First steps

I got an exciting (excited?) email yesterday.  Kirsten has taken her first three steps.  Does she know what she is letting herself in for?  At least she will slow down momentarily while she learns to walk properly and then it will all pick up again.

How to make a sand pit

In theory

  • Dig a hole.
  • Fill it with sand.
  • Put the child out to play.

In reality

  • Debate about whether to make one, buy one or just use the flower bed.
  • If buying or making find somewhere to place the sand pit.
  • If making, are railway sleepers suitable?
  • If buying, the yellow plastic tortoise or the wooden box?
  • Think about how to get a large amount of sand into it.
  • What kind of sand?
  • Realise that it rains a lot and the pit will need a cover.
  • Come up with a stop-the-cats-using-it-as-a-litter-box strategy.
  • Can I finish it in a weekend before the rugby starts?

Reducing a carbon footprint

carbon-footprintWe all have to do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint.  The average carbon footprint per person in the UK is 10 tonnes.  There is some regional variation due to climate, quality of housing and access to public transport.

I had to go on a journey the other day and Amy needed the car.  Here are the journey details:

  • Bus, Forfar to Dundee Bus Station, £3.05 (30 minutes)
  • Walk Dundee Bus Station to Union Street stand, £0 (4 minutes)
  • Bus, Union Street stand to Ninewells, £1.35 (15 minutes)
  • I had to wait an hour for the appointment because the efficiency of the service got me there so early.
  • Bus, Ninewells to Union Street stand, £1.35 (15 minutes)
  • Car, Dundee to Newtyle, £? (25 minutes) – Amy picked me up on her way back from Fife and the four of us went back to Newtyle by car. Her average fuel consumption for her journey was 50mpg. Continue reading Reducing a carbon footprint

Earthquakes and tremors

While New Zealand was reeling from a quake of 6.3 today my world was shook slightly when the consultant said I had a basal cell carcinoma on my chest and that it would need to be cut out.  He then went in to some detail about how that would happen.  Those of you who know me well can probably guess at what happened next.

Well, you’d be wrong.  I wasn’t sure what was worse – the fact that I have cancerous cells growing in my chest or that they would have to be cut out.  Still, on the plus side cuts heal and chicks dig scars.

From the NHS:


A basal cell carcinoma or rodent ulcer is a low grade skin cancer. If left untreated it slowly invades the area in which it grows destroying the surrounding structures including eyes, nose and so on. For this reason it must be removed. The majority of basal cell carcinomas, once completely removed give no further trouble. In order to ensure complete removal a margin of apparently normal skin is removed with the ulcer. The removed tissue is examined under the microscope. If there is any sign that there is residual basal cell carcinoma left behind a wider excision must be carried out removing involved tissue around the ulcer. This tissue is likewise examined under the microscope, to confirm that the basal cell carcinoma is cleared. Continue reading Earthquakes and tremors

Bedtime Rhymes

Dad always used to quote lines of poetry for us but never to completion.  Here are some that I remember:

I eat my peas with honey
I’ve done it all my life
It makes the peas taste funny
But it keeps them on the knife.
– Anonymous

And another from The Walrus and the Carpenter:

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To speak of many things:”
– Lewis Carol

Continue reading Bedtime Rhymes

Playing Trains

It is quite something when we have managed to distract Daniel enough to actually complete a track before a natural disaster strikes and rolling stock is filling the air like chaff from a fighter jet with a missile on its tail.

A complete track
A complete track

Bonfire Night Out

We had a night out the other night.  A Friday night, nogal!  We drove down to Coupar Angus and Larghan Victory Park to watch the firework display.  The Coopers joined us there for the fun and games.  Here is a selection of really bad photographs capturing our evening out.