I Was Swallowed By A Hippo

Castle life, Aga strife, slummy mummy, average wife

Lucky Duck

It’s now over a week since the referendum and although I’m relieved there won’t be a messy separation, it really didn’t feel like a victory. Not least because the Dish-faced Twat in charge PM seems to be reneging on his last minute desperate promises to give Scotland more power. Quelle surprise shriek the Yes-ers smugly as the rest of us look like gullible idiots. I’m so cross I might even make an effort to find out who my local MP is and write to her about this.


Dish-faced twat

Lying dish-faced twat

Up until now I’ve been a typical slack-tivist – furiously ‘liking’ and sharing Facebook posts which highlight issues that get my goat and signing e-petitions left, right and centre (but mostly left) before I’ve even had breakfast – but now there is a serious local issue that will effect our whole community which I am gearing up to protest about.

The local health board has just outlined their ‘vision for the future’ which basically involves slashing rural GP services so that people in remote communities need to take it turns to be ill on their given days. Ours will be Tuesday mornings and Thursday afternoons. Out with these times, we’ll have to make a 25 mile round trip, for many, using the reliable but very limited bus service which takes 30 minutes on a good day.

It would be devastating for this community and we will not go down without a fight. I am setting up an e-petition as soon as I’ve had breakfast.

In other village news, the main event of the year took place this weekend and was a joyous occasion. For the past 18 years, a duck race has been held in the village to raise money for church funds. I should point out that the ducks are of the plastic variety, not the feathered ones. My visiting chums were a touch disappointed when they discovered their tenner was sponsoring a bath toy.

Just to clarify

Just to clarify

After a couple of hours of BBQd scallops and burgers, home-baking, coconut shy, sumo wrestling and face-painting (by ME!), everyone heads to the river, accompanied by the farmer’s daughter on the bagpipes, to watch the several-hundred little yellow ducks battle it out for first place. The prizes are significant with the lucky winner scooping £150 and runner up, £100. With over 300 ducks being sponsored, the odds of a prize are fairly remote so you can imagine my elation when it was announced that the first duck over the line belonged to my eldest daughter. Scooby-dooby Duck did her proud and although she has no idea about the value of £150 she was very, very chuffed to be first.

My initial plans for the cash were to split it between the two kids and sensibly stash it in their respective (diminutive) bank accounts. This was swiftly vetoed during a brief family conference during Frozen and we decided to blow the lot on a dolls house. I’m They’re very excited. It’s taller than the youngest child and has a working elevator. I They can’t wait to play with it and it should keep me them quiet for hours.

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You Can’t Hurry Love

Today is polling day and in the early hours of tomorrow we will know Scotland’s fate. My turmoil continued long after posting my ‘no’ vote two weeks ago but now I feel at peace and ready to accept either outcome. My biggest fear is that nothing changes if it’s a ‘No’ and everything changes if it’s a ‘Yes’. That and the prospect of back to back re-runs of Take the High Road*.


The worlds biggest Wendy house.

Luckily there has been a big distraction to take my mind of the ‘Neverendum’ which involved another kind of union. We hosted a family wedding at the weekend which was a fabulous culmination of two years of planning, preparation and silent prayers for September sunshine. Having met 47 years ago, and been romantically involved for a fair few decades of that, the bride and groom had waited a long time for their perfect day, and by all accounts it was.

It was the kids’ first wedding since they missed their uncle’s big day due to vomiting and diarrhoea. There was no such luck this time as over-excitement predictably turned to extreme boredom three minutes into the church service, after I’d ran out of wine gums. They passed the next 57 minutes with a competitive game of ‘pew hurdles’ in a race to see who could get to Granny, two rows in front then back to uncle Kenny, three rows behind. The whispered apologies were a useful ice-breaker for the hundreds of relatives I was meeting for the first time.

It was very moving to witness this lovely couple exchange their vows and felt very poignant considering the length of their partnership. The mood was lightened considerably though during the singing of the register. The groom’s sense of humour tickled everyone as the dulcet tones of Elvis Presley sang out the lyrics, “Wise men say, only fools rush in…”. Laughter rippled around the little church and truly set the tone for the rest of the day – love and joy and celebration.

The sun shone all day and the marquee looked fabulous with its castle backdrop. It took a bit of getting used to as it was erected a week before the big day and was considerably larger than we anticipated, however it quickly became a giant play pen for puppy and children and I quite miss it now it’s gone. Things are slowing returning to normal although our house does resemble Elton John’s mansion due to the volume of leftover flowers we are happily fostering.

It was a such a privilege to make this amazing day possible (although admittedly Niall did most of the hard work while I de-thorned some roses and shovelled up some dog poo from the lawn) and there is a decidedly Boxing Day feel about the place now. The bride and groom departed today and the remaining guests leave tomorrow. There are no more distractions from the referendum results which are now just hours away so I’m going to neck the remaining wedding Chablis, cuddle the sleeping puppy and pray that we will all still be friends in the morning. See you on the other side.

*think Acorn Antiques meets Eldorado set in Auchtermuchty

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No Thanks

I am a HUGE fan of autumn and have been loving the changing colours and light of the past few weeks. Who knew that taking a dog out for a poo at 5.30am could be such a treat. We might not get the spectacular sunsets that the smug west coasters get, but our sunrises can be pretty special if you have the misfortune of being up at that heinous hour.

This is what 6am looks like. You're welcome.

This is what 6am looks like. You’re welcome.

The sea is still inviting although the temperatures have dropped significantly. I thought I’d had my last swim weeks ago but seized the moment this week with a visiting southern friend who fancied a dip. His expletives could be heard for miles around as his testicles retreated faster than a Better Together campaigner in an egg factory when he submerged himself in the water and flailed around for all of a minute. Admittedly it was a little cooler than previous times but still utterly devine and the perfect remedy for a shattered insomniac.

Niall went for the subliminal approach to try and influence my decision.

Niall went for the subliminal approach to try and influence my decision.

I am still waking (or being woken) in the small hours and no amount of sheep counting or light referendum reading can lull me back to sleep. The Yes/No question continued to plague me until I finally cracked one morning after a pathetic four hour sleep. I tore the ballot paper from the envelope and defiantly etched my black cross in the ‘No’ box and sealed it all up before I had time to find the tippex. I don’t think I was impulsive. From the beginning I was firmly in the ‘No’ camp but was tempted by the passion and commitment of the ‘Yes’ folk and was very much buoyed along by promises of a fairer society, protection of our amazing NHS and improved child care options for working parents. News of Ukip gaining support and power also started to tip the scales to a ‘Yes’ from me but while my head was saying this could work, we can do this, my heart was screaming, please don’t go.

I am VERY proud to be Scottish but I can’t imagine not being part of the United Kingdom. A friend just summed it up perfectly for me on Facebook: “To me it comes down to being a fish and choosing whether you want your own pond or are happy to share the ocean.” I just think it’s better to share.

Who knows what will happen on the 18th, or indeed forever after, but it’s looking like there is only a baw hair* in it. I just hope the smugness will be kept to a minimum whatever the outcome and that the energy and debate will continue until the promises that were made by either side are kept.

* this is an official political term. Obvs.

3am Reading List

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