I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Yes No Maybe

Fur baby

Fur baby

We are adjusting well to being a family of five. Crumble has settled in well and as predicted, has the run of the castle. No chesterfield remains unchewed and no antique rug has escaped piddle-free. Any flimsy rules we made about no dogs on the sofas or beds were broken by day two and there are nightly battles over who gets to cuddle the warm puppy whilst watching crap telly (or indeed twatting about with (anti) social media whilst eschewing actual conversation with significant other…). She is fabulous.



There have been numerous inevitable toy casualties. I was quite traumatised by the grim discovery of a severed hand on the playroom floor and the naked, mangled corpse of eagle-eyes action man close by. Fake Barbie (£3.50 – you get what you pay for) suffered a similar fate but I managed to reassemble her disembowelled body, although she may have lost the use of her left arm.

Shit just got real

Shit just got real

The puppy’s arrival has coincided with an unexpected and most unwelcome period of insomnia for me. I must stress it has nothing to do with our gorgeous baby fur-ball but I keep waking at silly hours (usually aided by the cries of a small child) and just can’t fall back to sleep. Aside from the obvious drawbacks (psychotic mood swings, looking like a bag of shite…), on the plus side it’s giving me ample extra time to mull over The Big Question that is being asked of Scotland. Not ‘Should Susan Boyle be banished for her opening ceremony performance?’* but the much more serious and potentially life/society/everything changing, ‘Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?’. We opted for a postal vote (just in case hell froze over and we weren’t in the country on the 18th of September) so my ballot paper is sitting in the kitchen, waiting for me to make my bloody mind up and tick a box.



I so envy my friends and family who are emphatic about their choice, which ever side they take. I have ricocheted between Yes and No like a hyperactive toddler and have no idea how I’ll feel either way on the 19th. I do know I have made some very bad decisions lately (jeggings. I don’t want to talk about it.) so will attempt to inform myself properly and not be swayed by Facebook propaganda or what Peter Capaldi thinks. (No idea.). I have dipped in and out of The White Paper which is all very jolly but doesn’t real answer the big questions (currency, economic growth, exiling John Barrowman) but then this patronising pile of guff from the Better Together campaign sent me fleeing to the Yes side.

I am sitting very uncomfortably on the fence but for the time being I’m clinging on tightly. I need a lot more sleep before I decide. Night, night.

(Oh balls. It’s 9am and I’ve promised them a trip to soft play. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh.)

*obvs. She forgot the words to Mull of Kintyre. Unforgivable.


All Change


Lots and lots of this

“It turns colder, that’s where it ends…”*

Summer, you did us proud again. We’ve loved every minute and have banked some fabulous memories to see us through the winter months. Thank you for the sun tans, the wild swims, for being too hot for the evil midges, for allowing us to be outside much more than inside and for showing all our (paying and non-paying) guests just how amazing our little edge of nowhere can be. Same again next year please.


Plenty of this

I realise it might be little premature to close the door on summer but this is Scotland and there has been a distinct drop in temperature this last week and a definite yellow tinge to a few of the trees. I’m not packing away the ambre solaire just yet but I’m squeezing myself into ill-fitting jeans rather than too-tight shorts and have even required a raincoat a couple of times this week.

There is also a Big Milestone approaching which brings the holidays to a natural end – our oldest daughter is starting school this week. At four and half, she is six months younger than her two classmates so we had the choice of keeping her at nursery for another year. It was a tough decision but in such an intimate environment, where she already knows the names of the entire school (12 pupils!), it seemed to be the sensible option. Time will tell and any issues will no doubt be flung in my face when she’s a stroppy teenager – “I WASN’T READY!!!” *door slams*. I can just picture the scene…

It feels like a new era is beginning. We will no longer have the flexibility of popping “up the road” on a Friday morning, for a long weekend and as the school day starts half and hour earlier than nursery did, I’ll have to seriously adjust my morning ‘fannying about’ time and Get My Shit Together. School seems to be a whole different ball game from nursery. There is a compulsory uniform for instance. They were encouraged to wear it at nursery and the other five pupils willingly did, but not so our little rebellious madam who frequently pitched up sporting a ghastly Disney princess frock and one occasion, her leopard print onsie. I’m not looking forward to that daily battle but must admit to being secretly chuffed that she’s showing early signs of non-conformity. (I would be more chuffed if she chose to non-conform in something other than Disney though).

Totally eclipsing First Day At School excitement is of course, puppy excitement. Our third child substitute (it’s time to call a spade a spade) arrives TONIGHT! Ideally when both the children are asleep so they will wake up to the pitter patter of tiny paws. It’s not great timing in terms of trying to bundle Zoë off to school for her second day but it does mean that India will have a playmate in her absence.


Home improvements

So it’s all change again at the castle but all for the better – notwithstanding the inevitable chewing of antique furniture and piddling on ancient rugs. Each generation has left a legacy of doggie damage somewhere in the house (a ripped portrait here, a gnawed table leg there) and I’m sure Crumble will also leave her mark. The children certainly have. Their chosen victim was the 150 year old rocking horse that graces our playroom. I stupidly left them unattended with poster paint for a few minutes and returned to find poor Dobbin had been given a makeover. I was fleetingly livid but calmed down quickly when I realised they were merely adding to Dobbin’s legend. These include stories of losing her mane and tail in mock battle and most famously of all, great grandpa’s brother posting marbles through the hole in her bottom, which still rattle to this day at a fast gallop.


*yep, Grease. Can’t remember my Shakespeare.