Meanwhile, with just 39 days, 1 hour and 48 minutes to go, I need to get busy with lots of homemade attempts at presents and decorations. Plans are afoot for a garland for the staircase made from forgaged greenery from the castle grounds. Handily, we have an expert florist living on the estate who has kindly offered to help so I’ve organised a ‘mulled wine and garland’ evening in a couple of weeks time. I suspect the emphasis will be on the mulled wine rather than the garland but we’ll give it a crack.

Other plans mostly involve crochet, including these lovely snowflakes. I’m thinking some snowflake bunting round the hall would look fabulous and it would just be rude NOT to hang baubles from the antlers of all the dead stags on the wall. I’d like to try and make as many presents as possible this year, which is a thing I say every year but still find myself panic buying at the last minute from Amazon.com. If I get my arse in gear, this years’ lucky recipients could be unwrapping hats, headbands or hedgehog mittens.

Yikes, now there’s only 38 days, 10 hours, 53 minutes and 20 seconds to go. Better get the sprouts on….


*Sore point. I played the, “but it could be granny’s last Christmas” card for years. She died aged 100…

**My old pal…


Party On

20131105-081018.jpgIt’s been party central at the castle lately, which has been fabulous. India turned two on November 4th which is conveniently close to both Halloween and bonfire night. I decided to kick things off on Halloween and hosted a wee fancy dress party for her playgroup pals. This place does lend itself rather well to that theme but I was forced to keep the spookiness to a minimum on account of their tender ages. Even my pumpkin was more ‘jazz hands cabaret’ than ‘creepy fright night’. It was great fun thought and lovely to see all the littlies together, fighting over toys and screaming. I had a genuine fear, before we moved, that the girls birthdays’ would be spent with just their grumpy parents for company, huddled round an undercooked cake with just one party popper between us and no presents due to the vast distances to the nearest decent shop. Being proved wrong is becoming a hobby.
20131105-075521.jpgThe next ‘do’ was a wonderful bonfire party with everyone on the estate. We all chipped in with food and fireworks money and my FiL put himself in charge of pyrotechnics. He was like a pig in poo and put on a fabulous display which I watched with the terrified children from the comfort and warmth of a nearby static caravan.

The day after was India’s actual birthday which called for even more cake, presents and prossecco, as I drowned my sorrows for still carrying too much baby-weight, two years on. I think it’s time to be honest with myself and just admit I’m a greedy cow who has very little self control around carbs. My self-imposed deadline for losing a stone is next May as there are two massive events within days of each other. My lovely brother-in-law marries my fabulous sister-from-another-mister* on the 3rd and then, *shudders*, I hit the big 4-0hhhhhhhhhhhhh NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO on the 5th. If ever there is time to not be over 11 stone it is then. Hide the donuts**….

*love that phrase and you can never have enough sisters. SHE’S got FOUR…..
**an easy win as there aren’t any and I never buy them. Now where’s the birthday cake…