Sunday, October 23, 2016

Exploring the beauty of the Cairngorms

This Saturday was a great fun day out, visiting Cairngorm Mountain and the funicular railway. The resort is only 45 miles away and is stunningly beautiful scenery. This is a picture that we took on the way up the mountain to the start of the railway.

Cairngorm Mountain is the 6th tallest mountain in the UK, and luckily for us there is this lovely little train to take us up as I don't think I could walk there (well not without lots of tears).

Here's a few photos (taken through a very dirty window) of our journey up the mountain.

When we got to the top we had a bit of a Wineglass Bay moment (long story but in short, we've never seen wineglass bay in Tasmania due to cloud) with no view whatsoever. The train doesn't take you right to the top, if you want to do that you have to take a guided walk from the station or walk from the bottom. It's part of the conservation effort in that people who get the train up the mountain can't then walk back down, they have to take the train.

This is a great sign with directions for all the different parts of the mountain - on the left hand side one of the places is 'Over Yonder'. In winter this is one of the main ski resorts in Scotland so the train is then used by skiers to get up to the slopes.

Inside the station/restaurant you'll find the highest post box in the British Isles - I didn't know before we went otherwise I would have taken something to post. Something to remember for next time.

We had lunch in the Ptarmigan restaurant, had a mooch around the shop and took a funny picture of my beloved.

Then, joy oh joy, the wind had blown the clouds away enough for us to get some pictures of the view.

Highup selfie.

We then came back down the mountain on the train and these sculptures are in the ticket hall for the train - they're all carved out of wood.

These sculptures were unveiled in 2014 and celebrate 50 years of snow sports in the Cairngorms. They were created by the sculptor Stan Brooks and each figure weighs 3.3 ton.

One of the things that prompted us to go to the Cairngorms this weekend was a news story that we saw last week. It was about the highest working phone box in the UK that was under threat of being removed. So before that happens, we wanted to see it, and here it is.

As we headed back down toward Aviemore we passed this really pretty house that I couldn't resist taking a picture of.

Our next stop was Rothiemurchus as we spotted a cafe that we were sure would have cake. It's a lovely spot and the colours of the trees are amazing with so many different shades of red, yellow, and orange.

Carved eagle in someones yard - it's carved out of a tree stump.

If you look closely enough you'll see a silly man dangling precariously whilst trying to traverse hanging tyres. It's the treezone aerial adventure which looks scary but you are attached by a harness.

Another pretty tree.

We went into the Druie Cafe for coffee and cake and found it delightfully decorated for Halloween. The building that the cafe and the farmshop are in used to be a primary school - it opened in 1875 and closed in 1969.

The farm shop was great, with lots of fabulous looking food, but my favourite bit was the gift shop which was decorated with all the Christmas things you can buy. So pretty.

Now this is a sign I could have hung up when I was younger.

On the way home we stopped to have a chat to these beautiful horses - it took ages to get a good shot of the bottom three as one of them kept biting the others and causing a very loud reaction.

There you have it, our day out exploring the higher realms of Scotland. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a fantabulous week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final picture is of Bramble Jelly Sassy Pants who had surgery this week and to stop her licking her wound she is wearing a very fashionable vets outfit - my only problem with it is that they didn't have one in pink.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Top Ten Thursdays - Uncomfortable Situations

Here we are at Thursday again and a topic that I can think of loads of examples but not all of them can be published for the general public to read. We're talking uncomfortable situations and several of these are going to be ones that I've witnessed as they're definitely worth mentioning.

1. I have a slight problem with maths when it comes to foreign money to the point that when we were in Barcelona several years ago we were chased down by a waiter after we'd left the restaurant as I'd underpaid by quite a bit. Very red face and now I always make Ken check how much I've put down.

2. When I was a student nurse I was talking to a blind man whilst the cricket was on the tv and when there was a really good catch I said, "did you see that?" Yes, I know, he couldn't see it as he was blind - thankfully he thought it was quite amusing.

3. Talking to a man with a scar on his face when the person with me told him he had dirt on his face!! Definitely one of those moments when you wish the ground would open up and swallow you - the poor man politely explained that he couldn't remove it as it was a scar.

4. Another student nurse incident - I had said something which made the male patients I was with laugh and when they said that I was always good for making them laugh I replied that my aim in life was to give them pleasure!!!! I think my face may have gone puce I was so mortified and you can imagine the comments I got from the male patients for the rest of my time on that ward.

5. One of the most cringeworthy moments I've ever witnessed was at our local church in Tasmania. The lady next to me had been away on holiday for a couple of months and during that time the lady sat behind me's husband had died. Lady next to me turned around and said "your husbands not with you today, is he not well?" It felt like it was happening in slow motion it was so awful.

6. Another nursing one - believe me when I say that I could write a book. This was when I was qualified and one of the older gentlemen that I was looking after had wanted a bath. He didn't get his bath because I ran the bath over and flooded out half the ward. What made it worse was that when his family came to visit him and asked him if he'd had his bath his reply was "no because the big sheila with the big glasses ran the bath over."

(Have you noticed that we could change uncomfortable situations to mortifying ones?)

7. In cooking class in my first year of highschool I used the wrong flour (why it was out I'll never know) to make my cake so compared to everyone else's mine looked like a discus and felt a bit like one too. My teacher then proceeded to flip said cake discus back and forth between her hands whilst telling the rest of the class how not to bake a cake. Totally embarrassed I took my cake home and insisted on eating some of it just to prove it was edible.

8. Sort of a nursing one - we used to play lots of pranks on the medical students when they stayed in the nurses home on placement. Well, they got their own back one day and I was the recipient. They plastered my ankle and my wrist and kept me held down in a locked room until it dried. This meant that we had to wait until night time and get one of the orderlies to let us in the back entrance of casualty so that they could cut the plaster off in a darkened room so that no senior nurses knew what was going on.

9. Something that nursing has taught me is to never assume you know what the relationship is between two people when you meet them. Lots of times I've seen others make the mistake of asking if the younger man is someone's son when they are the husband/partner - I don't know why it's younger men with older women that so many people struggle with but they do.

10. This one is reserved for all those incidents which I can't mention here - just know my face was a delightful tomato colour every time.

So that's it for today's top ten - what sort of uncomfortable situations have you experienced. Before you go, pop over to Tamara's blog, Cofessions of a part-time working mom to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and smile at people you don't know.

Pamela & Ken

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Taking steps for Ovarian Cancer

This weekend we had a sponsored walk in Edinburgh to support the charity Target Ovarian Cancer - they are a really good charity and if you would like to know more about them then click HERE.

As Edinburgh is 177 miles away we drove down on Saturday afternoon to stay in a hotel near to where the walk was. As you can see, someone wanted to come with us.

Now at first glance I know you're going to think me very weird (or more weird) but I took a picture of this sign in  a toilet for a reason, and that is the bottom two lines. I love it when people who make signs have a sense of humour and also, how many people put money down public toilets??

We stopped in Pitlochry for sustenance and there is a lovely Christmas shop - I always love their window display but I particularly liked this owl as he looks like he's had one too many drinks.

Passing the Forth Rail Bridge - this was the first all steel bridge in Britain, began operation in 1890, and sees 200 train movements a day.

The next morning we made our way to Holyrood Park where the walk was taking place, got our lovely purple t-shirts and prepared for the walk. We chose to do this walk to support all those people who are affected by ovarian cancer and in memory of my beautiful Aunty Margaret and my gorgeous friend Elaine who both died from this awful cancer.

They didn't have any doggy t-shirts which was a shame, so poor Bramble had to walk naked.

Warming up before the walk - the girl leading the warm up was way to energetic.

Bramble was doing her own warm up by making friends with the other dogs that were around. This is George, who was such a lovely gentle dog and made Bramble look very little. There was another puppy who was equally as mad as our precious girl and at one point my legs were very tightly wrapped by two leads as the two dogs ran around me - eventually Ken and the owner of the other puppy managed to get me untied after they'd finished laughing.

This is Ralph who was enjoying a gently stroll through the park - isn't he beautiful. We think he's a Puli which is a Hungarian dog that protects livestock. Their walk was quite slow as lots of people were stopping them to ask about him and to take photos.

Now one thing that I wasn't warned about was that there were hills in this walk - I should have know this as Edinburgh is full of hills. Here are some shots of the view as we walked up the hill and I couldn't speak to anyone as I thought my lungs were going to explode.

Here we are at the half way point - I'm hanging onto Ken so that I don't fall over.

More shots of the beautiful Holyrood Park and looking out towards the sea. There were way too many fit people out in the park for a Sunday morning with lots of joggers, cyclers, and dog walkers going past us. A few people passed us more than once which made us feel very unfit (or should I say it made me feel very unfit as my beloved was walking slow for me).

At the end with our medals - very sweetly they gave Bramble a medal as well.

As we were walking back to the car we passed this white van with two very interesting stickers on the back.

We then found a Costa to reward ourselves with coffee and cake.

My gorgeous man who supports me in all my crazy endeavors and makes sure I'm okay through it all.

We were soon back on the road and heading home - the trees are all changing into their beautiful autumn colours now.

Picture as we were driving onto the Forth Road Bridge and includes the two bridges either side - the Forth Rail bridge and the new Queensferry Bridge Crossing to the left which is due to open in May 2017.

We stopped in Pitlochry again for food and had a lovely meal at Hettie's tea room - the one that Ken things looks like the inside of a doll's hous.

As we were driving home we had a great view of the Hunters Moon which with a mobile phone camera isn't that dramatic but it was amazing. What made it even better is that it is a super moon so closer to the earth than normal.

Just before I finish, here's a picture of the back of our t-shirts which is a reminder to all those people out there with ovaries - know the symptoms of ovarian cancer and see your GP if you're concerned.

That's it for today, until next time be good, stay safe, and do something nice for someone else this week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S:  Click DONATE to go to our fundraising page and give to this great charity.