Thursday, June 21, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - Magically Drawn

Welcome to this week's top ten Thursday which is a blog hop hosted by Tamara - Part-time Working Hockey Mom and this week the theme is all those things we feel we're magically drawn to: "stuff", foods, people, locations,... what are yours?

1. Ancient History - I love walking around ancient sites especially if they involve standing stones. As I walk amongst the stones I always touch them and wonder about the people who put them in place and what they really meant to them. Today, as it was the summer solstice, we visited Clava Cairns which are over 4,000 years old.

2. Cats - cats are definitely my spirit animal as no matter where we are, if we see one I have to have a chat to them.

3. Street Art - there are so many extremely talented people in this world and I love how street art has become more mainstream.

4. Doors - do you ever look at a door and wonder what is behind it. They fascinate me and I have many photos of these magical portals.

5. Glitter & Shiny Sparkly things - Ken often calls me a Magpie as I am drawn to shop displays that have lots of bling in them, or stalls that are selling costume jewellery, glittery bags, and basically anything that shines.

6. Statues - It's so wonderful when out wandering and we come across really unusual statues. We often debate what message the sculptor was trying to get across.

7. Donkeys (and horses) - whenever we see donkeys or horses, and if it's safe to do so, Ken will slow the car down or pull over so that I can have a moment with these beautiful creatures. Such soulful eyes and beautifully soft muzzles.

8. Fairy Lights - these make anything look magical. We have quite a few fairy lights around our home, wrapped around the stairs, across my dressing table, inside glass lanterns, and one set inside a decorative birdcage.

9. Tattoos - I haven't got any of my own, but I often wonder why people have the tattoos they have. Some are awful, but others are stunning and real pieces of art. The below is the arm of a waitress who served me a couple of years ago - I did ask if I could take the photo.

10. Stationary - when we moved to the Highlands I was devastated to find that there wasn't a branch of Paperchase here and I got slightly over excited when we were in Aberdeen last year and found one there. Whenever we are walking around shops and we are coming close to a stationary shop my beloved always tries to steer me away from them as he knows I'll be drawn into them. I can never have too many journals, pens, and cards.

What do you find yourself drawn to? Until next time, be good, stay safe, and make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: It goes without saying that I am always magically drawn to my beloved. 💕💕

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - Our Blogging Story

Tamara from Part-time Working Hockey Mom is celebrating six years of blogging this month so has asked us to think of the top ten things that come to mind when reflecting on our blogging journey:

"What prompted you to start, what obstacles did you - or do you still - have to overcome, what have been your major learnings, what plans do you have...?"

1. September 2012 was when I finally started this blog, having thought about it for a while, so like Tamara, this year is my six year blogaversary. I was inspired to start the blog after reading my friends Paul & Elaine's blog, and thought it would be a great idea for keeping my family in Australia up to date with our days out and about.

2. The name of our blog, Pamela & Ken's days of fun is a homage to the episode of Friends when Joey and Janice, of the annoying laugh, spend the day together and call it their day of fun.

3. Shockingly, after starting it simply for family, we've had people from all over the world visit our little blog.

4. Obstacles are simply normal everyday life - writing the blog is, unfortunately, just a hobby, no matter how much I wish it was my job. Taking time to sit and write a blog post can sometimes feel incredibly onerous after a stressful day, but once I start it actually helps me relax. 

5. One of my favourite posts that I've written was in 2014 and is Our Secrets to a Happy (Crazy) Marriage.

6. My beloved is the silent partner in this blog and he puts up with me nagging him for photos whenever we're exploring - it's not his most favourite thing in the world but he still indulges me.

7. My first Top Ten post was in July 2016 with Top Ten 80's Songs. I love this blog hop that Tamara hosts as I'm a bit of a list fanatic. My number one song in that list was Tainted Love by Soft Cell.

8. I've tried to avoid contentious issues in our blog but do sometimes use it to highlight inequalities in this world we all have to share - it's the only one we've got so we need to look after it and each other.

9. I've learnt so many things through writing about our days out as it's made me research history and take more notice of all the information provided at interesting sites. 

10. My plans for the future of our blog - keep it going and hopefully continue to have fun doing it whilst also making people smile when they read it.

What about you, why did you start your blog? Before you go, make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their top ten.

Until the next time we meet in the the blogging world, we hope you have lots of reasons to smile this week.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Art, sheep, and Loch Affric in the sunshine

I've just had a fabulous week off from work and we had lots of time to explore and do things that we enjoy. Today's post is about one of our days out when we didn't know where we were going to end up but found all sorts of magical things along the way.

The first place we stopped was Beauly where we had lunch and I was very pleased to find they had Bundaberg Ginger Beer - a piece of Australia in the Highlands.

On our journey we came across an old church with a giant metal lizard on the wall - it's the Kilmorack Gallery. It's a really lovely use of an old place of worship and there were some beautiful paintings and sculptures within.

Across the road is the old Kilmorack Graveyard which was great to have a wander around.

Our journey continued and our next find was this beautifully carved wooden eagle - such an iconic bird here in the highlands.

It's a good thing that my beloved did an evasive driving course when he was in the police, as I regularly will suddenly tell him to stop the car or pull over when I spot something interesting. This is a perfect example - beautiful countryside all around and this mama sheep and her cute little lamb are choosing to rest in front of a power station.

Eventually we came to a stop at Loch Affric, which is quite a distance from home - we live where the blue dot is, and the loch is under the red marker.

The loch has an 11.25mile circular walk around it, but as it was getting late in the day we just did a short walk up one side of it.

The scenery is absolutely stunning with lots of very tall trees.

If you look closely at the mountain, just below the cloud, you'll see a patch of white - it's a little patch of snow that is clinging on into the summer.

Bramble was loving our walk, running all over the place, hiding in the undergrowth, and running into muddy puddles.

She ended up becoming a very mucky pup.

 So many beautiful colours alongside the path we were walking on.

Ken getting Bramble Jelly to have a swim to wash off the mud she had collected.

A very wet but much cleaner puppy dog.

As we drove back from Loch Affric we stopped at the carpark for Dog Falls, and had a bit of a wander (and made use of the public toilets).

If you look at the tree in the middle you'll see it is clinging onto the ground below it - there is a shadow beneath it from the roots that are sticking out into thin air.

My beloved checking the temperature of the water as one of our challenges for the next month or two is to go wild swimming either in a loch or a river.

Sunny selfie.

The pool of water on the right of the picture looks like a perfect place to swim.

 Ken clambering around the rocks.

On our way home we went past this lovely little school with lots of beautiful artwork on the buildings.

This hill was covered with yellow gorse, so it has a yellow sheen all over it.

It was a beautiful day out exploring more of this special part of the world.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and take time to enjoy your corner of the world this week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Final picture is Lord Rocky Horror contemplating world domination.

Friday, June 08, 2018

My 500th Post & Friday Fill Ins

This is the momentous milestone of our 500th blog post. I never realised when I started the blog in 2012 that it would still be going six years later. I've always loved writing and journaling, so I see the blog as an online journal where I can share thoughts and moments with whoever cares to read it.

During these 500 posts we've shared our travels and days out, and our move from London to the Highlands of Scotland. We've said goodbye to cherished friends and welcomed new ones into our lives. Two precious furbies have travelled over the rainbow bridge but we also were lucky enough to adopt two gorgeous (crazy) animals into our family.

I've probably driven some of you mad with my soppy posts about my beloved, but he is the silent partner in this blog and I couldn't keep it up without his support, perfectly made coffees, and him taking on the role of my personal ideas man.

Today is also Friday so it's time for the Fill Ins which are hosted by Ellen at and Lorianne at Four-Legged Furballs who provide the prompts in bold and the rest is by me.

1. My favorite subject in school was a toss up between English and Music. I've always loved reading and writing about things so that's why English was something I loved - it also helped that for at least two of my highschool years I had a really good teacher who was incredibly encouraging.

2. An extracurricular activity I participated in was the concert band - I played the flute. Then when I went onto secondary college I was in the choir - so all my extracurricular activities were music related.

The high school concert band - I've put a pink diamond on me
3. I want to learn so many things but the top two on my list would be to speak another language fluently and to play a new instrument.

4. It takes courage to challenge yourself to do something new, as there is always the risk of failure. One of the quotes that I try to keep in mind when doing something new is: 'A life lived in fear is a life half lived.'

Do you have anything that you'd really like to learn? Before you go, do hop over to our hosts blogs to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and try and use less plastic this week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - What's for Dinner?

Today it's a food based top ten, and we're listing our top ten go-to recipes for an easy work night dinner. This is one that I should have got Ken to write as he tends to sort out dinner during the week whilst I'm at work - he looks after me so well. This blog hop is hosted by Tamara at the blog Part-time Working Hockey Mom - why don't you join us in writing your own top ten list.

The temptation was to put coffee and cake as dinner foods, but I didn't think that would make me look very good. Something that is going to feature quite a lot in my list is toast, that humble staple that is usually a breakfast food.

1. Poached egg on toast. (this is how Ken delivered my eggs to me once - it made me smile a lot).

2. Baked potato with baked beans.
3. Scrambled eggs on toast - my beloved makes the best scrambled eggs ever.
4. Prawns with avocado, cherry tomatoes, and lambs lettuce.
5. Sometimes, like tonight, all I feel like is the very simple but very comforting vegemite on toast - a slice of Australia.

6. Vegetarian pizza.
7. Vegetarian chilli - again, my beloved makes a fantastic one.
8. Nachos with homemade guacamole, refried beans, salsa, sour cream, and lots of cheese - these are my speciality.
9. Fish Fingers - by themselves, in a sandwich, or with vegetable rice.
10. Vegetarian haggis with veggies - the one we buy tastes just like the meat version.

There you have it - I'm quite a simple soul and don't need lots of fancy foods to keep me happy. At the weekend we eat differently but that's because we have more time and have a chance to go out if we want.

What about you, do you have meals that you turn to regularly to make life easier on a work night? Before you go, make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with in their top ten.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and treat yourself to your favourite meal this week.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - Social Media

Today for top ten Thursday Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom has asked us to list the top ten things people need to know if they want to add us on social media. Think "no chain letters", I love puppy pictures, etc.

Social media, that thing that some people would not survive without now. Do you remember the days when we went without any contact with our friends because we were on holiday or they were on holiday, and we had to wait to hear what their week was like until we spoke on the phone or met up for a coffee? 

Here's my ten things you need to know to connect with me on social media.

1. Cats - I will often post photos of our cats, share funny videos and memes featuring cats, and encourage you to care about what happens to cats.

2. The Crowd Filter - something I used to tell student nurses is that you shouldn't post anything on social media that you couldn't shout out loud in a crowded place. 

3. Don't send me chain mail - I will not forward them and lots of these have viruses attached to them.

4. Follow then unfollow - this is something that is really annoying, when people follow you on instagram and then, when you follow them back they stop following you.

5. Spell Check - don't just rely on spell check when you are posting things as if the word is still a real word your computer may not pick up that it's the wrong one for the context. 

6. Bad Day?? - please don't just post random negative statements without saying what you're talking about. Not only is it frustrating , but your true friends will worry until they know that you are okay.

7. Share - giving a bit of personal information in your social media posts can make people feel more connected to you and what you are sharing. 

8. Be generous - comment, like, and share, or all three at the same time. If what you've read makes you smile or causes you to think about something then share that love.

9. The future - please don't tag me in posts which are offensive or inappropriate as potential managers do look at social media so that they can see what sort of social media footprint is out there.

10. Did I mention that if you follow me on Facebook, instagram, or blogger, then fairly regularly you will be exposed to cats. If you don't like cats then just shake your head and mutter under your breath about the crazy cat lady in the north of Scotland and move on. If, like me, you love our feline friends, then please stay longer.

What about you? Do you have really strict rules for connecting with people on social media? Until next time, have a wonderful weekend and connect with distant friends or family via social media.

Pamela & Ken

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Natures Beauty in the Highlands

The weather was absolutely gorgeous over the weekend so of course we had to get out and explore the countryside. Somewhere that we have driven past countless times but never visited was Burgie Arboretum, so on Saturday we went and discovered the natural beauty hidden up a very rough gravel road.

One of the houses we drove past had interesting things all through the garden and hanging in the trees. This tree had beautiful dreamcatchers and sparkly things that caught the sun - I loved it and think that we should do this to one of the trees near our cottage.

As we walked into the woodland gardens we were greeted by a sea of fairy wishes, otherwise known as dandelions or a way to tell the time.

Throughout the garden there were lots of bluebells out, mixed in amongst other wild flowers including daisies, buttercups, and forget me nots.

I'm now going to share lots of photos that I took to show you how stunningly beautiful the arboretum is - we'll definitely be going back as it's such a peaceful and calming place to walk.

The scent of the different flowers was intoxicating and the two of us spent lots of time with our noses in amongst the petals.

The arboretum is split into different areas and there is even a place for Eucalyptus trees - I felt right at home

Very colourful signpost with the distance to other countries in the world - I was most put out that Australia wasn't there.

I'm in love with alliums as they are everywhere and so gorgeous in there purpleness. Alliums are basically an ornamental onion, and if we had our own garden I would have lots of these.

Selfie in the sunshine - I don't know what was going on with my hair on Saturday, it looks like it's trying to leave my head. It was a little bit fluffy. Ken looks totally bald as the sun was reflecting off his fair hair - he's actually got very thick luxuriant hair (that's my line and I'm sticking to it).

On our way home we stopped off for a coffee at Brodie Castle and the gardens are looking so green and lush - these beach and oak trees are stunning.

Here's hoping for lots more sunny days so that we can spend time immersed in nature. Until next time we hope that wherever you are in the world that you are having a good week.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: The brats taking complete ownership of our bed - Lord Rocky Horror doing his yoga moves and Princess Cookie Cat choosing to sleep on my black work trousers rather than the rest of the bed.