Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ketchup? No catch up

Time for a bit of a catch up and I'll try to make sure it's not like a Christmas letter! (Yes I mentioned Xmas and it's only July)

Work: I did a course with the local council trying to teach kids who had left school without any qualifications. The council find them work placements for 16 weeks and one day a week, they have to attend a day of skill learning - including a session of basic cooking skills. There was a lot of resentment on their part regarding both the cooking and cleaning. I had a difficult time seeing them waste the food they had cooked but refused to eat. It was probably the hardest job I've ever done. Funnily, once the course ended, I really missed the kids and the challenge!

Regular work: Sadly the hours from the council are not regular enough so in February I got a part time admin job in Edinburgh in fashionable George Street - a very swanky street full of top end clothes shops and restaurants. The people in the firm are super clever and miles away from the kids I was teaching. I work 4 hours a day and naively thought that would give me loads of time to go around Edinburgh. On most days, I'm running for one of the two trains that run an hour to get back in time to pick up the kid from school - really makes me miss London Underground with it's regular trains. And there are early starts meaning getting up before 6am. It's been nearly 5 months and I'm still getting used to it :S

Castle: As I exit Waverly Station everyday, I'm try to make sure I look up at the Castle. I don't want to forget it's there. It is odd being on the lower New Town part of the city looking up at the Edinburgh Old Town - can just imagine how the peasants felt back in the days when the Castle was occupied.

Mountains: We went up to Aviemore for a short break for my birthday. Amazing views from the top of the CairnGorm mountain, riding up on the Funicular Railway. And yes, that was snow in May. A smallish strip but I was chuffed to bits to see people snowboarding and skiing. Luckily the rest of the area was not covered in the freezing stuff and we spent some great days exploring the area.

Beaches: we visited  Cramond Beach which is in North Edinburgh on a sunny day in June. It's quite a short drive from Livingston. There are some beautiful views though sadly the beach itself was very dirty. Mr Plummy Mummy's family come from Dundee and the beach there at Broughty Ferry is so clean that it's always a shock to me when I see one that isn't as well kept. However, it's definitely worth going here for the views and to see the old WW2 fortifications. 

Helix Park in Falkirk - this is an amazing place developed on old industrial ground right next to Falkirk football stadium. We (foolishly) chose to go on the first weekend of the holidays so all the car parks were rammed. Like a lot of other people, we ended up parking on the grassy area. Sadly the developers massively underestimated the amount of parking needed. The Kelpie Horses designed by Andy Scott are AMAZING - really beautiful sculptures and together with Falkirk Wheel, are helping to turn this area into a great destination to visit. I was gutted to have missed the launch at night when the horses were lit up and there were fireworks. A rare moment when I missed living in Falkirk :)

There is a wonderful waterpark which is part of the Helix park - and after I got my fill of culture taking a million photos of these sculptures, we took kiddo to the waterpark to have fun in the water. It was all so lovely apart from the idiotic mother that let her young daughter run around naked in the water. Just seemed so wrong especially when the little s*d decided to wee in the water. Quick exit for us!

Gardening Scotland 2014 - Chelsea this is NOT! It was tiny. We were in the midst of buying the house we rent and I wanted some ideas for designing the garden. There were only a few show gardens which whilst gorgeous, were beyond my gardening skills. There was an area for schools gardens and some of these really clever in their designs. Inside the main hall, there were lots of plant displays and I've picked up a couple to try out on the garden.

So that's it, caught up to June. In the next post, I'll cover July after I've watched Monty Python live on Gold

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