Friday, November 17, 2017

Friday's Friendly Notions

One of my favourite things to do, apart from reading, is writing, so I love this blog link up at McGuffy's Reader. In the Friendly Fill-ins we're given written prompts (the words in purple bold) and then complete them how we wish.

1. I can't wait to eat whatever I normally eat any day of the week on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is more a North American thing and we don't celebrate it here in Scotland - I will still give thanks every day for so many things in my life.

2. My favorite kind of pie is banoffee pie - banana, caramel, and cream, what more could you want.

3. This year, I am particularly thankful for living in a land that is not ravaged by war, or extreme weather.  

4. A funny holiday tradition in my/our house is the unveiling of the reinrabbit. This is a creature that my mum made for me and my beloved, and we decided that it looked like the child of the weird love match of a reindeer and a rabbit, hence the name reinrabbit. We love him and it really feels like Christmas when he comes out of his box. (We can't actually remember which he's meant to be).

What are you thankful for this week and will you be celebrating Thanksgiving on November 23rd?

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself to your favourite pie this week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Princess Cookie Cat in curled up cute mode, but still keeping an eye on what's going on around her.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Top Ten Thursday - My Particulars

Today's Top Ten is those things that we're super particular about. The things that need to be done just the way we want them done, like does the toilet paper roll go under or over, which is my number one. Thanks as always to Tamara, Part-time Working Hockey Mom for setting the theme - feel free to join us in our love of lists.

1. There is only one way to hang a toilet roll and that is with the end hanging over the top and anyone who does otherwise is obviously crazy. I may be a little bit obsessed with this as I tend to change it in the toilets at work and elsewhere if I find it's been put on the wrong way.

2. When I have a can of soda I have to tap the top of the can with my fingernail before I open it. When I was younger someone told me that this would stop it from fizzing out and now it's become a bit of a habit (OCD even) and I really don't like opening a can unless I tap it.

3. Ten items or less!!! The queue in the supermarket that you can go through if you have ten items or less, and I always double check how many items I have before I choose this aisle, so it really frustrates me when people get in this line with obviously more than ten items. It's at these times that I wish I was brave enough to say something.

4. I'm a little bit particular about my latte when I order it. It's a large skinny latte, one shot, not too hot. The looks I get from some cafe staff reminds me a bit of the scene in When Harry met Sally, where Sally is ordering her food in a very unique way.

5. Another coffee related thing is that the milk has to go into the mug before the hot water when making an instant coffee. I can tell if someone makes it the other way around as the coffee tastes bitter - the poor coffee grounds have been scalded to death by the boiling water.

6. Final coffee thing - I am fussy about the brand of coffee I drink, and much prefer a coffee that is smooth and not too strong. At home I drink Douwe Egberts pure gold - so good.

7. I have to be at the cinema early to make sure I don't miss the previews of future films - it's such an important part of the movie experience. My beloved doesn't get this and often teases me and tries to suggest that we arrive late for the film, knowing that I'll start to freak out.

8. I'm not very good at taking tablets as when I was younger I had to take tablets that tasted really, really awful. The way I got round this was to have a mouthful of liquid first and then put the tablet in so that it doesn't actually touch my tongue. It's one of my strange little quirks.

9. I have to check that the front door is locked before I go to bed, even if I've seen Ken lock it - you never know, it may have magically unlocked itself.

10. The final thing that I'm very particular about (of the things I'm willing to share) is that I can't go to sleep if the wardrobe door is open. You know there could be monsters in there, and if the door is shut at least that will slow them down a bit (I promise I'm in my 40's, it's just stayed with me all my life).

What things are you very specific about and do people understand this in you? Before you go, make sure you visit Tamara's blog, Part-time Working Hockey Mom to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and be good to yourself this week.

Pamela & Ken

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Historic Hodgepodge Moment

Wednesday Hodgepodge time with the questions posed by Joyce from the blog From This Side of the Pond.

1. What takes you out of your comfort zone?

Talking in front of large groups!!! So what did I choose as a career choice in 2008? I became a lecturer in palliative care which meant I had to quite regularly speak in front of groups and sometimes they were quite large. The most stressful one, where I really thought I was either going to pass out or throw up before I made it to the front of the room was when I spoke at the Dying Matters conference in London about what I had organised at work around cultural awareness at end of life. I'm so glad I did it but I think it aged me quite a bit that day. 

What am I doing this Saturday? Speaking at a remembrance event at Inverness Cathedral - as you can see, I'm a bit of a masochist and probably wont sleep the night before.

Me at the Dying Matters Conference 2012
2. Your least favorite spice?

I'm not the biggest fan of aniseed tastes in savoury food, so my least favourite spice is a toss up between anise and fennel. 

3. What's a small change you'd like to make?

Over the last two years I've slowly been reducing my sugar in my coffee and I'm down to one teaspoon so hopefully I'll be able to get rid of that over the next six months or so. I've done the reducing from three sugars very slowly as I need my tastebuds not to rebel too much at the change.

4. Do you enjoy visiting historic homes? If so, of the homes you've visited which one was your favorite? What historic home near you is open to visitors? Have you been? Southern Living rounded up eleven of the best in the southern part of the US and they're as follows-

Monticello (Jefferson's home in Virginia), Nathaniel Russel House (Charleston SC), Swan House (Atlanta), Ernest Hemingway's home (Key West), The Biltmore (Vanderbilt home in Asheville NC), Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virgina), San Francisco Plantation (Garyville, Louisiana), Windsor Ruins (Port Gibson Mississippi), Longue Vue House and Gardens (New Orleans), Whitehall (Palm Beach FL), and Pebble Hill Plantation (Thomasville GA)

Have you been to any on the list? Of the homes listed which would you most like to visit?

I love visiting historic homes and seeing how people lived in the past - so fascinating all the little aspects of everyday life. I have actually been to one of the homes listed above - when I visited the states in 1991 one of our stops was Mount Vernon (Washington's home in Virginia). Seeing George and Martha's tomb was a highlight for me and the slave memorial was incredibly moving. Interestingly the hospital I worked at in outer London for 16 years was Mount Vernon.

I think my favourite historic home that I've visited is Hampton Court Palace, the home of the notorious King Henry the eighth. It's an incredible building and it is supposedly haunted by several ghosts, notably Jane Seymour, Henry's third wife who died in childbirth, and Catherine Howard, Henry's fifth wife who was beheaded at the age of 19.

5. What's something you think will be obsolete in ten years? Does that make you sad or glad?

In ten years time I think, or hope, that nuclear weapons will be obsolete - I may be living in a dreamland but at least in my land there's no chance of a nuclear war. This would make me very glad.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Today my fellow Australians voted overwhelmingly in favour of marriage equality in the plebiscite - every state voted yes. Today I am even more proud to say that I am Australian.

Before you go, why don't you pop over to Joyce's blog, From This Side of the Pond, and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their answers.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and I hope you don't get pushed out of your comfort zone too much this week.

Pamela & Ken

Monday, November 13, 2017


Sparks is hosted by Annie at McGuffy's Reader and her words are the best to use to explain:

"I believe we are meant to be lights in this world. If we allow our light to shine, we can see where we are going. It is then that we can begin to truly see each other clearly. Together, we can light up the entire world!"

The aim is to post a positive quote, thought, poem, or verse, and this week I've chosen a quote that I actually have on a bracelet that I wear.

Have a good week.

Pamela & Ken

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Aberdeen's Hidden Gems - Footdee & Japanese Food

When we were in Aberdeen recently we went to Footdee (pronounced Fittie by Aberdonians) which is a former fishing community near Aberdeen harbour. The small village was designed by John Smith in the early 1800's - he went on to design Balmoral Castle which is the Queen's Scottish residence.

The houses are built with their fronts facing into a central square so that they are protected from the north sea. Footdee was given Conservation Area status in 1968 with it's uniqueness being recognised. Walking around the community is really interesting and there are some really cute, lovely, and slightly weird aspects to see. Here's some pictures we took for you to enjoy it too.

I think it's time for this tree to be repotted.

Neglected bikes just waiting for someone to come and ride them.

Beautiful cat that was enjoying his bit of sun too much to talk to me.

Old water pumps - there were several of these dotted around the streets, all painted differently.

Lots of the dwellings had very interesting decorations, some lovely and some slightly odd.

Interesting driftwood person on the wall of one of the homes.

Someone obviously loves this shed a lot - they've kissed it all over.

Stunning mosaic on one of the garden walls. If you look closely you can see that it is made with sea glass, and old bits of pottery and crockery that are found on the beach. I really loved this and would love to do something similar.

Someone has a sense of humour.

This shed looked like it would fall over with one strong gust of wind.

Looking out to sea - the dots in the distance are boats lined up off shore.

One of our wonderful meals whilst we were in Aberdeen was at Yatai Izakaya which is a small independant Japanese restaurant - the food was exceptional.

As it was quite busy we were sat facing the grill - it was great, as long as I ignored the meat being cooked it was really fascinating watching the chef work, and on the plus side we were nice and toasty warm.

Do you like Ken's lovely little handbag that's beside him - just his colour.

Nice cheeky glass of wine to start the meal off.

Now to share our lovely food with you as it looked so pretty - we also had vegetables but I forgot to take pictures of them.

Tempura squid
Octopus balls
Tonka bean & caramel fudge and black sesame icecream

The food was really scrummy and I made sure to tell the waitress as I believe it's important to express appreciation when you've enjoyed yourself. As a result we were given two sakis to finish off the meal (Ken doesn't drink so I had to have both of them) and they were both really nice.

After our wonderful meal we only had a short walk back to our hotel and on the way we passed this lovely piece of street art by Add Fuel (Diogo Machado) - have a look at his instagram page if you're interested.

If you've never been to Aberdeen then I highly recommend it as there is loads of things to see and do, and wonderful restaurants to eat in.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and make sure you take time just for you this week.

Pamela & Ken

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday's Friendly Responses

One of my favourite things to do, apart from reading, is writing, so I love this blog link up at McGuffy's Reader. In the Friendly Fill-ins we're given written prompts (the words in purple bold) and then complete them how we wish.

1. The best part of where I live is the gorgeous scenery. The Scottish Highlands are absolutely stunning and there is beauty everywhere.

2. The worst part of where I live is the really short days in winter - by the end of December I've had it with so few hours of daylight for our days of fun. 

3. If I had more cats, I would be very happy. We (or me really) would love more cats but we have to take into account that Cookie is thirteen and fairly set in her ways now, and very used to being the boss of the house.

Princess Cookie Cat
4. My favourite article of cold weather clothing is a toss up between a lovely knitted hat that is purple and has a big tassel on the the top, brightly coloured fingerless gloves, or any of my numerous scarves that help keep out the cold. I love wearing colourful winter accessories to brighten up the dark days.

There you have my answers - I wonder what your favourite thing about where you live is?

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and make sure you enjoy your little bit of the world this week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Tea Cup and Mug Exchange

This year I took part in the 11th Tea Cup and Mug Exchange - I stumbled across it when I was looking at other people's blogs. It's organised by the lovely Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose and involves ladies from all over the world sending gifts which include a teacup or mug.

My beautiful box of loveliness was sent to me by Dawn who lives in Cornwall and contained the below:

The teacup is so beautiful and includes purple which makes it totally perfect.

Thank you Dawn for all your gorgeous gifts and thank you to Stephanie for organising the exchange that connects people from all over the world.

Pamela & Ken

Top Ten Thursday - Happy Moments

It's top ten Thursday and this week we're listing the things that have recently made our day, made us  laugh or at least smile, just a collection of positive moments! Thanks to Tamara, Part-time Working Hockey Mom, for the great theme choice.

This is my list of moments that have made me feel good during the last week.

1. Cat Yoga: when Cookie is grooming herself and it looks like she is contorting herself into the best yoga poses - I wish I was half as flexible.

2. Christmas Cups: I always love it when Costa Coffee get in their Christmas themed take out coffee cups, and I love this gingerbread one.

3. Coffee Delivery: this also involves the above photo. Earlier this week we didn't have enough milk left at home for my coffee that I take to work in my thermal mug, so just went without. I'd been at work about twenty minutes when a gorgeous Scotsman (Ken) walked in the door with a latte and a croissant for me - it really gave me a good feeling for the rest of the day.

4. Puppy Dog Eyes: this face when Bramble Jelly is trying to convince me that I should let her up on my knee for a cuddle.

5. Morning Radio: I love listening to the radio on the way to work for Gino and Grace, the two presenters. They always make me laugh no matter what mood I'm in. 

6. Hair Appointment: on Saturday I went and had my colour topped up and a trim, and it always makes me feel so relaxed by the time I leave. I love the head massage when having my hair washed, and I always fall asleep whilst my hairdresser is cutting my hair - she regularly has to gently move my head back up to the right angle.

7. Fancy Furniture: This chair and cushions is in the hairdressers and it makes me smile and wish I had something like that at home.

8. Hooded Cat: I was walking through the Victorian Market in Inverness at the weekend and found this hooded cat on the wall outside a new shop - smiles galore at discovering this.

9. My Beloved: how could I not have him in a list about things that make me smile, laugh, and feel good.

10. A Caticorn: This week one of my lovely colleagues gave me this card which, as she thought, is perfect for me. It's a cat, that's a unicorn, and it's covered in glitter - a caticorn. Everytime I look at it I smile and feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

What has made you smile this week? Before you go, make sure you visit Tamara's blog, Part-time Working Hockey Mom and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and give someone else a reason to smile this week.

Pamela & Ken