Sunday 31 January 2021

Miscellaneous catchup

Time to catch up on plenty of things from the past year or so that didn't really fit into a post of their own...

Miriam continues to make excellent creations out of Lego!

This provides some inspiration for her little sisters

A couple of shots of the beautiful place we live. First, this was taken from my office window at the university. I zoomed in a bit to miss out the other buildings, but this is genuinely (normally) the view from my desk.

This is the River Forth, a few minutes' walk from our house. The "River Walk" is currently on our agenda most days. Just occasionally though, extra rain means that the path is blocked (as shown by the debris on the path)

We can go for a longer walk around the loch at the University...

We also get some pretty good sunsets around here.

Some pictures of our girls at play...

(Lydia said she wanted a sword when we were visiting Stirling Castle. So we made some...)

Grandma came to visit in February last year, just before lockdown started. Happier times indeed.

Jay was the last one to have a non-lockdown birthday

The next couple are from the day the parks reopened after the first lockdown.
Some excited girls that day!

This is the "wobbly tree" on the way to the park in Bridge of Allan. The girls really like to play under its branches and have had a lot of fun here.

Some more shots of messy church and Sunday School at home...

Lydia is now getting some big teeth. Here she is proudly sporting a "gap".

In t he summer Naomi and he friend wanted to raise money to help the snow leopards, so the set up a stall in the street selling various wares. They made a decent amount too.

Naomi really likes the band Little Mix. In the summer the had an online concert via YouTube, so Naomi and Miriam got to invite their friends around and enjoy a big night of entertainment.

Lydia can now ride a bike!

We had a little bump in our car a few months back. The major perk was that our insurance was good enough to get us a really shiny hire car while ours was getting fixed. Every trip was a big day out that week!

This swing/climbing frame had been able to absorb a lot of the excess lockdown energy.

Naomi made a portable speaker...

Ice is also fascinating!

Naomi has been doing some painting with the watercolour set she got at Christmas.
As you might expect, she's really good.

Naomi has also volunteered to help make dinner a couple of times...

Finally - the girls said they wanted a pinball machine. I don't know where they got the idea from.
It turns out that all those amazon boxes from the past few months can make a really good one! Hours of fun.

Garden 2020

Well, it's a bit late to be reporting on our gardening activities in 2020 - though we had plenty of time around the house for such things this year!

We managed a really decent crop of potatoes and carrots...

... stacks of strawberries and raspberries....


...and even a couple of decent peppers in my office window.

There was plenty of rhubarb. Enough to make a crumble, two bottles of wine, some sugary raw rhubarb sticks, and a bottle of juice:

We also had a decent showing of flowers this year...

...but the star seems to have been the one sunflower that reached over 10 feet (and we hard about ten much shorter ones)

The girls made some bird feeders. You can possible make out a blue tit and a couple of sparrows here:

I also though it worth sharing the diligent work of our estate's hedge trimming people....

...and  our fine haul of elderberries from near the river. These made some cordial and six bottles of reasonably nice wine. Hurray!

Doune Castle

Pre n-th lockdown, we managed to squeeze in a visit to Doune Castle, one of the many nice places we've been meaning to visit for ages without ever getting round to it. It's a nice place - a "proper" castle (rather than just a big house) with some indoor and some outdoor bits. You can see most of it in a couple of hours, but it's well worth a visit. I think the girls liked it.

We also stopped off at a monument on the way back (The David Stirling Memorial) - we've seen it a few times and had also meant to take a look. Now we have.