Thursday, July 12, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - Soccer

As it's the world cup, this week Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom has asked us to do our Top Ten Thursday on the theme of soccer:

"Could care less, love it, live it? What team are you rooting for? Who's going to win the FIFA World Cup 2018? Who's your favorite player?"

I'm not particularly keen on soccer so here are some random thoughts that I have around the so called 'beautiful' game.  

1. Australia - I know that they aren't good enough yet to win the world cup but I always support them and live in hope that one day it will happen. Once we got knocked out I was supporting anyone but England.

2. Scotland - poor Ken's country didn't make it to the world cup so he was also supporting anyone but England (do you sense a bit of a theme here).

3. Wimps - basically that's what most players are. They can barely get touched and they're rolling around on the ground as if they've been hit by a bus. I think this meme shows the difference between soccer players and other sports people.

4. Overpaid - on the BBC Sports Website there is a great calculator that lets you compare your salary to top footballers. Lionel Messi who plays for Barcelona would take only 14 minutes to earn my weekly salary and it would take me 729 years to earn his yearly salary. That just seems a little bit obscene when you think of how much could be done with that money.

5. Fans - I've never been to a soccer game and one of the reasons why is the fact that fans have to be seperated at the match and often get let out of different ends of the stadium at different times so as to not create any problems. As someone who has been to Aussie Rules Games, Rugby League, and Rugby Union games where everyone sits together and there is good natured banter throughout the match, this animosity towards the other teams fans just seems very strange to me.

6. Sweepstakes - at work we had a sweepstakes where you pay a couple of pounds and then draw teams out. Whoever has the winning team gets the takings. I picked out Uruguay and Denmark and then I cheated by looking and pulled out Australia - no one minded as they had no worries about Australia winning. Sadly all my teams are now out of the competition.

7. Jose Mourinho - when he came to England's Premier League as manager of Chelsea in 2004 it was like a breath of fresh air. His overconfidence, his accent, his fashion sense, and of course his smoldering eyes - I actually paid attention when he was being interviewed. This clip shows the infamous press conference which meant that he would forever be known as the special one.

8. The Offside Rule - several people have tried to explain this to me over the years with no success, except for one. This person ingeniously used the analogy of shopping during a sale with the till being the goal, and getting to the till part of the game. I can't remember everything they said, but I do remember it finally making sense to me.

9. Media Saturation - it really shocks me how much time on the news and space in the papers that soccer takes up. There can be Grand Prix races, the Tour de France, and other significant sporting events, and they may not even make the news and the papers may include just a couple of lines.

10. Diving - no, I don't mean the stylish kind off a high board into water. I mean when a soccer player suddenly throws themselves on the ground when they've barely been touched and sometimes not touched at all. The aim, apart from being a really bad role model to children, is to get a penalty or get a player on the opposite team sent off. There are some players that take their diving to Academy Award acting ability, and I really wish more referees would give out red cards when it happens.

So, have you been glued to the world cup or like me will you be glad when it's over. Before you go, make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their lists.

Until next time, have a great week, and I'm now cheering for Croatia to win.

Pamela & Ken

Thursday, July 05, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - Canada & USA

This week for top ten Thursday Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom has given the following guidelines: "Just like this it's July, and in the first week of July there are two important national days going on: July 1st: Canada Day and July 4, Independence Day, so let's honor those two countries, shall we? Let's talk about the top ten things that we (dis)like about the U.S. and Canada, differences that strike us, whatever comes to mind!"

I'm choosing to do all positive things about the two countries as I think if I went for the one glaringly awful thing about the USA I would end up being here all day. How fitting that the awful thing is arriving in the UK on Friday the 13th for his first visit since becoming president.

I've split my list of things I love about the two countries into two:


1. Peanut Butter - this wonderful substance that I love on toast, or in a sandwich, or on a banana, or in icecream, and I could go on and on. It was apparently invented by a pharmacist for people that were struggling to eat solid foods.

2. Kiefer Sutherland - such a great actor and so many great films. The Lost Boys, Young Guns, Flatliners, The Three Musketeers, and A Few Good Men to name just a few. He's also done some great tv series including Touch and 24 - a very versatile actor.

3. Celine Dion - I don't care if it's not considered cool, but I'm a huge fan. Her concert in Sydney that I saw was amazing, and she is so lovely.

4. Maple Syrup - the wonderful sticky scrummy sweetness of a lake of maple syrup on top of pancakes with vanilla icecream. Fabulous.

5. Justin Trudeau - Canada's Prime Minister and how wonderful to see a world leader that actually seems to be in touch with the people he serves.


6. The Internet - this one doesn't need any explanation, as you're using it to read this.

7. Crime Dramas - this is something that the Americans do so well especially with shows like CSI, any of the Law and Orders, Criminal Minds, and Scorpion.

8. Ellen Degeneres - this clip of Ellen receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom explains perfectly why I think she is one of the best things about the USA.

9. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts - I remember the first time I had one of these incredibly delicious treats (I know I'm very sad) when the first UK branch opened in Harrods in London. As we waited in line to buy a doughnut we were given a free original glazed one and I was hooked. It's probably a good thing that there isn't an outlet in the Highlands as I love them way too much.

10. Sitcoms - there are some great comedic sitcoms that have come out of the USA, and if I had to choose my favourite three they would be; Seinfeld, Friends, and The Big Band Theory.

How about you? Are there things you love about the two countries, or are the anti North America?

Before you go make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their lists.

Until next time, and hopefully it won't be a week this time, be good, stay safe, and be kind to yourself.

Pamela & Ken

P.S: Lord Rocky Horror looking like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth - so innocent and yet so full of character.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Top Ten Thursday - June Scavenger Hunt

It's time for the June photo scavenger hunt which is part of the Top Ten Thursday blog hop hosted by Tamara at Part-time Working Hockey Mom. These are the ten things that we have to find:
  1. Guidepost
  2. Cow
  3. Worship
  4. Pancakes
  5. Cool
  6. Hot
  7. Stairs
  8. Chains
  9. Flags
  10. Ribbons
Here are my interpretations:

1. Guidepost - this is my beloved's contribution to the scavenger hunt this week, and I think he found two very interesting guideposts, one with great Scottish place names on it, and the other pointing to a burial ground.

2. Cow - this is one of three Highland Cows that live in a field near us. They belong to a posh hotel and it's a great tourist attraction, with people always wanting to take photos of them. Recently one of the cows escaped from the field and went for a wander through a local housing estate - it's picture was put on Facebook with it standing on someone's lawn.

3. Worship - this is St Demhan's Cross (or in gaelic, Crois Naoimh Demhan) which is thought to be a Pictish standing stone that has been recycled by the Christians in about the 10th century. The theory is that with it's simple carved cross it would have been used as a focus for worship with people gathering around it to listen to a preacher.

4. Pancakes - I love pancakes but hadn't had any for ages, so the scavenger hunt was a perfect opportunity to buy some and have them with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Very scrummy.

5. Cool - in our fridge are two lovely cans of Baileys iced coffee and I think this weekend may be the perfect time to drink them as the weather is very, very warm.

6. Hot - no matter what the weather our crazy puppy dog Bramble Jelly still runs around like mad and then ends up looking very hot. I tried to catch her tongue hanging out even further but she was panting so quickly that I couldn't get it.

7. Stairs - when we enter the house after being out anywhere, Bramble Jelly runs to the landing and wants me to make a fuss of her, even though we've just been together. Sometimes Lord Rocky Horror lurks around to see if he can whack Bramble as she runs past.

8. Chains - in the January Scavenger Hunt for beads I had a picture of my necklaces in a bit of a tangle. My beloved managed to untangle them for me and they now hang happily with my other necklaces which include many chains.

9. Flags - we overlook the Nairn Golf Club which was founded in 1887, and in front of the clubhouse are three flags. The Scottish (of course), the British (sort of understandable), and the American (I have no idea why).

10. Ribbons - getting this photo gave me the perfect excuse to go into my favourite shop, Hobbycraft, and as usual I came out with things that I didn't realise I needed. There are so many pretty ribbons on display, and these ones would be really lovely wrapped around a jar of homemade jam.

I hope you enjoyed my offerings for this month's hunt, and why don't you join us in the future. Before you go, make sure you hop over to Tamara's Blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with for their pictures.

Until next time, be good, and stay safe wherever you are in this huge world.

Pamela & Ken

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.