Monday, 31 October 2011

The Horror of Pink

I hate Halloween which I've always seen as a vulgar American import, an excuse for shops to sell tat and for kids to roam about begging for food.
It turns out that it's a Scottish thing though there was only treat and no trick according to my Scottish relatives. So it's tradition and who am I to go against tradition?
Tot has gone off to nursery today not dressed as a pumpkin or a witch (both outfits are in her repertoire) but as a bright fluorescent pink fairy with a sparkly wand and a bag full of sparkles. Well, if it's OK for Carol Kane, it's OK for us.
We have done the pumpkin thing which I justified by saying we could eat the flesh (urgh inappropriate word for a vegie)- but it turned out to be  horrid, unripe, unappetising and went to the bin. I tried roasting the seeds with scream inducing amounts of chili powder and chili flakes but no good - shame as I'd have liked to hand those out tonight to any roaming beasties that dare knock on our door. Instead, they will get raisins. Muhhhahahahahahhahahahaaaaaaaaaa cough cough cough.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Dynamic Earth

This week has been half term in Falkirk and hubby took time off work so we could visit different areas. Unfortunately, tummy bugs put a bit of a spanner in the works and so we didn't get out as much as we would like. Last weekend, I was very excited to visit Dundee as a new Hobbycraft store has just opened there - this is a retail success story as lots of new stores are planned. Even though most of what they sell is more expensive than what can be bought online,I find it useful and inspirational to see things before buying.
On Monday we drove over to Livingston - the monsoon rain forced us into the huge shopping centre. Before moving to Scotland, I was warned off Livingston which is described as a new town that's a huge mall but it's where hubby works and the shops offer some chance of my getting a part-time job. It's also that much closer to Edinburgh. Livingston Village is very pretty and has a lovely school so we are crossing our fingers that a suitable place comes up.
Yesterday, we went into Edinburgh to visit Dynamic Earth  which is a new science museum all about Earth. There are loads of interactive galleries and young enthusiastic tour guides to lead you through from one area to another. Unfortunately, this meant waiting around sometimes for guides which I wasn't keen on (I'm a tad impatient but don't like being treated like some sort of sheep). It was also a little bit scary in parts for our 4 year old though she's already asked to go back. I thoroughly enjoyed the time lift which used the walls of the lift shaft to display different periods of history. There was a brilliant gallery showing the effects of the ice age, and another showing modern day Arctic and Antarctic with a huge real ice display in the middle. The rainforest gallery was a bit hokey but there is a 3d show about different biodomes around Earth which was very good. Finally, there is a half hour show about astronauts which didn't teach me much new but little one enjoyed it once she lay down on her chair. Definitely worth a visit if you have school age kids. At the mo there is a special on where you pay entry in October, a few pounds more and you get free entry for a year. Even if we go for one more trip, it will be worth it.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Not crazy after all

For as long as I can remember, certain sounds have been able to send me into a boiling, murderous rage. The earliest one I can remember is the sound of my mum tearing up letters as I worried she was destroying important documents. I would imagine all sorts of horrors befalling her so that she would stop. It would take time to calm down once the trigger sound was gone which didn't improve our relationship much. Now the big trigger for me is the sound of people eating...but it's not all people, just my Dad eating. And then there is the banshee rage caused by anyone eating crisps loudly. The biggest crime in cinema history was when the lovely Phoenix cinema in East Finchley started selling kettle crisps...I mean COME ON how is one supposed to hear the film if there is some knob sitting next you munching on what are possibly the loudest crisps on this planet. Popcorn is just as bad. Thank goodness the NFT doesn't allow food inside their auditoriums (not much use to me now as I'm too far away). Another trigger is people fiddling endlessly with their husband does it and sometimes it makes me want to wait until the middle of the night where I would stealthily shave all the sodding stuff off and cut off all his fingers to boot.
My family thought I was an unreasonable crazy nut and just made more noise.
Well, now thanks to the power of the Internet, I have a name for my condition - misophonia. It's nice to know I'm not alone though thankfully, I don't have as many triggers as some of the people on there (and no, I'm not daft enough to share all the triggers). As of yet, there is no cure but once again, the Internet helps me feel that I'm not alone in my little oddities. Thing is, as the world become more crowded we are going to be coming across this condition more and more as there will just be no where to escape from the noise.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Piece of cake

I like my cake and I like to eat it too.
Last week there were MacMillan coffee morning across the land as loads of people held events to raise money for the charity by asking people to eat cake and drink coffee. Alas, I was thwarted by a bit of a tummy bug which meant no cake for me.
I consoled myself by watching the Great British Bake Off, Series 2. I started to watch it as Paul Hollywood is like a chubby version of my husband and he knows about cake. The final last night literally had me on the edge of my seat (the rest was now too wet from the drool falling out of my gob). The finalists were all mums. One married at 17, and a stay at home , one highly educated, well travelled now stay at home and one a company director on maternity leave. Now, woe-betide the mum that doesn't bake. I can whip up a cake and can be shall we say "creative" with toppings but these ladies were something else. I didn't like one contestant (the mad staring eyed Holly company director) and was really rooting for the inventive, bake obsessed, creator of Gargantuan cake Mary Ann (a Terry Pratchett fan no less so a person with good taste). I liked her humour especially in the light of cock ups. Though in the end, I was happy that Jo Wheatley won - the  mum since 17, who had raised 3 boys and now wanted to do something for herself. And bloody hell, she did it - she won. Wooo hooo there is life after parenthood - there is hope. And in the meantime, there is cake. I wonder if she would hire herself out as a Cake-Mummy for a day?

Jo Wheatley's blog - Jo's Blue Aga
Mary Ann Boermans blog - Time to Cook

P.S. Before you judge me and start rolling your eyes, let me assure you, I'm not a reality TV show fan. Most of it is mind boggingly crap and I'd rather scratch my eyes out with brillo pads then watch. This statement doesn't apply to ballroom dancing which I watch with the mother in law, or to cake shows.

P.P.S. The final show was educational. I now know what a squirrel's willy looks like without having to resort to unsavoury experimentation. 

Monday, 3 October 2011

Falkirk Wheel

I'm a bit behind in my blog posts. We have been busy looking into areas to live, dealing with stomach bugs and generally just doing normal day to day life. There aren't many attractions in Falkirk, but we managed to visit the Falkirk Wheel which is an amazing rotating boat lift that joins the Forth and Union canals. The area around the Wheel has been developed to include a children's playground, and area where kids can experiment with sand and water, another area for walking on water in giant plastic balls (think Zorbing but on water) and a decent sized cafe which is right next to the lift. It's only about 10 mins drive from where we live which is great for taking the little one though the £2 parking charge will limit how often we do this - I know it's not a huge amount but our little one is definitely into Cafe Culture and likes to have her cake and eat it too. After scoffing our faces, we got her to wheel her bike around the paths circling the Wheel and then down to the Canal looking at the lovely canal boats moored along the way. Her little legs were tired so we didn't manage to get onto the Woodland Walk paths leading to the Antonine Wall - however, all in all, a lovely day out right in our neighbourhood.