Friday, October 9, 2009


I'm an Obama fan, but....

...this made me go 'huh?'

On the shortlist there were candidates who, in my eyes, would have been more deserving winners.

But, hey, that's only my opinion, and I'm not on the panel that makes the decision.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Warm toes and tummy

It was my birthday on monday, a great spent walking on the beach in the sunshine and then home to a cup of tea and a big slice of birthday cake (with coffee cream icing, yummy!) made by my wonderful mother.

With my birthday pennies I will be treating myself to these little beauties to keep my toes cosy in my wellies. My parents gave me a slow cooker (and recipe book!) and I'm now looking forward to a winter of coming home on cold dark evenings to a proper hot meal waiting for me! Thank you Mum and Dad x

P.S. If any one has any good slow cooker recipes I would be pleased to get them.

Image from

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Can it really be 2 months since I last posted?

Yes, apparently it can and very much is.

The lack of internet in my new (or should that be current) home and the craziness of work over the summer season has lead me to not only be unable to post but barely able to follow any of the blogs that sustained me through my dull NYC job!

A crazy and wonderful summer it has been back here in Scotland and working in the rafting industry again. It is now drawing to a close again and many of my friends are disappearing off on exciting winter adventures; rafting in Nepal and Morocco, canyoning in Washington, skiing in Alps. And the sun worshippers well they are off to rafting jobs in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.

As for me and a few other hardy soles we are toughing out the Aberfeldy winter. A winter which will most likely to be cold and wet, with less faces to make us a smile on dreich days. I have a new job lined up for the winter, and a new contract for my current one to start back in January and with this news today, I feel pretty lucky.

I'm on the look-out for a new home to call my own, well I say my own but it will be rented. I really like where I am currently but it's my friend's place, full of his things. I feel some need to nest, although I'm very much neither pregnant or newly married (and very far from being either!). I want a home to place my stamp on. I already have a picture in my mind of one corner of a sitting room; an old winged armchair in battered leather, a standard lamp behind, illuminating a wall of photos..... one day.....!

But for now who won't want one of these on their doorstep?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Expedia have finally refunded me!! My credit card is now sitting in credit....weird!! It's only taken since the middle of March but they have accepted they screwed up and I have all my pennies back.... well kind of. The exchange rate has changed and I'm actually still about 200 british pounds out but most of it is back so I'm a happy bunny.
After far too many expensive calls to the US and quite a few letters and emails, I finally spoke to an intelligent girl who sorted it all and withing 24 hours my refund had been processed.

Note to Expedia - employ more girls like Terrilyn, she's is awesome and almost made me rethink my vow never to use you again....almost!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Well I am doing my best to keep up on reading all the lovely blogs that sustained me through the 8 hours a day at my New York job. I was delighted to spot this post on A Cup of Jo.

While my new job keeps me busy at my desk every day or out taking photos like this and this I do get to spend some time on the water and then pigtails (or braids!) really are the only option for my wayward locks. I'm tapping away at the moment with the hair still in damp pigtails!

All images by me, River Tummel, Perthshire, Scotland 12.06.09

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Flowergirls make the best dance partners!

My friend looked so so beautiful, the groom cried when he saw her come down the aisle, and I danced all night with the 2 great little flowergirls. It's official, bouncing up and down while holding hands is the dance move of the season!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

New Chapter

In the last week I have moved to the wee town of Aberfeldy in Perthshire and started a new job with these guys. (The website content needs some work but I'm hoping that I can attack that soon.) All is going well, although I'm currently like the Princess and Pea, sleeping on a pile of 3 mattresses in my mates kit room. Yes, kit room, I sleep amongst kayak and climbing gear with ice axes not far from my head...and I'm perfectly happy. Obviously it is a bit of a change from the bright lights of New York but I'm enjoying this slower pace of life and the very chilled out office work in.
I used to work up here so it is good to be back amongst friends and I'm looking forward to a summer of sunshine & sunburn, BBQs & beers, and going to work in shorts and flips flops...sweet!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Slap on the wrist

I've been a very lazy blogger recently, not even spending time reading the ones that kept me going through my dull job! I've got a good excuse though I promise...I'm a busy unemployed bum, honest....well ok then, not really. The benefit of the great weather we have been having though is that I've been keeping (and even increasing) my tan while doing LOTS in the garden at my parents.

I have the next installment of my Baja adventure started and I will get it finished soon. Tomorrow I'm meeting a Mountbatten buddy in Edinburgh for the day before heading to Glasgow in the evening to attend this. I love pipes and drums so that combined with seeing a 'New York' friend means I'm rather excited about my tuesday.

I have a job interview on wednesday, not for a real grown-up job, just a summer job, but right now I'm keen just to be busy again and I'm not having any luck with 'real' jobs yet, boo :-(

Blosson on the damson tree, Kilgrammie Cottage, Sunday 19th April

Friday, March 27, 2009

Baja Beginnings

I'm looking out of the window at my parents home, not too far from the beach. If you walk up the hill and you will see Ailsa Craig floating like a cupcake (albeit a brown and craggy one) just out to sea, on a clear day you can even just see a wee speck of Northern Ireland on the horizon (or so my father claims). It's grey outside but the wind is howling round the house and every so often blue sky and sunshine appears, then the wind brings more dark grey clouds and the rain starts to pelt down again.

It is 2 weeks since I arrived back home, my bags are unpacked and my tan is fading. New York seems like a distant memory and I've found that I don't miss Captain, I don't miss the worries he caused me, the worries I never shared.

But back to Baja...

I boarded the Green Tortoise bus on the evening of Friday 20th February and started 2 wonderful weeks of escape. Now the Tortoise probably isn't everyone's idea of the perfect 2 week vacation but I love it (this was my fourth trip). In total we covered over 2000 miles, driving down from San Francisco to the tip of the Baja peninisula and back. And in all those miles I drank lots of beers, played lots of cards, laughed a rididulous amount, played spitting games, learnt to make sushi, touched a whale, swam with sea lions,, meet a rather curious lot of folk and of course, made some friends.
On the second morning we stopped at a whale watching spot. Standing having breakfast and looking out at the water we could spot whales. Soon we were on boats heading out amongst them. These particular grey whales are for some reason very friendly, which is strange when not that long ago they were hunted in those very waters. Mamas bring their babys right alongside the boats. They swim underneath you, looking you right in the eye, hanging out so you can reach over and touch them. Truly, a magical experience.

That evening we had another night drive, meaning we would be like sardines, snuggled on the flat sleeping platforms, snoring the miles away. Before we 'miracled' (turning the bus from day to night mode) we had a few hours in San Iganacio. I got slightly snap happy at the Mission and enjoyed meandering the quiet streets.

We were awoken from our slumbers by the shaking of the bus when the it turned off onto rough road. We soon stopped and began to unpack all our belongings from the bus waiting for this guy to appear up the track that lay ahead.

Our first beach camp lay ahead down the 5 mile track. Everything was packed onto the shuttle and then we set off to hike down to 'Playa Escondida', our home for the next four nights. This place was my kind of heaven, (well apart from the outhouse!). You could be as lazy or as active as you wanted, and with the exception of doing an hour of yoga each day, I was terrifically lazy. Thankfully not everyone was, so we ate freshly caught fish everyday. After our fantastic meals each evening that would be impressive if prepared in a regular kitchen, we would sit round the campfire, telling stories, laughing while rather too many beers were drunk and a bottle of tequila was passed round.

The second evening was Mardi Gras and also Margerita Night. The blender could be heard until the wee hours while we danced in the sand.

I watched the sunrise over the sea of Cortez on our fourth morning before starting to pack up my belongings. By early afternoon we were all back up the hill with our belongings waiting to board Pluto again, and getting rather excited at the prospect of a shower once we arrived in La Paz. It was only a week since we had first boarded Pluto back in San Francisco but it felt like a lifetime.

All images from my collection

Friday, March 20, 2009

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back in Scotland...

..and it's raining!
My trip through Mexico was amazing. I touched a grey whale!! Yes, really!! Snorkelled with sealions, made sushi (and ate it! yummy!) and drank way way too many beers.
Photos and a full report to follow once I can actually charge my laptop, silly me forgot to buy a US -UK converter before I left the States. I also have to start fighting BMI/Expedia to get back the money I had to fork out to British Airways for my flight home. I was supposed to have flown with BMI (booked through Expedia many months ago) but they have stopped flying Chicago -Manchester, so I got moved to a BA flight except my ticket wasn't transferred so when I went to check-in at Denver I was told I would have to buy a new ticket for $1000! I had no choice but to do it and now I have to fight BMI and Expedia to get my money back but they are both blaming the other!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Rocky Mountain High

Since Friday I have been in Beaver Creek, CO. It's so so beautiful here and I've had such a great time with my cousin. Today though I'm off to San Francisco for a couple of nights before leaving on friday evening for Mexico. I'm back here in Colorado in just over 2 weeks before I fly home.

All images from my collection (you would't know that our mothers are identical twins would you?!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The End

The snow is falling outside and I'm cosy in my cousin's apartment in Avon, Colorado recovering from an emotional few days. I managed to control the tears until, at the airport while Captain and I were saying our final goodbyes, we hugged and I realised he was crying behind his sunglasses. Of course this set me off. (Thanks to the lovely check-in lady who saw I was trying to control my emotions and came round and gave me a big hug.)*

Thursday night turned into a late on. After work there was drinks with the great workmates that were the only reason I put up with my DULL job and not-so-nice supervisor (who btw didn't bother to come and say goodbye to me!). Then home to try and finish my packing and back into the big smoke for final goodbye drinks with all my wonderful friends and the lovely Captain. For a change I had my sensible head on and switched to soft drinks after 3 G&Ts (finally I must be growing up haha!), it was about 3am that we finally got home and to bed, I was not a happy bunny when my alarm woke me at 7am. I was however, happy to know that the alarm won't be waking again for a good while! Yippee!

So I managed to just about squeeze everything into my suitcase and big backpack and suddenly Captain was there to drive me to airport. Typing this now I'm tearing up, thinking about saying goodbye to my friends and hugging them. I know I will see them again soon, one in fact I will be seeing at Heathrow in a month as we both wait for out connections north, but I also know that we will never all live within 2 minutes of each other again. Our little Mountbatten bubble has burst and now we have to face the real world.

I still can't quite believe that it is all over. This year (of 13 months) and living in New York is done. Now to move on, move back home, now to begin again. I've had enough practise over the last few years but somehow this time, this time it's different. Now I want to finally settle, build my own home and become a grown-up...better try and find a job then!!

Both images by me: Grand Central Station and Lady Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"the best yet"

If you are feeling vaguely teary or emotional today I would advise against reading this wonderful post by redframe today but do read it another day. It's oh so beautiful!

Our Leavers’ Dinner last Thursday evening went superbly. Last night we went over the finances and much to my delight all my sums were correct and we had made just over $450 in profit which we have donated to the newly set-up scholarship fund for the progamme. The feedback from all the interns and staff that attended is positive, I was particularly happy to hear that it was deemed “the best one yet”! I may have drunk a little more than I should have, a one or two tears may have been shed but I got myself out of bed the next morning and was one of just a handful that managed a full day’s work on Friday. I’m not sure what that says about British drinking habits!

The lovely, lovely, lovely Chris R and I on the reception table.

This is the best shot of the downstairs area where we had the champagne reception and it really just shows an untidy bar but the room looked so pretty and we had a great view out across the water to the Statue of Liberty.

There were lots of laughs

And the tacky awards went down a treat!

With G, PV and Stevie (who G rather aptly described as looking like a 3rd division football manager!)

All images by Ben Sayaseng

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The final week countdown has begun

This evening is the Leaver's Dinner for my internship programme. One week today is my last day of work and my last full day in New York, tonight we are celebrating in typical British style by, most likely getting rather drunk! Well apart from me, I'm full of the cold and I have to work tomorrow so two very good reasons not to over indulge.

Despite feeling rather pants and have a very croaky voice, I'm looking forward to the evening. I've been the treasurer on the committee organising it all and seeing it all come together will be great. I'm one of the hosts of the evening too, there are various speeches and a small awards section too, hopefully my voice holds out. My fabby new kelly green dress from J Crew will get its first outing this evening, whoopee!

So the final week countdown has begun....unemployment looms....eeek! I had hoped to be getting a position with in the London office of the company I've done my placement with here. I had a phone interview last week and was told "the job is yours", I was then waiting to hear back on salary etc before making my decision. Yesterday, however, I got an email saying sorry we have decided not to replace the girl that is leaving due the currently economic conditions. B*llocks! But for now I'm going to enjoy this evening and worry about jobs tomorrow.
Image from Flickr

Friday, January 30, 2009

Tagged: 25 Things

Tagged on facebook again, thought I would share with you all.

Rules:Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.(To do this, go to "write note" on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people, then click post.)

1. I believe that pineapple is the work of the devil

2. When I was little I wanted to grow up to be either a cowboy or a pirate, now I'm grown up I would still like to be either of these things (at least the romanticized movie versions!)

3. I like to listen to music while I fall asleep, this means I often wake up with my earphones wrapped around my neck, very silly.

4. I like cakes that start with 'C'; carrot; chocolate; coffee.

5. I would like to own a bulldog, she will be called Poppy (for that matter if its a boy he will be called Poppy too!)

6. I will always deeply regret the selfish comment that came out of my 9 yr old self's mouth on hearing about the death of my maternal grandmother.

7. I have a small to medium sized obsession with reading blogs.

8. I hate and love the fact that I have friends all over the world in equal measure.

9. I love my brother but secretly wish I had a sister too (other than Ana of course!)

10. I started drinking beer while living in the US - up until then I always hated the taste.

11.My new hollywood boy man crush is Josh Brolin

12.I have two tattoos - I kind of regret one, maybe in 10 years I will regret both

13. I am short -sighted in my left eye

14. I am long -sighted in my right eye

15. I want to have a garden with an amazing treehouse (this has been a dream since I was about 8)

16. I currently can't get enough of looking at images of beautiful kitchens and sitting rooms ( I think this is from living in a mountbatten apartment)

17. I worry that I will be the Bridget Jones of my friends - drinking wine alone in my pjs and singing loudly and badly to cheesie music

18. I own way too many hats and scarfs - way too many!

19. As a teenager I wrote stories constantly, now I doubt myself too much to write.

20. If I like a song I will listen to it over and over for days and then not listen to it for months (I'm not srue what this says about my personality.)

21. I secretly would love to be a burlesque performer - and obviously the figure required!

22. I've only ever used oil of ulay/olay as a moisturiser on my face, I have done so since I was 12
23. The smell of Chanel No.5 reminds me of my mother and my grandmother.

24. I used to be damn fine at pool now I don't play nearly enough so I'm rubbish.

25. I'm terrible with money and should probably have my salary paid into my mother's account and let her give me pocket money - I was good when I only had 50p a week!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tagged: Ipod Shuffle 'Miracles' Fly My Pretties

So I was tagged on Facebook but doing this I discovered how much great music is tucked away on my ipod that I had forgotten about.

What does your music library say about you?
1. Put Your iTunes on Shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write down the name of the song no matter how silly it sounds!
4. Put any comments in brackets after the song name.
5. Tag at least 5 friends

What do your friends think of you?
King Tubby's Borderline Dub - Augustus Pablo & King Tubby

If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say?
Aerials - System of a Down

How would you describe yourself?
Rhymes & Reasons - John Denver

What do you like in a guy/girl?
Cheating on you - Franz Ferdinand (I don't think I can really agree with that one!)

How do you feel today?
Rambling from the Anatoki - Salmonella Dub

What is your life's purpose?
The Trial - Pink Floyd

What is your motto?
My World - Metallica

What do you think about very often?
Boys from the County Hell - The Pogues

What is 2 + 2?
Crying Shame - Jack Johnson

What do you think of your best friend?
Oughta be in love - Dave Bobbyn (she is and sh'es moving to Oz - sniff :-( )

What do you think of the person you like?
Sick Sad Little World - Incubus

What is your life story?
Ain't my bitch - Metallica

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Nobody Knows - Bob Marley & the Wailers

What do you think of when you see the person you like?
Seed of Life - Dubwize

What will you dance to at your wedding?
Old Piano - Frou Frou

What will they play at your funeral?
Company Sin - John Butler Trio

What is your hobby/interest?
Brothers on a Hotel Bed - Death Cab for Cutie (hahahahaha)

What is your biggest fear?
No Pride - Green Day

What is your biggest secret?
What your soul sings - Massive Attack (this one is pretty true)

What do you think of your friends?
Same size feet - Stereophonics (when I want to borrow shoes!)

What will you post this as?
Miracles - Fly my pretties

I tag...whoever wants to redoscover their music!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's weird....

...but I'm fantisizing about kitchens. Me, the girl who has always found cooking stressful. Now I want a kitchen with a lovely big gas hob (or preferably an Aga, looking forward to drinking tea by the warmth of the one in my parents' kitchen), a long scrubbed farmhouse table, a deep belfast sink, pots and pans hanging withing easy reach and me, in there cooking, baking and generally playing the part of beautiful, relaxed domestic goddess!

PS. I'm kind of blaming Mrs French for this obsession due to posts like this and this.

Other images from Country Living and Flickr

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

So what if I have to dig a hole to poo in?

One month today I will have crossed the border on board the wonderful Green Tortoise having driven through the night from San Francisco and my 15 day trip to Mexico will truly have begun. My tent and headlamp arrived yesterday, (I managed to blind myself with the strobe effect on the headlamp) I can't wait to put the tent up but I'm not going to be able to until I get to the private beach we are camping on, Playa Escondida. This means no practise runs but I will make sure to at least count the poles etc! My head is currently filled with thoughts of lime margeritas and fish tacos, the warmth of the sun of my face and the feel of the sand between my toes, sea kayaking and (oh please) some whale spotting!

Images all from Flickr 1. 2. 3. 4.

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Baby it's cold outside"

This week seems to have whizzed by, I can't believe it's Friday, but I'm, oh so glad that it is!

On Monday I went to see the genius musical that is Avenue Q. If you are in New York and fancy a show - please go and see this. It is rude, funny and completely non-PC, perfect (One song being "Everyone's a little bit racist"!). Tuesday we viewed a venue for the leaver's dinner, down in Battery Park with views of the Statue of Liberty and also a quote that nobody else could beat!
I've ordered a dress from J. Crew to wear at the leaver's dinner. There is a great sale on right now with an extra 20% off. Fingers crossed the dress fits and looks good since its no refunds or exchanges. My main worry is if my boobs will fit in - I have ordered one size up and I can always alter it to fit (I hope!). I also bought a fab pencil skirt that I had tried on a while back but just couldn't justify spending the money on and then, whoopee, there it was on sale and I got a tankini for the bargain of $16! This I really do need for my upcoming trip to the warm beaches of Baja California.

At work yesterday I was gabbing away to a workmate about how in a whole year in New York I had yet to spot any celebs. Then sitting on my mat waiting for yoga class to start last night the girl along from me caught my attention, mainly because I thought her hair needed a good brush! She turned and looked at me at the moment and I realised it was one of the Olsen twins (no idea which one though). I was quite surprised to see someone famous in this donation based yoga studio in the east village - but this is New York where my friend buys fruit from the same street vendor as Kirsten Dunst!

Remember the horrid, vile paper? My horrid, vile tutor that told me my paper would fail? Well my paper passed to two fingers up to you horrid nasty Jeff - without your help I did it! Whoopee!

This week I have also ordered a tent for camping on the beach in Mexico, seen a plane land/crash on/into the Hudson, went to the Garden to watch the Knicks beat the Washington Wizards, had my exit interview with my programme office (suddenly I have The Fear about going home). All of this stuff has been keeping the cogs in my brain going strong and I feel a little odd, like I've forgotten something important but I'm too distracted to really concentrate on what. But I've not forgotten anything at least I hope not....bah!

Image taken by me on Christmas Eve

It's f'ing cold here 17'F but feels like 2'F - to the Brits that's -8C feels like -17C! Brrrr! But it is Friday and it is payday so I'm off for some drinks to warm my bones and ease my whirring brain.

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm and cosy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cramming it all in

I have less than 5 weeks left now until I leave New York so we are busy deciding what things we've still not done that we need to do, what we want to do again and how to afford it all!

I've also volunteered for the Leaver's Dinner Committee (which is in 4 weeks - we have some serious work to do) and I've somehow ended up a treasurer. So every night next week I now have plans, plus I want to spend time with Capt. because, sadly, when I leave that will be the end of our relationship. We had a (fairly) sober conversation about it on Christmas Eve. I can't stay, he's not willing to move to the UK and, truly, I'm fine about it. This chapter of my life is ending and I realised fairly earlier on that I didn't see him in my future. Does that seem awful?

This weekend I have to visit a couple of potential dinner venues, go to the Bodies exhibition, walk the Brooklyn Bridge again (although maybe not with the snow that is forecast!), go out dancing, watch football on Sunday, and start to think about what I'm going to do with all my 'stuff'' - what to pack for the trip, what to ship (price up shipping!!) and what to chuck.

Have a good weekend all whatever you are up (for those that are getting to enjoy a lazy day at home, I'm jealous!)

Images by me: Princeton, Sunday Jan 4th.