4th August, 2019
Henry and Daisy's have started a band, the Oxesis. They only know one song so far, an adaptation of the Beatles Yellow Submarine. But the strain is already showing with creative differences on the bands art work. Will they last?
Click on the image across to see more.
23rd July, 2019
Henry has discovered skateboarding, but it pains me to watch him as the amount of accidents I had are uncountable. He's getting pretty good at it for only being on the board a couple of days. I've had a wee shot too and tempted to get a board myself.
13th July, 2019
My mini cycle adventure over the Monadhliath Mountains went well and as expected. The puishing part of the ride was harder than expected as I thought the peat hags would be about 1-2 foot tall, not 6 feet. I tried to capture the event with film - which you can watch here.
5th July, 2019
We all took to the Glentress trails last Wednesday. I thought it was brilliant with great routes and facilities. Carol and Henry also really like it. Daisy on the other hand didn't have as much fun. We could only park in the lower car park, so meant we had to cycle up the hill to get to the trails and this was too much for her. Once on the trails, she was fine.
Once the kids had had enough, I asked Carol if I could do one last run on my own and typically, on this 'final' run, I crashed. It wasn't too bad, but immediately after I had to do a check to make sure no bones had been broken, but I am going to be left with some tasty scars on my knee. You can watch the crash here.
24th June, 2019
'New Bike Day'
To encourage Henry's new found love of cycling, we got him a proper bike (top pic). Initially, I thought it was way to big for him, but he manages just fine on it. And to celebrate the new arrival, we all went for our first ever family ride out yesterday - strava can see here. Daisy wasnt happy though, I think she was feeling a bit left out with the attention Henry was getting.
I've also invested in another new bike, it's a gravel bike and is somewhere between a mountain bike and a road bike (bottom pic) - I'm looking forward to taking it on some forest trails soon. I've ordered some off road tyres for Carols bike too. Next stop, Glentress.
17th June, 2019
Ooh-cha, it's been while and for good reason, home life is pretty busy at the moment. I say home life, it's more football home life. My weekend mornings are being dominated by Spartans training with Henry, I also coach on Monday nights with the P4/5 girls and the Blackhall P2s on Tuesdays. Wednesday night is my club ride night, leaving Thursday and Friday free. Anyways, this week and weekend are the last training days before the kids break up for the summer holidays, so I'm looking forward for a bit of time returning.
So, I plan cycling a bit more during the summer holidays, solo and with the family. Henry has finally clicked with his bike and wants to cycle more, so I would like to take everyone to Glentress to cycle some of the forest tracks down there.
Staying on the cycling subject, the pic across is of the 1st Blackhall Bike Bus. We didn't think that we'd get that many folk, but about 100 bikes took to the streets for a mass ride to school. It was quite a sight, the photo doesn't do it justice. We may have to get a police escort next time round. Thankfully there were only a couple of idiots drivers who were SO important that adding 1 minute to their journey was enough to justify putting peoples lives in danger. Can't wait for the next one.
6th May, 2019
28th April, 2019
7th April, 2019
Yea! Henry turned 7 yesterday. Click on the image across to see some photos of the day. He got some cool stuff and his favorite present was FIFA 15 for the Wii. I think his best present were his new football boots which he wore to training yesterday.
13th March, 2019
My legs feel like lead right now. Mallorca was amazing and exhausting. It's a cycling mecca out there with some of the hardest climbs in the world. The trip ran like clockwork and the weather was perfect too. Here are the routes we did:
Sa Colabra / Sa Batalla
Andrax to Pollenca
You can see a few photos of the trip by clicking on the image across.
1st March, 2019
I'm about to be chucked out of my comfort zone a week today. I'm heading off to Mallorca for 3 solid days of cycling. Each day is more than a sportive worth of cycling, so I've have no idea how I'm going to cope. I've been trying to train the best I can, the photo across was taking from last Sunday's 70 mile ride around East Lothian. The guys I'm traveling with are borderline Olympic athletes, so I'm a bit concern about trying to keep up with them. Apprehension aside, I'm really looking forward to taking some photos and some early summer sun.
19th January, 2019
3rd January, 2019
As with all christmas holidays, they fly by at a terrifying rate. Still, I've got 5 and half days to go, which is nice. In the whirl wind of time that has passed, Daisy has turned 8. Click on the image to see photos of her birthday. Also, we visited granny in Inverness for new year. Click here to see photos of that.
27th December, 2018
'Christmas done and dusted'
We had another successful christmas day. Everyone was happy with presents and the dinner turned out well. What more can you ask? The festivities haven't finished though, it's Daisy's birthday tomorrow!
Click on the image across to see photos of christmas.
2nd December, 2018
'The Tree Is Up Again'
The tree is up and the kids are hyper. Normally, the christmas buzz hits me early but this year it's yet to appear, which is a good thing, as there's nothing worse than feeling christmassy only for it to fade before Christmas. What I am looking forward to is the day after the 21st of December, when the days start to get longer.
Anyways, as with the last 3 years, we time lapsed the decoration of the tree, click the image across if you want to see.
24th November, 2018
Daisy played in her 1st competitive football match today and scored her 1st goal - we are so proud of her.
The fixture was Blackball Primary School vs James Gillespie Primary School and some of the girls on the opposing team were as tall as Carol. The result didn't go our way, they beat us 2-7, but the girls really enjoyed their 1st game and it was a good experience AND they want to play them again to seek revenge.
4th November, 2018
'Project Winter - Done'
I finally got round to getting a winter bike sorted. I've named the bike 'Sawfinga' becuase my fingers hurt after building it.
With the exception of the frame and guards, the it was built with bits from the shed. As a result, the rear indexing is a little off due uto sing an old chain and cassette. It's a planet x frame which was well reduced and I have to stay I'm pretty implressed with it and is almost as light as the Cervelo, even with the guards on.
I'm going to commute with it this week to make shure it's raod worthy and this weekend I'll be off.
1st November, 2018
Project Winter is taking longer than expected due to my own procrastination. I was weighing up my winter cycling options with the main choices being, do I want to do some CX riding or stick to the roads. I've gone with the latter, the reason being that there aren't many CX trails in Edinburgh and a CX bike option was almost 10 x more expensive. So, availability and 'frugal-ness' prevailed.
So, part of the plan for this winter is cycle as much as I can and not to lose the summer momentum. I'm not a fan of turbo training, but it's something I'm going have to live with over the next 4-6 months. I've installed a screen in the shed so I can watch training vids whislt going nowhere fast.
Next stage of Project Winter is get the winter bike built, should be sorted be the end of the weekend.
31st October, 2018
Yea, Halloween done for another year. This year, Carol put loads of stuff outside the house to lure children to our door for sweets. Henry and I stay in to listen to the terrible jokes. At one point we have about 20 people at the door as a result of Carols decoration drawing them.
In seriousness, one thing that did really piss me off, were the children who didn't say 'thank you' after getting their sweets. So next year, if I don't hear a thank you, they're gonna get chased off the property with a slipper in hand!
1st October, 2018
Mum took us to a few open doors for the Open Doors event in Edinburgh this past weekend. Click on the image across to see a few photos.
Project winter is changing quicker than I can settle on what I want to do. Trying to narrow the project down at the moment.
9th September, 2018
26th August, 2018
'Henry's Getting Older'
23rd August, 2018
'Arrg Another Month Has Past'
Again, I have neglected the shed. I've a good reason, I've been mega busy at work. The Edinburgh festival brings us lots of work, so it's been mental.
We also went away on holiday to Blair Atholl. Click on the image to see a few photos of the holiday.
30th July, 2018
I can't believe it's been over a month and a half since my last post on the shed. I'm blaming the heat wave we've had, the unnatural temperatures plays havoc with Scottish blood, it makes us want to drink and laze about as out bodies think they are in the Algarve.
Since my last post, our loft bumbles bees have moved on. I'm going to have a dig through the loft insulation and try and find the remains of their nest, I also made a nice movie about Daisy cycling, click on the image across to see AND I've training with the EH Star cycling club. Most of them maniacally fast, so I'm getting dropped on the hills, but I think I'm getting better. I've got Tour of The Borders coming up in a months time and should best last years time as a result of the training. Carol is also riding the TOTB again, but she's apprehensive as her training plan isn't going to plan.
We also went to the Hearts vs Caley game on Sunday, but the least said about that the better. Click here to see a few photos from the game.
We're off on another Scottish mini break soon, so no doubt will be posting about that soon.
11th June, 2018
Our neighbour spotted, what she thought, wasps going in and out of roof space. I went into the loft to inspect, only to discover it was bumble bees.
Turns out that the bees we have are Tree Bumblebees. Originally from Europe, they've only been in he UK since 2013 and are apparently much tougher that our regular 'fluffy' bumblebees and not prone to the same parasites that are slowly killing off the native bumblebee population.
My plan is to leave them bee, (I thank you!) as nests usually have a life span of 8-12 weeks. What was cool on discovering the nest was the sound of the constant buzzing, either for communication or the keep the nest cool as it's pretty toasty in our loft, there's a strange harmonic to it. So, I'm going head back into the loft and record the sound of the bee's nest.
3rd June, 2018
'Blackhall Community Sports Day'
Today is Uncle Tims birthday. He turns 45 today, stunnard, 5 years till' you're 50!
Yesterday was the Blackhall Community Sports Day. It was probably the muggiest day I've ever experienced in Scotland and it reminded me of my time in China. We got a few good results in the races. Henry came 1st in the sprint and Daisy got 2nd in the skipping race and 3rd in the 3 legged race with Abbie.
Click on the image across to see photos.
29th May, 2018
'Whoa there Time!'
Wow, time is chucking it past right now. I think because we are having a 'proper' summer with real sunshine we are able to do stuff, believe it or not, outside, hence the time flyby.
The kids had their School sports day last week. Click on the image across to see. I also took some fun studio shots of the kids, which can be seen here.
6th April, 2018
'Forth Road Bridge'
Yesterday was a nice day, so we took a walk over the Forth Road Bridge. TBH, I wasn't too comfortable being that high up, I'm fine cycling over it, but walking is different as you can feel the bridge move when the buses drive passed.
Click on the image across to see.
29th April, 2018
6th April, 2018
'Henry turns 6'
12th March, 2018
1st March, 2018
2nd February, 2018
'Blackhall Sports Fun Day'
Today we went along to the Blackhall Sports Association fund raiser.
Click on the image across to see photos and listen to audio from the day.
So far so good with my 52 week project. You can see how I'm getting on here.
7th January, 2018
Wow, those last couple of week flew by, must have been the quickest holiday I've ever had. We were pretty busy with Xmas, Daisy's birthday, trip to Inverness and we had a proper, and I mean a proper spring clean in the house.
Click on the image across to see photos from Daisy's birthday. There are also photos from our trip to Inverness here.
The only new years resolution for me this year is to try an take a portrait photo of someone every week for a year. I've almost already failed. See how I get on here.
26th December, 2017
'Xmas Day Done'
Another super Christmas done. Next stop, Daisy's birthday on Thursday.
Click on the image across to see photos from Xmas day. Also click here to see a few photos from boxing day, we got our first snow of the year today. It was proper Scottish snow, slush.
14th December, 2017
6th December, 2017
28th November, 2017
31st October, 2017
The pumpkin is carved are we are stocked up on sweets, which means it's Halloween. A night that supposed to be scary, but the only thing that will frighten me are the rubbish jokes and the pain of my fake smile - 'ha ha ha, 1st time I've heard that' I say as I lie to the wide eyed children waiting for there small packets of future heart disease. I try not to be miserable, but Halloween involves meeting other people within an institution that I'm not interested in, so what do I say? 'Thats a nice costume' or 'Ooo, you look frightening' - these statements are obvious, why do I need to say them? Perhaps alcohol might make things interesting, but I imagine a drunk dad staggering from house to house with a bunch of kids looking for sweets would make the morning news.
Anyhoo, (gritted teeth) happy Halloween...
26th October, 2017
I've helped the kids set up a YouTube gaming channel, which means they play video games and stream it online. Sounds boring I know, but their heroes are on YouTube doing the same and they are fascinated by it. Click on the image across to visit the "Here Munn' YouTube channel.
15th October, 2017
Our new table arrived this week. It's solid oak, which means it was very expensive and we can't put anything on it. It's a waiting game for the first dent, scratch or cup stain to appear. Apart from being non-functional, it looks amazing and I have to say, Carols idea of the bench in a good one as you can fit 3 adults on it comfortably. The kitchen is looking awesome and is the heart of the house now.
25th September, 2017
Damn it! Summer is over...again! The dark and cold awaits and we just have to smile politely and take one for the team! I can't stand winter, it's such a rubbish season. I might have to do what old people do and head south for the winter months, the only problem, I'd lose my job, so it would only work for 1 year! The kids couldn't come with me because of school, I suppose Carol could stay here and look after them! Anyway, that ain't happening. I might have purchase something to cheer my up before we enter our 4 months of dark damp gloominess, perhaps a new bike...perhaps a Mountain Bike...
The pic across is from our walk up Corstorphin Hill yesterday.
4th September, 2017
'Tour o The Borders 2017 done!'
Yesterday was Tour o The Borders. I'm pleased with my result of under 5 hours for the 75 mile ride. This is an average speed of 15mph. Next year, I'd like to get that upto 16mph.
Click on the image across to see the relive animation of the ride.
16th August, 2017
'henry's 1st day of school'
It was Henry's 1st day of school today. He looked very smart in his uniform, albeit a bit too conformist for my liking, but we'll lose the blazer and the tie for tomorrow.
He was a bit trepidacious when we dropped him off in the classroom, but he was only in class for an hour and a half this morning, his 1st full day is on Monday. Carol said when she picked him up he was fine and that he'd made a new friend.
12th August, 2017
A pigeon just flew into our front window. The window was undamaged as was the bird, which few off after the impact. But, it did leave a ghostly image on the glass.
Click on the image to take a closer look.
24th July, 2017
9th July, 2017
'canada 2017 done'
I was hoping to update the shed every day on our Canadian trip, but I found that I didn't have enough time as I would have liked to spend on the updates. It was an amazing trip with the highlight being the active glacier at Glacier National Park, with massive chunks of ice falling into the water right in front of us. Click on the image across to see all photos from the trip.
The reason we were in Canada was to celebrate Carol's mum and dad's 50th wedding anniversary (which is in August). We were well look after by Leigh and Andrew, especially Leigh who was always making tones of tasty food for us all.
I don't know when we'll be back, but next time I'm going to take my bike as they have some proper hills to climb.
26th June, 2017
'still On the boat'
Yesterday was a full day at sea. We played some basketball and tennis, Daisy joined the kids club and made a friend called Violet from the USA.
The scenery here is just like the west coast of Scotland, short of being surrounded by tourists, it feels like home.
The beer on board is pretty expensive, I've been main drinking Canadian Molson onshore, but for a small bottle it's 7 us dollars. But, yesterday afternoon at 4pm during happy hour I discovered you can get 2 pints of Coors Light for 9 dollars, thats about £3 a pint. Guess what I'll be doing at 4pm today
Today we land at Juneau, so we are going ashore to get some touristy junk. Click on the pic across to see a few photos
25th June, 2017
'On the boat'
We are now sailing to Alaska. There's not too much to say, other than we are on a floating restaurant.
It was roasting when we left Vancouver, too hot to be out on deck, but as soon as we head out to sea it cooled down quite a bit.
We didn't too much other that check out the boat.
Click on the pic across to see a few photos
24th June, 2017
'Gettin ready to cruise'
Yesterday was a pretty quiet day as we were all getting ready to head on our cruise for today. Leigh and Andrew very kindly paid for our 'all you can eat sushi' as it was our wedding anniversary.
Last night, Leigh's brother Bud and his wife Vicky came over for a few drinks. It was nice to sit outside talking to them, but we couldn't stay out too long as we had to get the kids to bed.
Click here to see a wee movie of Daisy and Granddad swimming at Harrison Hot Springs.
I didn't take to many photos yesterday, as always, click on the pic across to see.
23rd June, 2017
'Back To Vancouver'
Yesterday was our last day at Harrison Hot Springs. On the way back to Vancouver, we stopped off at Fort Langley, a stronghold for the invading British to pillage what wasn't theirs for the benefit of the King and Queen, under the pretense that they had a god given right - bunch of wankers! Anyway, today we are getting ready for our big cruise tomorrow. Woop Woop. Bring on the prune juice and cod liver oil.
Today is also our wedding anniversary. 11 years of love! Awe, love you Carol.xxx
Images of yesterday can seen by clicking on the pic across.
22nd June, 2017
'A Chilled Day'
It was a slower day yesterday. Andrew and Leigh took the kids down to the pool so Carol and I could have a quiet breakfast, and it was great not having to say 'sit down' and 'eat your food' over and over again. Later on, the kids were getting a bit tired of swimming and Henry's eyes started to sting from the pool water, so we played some basketball by the tennis courts and scooted a bit too.
In the evening we all went to the local pub and had steaks for dinner. This kids found a wooden bear that they could sit on which kept them entertained.
Other than the above, it was a chilled day.
Click on the image to see a few photos.
21st June, 2017
'Gettin on with it'
Yesterday we took a walk around Harrison bay. It was super windy, but the sun eventually came out and it was toasting, in fact I'm a wee bit red on my shoulders. Poor henry, got suntan lotion in his eyes and screamed the hotel down.
Today we are planning a morning swim followed by another hike into the woods to try and find big foot again.
Click on the image to see a few photos from yesterday.
20th June, 2017
My god, I'm eating so badly, but I suppose thats what you do on holiday. I reckon by the end of the trip, I'm going to be a blob. My plan is to exercise on the cruise, get up at 5am, hit the gym and look buff in front of all the octogenarians...yeah right like thats going to happen, I'm most likely going to be permanently sedated on Canadian Molson.
We are now at Harrison Hot Springs Resort, it's a hotel that has no pool heating costs as all the pools are geothermally heated. Here, like most tourist spots they have sighting of the sasquatch every spring, they also have lots of bears too...hmmmm, I wonder if the two are connected?
Carol and the kids are having a great time and it's pretty tricky keeping the kids under control as they are permanently 'on'. Thankfully they are now on Canadian time, the hyper activity 3am wake-ups were a pain in the arse. Today we are going to head down for the world famous Harrison Hot Springs Resort buffet for breakfast, then we are going to trek around the woods looking for big foot and after that hit the geothermal pool with a few cold ones!
Click on the image across to see a few photos from yesterday.
19th June, 2017
Yay, we're in Canada and it's 6am...bloody jet lag! The flight was a bit boring and Henry had a mini meltdown on the flight, but other than that it was pretty straight forward. I was dressed for summer, as Edinburgh (kind of) and London were tropical, but here the weather is like Scotland, drizzly and cold. But, that doesn't bother me, as of tomorrow we are going to be gifted the start of the Vancouvian summer, 20 and sunny! Boom!
1st thing we did was go to a petting zoo in a park close to where Carol's brother lives. The parks here are awesome, no litter or dog poo and when you meet people there, they're not drunk or threatening. Click on the image across to see a few of our first pics.
17th June, 2017
We are off to Canader eh!
"1st rule of Canada holiday, no one is aloud to get sick on Canada Holiday.
2nd rule of Canada holiday, NO ONE IS ALOUD TO GET SICK ON CANADA HOLIDAY!
3rd rule of Canada holiday, DON'T GET SICK ON CANADA HOLIDAY!!!
If we follow these simple rules, everything will be just fine and before we know it we'll be home safe and sound."
I freak out before going anywhere, the further the destination, the worse I am - I'd be a shite astronaut. I hope that our Canadian adventure is uneventful, meaning no hassles, but the spaz part of brain says '...but you've written it down that you want to have an uneventful holiday, everything will go wrong now' but I'm hoping by writing down that bit about my spaz brain, it will negate the travel curse. I now understand why men drink at 8:30am at airports, cos' they're terrified at prospect of things to come!
Seriously though, I'm going to have an amazing time!
16th May, 2017
After much worrying, Carol completed the Etape Lochness. I believe she enjoyed the ride, but could have done without the pre-ride nerves. Being an early spring ride, there's never enough good weather to train over the winter and Carol was concerned she hadn't done enough. But she had and got the medal! So well done Carol.
After lochness, I cycled the Sportive Kinross, a ride I've always wanted to do, but having done it, won't do again. The reason being, the route was boring with only Dunning Hill to keep me interested AND it's not a closed road event, being a militant cyclist, I hate sharing the road with stupid cars!
Next stop is Tour O The Borders. I've yet to sign Carol up for that, but I'm sure closer the time, she'll be up for it.
14th April, 2017
Wow, almost 2 months since my last post. I would like to say that I've been exceptionally busy, but there's been nothing exciting going on apart from Henry's birthday, hence this post.
Henry turned 5 and he had a fun party with his friends. Magoo, Elena, Mum, Tim, Caroline, Emma and Andrew were here too. Click on the image to see a few photos of the day.
Also, right after Henry's birthday, it was Carol's birthday. Again, for the 5th successive year on a row, she turned 32. Carol will be putting this extended youth to good use as she's taking on the Etape Lochness next weekend! She'll be riding round with her friend Layla where as I'm going to ride it in under 4 hours.
19th February, 2017
'Edinburgh Sci-Fi Con'
The first thing that greeted as us we entered the main hall at Edinburgh's Sci-Fi Con 2017, was the smell of BO from the 'very' committed sci-fi fans. When Carol said she was getting dressed up for the event, I thought she was nuts, but even with a green face and some Blake 7 boots she looked extremely ordinary amongst the devoted.
The kids got dressed up too and Daisy had a fun time! Henry on the other hand spotted a £30 mine-craft axe he was never going to get and was duly disappointed.
Click on the image to see photos from the event (the kids wouldn't pose with any of the 'characters' there) and the photo of me and Chewie was awful so hasn’t been included, thanks Carol!
14th February, 2017
Was at Paul's 40th at the weekend. It was a flying visit, train up and down on the day, but was great fun whilst there and managed to tank a few brews too.
The reason for the poor quality photo of Magoo and Toni Collette is that all my photos turned out terrible and this pic was probably a more accurate representation of the night than any of mine.
It was good to see every one, though some folks I hadn't seen in a while had aged quite a bit. I know I have, but it's a reminder how fast time is flying now. It's a bit out of control at the moment, I suppose the skill is to manage it best you can and keep your fingers crossed.
(photo by Magoo)
8th February, 2017
'What Happened To January?'
Wow, I've really been neglecting the shed and where the hell did January go? Perhaps a reason for not updating is that Ive been dry for January and I'm quite pleased with myself. In fact, I've not had any booze for 6 weeks and I feel awesome as a result. Paul's birthday is this weekend, so will fall off the wagon for the occasion, but after that, I'm going to knock booze on the head and only drink for special occasions.
Other than cleaning the system out, there's not a lot to report - life is good, the kids are well and happy and they are getting bigger by the minute!
30th December, 2016
Daisy turned 6 a couple of days ago and to celebrate, Daisy wanted a clip and climb party. Click on the image across to see.
Now it's time to enjoy the rest of holidays as it's flying by way too quickly!
25th December, 2016
We had a super chilled Christmas. The kids enjoyed their presents, they got on well, the food was good and lots of wine was drunk. Click on the image across to see photos of the day.
Next stop, Daisy's Birthday in 2 days!
24th December, 2016
21th November, 2016
6th November, 2016
'Another New Bike'
The Howard Project has been sent to Bob Jackson cycles for a make over. So while the HP is away, I've invested in a Holdsworth. The frame is a 54/56 so in theory should fit me better than the HP, which is a 55/56.
We been busy, as always, over the last month. We had our hall decorated this week and got new carpet on the stairs and all upstairs. Not very exciting news but that's the whole house completely decorated nowm so pleased thats out of the way for now. Also, Carol's mum and dad have very generously paid for our flights to Canada next year, so we are looking forward to that, while there, we'll all be heading on a cruise to Alaska so we may see some polar bears, Eskimos or elves! A good excuse for a new camera eh!
13th October, 2016
'Whoa, where's the time gone?'
I can't believe it's almost a month and a half since my last shed post. I'm blaming the lack of activity on being exceptionally busy at work and home improvements.
At home, the man cave in the house got a make over, with some fresh paint and a new and very comfy sofa. Henry loves the room and for obvious reason. It's the type of room I would loved to have had growing up.
We had Daisy's parent teacher meeting last night (hence the photo of her studying). It was very positive, she has lots of friends and is very social, which at this stage of school is more important than academic achievement, though her handwriting could improve, but again I'm not that fussed about that. Thankfully the school flooding incident wasn't mentioned, but that's another story.
4th September, 2016
28th August, 2016
Dan and Stef came over yesterday for a BBQ and a fire pit. After they left, Carol took the kids to bed and me and Magoo stayed out drinking by the fire pit. Click on the image across to see a few pics of the day.
25th August, 2016
Carol shouted me through to the kitchen saying there was a buzzard eating something on our fence. It was a peregrine falcon tearing a chaffinch to pieces. We found what remained of the chaffinch's head with it's beak still attached and inside it's cheeks we could was some seeds the dead bird had been collecting.
28th July, 2016
I've chopped my beard off and it feels and looks soooooo weird. I'm suffering from a bit body dismorphia as a result, in my mind the top of my head is massive and I have a tiny jaw and mouth.
The reason I mowed it off was that I've been ill so many times this year with colds and virus and I'm putting it down to having the face fluff. I'm going to grow it back, but not as long.
Happy birthday to my niece Emma who turned 7 today, congratulations!
15th July, 2016
'Aren't Holidays Supposed To Be Fun?'
It's so nice to be back. I find holidays away hard work, but when you add the potent mixture of a sick wife and children, it takes on a new level of stress. The kids & Carol had nice time when not sick mind.
Click on the image to see a few pics of our week to classy Majorca.
28th June, 2016
'What A Week'
It's be a crazy few days, Carol and I had our 10 year anniversary, England decide to leave the UK, England lose to Iceland in the football AND most importantly Daisy lost her 1st tooth, which isn't good, why? because the kids and I have an agreement that they are not aloud to grow up! Soon they will be teenagers and I'm not and will not be ready for that.
20th June, 2016
'D-Mains Gala 2016'
Fook me, this year is flying by. What is it with the older you get, the quicker time passes? It's so shady! Ultimetly, the last thing you want to do is die, but time goes faster the closer you get to it - WTF!. Anyways, I better get on with things then. Last weekend, we all went along to the 2016 Davidsons Mains gala. The kids got dressed up and walked in the parade to the gala grounds at Laureston Castle. Henry was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Daisy was Snow White, Carol and I went as ourselves. Click on the image across to see photos of the day
11th June, 2016
'Yeah - Euro 2016'
I made a short film of the kids last month. Click on the image to watch.
It's so good the Euros are on. Last night's game was a beast, though I missed the winning goal due to Carol nagging me! Tonight though, I'm hopefully heading to the pub to watch the Wales and England games the right honorable Richard C McKay!
15th May, 2016
'Finally A Nice Weekend'
8th May, 2016
6th May, 2016
'1st Roll of Film'
I picked up a Canon AE1 a few weeks ago. It's a 35mm film camera, so it's a super old school way of shooting. I got my 1st roll of film developed today and I'm pretty pleased with the results. Click on the image across to see.
When you see the image on the monitor, they look ok and you can tell it's film, it only when you print them out, thats when they come to life.
My next project is developing my own film!
3rd May, 2016
Yeah, I'm no longer sick, for the past couple of weeks I've returning back to normality and more importantly I'm back on the bike.
Anyhoo, I've had to renew my passport and took my own photo for the application, so whilst I had everything set up, I got the kids to sit in front of the camera - click on the image across to see.
15th April, 2016
For the past 5 weeks, I've been suffering from this mysterious cold. I originally picked something up at the beginning of December and suffered with it for 2 months. I was fine for a month and a half and I picked up another beast of a cold which has been with me for 5 weeks now. As a rule, a cold I can get shot of pretty quickly, but this is unique. The up shot is I haven't done any cycling and the likelihood of participating in next weeks Lochness ride is none. I'm super pissed off and I can feel the weight being added to my waist as I'm eating food to feel better.
So, not being able to race next Sunday, I'm going to head along to POP (Pedal on Parliament) - a government protest to increase funding for cycling infrastructure in Scotland and make it safer for people to cycle on the roads.
12th April, 2016
'It's Carol's Birthday'
Today, Carol turns the ripe old age of 32...again.
Happy birthday wife!
6th April, 2016
'Henry is 4'
2nd April, 2016
I've been off work this week for the Easter holidays. I've been busy around the house getting things in order and we've got our new deck down too. Mid week we took a trip to Blair Drummond Safari park with Martin, Marie, Annie and Tom. The kids love it there, not to see the sad imprisoned animals, but all the other stuff thats there like the climbing castles, sand pits and ice-cream. Click on the image across to see a few photos of the day. Also check out the ginger kid behind Henry photo bombing us!
I was hoping on my week off that I would shake off the perpetual cold I've got, but no. I'm still sick. Not as bad as it has been, but enough that I can't train for Etape Lochness, which is 3 weeks tomorrow. Beating last years time is a wright off and the focus is now on just taking part.
19th March, 2016
It's sooooooo nice today. Lets hope this is the start of a beautiful summer.
We've able to sit outside today. I asked Carol if she could remember when we last sat out and we reckon it was 6 months ago. Thats half a year of shite weather! We have to move away when we retire.
18th March, 2016
Carol got a huge pile of lego from the charity shop yesterday and I don't know who was more excited, the kids or me. It's brilliant!
Sitting on the living room floor on a Saturday morning building lego is one of my fondest childhood memories. I can't wait to get home from work tonight and start building. Carol is freaking out as there are no instructions, pfft!, who needs instruction! The possibilities are endless.
14th March, 2016
'Blackhall Nursery Race Night'
Carol and I attended the Blackhall Nursery race night charity event last Friday. It was good fun, I won the main race at the end of the night and donated the winnings to the nursery in an attempt to get out of doing the nursery gardening. It didn't work, Carol made me go AND I was developing a monstrous cold too. I'm looking forward to when both kids are at school and I'm going to make Carol go out to work. Swing and roundabouts eh!
As mentioned above, I'm in depth of a serious bout of man flu and today seems like the 1st proper day of spring AND with having done up the Howard Project, I was keen to cycle today, but this retched lurgy prevented me. I'm trying to think of ways to cheer myself up, perhaps an exotic purchase will swing the balance!
6th March, 2016
'Hibs Vs Caley'
It was one of the Scottish Cup Quarter Finals today and Caley played Hibs. It was an awful game, it was very cold and we were all suffering from a bit of a hangover, so made for unpleasant viewing. We got away with a 1-1 draw. Click on the image across to see photos from the game.
You can see a few other pics from the weekend here.
25th February, 2016
Blimy! a month since my last post.
25th January, 2016
We are heading away on holiday in the summer time and Daisy needs a new passport. So she needs a new photo to go in it.
I love taking her photo, but she'll only sit for about 1 minute before getting bored.
I'm pretty pleased with the shot across, though this won't be used in her passport.
17th January, 2016
Yeah, the 1st snow for ages.
Check out a few pics by clicking on the image across. You'll also see the new snow tyres for the bike, it's going to be an interesting ride in tomorrow.
9th January, 2016
'The 'Fook U' Sandwich'
I've had a cough for over a month now and I'm getting pretty fed up with it. Henry's had his for the same time, Carol is currently dieing from man-flu and a cough BUT remarkably, Daisy, the one most prone to these sorts of thing is absolutely fine.
So this morning, being fed up with illness and the shite weather we've are having, I decided to make a 'fook u' sandwich, 2 big fat bacon and egg rolls actually and yes, I know it'll take a week to cycle off, but I needed some comfort food in me. They did hit the spot and in a way said 'fook u' to all rubbish stuff in the world today.
2nd January, 2016
'Happy New Year'
The new year has started with DIY. The ballroom was needing painting after 3 and a half years of abuse by the kids. I have to say it looks pretty good and my edging is flawless!
The new year has also inspired me to transform my old commuter bike into a single speed, the reason being with less that 4 months till' Etape Lochness, I need to work my ass off after doing almost no cycling for the past month. It's going to be called Frankenstein once finished due to it's looks and weight, but will definitely get me into shape.
30th December, 2015
'Daisy Is Now 5'
Daisy turned 5 on the 28th. She had a big party at Clown Around and got lots and lot and lots of presents. I think presented out after have a successful xmas and birthday. Click on the image to see some photos of the day.
26th December, 2015
Yeah, christmas is out of the way! It was a fun day with lots of present opened, lots of food eaten and lots of Bailey's drunk. The kids were over the moon with their presents, the hit with Daisy were her headphones and for Henry his Buzz Lightyear and Woody stole the show.
Click on the image to see a few pics of the day. I've also made a time lapse of the day - click here to view.
24th December, 2015
'Here We Go'
The presents are wrapped, the sprouts are pealed and the house is tidy. We are over organised right now, we've nothing to do except chill, it's sooooo relaxing. So going to make the most of it...let's get some beers in eh!
Happy christmas ya'll.
22nd December, 2015
'Christmas Is Almost Here'
The kids are on hyperactive mode knowing that they are about to receive some sweet presents from a fictitious old man with a white beard. Trying to keep their energy levels down is pretty tricky, especially when your other half keeps plying them with candy...CAROL! So, in a sensitive way, I was telling the kids about Krampus, the Christmas demon, this seemed to bring the excitement down at bit and may improve their behavior in the run up to christmas. Though the side effects of such information are nightmares and developmental disorders.
11th December, 2015
As it's christmas, it's nativity time. Daisy had hers today, Henry's is next week. Click on the image to see a few photos.
11th December, 2015
As it's christmas, it's nativity time. Daisy had hers today, Henry's is next week. Click on the image to see a few photos.
2nd December, 2015
'Henry Met Santa'
Carol took Henry to meet Santa today. He got annoyed as he was expecting a Buzz Lightyear from the man with the white beard and later said that he wasn't the 'real Santa'. I think it's only a matter of time before he figures out the truth.
29th November, 2015
'The Tree Is Up'
Our christmas tree went up today and it's not even December. It's a bit pikey if you ask me, but Carol and the kids where insitant. I timelapsed the build, click on the image to watch.
27th November, 2015
I've grown a tash for movember, though shamefully haven't pursued any fund raising as I haven't had time. BUT, I'm not too sure I want to shave the tash off, it now feels part of the family and to get rid of it would be like selling one of the children on ebay. Carol made it clear this morning that she wants it off by the 1st, the tash that is, but I don't know if I can do it. I think going to hang onto the hairy lip for a while and see what happens.
21st November, 2015
Carol is going out tonight for a girls night out and Daisy is as high as a kite. She's going mental. It may have something to do with the orange juice she got at lunch time. I think I'm going to try and talk Carol into taking Daisy with her.
10th November, 2015
I hate this time of year. It's dark, wet and soon to be very cold. Cycling is a pain as you can't see pot holes and other obstacles AND drivers are more idiotic than ever "MUST GET IN FRONT OF THE CYCLIST!!". I know the clocks have only just changed, but I'm counting the days till' they change again...137 to go.
25th October, 2015
Mum is down this weekend. She's been busy making chocolate brownies with Daisy (pic across).
The main reason for her visit was that we could get a bit of time to clear out our loft, which was packed to the brim with junk. Most of the junk has been taken to the dump, but there still plenty up there, god know what we'd do when we get it converted.
This week is sign up for the 2 sportive I really want to do, Etpae Lochness and Tour o The Borders. It's going to be good to get signed up to an event as it means there's something to aim for.
6th October, 2015
'I Chose The Rain'
You'd think having the option of a new sports car to take to work instead of the bike on a rainy day was a no brainer, but out of pure bloody mindedness and a bucket load of stubbornness, I took the bike.
The ride into work was very satisfying.
4th September, 2015
Carol wanted a new car, and she got one. She'll now have the choice of 2 cars in which to use. I think a 2nd car is a bad idea, not from the point of view financially (although we are several thousand pounds worse off), but from the point of view that we don't need another car. I tried the compromise of getting a 4 seater convertible and selling the Audi, but the MX5 is her dream car. We did have an MX5 before the kids came along, but for obvious reasons had to get rid of it. Now that the kids are no longer babies and that we can afford a 2nd car, Carol thought the time was right. I did fight her on this, but as David at work said 'try not to control what's out of your control' and he's right. I couldn't stop Carol, it wouldn't be fair, after all, I've got my shed!
Apart from the drama of above, it's been a busy old time with Carol parents being over from Canada and visits form Munkle Magoo. Also Carol was away in Spain on holiday and I looked after the kids for the week, which was hard bloody work I can tell you. Though I was also building wheels and refining The Howard Project in the few minutes I had free. If I hadn't been building bikes, I reckon it would have been a doddle. Incidentally The HP is now geared up with hand built wheels, flat handle bars and some proper winter mudguards on, pics of the new spec to come soon.
6th September, 2015
'Pedal For Scotland'
Poor Carol had a nasty crash today at Pedal For Scotland. An old man was overtaking her too close, and when Carol shoulder checked to overtake the person in front of her, he clipped her and they both went head over heels. Thankfully Carol was wearing her helmet and it saved her head from some serious damage. She's covered in scrapes and bruises but I think the only damage has been to her pride.
I found the ride today really frustrating, it was just too busy. There wasn't enough road for the cyclist and as a result it made some situations pretty dangerous. I don't think I'll be doing it next year.
4th September, 2015
'Getting Old And Cycling'
Since my last post, Magoo and I got a year older. He's 39 and I'm now 40.
Being 40 sucks and it feels old, I'd rather be turning 50 and getting on with it! Still, got 10 years till' then, so plenty of stuff to get on with and moan about.
This weekend is Pedal for Scotland and I'm really looking forward to it. I think Carol is looking forward to it too. Whats nice is that the route has changed and will go past our house, so we are going to phone Nana and Grandad to usher the kids out as we pass to give them a wave. I'll be taking photos throughout the day.
19th August, 2015
'The Howard Project'
My latest bike build is done. THP works pretty well. The only bummer was that when installing the rear mudguards, one of the mudguard eyes broke off, which is a pain as it was one of the reason I bought the frame, but saying that, the mudguard that used the eyes rattle like a beast and would drive me insane, so I've stuck a race blade on, which doesn't look as nice, but is function and not noisy.
18th August, 2015
'Henry's 1st Day of Nursery'
Our roller-coaster of a week continued with Henry starting nursery. As expected, he wasn't impressed with being left and only stayed for about an hour and a half. He seemed buoyant after though, so hopefully tomorrow won't be as traumatic. Daisy on the other hand is like a fish in water when it comes to school, her 2nd day went well and she's looking forward to tomorrow. I think next week when they start 9-3 is going to be a bit tough on her - "she may be small, but she's strong" - name the film?
I'm off work this week as Daisy is only doing half days and Henry's nursery starts when Daisy finishes. So in-between shuttling the kids about, I'm in the process of a new bike build, called the "Howard Project". It's named after Carol's dad as he remarked that there were enough bike parts in the Shed to make a new bike - so I took this as inspiration and found a cheap Reynolds 531 touring frame off ebay and the plan was to build a bike without having to buy any new parts for it, other than the frame of course. It's been going well, but I think it may fail due to one tiny problem, the rear brake cable I have is too short and I'll probably have to buy a new one.
Yesterday was such a nice day we fired up the pool, which is brilliant by the way. I had a bunch of beers, sat in it, but forgot to put on suntan lotion, today my torso is burnt to a crisp and wearing a T shirt is pretty uncomfortable.
At the start of this post I mentioned that it was a roller coaster week, it's book ended with the kids starting new chapters in their lives and me turning 40. I'm not doing anything special for it as pretty much everything so far has been amazing and I can't think of a way of how to top it, I suppose thats what you do for birthdays, something special and unique, but when you love your family, your job and hobbies (bikes/photography) - what else could be better?
17th August, 2015
'Daisy's 1st Day of School'
It was Daisy's 1st day of School today. I've got to admit I was a little emotional, but Daisy was solid in school and was a trooper on her 1st day. I'm a super proud dad today. Click on the image across to see pics from Daisy's 1st day of school along with our celebrations of the day.
13th August, 2015
'Tour o The Borders'
This years Tour o The Borders was a beast! The new 75 mile route was well designed and well organised. The only downer on the the ride was the hour and fifteen minute wait on top of Talla (pictured across), a silly rider took the Talla descent too fast and hit a bridge. He was in a bad way and ultimately had to be air lifted to hospital. Must say, it was cool seeing the helicopter fly in, like something from the A-Team, though it wasn't much fun waiting. We had just climbed the Wall of Talla, so was roasting hot at the top and it was really cold, very windy and raining. Once we got going again, it took a wee while to warm up. Other than that, it was a top ride. Next one to look forward to is Pedal For Scotland at the beginning of September.
Daisy starts School on Monday, so really nervous about that. Today she had an accident and fell off her scooter scraping her face - she looks like a battered child, I'm sure social services will be called in after her first day. She is really excited about going to school which is reassuring. Henry, who starts nursery on Tuesday isn't as keen as Daisy.
28th July, 2015
'Carol's Mum And Dad'
Carol's Mum and Dad are over visiting and have been with us for a week, though are now off on a cruise to Norway, but will be back on Sunday. The kids having been having lots of fun with Nanna and Grandad. Click on the image across to see a few photos from last week.
I also took last week off and got lots of bike stuff done. Blackie is undergoing a 3rd metamorphosis to get ready for Pedal for Scotland in September. I've re-build both wheels with new rims as the rims that came with the bike were goosed. Once finished, Blackie is going to look awesome!
Also, a big happy bithday to Emma Lyon who is 6 today!
15th July, 2015
Next month I'm riding the Tour o' The Borders and the route is slightly different from last year and includes the Wall of Talla, a mile and half climb with some sections at a gradient of +20%. I wanted to check this climb out prior to the ride and I'm pleased I did, it is really, really, really steep. The climb starts off pretty standard but just keeps getting steeper and at the steepest point the front wheel was coming up off the road. 3 quarters up the worst bit, I'm thinking I should stop and take a break, but I might as well phone a taxi to get to the top if I'm going to wuss out. I power on pedaling squares to the top.
I'm pleased I checked out the climb as I now know what to expect. What does concern me during the ride are folk ahead going too slowly or stopping. The road is single track and not very wide and the last thing you need are obstructions when you are focused on getting to the top.
You can check out my strava progress here and the gopro footage here.
2nd July, 2015
An amazing thunder storm skimmed the east of Edinburgh last night. The thunder was constant and woke me up at about 1am. I looked out of our bedroom window and to the east it looked like something from Godzilla, lots of flashes in the sky along with forked lightening hitting the ground.
But by the time I'd got my camera set up and read, I only manged to get 1 rubbish shot - as you can see across. After the pic was taken, the storm powered off north up towards Aberdeen. I went on twitter to see if anyone else was tweeting about the lightening and every man and his dog had tweeted amazing photos of lightening streaking across the sky. So feeling like an unlucky photographer today.
26th June, 2015
'No More Nursery'
It was Daisy’s last day of nursery yesterday. She now has this summer to enjoy before she starts school in August.
We had a bit of bad cycling news yesterday, Max (my boss) was cycling on his way to work when he was hit by a car on a roundabout, completely the driver's fault. Thankfully his injuries weren't too bad, though he has broken his wrist badly and will require surgery to correct. The most annoying thing about the incident was that the driver fled to scene so the police are treating it as a hit-and-run and are now looking for the female driver. It just goes to show how dangerous it is to cycle on the roads and that we need better cycling infrastructure to keep cyclists safe against idiots like this.
As an act of militant defiance, last night I cycled home the middle of the road to piss as many drivers off as I possibly could, obviously not the smartest thing to do, but it made me feel better.
24th June, 2015
Firstly, just want to say I was sorry to hear about Uncle Barry who died last week and our thoughts are with Auntie Joan and family.
Yesterday I went for a bike fit, which consists of someone assessing your physical geometry and then adjusting the bike to make it more comfortable (the main reason I was getting the fit was my upper back has been getting stiff after about 30 miles) and more importantly, makes you more efficient at peddling. My main worry was the bike fitter saying 'you idiot, you bought the wrong bike!' - and initially thats what he said. Anatomically, I'm a mess. My legs are super short and I have a long back, so going by my leg measurements I should be riding a 52cm frame but with my long back, the frame would be too short, so the 54cm I have is ideal - phew! So we got into the nitty gritty and I've been riding my bike all wrong, my seat hight was way too high, the stem on my handlebars was too short, my shoes are too big and the list went on. So the problems have been corrected and now it feels like I'm having to learn how to ride a bike again. The fitter said it would take a couple weeks to get back to my original cadence and to feel normal again.
It was our wedding anniversary yesterday, nine years, so next year is a big one - a decade. It was also Danny Boy and Stefs anniversary yesterday too so congratulations to us all!
16th June, 2015
'Happy Birthday BC'
It's Big Col's 40th Birthday today! Happy Birthday fat man, old age is gathering pace and hunting you down, you'll end up getting fatter and slower, but there's a plus side, the older you get, the less you care - so it all balances out in the end!
BC's birthday aside, I've a new bike arriving on Thursday, a Cervelo R2. It's probably a bit beyond my cycling capabilities, but it's a beautiful bike and it rides amazing. So fingers crossed the weather this weekend is going to nice as I'll be off taking the ride for a spin.
6th June, 2015
The pic across is my view for next 24 hours, on the couch doing nothing. I've picked up, what I'm hoping, is a 24 hour tummy bug. Thankfully there's loads of sports on today and later on Carol is taking the kids to a sports day so I'll have some alone time to recover. There's tones to do, but it's gonna have to wait until next weekend now.
A belated happy birthday to Tim who turned 42 on Wednesday, ooonnnluuuukkyyy!
There's not a lot happening. The kids are doing well and Daisy is getting ready to start school in August. Henry will be starting nursery on the same day so that will be a very exciting time. I've sold my fast bike and in the market for a new one but I'm haven't a clue what to get next. I've test ridden a Specialized and liked it but it's pretty pricey. A few more test rides will be in order I think.
31st May, 2015
WE WON! I have no idea how we won as we played simply the worst football I have ever seen.
Anyway, I'm way too hungover to write anything substantial. Click on the image to see pics of the day.
29th May, 2015
Wow, the cup final has really sneaked up on me. It's tomorrow at 3pm. We play Falkirk so should be a straight forward win for us, but the seems all too easy. Paul and Magoo are talking about being nervious, I'm not as I think we're going to lose.
Pessimism aside, I'm looking forward to a few beers in the pub before and after the game. There are a few of us going to the game so I'll be taking the camera to document the event.
On Saturday, the day before the ride, the weather was stunning in Pitlochry and reminded me of Canada as it's surrounded by hills carpeted by pine trees. I was hopeful it would continue into the next day, but I was super wrong! At about 1am, the heavens opened, the noise of the rain drops on the roof of the tent woke me up, well I say that, it was more likely my cold feet as the temperature outside had fallen to about 2°C.
At 5:30am I woke to discover about 2 pints of rain water at the foot of my tent. Thankfully I was sleeping on a blow up mattress which kept me dry. I poked my head out of the tent into the rain and cold and thought 'this is going to be tough'. It was horrible, freezing cold and wet. I told myself 'do it once, and you don't have to do it again' and proceeded to make a cup of tea and some porridge.
The start line was a 4 mile cycle in from the campsite, by the time I got there I was soaked. The race organisers said to be there 40 minutes before your start time and we were delayed by half an hour, so waiting pretty much an hour and half was zapping my enthusiasm tremendously. Finally we got going. Once cycling, spirits picked up and I started to enjoy the day. A quarter of the way in, there was a delay, a cyclist had taken a bad fall and was being treated by an ambulance. His bike was at the side of the road and looked like a folding bike folded up with the top tube broken in half, his injuries must have been pretty bad.
Schiehallion was an interesting hill, but nowhere near as demanding as Fort Augustus. After that it was pretty much a straight forward ride to the finish. My chip time came in at 5hrs 32 mins. The bike computer had me down at 5hrs 23mins - the difference in time was the ambulance hold up.
Because the weather was so bad, it's put me off doing it again. People I spoke to after said that when it's nice, the ride is amazing, but it's not enough to convince me to do it again.
'Loch Ness Done'
What a day Sunday was. I was pretty apprehensive after last years failure and rode conservatively down the north side of the loch, so much so that I was 14 minutes slower than last year, but that all changed what I got to the hill, I was feeling pretty fresh and motored up, my time was 10 minute quicker that year and I was in the top 3rd of riders with my time. After the hill it was head down and powered back to Inverness.
My overall time was 4hrs and 9mins and my time for the hill was 34mins. Next year I'll easily break 4 hours. Click on the image to see that strava report.
But, the training can't stop now as I've Etape Caledonia a week on Sunday and it's longer, and I'm camping!!
A message to the Hill...
I'VE GOT A SCORE TO SETTLE!
I'LL SEE YOU ON SUNDAY BEEATCH!!!!!!!
'Well - what can I say!'
A tremendous day yesterday. We beat Celtic 3-2 to head to the Scottish Cup Final and it's was a pretty nerve racking experience. I was my usual pessimistic self and thought they'd beat us 4-0; our predictions were:
Paul: 2-1 win
Rick: 1-0 win
Magoo: 0-3 loss
Jim: 0-4 loss
We got lucky - the ref and both linesmen missed an almighty hand ball that would have seen Celtic get 2 goals before half time and Meekings sent off, even where we were sat it was an obvious hand ball! After that, their keeper got sent off and we got a penalty. We played pretty good and we defiantly deserved to win.
After the game Rick, Paul, Magoo and myself met up with Tim and Andrew, who were also at the game, and we went out for some beers.
Click on the image to see a few photos from the day.
'What A Mug!'
We took the kids to paint some ceramic ornaments and I gave it shot too. I wasn't sure what to do and the 1st thing that popped into my head was Magoo's infamous drunken comment 'Who are you to judge who you are' - I've no idea why. It's a fantastic statement as it means nothing, yet when think about it, it becomes paradoxical; 'I can judge who I am right?' you ask your self, but can you? of course you can!....and it's goes on.
Henry turned the grand old age of 3 yesterday. He got a bunch of police and fire trucks as well as a motorized police bike and a Schwinn Roadster Trike all topped off with a Carol custom made ice cream cake.
Click on the image across to see a few photos of the day.
It's been a while since my shed post, my lack of enthusiasm was due to a very very bad cold that developed into a sinus infection, thwarting my creativity and my sportive training. In a way I'm pleased it's out of the way now, as to get it prior to the 2 big rides I've got coming up, would have been a complete disaster.
Next big event on the horizon is Carol's 32nd birthday, this Sund....shite, better get some presents bought!
Todays eclipse was amazing! The morning started off without a cloud in the sky, but then the clouds rolled in, then they rolled out again, and back in. We thought we weren't going to see anything, but it was the clouds that saved the day! The sun was too bright in the cloudless sky, but when the clouds covered the sun, they acted as a filter and we got some stunning views of the eclipse. The whole morning couldn't have been better, I loved how the light changed and it went eerily quiet, the birds stopped singing, it's such an odd sensation.
Click on the image across to see a few photos of the event.
Unfortunately the kids are just a wee bit too young to appreciate the event. Daisy showed a little bit of interest where as Henry wanted to play with the camera and went mental when he was told not to. Hopefully they'll be ready for the next one in 11 years time.
'Henry's 1st Film'
We took Henry for his 1st Cinema experience on Sunday. He seemed to enjoy Shaun The Sheep - The Movie. It's good he liked it, as a rule, he's not a fan of going to places where there are other people, like me, so many more trips to movies will be had.
I'm already looking forward to our Scottish Cup semi final against Celtic! We'll most certainly lose, but it's about the beers before and the beers after that are important!
Don't forget about Friday morning's eclipse.
'The Sun's Gonna Hide'
This is how the sun will look a week today, Friday the 20th, at about 9:35am.
Yes, it's a beast of an eclipse and the further north you are in Scotland, the better it will be to see. In Edinburgh, we should be about 95% covered with totality over the Faros Islands.
The most likely weather outcome is cloud so a direct view of the sun won't be possible, but it may still be visible through the cloud. It will get quite dark and it'll feel pretty creepy in the strange morning twilight. The other problem with an eclipse at this time of year in the morning is that the sun will be pretty low on the horizon, so buildings or hills may get in your way.
I'll be outside and will try and get a few snaps of the event. Bear in mind the next partial eclipse as good as this one won't be for another 11 years. And the next full on eclipse in Scotland, though an annular one and not total, will be in 2096. So make the most of next Friday!
Yeah - spring is finally here and that means some decent weather cycling. It's pretty hard to get on the bike in the morning when it's 2 deg c's, raining and dark. March 20th is supposed to be the official start of spring, but I can't wait 16 days and will announce today as being the 1st day of spring for 2015.
It's been a busy weekend getting the new shed kitted out. It now has power, a sound system and plenty of space.
Click on the image check out more photos of the interior.
The next stage of the garden project is to have the old shed taken away and then we'll re-develop that part of the garden.
'Yeah - New Shed'
As you can see, I have a new shed. It's 8x10 foot and quite a bit bigger than the old one and will be home my expanding collection of bikes. Once it's painted and there are some creepers growing on it, it's going to fit right in. The next thing I need to do is get electrics to it and after that move everything in.
Another new arrival is the camera I used to take the photo - it's the Panasonic GX7. The reason I got this new camera was that I wanted something small that would take decent movies, which it does, but, it also take really nice photos too, not that the damp looking shed, grass and hedge picture across is a fair example of what this camera can do, but from the test last night, it's almost as good as the Fuji 100s.
'Pedal For Scotland'
I'm almost in disbelief, Carol has signed up for this years Pedal For Scotland. It's a good thing. The 47 mile trip will require a bit of preparation and with being a bike obsessed maniac, I'm more than willing to help out.
Tomorrow is a very, very exciting day. I don't think I've been this excited about an arrival for a long time!
'Magoo and Elena's Visit'
Wow, it's almost been a month since my last Shed post, but to be honest, it's pretty hard to find time to do anything at the moment as family life, work and playing GTA5 are keeping me busy.
Anyhoo, Magoo and Elena visited lasted week and it was good to catch up with them and the kids got to meet their Spanish auntie for the 1st time.
Other than the above, there's not a lot happening......or is that true? A week today people, a week today!!!!
It was good to see Tim and family at the weekend.
Click on the image across to see a few photos of the day.
The bloody weather is starting to get on my nerves. I don't mind the rain, or the cold, but the wind is tedious. Not only is it crap to cycle in, but with it being so strong, there's lots of debris over the cycle paths and getting beyond it is a pain >>see here<<. I'm looking forward to when this windy period is over, but it looks like we've got it for a while.
Bloody hell, the christmas holidays few by and it's now a new year. Crazy or what! I'm sure I wrote the exact same thing last year!
Between now and my last post, Daisy turned 4. Click on the image to see a few photos from the day.
Invested in a PS4. It's a tidy bit of kit. So tidy, that I was miffed on how to switch the bloody thing on, once that knowledge had been achieved, the next hurdle was getting the disc in. I turn 40 this year, so thats my excuse.
The best acquisition over the holidays was my Brooks B17 saddle. It's comfy as hell, and they say it takes a 1000 miles till' it's at it's best. It's so good, I may have to get another.
Good old boxing day, the house gets tidied up from the day before and you get torn into the left overs.
It was top day yesterday. The kids were on hyper active drive opening presents. Daisy had a crazed look in her eye after each present opened, clearly needing her next christmas present opening fix.
Henry's best present is his 4 foot tall M16 machine gun with realistic sound and Daisy's is her voice commanded Lucy Dog.
'1 x 1'
I'm toying with the idea of getting a film camera, as in a non-digital camera. There are 2 options I'm looking at - the Canon AE1 - a 35mm film camera or - the Hallsleblad 500c/m - a medium format classic.
The canon is by far the cheaper of the two, you can pick one up for about 30 pounds on ebay, 70 pounds with a lens. It would be an ideal introduction to film and pretty much straight forward to use. The Hassleblad on the other hand is way more expensive, but it's an amazing camera. It's medium format which means the film it takes is bigger than 35mm. It shoots in a 1x1 format (120mm), the end results would look similar to the image across. Hassleblad are the Rolls Royce of cameras and require 'technique' to use.
Which ever I choose, I would want to develop my own film. A fiddly process, but completely doable at home. The only downside to this is time, a luxury I don't have. When I believe I have enough time to develop film will be when I choose a film camera.
'Not Long To Go'
The kids are pretty much living under the Christmas tree at the moment, Daisy was trying to fall asleep under it earlier and was using a present as a pillow. With only 5 sleeps to go, I think it's going to be 5 sleeps too long. I'm looking forward to Christmas day, the plan is to get up early, open presents, get dinner ready, eat dinner, have a few drinks and hopefully fall a sleep on the couch! But I think that's pretty much every blokes ideal Christmas day.
Looking forward to 1pm tomorrow, as from that point on, we will be getting closer to summer time. The lack of vitamin D is giving me rickets. It's obvious that the shortest day is what we really celebrate at this time of year, not Jesus' birthday. To know that you are returning to the nicer part of the solar system and that the days are going to get longer is a positive thing. I for one will be raising a glass to the sun, the moon and my pagan gods!
Right, time for a beer and sit down.
This time of year is a pain. The weather is horrible and I can't get out on the bike and there are so many tasty things to eat.
One of my main weakness is mince pies, and with a roasting cup of tea sat in a cozy warm house there's nothing better. BUT, the wife part of my brain is screaming at me "you've eaten too many of those, when are you going to get on your bike and work them off". To keep mute the internal nagging, I've invested in a turbo trainer which means I can train indoors and in comfort.
With only a week and a bit to go till' Xmas day, the kids are doing a good job of containing their excitement, but it won't last, I think next week they'll go bezerk especially with the arrival of granny. Also to enhance the hysteria, Carol went nuts of the decorations at the weekend, so the house, interior and exterior, are looking like the christmas department in a garden store!
Daisy has her 1st nativity play on Wednesday and I'm doing my best to try not and be cynical. I firmly disapprove of this religious propaganda as it introduces the story of christ at such a young age. I do keep reminding Daisy that the story of Jesus is just that, a story and that Santa is real, which is something I can prove!
Today we took the kids on the Polar Express. We also saw Santa. The weather was horrible and I was a little bit hungover, but it was quite good fun.
Click on the image across to see some photos of the day.
Across is my finished tattoo. I'm pretty pleased with it and I'm already thinking of adding to it, though not for a while as the last 20 minutes was pretty painful. I would like to go for a full sleeve, but there's plenty of time for that.
Other than getting cut, there's nothing much exciting been happening. We've enrolled Daisy into school to start next year, which is nuts. On the same day Henry starts nursery, I think Carol is having a party that day to celebrate!
Henry did his first radio commercial earlier this month. You can here it hear by clicking >>HERE<<. It's a national and is running for next couple of weeks, so if you listen to commercial radio in Scotland, you will hear it.
Henry and I had a fun, although very brief visit to Inverness to see Magoo before he heads back to Russia and to see granny AV. We also caught up with the Simons.
There was some talk about xmas and what everyone was doing, but I think we won't be heading up the road unless someone organises a massive party we couldn't afford to miss. The Magoofballs won't be back in sneck until January, so may head back then.
Big couple of football matches coming up, Scotland vs Ireland on Friday night and on Tuesday, Scotland play England in a friendly, though I'm not sure how friendly it's going be.
We launched a few fireworks this evening to celebrate the british hanging a man then chopping him in to pieces and sending his body parts to the four corners of the kingdom as a warning to the rest of the nation.
What a bunch of scumbags!
I hate being british.
We are all ready for Halloween tomorrow night. The pumpkins and carved, the sweets have been bowled and the kids outfits are ready. Daisy is going out as a ballerina and Henry is going as spiderman.
I'm singed up for my 2nd sportive next year, Etape Caledonia, 80 miles around the Perth-shire countryside. I also want ride Etape Lochness for a 2nd time so it's going to be a winter of hard work! Though I plan to treat myself to a carbon framed road bike at the start of the year, which should make going up the hills a little bit easier.
My tattoo is coming along nicely. I have my 3rd and final session a week tomorrow. Picture of the finished art will be on the shed.
'Stage 1 Done!'
So thats the 1st part of tattoo done. It may take 2 more sessions to finish it off, but I have to say, I'm really pleased with it. I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but when Olivia drew the guide design on my shoulder I thought it looked amazing and was very ready to proceed. I was shitting my self a bit thinking 'I hope to god I like it' as I'll have this until I die, but it's like having kids - once you have them, they are with you until you die, unless you are exceptionally stupid or unlucky.
The pain factor wasn't that bad. I would say going to the dentist is worse. It feels like a sewing needle being dragged across your skin. The only part that really hurt was the leaf on my chest, but that was the last bit we did and I was probably getting a little tired by then.
My next session will be colouring and shading and I'll probably get it done in about a months time.
Click on the image across if you want to see it in more detail.
I'm getting my very first tattoo today. I'm pretty excited about it, although naturally apprehensive. I've no idea how much it's going to hurt. When Carol got hers, she said it was excruciating, so I may pop a paracetamol before hand.
Anyhoo, the pic across was taken for some inspiration for the tat, and also I couldn't think of a pic suitable for this story. I'll be tweeting the experience as I go, so from 3pm, head on over to the #InterShed twitter account, to do so click on the image across.
Because Magoo was in the country, we decided to head up to Inverness to spend a bit more time with him. Click on the image across to see a few photos from our Inverness trip.
I'm so disappointed that the majority of Scotland voted to continue with English rule. This was the opportunity to change things and do something different. But if you are bombarded with scare stories of course you are going to vote no. It was pretty frightening to see how much control the Westminster government has over the media. The BBC was bias to the bone and all the news papers with the exception of 2, took the side of the English spreading the propaganda.
The referendum has woken me up to what politics really is and I'm going to be more politically pro-active in the future.
So, there's only 4 days to go until Scotland will say Aye or Nae to being an independent country. And you'd probably have guessed by the International Sheds wall paper, I'm voting yes.
I'm voting yes for some proper change. By getting shot of oldest democratic, though corrupt as hell, government the world has seen, it feels like we can start fresh almost with a clean political slate. The nay-sayers argue that Edinburgh would be just as corrupt as London. But I find this odd, to settle with the crap you have, rather than have new crap that might not be as bad.
What has sucked has been the media's ultra bias towards the no campaign, especially the BBC, who are supposed to be impartial. It's a shame, as I had a lot of respect for the BBC. Thank goodness for Twitter, it's quite a good opinion barometer of the youth and the enlightened, if you do a search on twitter for #indyref, it's mainly all support for yes. The doom and gloom that has been reported is the British government telling us what to do, it's basically a threat, vote yes and your prices will go up. And Deutsche Bank's claim that Scotland will enter some kind of great depression seen in 1930's USA is absolute nonsense, where is the evidence this is based on? it's just speculation! Plus why would anyone believe a bank who was part responsible for the crash of 2008? They shouldn't have been given the air time or column inches. You'll find little or no mention of Aberdeen Asset Management saying they are staying put. They are 3rd biggest investment company in the world and see Scotland being independent as a good and productive thing!
What ever the outcome from Thursdays vote, I do believe that life will go on as normal and we will all just have to get along.
'Pedal For Scotland'
David from work and I did Pedal For Scotland yesterday. He did amazingly considering he's hasn't done many miles on the bike and completed the ride in 3hr 55mins. Click on the image to see our strava performance.
We were well lucky with the weather, the sun was shining, it wasn't too warm and most importantly the wind was giving us a nice push from west to east.
The Kinross Sportive in April next year will start the Sportive season, so going train and get super fit over the winter.
The painting that Daisy's been doing at nursery have been pretty good. This one in particular. If you take a closer look at it, there's a face in it you may recognise.
The other paintings she's done are all really good, lets hope she does some more and makes us millions.
Thats it done. I've voted 'Yes' for Scottish Independence.
It's quite a feeling, the actual writing of a cross with a pen on a peace of paper is benign, but the result of the action is momentous. I chose to vote yes because I'm feeling very optimistic about the future at the moment, my future that is, and I think the more control we have the better the future will be. There's an excitement about the prospect of a new start, there's an energy thats almost palpable! I'm loving it!
BUT....if I'm perfectly honest, I don't think Scotland will get Independence, though it's going to be an interesting time either way!
How awesome is this!! I knew I shouldn't have listen to Daisy, Henry and Carol when I asked if I should shave off the tash.
I'm growing it back! Or perhaps I should grow something unique. Click on tash image to see.
Of late, I haven't been taking any movies of the kids, pretty much because I haven't had the time. So this weekend, I dusted off the Canon 6d and the 24mm 1.4 lens and got to work. Click on the image of Daisy to view.
I know these films are much use to anyone else other than us, but that are great markers in the life of Daisy and Henry. After I completed todays film I had a look back at some of the others I'd made and the change in the kids is amazing, film is far more impractical than stills. This is something I plan to continue doing until I die.
Yeah, I managed the Tour o' The Borders without getting off and pushing. In fact, I only stopped for about 20 seconds to take off my rain jacket. The timing chip on the bike gave me a time of 3hr 30 minuets and 37 seconds which is exactly what I predicted. You can check out the route on Strava >>HERE<<
All in all, it was a good experience. The 55 miles was pretty easy and I could have/should have done the 77 mile route. Though there are a couple of issues with my cycling at the moment, I get a sore neck and really numb back side after about 30 miles. The bum numbness can be fixed with a new saddle and I think the neck pain is a result of reaching to far to the bars, this is solved with shorter stem. If I could sort this out, I could cycle all day!
There's still time to join the shed league. Click here...
...Shed rules apply, no duplicate teams!
Nothing is certain in life but death, taxes and fantasy football!
Yeah, it's time to get your teams in for the 2014/15 season.
...to join the league. Shed rules apply, no duplicate teams!
Carol decided to get her faded ankle tattoo covered with something better. I asked if she was worried, but she was quite bullish saying she'd had a tattoo before and wasn't concerned.
Whilst she was getting cut (street talk for getting a tat), she text to say the pain was excruciating and today her ankle has swollen up like a balloon (a normal reaction apparently). Saying that, she's pleased with what she's got and needs to go back in 4 weeks to have it finished off, hence why I haven't post a pic of the design.
A tattoo is something I want to get and I'm using Carol as a guinea pig to see how she gets on. I have to say, not getting one is winning the argument at the moment!
The new fad in the house is the tent. Tonight, Daisy wanted to sleep in the tent, so we popped in a couple of sleeping bags and some torches and sure enough she went to sleep. I didn't leave her there as I reckon she'd have gotten a fright if she'd woken up in the middle of the night and not known where she was.
Henry on the other had isn't a fan of the tent. I think he likes his home comforts, just like his dad.
'Out of Action'
Did myself a mischief last week walking up some stairs. Normally accidents happen going down stairs! I was talking to Carol and not paying attention to what I was doing, I was probably being nagged. Anyhoo, the stairs that go form our ballroom to the kitchen are tiled and I thought I was placing my foot on the 1st step, but I was about a 'foot' short and my big toe was the only part of my foot to make contact with the step and it took all of my weight, which slid down over the edge of the step and sliced a chunk of skin off. It's a lot better now, but was unable to get out on the bike at the weekend and with the Tour o' The Borders looming, I need to get some miles in!
'Davidson's Main Gala'
Yesterday we went to the Davidson's Mains Gala day. It was good fun. Daisy had a great time as the carnies were doing pony rides. Daisy was asking for a rabbit but I believe it's only a matter of time before the inevitable. Click on the photo of the giant owl to see some pics of the day.
Today Daisy is off to a friend birthday party with Carol, so me and the boy are going have a lazy day as I'm recovering from a cycling injury so the couch is where I'll be.
Yesterday we took a day trip to Aberdour castle. They had nice big gardens for the kids to run around in, also it was pretty quiet too which made it even better.
Click on the photo of Daisy to see pics of the day.
I'm enjoying the World Cup, the Spain Holland game has been the best so far. It was no surprise that England lost last night. The next best game to look forward to Germany vs Portugal tomorrow at 5pm and after that is Brazil vs Mexico on the Tuesday at 8pm! Oh yeah!
'Say Hello to Blackie'
Got the Single Speed back from the re-sprayers last week and over the weekend I've been building it up. I've named the bike Blackie, short for The Black Isle. I took it for a wee test ride this after noon and I'm really happy with it, running sooth and tight with no rattles AND it looks the business too!
Click on the image across to see more photos of Blackie.
'Happy Birthday Money Man'
It's Tim's birthday today - he's so old now, you don't mention how old he is. Happy Birthday fatty!
In other news today, Carol called to say 'it has finally happend' - I was hoping she's had the epiphany that I'm right all the time, but no. Henry had done his first poo in the bath. I told her to take a picture, but she wouldn't. She had to use a spade from the kid gardening set to remove the offending poo, so I can only imagine it was quite large - I'm so proud of my boy!!
''Asleep On The Bike'
Henry's latest obsession is going for a ride on the bike sat in the child seat. Today, he stood by the shed door saying 'bike, bike, bike' over and over again. So took him for a spin along the cycle path to Murryfield and on the way back, the bike felt a little odd, like the balance had changed. I placed my hand out behind me and asked for a high 5 to make sure everything was OK, but there was no responce, he'd nodded off. I've no idea how he could sleep in that seat as it's a pretty bump ride on the roads round here. Clearly he enjoys it!
I've signed up for another Etape, the Tour Of The Borders - click here to see. It's not as long or as extreme as Loch Ness, 55 miles with 3 peaks, but it's he 1st year on closed roads and it's an hours drive from here, so jumped at the chance. Unlike last time, I'm going to pace my start and be a little more strategic!
It was my last day with the children and everything was running so smoothly, that was until Henry refused to brush his teeth and then descended into a spiral of insanity - he went mental, kicking and punching anything within reach. So to cool the beans, I asked if he wanted to drive the car to playgroup and his mood instantly brightened. By drive the car, I meant putting the child seat in the passenger seat to he could see out. He loved it, until I tried to get him out of the car at playgroup, cue atomic bomb! He screamed for about 10 minutes and I'm sorry to say, had to resort to a dummy. Once he'd settled, the dummy was taken away and he was fine for the rest of the day, as you can see from the pic across.
I've really enjoyed my time with the kids. The plan now is to win the lottery, not have to work and hang out with the kids forever!
'Busy, Busy, Busy'
2 play parks, a wagga mamas lunch, an hour at soft play and toy shopping. It's been a busy day and one of the kids is in bed and the other is about to drop off and I'm savoring the idea of an ice cold beer!
Carol is back tomorrow night so another busy day is on the cards for the kids.
::Our lego tower we've built a couple of days ago::
Another fun day with the kids. Today was a bit more relaxed, we went to Jen's Den for lunch, did a bit of shopping and played in the back garden.
I was trying to keep the both awake for the whole day, but fail with Henry, god knows what time he's going to sleep tonight.
It another movie night and we made some popcorn, click on the image across to see the corn a poppin'
P.S. Can't believe Arsenal finally won something!
'Soft Play For Beasts'
The soft play was attended by little bastards intent on harming my kids. All Daisy and Henry wanted to do was slide down the slides and run around, why the other kids wanted to harm them is beyond me. For example, Daisy was on a swing at the back on the soft play area and a little boy, about 2 years old, walked up to her and started pulling her hair for no reason. I wanted to kick the little prick across the room, but I would have gone to jail for that and begrudgingly had to accept a half assed apology from his mother. Henry also a couple of run ins with some other feral children. I believe there should be a law that if someone else child hurst yours, you get to kick the parents of the offending child up the back side 3 times to teach them to be better parents!
Apart form the fighting, the soft play was fun and this afternoon, we fired up the sprinkler as it's a roasting day. ::The kids went mental::
I asked Daisy what she wants to do tomorrow and she said she want to look for ET. Don't know how we are going to achieve that, but will give it a go.
'It's Easy Being A Single Parent'
Carol has gone off to Spain for a girls holiday and left me with the kids and so far so good. Today we went down to the promenade (pictured across) and flew a kite, played baseball in the back garden, made a tower out of huge lego and tonight I've promised the kids a movie on the big screen along with some popcorn, only problem is the film they want to watch they've seen a million times and will get bored within 10 mins.
The plan tomorrow is to head to the climbing wall at Ratho as there's an almighty soft play the kids love.
Over the time that Carol is away, I want to cut Henry's nap out and stop the kids using dummies at night time too. I'm also going teach the kids to salute me when I enter the room.
'Etape Loch Ness'
My nuts are pretty sore at the moment, well it's not really pain, more of a numbness. I managed to get round Etape Loch Ness in 4 hours 21 minutes. I was hoping to get round in 4, and I was also hoping that I wouldn't have to get off and push, which I unfortunately had to do twice. The King Of The Mountain hill was immense and it was my own fault I jumped off the bike. I got too excited at the beginning and bombed down to Fort Augustas like a maniac and peaked too soon, when I got the hill, my legs stopped working. In fairness I only pushed in total for about 100 meters.
It was good experience and I will do it again next year and as I know what to expect, I'm going to be well prepared.
Thanks to my sponsors who donated, Danny Boy, Mum, Dave at RED and a Paul. I managed to raise 60 quid for Marie Curie Cancer Care.
As well as numb nuts, the top of back is pretty stiff, so I'm off to lay on the couch and watch Magoo play GTA5.
There are now less than 2 weeks until ::Etape Lochness:: the 1st closed road bike race round Lochness. I'm looking to complete the ride within 4 hours. Part of the deal I was signed up for, you are asked to raise money for charity, yes I know, this isn't something I normally do, with the exception of Movember and that's only so I can wear a tash for a month. And the only reason I'm raising money for charity this time round is so I can cycle round Lochness on closed roads. This type of fund raising is a bit like a tax on having fun, I blame Carol to be honest, she signed me up for the event while I was on jury duty.
Anyhoo, if you have a few quid you can spare, ::please click here:: to help get to my 100 pound limit.
In preparation, I've invested in some new wheels, tubes, tires, rear cassette, chain and brake calipers. In fact, I've learnt a lot about bike maintenance getting it ready for the race, but I'm still going to get it serviced before the ride just to make sure it's running perfectly.
Also, Carol wants me to tell everyone that we got a garden swing at the weekend, you can see it in the background of the pic across. Woo!
For Carol's 32nd birthday, we headed to Glasgow for our 1st night away from the kids.
It was good fun initially, but the excitement of being out and about eating, shopping and drinking wore off and we started to miss the kids. And after the dreadful nights we've had over the past week with Henry, you'd have thought we'd cherish a night away.
I think next time a day away would be perfect.
Click on the image to see pics of our weekend.
Happy birthday Carol!
'Henry's 2nd Birthday'
Henry turned 2 today and he had a top day. He got loads of presents and a Spider-Man cake AND to top it off, we crashed some-one else's birthday party and got more cake and presents ...for free!
I'm loving that he's getting older, I hated the baby stage. The kids are way more fun that they enjoy doing stuff we like to do. In fact, after Henry's nap today, I asked him what he wanted to do as Carol and Daisy had popped out, and he said 'bad guys' which means 'stick GTA5 on dad' - so I dutifully obliged.
I can't wait till' he's 18 and I can fulfill a dream and go out for a pint with him.
Click on the image to see pics of the day.
Happy birthday son!
I was a little apprehensive about our trip to Ireland as our last flight was far from relaxing. Screaming and hyperactive kids being the main problem.
But I have to say, our kids were brilliant to and from the emerald isle. Even at Colin and Deidre's, they were well behaved. So it made for a good weekend.
It was good to catch up with the Spense's and to see the expanding family and their new home. I have to say, I was impressed with the BC's Shed. It needs some work, but thats the best part, doing it up. I've told him he should turn it into a man den with a TV and a fridge. Click on the photo of the BC to see some pics from the weekend.
'League Cup Final'
Oh well. I knew we were going to lose. Didn't think it would take so long to do so. I would have been much happier to have conceded an early goal and gone to the pub. Not that I would have been able to have gone to the pub, I was called home as Carol suspected Henry had eaten a diamond earring. He hadn't. Anyhoo, it saved me a hangover.
Click on the image across to see some photos of the day.
We are off to Dublin this weekend to see the Spences. I'm looking forward to see all 5 of them, the flight on he other hand I could do with out. Lets hope Henry behaves himself.
OK. So there's only 5 days until the League Cup Final and although I know with absolute certainty that we are going to get humped, I'm still looking forward to the game. The thing I'm most excited about it going to the pub for some beers on the day as it's a rare occurrence. It's a shame we are going to get beat by Aberdeen, it wouldn't be so bad if it were another team.
Aberdeen is that bit of vomit you get when you burp. Don't get me wrong, burping is fun and necessary, but when you get that bit of unwanted acid at the back of your throat, it makes you gag a bit and there's the worry that there's more to follow. That feeling is Aberdeen, as a football team, as a place, as a population. No one enjoys that sick taste, as soon as it's arrives you try to get rid of it. Now imagine someone wanting that sensation, craving it, needing it! Who in their right mind would enjoy the taste of sick? Try unhinged, self absorbed fanny mouthed plebs from Aberdeen. They don't know any different, I mean, who would. If you lived with the taste of sick all your life, you wouldn't know any better right? But the lack of ability to adapt, to change and improve will always hold this arse piece of town back. And I for one hope it falls off Scotland like a dry bit of unwanted skin into the cold dark depths of the North Sea to be picked at slowly until dead, by bottom feeding sea crabs. Bunch of wankers!
GIVE ME A 'C'.......
Henry got a cracking bump on the head today. He fell and caught his head on the door frame in the hall. The lump grew within seconds and he looked like he'd been in a car crash. It's been a few hours since the knock and thankfully the lump has gone down a bit.
I'm in proper training now for the Lochness ride, I'm even looking into improving my diet to try and make the ride a bit easier. Tomorrow I'll be off doing laps of Auther's Seat to prepare for the 1300 foot climb just after Fort Agustas.
Daisy recorded her 1st proper voiceover this week. She only had to say one word and giggle, so wasn't too taxing. Click (here) or on the image to listen. So I'm very proud of my little girl and as it's a national commercial, she'll get a healthy fee for it too! Voiceovers are like busses, they all come at once, Daisy was back in the studio today recording a line for a narrative we are producing tomorrow.
Talking of work, I was working with Dario Franchitti yesterday. Nice bloke. He was walking with a limp and you should see why, check out Dario Franchitti 2013 crash on YouTube.
We are scary busy at work, like 2010 busy, out best year. Looking forward to the weekend so I can switch my brain off for 48 hours.
I'm now training for Etape Lochness, the 1st closed road bike race round the UK's longest and most infomouse body of fresh water. It's 61 miles in total with a beast of a hill in the middle offering gradients up to 12 percent in sections, so I'm looking for some of the steepest hills in Edinburgh to train on. Being my place of birth and knowing the area well, I can't wait for the event. The weather is going to be important on the day, as the rule the prevailing wind blows up from Fort Augustus to Inverness, which is fine as it'll be hard work down but it may make it a little easier for the hill climb on the other side as we'll get a bit of a push.
I said in my last post about the 'judicial system' being crap but couldn't say why, we'll now I can. I was on jury duty and to cut a long story short, the cops nabbed a suspected drug dealer and wanted to put him away, but there were massive holes in the evidence. It felt like they just didn't put the effort in and it was a complete waste of time. Anyways, means I don't have to do jury duty for at least 5 years.
I found this odd website yesterday - staggeringbeauty.com
I showed it to the kids (PLAY HERE TO SEE), bad idea! Henry was hooked and wanted to watch it over and over again, when we said no, he screemed his head for an hour.
I took this picture from Daisy bedroom this morning. I think the weather men are right to say there's a storm a comin'
Been busy over the last few days losing faith in the judicial system, can't say why, but it was a complete waste of time. My brain is mush and I'm looking forward to getting back to work today and resetting.
'League Cup Semi Final'
Apart from the stomach flu I pick up from the kids and the sleepless nights Henry has been giving us, the weekend hasn't been too bad.
We beat Hearts in the League Cup semi final with only 9 men to reach the final against those scumbags from the shitest and most depressing town in Scotland, Aberdeen. It was a bit of a nail biter and Hearts just weren't good enough, in fact, it reminded me of the Ronaldo joke when he single handedly beat Scotland after getting sent off in the 2nd half.
Click on the image across to see pics from the day.
You know the Chewin The Fat sketch where the guy goes berserk as a result of doing something fiddly. Well that was me about an hour ago.
Carol's phone's home button was playing up and after seeing a tutorial on youtube of how to replace it, it looked easy enough to do. After 2 hours of taking it apart I replaced the home button and started to put it back together again. The tiny tiny tiny screws the phone use are a nightmare to get back in and you have to be careful to use the right screws in the right place as I soon discovered. When refitting the mother board of the phone, one of ribbon cables wasn't reaching where it should, so had to unscrew all of the tiny tiny tiny screws again to un-stick this ribbon cable. By doing so the home button fell out of position, so had to reset that and make sure this ribbon cable was straight, as a result of this careful work, the cable tore sending me into a maniacal spiral of rage.
It was quiet easily the fiddliest thing I have ever had to do, second only to fixing the shower power switch in our old house with the power cables too short to fit, that fact the switch was 10 foot high on the ceiling, doing the work atop a ladder was making me see red.
I could probably send it away to get fixed. I believe the phone and I now have history and we wouldn't have a happy future if it were to be resurrected. Also 3 and a half hours of a precious Saturday have been lost and will never return again. A replacement is on it's way and that it done with!
Time for a calming beer!
'No More Nappies For Daisy'
The chart across is Daisy successful pee sheet.
After Daisy's birthday, we decided that potty training had to start. Because of the traumatic time trying to potty train her in the summer time, Carol and I were apprehensive, but Daisy surprised us both and took to it well and will now use the potty with out any help from us.
It's quite something when your little baby no longer needs nappies. Before long, they will no longer need you to survive, which is sad, but it's also good as you succeed in being a parent.
'Time is Flying'
These holidays have been flying by at an incredible rate, I can't believe I'm back at work in 3 and a half days. Today has a been a day of getting the bike stuff ready for the commute to work on Monday. I haven't done any cycling this holiday and I feel like a blob. The weather has be so bad and it would be nice to get a dry spell so I could get the fixie out for a play. Last year I cycled about 1600 miles, my plan for 2014 is to double that.
I stuck up photos from out trip to Inverness and includes photos of Colin and Deidre's twins. Click here to see.
I've also popped photo's of Daisy birthday up too. Click here to see.
Anyhoo, as pictured, cheers for checking out the shed for 2013 and stick with it for 2014.
'Whats Wrong with the onzie?'
Carol wasn't that impressed with the onezie I got her. I think it looks pretty cool. Fair enough, it makes her look like a giant sheep, but it's warm and comfy. She's going to return it. Click on image to see pics of the day.
The kids had a busy day fighting over each others presents and not eating any real food. That aside, it's been fun. It's about 6pm and I've had about half a bottle of wine and thinking of hitting the coffee and treats.
Hope everyones had a fun day.
We only just made it back from Inverness. We got caught up in a snow storm. As we past Drumochter Pass and got on the dual carriageway, the snow got really bad and we started to crawl along the road and then to a stop as a car or van up ahead lost control and span into a drift blocking the road. We thought we were going to be stuck there a while and I was starting to freak out a bit. Thankfully it got moving again. They closed the road just after we passed through. Even Carol, who grew up in the snow was a little scared. Click on the image across to see a movie Carol took on her camera of the snow.
It was good seeing Mum, the Simons and the Spences at the weekend, but Henry was being clingy as hell the whole weekend making it a bit difficult, now that we are home he's right as rain. Just like his old man, doesn't like leaving the house!
Photos of the weekend to come.
'Irish Smelling Guy'
Check it out. Click on the image across to see George in the new Nissan Leaf commercial.
I think it's very cool, the ad looks great and George comes across brilliantly! It goes to show that to be good on TV, you have to be bonkers in real life!
Well done George!
I had a freaky moment the other day. I was writing a christmas card and signed it from James, Carol and....and....., I couldn't remember the kids names. The more I tried to remember and couldn't, the more freaked out I got. After about a minute, which felt like an eternity, Daisy and Henry popped back into my head. For a moment I though I was suffering from a stroke or the early onset of alzheimers. What it was down to was a lack of sleep, Henry kept us up most of the night before. But it did give me an insight of things to come with age...or who knows, maybe my brain is about to melt.
I took yesterday off as I had a few extra days holiday to take before the end of the year and we all went to the museum, pictured across. I can't remember the last time I went but it has changed quite a bit, and it's a great way to spend a few hours with the kids, plus it's free. Whats good about the museum is that Henry can run around freely with out the risk of injuring himself.
Talking of poor Henry, I was up most of the night last night with him as he had a roasting temperature. The only thing he wanted to do this morning at 4am was play GTA5. I could only oblige. He's still asleep and it's 10:15am, I was hoping to get a wee nap in at some point today, but Carol had a girls night out last night as is feeling a little tender today, so I'm being extra nice to her as this is a 'night out' I'll have in credit!
Thanks for the Movember donations. I raised 35 bucks. I've shaved the tash off and it feels and look weird not having one. May have to grown one back permanently.
I've been quietly growing a tash for Movember and now its the last week and I've no money raised. So for this final week, Ive wet shaved the beard, the 1st time in 3 years I've done this, and the remaining tash is quiet impressive, the longest tash I've ever grown. So any donations would be most welcome. Click on my mug shot across to donate!
I got rid of my 5d mark 2 as it wasn't getting used, and I wanted to replace it something that I would use. So I swapped it for the Fuji X100s. I was really apprehensive about getting it as it's off brand, the camera's predecessor was plagued with bugs and it's not a camera for armatures. After using for a couple of days, I'm so please I got it. This little camera is producing image as good as my Canon 6D! Click on the image across to see the proof.
'Hibs Vs Caley'
Magoo visited the WL household this past weekend. And with all the hoo-haa with Terry Butcher leaving Caley Thistle heading to Hibs, we decided to go to the game. Click on the image to see some pics.
Normally I love Autumn, but this year, it sucks. We had a super summer and having to deal with the 9 months of winter is taking some time getting used to. The kids had fun today, playing with the Autumn fallen leaves at the Botanic Gardens.
Anyhoo, I'm tashing it up again for Movember. If you are feeling charitable, click here to offer your support.
I'd be scared if I met them in the street tonight, Daisy's even armed with a brush!
It's been a busy old time over the past couple of weeks. Works busy, been busy at home too. We took the kids to Deep Sea World at the weekend, hence the shark picture.
The weather at the weekend was horrible, and it hasn't improved much. Tomorrow it's not going to rain, but for the foreseeable future, it's going to rain. Totally rubbish for cycling.
I got my fixed gear bike finished this evening and I'm feeling pretty proud of my self. I took it out for a wee spin round the front of the house and it rides amazingly. My main concern was spoke tension as I've never built wheels before, but they felt great. It's quite a sensation trying to stop by only using the pedals, I can see myself having few accidents on this bike. But the feeling of being attached to the road is something else, as there is no energy lost in gears or bearings, what you put in you get out.
I'm having a celebratory beer and trying to decide if I should take it to work tomorrow. With only having 5 minutes riding time on it, I'm a little apprehensive, but it's fookin' exciting AND it's a bike I built and I want to show it off. I think I'll sleep on it.
Click on the image across to see more picks.
As you know, Henry has deveolped a bit of a drink problem.
Now he's moved onto harder stuff.
Well, he is from Leith!
'Beyond Too Close'
When you are not a fan of spiders, the last thing you want is one of them running across your face, and thats what happened to me about an hour ago.
I was sat in the cinema room and picked up a cushion, underneath I found the spider pictured across. In a panic I threw the cushion into the air, launching the spider upwards too. In the nano-second after my evasive action, I calmed a bit thinking the coast was clear, only to see something moving across my field of vision and feel the tickle of little hairy feet running down my cheek. The spider had landed in my hair and was making it's way, at speed, down my face!
I leapt into the air and screamed like a girl. I would like to say the spider was strong and the fight went on for hours, but it just fell off onto the floor and made a dash for it.
I think if it had ran into my mouth, I'd be vomiting. Thankfully it didn't but just 4 centimeters to the left and he'd have been in there!
We thought Daisy had a problem with food, Henry too suffers, as in he can't get enough down!
I have a weeks holiday coming up and I plan on using some of this time to restore my new bike, click here to see. It's a Ribble Reynolds 531c bike. The plan is to turn it into a fixed gear, very exciting stuff!
Ever since the arrival of Daisy, I've dreamed of taking her to the movies and today that milestone was reached. We went to see Despicable Me 2, a tedious story, though Daisy enjoyed it. I was concerned she'd get bored and want to leave, but she was well behaved and worked her way through the popcorn at a rate of knots.
I'm so encouraged by the experience, I can't wait to take her again.
This weekend, we headed to West Linton to see Rick, Claire and Rebecca for a bit of lunch. The weather the really nice considering the storm we are currently in. It felt like the last day of summer.
Click on the slightly gay photo of Rick and I jumping to see photos of the day.
I'm feeling pretty proud of myself. I completed the Pedal for Scotland 2013 bike ride in just under 3 hours 40 minutes with my goal being 4 hours. The hardest part of the ride was getting beyond the slower riders and if given a clear road in front of me, my time would have been a lot faster. Of all the 60 entrance who used Strava, I finished 10th. Click on the image across for the Strava map.
I said before the ride that next year I'll do the 110 mile race next year, but after yesterday, I think I'll need a lot more training for that. After I had lunch at the 31 mile mark, my back side was hurting quite a bit and it wasn't until 10 miles later that I got used to it. This was the hard part of the ride, also the wind was coming from the east trying to blow us back to Glasgow, so I found a couple of blokes cycling going at my pace and sat behind then for a while to give myself some time to recover.
There was loads of different bikes on the route, BMXs, fixies, recumbents, tandems, old squeaky bikes that would have done my head in. Also the variety of people was surprising too, old, young, super super fit (as in healthy) and super super fat. There was a woman I passed who was in Lycra from head to dinosaur thigh and she was massive, I mean morbidly obese, but fair play to her for doing the ride.
As I passed folk, I heard tales of crashes and saw 3 ambulance with flashing lights so as family friendly the ride was presented, there was an element of danger. For a lot of the journey we were riding on normal roads with traffic, so it got pretty chaotic at junctions where there were 50 cyclist and 4 or 5 cars waiting to get through.
All in all I loved every second of it and I'm looking forward to getting on my bike to work this morning and getting preparing for next year!
I only got a few shots of the day, you can check them out in the photos dropdown. Though I did record the ride on my Contour Roam bike cam, you see an edit of journey in the movies dropdown.
This evening the ride home almost got the best of me. It wasn't a long ride home but the wind tonight was extraordinary. It felt like I was peddling and going nowhere. To add to the frustration, the traffic was busy and I kept missing my right shoe onto the clipless pedal slowing me down big time. I was almost at the point of getting off and walking, but that would have be sacrilege. I'm really pissed off about it as I ride better than that, so I'm determined to do that same route again but 10 percent faster!
The shitty wind is set to continue for the next week, which isn't a bad thing I suppose as I'll be cycling the Glasgow to Edinburgh 'Pedal for Scotland' ride a week on Sunday, and as the prevailing wind is from the west, it's means I'll be blown back home.
Henry is going through a funny phase at the moment. He's been clingy as hell and won't sleep. We believe he's teething and to compound the issue, he's got a cold. He hasn't been sleeping right for almost 2 weeks, so he needs to get out of it soon before we go mad.
Along with Henry's insomnia, he's also developed a taste for wall paper, and I'm not joking when I say this, given half the chance he could eat rolls of the stuff and has been pulling it off the walls - see pic across. He's probably doing us a favour as the wall paper in the hall is awful and need redecorating.
It's now 9:45pm and Henry is wide awake after only sleeping 7 hours in the last 24. Surly he must be tired, he can't stay awake forever...right?
Next month, I'm cycling the 'Pedal For Scotland' Glasgow to Edinburgh bike ride. So to prepare for the 3-4 hour bike ride, I'm cycling further afield to get into better shape. This morning, I headed to Fife across the Forth Road Bridge, a ride I'd been wanting to do for a while. I found it quite easy and believe that with all the commuting I've been doing, I'm pretty fit and the 47 miles between Glasgow and Edinburgh won't be that challenging. In fact, if I find it too easy, they also do a 100 mile route for the more experienced rider, so that'll be the plan for next year.
I took a few photos on my iPhone as I crossed the bridge. And it's pretty strange when stood in the middle of the bridge as it moves quite a bit as the traffic passes behind you. To add to the oddness, there are signs saying that surveillance cameras are watching, I imagine they have caught a few desperate people as they have leapt to their deaths.
On that jolly note, click on the dreadful iPhone photo of the bridge to see my route. The route goes a bit funny in Dalmeny, thats becuase I got a bit lost.
'Inverness - Trip 2'
We made a last minute decision and headed up to Inverness for the weekend. I managed to catch Caley's opening game of the season and being the biggest Caley jinx on the planet, I was concerned what my presence would bring. The 1st half was awful, possibly the jinx at work. But it the 2nd half, we scored 2 goals with in a minute and went on to win the game 3 nil. I feel the curse has eased and I can now relax a bit when the Super Caley play.
After the game, we all got invited to Paul's mum and dads for a BBQ. The kids had a brilliant time playing with Andrew and Innes, and Daisy got to meet Daisy dog, who she instantly fell in love with.
As the kids were so good in the car on the way up and down, we are going to plan another trip up north in September when Magoo returns from Russia.
I took a bunch of pics from the weekend. Click on the image across to see.
The shed league is almost full. Let's hope the new format works.
Yeah! This weekend the mighty Inverness Caley Thistle are back in action as the SPL kicks off the 13/14 season! I cannot wait!
But more importantly, you should all be focusing on the Shed League Cup, pictured across. As we are using a new league format this year, there's a chance for all to win this prestigious trophy, not just Paul and Magoo!
The league is filling up nicely. If you haven't already joined, there is plenty of time to get your team in. Here are the details to join:
Link: 'Sky Fantasy Football'
League Name: Shed League 1314
League Pin: 8000136
If the above doesn't work, let me know and I'll email you an invite.
Woo! Thunderstorm over Edinburgh this morning. I could hear this storm arriving with low rumbles at intervals of about 20 seconds at about 9:30 this morning. As it's foggy as hell, I didn't see any forked lightening, but the sky was lighting up with flashes and the sound of burning air ripped over the town.
OK, fantasy football is up and running and this year we are shifting leagues and heading over to Sky this season. It's a bit of a faff to join but once in, it all makes perfect sense. Here are the details to join:
Link: 'Sky Fantasy Football'
League Name: Shed League 1314
League Pin: 8000136
If the above doesn't work, let me know and I'll email you an invite.
The kids paid us a visit to the studio the other day, with Carol obviously. Daisy loves hearing herself through the headphones. Who knows, she may follow in her dad's footsteps and become a voiceover.
Today the amazing weather has gone up to 11. It's the perfect temperature outside with a light westerly breeze. I've just been out to get some lunch and the shore is full of people sitting outside, drinking and enjoying the sun. It's sooo nice. We've had 3 weeks of this and it's going to be so disappointing when it ends.
Magoo's in town so tonight, I think the barbie (the cooking device not the plastic doll) is going to get fired up. After that, Munkle and I are heading to the pub for some man beers.
As I was trying to get Henry back to sleep at about 10:30 last night, I heard some slurping and chomping sounds coming from outside. When I looked into the next door neighbours garden, there were 2 massive badgers eating food that had been left out. It was pretty cool to see.
A roasting weekend past with the roastingness to continue this week. The country is on a bit of buzz right now with the summer weather and not to mention the wire haired Andy Murray winning Wimbledon. Now that he's the Brittish champ, he really needs to get some sponsorship from Tresemme or Vidal Sassoon to sort that barnet out!
We went to Almond Valley Farm in Livingston yesterday, so the kids could see what a sausage looks like before it becomes a sausage. It was fun. Though the further west you go, the Scottish accent becomes harder to understand as this graph illustrates. To see photos of Almond Valley Farm, click on the photo tab at the top of the page.
'A Year of Cycling'
I've been cycling for a year and apart from the odd fall, it's been brilliant. It's making me super fit, saving us money of fuel (though I've probably spent most of the savings on the bikes them selves) and most importantly, it's a gadget that has function!
This morning, I decided to ride to work on the route I would normally drive. It took me 18:23". In the car, this journey has taken me beyond 30 minutes on some occasions. So time saving is a positive point. But the most dramatic result from cycling has been the weight loss. I haven't been this thin for about a decade! And I'm not thin from not eating properly and drinking too much, I'm healthy thin with tones on energy.
I would recommend cycling to anybody and say there's no excuse not to pursue it. It's efficient, cheap and keeps you healthy.
This weekend, we headed to Butterfly World to check out the creepy crawlies. We went there last year but I was in the midst of a mental breakdown so didn't have fun. This time round it was way more relaxed. Henry and Carol had a good time, though Daisy was a little bit apprehensive of the butterflys and not surprisingly, she wasn't too keen on the giant spiders and snakes either, she's more of a duck person. Click on the bird eating spider to see pics of our visit.
We've had more info about our possible great granddad and it seems he was a bit of a wanker. As I mentioned before he was a compulsive lier and it turns out he wasn't Scottish after all, he was also a massive bigamist too and had 26 children. There has been a Facebook page set up for the descendants of George Alfred Smith/Grosvenor Ashford Smith and Magoo was chatting to our possible great uncle, who said his dad, our great grandfather for no apparent reason broke his nose with a big stick whilst reading a comic book. He said he had to be silent during meal times and was generally very strict. Sounds like a proper dick to me and I don't want to know any more about him!
Instead I want to concentrate on Alfred George Mountford, my mum's, father's, father. He was born in Cuba, was a printer by trade and a painter, I have a few of his paintings. I've been told he was a nice bloke so will tell the kids about him and not the monster great granddad biggamist with the hope I'll phase him out of our family tree.
'George Alfred Smith'
In the pic across, the bloke on the left is George Alfred Smith, my great grandfather. He's a bit of a mystery which is not that surprising! He's our family's dark secret. To cut a long story short, he had a fling with my great Gran, then jiggered off and wasn't to be see or heard from again. The result of said fling was my Gran.
Magoo has been on the case to try and track him down and the only info we have is a hand full of correspondence, a name and his nationality, he's Scottish. English born Tim will be pleased knowing he has some Scots blood in him.
And it looks like Magoo has found him, the bloke on the right could be the same guy. If so, the left half photo was posted on an ancestry forum by his grandson/daughter. In the same thread, there is talk of George Alfred Smith being a bigamist, changing his name to Grosvenor Ashford Smith and dieing in a gas attack in 1924 AND also dieing in 1954. So not only did he shag around, he was a compulsive lier too.
I believe Magoo has been in direct contact with a potential long lost relative, so the proverbial can of worms is soon to be opened.
Yet again I have been summoned to court to be a juror, this the 4th time they've asked. With working in a small business, I am unable to attend. Every-time they call me up, I write to them to say that there are only 3 of us who work here and getting time off is almost impossible. Don't get me wrong, being a juror might be quite exciting, but they should save the tax payers money on recorded deliveries and paper and choose someone who's likely to be available.
Our potty training took a turn for the worse on Saturday, Daisy refused point blank to sit on the potty or toilet. It's odd as she was doing quite well. So there have been quite a few accidents. I was hoping she would hit the living-room rug a few times so we'd have to get a new one, but Carol wised up to this and swapped it with the one on the conservatory. We've been advised to persist, so we are. There haven't been any no.2 accidents yet, thankfully, being at work reduces this risk for me. Good luck Carol!
I am so hooked on cycling. With having the kids, it's impossible to justify going off for longs rides, but I'm taking alternative routes to work so I can train harder. My route to work this morning was brilliant, click on the image to see. After heading down through Barnton and turning the corner at Cramond I was presented with a calm sea, cobalt blue sky and an empty smoothly paved promenade inviting me to cycle, it was a proper 'wow' moment so got my head down and headed for Leith.
During down time at work, I'm checking out the Rapha Continental videos for inspiration. Click - here - to have a look.
As always I'm having the time of life getting to work and at work, where as poor Carol is having a hard time at home today. We are potty training Daisy and today is the first day. Carol called to say that it's been traumatic. I realy do think men have it lucky sometimes...perhaps all of the time for some of us!
There have been a couple of 1sts for Henry over the past few days.
On Thursday he decided that crawling was passe and started walking and today he went on his first bike ride. I have taken a movie of the oversized beast walking, you can watch by cliking the image across.
He was really good on the bike, so if the good weather continues into next weekend, I'll take him out for a longer ride.
Oh it's nice to be home! It was good being away, hot weather, nice food, no work, but having 2 very young kids was hard work. It's much easier to look after kids at home. I haven't had a chance to pop any photos of the trip on the Shed yet, should get round to it in the next couple of days. Tell you what, it's nice to come back to summer weather too, it felt like we were in winter for about a year.
A belated happy 40th birthday to monkey man Tim. His life officially restarted yesterday. He's away at Euro Disney for his birthday, an odd choice for a 40th, I suspect he's having a midlife crisis.
Was working with Sir Chris Hoy's dad yesterday. He was in doing a voiceover for an upcoming telly ad. Chris' mum was there too, so was having a long chat with her about the greatest British Olympian ever. The creative director on the job is one of the founding members of Rapha, so all in all, a bit of cycling feast of a session and I loved every second of it.
'Goodbye Europe, Hello Spain'
It's been a disappointing day to the end of the footballing season. The mighty, or should I say 'the highly choke-able' Inverness Caley Thistle failed to gain a Europa Cup spot. Perhaps Terry Butcher was right to say post match that we are not ready for Europe not to mention the financial implications.
As it's the end of the Football Season, it's also the end of the Fantasy Football season and Paul become the new Shed League Champion, retaking the title from Magoo who briefly held the title for a year. Congrats to Nase who finished 2nd and to Carol who stuck with the league and got the highest points on the last day of the season.
We are heading off to Spain for the next 2 weeks tomorrow for a holiday, well I say holiday, I find going away hard work. And to make matters worse, Daisy is sick with a cold and is not a happy bunny. I plan on switching off and becoming autonomous from tomorrow morning until we reach our destination. I will update the shed as we go if there's wifi available.
Since the kids came along, I'm doing my best to try and lead a healthy lifestyle. It makes sense as it's physically demanding when you have a monster, 2 stone baby, who can't be arsed walking.
As part of this healthier lifestyle, I'm drinking next to nothing, cycling to work and cutting down on preserved pork. The latter I'm finding really hard to resist. This morning I arrived at work, after a brilliant ride in, with a ferocious appetite and knowing a 45 second walk from the office would lead to the bacon roll shop. What makes matters worse is that I'm on 1st name terms with the staff in the roll shop. It was impossible to refuse!
'Out Jinxed By A Jinx'
How the fook' can I be out jinxed by a jinx! The 1st part of my plan was to be money on St Johnston beating Celtic and it worked, all that needed to happen was Inverness Caley to beat Scumdee United and I would lose my bet and the mighty Caley would head to Europe next season! But no. I won money on the Inverness vs Scumdee game and I feel terrible for it, BUT when I attempted to withdraw the cash from Paddy Power, there's a minimum 10 quid withdrawal limit. So my 7.50 winnings are going nowhere. Sooooo, my plan is to put all the money on St. Johnston winning at Motherwell, because, if St. Johnston lose, no matter what happens in our final game against Ross Council House County, we go through.
I may have to let go of this jinx idea as it's winding me up a bit. Thinking rationally, the connection between me and the football club is nonexistent and the plain fact is, the team are just shit.
This weekend is possibly the most important weekend in the history of Inverness Caley, because if results go our way, we could be playing in Europe next season. But, whenever I show an interest in Inverness Caley Thistle whilst playing, the team's fortunes rapidly diminish. So in an attempt to break the jinx, I've placed a couple of bets.
So tomorrow, we need to beat Dundee United and Celtic need to beat St Johnston for us to finish 3rd in the league and proceed into Europe. As this is what I want, the jinx will kick in and the opposite will happen. So to counter this, I've placed bets on Caley and Celtic to lose and I never ever win any bets I place.
Shameful I know, but I am confident this will break the jinx. As I had a pound left over, I've bet on St Mirren to beat Aberdeen. I fookin' hate Aberdeen and there's no way on earth I could bet on Aberdeen to win!!!
GIVE ME A "C"
At the weekend, Daisy and I headed up to Inverness to see Muncle Magoo and Granny. I had promised Daisy prior to the trip that we'd go and see the Loch Ness Monster, she was very excited by this as dinosaurs are the new thing! So we headed to Drumnadrochit, by Loch Ness, to check out the fiberglass monsters and buy some monster related merchandise. She was a little be scared of the static monster model in the stagnant pond by the museum, but the toy shop soon cheered her up. It was a good weekend, nice and chilled, AND granny spoiled us both too!
You can view some pics from the trip by clicking on the image.
I've just watched the Skate Ramp movie, and now, living in the suburbs with a couple of kids, I would have hated living next door to us. The noise of the skateboards repeatedly going back and forth on the ramp would have driven me insane! I can't believe our neighbours were so tolerant. I know when we made the portable basketball hoop, they complained due to the sound of the constant basketball bouncing, but sonically the skate ramp was a million times worse. Perhaps they were frighten of us. Though noisy we were as teenagers, we were never aggressive.
So I would like to applogise to the home owners of MacLeod Road during the summer of 1991 for any noise pollution caused as a result of Magoo's superbly constructed skate ramp.
The ramp was dismantled towards the end of 1991 and the parts recycled into the now infamous Shed of Balloch (where the intershed.com took it's inspiration). The neighbours respite was short lived though, that christmas I got a 100 watt Marshall Amp and my guitar playing was truely awaful.
Click on the image to watch the film.
Oooohhhh! Check out the new bike. The Giant Defy 1, my 1st road bike.
I was a little hesitant this morning as I thought the bumpy Edinburgh roads would rattle me to death, but this bike coped with road craters really well, I can't get over ho comfy the ride was. My 1st bike, the Seek 3, is a tank compared to this, heavy and a bone shaker, though useful for bad weather riding.
I really hope the weather holds out tomorrow, as I have a route planned round Leuchold Wood, if Carol will let me of course.
'Beware The Moon!'
Took this moon shot yesterday afternoon. It has been treated to make it look like it was taken at night. I used the little Canon EOS-M with a 1.4 extender on the 70-200 2.8 lens. For such a tiny camera, I'm well impressed with the result.
There is still no sign of the new bike. I suspect that it's not in stock and the shop is holding onto the cash and to get the bike, I'll have to get it in a different colour. We'll see what tomorrow brings. My new Funkier cycling jacket arrived today so I'm keen to get cycling.
Outside it's beautiful today, not a cloud in the sky. A perfect day for picking up my new bike and cycling it back. But the store called to say the courier had lost the bike in transit, how do you lose a bike?. So it means it won't be here until the middle of next week and I'm totally gutted. I had planned a ride tomorrow morning as the weather is set to continue, instead, I'll probably have to go to Ikea instead.
'The Shed Is Over 10 Years Old'
I've just realised, the Internationalshed, unknowingly, had it's 10th anniversary last November. I can't believe www.intershed.com has been going that long, and when you consider that the longest running website is only 23 years old. It's quite an achievement.
So tonight, I'm going to pat myself on the back and celebrate with a beer the Sheds belated birthday.
No, not Daisy, me. Though Daisy had the right idea yesterday - all I wanted to do was hide under some pillows in the living-room and do nothing. I was feeling a bit tender after our Hillpark Green annual dinner, I suspect the calamari was a little dodgy, well thats my excuse.
Mum was down helping with the children at the weekend. It felt a little bit odd to be out and about with Carol and no kids, I would look at Carol and think "what the hell are you doing here without the kids!". I made use of my time without the children and got myself a road bike. This will be the dry day and weekend bike. It should arrive in the shop some time this week so I'm getting quite excited AND with the weather getting better I'll be off clocking up some miles soon!
It's Carol's birthday today - Happy Birthday Baby! She's turned 32....again! 5th year in a row now.
These birthdays close together are getting expensive. I may move Henry's to September to help the finances.
Mum is coming down from Inverness today to look after the kids. We are off out with the neighbours for a night out tomorrow and it will be our 1st proper evening away from the kids. I have no idea how mum is going to cope, I suppose she'll have too. Good luck mum!
Today was Henry's 1st Birthday. We had a top day. Henry got some fantastic presents, most notably Cookie Monster who encourages you to feed him and when you do, he asks for more - brilliant!
For Henry's birthday, I made him a cake. It's simple sponge cake with icing on it and it turned out pretty good. I'm especially pleased with the happy face with candles for hair. Click on the cake across to see photos of the day.
I had a thought this morning, if it wasn't for Magoo, Henry and Daisy wouldn't have existed - I should point out that he had nothing to do with their conception! Because he owed money for a gas bill at a flat he lived in on Leith, I had to go round to pay it off AND is where I met Carol. So thanks for the kids Magoo!
Fiona and Tony (not pictured) popped by casa Walker-Lyon at the weekend. It was good to see them, though I was a little jealous of the freedom they have. After seeing us they were heading out of dinner then meeting friends AND the next day were off to see Biffy Clyro in Glasgow. Tony rubbed it in saying he woke up at 10am, played Xbox until 1pm before visiting us.
Next weekend Carol and I are getting a sniff at freedom. We are heading out with the neighbours for dinner while mum babysits. It'll be our first proper evening away from the kids. Although there are benefits to not having grandparents around, there are times when we really need them!
'WHAT WERE WE THINKING!'
It was Carol's bright idea to paint the kitchen with 2 sick children.
Pre-kids, this job would have taken an afternoon, it has taken us 2 days. The kids went mental the whole time, they knew we had to do something that didn't involve them and were not at all happy about it. Yesterday, Daisy screamed 'DAAAADDDDYYYYY' for most of the day and wouldn't stop until I ceased painting and attended to her and her serious problem of having snot on her finger. I reckon she's mental. So I would tag Carol in and she would start painting only for Henry to start going nuts. I think he has the same dysfunction as Daisy.
The easter break started brilliantly, but it's been a pretty stressful end to the holiday. Saying that, sitting in the finished kitchen, I'm pleased with how it's turned out.
After vising the US and Canada a couple of years back, I loved having pancakes, bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, also known as, path to diabetes.
Anyhoo, as I was preparing the pancake mix this morning, I was missing one of the vital measuring jugs for creating the breakfast treat, which Carol broke a couple of weeks back. So I was left to my own judgment and measuring isn't my forte, evident in the joinery work around the house. As a result, the pancakes turned out horrible, too much flour and too much milk and were dubbed 'manky pancakes' - on the plus side, Daisy, who lives on Skips and chocolate, loved them. So all was not lost.
Henry is a motion smack-head. He's hooked on the stuff and can't sleep without it.
For a wee while now, Henry has been waking up after about 2 hours sleep wanting to be rocked back to sleep and it's driving us nuts. So we've gone cold turkey on him and removed the bouncing chair to the loft and are no longer rocking him to sleep. He didn't like it last night when we put him in the cot without rocking, but he soon fell asleep quickly enough. Today for his afternoon nap, he fell asleep trouble free. So fingers crossed this is the start of getting our lives back!
'Yea, No More SMA!'
For those of you who had the unenviable task of making SMA for your kids, when the day comes that you no longer need to make formula, it's quite a relief!
We have been making this stuff up for a solid two years and 3 months and it's brilliant that Henry no longer needs it.
There have been so many times when I've lost count with how many scoops I'd used. We even got a 'special' bigger scoop as to administer less scoops. But if I were making 6 bottles with 3 scoops (6 traditional scoops) in each bottle, by the time I'd get to the 3rd bottle along with children gnawing at my ankles and Carol bellowing instructions from the other side of the house, there was no way of remembering if 2 or 3 scoops had gone in. I tried visual association with each scoop, the 1st scoop was a banana, the 2nd an apple and the 3rd was a......"James, can you hang up the laundry" - shit! was that 2nd or 3rd?
'Sick of Being Sick!'
Poor Daisy, as you can see from the pic across, we think she has conjunctivitis. Her eyes are red and mucusy. She's not fazed by it when she's awake, it's only when she's asleep as her eyes crust over and she can't open them, naturally this freaks her out. So were taking her to the doctors tomorrow to see what they can do. I imagine if it's viral conjunctivitis they'll just leave her be, if it's bacterial they prescribe eye drops.
The cold I moaned about yesterday has turned into proper man flu and is pissing me off! To be honest, proper flu doesn't bother me because all you do is lay in bed for about 24 hours and you're fine. With the man flu I get, also know as a heavy cold, I sneeze with more ferocity than an atomic bomb that it hurts, my eyes burn like fook and the worst part, and this is the part that turns me into the grumpiest man on the planet who wants to punch people in the face for being healthy, is the constantly running nose. It's like a tap. If I were not to wipe my nose, you would see it trickle down my face like a small burn (for our international readers, a burn is Scottish for a stream or small river). Man flu comes in waves too, you feel like you getting better, but 30 minutes later, it all starts again. I wish I believed in god, so I could kick him in the nuts when I die for creating such as shite disease!
On a positive note, the clocks change in 2 weeks and even though we lose an hour, it feels good as we start to get our evenings back and summer is on the way with it's much needed vitamin C!
'Henry The Climber!'
Henry is desperate to climb the stairs. He can't walk yet, so is going to have to wait a wee bit longer before we give him freedom of the stair. He's fast as hell now crawling and is getting into every place he shouldn't be getting into. We have a living room full of toys, but all Henry wants to play with is the stair gate, the gas fire and any hot drinks you happen to leave lying around. For his birthday, I'm going to buy him one of those retractable leaches you get for a dog.
I've manged to get another cold/flu type thing. I was shaking like a withdrawing junky last night and it hurts like hell when I cough. I'm blaming the kids and Carol as they have been coughing a lot of late. Anyhoo, today I'm doing nothing and trying to shake this illness off. The GP qualifying is on at 1pm followed by the footy results, so I'm glued the couch with a hot water bottle!
Incidentally, I got myself a new camera, the Canon 6D. It's basically a 5D mark 3 but missing a few features, like advanced auto focus, cf card slot and a few other things. I did think about getting the 5D3 but for 700 dollery doos cheaper, you get the same camera in a lighter body, the 6D also comes with WiFi too. The pic across was taken with it. I must say, I do love it. The image quality is stunning. Certainly a step up from the 5D mark 2.
Good old Scottish weather. It's supposed to be Spring, so we get crappy snow!
I'm getting fed up with this shite weather. We get teased with a nice weekend, then get forced fed a month of bollocks weekends. I really think it's time to leave the country as it seems to be getting worse. So, mother nature, if you are listening, sort out a good summer or we are all pissing off!!
I did see some nut case cyclists out this morning. It must have been horrible on the bike, strong westerly wind, -3 degrees celsius, snow, it's a Monday.....not pleasant at all!
The Scatman's stag has been confirmed for the 4th of May 2013. It's the last of the old school Stags. I think we'll have to make the most of it!
I think Henry has a future in modeling. He looks good with a nappy on his head. He's been super hyper this evening, perhaps he had too much sleep during the day, or maybe putting a nappy on his head and laughing at him hysterically encouraged his mood.
He's doing really well and eating like a ravenous animal. As a result of his apatite, he's getting difficult to hold due to his weight and strength. He needs to start walking soon as it'll give him a bit more Independence. Saying that, he's like a freight train crawling along the floor. The pictures on the wall rattle as he steams past.
He's not far from his 1st word which I think will be Daddy. The "Dad" part he has nailed which he repeats over and over again, so we've been working of the "Dee" sound. After that, I'll teach him to say "Blah blah balh" when asked what sound mummy makes, as I did with Daisy. In fact, Daisy now says "Here mun" when I ask her what noise Magoo makes. I'm very proud of her!
This morning did not look the best for cycling in. The temperate was near freezing and there had been a lot of rain the night before. Carol and I discussed the use of the 2 liter turbo charged Audi A4 (suitable for long journeys) and the 1.4 mile round trip to playgroup was far more important than the safety of her bread winning husband. So, I got on my bike. The path down to Leith was pretty good as the mini gritters had been out, that was until I reach the North Junction Street bridge and crash! It's a small downhill left turn and the ice got the better of me. The bike slid underneath me and I hit the ground with my left knee and hip, both taking the brunt of the impact. The handle bar whipped round to the left fast pulling my right arm, it's still pretty sore. I was really close to the water of Leith and a few more feet and the bike and I would have been in the drink. The main front light is busted so have had to order another online, being without it will contribute to the danger of the return journey tonight.
When I limped into work, I called Carol to express my disappointment with her decision, she stood by it and suggested I was going too fast!
There'd better be dinner on the table when I get home tonight!
'Still Got It'
Last night after work I popped into Sainsburys to pick up some food, beer and wine. And as I was about to start my packing the teller asked me something which I didn't catch, so I asked her to repeat what she said and he word were:
"Do you have any ID?"
I started to laugh and she looked a little bit cross with my reaction. I replied "You've just made my day!" as I handed her my driving license. She look at it and was suitably embarrassed.
Supermarket tellers are required to ask for ID if they suspect the person is under the age of 25. Still got it! Wooooooooo!!!!!!
It wasn't long before I realised that having a good camera body and lenses wasn't only thing required when taking decent photos. Lighting is equally as important! So I've been concentrating on lighting big time.
Pictured across, Daisy is modeling my new strobe light. It cost 30 bucks from amazon (I think it's originally from China so probably won't last long) and for the price is a good place start for this type of lighting.
A couple of big congratulations this week past:
BC and his missus are expecting twins, they are going to have 3 under 3! The babies are due at the end of August.
The Scatman got engaged and is planning to tie the not in the summer before his next deployment.
All we need now is a win from Caley to top the week off!
Yesterday I took Henry's passport photo. Obviously the photo across isn't the one I used, but in 2 years time, Henry will have changed so much that this photo will be pointless yet the passport is valid for 5 years. Daisy's passport photo was taken when she was 5 months old and could be anybody now!
The reason for the afore mentioned travel document is that we are planning a holiday this year, joy! In the table of stress, holidays fit snugly between buying a house and changing jobs. Now with having children, being drunk for the duration isn't something I can rely on, so a new approach is required.
I nervously bought a carbon fiber jib from a bloke in China on ebay. Thankfully it turned up and works well, so this past weekend I took it for a test run. Click in the image across to see the results.
I've also uploaded a clip of the closet I will ever get to Hollywood. About 12 years ago, a scene from a movie staring Ewan McGregor was film at our studio. Whilst watching, if you look very carefully at the reflection in the glass of the vocal booth and listen out for the engineer, you may recognise the star!!
As ferocious as the sickness came on, it's seems to have left pretty quickly. I've had a couple of hours sleep today and now I'm as hungry as a fat woman in a chocolate shop. I believe I'm not supposed to eat anything, but all I can think about is food. So after I complete this post, I'm off to raid the kitchen.
I've been off work today recovering, so have been playing around with some of the photos I've taken on my new lens, the Canon 70-200 2.8 IS. I got it second had on ebay and my god, I should have gotten this lens years ago, it is just stunning. The image across is of Carol on Skype to her parents and I think image quality is amazing. It's a beast of a lens and weighs a tone, but the results are breathtaking. Click on the image to enlarge if you fancy.
It looks like the norovirus has finally caught up with me.
I've managed to avoid it for the past week. Carol fell ill on Monday, who then gave it to Daisy on Wednesday, she passed it on to Henry on Friday and today, Sunday, I'm continuing the pattern of infection.
About an hour ago, my stomach felt twice the size it should be and the need to go to the bathroom rapidly arrived. It now sounds like there volcanic eruptions going on inside my belly and I'm just waiting for the next time I need to run to the dunny. I'm feeling awful now and know a long night lays ahead.
I avoided physical contact with everyone at the football yesterday so they should all be ok.
'League Cup Semi Final'
Was at the League Cup Semi Final today, Caley vs Hearts. We lost on penalties and it was a shite game of football. To be honest, I wasn't happy when it went to extra time, as this was eating into my pub time. With the kids being ill, I didn't have long out and the last thing I wanted to do was watch an extra 30 minutes of poo football.
I should point out that I am the reason we lost today, not just from attending the game but I put a fiver on Caley to win. I'm sure the latter sealed the team's fate. Sorry everyone.
Click on the image across to see photos from the game.
We got a load of snow last night. So today we built a snow man, click on the image across to see.
Typically it's Scottish snow so it's gone all soggy and melting. It doesn't matter what type of weather we get, it's rubbish!
Henry has started crawling, which is cool to see as Daisy never crawled. About 2 weeks ago, he covered about 2 feet along the living-room rug (picture across), now he's getting into everything. He likes to crawl to the floor lamps and pull them down, so some baby proofing has been done to stop the beast causing havoc! He was in the toy circus tent trying to push it over a couple of nights ago, laughing with each attempt.
Although it seems a long time ago now, but I've uploaded photos from christmas and Daisy's birthday - they can seen in the photos dropdown.
'Woo! New Toy'
I couldn't bear it any more and had to get my hands on the new ipad mini. For the last 2 weeks I've been trying to justify the purchase and finally came to the conclusion that it would be just plain stupid not to get one. In fact this part of the message is brought to you by Siri. So I don't even need to type anything, how awesome is that!
The image across was taken with the camera on the ipad mini and this post was created on this tiny bundle of technological joy.
I love Apple!!!!
It's 9:30pm on New Years eve and Carol and the kids are in bed, so this is the perfect opportunity to watch one of my christmas requested bluray movies on the big screen. So I've chosen the Matrix, but I can't watch it. When Magoo and I originally saw it back in 1999, I was blown away, thinking it was one of the greatest films of all time. But now knowing it was made in Australia has ruined it for me. The locations and most of the actors are Australian and because of this, it's trying to be something it isn't. I can't seem to escape the 'Neighbours' connection and it cheapens the whole experience.
So, Aliens has gone on and has been on for about 10 minutes. Even though it's a James Cameron film (Titanic was totally gay), it's just amazing!
It was Daisy's 2nd birthday on Friday so we had a party. It's was also an opportunity to meet the neighbours as I've only met a few of them. It was good day and evening and even today I'm still knackered, saying that, Henry was up every hour last night, so that may have something to do with it. With having Christmas and a birthday so close together, the house is bursting with new toys, so Carol and I have some toy migration to attend to.
Yesterday we took our Christmas tree down, I know it's a bit early, but I'm a bit christmased out. I'm not back at work for another week so it's nice to have a normal week off, though Carol is talking of Ikea and B And Q today, so when I say 'week off' I mean it in the loosest possible sense. Already the nags are coming in fast a furious.
We've had an interesting day. Henry woke us at 3am crying and as I was waiting for Carol to bring his milk up, he puked all over me. He clearly wasn't well and didn't want his bottle. We managed to get him back to sleep and he woke as normal at about 7:30ish, drank his morning milk only to throw up the entire bottle all over Carol. She was literally soaked from shoulders to toes in baby milk and vomit. So we headed down stair after cleaning Carol and the floors to resume christmas. After opening some presents we though it might be time to try and feed Henry again, so gave him another bottle, only for him to chuck the whole lot up again, all over the kitchen floor and again all over Carol. NHS24 only advised to feed him small amount a lot through out the day and that he probably has a tummy bug. So pretty stressful start to the day.
Henry is OK now though a little moanie, and apart from the above, it's been a fun rest of the day. Daisy has been in her element opening everyones presents and is currently making muffins in her new kitchen.
Merry christmas all, I'm off to have a beer and relax.
I promised to take Daisy to see the Edinburgh christmas lights, but the weather over the weekend just wasn't going to let us. So today, we jumped in the car with the hope the rain would subside but it only got worse and the traffic in town was impossible. The image across is the view we got through the rain soked windscrean. So the lights will have to wait til' after christmas.
It's getting quite exciting, Daisy has a fair idea of whats going on. It's bizarre telling your little girl that a strange old man is going to gain access to the house in the middle of the night to leave presents for no apparent reason. I can guarantee when she's a bit older, I'll be telling her that these are the type people she should be avoiding.
We have everything ready for tomorrow and I'm looking forward to opening presents, eating way too much food and getting a little tipsy.
'Test Head Shots'
No, Magoo isn't trying to hurt Daisy in this picture, he's just told her that Santa doesn't exist.
The Mangochutneyman was passing through Edinburgh this week on his way back to Inverness for Xmas, so I got him involved with some test shots. It was an interesting exercise in lighting and I'm pleased with the results but they could be a lot lot better! You can see a few more by click on the image across.
'Is That Daisy?'
It's true what they say, girls turn into their mothers.
Carol's mum has always maintained that Daisy looks like Carol did when she was a baby, to which I have pigheadedly dismissed, until Carol's mum sent us the photo across. It's pretty freaky like!
It would have been nice to see if I looked like Henry when I was a nipper, unfortunately our baby photos were lost in a house move, which is short of saying that we were adopted.
'The Tree Is Up'
The Walker-Lyon Xmas has been assembled. Daisy is fascinated by it and is always trying to pull stuff off it. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before it's brought down.
When putting up the Xmas tree, I am always reminded of the time I was supposed to help with the family Xmas tree in Inverness, but went out and got smashed instead. Magoo went mental when I turned up drunk and fell sleep on the couch after putting on Willow on DVD. To this day, I still think it's funny as hell.
I am looking forward to Xmas day. I cant wait to see what sort of reaction Daisy gives when she opens her presents.
Carol is watching the X-Faxtor final tonight so it's a bit of a slow evening. The good thing about Xmas is that the X-Faxtor finishes and the darts start.
'Henry's 1st Visit To Inverness'
We had a good time up north last weekend. We hooked up with the Simons and the Spences and ate lots of fantastic food in-between, thanks to mum who looked after us all. You can see pics of the trip by click the image across or click on the photos drop-down at the top of the page.
There's a scene for Sunshine on Leith being filmed on the bridge near our office this evening. It's cool to see film crew and all the massive lights dotted about the shore. Though stopping traffic at 5:30pm on a major thoroughfare through Edinburgh is a bit silly - a lot on angry motorist out there.
I was in the Cameo last night with Ricky and Liam to watch the Aberdeen vs Caley, but when I got there, found out it wasn't on TV. The pub showed Villa vs Reading, a rubbish game, and it's a shame we didn't get the to see Caley play as we DESTROYED ABERDEEN!!!!! We are now joint top with Celtic. I can't believe the roll we are on, I'm definitely gonna go to the league Cup semi-final, Hearts vs Caley, at Easter Road in January.
"Give me a 'C'...."
This photo of Henry is a test with my Canon 50mm 1.2 (a lens). A week or so back I was taking a few pics of the night sky in the back garden, when I had a horrific accident. I was shooting with the Canon 5d mark ii and the 1.2 lens on a tripod. I snapped away a few shots and then I when to move the camera and it fell off the tripod hitting the stone step 5 feet and 10 inches below. My heart sank. As it was dark I couldn't see how many pieces the expensive camera and equally expensive lens had broken in to. Within the second it took to reach down and pick up what was left, my brain was processing a multitude of solutions to replace the gear, home insurance, how much savings I had, spares and repairs, sell one of the kids etc. Thankfully the lens was still attached to the camera body, so I rushed inside to see the extent of the damage. The camera had 2 scuffs on it's left had side and miraculously the big ass lens hood took most, if not all of the brunt of the fall so the lens was unharmed externally. So I nervously switch the camera on and took some sample picks....YES....I shouted, as it all worked fine. The lens hood is cracked and scrapped to hell, but at £20 to replace, I was fookin' lucky!
So I've been testing the 5D mk2 and the 50mm 1.2 periodically to make sure everything is fine. This pic across is the 50 1.2 on my new EOS-M - and the pic is proof everything is fine.
'Just Me And The Kids'
Today, Carol had a lady day and went out for lunch and then went to the cinema, so it was just me and the kids today. I can totally appreciate what it would be like to be home all day, every day.
Now it's the evening and I'm knackered, so it's time for a shower and an early night!
Alana and Sion (pronounced Shaun) are visiting the Walker-Lyon household this week. Alana used to work with Carol. So it's a busy house at the moment.
Christmas is round the corner...again, 37th time it's happened actually. So looking forward to eating a disgusting amount of meat and watching lots christmas movies with the kids. I was thinking of doing a Griswold with the front of the house, but it's a little bit pikie. Anyways, you don't get the full benefit of illuminating the front of your house as only your neighbours and passers by do.
I can't believe all the hoo-haa about women wanting to become bishops. Here's what I do, I imagine god as Santa Clause and then apply it to whats going on in the news and the whole story becomes really funny. I understand that it comes down to equality for women and I agree, women should be aloud to do the same jobs as men.....except this isn't the case domestically when it comes to heavy lifting, DIY, fixing things, going into the loft, reaching the top shelf even though they have a little step to do this with etc. So actually, NO NO NO!!! until women start lifting heavy stuff at home and using the purpose bought step, they WON'T achieve equality!!!
I've been off work the past couple of days with a cold/flu type thing. Carol has been brilliant and has been doing most of the looking after giving me plenty of recovery time.
I hate being ill, I'm at home and it sucks, AND I love being at home. The only thing I've done is put pigtails in Daisy's hair (see image) and even that tired me out. Carol and the kids are off to playgroup so the kettle is going on!!! Tea, hot water bottle and perhaps some biscuits are in order and I'm going to watch a program about stars I've been meaning to see.
Pissed off Jim
It was good to catch up with Ricky at his 40th birthday party.
Shamefully, I only managed to take 2 photos of the night, both just after I arrived. I didn't even get a photo of my outstanding zombie makeup. To counter balance this poor creative performance, I create a tune for Rick's birthday which you can hear by clicking on the photo or use the audio drop down at the top of the page.
Now that we live in a more civilised area, Halloween is to be looked upon with fun rather than fear. When we lived in Leith, we used to hide and turn the lights off in case any neds came round demanding money.
Now, we light a carved pumpkin and place by our front door and polite children come round and perform for chocolate and sweets. Once we get fed up with being entertained or we run out of confectionery, we blow the lite pumpkin out and retire safely and confidently into our home not to be disturbed for the rest of the night.
Not sure the Halloween etiquette is worth the £170 a month increase in council tax.
As things seem to be returning to normal, on Sunday I did a bit of filming using my trusted 5D mk2 and the skater dolly. Click on the image of Daisy across to watch.
The kids are recovering from a bit of flu and last night Carol and I manage to get some good sleep, the first in about a week and a half. The night before was horrible, we only managed about 3 hours kip in total with Daisy and Henry tag teaming, one would wake up dry and then go to sleep, then the other would wake up and start crying, I'm sure it was deliberate. I've managed to avoid the illness so far, but last night started to feel a little shady, so I hope it's gone before Rick's birthday/Halloween party at the start of next month, which I'm looking forward too! BTW - happy birthday Rick, remember, life begins at 40!
Right now, today, as of 1:15pm, I'm totally chilled. Both the children are asleep and there's nothing to do. So I'm about to assume a super relaxed slouching position in the corner section of the new couch and fix my concentration on the Tv.
Earlier today I managed to get half an hour of Golden Eye in on the Wii, oh yeah!!!, life feels like it returning to normal!
'Shit Gorgie Farm'
We went to Gorgie City Farm today. Trip adviser gave it rave reviews, but 'rave' it was far from, more 'sad and require attention' I would say. I believe the farm is for the benefit of inner city children who don't know where their meat and eggs come from and judging by some of the visitors today, they require this form of remedial education.
You can see photos of our depressive photos in the photos drop down.
Our couch covers arrived and we got out corner couch built yesterday. Although it's Ikea, it's very comfy and the corner section will be fought over in the future as it's the most premium spot to sit on.
So this weekend is dedicated to spending as much time as we can on our new seat.
Our corner couch arrive yesterday from Ikea, it took a month, but we are missing the outer cover for it so can't be used and has been piled in the cinema room. The delivery driver said that he would get Ikea to call us. They didn't call. Today I've been waiting on the phone for the best part of half an hour to try and speak to someone. I suspect that it's going to take another month before the cover gets re-ordered and sent to us. I'm gonna have to go and see them and have words! Swedish wankers!
'Worlds Worst Joiner'
We recorded an ad about 4 years ago for the 'world skills championships'. The competition invited people such as plumbers, brick layers, hairdressers etc to work/perform against each other to win. If I were in that competition for joinery, I would have been arrested, tortured and sent to live in Aberdeen for the rest of my life I'm that bad. The pic across is my attempt at manufacturing and fitting doors onto a cupboard. The construction of the interior shelves and frame was easy and straight forwards, the doors on the other hand caused nothing but trouble. They work as doors and do their job, but all my measurements are way out. They are now temporary and it looks like I may have to get a proper joiner in to fix the job. I'm sure I'll get a load of stick when they ask who did the work.
'Daisy's 1st Haircut'
Before I go on about the story across, Danny and Stef gave birth to baby Shona yesterday weighing in at 5 pound 11 ounces. So congratulations to the expanding Robertson family.
OK. Daisy past one of her childhood mile stones today, she's got her 1st haircut. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was. I didn't get my 1st proper hair cut (as in going to the hairdressers) until I was 18. My mum used to cut it, and we are not talking about a bowl and pair of scissors here, she was a professional hairdresser so did a good job (I wouldn't trust her now though, especially after she broke her arm, you'd end up with something like this). Daisy was brilliant and didn't make a fuss. So I'm hoping the rest of her mop chops are equally as relaxed.
It took me most of my week off to get the living finished. Miraculously, everything works - I had run cables in the walls for the TV and surround sound monitors. I'm off to B And Q today to take back some excess wood and need to find a decent material for the doors that are going to be used on the cupboard below the bookshelf. After that, all we have to do is wait for our corner couch to arrive, next week I hope, and that it'll be all done!
Today was the first day I've driven into work in 4 weeks, so feel I need to use the car today to it's full potential, so off to buy bulk stuff today that I can't take on the bike!
I got torn into the living room yesterday. I had to chisel a troff in the wall for the TV cables and take up skirting board to run cable along the wall. It's quite a tricky task as Carol is down south with Henry for a wedding and it's just me and Daisy at home, AND Daisy needs to know and inspect everything that's going on with the renovation. So the work is being carried out during nap and sleeping times. ,
I had my 1st fall off the bike today, thanks to being attached to the thing with my new shoes and pedals. I was on my way to B And Q at lunchtime to get some stuff. I was following a tourist driving in front of me, he was going really slowly, and then he just stopped in the road, so my instinct was to pull my foot off the pedal, but I couldn't and 'timmmmmmmmbbbbeeeerrrrrrrrrr' I keel over. I grazed my arm and knee but wasn't really hurt, the only thing that was damaged was my pride. A few folk came over to see if I was OK and the driver of the car leaned out of window to ask if I was OK to which I angrily replied "You've got right of way, GO!"
I cycled into work today wearing my new cycling shoes with the hope the accompanying shimano M520 pedals will arrive. I'm desperate to try them out, though a little hesitant as a lot of people fall off when initially using this type of pedal system AND there's nothing funnier than watching a cyclist fall over sideways cos' they can't get their foot unattached form their bike!
Again, I'm proud of myself today as it's been a full 2 weeks of cycling into work and not using the car. Over the past 2 months, I've cycled for 18 hours and 49 minutes and covered a distant of 257 miles. I tell you what, I'm gonna need to get drinking some beer as the beer belly is rapidly disappearing!
Tomorrow is Magoo's birthday, he's going to be 36 years old. Mental, my wee brur is on the downhill towards 40 - ooonnnlluuuckkkkyyyy! Anyways, wish him a happy birthday or an ill fate will befall on ye!
'Dancing On The Wii'
For my birthday, Carol got me ABBA dance along, I was hoping for socks. Anyways, Carol was quite keen to try my new game (can't imagine why) so we fired it up today. The idea of the game is interesting, but I think it's just a little bit too gay for my liking. It's basically guitar hero for girls.
Carol also got me the original Frankenstein and The Bride of Frankenstein for my birthday. We watched Frankenstein the other night, and it's comically bad. I understand that it was made about 80 years ago, but it was shit. Whereas Bride of Frankenstein, which I watched tonight and is far more entertaining. If you get the opportunity, they are both worth a watch, though only in chronological order.
I just turned 37 the other day, a bit of a boring age to be. I suppose it's better than 38. As I get older, the less I care about age, especially with having the kids. Anyway, mum came down for a surprise visit and we had some cake.
I'm quite pleased with myself this week, I've managed to cycle to work everyday and my times are getting quicker too. What's odd, I'm now getting a little concerned about what I'm going to do in the winter time, you can't cycle in the snow right?
'Daisy's Room Finished'
We got Daisy's bedroom decorated yesterday. The walk in wardrobe that was there, and is now part of our room, was plastered over and needed painting. So it's all done and much to Daisy's delight with an approving 'OOoohhhhh' as we presented the room to her. Unfortunately, the original carpet has to stay as we don't have the budget for the desired wood floor.
With Daisy's room done, I feel inspired to get our livingroom done up, I'm already planning it in my head - a little bit sad I know, but I'm a dad of 2 and have a pair of slip on slippers.
The other day, Carol came running into the living room laughing and saying that I needed to go upstairs and see how Daisy was sleeping. The pic across was the reason for Carols laughter. Daisy is an odd ball when it comes to sleep. When she was a baby, she hardly slept at all and now she falls asleep on the floor, half in and out of the bed, nothing conventional. I have to admit, this was quite a funny position to be sleeping in.
Do not forget to get your team in for the FF. There's only a few days to go!!
Group ID: 957
Today I got a CoPilot bike seat on Gumtree. It's the limo version so the safest childs bike seat on the market and Daisy loves it. We took it for a test ride this evening and she didn't want to get out. So I've promised her tomorrow afternoon we'll go for a longer ride once I've picked up a helmet for her. I bought it off an oriental guy called Freddy, he was selling it as his own bike got nicked. Not sure about the validity of his story, but I don't care as I'm well pleased with my purchase.
What a summer for sport eh! The Euro Football Champs, the Olympics, the Scottish Premier League starting this weekend (without Rangers, yeah) and the start of the Fantasy Football looming. Will Magoo hang onto to the title or will Paul, or perhaps you else take it from him?
Click on the pic for a link to the FF site and join with the following:
Group ID: 957
The cycling is going well. I've only been in the car once this past week so feeling quite environmentally friendly. Also my times are getting quicker, albeit by a few seconds here and there. My plan is to focus on training during the week and the following Mondays, cycle like a madman to get my times down. The bike I've got is a commuter bike, so it's heavy in terms of road racing. Next summer, I plan on building a road bike (cheapest way to do it) using a retro Reynolds 531 frame and modern parts. I won't be going for ultimate in lightness, but it will look sexy as fook! If I had the money, this would be the bike I would get.
'Henry's Doing Well'
Henry is starting to bloom now. Last night I got him into a giggle fit while blowing zerberts (raspberries) at him. It so nice that he's leaving that helpless baby stage. All I need now is Daisy to respect and love him and then we'd have the prefect family.
'Henry's 1st Solid Food'
We started to wean Henry a.k.a Beast, a.k.a. Ox onto baby rice.
We think he likes it, but doesn't know how to chew so well. I'm sure once he figures it out, you'll have to keep your fingers at a safe distance.
I'm pretty excited about the new Canon EOS-M, due to arrive in the shops September/October time. I've been waiting for this camera for literally for years.
If I were a plumber, I would be wearing a stetson hat, chaps, leather boots and would have a horse tied up outside.
I fookin' hate plumbing and any plumbing job I do always turns into a disaster. Our shower stopped working at the weekend, it was a good shower and for the ease of replacing I order an exact copy. It took me the best part of 2 hours to remove the old one, with many profanities echoing through out the Blackhall neighbourhood, and 2 minutes to install the new one, only to discover a leek in one of the pipe joints. Another hour later and the leek was fixed. So turn the shower on and nothing happened. I checked the fuse box, all fine, then check the wiring to shower, no power! Then it slowly started to dawn on me...I wondered why there was no mains switch for the shower outside the bathroom. I ask Carol if the shower gave a final noise when she tried it at the weekend and it hadn't. I then remembered I was in the loft moving stuff the day it stopped working, so went up to have a look for a mains power switch....AND sure enough, there it was in the 'off' position. I'd laid something on the switch and turned the shower off.
The new shower works brilliantly.
Oh my god. What is the deal with the weather?
It's so shit! We have a bollocks summer then it's winter. Totally sucks!
Henry, also know as Beast and now also know as Ox, has been scratching the hell out of his face and eating his own fingers. He puked all over his scratch mits, so Carol came up with an ingenious solution, a pair of socks. They do the same job, but don't look as nice.
I made it to work today in under 20 minutes on the bike. I'm a bit surprised as I thought it would take longer to reach this time. I believe it can be done in 15 minutes, but that is surely a year or two down the line.
We may be heading up the road for Henry's first road trip at the end of the month to catch up with everyone, including the Honnors, who return from Canada with baby Juliette. So maybe a night could be organised for the grown ups?
I took the bike again to work, smashing my time by 2 minutes 45. Fare enough it was only my 2nd ride in, but beating the times are an encouragement. My goal is to get to work in under 20 minutes, the time it takes to drive in and out. The homeward journey is a little tougher as it's up hill, so I'm aiming for under 24 minutes tonight.
There are parts of the journey in and out to work that have been marked as 'race segments' on Strava and I am determined to get into the top 20 of some of the races, though I think it will take maybe a year so to do so.
'1st Ride In'
Today was my 1st ride into work and it wasn't that bad. I'm feeling a little tired, but nothing I'm sure to how I'll feel tonight, the return journey is uphill!
Click here or on the map to view my progress.
The forecast for this evening is for heavy rain, so probably going to get wet.
As well as my bike, I also picked up my bike helmet yesterday - ha ha ha, helmet! Grandad Howard modeling the hat across. I went for the less 'gay' style of helmet, though heavier and makes you look like you've been shot from a canon, the aforementioned features are more appealing that the nonse style of hat everyone else wears. This weekend I need to create some bike space in the shed and adapt our back garden gate to accommodate a lock that can be used inside and out. After that, I'm ready to bike to work.
Carol's mum and dad left today, only to be replace by Magoo and mum tomorrow. So it's been a busy old time.
The weather in central Scotland sucks during the summer. Due to the shift in the gulf stream, the north west of Scotland gets blistering hot sunshine during the summer months, and we get drizzle, fog and humidity. I'm pining for that Canadian west cost sunshine, 27 deg c's with no air moisture! I think Carol was bonkers to move here, if we hadn't have had kids, we'd be there now.
I pick up my new bike today. In an effort to keep fit and save money, I'll be biking to work.
Exciting news about the Higgs Boson being discovered. It's almost as exciting as Rangers getting dumped down to the 3rd division, where they belong!
'First Trip To Sick Kids Hospital'
Daisy had her 1st proper accident today. She fell and hit her head on a bin and gave herself a 1cm cut on the side of her face and needed a stitch (stick on one). The bin I think came off worse, click the image to see.
Last weekend, Carol's folks and brother stayed with us. You can see some photos in the photo drop down at the top of the page.
'Woo - Big Screen!'
I finally got the cinema room finished on Thursday night, just in time for the England game. The projector is 720p, but the resolution is perfectly watchable, to spend an additional 500 quid for the full hd version just isn't worth it. With this particular model, I could invest a further 250 quid in a box and 2 sets of glasses for 3D viewing, but I'm happy with what I've got and is something that I may consider in the future. I've got the Wii, PS3, HD TV and BluRay going through the projector. Rick, Claire and Rebecca were round on Saturday for a BBQ and a catch up and gave the system a test run and were suitable pleased. Click on the image across to see more pics.
We are having some building work done in the house today and tomorrow in time for the arrival of Carol's parents and brother later this week. I'm taking a long weekend too, so fingers crossed, we have some nice weather for the BBQing!
We got Daisy her 1st proper bed yesterday. It's quite something to see your baby sleeping in a normal bed. Carol was adamant that she wouldn't sleep there all night, but she did. As a result of Daisy getting her new bed, Henry was promoted to the big cot. He has literally grown out of the baby cot, his arms have been hanging over the edges. He too slept amazing well. It was odd not having a baby in the room with us.
I know it's going to be difficult with 2 kids and a demanding wife, but I'm planning on watching as much football as I can over the next couple of weeks. I've invested in a projector, a not too expensive one, as a present for the new house and plan on having it up an running in a couple of days, so will be watching the Euro finals on the big screen in hi def!
'Monkey's Birthday And The Fantasy Football Champ'
Word all. It was Tim's (aka Monkey Man, aka Sargent Ape, aka Admiral Gibbon) birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday Monks! He got an Xbox 360 so is well chuffed!
Magoo was hassling me to get the FF Trophy photos on the shed. So they are up. Click on the image across to see or you can find them in the photos drop down at the top of the page.
'Here's What Happened'
It feels like I have been in a state of limbo for the last 7 months - this is how long we have been proactive in getting the house on the market and sold. The process has been horrible form start to finish. Here's a time line of what happened.
November: We started packing our stuff into storage.
December: We decorated the house to get ready for sale in January.
January: Home report guy finds damp in the floor in Daisy's room. So get joiner in to remove rotten joists and repair. Home report guy says no, we needed a specialist to fix it. Get damp specialist in, says floors are fine but there's damp by the fire place! So have to get that fixed. The ridiculous cat hole our psycho neighbour cut, we cover with a hanging basket to make the place look more presentable. Also planted Russian vine to grow and cover the hole naturally. The psycho neighbour has a go at pregnant Carol for the basket saying his cat has no means of escaping his own garden if his dog chases it and threatens to cut another hole. We ignore him. The basket disappears. So we hang another one and attached steel wire so can't be stolen. Next day, the wire has been cut and the basket is gone. We get the police involved who tell us, keep heads down and ignore him as it's not worth a fight whilst trying to sell house. So we buy 3rd basket and hang only when we show the house.
February: House finally gets on market and get a phone call from the solicitor to say someone had been in touch to complain about our listing saying it was incorrect, saying we didn't have a shared garden as advertised, and that it was a mutual drying green for the drying and bleaching of clothes stated in the title deeds. It's obvious it's our psycho neighbour being a dick. We ignore this and the house sells a day after going on the market to Claire Goodsell. She tells us that she's renting and has a mortgage in principle. We then find 7 Hillpark Green and decide this is the house for us.
March: 7 Hillpark Green solicitors calls to say to commit to purchase or lose to someone else. So we chase Claire Goodsell and ask her to commit. She says she's waiting on her mortgage approval which is in the post and will arrive soon, but won't conclude. We take risk and commit to 7 Hillpark Green. 4 days later, get an email from our solicitor to say Claire Goodsell has been made redundant and can't go forward with the sale. I have a meltdown. We need to get the remaining deposit together that the sale of 41 Cambridge Gardens would have generated for the purchase of 7 Hillpark Green. The Bank say that bridging is a bad idea, so borrow money from my mum and Carol's parents. We also need to get approval from both mortgage providers that they are happy for us to run 2 mortgages. Found out Claire Goodsell lied about renting and mortgage approval - she was trying to buy our place and keep their old place to rent out but her lender wouldn't let her.
April: Re-list the house and lower the price by 2 grand to generate interest. 1 week later, we get 3 notes of interest so go to closing date. Get an offer 10k more than Claire Goodsell's offer. Happy, but sceptical. Move into Hillpark Green with no problems.
May: Get a letter from solicitor to say moving in date with new buyers has changed from 25th of May to 1st of June. This was news to us, but the solicitor knew 16 days before hand (just as well we weren't moving on the 25th). Time is getting on and getting nervous about completion. Call solicitors every day for 2 weeks to ask if missives have been signed but no news. Finally, this Tuesday the 29th, after calling the solicitors with threat of walking away from the deal, the buyers conclude. Gave the flat final clean and noticed psycho neighbour has been cutting the Russian vine to keep cat hole exposed - no longer our problem and don't care - glad to be away.
Today: Called the solicitor today and the transaction has formally gone through. I am now, finally, a happy man, though I have aged about 10 years. I never want to talk about this again.
'It's Finally Over!'
I can't believe it! The missives of Cambridge Gardens have been concluded 2 months to the day that the original sale fell through.
The stress of these past 2 months have been indescribable.
Once I calm down from the shock, I shall regale the story. In the mean time, beers for me tonight.
'Paul Has Been Dethroned!'
Magoo has become the 2011/12 Fantasy Football champion and will receive the prestigious FF Trophy and the Paul Simon Challenge award sometime during the summer. Congrats to everyone else who took part! I finished in the lowly position of 8th, the worst I ever finished. I put my poor performance down to having two babies and moving house. Time to prepare for next season with possibly a financial reward!
Other than following the above, this weekend past we hung out with Joe on Saturday afternoon, Carol's cousin's husband, and looked after babies. Not much time to do anything else.
I took a few photos of the weekend. They are in the photo drop down under 'may weekend'
'Tight Finish In The FF'
I don't think there has ever been such a tight finish at the end of the Fantasy Football Season. Magoo is a meagre 42 points ahead of Paul - these points would almost equate to a striker getting a hat rick.
If Magoo holds off the Michael Schumacher of fantasy football, he would end Paul's 4 year dominance and win the prestigious Shed League Trophy AND the Paul Simon Challenge trophy.
As of 12 noon on Saturday, I will be printing off both their team sheets and follow the actions as it happens. Being a neutral party, I think it's going to be quite exciting!
I love our new kitchen! It's a lot bigger than our last one and is a more sociable room with the breakfast bar running through the middle. The bar was very useful the day we moved in as was a temporary changing station for Henry and Daisy - we did clean it thoroughly after!
The kitchen makes up for our new living room, which is biggish, but feels dark as there is only one north facing window. I will get some proper pics of the house up soon, most of the rooms aren't ready for photographs as there are still unopened boxes lurking.
Yesterday was stunning, so we had an afternoon BBQ. It was good to be in the back garden and not have to worry about strange cat fancying neighbours appearing. In fact, the day we moved in, one of our new neighbours popped round to say hello and she said to Daisy 'You're going to love living here, and guess what, we have a cat' - I just looked at Carol, raised an eyebrow and feigned interest. Bizarrely, 2 days later, we got a note through the door from another neighbour looking for their missing cat! I hate cats.
We've broken the unpacking back so feeling a little more normal now. I may have to take a trip to Ikea today to get some cheap storage solutions. Talking of storage, we now have a loft and it's starting to fill up nicely.
Daisy is settling into her new home well, initially she was quite upset, I think she was expecting to go home back to Cambridge Gardens. Henry is blissfully unaware of the move and continues to eat and gain weight. Carol is loving the new home! She went for a walk around that block and said she was amazed that there was no dog poo on the streets, unlike Leith. It's like we've moved to a different country.
Yeah, we are now in our new home. The move went surprisingly smoothly and quickly, though the removal guy was a bit shocked with how much stuff we had, imagine one of the big removal trucks you see on the road, we had one of those completely filled. So the past few days have been busy going through all our stuff and it's been hard work with Henry, Daisy and Carol requiring so much attention.
The sale of our old place is still ongoing and I don't want to go into the details until there is some resolution. I'll be regaling that tale soon I hope.
Time is really tight right now so shedding is pretty difficult. The broadband guy comes today so will hopefully get some pics of the new pad up soon.
We are now pretty much packed up and ready to go, and with only 6 days left in the house, I can't wait to leave. This whole house selling business has left a nasty taste. Even once we've moved there will be still be a lot to do.
Henry is doing great. He's eating like a fat man in free to enter burger eating competition. In fact, he's taking on as much as a 2 month old. The positives to this are that he sleeps all the time.
'Happy Birthday Carol'
It's Carol's birthday today and turns 32 again, I think that's the 4th year in a row that's happened. Today we are going to take the kids out in the new double buggy, so Carol is quite excited about that.
Things are going well, though still really busy in the house cleaning, doing laundry, and other baby/toddler related stuff. Carol will have her hands full when I return to work.
More photos of Henry are in the photo drop down at the top of the page.
It's been a busy house today trying to get organised and settled in with baby Henry. I was really worried about the sleepless nights and constant crying, but the wee fella was brilliant last night, in fact we got a telling off from the midwife saying that we let him sleep too long. All he wants to do is sleep, eat and make baby poops.
Daisy on the other hand has changed over night from a sweet little girl into a berserked terrible two year old monster, she is such a hand full right now. I expected some sort of reaction, but she is hard work! Her cries are twice as loud, she throws tantrums at the slightest thing and she wont go to sleep at night, I now have to strap her down in the cot like a mental patient. If you have seen the Exorcists, it's like that.
The above aside, it's been pretty good expanding the family. Though my brain is frazzled with babies and house stuff. Fingers crossed there's some resolution this week with the property.
Say hello to Henry Walker-Lyon
Born at 7:47am on Friday the 6th of April by c-section.
He is a bit of beast weighing in at 8lbs and 5ozs
Henry and mum doing good.
Pics of the boy are in the photo drop down up top.
Today is D-Day, or should I say B-Day. Baby number 2 is supposed to arrive today according to medical professionals, but the baby doesn't seem that interested in joining us, and I don't blame him with our house nonsense.
Carol can't wait to get him out as her back is killing her right now and she's finding it hard to get about. Magoo is down at the moment and is helping out, which has been a huge relief.
So come on baby, get oot!
Mum always says 'White Rabbits' at the start of every month as it's supposed to bring good luck. She asked me at the start of this month if I'd said it, I told her to stop talking nonsense. Here's what's happened:
As you know we sold our house, so we bought a new one, we foolishly committed to the missives on the new house thinking our sale would go through (Carol's idea, not mine), but it didn't. The buyers pulled out, a pair of lying wankers, I hope they die! Anyways, possible financial ruin on the cards if can't sell in 4 weeks, thankfully, amazing mum and in-laws pull through with bridging, so time bought. House back on market, showing tomorrow. Baby due on Thursday, mum was primed to come down to look after Daisy when baby came, this morning, mum falls and breaks arm badly. She needs an op to fix arm, so can't look after Daisy. Magoo promoted to head baby sitter.
My state of mind of late has been fragile to say the least.
I am NEVER moving again!
'Daisy's New Home'
Daisy is getting freaked out at the prospect of a new baby arriving and moving house, so has taken to living in the toy cupboard. I don't blame her, I think I will be joining her soon.
Another beautiful day here in Edinburgh, our summer has come early. Looks like today is going to be the hottest day. Yesterday, our outside thermometer was telling us it was 22.3 deg cs. Not too shabby!
No news on our property sale, it's seems to be dragging on and on and on and on.....
'Stress, Stress, Stress!'
Nothing ever goes to plan. The people who are buying our place are sandbagging and causing us load of stress. We need them to concluded next week or we will have to pursue another buyer. I'm now paranoid that Carol is going to go into labour at this crucial time, so my fingers, toes and everything else that can be crossed are crossed right now.
Today has been nice out, so Daisy and I went for a walk to feed the birds and forget about our property woes. We caused a pigeon stampede with the huge loaf we had, so much so we cause people walking and on bikes to deviate their path as it was blocked by a mass of birds.
Also, congrats to Pat and MC, they are now proud parents of baby Juliette born on the 21st.
'Mothers Day/St Patricks Day'
For the above, we headed to Yo Sushi at Harvey Nicks for some raw fish. The last time I had sushi was in Canada. There it cost us £12 for all you can eat, the meal for 3 of us at Yo sushi cost £90 - you would think that not cooking the food would make it cheaper.
I've taken a few pics of the day, click on the image across to see.
'Even The Baby Is Drinking'
Poor Daisy can no longer take the pressure of the arrival of the new baby, she's turned to drink. In this pic, she told me 'Get the f**k away from me, you ain't getting any of my brew!'
I'm off work tomorrow to give Carol a break from looking after Daisy. Also mum is coming down from Inverness too. Not much of a holiday for me then.
This is how I was woken up yesterday morning. Two toddler feet kicking into the the back of my neck.
Daisy woke up early, so we took through to our bed. This is how she normally ends up in the morning, side ways with her feet in my back. It's never the other way round with her feet in Carol's back!!
She's only 14 months old and is already using me as a door mat.
Check out this pic I took when I got home on Friday. Wild skies over Leith! Click on the image to enlarge.
We've had a busy weekend packing. It's mainly stuff we don't use that much, so none of it is needed for the next 2 months. It's a bit premature as we haven't signed any missives or had our mortgage approved, but we are trying to get as much done as we can before the baby comes along. Talking of the baby, we got a little anxious on Saturday night as Carol started getting tightening sensations in her stomach. I was freaking out a little, as I'm not ready for the baby to arrive. Thankfully it was just braxton hicks so there was nothing to worry about.
Only 3 weeks to go for baby number 2 and 7 weeks for move number 3. Can't wait for it all to be over.
'Busy, Busy, Busy!'
Was up north this past weekend to collect some stuff for the new baby, Daisy's old cott, clothes etc.
As I was on my own, it gave me the oportunity, all be it breif, to take some pictures.
Click on image of Magoo basking in the sun to see.
'Say Goodbye To High Ceilings!'
Yea...we got the house. And we weren't the highest bidder either. It must have been close, as the vendor was happier to go with us as we had sold our current house and preferred our moving in date.
Even though I'm not a superstitious person, I don't want to upload the PDF of the new house until the missives are signed. But all being well, on the 27th of April, we move into our new gaff! The house was built in the 1960s so has standard sized ceilings and externally from the road looks a little underwhelming But it's only a 2 minute walk from one of the best primary schools in Edinburgh and the interior is not too shabby. I don't wasn't to say too much, but you'll see why we bought it when I upload the details later in the month.
Now it's time to concentrate on the imminent arrival of the baby boy - only 5 weeks to go!
The house we like has a closing date today at 2pm, so our offer has been submitted. I hate this closing date nonsense. When we looked at the house, the vendor was surprised that after 4 weeks he hadn't sold, so we thought we were onto a winner i.e. get it cheaper that the asking price, but some dickhead put a note of interest in yesterday, so we have to go in with our top bid.
I'm going through swathes of panic thinking that we haven't offered enough, then I start thinking that we put too much in! AND because I was reluctant to put more in, if we don't get the house it will be my fault.
It's going to be a long afternoon.
With all the house nonsense that's been going on, one of the greatest moments in my life is being overshadowed, the birth of my second child.
Carol found a photo with 6 weeks to go before Daisy's due date, so last night, with 6 weeks to go until Burt The Bump arrives, we took another. Click on the image to see a 'rollover' comparison.
We've been viewing properties like mad people over the past few days. We have 5 to see this weekend, but we may have found a place that's suitable. It's in a good area, close to work with good schools, but there are 2 downsides, the bedrooms are a little small, probably because we have been spoiled by our current Victorian sized rooms and the price is a little high. If this weekend is unfruitful, we'll make an offer on the place on Monday.
'Finally On The Market!'
It's only taken 4 months...but now we are on the market! It's been pretty stressful and there's still loads to do, not only do we have to sell the house, we have to buy a new one and give birth to our next child (who is due in 6 weeks), not much pressure then.
We've only been on the market since Friday and we've had a viewing on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. So not a bad start. I have to say it does feels pretty good after all the hard work we done. Let hope for speedy sale!
Additional: In between getting the gaff ready for sale, I've been playing around with stabilization on the 5D mark ii. Click the image across to watch.
3pm: We've just received an offer on the house, and only 3 days on the market, mental! Unfortunately it's too low, so the negotiation starts, let see how deep their pockets go!
4:30pm: HOLY SHIT. Just receieved 2nd note of interest. Going to closing date at 5pm today. Thats in half an hour!
5:10pm: 2 offers offered. One is good! Looks like we've sold!
For someone who never had any luck with Valentines Day, it turns my stomach to try and be proactive for this ridiculous event! This is a day created for women. When you think about it, what do men get from Valentines day? Nothing! They spend time and money on gifts looking for an emotional reaction from their partner they are already aware of. Are men that blind they need this remedial form of communication to reaffirm their position as husband/partner? Also the historical evidence points to religious origins, something that goes against the grain with me!
Would it hurt to have a day to celebrate men instead? Hhhmmm, sounds totally gay! Maybe not, but women should be aware that most men find V.D. an uncomfortable event and should be grateful for any attention they get!
Mum is down this weekend. The purpose of her visit is to get Daisy more used to her, so when baby number 2 comes along, she's not going to be freaked out. We are just back from a trip to OT, where Mum was filling Daisy with cake, so I'm a little worried about leave my 1st born with her as she'll end up with diabetes.
Carol and I are planning a night out tonight. But I'm not confident we'll end up going out at all. Carol can barely stay up past 8:30pm and that's when Daisy goes to bed. I'm determined to go out and have a few beers so will be feeding Carol Red Bull to get her motivated.
'Car Stereo Finally In'
Yeah, it's taken me a couple of days but I managed to get the new car stereo installed. By fitting it myself, I saved £100. After some extensive internet reading and all the correct cable connections made, there was an issue of a dreadful buzzing sound blasting through the speakers when the car lights were switched on, but a firm thump to the front dash soon fix that!
It's not a bad machine, it has bluetooth so can read my phones music library, hands free and the most important function - USB - this is brilliant and saves you having to sync and ipod or make a CD if you are in a rush to listen to some music, you simply throw an MP3 on a stick and fire it onto the front of the head unit.
Our damp specialist came and went, and thankfully it was pretty painless. The report is now with our surveyor, so fingers crossed, we'll be on the market next week.
'Easy Way To Feed A Baby'
I tell you what, if you are struggling to feed a baby - solution, stick a MacBook Air in front of them! Daisy looks content in her space age high chair.
To try and keep my mind off the house selling nonsense, I've decided to upgrade the new cars stereo. I'm trying to save £100 by installing the thing my self, but it doesn't help when you order the wrong cables, the new ones arrive on Wednesday. It's a lot more complicated than it used to be. I remember it was 2 wires to the left front, 2 for the left rear, the same for the ride side, positive and negative wires. Now there are looms of multicoloured wires going all over the place.
'Daisy's Wants My 5D - No Chance!'
This evening, Daisy was wanting to play with my Canon 5D mk2, a rather expensive bit of kit. So I wouldn't let her and she went MENTAL as you can see. You can't help but appreciate the quality of this camera, the tears in her eyes have really come out. She's really getting in and about stuff at the moment, I found her tub of blowing bubbles in the fridge and one of her dummies behind the playstation. Her favorite game now is to hide in a room, something she did earlier and scared the bejesus out of me as I couldn't find her.
Tuesday is D-Day. We've got a damp specialist coming to tell us if we are going to get shafted or not. Carol and I are getting fed up of waiting to get this place on the market, so I'm hoping the news is going to be good, but guessing by the luck we had so far with trying to get selling, I'm not too optimistic.
'Feeding The Birds'
We haven't been up to much, apart from feeding the birds up at Hollyrood Park on a freezing cold Sunday. Click on the image to see the photos.
On the house front, we are waiting to get our floor looked at before we can go on the market, so things feel like they have somewhat slowed down. We got our valuation back on the flat and it came back at 210k, 10k less than I hoped for. It means we will loose a bit of money on the place, but we had a very good meeting with the bank so my target for buying our next house is still achievable.
I got a new car a couple of weeks back. An Audi A4 2.0 tdi (170 bhp). It sounds like a taxi when running. Audio qualms aside, it's not too bad and is an absolute requirement with baby boy only 2 and half months away. Magoo says it's a grandad car, but he's got a volvo, the gayest make of car on the planet, second to the Toyota MR2. Click the image to see more.
These past couple of weeks have been dragging! Selling a house sucks. I keep imagining in the not too distant future that I'm sitting outside in a sunny back garden that's all mine drinking a nice cold beer and then heading inside to a designated TV room, exclusive to dads, to watch a Euro 2012 game, not worrying whether the psyco cat hole cutting neighbour will strike again, or stepping in dog shit by the back door, or running into evil Davy across the road when he's drunk. It will be bliss!!
'House For Sale'
We've been busy since we got back from Inverness. The house is looking amazing now and is ready for sale. Click on the image to see some of the brochure photos, the outside pic is a bit cold and burnt out so will need to take another. I'm going to get a few quotes from solicitors on Wednesday when everyone is back to work so fingers crossed we'll be on the market in a couple of weeks. After that, the next step is to see an IFA and see how much I can borrow. Complicated and stressful times ahead.
Incidentally, if anyone is interested in the house, it's yours for steal at 250,000 bob.
Ahhh, it's good to be home. We spent a week up north with Mum and Muncle, Magoo's new nickname. Mum did a fine job of keeping us all well fed and looked after. It was a bit hairy driving home as we hit a snow storm at Slochd Summit. I was worried it was going to be bad all the way down to Perth, thankfully it stopped after Aviemore.
I'm off to check out a new car tomorrow. It's an Audi A4 estate. In the words of Chief Brodie, we need a bigger car. We've had to leave some stuff up north as there wasn't enough room in the Golf. The car is being sold by a dealer and I hate dealing with dealers. I'm going in with an amount of money in mind and won't go beyond that as I'll be trading in!
I've thrown some photos of Daisy's Birthday up. Click on the image across to see.
The day of rest is not a Sunday, it's Boxing day. Ate and drank way too much yesterday and last night it was a bloody hard job to get Daisy to sleep. So today is piratically relaxed. George and Isobel have gone over to the west and currently Daisy and Carol are having a nap, so it's nice and quiet. Probably going to see the Radical Pat tonight and will probably be talking babies.
Apart from the above, not much to report. You can see picture of Xmas Day by clicking on the image across.
Feeling rough as fook today. The LP4 last night was a good laugh and the 1st one to feature wives. We went bowling and had a load of lager, then to the Snowgoose for some food and after that the Kep. By the end of the night, I was struggling and that is evident today, my hangover was pretty awful. We just had a house full of kids and it's was quite hard to concentrate, and Daisy had a cracking tumble giving herself a massive bruise, so needed a couple of beers to take the edge off and settle the nerves. You can see photos of the LP in the photos drop down. There are also a few photos up from our wee gathering today.
I'm looking forward to Christmas tomorrow. I think I'll need some champers in the morning to perk me up.
After 3 days of getting organised, we made it to Inverness.
Mum seems to think that we'll have a week off, but it's twice as much work as we are in a different environment where there are more interesting, though dangerous, places for Daisy to investigate. So yesterday, our first day here, was pretty stressful. Today is a much more relaxed affair. There's also quite a bit of negotiation going on with regards to the LP later today, the wives are trying to get in on the action. I think the solution will be that they will join us later on, just like the the London marathon where the men, who do the longer harder run, start first and are then joined by their more delicate counterparts.
Pictured is Magoo with his hair down. He was deliberating weather to have his lovey locks cut off. He asked me to take some fashion shots to aid his decision.
Ahh, the quintessential snack for the Christmas period - the Mince Pie.
I bloody love mince pies. They are brilliant with a cup of tea while watching some festive TV. Carol bought two boxes the other day and I've made my way through one already! The mince pie comes with it's own little tin foil bowl, but does a poor job of collecting crumbs. You have to be delicate with the pie as it's pretty flimsy once you've taken a bite. After about two of them, you feel pretty stuffed, but that passes quickly, then it's time for another.
All hail the mince pie!
Magoo have thrown his weight into the LPP creative spree and created his own propaganda.
Click on the image of Scud Dog looking like a gay wrestler to watch.
I should have my final LPP ready today and will upload tomorrow.
Magoo wasn't that impressed with my last 2 efforts of LP propaganda. So I've been racking my brain to come up with some new ideas. Today, I've created an ad that's suits what we'll be up to. You can listen by click here, or via the audio drop down at the top of the page.
A week tomorrow the Walker-Lyon family will be heading north for Xmas. Woo, getting quite excited now. The forecast for Xmas in Inverness is looking like a white Xmas, so fingers crossed!!
'I Hate The Botanics'
If you are a mum in Edinburgh, you go to the Botanic Gardens as it's a nice place to walk around and there's no dog poo unlike on every street corner in Edinburgh (Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and only the city centre is looked after. The rest of the city is a shite hole. I can't wait to move out of this pig sty to civilisation) Anyway, the Botanics, the past couple of times I've been have been awful. Earlier this year, we went and Daisy scream the place down. I believe some species of Squirrel have yet to return after that. So on Sunday, the Botanics have a new baby area, a round carpeted area for babies to play in, so naturally we took Daisy. She's walking around quite confidently now, but she's still a little wobbly. So this big ugly baby boy called Euan and I mean really ugly, this thing looked like Winston Churchill, walked up to Daisy and pushed her over. I tell you, my fists was clenched and was ready to throw haymakers at this little fucker. Thankfully, after the incident, the fat baby took off to the outer part of the play area, tripped over the edge and did a super man into the floor and was well funny to watch. But, 2 minutes later, Daisy was walking back over to us and she too took a flyer, going head first into the floor creating a huge lump on her forehead. All very stressful.
'Less Than 2 Weeks To Go!'
Less than a couple of weeks until LP4. I'm well looking forward to it, so much so I've started the propaganda. Click the image across to see. I have also create the Shed's Night Before Christmas, it's in the audio drop down, or you can listen to it by clicking here.
The Super Caley play Scumdee United today. If we win, I predict a winning streak for the next 3 months.
We got our Christmas tree up last night (ooh err missus), much to the delight of Daisy who is fascinated by the baubles and flashing lights. I'm sure over the next few weeks the tree will be down and under it will be a crying Daisy. I got all the Christmas presents wrapped up last night too, so with that and watching Polar Express, I was feeling quite Christmassy, a sensation that has eluded me for many years. Perhaps having Daisy has reminded me how exciting Christmas can be.
This weekend, more decorating is on the cards and I'm not talking about 'lets decorate the tree' fun decorating, I mean getting deluxe gloss on the wood floor and going mental decoration. After this weekend, there's only the kitchen to do and then we'll be ready to sell.
Not a lot going on. I discovered an unfortunate rat outside our work office. It was quite some size as you can see from the photo. He looked a little flat, so may have been run over, but if that were to happen, I'm sure his innards would all over the place. He was at the foot of a building, so probably jumped. Maybe he had money in Greek bonds.
That's it. No news. Apart from a deceased rat.
When I say 'fookin cold' in the title of this post, I'm killing two birds with one stone. It's fookin' cold out and I have yet another fookin' cold, this is the 3rd in as many weeks. It's all in my throat so I sound like this guy. I'm hoping that this is my quota of illness out of the way before the christmas holidays.
The forecast is for snow today and there's live coverage of the snow on the BBC Scotland News webpage....hhhmm, no news then. Obviously the huge news of two impotent bears arriving at Edinburgh zoo is not big enough.
A fine weekend of football. The might Caley get an important win and the sheep shagging dons drop down to the bottom of the table. Could this be my dream season where we see Aberdeen go down?
Team Red Facilities made £125 for prostate cancer. Not bad considering that I thought I would only raise £20. Unlucky to Tim who wrote on my Movember message board "How come mum and chris sponsored you and not me?" Did you tell them about it monkey man? AND where's the proof of your tash?
It's now December and Christmas is approaching like a maniac wielding an axe. I've pretty much done all my Xmas shopping so the main focus is finishing the house. This weekend, decorating the hall, the next is the Livingroom, the one after that - do nothing, then it's Xmas. Proper bo I tell thee!!!
'Woo - target reached!!'
I'm well please!!! I managed to get to my £20 target. I've raised £45, so the amount has been doubled and will keep the tash til' the end of the year. Thanks to Magoo, Carol, Mum, Carol's Mum and Day and the mysterious Magnum PI for your contributions. You can still donate if you like as there are a couple of days to go by click on the image across.
Carol's cousin and family came to visit this weekend. Joe, Fiona, Barny and Elkie. It was good fun seeing them again and also interesting to see how the double children family unit functioned. It's going to be interesting when our boy comes along. I've thrown some photos of the weekend up. Click here to view on click on the photos drop down.
OK. I'm £5 pounds off my target for Movember. I'm desperate to get to £20. I hate asking for money as me and charity don't mix and should be left to students and the people who believe in life after death. But I've been looking like a pedo for the past 3 weeks and I'm determined to get to my target. In fact, if I get to £40, I'll keep the tash until the end of the year.
Click on the image across to donate.
Our next baby is going to be a boy! Mental!!! Carol and I will have one each now.
The scan went well, the boy was jumping around a lot so the Ultrasound Technician had a bit of a job to pin him down.
Our due date is around the 5th of April. It could be very close to Carol's birthday on the 12th.
'Tash for Money'
If anyone feels generous, please donate some dough to my Movember page. I look like a right pedo at the moment with this weak looking tash, so there needs to be some good to come of it. Just click on the image to head to my movember page.
We've got our baby's 20 week scan today, so pretty excited to see my unborn baby kicking aboot!
Looks like there's a palooza a bewin' - Friday the 23rd of December in Inveress.
'Baby Number 2'
We managed to get a listen to baby number 2 tonight. If you click on the photo accross you'll be able to have a listen.
Canon have announced a new camera - the C300 - the 'C' stands for Cinema. Unfortunately it's a little out of my price range - $20k. But the good thing about these expensive units is that the technology eventually filters down to prosumers level AND gues what? Canon have also announced that they are working another cinema camera for the common man a.k.a me, though won't be out for a while. It too will be a little pricey with one speculator suggesting a price tag as high as $8k. Exciting times though!
Getting the house ready to put on the market this weekend. Today I'm gonna be phoning around for quotes on storage. I've really got itchy feet and can't wait to move, so I'm a little anxious with the house market being so stale, that I'm going to be stuck for longer that I want to be. And with baby number 2 on the way, time is against me, hence the rush.
Next month, we are doing Movember in the office. So if you wouldn't mind donating a couple of quid so that I don't look like a fanny it would be most appreciated. I'm not into the 'doing things for charity' stuff as I'm a miserable git, but growing a tash is important and this charity is a step forward in the right direction for the reintroduction of moustaches back into everyday life. Click on the pic to see my progress and to donate:
I've had man flu over that past week and a bit. So have been feeling a bit crap and hence for the lack of posts. So to cheer my self up, I've bought some new camera stuff. Oh yea!
Daisy took her 1st proper steps yesterday. It's quite a feeling when your baby starts walking as she doesn't seem like a baby anymore. We will now have to keep an eagle eye on her from now on as she'll be falling all over the place, though a good thing will be the re-straightening of our backs. Walking a baby around if pretty hard going.
Jim - a proud dad!
I finally got round to editing the footage I took in Inverness and features the new roller dolly. The RD provides smooth tracking shots and makes the film look sexy as hell.
Click on the round fountain to watch. As some PC users have trouble watching my films in quicktime, you can now view on YouTube by clicking the 'YouTube' button in the movie play window.
'Wife Beating Dickhead'
The image across is our neighbour who recently resisted arrest which took 4 cops to drag him from his home to police van. He seemed like a decent guy as he would always say hello to you if you saw him. It turns out he's an alcoholic and has been beating up his wife and kids. The wife and kids left him in the middle of last week. So yesterday I saw him sat on his front step with his head against the wall and then fell to the floor. A couple of minutes later he starts convulsing, so I called an ambulance. Magoo, who was here at the time, went over to see if there was anything he could do to help, I was telling him to keep clear of this guy as he's big and could lash out. Carol also went over to see what was going on. Then good Davy came out and explained everything to Carol that he had beating up the wife and kids. Had we known this, I wouldn't have called an ambulance. This morning, we saw the cops at his house, they were wearing blue gloves, I thought they were corpse handling gloves, but unfortunately, evil Davy was still alive and was being ushered to his 3rd abulence in 6 days.
Trying to be a paparazzo, I snapped a couple more pics, click on the drunk to see.
When we were in Inverness a few weeks ago, we recreated a photo taken in 1976 with my Gran's cousin Bill, Tim, Mum, my Gran and me.
Click on the image to enlarge.
'A Sad Day'
A bit of a sad day today - poor old Steve Jobs died last night. I know you PC fans won't be that bothered, but for us Mac geeks it's not good. The last 10 years have been pretty exciting, not to mention expensive.
Will the next decade be as rich with technological development? yes! Will it look sexy and awesome? probably not.
Just so you know, I've been booted out of Google+ for slagging off facebook. So will create a new account soon that won't include the instruction for Facebook to suck my balls.
We were back in Inverness at the weekend to check out mums new gaff. There's still quite a bit still needed done, but it's taking shape nicely. Once the extension is finished and all the snagging done, it's going to be pretty funky!
I was hoping to chill out in Inverness, but it's pretty hard to do with a baby. Being away from home, all your stuff and the baby's is in bags, so you are back and forth getting things. You are also mind full that you are in a different environment so there are more objects for Daisy to crack her head on. Also, mum's furniture is pretty bad, as in old and uncomfortable, so sitting down was hard work. I'm going to start nagging so that she sorts out some decent furniture before the christmas extravaganza!
Have a look at this video. I've been having fun playing around with 1000 fps super slow mo.
I can't believe how hot it is today. We are heading up to Inverness tonight to see Mum and Magoo and to see the renovations. Macleod Road has literally been turned upside down. Lets hope the heat continues over the next few days.
'She's A Fighter!'
Check out this video - Daisy thinks fighting is funny as hell.
No, this image isn't Pat and MC's baby!
This is baby Walker-Lyon number 2.
Carol and I are preggers again. A bit of a surprise this one as we didn't expect to get pregnant so soon. Our due date is the 5th of April so I think we're gonna need a bigger boat...house actually and car.
Congrats to Pat and MC who are expecting their 1st baby. They had their 1st scan last week and everything is going well. Ahhh..it brings it all back.
Daisy has learned to play 'peek-a-boo'. Last night I was getting her ready for her bath and she lifted Carol's pajamas over her face and then brought them down, looked at me and smiled, so I said 'peek-a-boo' and she did it again. It's quite a feeling when you create a person and you see intelligent thought start to develop...I am a god!
'Blairdrummond Safari Park!'
We took Daisy to Blairdrummond Safari Park at the weekend, she was, as most children of that age, unimpressed with seeing the unusual animals. If anything, when she gets older will be expecting to see elephants and tigers in the wild.
The Safari Park is way better than Edinburgh Zoo as you can get right up close to the animals. The ring tails Lemurs were brilliant, I could have popped one in the car and driven off we got that close. The Lamas on the other hand were not as fun. I went to feed one (pictured) and the fucker spat at me in the face. I got Lama gob in my eye!! I was a little worried about infection, but according to the internet, the chance of this is highly unlikely. So I've now a score to settle the next time we go back. I'm going to hunt this Lama down and offer it some food and as it reaches over, I'm going to punch it in it's long stupid face!!
Spitting Lamas aside. It was pretty impressive.
Daisy loves smashing things. Our latest game is to build a tower out of wooden blocks as quick as we can before Daisy smashes it down. Apparently this is standard baby behavior, learn to pull apart before learning to build.
Click on the image to see Daisy in action.
'The Fonz with An Honorary OBE - NBL'
I think it's cool the Fronz got an honorary OBE from the Queen. I hope he said "Aaaaayyyyyyy" and gave the thumbs up when they pinned on the medal.
'Half A Million To Move A Shed!'
Keeping an eye on all things shed related, I was astonished to hear that multi millionaire, tv cooking star and international model Sophie Dahl is looking for half a million pounds from the public to help move her grandad's 'alone time' shed from the bottom of her garden into a museum! Eh? It's a shed. So what if it was his place for inspiration, how hard can it be to move?!
Like I said, it was Roald's 'private' shed where he used to spend hours alone, and with that in mind, the idea behind the 'big friendly giant' makes a bit more sense now.
'Storm A' Brewin'
According to the weather, we are going to get the tail end of Hurricane Katia on Sunday night.
This is great news for power companies with wind turbines! But shite news if you want to wear a hat on Monday.
'I'm a Murderer'
Check it out. I was on Horizon last night sporting a top tash and being portrayed as psycopathic killer!
Aparently I killed my wife and her best friend and was let off for 1st degree murder becuase part of my brain was missing. Crazy eh!
Click the image to see more!
You may have noticed the Google+ logo on the Shed's home page. I really want Google+ to take off and destroy Facebook. Facebook's policy of ownership of personal material (message content/photos/movies) on their site is disgraceful. As soon as a photo goes up on FB, it no longer belongs to you and become property of FB. Even the content of your messages are owned by FB, so for arguments sake, if you were to write the worlds funniest joke on your FB page, FB would have legal copy write to that joke.
So move to Google+ now. I'll send you an invite if you need one.
'Time To Knuckle Down'
OK. The FF is getting a little embarrassing! I'm rock bottom as a result of some sound decisions. I believe the FF curse is well established and the only way to break it is to bring everyone else down with me! How? I hear you ask. Easy, I'll just choose players who are doing well in other peoples teams and it'll all go pear shaped for those players. So, if you have Dzeko, Aguero, Silva or Rooney, look out, as they are going in my messed up team!
Today is Magoo's birthday, so happy birthday Magoo! As he's somewhere in the wilds of eastern Europe where the the royal fear to venture, instead of sending a card, I've created a homage to the birthday boy. Click on the image to watch.
Daisy can't fall asleep without sucking on Carol's finger. So this weekend we tried some controlled crying to try and break her out of this habit. Controlled crying is where you put the baby to bed at a set time and you leave them to cry to sleep. You do this for a couple of nights and then the baby should sleep at the chosen time once put to bed with out any hassle. Sounds simple, but to deliberately let you baby scream themselves to sleep is barbaric. I've never felt so distressed. Take your worst dumping by a girl, multiply is by a thousand and you are still no where near how bad I felt. We had to give up after 5 minutes. So we've managed to get her to sleep without giving her the finger (if you excuse the pun) with rocking and pushing in the pram, so the next step is to slowly introduce her to the cot when she starts to get groggy. This is a more humain way to get her to sleep than the victorian method.
Fantasy Football - I don't really want to talk about it being rock bottom of the league.
'Trying To Be Healthy'
As I fall towards middle age with no means of slowing down. This year, I'm going to try and be super healthy. I've still got the baby fat on and want to trim down over the next 4 months. Sitting at a comfortable 12 and a half stone, I want to lose the half stone, maybe more and see if I can keep it off. So fruit for breakfast, sandwich for lunch and a simple dinner. I'm going to allow a few treats in the evening and one bad breakfast at the weekend.
This week I go the worst points in the FF ever and currently sitting second bottom. I thought I had a killer team this week. It's like the harder I try the worse I do. This weekend, my blood is on the team so will see what happens.
Also, Magoo is threatening to stop making his Magoo's Sports News as he believe there's a lack of interest. Please show you support, watch his latest episode here.
'Yea, It's My Birthday'
I've just started my 37th revolution around the sun! We went of for dinner to celebrate (pictured). Another good thing about this time in August is that the Edinburgh International Festival ends AND there is only a week of the Fringe Festival to go. Yeah!
I can't stand the Edinburgh Festival as town get overcrowded with tourist and performers. The only good thing about the Edinburgh Festival is the End of Festival Fireworks because it's fireworks at the end of the festival, no more street performers and bad drivers!
'Not A Lot Going On'
It's been pretty quiet at the moment. Apart from giving Daisy bubble hair doos and honing my FF team, I've not been doing much. I am looking forward to Hearts' drubbing from Spurs in the UFFA cup tonight, it's on ITV4.
Not doing much this weekend. May do some cleaning. Woo, rock and roll!
'Thank god for Tim!'
It it wasn't for Tim not submitting a full team, I would be second bottom. Little Chris was unlucky too, for most of the weekend he was on minus 5 points. The race has now begun to become champion of the shed league 2011/12.
Was out with Rick on Saturday to watch the Caley vs Rangers game. Rangers had help from the ref in the game giving them 2 penalties. Anyhoo, whenever I meet up with Rick, I normally feel rough for the next few days. BEER BRING PAIN!
'Here We Go!'
Less than a week until the start of the Premier League and more importantly the Fantasy Football. It's gearing up to be a good season and a fine competition!
A bizarre thing happened the other day. I looked outside my living room window to see my neighbour opposite outside with her kids and talking to a couple of cops. They looked pretty worried and thought they had been broken into. After about five minutes, Davy, the husband and dad, appeared at the front doors in handcuffs and was being dragged out of his house by 3 policemen. He was going mental, screaming his head off that he wasn't a threat to the cops and that the cuffs were hurting him. He must have been drunk as he's always very polite and says hello if you bump into him. The cops managed to get him out of his house and toward a police van where on being pushed in, he started kicking the van the head butting the sides. It was the strangest thing I've ever seen, it was the sort of behavior you get from minkers on rough estates. It's the talk of the street and I'm desperate to find out what was going on.
We had a nice weekend up in Inverness catching up with Mum and also Colin and Family. We also took a trip out to Culloden Battlefield where I have been digitally immortalized as Murdo the Mole. Next time you are at the Battlefield, ask for the children's handset when head outside and you'll hear me! I've uploaded photos of the weekend.
A crap result for Caley at the weekend - losing in the 92 minute sucks. But it wasn't all doom and gloom, Aberdeen got a good result at St Mirren, they lost 1 nil.
I've uploaded a couple of new movies to the Shed.
The 1st is my 10 Top Movie Moments. The 2nd is Daisy's first word.
The Movie Moments film is about 10 minutes long, so give it a minute to load.
'Daisy's First Swim'
Daisy went to the pool for the first time today. She had fun but I think she was a little cautious as there was more water than there is at bath time. I want her to learn to swim as young as possible as it's equally important as learning to cross a road.
We took with us one of her new toys bought last week, the signing tortoise. It's a wind up toy and swims when wound, but when the thing starts singing it's a pain in the arse as it's quite loud and it goes off all the time, even in my bag after when trying to order some breakfast.
My prediction was correct for the opening game of the season. ICT lost 3-0 to Motherwell. I like to think that Motherwell are our bogy team, but so are Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock, St. Mirren, St. Johnston, Dundee United and Dunfermline. Lets hope we do better at home to Hibs this Saturday.
I'm so please the Fantasy Football is up and running again as it take my mind off how crap our summer has been, and for those living in a warmer more stable climate thinking of writing something funny on the message board, you can get stuffed!
Here are the details you need to join the Shed League:
Group ID: 1767
It's an open invitation, so anyone can play and I mean ANYONE! Duplicate teams will be removed, if I'm not convinced that the team is genuine, after 1 week the team will be removed and banned.
This season, you are playing for the coveted Shed League Trophy. As Paul has a hat trick and is looking to win his 4th successive title, you have the chance to get your hands on the Paul Simon Challenge trophy. A magnificent glass statue, which if you hold at the end of the season, will prove beyond doubt, that you are the greatest Shed League Manager of all time!
You have plenty of time to perfect your teams for opening weekend, so lets make this season the best yet!
Toy shopping is harder than I thought. I tell you what, I wouldn't like to do it hungover. There were only about half a dozen people in the giant Toy R Us at Kinaird Park and the noise of the screaming kids was terrifying, adding to the pain was the same song being played over and over again on the stores sound system 'Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy' - pretty creepy. You could here the Dads in the store saying repeatedly 'but you've already got that one at home, so you can't have it' - reason doesn't exist in this shop!
We got a bunch of toys for Daisy, typically, she's not interested in the more advanced stuff, her favorite is a round ball with a hippo inside that you roll on the floor. I'm hoping soon she'll be taking an interest in electronics and I'll be fighting her for the PS3 controller.
We are now on the final stretch (breath a sigh of relief). Never in the history of football has there been such a short gap of football during the summer, Euro and World cup finals aside. This weekend the SPL is back in action. The reason for the short break is so that the players have more time to recover form getting drunk at Christmas time, fare enough I say! On Saturday, yes that's THIS Saturday, the Super Caley play Motherwell and my prediction is that we are going to lose! Pessimistic I know, but there is only one way to go when you optimism is rock bottom!
'Woo, Toy Shopping!'
Daisy is getting a little bored of her current toy collection, so tomorrow, we are off toy shopping!! I'm really looking forward to this. Normally I find shopping with Carol pretty hard going, even food shopping, buy when you shop for toys, the game changes.
I'm going to buy Daisy some musical instruments with the hope she shows some musical interest, I may even go as far as buying her, her 1st camera, which I'm sure she'll have no idea how to use but will be something she can chew on. I believe Daisy also needs some new PS3 games and maybe something new for the Wii. It's going to be well exciting!
'It's A Miracle'
Well not really a miracle as that would require the belief in a higher power, and there ain't no higher power than me!! Daisy slept from 11:30 till' 7:15 this morning, in her new cot, in her room!! I had to check this morning at 6am to see if she was still alive.
I really hope she does the same again tonight as it feels exceptionally liberating! I'm trying not to get my hopes up and I'm sure there will be difficult nights ahead, but all we need to do now is get her to sleep earlier and we will reclaim the evening!!!!
'Ooooohhhh - So Sexy!'
I'm loving my new toy - the Macbook Air. This is my new traveling buddy, where ever I go, it will follow, like the littlest hobo on a grand though overly melancholic adventure. This magnificently petite machine is the result of a dream, a dream of going to the 5th avenue Apple store in NYC and buying one of these bad boys and it was everything I thought it was going to be. This little machine can do everything the Mac Pro can do, all be it a little slower due to the smaller processer, but you forgive it because it's so portable and light. I'm so please with it and looking forward to taking it to all sorts of places.
'Non Sleeping Baby'
We are having a hell of a time trying to get Daisy back onto UK time. She's been wide awake from 1 till' 3am most days this week. So this weekend has been trying to get her sleeping pattern back to normal.
Has anyone else had loads of thunder storms over the past couple of days? It's been mental here, and I hear Inverness has had it bad too! I love the sound of thunder, being in the line of work that I'm in, you appreciate sonic extremities.
'Too Much Jet Lag'
We got back from our North American adventure on Monday and today, Thursday, the jet lag is plaguing us, Daisy won't sleep until the early hours of the morning. That aside, the trip was a pretty amazing experience and was all topped of with Pat and MC's wedding. Photos of the day are in the photos drop down.
I've taken just under 3,000 photos on the trip, so getting through them all is a pain. I'm a bit disappointed that I could managed to do something a bit more exciting for the Shed whilst away, but with wanting to see loads New York and looking after Daisy, there just wasn't enough time. My plan is to refine the system I was going to use to make it easier to do what I wanted to do, because being someone who hates traveling, by adding an element of taking photos/movies while on route, makes it bearable.
It's Carol's Dad's birthday today - happy birthday Howard and thanks again for looking after Carol and Daisy for over a month traveling around Canada.
Man, trying to update the shed as we travel with a baby is impossible! There is no spare time available. As we are only here for 4 more days and with one of those busy with Pat's wedding, I'm gonna wait to upload all the photos, of which there hundreds to go through, till' I get back. We arrived in Montreal on Tuesday and had an awful flight into the city, the turbulence was dreadful, so bad that the stewardess reminded us where the emergency exits were.
So, yesterday we went for a hike around the old part of town and are nackered today. So we are being lazy and chilling out and about to head out for lunch. It's raining now, so I think we'll find a place to eat and not move for a bit. Tonight we meet up with the wedding party for dinner.
See ya'll back on the other side of the water.
It's been amazing catching up with Daisy. She has changed so much, the main difference is how alert she is. Her new thing is sticking her tongue out all the time. She looks like a mental case when she does it, but we think it's partly to with her teeth coming in.
Over the past couple of days its been pretty relaxing. We've been out for food and done some off roading in the Jeeps. Tomorrow morning we leave Vancouver Island and head for Vancouver city.
'4 Weeks of Waiting Over'
I was counting the seconds as we drove up from Nanimo to Carol's parents house. I was so excited about seeing Daisy and Carol. When we arrived I jumped out of the car and ran into the house to see Daisy, but she didn't recognise me, as soon as she saw me she started crying. This was pretty hard. It's taken most of the day for Daisy to get used to me again.
So we pretty much chilled out for the rest of the day and caught up.
'Day 3 in NYC'
Today I took things a little easier as my feet were falling off my legs. I know, I sound like an old man, but I've been walking a lot.
I went to the Empire State Building and it's pretty awesome. It's cool to be at the top of a building that a giant monkey climbed, then fell off again. The building is bit higher than the Rockafeller centre, but the view isn't as interesting. The ESB is better to look at than to look from.
After being at the top of NY I headed to Macies, a massive department store and ended up getting lost inside. The onto B and H Photo, probably the biggest photo store in the US. It was weird being there as all the staff were Hasidic Jews. Next and final stop was the Apple store again for some purchases. So tomorrow morning I have to be up at 3am to catch my 7am flight to Vancouver.
By the way, the photo across is of the top of the ESB, you can go up into the very top to be 10 floors higher that everybody else. It was nice in there as it was air conditioned.
'Day 2 in NYC'
I'm still totally nackered!
I now have massive blisters on my feet. As a result of my bad feet, I used the subway today and totally got lost. I missed one of my stations 3 times in a row. But it was good not to walk. By the way, more photos in the drop down of day 2.
I went to the statue of liberty today. It's alright, it's just a big statue, I'm sure it has more meaning to your average American. The cues to get there and get back were a nightmare too. I also checked out the Brooklyn bridge, Wall Street, Ground Zero (i had breakfast about 20 yards from there) Bloomingdales (shite shop) and the MOMA, the Museum of Modern Art - most of it was bollocks, there were only a couple of decent paintings, a few of Picassos and a Pollack - the worst exhibition there was a photographer who took snaps of these old Romanian tramps getting their tramp wives naked, it was pretty disgusting.
Tomorrow is my last day and I'm off to the Empire State Building and then going to make a final decision on weather on not to get a macbook air. To clarify this, I always had a dream to jump on a plane from Edinburgh and head to new York and buy a macbook air form the 5th avenue store, odd I know, but it was always something I've wanted to do. BUT... the rumors are that there's a new Air coming our soon, so what do I do, wait to see if it comes out in the next couple of weeks while I'm here in North America as it will save me a load of cash, but if it doesn't come out, it will be too expensive to buy back in the UK. Bite the bullet and pursue the dream, what to do?
I should point out that my last day here is a formality. All I really care about is getting to Canada to see Carol and Daisy. I've waited 4 weeks and I almost can't believe that the time is up. Bring on Tuesday afternoon when I get to Vancouver Island!!!
'Day 1 In The Big Apple'
I'm totally nackered!
It was a long day getting to NY yesterday and it didn't help that my Toronto flight to NYC was cancelled cos' of thunder storms. I left the house in Edinburgh at 7am and arrived at my hotel at 11:30pm. So went to sleep quite easy last night and got us about half 6 and got ready and headed out. I've been walking every where for about 8 hours, so my feet are aching. This city is nuts, the sky scrapers are amazing and what's really funny is that you'll see somewhere that's been used in a movie, for example, I noticed these Lion statues out side a grand looking building and it's the New York library featured in the opening of Ghost Busters. I been to loads of places today, too many to write about, but here's a few; The 5th Avenue Apple Store, the place John Lenon was shot, the Rockafella Building, Greenwhich Village, Chelsea Pier, Grad Central Station.
It's 5pm and I'm about to have a shower and head out for something to eat. Don't think I'll be doing much after that, probably heading to bed to get ready for the highlight of NYC tomorrow - the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty!
'Here we go!'
I'm off to the NYC tomorrow for a 3 day stop over before joining Carol and Daisy in Vancouver on Tuesday. I'm a little bit apprehensive about heading to NYC on my own as I haven't done this sort of thing since Boston in 1999, but I suppose I've got plenty of money and a bag full of cameras and lenses and that's all I need. I was hoping for blue New York skies but by the looks of things, it's going to be hot and stormy.
Anyhoo, keep an eye on the Shed as I'm going to do my best to document the trip. I don't know what form the documenting will take as I'm not sure how the trip will go and I'd rather the impromptuness govern the style. Just so you know, I've thrown a few photos from today on the Shed, they are in the photos drop down.
'Never Getting Hammered Again!'
It's official, I'm calling it a day on getting smashed. I'm still in a world of pain this morning from my escaped with Rick on Saturday night. The calculation of being smashed to the amount of time it takes to recover is too much in favour of the recovery, I believe it's not a viable means of entertainment anymore. A gentle couple of beers and an early night in bed is what the doctor ordered. Oh Yea!
I'm fed up of women getting in my way when I'm shopping for clothes. The men's section of any clothes store should be off limits to women. They cease to be women when they shop, becoming vicious monsters barging in front of you just in case there is only one size left. They also have to go through every item of clothing on the rack, what's the deal? you see what you like, then you find your size and that's it, rummaging through the whole fookin' shop like a mad badger just seems unproductive. What surprises me more is that there are men out there who are quite happy for their female counterparts to buy clothes for them, are they mad or just plain lazy? I imagine these men at home sat in the toilet shouting for their wives to come and wipe their arses!
I'm meeting Rick for some beers this afternoon. I'm bit worried about this. I've only been drunk once this year and that was Pat's stag do, the recovery was long and hard. Since the arrival of Daisy, being a patron is not that appealing. At least I have plenty of time to recover tomorrow if things get out of hand.
'2 Weeks To Go'
I've been missing Carol and Daisy badly this weekend, especially yesterday. I've done everything needed doing with my free time, so trying to fill time productively is tricky. There's always gardening and sorting out the garden shed, but that can wait as only a nagging wife will get me motivated for that type of work. I'm half way through the wait, 2 weeks tomorrow and I'll on Vancouver Island with my family.
Went to see Thor yesterday. I was looking forward to it, but looking forward to a film is a bad idea as you will always be disappointed. The last time I looked forward to a film and enjoyed it was District 9. Thor was dull with a couple of funny bits, so I would avoid at all costs, even on DVD.
Today Apple are launching some new products. A new operating system for iPhones and iPads and hopfully some new gadgets!!!
'Happy Birthday Monkey Man'
Today is Tim's birthday. He turns 40 today. Congratulations Monkey!!!!!!
Days like today, weather wise, should be a national holiday. We have clear blue skies and a predicted high of 26 degs c. They are so uncommon here in Scotland and should embrased.
'I've Been Robbed!'
LA Noire is being punted around as being a ground breaking game with digital face mapping to create a real feel. And I have to admit, the characters do look amazing in the non-play story telling. But that's it. It's the dullest game I've ever played and so repetitive. All you do is drive to a crime scene, look for clues and interrogate suspects. As one reviewer said, it's like having a real job. The main character you play is an honest John wet blanket family man, so the chance of the game giving the player the option to corrupt just wouldn't happen. Rockstar Games produce two of the greatest games the world has ever seen, Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption, and with LA Noire feeling like a money spinner and very disappointing, Rosckstar's next release needs to be something special to instill confidence with it's loyal gamers.
'Carol And Daisy Away'
I have to say it was quite an emotional morning saying goodbye to Carol and Daisy at the airport on Wednesday, I was balling my eyes out and Carol was telling me to stop but I couldn't, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, to say goodbye to my baby and wife for a month. I can totally sympathise with Tim who went off to Iran just after Andrew was born for 6 months. The fookin' ash cloud didn't help matters either adding to the stress of it all. Thankfully, it buggered off to bother the Germans...stun!
Anyhoo, once I got back to work after dropping Carol and Daisy off at the airport, I started to feel a little bit odd, my legs started to hurt and I was getting really hot. By that evening I had a full fever and couldn't move from the couch. I though it was flu. Yesterday I was aching all over and was feeling rubbish. My temperature went up to 39.1. But by tea time, the fever broke and started to come back down to earth. Today I'm still a bit dodgy but not half as bad as yesterday. It was either a 24 hour virus, or I'm a pussy and being separated from my family caused it!
It's actually going to be an exciting weekend. There's the Champions League final, the Monoco GP and Paul and Kirsty who are due to give birth! Good luck guys!!!!!
'FF Results In'
Wooo, 3rd place for me in the FF. I managed to beat little Chris and Nase to gain 3rd place. You could argue that it was an easy 3rd as Little Chris and Nase weren't really playing the game towards the end of the season. But they both had string teams and kept gaining points.
I can't believe the fookin' ash cloud is back, the week that Carol and Daisy head off to Canada! Thankfully they are flying with BMI to London, who believe money comes before safety, and are still flying today where as BA and even Ryan Scare have halted flights in and out of Scotland. My only concern is that they get stuck in London as we only have a finite amount of food for Daisy.
'Fancy a challenge?'
That's another season of football over and it's a long baron wait until the next game in August! It's also the end of the Fantasy Football too! Paul, again, crowned champion and Magoo in second. But third place is yet to be decided, with 10 points between 3 teams, it's a nervous wait.
Due to Paul's success, I've created a challenge for the rest of the Fantasy Footballers, the Paul Simon Challenge or PSC for short. All you have to do is beat Paul next season or the season after that and so on, and you will win this magnificent trophy and gain mountains of kudos by knocking this legend from the top spot!
'One of The Shittest Film Ever!'
Carol bought Xanadu the other day as it's got Olivia Newton John and lots of songs. She probably thought it a would be another Greese and money well spent. How wrong she was! Now, I'm the first to say that Greese is bollocks, but compared to Xanapoo, it's the Godfather. It so shit, even Carol said it was shit. Too much roller skating, spandex and crap special effects and when I say 'special' here I mean someone with learning difficulties. A true e waste of an hour and a half!
Still feeling the pain of the stag do. Age and booze are a leathal combination!
Due to one of the under developed users of the shed (monkey man), the 2011 photos can now be viewed in a basic mode. You'll see what I mean when you click on the photos drop down.
A brilliant stag do!
Why such a short post - too huungover! Pic's of the weekend in the photo's drop down.
It's now only a week on Wednesday that Carol and Daisy head off to Canada for a month and a half. I'm meeting up with them in Vancouver for the last two weeks of the trip, so I'm going to have a month at home on my own and I think it's going to be pretty weird! I have two main concerns with not seeing Daisy for a month, the first is how much she will change in that time and the second is if she fails to recognise me when we are reunited. It's also going to be pretty lonely (I'm so ronery!) without Carol and Daisy. But I will have my friends Playstation, Nintendo and Apple to keep me entertained for the duration.
The logistics of flying with a baby are pretty mental, especially if you are on your own, so I've been wracking my brain to make life as easy as possible for Carol. Our main problem is our pram, the quinny 3, it's a brilliant pram but far too big for the plane and considered as additional luggage costing us 150 bucks. So I though it would be prudent to invest that money in an 'umbrella' pram that would taken on the plane for free and will be useful when Daisy is older. Because I didn't consult Carol on the purchase, she wasn't pleased. But like most of my purchases, I always talk Carol round, I can't wait to see her face after my trip to the New York Apple Stone - WOOOOOOOOO GADGETS!!!!!!!
'The Edinburgh Zoo is Shit!'
I hate Edinburgh Zoo. It costs 15 squid each to get in and it's full of ill and mangy animals. The Zoo has been under construction for about a decade and is obviously not using their over exuberant profits to improve this exotic animal hospice. The only good thing about the Zoo are the penguins as they don't look as sick as the other animals. You can see photos of this sad day in the photos drop down.
'Ha Ha - Celtic Are Shit'
I love the premier league! Last week, Aberdeen, who are 3rd bottom and possibly the worst team in the league, beat us 1-0 AND last night, we beat Celtic 3-2. Where's the sense in that!
It's always nice to beat one of the old firm because they always think it's going to be an easy win whenever they play us! I watched the highlights today and Inverness looked amazing! It's a shame we didn't have this form a couple of months back.
Check it out. I've been digitizing all my old cassettes, about 300 of them, and found a rehearsal of the Ely Jones gig I did at Chili Palmers. I've thrown it on the shed (audio drop down) if you fancy a listen. Most of it is rubbish, but there were a couple of jokes I thought were still funny. My favorite is:
'people say that some of my products are disreputable, and may cause premature birth, even if you are not pregnant!'
'Magoo's Sports Channel'
On the day of the royal wedding, I bring you something far more interesting and exciting, Magoo has started up a You Tube Sports Channel. If you looking for a sports opinion from a man from Inverness, then click on the image across to watch. So far he's only produced one episode and although it's 'low budget' I tip my hat to Magoo for giving it a try. Lets see another one!
OK, the royal wedding. I was glad to hear the news today that the forecast says it's going to rain in London today. I know it's not nice to wish rain on any bodies wedding day, but to see the gimps camping out all week, to watch a trolly dolly's daughter and a lanky hook nosed slap head mince down a street, get soaked, or if I'm really lucky get struck by lightening, would simply make my day, I wouldn't even begrudge the £2 or so it's costing me. I know Carol wants to watch it, I may too, but only with the hope that something goes very wrong!
'Here Comes A Moan'
I'm on holiday, at home and there's not a cloud in the sky. Today is going to be a beautiful day...BUT...guess what! I've got a fookin' cold! and it's a monster one!
It's so unfair, if I was a religious man, I would be blaming god because he created suffering, wanker! This cold has gotten the best of me. It started last Thursday evening when I was about to start my holidays. It didn't seem too bad at the time, so I've been busy round the house, done some gardening and haven't really rested. Yesterday, the virus punched me in the balls and gave me a smack on the face for good measure.
So it's the nicest spell of weather Edinburgh has seen for at least 5 years or so and I'm indoors sticking kleenex up my nose to stem the flow of snot running from it. As a result, the coffee table looks like a teenagers bedroom with an over active arm and a healthy imagination.
'Congratulations And Poor Carol'
Colin and Deirdre gave birth to a wee boy on Sunday, baby Euan weighing in at 7lb 13oz! Welcome to the wonderful world of parenting, there's nothing quite like it!
I do feel sorry for Carol sometimes, Daisy is turning into a real daddy's girl. She's teething right now so is pretty narky, but for some reason whenever Daisy goes nuts, she will only calm down whenever I hold her. I also get the biggest smiles too. It must have something to do with the way I smell and look.
'Who Will Be Crowned Fantasy Football Champion?'
The FF is drawing to a close and unless Paul withdraws his team from the league, it will be yet another victory for him. Magoo looks to have guaranteed another silver and the battle rages on for 3rd with Nase (who's no longer playing but his players are pulling in big points) Little Chris and me. With only 4 games to go, it's going to be tight for bronze!
'Say Hello To Daisy The Dog'
David brought in Daisy The Dog to the office today. She's just a little bit older than Daisy the baby and is brilliant fun. The old trick of pretending to throw her toy, only to drop it behind you is well funny and gets her every time, the same tricks works with Daisy the baby too.
Yea! after today, I'm off until the beginning of May. We have 3 days of work next week, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and by the looks of things, nothing is going to come in work wise. So I thought I'd take the days off and have some home time with my two ladies; the PS3 and the Wii...only joking, I meant my Mac Pro and Ipad....only joking, seriously, my Canon 7D and 580ex flash...only joking...Carol and Daisy!!!!
'I Can't Believe It'
Carol's brother is getting married in June just before I arrive in Vancouver and they are going to be having, wait for it, a free bar at the wedding. I can't believe I'm going to miss this!! I've only experienced a free bar once before, it was a corporate event for the radio station I worked at in Aberdeen and it was brilliant! Its a bizarre feeling asking for a drink at a bar, getting it and not handing over money.
In all seriousness, it's a shame I'm going to miss Andrew and Leigh's big day. It's probably for the best, as free bar and a man from Inverness is a dangerous combination.
'A night out'
A few photos from our night out at dinner now in the gallery.
'Not so soft!'
Whilst sat on the can this morning and with nothing to read, I was checking out some of the bathroom products on the shelf in front of me and was surprised to discover that Johnson and Johnson Baby Softwash doesn't sound as sweet and innocent when you read some of the ingredients on the back, which includes:
Cocoamidopropylbetaine, Hydroxpropyladimonium chloride, Lauryl methyl gluceth-10, Di-PPG-2 myreth-10 adipat, Quaternium-15, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-150 pentaerythrityl tetrastearate
Just what baby skin needs!
Carol had a nice birthday yesterday. As always, I took some pictures, you can see them in the photo gallery.
'HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROL!!'
Yea! It's Carol's birthday today. Today she moves into a new decade, she's 30 again. She got lots of nice presents this morning and is off out for sushi later today. I'm hoping she will wear the badge I got her, it features her age, it's huge and flashes so people will notice.
'Not a lot going on'
We've been pretty quiet. Not been doing much too exciting, not unless you consider tidying up, or buying high chairs an absolute thrill, then we've been going mental! We hooked up with Fiona for some lunch on Saturday (pics in the photo gallery) and lost money on the grand national, which means it's Colin's and Deirdre's anniversary soon or has recently passed. Mum is popping down to see us tomorrow as she's dropping Mangoo off at the airport, so it'll be nice to see her for a couple of days.
Apart from the above, it's pretty slow.
A busy day on the Shed yesterday. I believe the high number of hits is down to shady software poking around the Shed looking for information of use, personal identity information etc. Every so often, there is a flurry of hits, but not a lot of bandwidth used. You can even trace the IP addresses, most come form China, which is a bit of cheek from a country who censor their own people's web use, pricks!
Carol and I experienced one of the magical moments of parenting last night. Daisy loves it when you blow a raspberry at her. Now, after a month making fart sounds and getting giggles, the tables have turned and she's blowing raspberries back at us to make us laugh. It's our first two way communication with Daisy and it's was amazing. I feel so proud, I can now communicate to my baby with farts.
'New Camera Bag'
My new retro leather camera bag arrived from South Korea a bit quicker than expected. It's not too shabby, the quality isn't as I hoped it would be, but being originally made in China, what do you expect. The material is real leather, so it's a little stiff, but once I get some use out of it, it'll soften up.
Magoo made is safely to Germany this week. He and Elena are moving into there main flat today which they'll stay in for 3 months and then they are off to Serbia...mental or what!! I have to say, I admire what he's doing. It must be pretty hard to up and leave and travel all over the place. I know I couldn't do it, so I tip my hat to thee!
'There is a shoe god!'
I wouldn't believe that the only style of walking shoe was that's synonymous with German tourists, employees of the Warehouse and geeks. After much searching online I found my shoe, the North Face Summer Sneaker. It was released last year, so stock was severely limited. Thankfully I managed to get one of the last pairs in the UK and they fit like a glove. They have the style and function I was looking for.
Whilst in pursuit for these magical shoes, I found another amazing camera bag, it's on it's way from South Korea at the moment. Can't wait!
'Daisy's 1st trip to Inverness'
I can't believe how much stuff we had to take up north with Daisy. We literally had no more room in the car. It was an interesting experiment and has given us some food for thought for our trip to Canada in 2 months. Carol's mum and dad have just bought a super duper motor home, so Carl and Daisy's journey from Calgary to Vancouver is going to very comfortable. To see photos of our trip up North, click on Magoo's ugly mug across.
I think i may have solved my walking shoe problem, hopefully tomorrow I will have an answer.
'Why do all walking shoes look gay?'
Of late, I've been looking for a decent looking walking trainer type thing for my trip to North America, but everything I've seen looks awful. For the first part of my trip, I'm going to be walking around NYC for 3 days and I don't want to look like a '1st day of the Edinburgh Festival' target. It's fookin' New York and I want to look smart. There must be a shoe that offers function and is aesthetically pleasing, right?
I'm loving Canada's Deadmau5 at the moment. The progressive house tunes are very familiar to the mid 90's stuff when I used to go clubbing - fuck I feel old!
'George is The Troll Hunter!'
The Troll Hunter is a brilliant film and the similarity between the Troll Hunter and George is quite scary.