Weekend Wanderings: Conversation

Some weekends adventures are not needed, sometimes what you need is some relaxed time at home and good conversations.

On Saturday we had the longest sleep in we’ve had in ages which was nice. I watched Great British Bake Off Extra Slice over boiled eggs for breakfast. It was a very pleasant start to the day, later we had a wander around the countryside where we live. I did some housework, we ate some leftovers, it was very relaxed. In the evening I went to St. Andrews for an event with one of my all time favourite authors at the wonderful Topping & Co Bookshop. Louis De Bernieres is a brilliant author, for those of you who have only seen the film ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin‘ I urge you to read the book. It is at least a thousand times better than the film and the rest of his books are definitely worth reading and an extra bonus Louis was just as interesting to hear speak.IMG_20150815_163859 20150815_143922

On Sunday the Boyo was working, participating in an event as part of The Festival of Politics in Edinburgh. So I went to Edinburgh with him. I have to confess I spent most of the afternoon chatting away with my best friend over a croissant. I did not go to any festival events.  I met with the Boyo and a couple of other friends for a beverage and more conversation. It was a very nice day. Next year perhaps I will make more of an effort to go to some festival events but this year I am quite happy with our relaxed weekend.


Weekend Wandering – Sunshine at Foodies and a spot of Cliff Jumping


Yes actual sunshine – what a wonderful surprise! The weather this summer hasn’t been great so to get some actual sunshine and on a Saturday was pretty good. I did get a little bit sunburnt on my neck (apparently I will never learn) but it felt so good to be out and about enjoying nice weather, eating tasty treats and spending time with very good friends. We were at the Foodies Festival  in Inverleith Park in Edinburgh on Saturday.

This year:

I sampled some blackberry gin (I bought a wee bottle, very tasty)

Ate Paella (YUM)

Shared a Twisty Chip (not as tasty as it looks),

Tasted some Peppermint Tonic (Peppermint helps my migraines so will see how this works out)

Tried Peppercorn Sauce (bought some and had it with steak for tea last night)

Loved a jar of Salted Caramel Sauce (Stashed away in the cupboard for a naughty pudding sometime)

And I bought a smoked garlic bulb (to keep vampires away)

We had a great time, Ice Cream was also consumed, obligatory when the sun is out and this year they had allowed a bit more space for the festival which was much better. My friends had brought a picnic rug which was excellent thinking on their part.

Afterwards The Boyo and I arrived back at my friends house early so we stole their dog…. well we took her for a wee walk, then enjoyed a pleasant evening eating pizza and yakking away. My friends only live an hour away but with busy lives we don’t see each other nearly as often as we should. I always enjoy good times in their company and their little 2 year old is the best wee person I know.

On Sunday we got up bright and early with my Dad in tow to go Canyoning with Nae Limits in Perthshire. We got all kitted up with full body wetsuits (not exactly designed for those well endowed in the chest area, breathing was tricky!), hard hats, life jackets, trainers and a climbing harness. Unfortunately when we got to The Falls of Bruar there was just too much water in the river. The rather dismal Scottish Summer scuppered our plans. Instead we went cliff jumping near Soldier’s Leap in Killiecrankie.

My Dad did really well jumping off the various sized cliffs. The Boyo and I did so badly with even the smallest jump that we were banned from doing any more jumps. This caused great amusement to both us and the rest of the group. The Instructors were glad we saw the funny side as really the way we were jumping we were going to hurt ourselves eventually. We did enjoy a swim in the river and watching everyone else tackle big big jumps. My shoulders are suffering today after swimming with all that kit on but the fresh water in the river was really rather nice to swim in. I love the water and I’m happy to jump, I just can’t do the required hop/leap needed to safely clear the cliff and to be honest both the Boyo and I are daft eejits anyway – well suited!

We will go Canyoning another time but I would encourage you to check out Nae Limits if you are in Perthshire and fancy some adventure. They do all sorts of activities, I’m really keen to try Tubing and Whitewater Rafting and they do mini adventures for kids too. The cafe and centre is just off the A9, South of Pitlochry and we enjoyed a good lunch after our activities, so even if you are not the adventurous (MAD) type then the cafe does good food too.


This Weekend and The Search For Some Pals

Last night I woke up about 3am. I was too hot and I’d been having a strange unsettling dream. I struggled to get back to sleep and then I woke up again at 5.30am. The curtain pole fell out of the wall the other evening and I have not got round to fixing it yet as it involves filling in a hole in the wall. This means that for now I’m using a sheet, which is too thin and too small to combat the brilliant sunshine we are getting just now even at early-o-clock in the morning.

We started off our day with a swim which always leaves me feeling refreshed and awake, every time I tell myself I should do this more often and yet somehow I never quite manage to make it a habit.

I am crabbit today though. I’m in my office and the sun is shining so I really want to be outside doing something nice. We were supposed to be flying to Thailand today but as you may have gathered via Instagram and my last post we are spending a lot of time in Northern Ireland just now with my Boyos family. I can’t really say more without invading the privacy of everyone, so for once I’m learning to censor myself and say less. (On another note do any of you suffer from runaway talking? I quite often say way more than I mean to because I get all awkward and forget to stop talking). Anyway the family situation meant that a holiday just now was absolutely out of the question, it was the right decision and whilst I really wish circumstances could be different, not for the purposes of our holiday but for the health and happiness of everyone involved, they are not.

It does mean I now have a weekend on my home on my own as The Boyo travels back to N.I tomorrow. My best friend is working and my other friends live too far away to arrange something at the last minute like this. I’m also a bit tetchy anyway with everything that is going on so I probably would not be the best company. It has got me thinking though about friendships.

I met 3 of my closest friends at University. We all shared the same flat in the halls of residence and then on and off we lived with each other during our undergraduate years. One lives an hour away from me, the other two live further away. We communicate nearly everyday on Whatsapp. My other closest friend is from School and she lives in my hometown which is a 2.5 hour drive from Fife. I have lots of other friends from University (both times), from my various jobs (Scotland and Hong Kong) and from my hometown but we all live fairly far apart. What I don’t really have are local friends.

Just how do you go about making friends when you are in your 30s? For example, this weekend when I’m on my own, the ideal thing would be to call up a pal and go for coffee (and cake or ice cream). However I just don’t have those friends locally to do this with.

I do an exercise class but I’m too shy to just strike up conversations with quite a large group of ladies.

I don’t have children so going to groups to meet other Mums is out because I am not one.

I do work full-time and I get on well with my colleagues but I have not made the sort of friends where we go for coffee together here.

I volunteer – I am a Girl Guide Leader and that gets me out the house 1 evening a week, I have a small unit of 12 girls and I love doing this but at the moment I’m the sole leader.

I know a few of My Boyo’s work friends but without him around I probably would not feel comfortable arranging a meet up.

I have ways of occupying my time but it would be nice to just be able to call someone up and go for coffee, or the cinema or anything really. It doesn’t help that I’m a bit shy and I can be a bit awkward initially – even when you do get to know me I certainly have plenty of faults! There are plenty of people who I’m sure are in the same boat, moving to be in a relationship or for work or for other reasons.

Anyway I’m hoping this weekend to get a little sewing project done, I have lots of admin for my Guide Unit to do and I have some errands to run so I’m sure I will be kept occupied for the most part.

What are your weekend plans? And any advice on finding friends?



Learning to Let it Be

Many years ago I was a lonely, sad girl. I was bullied terribly and everything around me was falling apart. I made the decision to change schools and try to salvage a few of my school years and hopefully actually pass some exams. I didn’t really think I would make any friends, I just hoped that I would not be hounded and miserable every single day.

I can’t quite remember how I became friends with X, I just know that when I did my life changed dramatically. I had a friend, I gained other friends through my friendship with him, but for the first time in my life I had a friend who I felt comfortable with. We had so much fun, the last year at school made up for all the other horrid years I had endured. He was creative, he was funny, he was very clever. He was inspiring to me. I had a best friend and I loved him. As a teenager you are pretty self absorbed and whilst I revelled in feeling happy I was pretty unaware of deeper things that he perhaps was going through.

The week before I left to go to University I had a panic, I was suddenly very scared, I was leaving to go to a city where X would not be. The prospect of going away to a brand new place, with a lot of new people terrified me. I needed X to be my security, I mean if he found me fun then maybe other people would too, but maybe without him around I would just be the weird friendless girl I once was? X came round and had a good chat with me, boosted my confidence and his talk worked, I went off to university and loved it.

X and I had weekly phone calls where I would prattle on about all the joys of University life and city living which was pretty thrilling for a small town girl. For a while it was all good then things changed and he became more distant.

Eventually he moved away and started a new life and I wasn’t a part of it at all.

I still feel hurt. I still wish he was part of my life. However I can now see how clingy I was, how self absorbed and how suffocating our friendship must have been, especially when he had to make the changes in his life for him to be happy.

Last year I found him on Facebook, I sent a long message and I was immediately blocked. Last week I received an email ‘Your Contact X is on twitter’. Of course I immediately pinged off a follow request. I was blocked.

This weekend I pondered a while on this, I still care deeply for this person, I always will because his friendship was a very precious gift that definitely changed my life. Clearly though I have to let it be. Our friendship is not part of his life now, it is a memory. My need to ‘find’ him is selfish. Our paths diverged and we hopefully have both found ourselves in a happy place.

X if you ever read this I hope you are happy. I know you will have brought many people colour and joy like you once did for me. I hope you feel loved.

Thank you

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Valentines Scrooge

First of all I want to clarify if you like Valentines Day and wish to do something special I absolutely do not judge you, you can go and be romantic (or not) and that is fine. I am glad if something makes other people happy. I just don’t partake because it doesn’t make me happy.

anti mush

I have never been a terribly romantic girl. My friends know me as the anti-mush person. I’ve  always been this way whether I am in a relationship or not. Since meeting The Boyo some mush occasionally seeps through my defences. My friends even once overheard me calling The Boyo honeybunch.. oops. The Boyo accepts that I am not very mushy, he knows he is the more romantic one and that when I do occasionally say soppy things I must really mean them. Haha, poor Boyo. In the past in my single student days I would meet up with my best friend, we’d eat a ridiculous amount of ice cream and watch films, unfortunately we don’t live nearby anymore so these spontaneous film nights happen a bit less. In fact I really must arrange one soon and get some Ben & Jerrys for old times sake.

Ice Cream

Anyway back to present day and The Boyo & I.

My idea of what is romantic for us is to do our favourite things; which would consist of going walking in the wilds, going back to somewhere with a cosy fire and eating nice food, doing the crossword and reading books, with a wee dram of whiskey and a glass of Baileys on the go. I have had flowers I think twice from The Boyo in the whole time we have been together. They were very unexpected both times and were lovely and made me very happy. Equally though The Boyo offering to go somewhere with me (like the cinema which I know he doesn’t really like) or suggesting wee weekends away make me all fuzzy and super happy. I think the things we do for each other everyday are probably romantic to me. In fact I’d say the way The Boyo quotes Mrs Doyle “Teaaa Father” and makes me cups of tea every weekend are my favourite romantic gesture.. which is not really romantic .. but it is to me!


Old photo from our early weekends together. 

But here is the thing… often these things are unexpected or as I mentioned above they are part of our daily way of showing love and appreciation for each other. Valentines Days is not unexpected…. It is the opposite. To me having a day that says oh ‘you must be romantic today’ actually kills the romance. ‘I’m only being romantic because the calendar says I have to’ doesn’t really make me feel loved. Then there are all the cards, balloons, flowers, chocolates and a bazillion other things that are made in industrial quantities and pushed  on us everywhere we go.  I don’t need any of those things to feel loved & appreciated and those spontaneous wee acts throughout the year are a million times better.


My Mum thinks I’m a rude besom, my friends chuckle at my ‘anti-mush’ stance and The Boyo doesn’t really mind. We do make a point of doing something on the 3rd of September every year which is our anniversary. This is usually a meal out at a lovely restaurant and a bit of reflection on our time together and our future. Pretty simple but you know the most romantic thing for me is just doing stuff together which makes us happy.

So this Valentines Day I will be away with my Mum and sister and will likely forget that it is even Valentines Day at all. At some point in the next couple of months The Boyo and I will try to have a wee night away as we have both been really busy and will continue to be pretty busy until May at this rate. So a night way will be a lovely treat.


If you do celebrate Valentines Day ponder what makes you really happy as a couple and do something that fits in with that. If you are single but do love Valentines Day why not have a day treating yourself…. After all loving ourselves is very important too!


Merry in The Ferry..

Earrings and Friendship (an edited old post)

Earrings and Friendship…

The other day I discovered I had lost an earring. I love my jewellery and I try to take care of my bits and bobs. I especially try to take care of the bits and bobs that nice people have given to me as gifts.

The earrings that I am now missing one of were given to be by a really lovely person. Losing the earring has made me reflect on friendship (and also jewellery tastes).

Alas I have kind of lost touch with the lovely girl who gave me the earring on which this story is based. It does at times make me sad but I also think that like the earring the friendship will also turn up one day.

Life takes us on all sorts of twists and turns and some friendships stay the whole course, others are wonderful friendships but only last a specific moment, time and place (a bit like some earrings I own, still safe in my jewellery box but not worn since the last year of school!), others may drift away for years at a time but then we re-connect when we are in another place.

There is one particular friendship that I have lost that I was reminded of yesterday. This person is truly remarkable and I care for him deeply, but I have not seen him for many years. I found contact details and tried to contact him only for the door to be shut. I understand he has no contact with anyone from the past, not friends or family. Maybe for him to be happy he needs that door to be closed? And when you care about someone mostly you just want them to be happy. So I’ll let that door stay closed but if he ever wants to open it I’ll be on the other side waiting with a smile and it will seem like seconds, not years have passed.

I am not an easy person, I dearly care about all my friends and family, but I am human I have my flaws and I have been known to let people down. I’m grateful for everything that I have and the people I have around me. Friendship is a blessing. Like my earrings I shall try to take care of the friendships in my life, but when one goes missing I truly hope that one day it turns up again.

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