Saturday, July 30, 2011

the festival is here!

sandcastle building, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

At this time of the year, my home village comes alive with its annual festival. I think this year is the 20th celebration - it was never so grand or prolonged when I was a wee girl.

Festival Parade

The festival officially opened today with the parade from easter to wester village before crowning the royalty at the castle. The parade resumed, leading the village down Shore Road to kick off Beach Day.
Wee Guy, Grandpa and I took part in the sandcastle building competition, managing to beat the rapidly incoming tide to make it intact through to judging.

sandcastle building

After a brief lunch at the house, we were back at the beach for the raft race. Happy to report that all rafts and crew made it back to the beach, though some paddlers did have to swim the final leg to catch up with their vessels!

The weather was warm and sunny all day - summer has arrived in Aberdour.

sandcastle building

Friday, July 29, 2011

Golden Wedding Celebration

This is the reason for our summer trip this year - my parents' Golden Wedding Anniversary. We celebrated by having a buffet lunch for friends and family. And gloriously, the sun came out after a grey start and just in time for the first guests arriving. Two of mum's bridesmaids came to celebrate with us, plus dad's sister and brother-in-law, a next door neighbour, and a good friend of mum's.
My sister managed the catering (the most marvellous Better Buffets), Dad sorted the drinks, and I was left with soft drinks (and designing the invites).

Well worth the trip :)
Happy 50th xoxo

Golden Wedding Celebration

Golden Wedding Celebration

Golden Wedding Celebration

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

worldess wednesday: today's walk

today's walk, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

in and around Aberdour

today's walk
last of the orchids
view north to farmland

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

at the beach

on the beach

This should have been a Monday post but it didn't become one, mainly because I posted two Sunday posts yesterday but this is what we got up to on Monday. Following so far?

Monday's lesson at the beach was flow dynamics. A beach is a prime teaching environment for physics since with fine particulate sand in addition to water, it's as near that perfect frictionless environment as you can get without paying a day's admission to CERN. It's also a brilliant child-entertainment environment, requiring minimal expense, input and equipment. A win/win situation :)

tidal flow

Wee Guy and I arrived just as the tide was turning to go out. In my opinion this is the best time to visit a beach, especially one that you know very well. And let's face it, I know my childhood beach like the back of my hand. From years of beachcombing I know exactly which sandy coves are uncovered first, and where to go for the best sand castle building. I know that the tourists stay on the sandy littered area before the rocky outcrops rise up, unaware of the fine, clean sand just waiting a few minutes stroll beyond. As the waves receded this time, I saw Wee Guy's eyes lighting up at the expanse of pristine velvety beach opening up just for us alone. There's nothing quite like smooth untouched sand for jumping in and printing footsteps across. It's like finding untouched powder when out snowboarding. The lack of crowds in this part of the sands meant we also spied a seal sunning herself on a rock close to shore.

today's lesson is flow dynamics

So we built a moat and a dam and a waterfall down off the rocks. We found 'fossilised dinosaur poo', sea glass and shells galore. I sketched the view, Inchcolm Island and its abbey across the water, with the Pentlands Hills as a lush green backdrop. We splashed in the cool, clear surf and set off on an expedition further along over the rocks. We gazed out at the view over to Edinburgh - so clear that I could point out the Royal Mile leading up from Arthur's Seat to the castle. Once we'd eaten our picnic we tackled the steep hill back up to my parent's house where we shook the sand out of our clothes at the front step, adding to the pile collected over many decades!

Wee Guy loves going to the beach, which pleases me no end. When I was a child I used to spend a great deal of time, especially in the summer, exploring and beachcombing. I used to work on my high school homework down there on summer afternoons, then revisit later in the evening with my boyfriend.

tidal flow

Each time I come back home from Canada, this beach is one of my first stops. Visiting it with my son is the proverbial icing on the cake. At The Beach

Monday, July 25, 2011

sunday post number two: here's to friends

... and here's to friends in real life.
Totally rare occurrence last night but a totally awesome event - a curry out with friends.
Yes, yes - a curry.
Yes, yes - a night out.
... and with friends too.

- with thanks to the grandparents for childminding
- with thanks to Nicki for organising the whole shebang (in Edinburgh's quietest restaurant too)
- with thanks to friends, some of whom I haven't seen in over twenty years

Thanks for an evening of easy conversation, education (promiscuous defaecation? well i never!), and reminiscing.
Nicki, Donald - get on with 25 year reunion!

Stirling Castle - The Refurbished Royal Apartments

my little prince

Sunday is brunch day - a leisurely waking up and wifi morning of coffee, pastries and comics. We prepared ourselves to face the day from a very comfortable booth at the Burgh Coffee Shop at the bottom of King Street in Stirling. Although it seemed a shame to sit inside on such a golden morning, there was enough of a breeze to make life a little nippy. A better selection of pastries or morning goods would have worked too btw but the teas, coffee, wifi were gorgeous.

studious visitor

Once fully woken we strolled up to Stirling Castle to visit the newly refurbished royal apartments and view the Stirling Heads in situ. We were not disappointed - at all.

Last time Wee Guy and I visited the castle, the royal apartments were strewn with rubble, grey, dusty and dank. Now they have been restored to full (imagined) splendour and furnished according to the period (mid 1500's since you ask). After a lifetime of (enforced) surveying of grey ancient ruins, the colourful spectacle of this renaissance home decor is a welcome sight. No more dreary grey stonework! Welcome simple whitewashed plaster covered with birght friezes and intricate tapestries. The re-created "Hunt of the Unicorn" wall hangings have left their temporary home in the chapel and now line the walls of the queen's chambers. The King's chambers are similarly renovated but instead are now home to modern re-workings of the famous Stirling Heads, a series of carved wooden ceiling bosses which now glow from on high in bright and vibrant period colours. The original bosses, now almost 500 years old, are on display in one of the castle galleries where visitors can take a closer look at the detail in each carving.

Stirling Heads

But it's not all just for boring adults - Wee Guy enjoyed the kids' zone in the vaults beneath the royal apartments where he could play period instruments (all strangely sticky ...) and learn about being a jester. He also joined in on a knight's training session and learned how to defeat a dragon while Aunty B and I could only marvel at the prominence of the codpieces on show :)

knihgts in training

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Riverside Museum: Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel

ahoy - aunty B at the wheel

Today Aunty B, the Wee Guy and I (very appropriately) took the train from Stirling to Glasgow (saving a good bundle of cash using my Friends and Family Railcard, I might add) to visit the Riverside Museum. With one small boy requiring entertainment on a 24/7 basis (I think he sleeps but don't quote me) the option of visiting a transport museum was a no brainer indeed.

studious pair

We woke up to a glorious summer day here in central Scotland, i.e. clear blue skies with white fluffy clouds scudding at a rate of knots, warmth in sheltered crannies, and no precipitation. Fleece optional weather :)
The transport museum was an excellent choice, busy but excellent, and totally free admission. The collection is housed in an incredible tin shack of the highest order (designed by architect Zaha Hadid) featuring a ripple design which reminded me of wave forms in river mud. This pleated design allows the interior of the space formed to be relatively free of support columns and there is a wonderful continous view/flow through the exhibits.

inside the museum

Interestingly, very few of the exhibits are arranged in themes or chronologically - it's a very eclectic arrangement which jumps around a bit but manages to maintain interest. We spent a few hours wandering around the streetcars, automobiles, underground trains and bicycles before getting the usual museum fatigue. Our youngest member tired last - it was the adults clamouring for out first.


There are some amazing displays featuring Glasgow public transport as it developed from cable-drawn underground trains to trams and street cars and buses. Cycling features prominently; one of my favourite bikes on show was a Raleigh Chopper. I never had one but can remember how daft and treasured they were in their day. A nifty exhibit on skateboarding reassured me I hadn't been hallucinating about tiny plastic decks, and the Sinclair section had me crying with laughter at the nuttiness of the ZX Spectrum among other inventions. How on earth did he succeed?

views up the Clyde from the museum

After a delicious lunch in the cafe spent gazing through massive picture windows at the tall ship, Galatea, moored outside, we checked out a few more indoor exhibits and enjoyed the views up and down the Clyde from inside the museum. One window looks out onto one of the last working shipyards on the river. We then went for a stroll in the sun and boarded the ship for a visit (5GBP per adult, kids free). What an incredible experience! All levels were open for exploring and some great kid-friendly activities (want to try out climbing the rigging? go ahead!) plus a mouse hunt, kept everyone happy.
And the sun kept shining all day, clouds stayed away so we finished the evening with a picnic on the back step! Summer might be here :)

on the weather deck

Friday, July 22, 2011

friday forte: back to my roots

thistles, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

It's been almost a week and I feel quite settled in. It's always odd coming back to your childhood home as an adult, and must be doubly so for ye aged parents, but I think we're all coping well.

Aberdour Walk

This morning the Wee Guy and I went for an amble round the village while waiting for Aunty B to whisk us away to her flat in Stirling for the weekend.

Aberdour Walk

After stopping in at the bakery for an iced cookie (and yes, the cookies are much the same as when I was a little girl - same recipe though the icing is more lurid) we walked across the front of the castle grounds, through the walled garden in full flower, and headed for Donkey Brae down to the harbour.

Aberdour Walk

Our route took us past my old primary school and the headmaster's house, bringing back some great memories. The wife of the headmaster at the time kept bees. When they swarmed, classes were kept inside the school building since the hives were right next to the playground.

Aberdour Walk

Donkey Brae down to the harbour is definitely steeper than I thought (more on that next week) but it does give some great glimpses of the 'back' of the village up to the castle. There were some amazing cloudscapes looking over to Edinburgh this morning - skies are big over here!

Aberdour Walk

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SPT Thursday July 21st

SPT Thursday July 21st, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Have had to resort to cable wireless connection as my netbook keeps dropping the wifi signal in the house (grrr). Therefore hogged the computer desk for most of the day finishing up homework for college (done) and pruning my inbox (oh joy). I think I'll have to pre-write my blog posts then download when I can catch the signal.
Annoyingly, my phone is likewise affected hence the lack of Daily Kitten pics on my twitter feed (or tweeting at all, for that matter).
I am on vacation, after all :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

wordless wednesday: portraits of the day

portraits of the day, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

from our trip to Edinburgh yesterday

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

tuesday: out on the tiles

him and me, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

fractured views

Soaking up the old town in Edinburgh today with the Wee Guy. Managed two rooftop viewings of the area, one from the Camera Obscura rooftop patio and the other once we'd climbed all 287 steps (my crosstraining moment for the day - went out for a gentle 30 min run yesterday) up the Scott Monument. Weather - cloudy but with reasonable views so the ascents were worthwhile. From the top of both I could see Aberdour peeking out from behind Inchcolm Island.

We're both "on holiday" - Wee Guy's spending his pocket money on UK comics, and I'm twitchy from a relative lack of online time. I don't think my dependency is excessive or deleterious, but I'm not altogether comfortable with being quite so unwired. On a plus point though, the alternative ie. more time with the Wee Guy, working on our (non-electronic, gasp) journal projects is enjoyable. I am however, missing the writing, photo uploading, and blogging/tweeting ad nauseum but I do need a good night's sleep. Jet lag almost conquered (tempting fate)?


Sunday, July 17, 2011

first sandcastles (life's a beach)

first sandcastles, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

scotland, for those of you wondering, officially slopes east to west ;)

First day of the holidays officially starts here (i.e. it's the first one we're not traveling) and this is what it's all about.

sandcastle tally = 3
beach glass pieces collected = 2
water pistol tally = 3
jet lag status = currently running at about five hours behind BST

more pics here

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On our way ...

Our adventure has started.
The Wee Guy and I have started our summer travels, leaving YVR for AMS.

Friday, July 15, 2011

friday forte: the unhappy non-traveler

Not everyone's happy about today's departure.
Griz - we will miss you. Look after mr ebb for me xoxo

friday forte: the unhappy non-traveler

Not everyone's happy about today's departure.
Griz - we will miss you. Look after mr ebb for me xoxo

Thursday, July 14, 2011

self portrait thursday: ready for off

Packing completed, college assignments handed in two weeks early, permission gained for missing the last two weeks of this semester - ready for the off.
Sweet dreams :)

ebb and flo by pomo mama design click to shop pomo mama design online!