Sunday, 26 October 2008

Rainy Days

Boy do I wish I'd had my camera for Ethan's Rugby Match yesterday. It's been so rainy on the West Coast of Scotland that we are experiencing flooding. Not huge Texas floods but flooded roads nevertheless. And when most of the cars are smaller than minis, that causes problems. I admit I have had a big smug grin on my face when I drive through the water in my SUV. Anyway, rain, rain, and more rain. And cold.

So yesterday was no different. But I woke thinking there would be no way that the match would be played. It would destroy the pitch. Way too muddy. Nope. Not the case. So off we went, whole family because it was in town, to watch E's team play. Crazy. Wind blowing gale force winds. Umbrellas useless. We had to stand sideways by the pitch to watch the game so that we were not hammered in the face by the rain.
The players didn't notice the weather. They played their best match to date and won! Ethan said, "I had bigger things to think about than the rain." Like the opponents! Sorry no pics.

Anyway, the weather has been terrible. I can see why there are so many pubs in this country. The weather could get you down if you let it.

The boys are enjoying a little rainy day painting today. Don't let the light in the window fool you. It's pitch black on the other side of the house. And poor Angus, he really wants in the kitchen with that paint.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Time Flies

When you are having fun. Especially with your grandparents! Grandma and Grandpa Nicol left this morning. We had such a great time together taking them to some of our favorite spots and exploring a few we'd never been to before!
On Saturday, we enjoyed a lazy morning then hit the museums in the pouring rain. Glasgow has terrific museums that are very child friendly and interesting for the grown ups.
On Sunday, we hit the road to explore the region around St. Andrews. We were hopeful for sunshine but it rarely peeked through the clouds! We made the most of it by playing on the beach in the Baltic wind and stopping by the Cairnie Fruit Farm to play and pick pumpkins! Sunday night we enjoyed a dinner out without the kiddos and a wee stop in the pub!

On Monday, we took the boys to school then toured a Scotch distillery (before lunch! Yahoo!) and another museum sans kiddos! Grandma and Grandpa were also able to see Ethan's rugby practice that afternoon!

We all enjoyed our time together and we just wished there were more of it! Thank you Bob and Jane for taking the time to come and visit! Here are the pics from the rest of our week.

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Grandma and Grandpa are HERE!

Yippee, yahoo! Grandma and Grandpa Nicol are here! Scott's parents arrived on Wednesday morning and we've been non-stop showing them around Glasgow and Scotland. We are so excited to have them here!

The first day we took it easy and just went to the school and walked around the school neighborhood a bit. Then on Thursday, we loaded all of our bikes on the car and headed West to the Isle of Cumbrae. It's that little tiny island off the SW coast of Scotland that we love to go to. After a 10 minute ferry ride to the island, we drove to the main village and had lunch and played on the beach.

We also enjoyed watching Charlie ride his bicycle without training wheels! (the boys and I had been cycling with friends on Monday and Charlie made his first attempt with no trainers.....he had great success on Monday and was anxious to show his dad and grandparents his new skill!) GO Charlie!

Then we all headed off on cycles around the western coast of Cumbrae to another beach to have an ice cream cone and then cycle back. It was a fantastic day!

On Friday, we headed East to the Falkirk Wheel and then onto Edinburgh to the Castle. The Falkirk Wheel links two of the canals that are used by pleasure boaters in central Scotland. It was completed in 2002 and is an engineering marvel. The wheel replaces 8 lock and dam systems to take the boats from the lower canal to the upper canal. It's a very educational outing that we all enjoyed. (well, the boys had their ipods since they'd seen it before!)

And then we were off to Edinburgh to the Castle! As always, it's a sight to behold and the boys loved showing their grandparents all of their favorite bits! Finally, we drove back to Glasgow for a little taste of Wagamama on the way home.

We've had a terrific time so far and we look forward to a few more adventures before they leave on Tuesday.

Monday, 13 October 2008


I have friends (that I will not name here) that will not allow their children to have weapons at home. I respect and understand this. Having three boys, I can appreciate why even pretend weapons can be dangerous!

Well, today as we raked the yard and made a pile of leaves, Ethan and Christopher came up with a very clever weapon. A trash bag full of leaves. I went inside to answer the phone and came back out to comic relief.

Before I could see them, I could hear them and their deep belly laughs. Then I rounded the corner to find Christopher in his motorcross full face mask helmet with Ethan swinging the said bag of wet leaves. It was aimed at Christopher's head. I was there just in time to see the impact. It knocked him down. Scary and hilarious. They both were laughing so hard that I could do nothing but laugh with them.

I love how little boys can entertain themselves! Life is GOOD!

Charlie will be dissappointed he was napping!

Mugdock Country Park

On Saturday, we took our boys and our friends Roddy and Lewis for lunch and an afternoon out in the park. The weather was fantastic and we needed to take advantage of it. Mugdock is a country park just 15 minutes from here and it has everything we needed for fun. Cafe for lunch, play park, obstacle course through the woods, large green spaces to run and throw the balls around, a castle, rocks to climb on and a stream to push your brothers into!
So fun. It was super muddy from all of the EXTRA rain we've had but that made it even better for the boys!

After all of the mud and fun, we headed home for a warm bath and a Texas BBQ with Roddy, Lewis and their parents Yvonne and Alex! GREAT DAY! We are thankful for friends and a little sunshine!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Lighter Note...

On Sunday night, Scott and I went to see Steve Winwood. You know, "Higher Love" and "Valerie"? Well, I really didn't have high expectations but he was playing at a very small venue (maybe 250 people) and one we had not been to before. It's called the Arches and it is literally the tunnels under the Central Train Station in the City Centre. It's fantastic. Lots of little "rooms" or tunnels and not enough room for too many people.

Well, Stevie came on and rocked the house! His music, as most of you probably already know, is fantastic. I particularly enjoyed the saxophonist since we are listening to Ethan learn his first few songs on sax.

We've been to a few other concerts in Glasgow and Glaswegians love their music. The last one we went to was Sheryl Crow and it was fun to see the uninhibited enthusiasm for the music instead of sitting still all night and clapping occasionally. Maybe I've been to boring concerts in Dallas but Sheryl was really rockin! And Steve Winwood gave us another example of just how much Glaswegians love their music. No seating. Standing room only for 3 hours. Now this wasn't exactly a thrashing on your feet concert. And we were definitely the youngest couple in the crowd. But there were a lot of happy grown ups wiggling their bums and stompin their feet to a classic! Great fun! Sore feet.

Monday, 6 October 2008

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates...

Okay, sorry I haven't posted in a week but we've been busy. On Tuesday of last week, my trusty ticker from the local real estate website alerted me to a new house for lease on the market that met our criteria. (Whew. Bad grammar I know.) So, I went to see it Tuesday with Charlie (home sick from school) and then took Scott back on Wednesday. This was it, the one. I know, your saying...your just leasing. But anyway, we told the realtor to start the paperwork. Side note, when I viewed on Tuesday and we both viewed on Wednesday, we met the owner and also saw his house around the corner because as he said, "he just needed to get one rented so which one did we prefer?" So we've been busy figuring out how to make it all work and get in it before the end of the month.

This said house was as my friend Yvonne says, "straight off the box of chocolates" cute. Storybook Scottish charm on the outside. Massive mature gardens front and back. Garage and outdoor storage room. Greenhouse. Completely renovated inside (no one has even lived in it since work was completed), and the location was just right.

Well, you know when something seems too good to be true? I filled out all the necessary papers then waited. And waited. Then finally phoned this morning first thing. Left message. When I arrived home from Body Combat, the realtor called to say he had some bad news. The owner's girlfriend decided she wanted to live in it. What? Whachu talkin bout willis?? Your kidding right? Because, I've placed all my furniture (in my head) and we've told the kids. We know better.

So one more big lesson learned in life for the Nicols. God's perfect timing, is not always your own timing. And don't say anything about the kitten until the lease is signed!