Thursday, 19 May 2011


As the mother of three boys, I am always aware that I am one step away from a social services phone call. For example, this week, we have been to the ER 3 times. Twice for Christopher and once for Charlie. Looking over my shoulder as I type this!

Christopher ran into a poll while looking behind him last Thursday at school. The school nurse phoned and said that although his vitals were fine, she thought I should take him to the ER. And so we did. Wee brave soul. I've NEVER seen a bump like the one on his forehead. I forgot to take a photo of him (which I am sure he is thankful for) and the bump subsided within 36 hours. Mild concussion, discharged.

Then Monday night, Charlie was playing just before bath time and fell and busted his eye open. I was on my way to a meeting when Ethan called and said, "Mom, you need to turn around. Charlie's had an accident, there is blood everywhere and Dad doesn't know where the hospital is!" And so, back to the Children's hospital we go. Another wee brave soul. Glued back together in no time. All while his big brothers rallied around his hospital bed.

Then Wednesday morning, Chris and I headed back to the ER because he's continued to have dizziness and headaches. And although, I figured it was just the lingering effects of his mild concussion; I selfishly did not want to be "that mom" that does not take her child and something horrible is wrong. None of us do, do we? Anyway, he is fine. Just taking it easy and wearing his "mild concussion" badge with honour.

Meanwhile, Ethan is in the middle of S1 exams and we are trying to keep things as normal and gentle as possible around here!

I'll be glad when this week is over.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Rest Stop Extraordinaire

I snapped this photo at a rest stop on the way to Manchester a few weeks ago. The Brits like to stop and smell the roses. Or have a coffee. Or eat a meal. Or take a nap. Or shop the bookstore. And it's all in one car park.

And the restrooms are decent. Definitely a Welcome Break!

Thursday, 24 March 2011


One of my favourite things about living in Glasgow is the access to live music. Glaswegians LOVE music, every type. While the radio stations tend to focus only on British Pop, this city hosts a constant stream of musicians from all over the world and across all genres.

So far this year I've seen:

Tom Jones. Seriously.

The Streets. Who??

and Ray LaMontague. Awesome.

Tom Jones was here as part of the Celtic Connections Festival in January and I went with a group of girls. Not because any of us are die hard fans but because, he seemed like a legend not to be missed. His new gospel album is not my favourite but you've got to give it to this old man, he's not lost his touch. His energy is inspiring. The gospel choir opening for him was outstanding!

The Streets,(Mike Skinner) a British rapper, has a style of music that is not high on my playlist. Not much Rap in my music library. But we were up for anything and my friend Jo has a knack for finding gigs that will surprise and the Streets did not disappoint. It was a brilliant gig. He's a fantastic performer. It was True Glasgow. And boy did it make us feel OLD.

And Ray LaMontague might be one of the best live acts I've ever seen. He played the Concert Hall last month and since Scott was away on business, Ethan joined me for a fantastic night out. We were both blown away. Really, if you like his music and get an opportunity to see him, go. Awesome.

There is something and/or someone to see all the time. We could go to a gig every week and we would not scratch the surface of what's on offer. And for that, I am grateful! We love Glasgow.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

The Tooth Fairy

Ok, I've had enough. These boys of ours are getting too big, too fast. Charlie lost his first tooth this week and automatically, he seems 10 years older. I AM NOT READY.

He is so proud to be bigger and therefore like "the brothers"! And he questioned me about the Tooth Fairy in a way that made me squirm.

Here's to the magic of childhood and lost teeth.

Friday, 4 February 2011


One of the benefits of living in this part of the world is our close proximity to so many wonderful places to visit. Scott recently had a meeting in Denmark on a Friday morning so we took the opportunity for a little grown-up getaway. Copenhagen is the capital city of Denmark and is located on the islands of Zealand and Amager. It has a mixture of old European elegance and modern Danish design.

Scott and I walked and walked, visited many museums and coffee shops, had long, incredible meals and toured the palace and the bohemian neighbourhood of Christianshavn. There are no building regulations in this area and families build their homes out of whatever they can find. Most of the homes sit right on the canals and it was a very colourful part of the city!

We also visited the modern museum called Louisiana. It is not named after my home state but rather after the former estate owner's 3 wives. Yes, they were all called Louise. Louisiana is located approx. 30 minutes north of Copenhagen and is set on a beautiful piece of property right on the water. Their current temporary exhibition showcases a group of American Walton Ford's watercolours and I found them absolutely amazing. His paints in the style of naturalist James Audubon. The museum is definitely worth a visit if you are ever in Denmark.

This sculpture is quite clever. It sits in the corner of this room overlooking the sea and when you are in the room, the windows create the illusion that you could climb those stairs and jump right in!

Thatched roof out in the suburbs.

And this little car would definitely be the way to travel as everything is SUPER expensive, petrol included.

It was a fantastic time away and a reminder that we need to continue to seize opportunities to see Europe while we are able!

Monday, 31 January 2011

January Blues

We had so much fun during the holidays that January hit us like a ton-o-bricks. And man do we have the January Blues! Thank goodness tomorrow is a new day and a new month!

Here's a not so quick re-cap of the FUN.

First up, Santa visits Charlie at school. Yippee, yahoo! He enjoyed a game of musical chairs, pass the parcel and a disco while waiting for the Jolly Old Man. Charlie knows nothing of waiting in line at Northpark Mall or the Dallas Arboretum to see Santa. By golly, he comes to school during the Christmas party. Brilliant all around!

Next, during one of our snowed in days, we ventured to the frozen pond around the corner for a little pond walking and bird/duck feeding. The boys thought this was EXCELLENT. (FYI..our school never closed but we did skip a few days as they were running a skeleton crew and left it up to the parents to turn up if it was safe to travel. They didn't have to say that to me twice!)

Then, we had a sweet surprise from Mims, she was kidnapping Gramps and coming to Scotland for Christmas! Right on. After a slight delay in Amsterdam due to the crazy snow, they made it to Glasgow and we hit the ground running. We went to Edinburgh for Cooking School for the boys and friends and a very civilized grown up lunch for the grown ups! It was delightful. Thanks Gramps!

Next up, the boys finished school, Scott tied up things at work and Mims, Gramps and I did a little shopping and running around. We enjoyed lots of kitchen time together and then Mims and Gramps were a huge help preparing for our traditional last day of school cookie decorating party and lunch! Crazy and fun.

Finally with the boys out of school (on the 23rd), we spent the last few days before Christmas cooking and relaxing. We watched movies, went to the Pantomime (, and cooked and cooked!

On Christmas Eve, Charlie was supposed to be Joesph in the church nativity but he was running a fever. With a little arm wrestling, Ethan kindly stepped in. Christopher played the role of one of the wisemen. We enjoyed the service, then home for neighborhood caroling, sprinkling of reindeer food, and finally a Christmas Eve Family Celebration!

Christmas morning was full of excitement with the boys and full of way to much stuff! How did that happen?? Anyway, we are grateful and we all enjoyed a fun day with new treasures. And the Nicol Clan was especially grateful to have Mims and Gramps to share the day with.

Mims and Gramps left bright and early Boxing Day and were thankfully not flying though Atlanta so they made it home safe and sound. Thank you again for coming to Scotland!

My friend Vanessa and her son Adam planned to arrive in Glasgow Boxing Day night but they unfortunately were travelling though Atlanta. So, they were delayed by a day but made it on the 27th in time for the Edinburgh vs Glasgow Rugby Match! Yahoo! They were only here for 4 nights but boy did we cram in the fun. Rugby, Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile, A pub Lunch, Museums, shopping, relaxing, game playing, movie watching and a party with friends. Vanessa and Adam, it was too short but we loved your visit! Thank you for coming.

And last but not least, we had one last visitor. Harry Archibald Robert Watson stayed with the Nicol Clan for the first week in January and we kinda liked him. Harry is the 18 month old son of dear friends that were travelling to New Zealand for a wedding. They have 3 children and needed to divide and conquer for their 2 weeks away. And we were happy to take the littlest squirt for the first week. The boys were out of school on MTW. I don't remember what we did but it was full and fun. Then everyone went back to school and Harry went to stay with his Auntie on the weekend. Each of the boys has said they miss him! Having a baby around is pretty special.

PS. This is Harry's sister Georgia and she carpools with us to school so we were even lucky to have 2 of the Watson kiddos for short bursts. And Harry was slightly confused about why Grandma was picking up Georgia and dropping her off so much!

So see, January, you never stood a chance! So long and farewell dark, wet, grey and blue days!