Travelling Tuesday: the Pentland Hills, Scotland

In honour of Scotland’s special national day yesterday, we return to beautiful Caledonia this Travelling Tuesday for a wee walk in the Pentland Hills. These beautiful hills are a delightful escape into the Scottish countryside, sitting just on the southern edge of the city of Edinburgh. I didn’t spend nearly as much time on them as I should have.

Picture happy sheep, grreen grreen grrass, and enjoying wee kick back in a pub after a nice chilly hike in the rain. How the outdoors in Scotland should be. Herewith, the aforementioned visuals:

I dinnae remember the name of the loch below, sorry!


But enjoy the fact that all that purple is these delicate and beautiful flowers:

Bonnie Scotland

Scotland the Brave, Scotland the Beautiful. We salute you!

Happy Trails to you this Travelling Tuesday. May the road rise to meet you!

Happy St. Andrews Day!

Today is St. Andrews Day! It’s a celebration of Saint Andrew, Scotland’s official patron saint. It is therefore a delightful national holiday complete with national festivities and lots of ceilidhs…an all-around smashing good time! I am sorely missing the land of the Scots these days (though I am not particularly missing the weather). Check out Google’s ode to the Scots!

Picture 3

In celebration of Scotland’s National Day, I thought I’d post a couple of my favourite images of Bonnie Bonnie Scotland, so you, too, can revel in the glories of such a beautiful place!

This is Eilean Donan Castle. (Thank Mark for the bonnie photos).

Eilean Donan Castle

And this has to be one of the most beautiful, and perfectly shaped mountains ever, Buachaille Etive Mor. (Thank Mark for the spelling on that one.)

Buachaille Etive Mor

Now let’s all sing together Scotland’s lovely National Anthem, and afterwards, have a pint!

Flower of Scotland

O Flower of Scotland,
When will we see
Your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit Hill and Glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward’s army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

verse 2

The Hills are bare now,
And Autumn leaves
lie thick and still,
O’er land that is lost now,
Which those so dearly held,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

verse 3

Those days are past now,
And in the past
they must remain,
But we can still rise now,
And be the nation again,
That stood against him,
Proud Edward’s Army,
And sent him homeward,
Tae think again.

Happy St Andrew’s Day, Scotland! I miss you dearly and hope to see your like again soon.

Guest Post! Top Ten Ways to Corrupt Your Friends’ Children

Top of the Week to ya! And this week it’s especially top! Please welcome our first guest poster, Laura Anne! She’s a friend of mine from Bonnie Scotland, who has arranged a special top ten for you this week. If you’d like to read more from this sweet and funny gal, you can check out her blog here! For now it’s on with the show…

Top Ten Ways to Corrupt Your Friend’s Children

So I’ve just spent a week with 2 families on holiday in Cornwall. Enter an almost-5-year-old, a 3-year-old and an 11 month old into my life.

Exit 3 corrupted children…

Amazingly my parenting friends still let me around their children, but if you’d like to have some fun with none of the responsibility like me, here are 10 tips on how you can corrupt your friends’ children. But apply them at your own peril!

10. At a children’s birthday party, teach kids how to eat Milky Ways the ‘proper’ way. Pick off all the chocolate on the outside (sides first, the bottom, then the top last), then eat the soft nougat bit in the middle.

Same principles apply to Jaffa Cakes and Oreos.

In case you're not from the UK, these are Jaffa Cakes! A lovely mess if eaten 'properly.'

In case you're not from the UK, these are Jaffa Cakes! A lovely mess if eaten 'properly.'

9. If you happen to find yourself in a hotel room with your friend’s child – teach them how to throw themselves on/jump on the bed. When parents come in and say “Now no jumping on the bed,” you say Of course not, no, I would never encourage your child to jump on beds.”

8. Bribe your friends’ daughters into eating their tea (dinner) by offering to paint one of their fingernails or toenails with pink nail varnish for every spoonful they eat.

7. Have many piercings. Kids will ask about them. Then you can tell gory disgusting stories about how each one was done.

6. Entertain babies by rocking out in the form of headbanging with teething toys (noisy ones). By the time they are 18 months old headbanging and moshing will be their preferred methods of dancing and you’ve got the early signs of heavy metal rockstar prodigy right there.

5. Want your friend’s kid to support your football team? Nothing quite like a cute teddy bear dressed in team kit to help them along the way – bear must wear the team scarf. The scarf novelty will make it their favourite bear…and voila…you’ve got another fan!

4. Babysit. With no parents around you can make slides down the stairs with duvets, blow up ready brek in the microwave or get toy lightsabres and re-enact fight scenes from Star Wars.

3. If shopping with children, point out CCTV cameras and tell them that’s ‘elf-vision’…Santa’s preferred method of watching children at all times to see if they should go on his naughty or nice list.

2. Choose your TV programme watching very carefully. If your friend’s kid walks in to find you watching How to Look Good Naked then suddenly you’ll find yourself trying to explain why the lady on the TV thinks she looks hideous and how Gok Wan is trying to help.

1. The ultimate: all children should know we have two stomachs. One for the main course, and the 2nd for puddings and sweeties…but most importantly chocolate and ice cream. That’s why even when kids are ‘full up’ or ‘had enough’ they still have room for pudding!

Thanks for the laughs Laura Anne! And for my American readership, I should note that in the UK ‘pudding’ means any type of dessert, and not just ‘pudding.’

Travelling Tuesday: Isle of Skye

Hello hello! I am sorry the blog has been moving a bit slow lately and you’re seeing duplicate pictures on the home page, which might be getting on your nerves! Can you forgive me? We are still recovering from our ‘bug’ and moving a bit slow…construction will continue for a wee while, but hopefully finish soon! This week’s Travelling Tuesday is from the Isle of Skye, which is a beautiful island off the west coast of Scotland.

On one of our last weekends in the UK, we took a trip to Skye to enjoy the scenery and say our goodbyes to Bonnie Scotland. I took this shot, looking south on the Isle of Skye, with mainland Scotland to the east. The Cuillins (also called the Black Cuillins) are the mountain range in the distance, and (yay!) those are bonnie Scottish thistles in the foreground. Could nae be much more Sco’ish a shot, save adding a pint and a kilt!


The lovely weekend made it even more difficult to say goodbye to Bonnie Scotland. When the sun shines, it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. If only the sun shone a little more — methinks everyone would move there! Our friend Hope joined us, and we enjoyed wonderful weather (by Isle of Skye standards — it was still quite cold to us) and driving around and walking a little and just taking in the beauty of the unique creation of this wee isle! It was a great weekend, other than the occasional traffic jam here and there…


So, if you ever find yourself in the UK, I highly recommend you make the trip! Happy trails!

Top Ten + Four for Fourteen Months with Bear

Top of the week to ya! This Sunday was the Bear’s 14 Month Birthday, and I think that is just plain special! Since everyone seems to like to see pictures of him, and his grandparents most especially miss him, I thought I would arrange a special Top Ten plus Four for you this week, with 14 of our favourite photos of our special wee man.

Hope you enjoy!

1. This one is from the day he was born… His first good shot in good lighting. (The delivery room was kind of dark at 2 am.)

Baby Bear

2. This one is from when my Mom was visiting and helped him nap on his tummy so I could get some rest…

Napping Bear

3. Aunt Dodi gave him this adorable onesie and he just posed so well in it!

Posey Bear

4. One day, I got ready to take the Bear outside in the Scottish cold. I bundled him up and left the room for a moment, because I’d forgotten something. He started crying while I was away. I wondered why he seemed so upset, but then he got really quiet. This is what I returned to…

Sleepy Bear

5. This was taken the first time he saw a Christmas tree. If you look closely, you can see the lights of the tree in his eyes!

Bewildered Bear

6. This was at a snugly wuggly bafftime.

Clean and Cuddly Bear

7. This was also an outfit from Aunt Dodi…also taken in South Africa. How precious is this baby zebra?

Zebra Bear

8. This was in America when he found his feet for the first time. I had no idea how adorable babies playing with their feet could be. We took lots of pictures of him in this pose because he was just being so adorable. At first we got lots of naked shots, which were of course so cute and funny, but then we decided to slap a nappy on him so that he didn’t grow up to rue the day his parents bought a camera. I think that was a good decision.

Tootsie Bear

9. Here is the Bear, posing as a very very very young version of Rocky. Adwiannnn!

Rocky Bear

10. You may have already seen this one…still a personal favourite. The hair, the moobs, the drool…fabulous.

Soggy Bear

11. I call this one ‘the bairn upon the rock’ because this is on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland and ‘bairn’ is a Scots word for child. I don’t know why I love this one. I just do! (Mark was hiding behind the rock to make sure he didn’t fall off!)

Bear on the Rocks

12. Sorry, Mom…I just can’t let this one go. I mean look at his face! (And yours! Tehe!)

Poopy Bear

13. This was at the Bear’s First Birthday Party! He had some of his amazing jungle birthday cake and I think he rather liked it!

Crumbsy Bear

14. And here he is … looking almost grown up! Our 14 Month Old Bear!

Almost Growed Up Bear

So that’s the fantastic fourteen! Many thanks to the little bundle bringing us so much joy!  Happy Birthday Bear!