20 Aug 2015

Hestia ... and summer holiday bits and bobs

Sorry that I've been absent for most of the summer holidays, but as Sonshine grows older, there are fewer mildly amusing things to report.

Fewer, but not nothing at all....

This, ladies and gentlemen, is - according to Sonshine - A SHEFFIELD PONY!!!

Well-known for their cutlery-making abilities

 It is not only Sonshine who is still prone to a blooper.  Tartarus answered the phone for the millionth time the other night saying:

"It's like Pilladicky Circus in here!"

Henceforth, it SHALL be known as Pilladicky Circus :)

We've been busy - a week in Aviemore with hopalong Nero - whose walking is greatly improved.

We've been to the exotic south, to Birmingham, where we had an amazing apartment on Brindley Place (right in the thick of it!) and I gave a small presentation at TABI's Tarot Conference.  I won't tell you what it was about because if you are not interested in Tarot, it will be totally yawnsville.

Alright then, you totally twisted my arm:  How to read with reversed court cards.

*prods reader awake*

The weather over the summer has not been very good here in Scotland and we're hoping for an Indian Summer.  Up here that means 'lots of curries' :-D

School has now returned.  Tartarus has gone back to sea.  My life is once again my own.

How has the summer been for you?

16 Jun 2015

Hestia... #FAIL

Yesterday, Monday,  I had a lot of very fine intentions which all went to pot as I hovered over the computer awaiting a client's e-book to go live so that I could get the tweeting scheduled and be on hand to help iron out any glitches.

Which meant that I was never more than 30 minutes away from the computer.

Which is not conducive to anything particularly creative.  Although I was, I think, useful as far as the book is concerned - which makes the #fail a bit more bearable.

But only just.   So, there you go - yesterday (Day 12) I failed :-D

15 Jun 2015

Hestia's Creative Weekend

I find that gin also helps ....
Creative Day 9

So, it was all going swimmingly on Friday - did my creative burst in the garden with some plants and then settled down to make Gnocchi for dinner.

And then our burglar alarm went off....

Reader, I would like to tell you that it was a minor blip in a lovely day, but it took up the whole of Friday evening to try to get it sorted out.  And I discovered one thing - there is no Emergency Weekend Electrician service on the island.

With some judicious turning off and on at the mains, we managed to get the chirruping in the house to stop.  Eventually. Which was great.  But the outside light was strobing.  Not so great for the neighbours - but hey, I phoned EVERYONE that I could think of, even the local cop shop and no one could help me.  So we all slept in Studio 54 ;-D

11 Jun 2015

Hestia's ... Creative story so far

But what if being in it with all your heart,
just isn't good enough?!
I've managed to be creative for a whole week.  It's not been a complete success.....well, it's not been ANY sort of success, truthfully, but I HAVE learned that the point of doing something creative is not the end result - it's the PROCESS.

I suppose that realisation is a success, of a sort.

10 Jun 2015

Hestia's ....Creative Day 6 and 7

I didn't forget to do something yesterday, I made a meme - using a photo of my very own.  And that's it there, off to the left.  I know.  I'm hardly going to give Grayson Perry any sleepless nights, right?

But I have not been idle, believe me!

I have been to the library to Get More Inspiration. Here we have Viv Westwood, Grayson Perry and Georgia O'Keeffe.

9 Jun 2015

Hestia's ... Creative Day 5

Yesterday I was off island at my friend's father's funeral.  Well, it was a cremation, actually.  It was a humanist service and really very beautiful.  I usually emerge from funeral services like a wrung out rag with eyes like piss-holes in the snow, but today it was really uplifting - a celebration of his life.

I did get weepy when my friend's daughter, who's only just into her teens, started talking about her grampa and only managed a few lines before breaking down.  But she regained her composure and not only finished

8 Jun 2015

Hestia's Creative Day 3 & 4

So the weekend of the water colour arrives...

I find this lovely quote from Pablo Picasso in my book of quotes..

Dearest Pablo, you should have been here at the weekend, it was torrential rain that was washing away the dust of everyday life.  My soul has shrunk, as if it's been in a boil wash.

So to the watercolour attempt ....

6 Jun 2015

Hestia .... Creative Day 2

Friday started off completely miserable weather-wise.

So, I did too.

I dragged a very reluctant Nero out for a walk.  He padded along beside me, every fibre of his being screaming:  'Turn back! Turn back! This is no place for a dog with no body fat!! I want my breakfast, you sadistic, mad middle-aged THING.'

I, of course, was not listening to his fibres.

5 Jun 2015

Hestia tries ....being creative Day 1

Shutterstock :)
I know that I spend WAY too much time on Facebook.  Like any addict, I can actually feel my skin getting itchy after a few hours, but I still sit there, basking in the blue glow of the screen and dabbing at my dry/watering eyes.

Some days - and this is without a word of a lie - I can kiss Sonshine goodbye and the first time that I stir creakily from my seat is when I answer the bell at the front door that heralds his return from school, many hours later.

It's not good is it?

1 Jun 2015

Hestia is ... glad she grew up in the 70s

So, have you ever googled yourself?

My real name brings up a whole load of other namesakes, most of whom look like very interesting women, it has to be said.  One is determined to overlook the hideous folk song however....

Anyhoo, I googled my blog alter-ego, Hestia, and OMG (as the kids say!) it brought up this....

This is Hestia, apparently.  I know.  It's so NOT me.

28 May 2015

Hestia is .... beach body ready

Yeah - I know that I'm months behind everyone else but really, this advert irritated me.

That body was NOT gained by using their protein shakey drinky shit - she's an Australian model, vegan by choice.  And despite being utterly gorgeous, I'm betting that even SHE wasn't quite perfect enough to escape without a bit of photoshopping.

I'm not here to body shame her.  She's gorgeous.

I'm sure that you won't be surprised to know that my thoughts run more along these lines .....

Yes, that was my first reaction too :-)

Well done to Dove for getting this cranked out pretty quickly!

So I have decided to share with you my own, beach ready body.....

As long as you have wellies, you are beach body ready :-)

4 Apr 2015

Hestia says ....Happy Easter/Merry Christmas

Dear Reader - can you see what this is?

It is a box of Matchmakers.

Can you make out the label?

This was a gift for his Guidance Teachers.

For Christmas.

It is now April.

These have been rattled up and down to school every day for 3 months.

*can think of nothing sensible to say*

Happy Easter :-D

20 Mar 2015

Hestia and Nero - hors de combat

Do you ever have moments that you wish you could rewind - just for two seconds - and do something different? I have one of those from last week.

Thursday morning.  Chucking it down with rain, but I'd left out my jogging stuff.  Twice around the sports' field would be enough for Nero and I, I thought.

When in the park, I let Nero off his lead when there is no sign of any other animal.  He walks beside me, picking up his 'wee mails' as I jog, I am THAT slow.

We jog to the half-way point on the running track and Nero toddles off to sniff some trees and have a pee.  I stop running and fish his leash out of my pocket - there's a path nearby that if a dog comes running down, Nero will take off like a rocket.

If only I had taken some steps towards him and clipped him up, but I didn't.  If I had only listened to that tiny little nagging voice that said - go and clip his lead on ....

Instead I called him to me. And he took off at a gallop.  I was not immediately concerned - there were no dogs and he usually stops and runs back to me.

I wish I had grabbed him as he shot past me.

He ran up the grassy banking and, instead of stopping, he wheeled left. And there was no grassy banking there - just half a dozen broad concrete steps where people could stand in tiers and watch the football.

And over he went, at full speed, legs, tail all flailing - yelping, howling and then .... just a motionless black shape at the bottom of the steps.

Frozen to the spot as I watched him tumble, I found my legs and ran as fast as I could to him and, thank God, saw him staggering groggily to his feet.

And trying to put weight on his front foot.

Bucketing rain.  No phone. In the middle of a deserted park with a dog in pain that can't walk.

Bear Grylls never tells you how to handle these emergencies, does he?

The dog gamely hobbled forward.  And so we progressed.  Slowly.  With yelps. Cars stopped to let us cross the road.  It took 40 minutes to get home, when it only took us 3 minutes to get there.

There was blood.  Of course, there was blood - with greyhounds there is always blood.  I dabbed him clean and dried him.

And phoned the vet who could, thankfully, see him within 10 minutes.

The long and the short of it is that thanks to me not taking those few steps to clip on his lead, my dog has a badly broken toe.  Amputation of the toe has been mentioned - and still might be again if his bones don't knit properly.

I feel like my nerves are on the outside of my skin. I can't concentrate on very much.  I am sleeping downstairs with him because he can't go upstairs.  He's to go back every week to have his dressings changed and another x-ray to check on the bone progress.

I know that whatever happens, he's going to be fine - amputation of the toe or not.

But I feel terrible because it was all my fault.

16 Mar 2015

Hestia and Mother's Day 2015

I'm never terribly sure where the apostrophe should go:  Is it Mother's Day (ie your mother's day) or Mothers' Day (all mothers' days).  I have the same problem with Gardener's World....

Anyway, enough of my grammar-wrestling demons :-D

I received breakfast in bed: a toasted bagel with cream cheese and smoked salmon.  With a cup of tea.  And a yoghurt.

I received an expertly wrapped up present:

Which contained these:

Which are luggage tags for going off to Italy next month.  Luggage tags that I HAD BOUGHT MYSELF but which I had agreed Sonshine could give to me as part of my Mother's Day gift.

I am still awaiting the re-imbursement of the £4.99 that I shelled out for these.

I was also given some vouchers.  Nothing from Groupon or any of that old shit, oh no:

Just to be clear :

There are 7 vouchers here that include..... one free bake (which will, I am reliably informed, include the washing up), one day of all Nero's dog-walking, one visit to the supermarket, one car wash, one mystery 'Specail' task (in which he says he will do ANYTHING) and my very most favourite one of all, the bottom right which is:

"One go out with your damn friends and enjoy life" voucher.

I'd like to know how he's going to finance that particular one :-D

Tell me what happened in your life on Sunday :-)

10 Mar 2015

Hestia and some random updates

1  I am not dead.

2  I don't really have anything to blog about right now.

3  Wait! No, sorry, I got nothing ....

4   I have been up at the school campus making potato bread and gnocchi.  I thought I was just going to watch a demonstration, so I tipped up in my orange sweater.  And was handed an apron.  A warm room is needed to help the yeast do its thang.  I was so hot I thought I was having a flash.

The bread was, unfortunately, so gorgeous that I ate half a loaf and about half a pound of butter BEFORE I went for my weigh in with Slimming World.

5  Oh yeah, I signed up for Slimming World.  So far, I've lost 24 pounds. Of the Queen's head variety.  And 3lbs of the lardy ones.

6  Tartarus is in Bulgaria and I am missing him.  This IS news.  Usually I don't care where he is.  But I am missing our cups of tea as he reports from the coal face of the garage and some THING that needs fixing on someone's motorbike and I report on some THING on facebook that has held my attention for five hours.

7  I've started going running again.  This 'running' is a term that I use very loosely.  Truthfully, I am going 'walking slightly faster than I generally do.'  Nero hates it because it's a useless speed for him - neither walking nor running.  Lolloping.  Nero is lolloping.

No, that's not true.  This morning I was jogging behind him and he was walking.  I jog slower than my dog walks.  There's an admission.

8  I am getting excited about going to Italy in April.  Without family.  Meeting up with a group of Tarot fans and 'sploring museums and, hopefully, eating my own bodyweight in risotto milanese.  Minus the veal shanks.  Because, well, VEAL.

9  I bought all 80 of the Penguin 80th birthday Little Black Books.  I could not afford it, but it's BOOKS.

10 I am wakening up at 3am with the Nameless Dreads - death, disease, famine, never amounting to anything, alien invasion - yes, fear of it all hits me at 3am.

11 Sonshine has hairs growing on his legs and his voice is up and down like a bees wing.  He's growing up.  Hence the Nameless Dreads, I think.

Enough about me, how are YOU?

20 Feb 2015

Hestia... has been away

So we've been away for a few days.  To a greyhound friendly cottage in the Borders' town of Innerleithan.

The cottage is called Cosaig  and it's REALLY dog friendly.  If you book with your recycled greyhound, Jennifer makes a donation to The Scottish Greyhound Sanctuary.

Jennifer's Cosaig welcome box is very thoughtfully put together and includes locally produced goods (we had apple juice and beer.  Guess who drank the beer?) And she made flapjacks too - bloody gorgeous.  Of course the diet went straight to hell!

There were even doggy bix from her greyhound, Luke, to Nero.

Overlooking Victoria Park and the distant hills, it's a great place to base yourself for any walking or cycling gig that you might fancy in the Borders.

There is also a Wii.  I had great fun with the boxing.  Until the following day and I could barely put my knickers on because my arms were THAT sore!  I also manage to actually punch Tartarus with my Wii numchuck in my hand. Not part of the game, but felt great in a passive-aggressive way...

So, I won't bore you with all the details of what we did, save to say that we ate like kings - including an apricot frangipane that weighed the same as a housebrick and tasted like heaven on earth.  A marvellous Indian meal was also purchased as a carry-out from Saffron, just round the corner from the cottage.  I have never lived so close to a lovely restaurant.  I'd be the size of Belgium if I actually lived at Cosaig!

Snowdrops at Kailzie Gardens (also home of delectable frangipane cake). Very friendly staff in restaurant and deli and, vitally, dog friendly. Unlike Dawyck Gardens who are distinctly unfriendly to dogs (although guide dogs etc are permitted).  Restaurant had lovely local artwork on the walls and I was fair smitten with a ladybird painting! My lunch there was a divine open sandwich of beetroot and a fairly local blue cheese.  The combo sounds unlikely, but, by jingo it worked!

Sonshine and Nero on a treestump.  As you do.

Sonshine and me on a swing thing, just across from Cosaig next to the tennis courts.  Do I look bilious? If there's one thing that makes me feel sick it's going round and round.  Add going up and down to the round and round and you've got potential projectile vomiting right there.

We had an absolutely marvellous time and can't wait to go back!

What did you do at half term?

3 Feb 2015

Hestia and Juno | Clothing disasters

This could be me.
The clothes, not the Colin Firth.
If there is ONE phrase that strikes fear into my heart and mirth into Tartarus's, it's my mother saying: "I've just laid out some clothes for you to take a look at."

It's not that she has poor taste.

It's just different taste to mine.

It's 78 year-old lady taste.

9 Jan 2015

Hestia and Nero

santa's greyndeer
The weather here has been blustery.  And if it hasn't been blustery it's been clattering down from the sky in freezing torrents.  And some days it's both.

When the weather is very windy, I don't take Nero through the woods because: yanno, hyperactive imagination and fallen branches.  Instead we go to the park and if it's quiet (ie dog and deer free), he gets to slip off his lead and go for a wild run in the wide expanse of green.

Explore the ruined citadel of m'blog: