Wednesday, August 31, 2011

death to books?

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to add anything erudite to the ongoing debate on epublishing versus traditional printed materials, but this evening, using my netbook plus some calibre plug ins, I moved the contents of my ereader bookshelf to my new birthday present (big thank you to mr ebb) AND sourced a few of the text books I need for the Fall semester as easy-to-download ebooks.
DRM? buh bye

Oh - we also walked to St. Bridget's Kirk today too (it's not all the wacky world of wifi!)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Edinburgh closes, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

The Wee Guy and I were tourists once more. We joined the tourists in Edinburgh at the tail-end of the fringe/festival season as the workers dismantled the venues. All around George Square, one of my old university haunts, staging was being deconstructed and vans whizzed around. Ditto for the other festival haunts.
So we went to the castle. It's been standing for way longer than a summer festival and we saw no signs of it being dismantled. Ditto the fabric of Edinburgh.
It'll always be there.
More pics here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

sublime ridiculous


Last week we were bathed in sweat 24/7 … this included our last night in Spain in a wonderful air-conditioned hotel room which was just too noisy to sleep in (many thanks to the wonderful night staff of the Alicante Holiday Inn Express who helped us relocate to a quieter room at 2.30am for a precious few hours of sleep).

Today, it’s back to the reality of summer in Scotland. Rain. Grey skies. Cagouls. Socks.

It is, however, a nice change.
And we are on holiday :)



<—from this to this ^ (yes – those are ice crystals on the window)

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

offline blog editing


This is where I am trying out offline blogging (which, with any luck, will be android compatible but I bet it isn’t).

homing instinct

From Evernote:

homing instinct

I do like traveling and so far, have had a really wonderful time 'backpacking' through part of Europe with the Wee Guy. He's proven to be a steady travel companion, capable of carrying his share of the load. We had a blast walking and sightseeing in London and Paris, and coped really well with our few train trips. Highlights include playing in Kensington Gardens, the London Eye, Eurostar through the french countryside, the Eiffel Tower and seeing the Mona Lisa IRL. Our best moment though has to be running into mr ebb quite by chance on a street in Paris; although we knew we'd see him at the hotel eventually it was a real buzz to quite literally bump into him when out and about :)
But now we're moving from point D back to point A with the dessicated spanish countryside zooming several thousand feet beneath us, and my homing instinct is kicking in. The Wee Guy and I still have a couple of weeks holiday left, but mr ebb is on his way back home. And that's where my thoughts are turning too. My homing instinct is kicking in..

Friday, August 26, 2011

SPT 25th August: No photos!

Exactly as it says - no photos! I completely forgot to photograph myself (!) yesterday evening though I did rattle off a whole clip of digital images around the dining table during our delicious farewell meal at El Mar La Mar.
sigh! back to reality (and a more reliable internet connection) tomorrow - no more mornings spent nude on a beach.
en vacance

Thursday, August 25, 2011

sun spots, tanning and skin care

safe tanning, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Those of you who know me IRL (plus dear readers of this self-absorbed blog and my flickr SPT series) will know that I am a red headed, befreckled survivor of malignant melanoma. What you're probably asking yourselves therefore is, why the heck is she spending a week in sunny south of spain in the height of the summer?
It's family, darling, family! and we're having a blast.
What we are doing though, is taking a lot of precautions with the sun, tanning, over-exposure and covering up. Where we're staying has an unshaded but coolish pool. The beach, 10 minutes or so away, is also unshaded. It's also not completely practical to sit around indoors (without airconditioning) and, since we're not a family of vampires, we have been outside during daylight ... but with precautions.
The Wee Guy, who is at increased risk of skin cancer simply by having a first degree relative melanoma survivor in his lineage, is slathered head to toe in waterproof Factor 50 before heading outdoors. This is topped up regularly, especially after swimming. He also wears a brimmed hat and long sleeves when practical. A long sleeve swim top increases time spent in the pool. Ditto for me! He shares my Neutrogena Factor 60 dry touch face block as it seems to agree with our sensitive skins very well.
As you know, sunburns during childhood contribute to most cases of skin cancer worldwide. As a survivor I'm also on a 'no tanning' directive so short of wrapping myself up like an egyptian mummy, mother and sun commonly appear greased up and 'a little overdressed' when outdoors.
So far it seems to be working (no burns) and yesterday we took our sunblocks for the ultimate test drive - the beach ;) Apart from being the most luminous bod in the surf, I think only my natural unshaved redheaded status attracted attention ...
When in Rome etc etc etc.

for those of you reading and thinking, geez - overkill, although melanoma can take up to 10 years to develop from a sunburn, survival rates are measured in weeks and months, not years. it is one of the few cancers rising in incidence and has, until recently, been incurable once metastasised. new immunomodulatory drugs such as vemurafenib and ipilimumab are showing promise but prevention is still key IMHO

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

thru the arched window

thru the arched window, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Slowly getting used to sweating 24/7.
Have even volunteered to cook for 12 tomorrow evening (a huge thank you to SIL, Rachel, who cooked The Most Amazing spag bog yesterday in Seriously Compromised Kitchen Conditions.
I must be on holiday.
Yesterday was a trip to the old.
Today was a lazy start followed by a couple of hours in the pool (the Wee Guy can now swim out of his depth and has managed a width of the pool unaided - mr ebb and i are so proud).
After a Very Late Lunch we walked (yes walked - it's waaaaaaaaaaaaay coooler in the late afternoons) to a local water park where the boys went on water slides and I submerged my bikini'd bod in the wave pool.
NB: no bikini'd pics will be surfacing - I am making sure of it :) and I need to maintain my non-mature rating with Blogger ;)

Monday, August 22, 2011

cool mountain air

day trip to Mojacar, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

As a freckled red head, with skin cancer and heat issues, the south of spain in late August is not really top of the list as a holiday destination for me at all. But this year, the lure of train travel, family and europe made it so. After a night of sleeper train followed by an afternoon of day train riding we arrived en famille in Andalucia for a week with my husband's family.
Our apartment is at sea level, charming but very hot and humid. This morning my in laws very kindly gave us a ride through to Mojacar along the coast, where mr ebb, the Wee Guy and I caught a local bus up into the mountains to visit the pueblo.
For this red head, the change in heat, humidity, shadde, etc was a real blessing (sigh).
day trip to Mojacar
day trip to Mojacar
day trip to Mojacar
day trip to Mojacar
day trip to Mojacar

Sunday, August 21, 2011

traveling, m.i.a, and arrived

I haven't posted anything substantial since before Monday 15th. Since then, the Wee Guy and I Eurostar-ed from St Pancras to Gare du Nord, arriving midday in Paris and navigated (successfully) through another non-grid system city to our hotel. In a complete coincidence we also ran into mr ebb making his way to the same hotel from his very delayed flight in from Canada.

So our family was complete again (except for dear Grizzy).
That evening (Monday, please pay attention) we walked through Montmatre to Sacre Coeur then had dinner in a lovely cafe as far from the tourist beat as we could find.

Tour Eiffel

Day two in Paris = walk to and climb up Eiffel Tower, followed by Batobus cruise down the Seine to Ile de France/Ile St Louis.

Place de la Concorde

view of Georges Pompidou centre

Day three = walk to and round the Louvre, Batobus again, then depart Gare de Austerlitz on the sleeper for Madrid (our fourth European capital).

a day of traveling: good night boys :)

Day three was Wednesday.
Thursday was spent waiting for a connection to the south of Spain followed by meeting up with my 'other' family at their summer retreat.

a day of traveling: a flock of sheep

So far, we've celebrated two birthdays (my FIL's and mine), swum in the pools lots, used up lots of sun block, eaten at two delightful local restaurants (paella!) and sweated buckets! Despite my best intentions, internet connection is limited hence the m.i.a-ness but heck! it's holiday and I can survive without wifi (she says unconvinced).
I'll post more pics in the next few days, but until then consider yourself excused from reading my blog for a while :)
Happy holidays!

Monday, August 15, 2011

on the move again: arrived

Sacre Coeur, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
can you guess where?

hint: third european capital, two more to go

Sunday, August 14, 2011

on the move again

We're off - in search of more succulent goodies and pastries and sights to see.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

a busy (but enjoyable) day

Albert Memorial, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

1. Science Museum
2. picnic lunch in Hyde Park
3. walk to Buckingham Palace
4. walk back through Green Park and along the Serpentine
5. play time in the Diana Memorial fountain in Kensington Gardens
6. dinner at the Lido cafe
7. skype with daddy
8. bedtime
We packed in a lot of museum, park and walking today :) Great fun was had by all.

However ... I notice now, much more than before when I lived here, that there are so many reminders of death around in this city.

the Australian War Memorial

We walked past the Australian War Memorial, with each battle carved out and highlighted by the tiny names of each of the points of origin of those who died. And we saw the statue commemorating the heroic actions by nurse, Edith Cavell in World War I.

memorial to Edith Cavell

our visit to the science museum

The veterinary history section in the Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum carried reminders of the IRA bombing which slaughtered seven horses and two guardsmen in central London. This happened as I decided to apply for veterinary college - I can remember feeling absolutely horrified that animals could be targeted for terrorist action alongside humans. It also made me realise the cruelty I might be faced with in a future professional life (and I was, but none as bad as this event).

changing the guard

And there's been my mini unintended Diana pilgrimage. We've spent a couple fo evenings playing in the wonderful memorial playground in Kensington Gardens, inspired by her love of children.

a most fantastic playpark

This evening we cooled our toes in the memorial fountain near the Serpentine.

water splash evening

The last time I was near her palace, the front lawn was knee-deep in flowers from mourners. Her death and funeral played out in a very surreal atmosphere in London at the time.


And the last time I stood in front of Buckingham Palace I saw the princes driven past, each pale-faced with the strain of emotion in public life.
And I saw Diana's coffin driven from St. James Palace to Kensington Palace for her last night in her old home before the funeral. Although the crowd by Green Park was six or seven deep, there was no sound. As the hearse emerged from St. James palace, the overhanging trees were illuminated in the dusk with brilliant flashes as onlookers took photographs of history on the move. The wave of lights preceded the car as she moved slowly down the Mall in a deathly hush. People stood in silence with tears running down their faces. London was in deep mourning.

Buckingham Palace

Friday, August 12, 2011

friday forte: continuing the travel theme

our flight, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Surely you can guess where we are now?

Yes, we've moved on to the second european capital referenced in the blog blurb above this post. The Wee Guy are traveling.

This is the most exciting part of the holiday aside, of course, from seeing long lost family again and staying in my childhood home for almost a month. It's also the most nerve-wracking. Although I've traveled solo with the Wee Guy before now, it's always been strictly to one destination and then home with a few side trips to other friends, relatives, etc. thrown in. This time our travels are more of the backpacking, staying in strange hotels/hostels, exploring unfamiliar cities type.

OK, so London isn't exactly unfamiliar territory to me but oh boy has it changed in the last decade since I flit countries.
So far? fun. We've got another three capital cities to fit in though so wish us luck.

Today's slideshow (including a flight on the London Eye, meeting up with Rob and Andrea of Got Craft?, and a totally unplanned watching of the changing of the guard, is here :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

SPT August 11th: on our travels once more

For those of you who correctly guessed yesterday's theme yes - we're off on our travels once more.
And we've arrived.
Last time I visited the place behind me and below in the pic, the lawn area was a metre deep in flowers.


Wee Guy celebrating arriving by running pell mell through the park and swinging around in its most wonderful children's adventure play area.

on our travels once more - arrived!

Can you guess where we are?

a most fantastic playpark

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

wordless wednesday: there's a theme here

Kirkcaldy museum, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
swallows nesting

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

daytrip to Cramond

daytrip to Cramond, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.

Today's outing was to Cramond with grandpa.

Cramond is a beautiful ancient seaside village on the outskirts of Edinburgh. It lies directly opposite Aberdour across the River Forth, hidden behind Inchcolm Island.

daytrip to Cramond

It's also the place where my father began his archaeology career over 50 years ago.

I wonder if he thought then that he would be explaining the finer workings of the Roman latrine excavated on site to his grandson a few decades later?

daytrip to Cramond

PS: More pics here.

Monday, August 08, 2011

waxing lyrical en voyage

searching for poetry
This afternoon I took the Wee Guy on an expedition around the village I grew up in. We followed the Poetry Trail set up by the Aberdour Cultural Association in 2007. Ten haiku poems are placed around the village, making an excellent walking route and child entertainment vehilce all rolled into one.
And it was a sunny day too :)

Sunday, August 07, 2011

dangerous times

dangerous times, originally uploaded by ebbandflo_pomomama.
Today is the date I should have appeared into this world more than four decades ago.
In obstetrical terms this is known as a due date. In party girl terms this is also known as any excuse for a party.

... and we did!

my advance birthday

Saturday, August 06, 2011

food on conveyor belts

Today's outing was to Edinburgh. Yes, to Edinburgh - currently in the throes of prepping for the Fringe and the Festival i.e. full of tourists. Luckily, most of them were taking in the sights of Fringe Saturday on the Royal Mile so the Wee Guy and I headed to Harvey Nichols for the delights of food served from conveyor belts. Lunch at Yo Sushi was a huge hit (especially the free plate of pancakes for the Wee Guy), capped only by my pre-birthday feast at the similarly conveyor belt-ed chocolate cafe where we were treated to a huge chocolate fondue, a sparkly cupcake and a glass of pink champagne by Aunt B.

yo sushi at Harvey Nichols
the chocolate cafe at Harvey Nichols
the chocolate cafe at Harvey Nichols
the chocolate cafe at Harvey Nichols
the chocolate cafe at Harvey Nichols

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