Sunday, 28 February 2010

Happy birthday to me

Well, it's almost my birthday - or as close to one as I get in a non Leap Year - and I've had a fabulous weekend. All courtesy of my wonderful friends, for whom I am truly thankful.

The celebrations started on Friday with cocktails and lovely meal with my lunchtime buddies. Saturday was a bit of a delicate start but I rallied and managed to make it through to Edinburgh to get my hair cut (making up for completely missing my appointment last weekend!) and a bit of shopping. Still no shoes though - it's been almost 6 months since I bought my last pair, I think I may be ill!!

Yesterday evening saw another meal out and a trip to the cinema. Our choice was The Lovely Bones - a somewhat strange choice for a celebratory night out, but a great film all the same.

And then today it was Tango again. This week we had a workshop with 2 genuine Argentian Tango dancers, and amazing it was too. We feel like we're really starting to dance now - and I'm almost managing to follow rather than trying to lead. I'm told it will be a good stress relief for me to let someone else take charge for a change!!

And in the midst of that I still found some time for a couple of visits to my favourite cafe and some more crochet.

Happy (un)birthday indeed!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

And on we go!

I finally finished my cable cardigan last night - well apart from the finishing off of the ends that is. But what it does mean is that I can start on my amazing Kidsilk Haze mohair at last. And get back to crochet too. I even managed some crochet in public too before my Tango class.

All in all a good day. But as you can see, it's slow going! I think I'll be making this one for a while!

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Out and about in Stirling

Stirling Heads
Originally uploaded by bexybeads
Today was such a beautiful sunny winter morning that I decided to go for a stomp round Stirling with my camera. I'd forgotten that the replica Stirling Heads are on display at Stirling Castle so I got an extra bonus with my visit to the Castle.

In case you don't know, the Heads are modern but handcarved replicas of original ceiling bosses created for James V's Great Hall at Stirling Castle. As well as being able to see the replica carvings, there was also an exhibition about the process of re-creating them. Truly amazing craftsmanship.

(I'm also quite proud of the way this picture has captured the winter sunlight sneaking into the Great Hall)

Once the renovation work has been finished in the Castle's Royal Apartments, the replica heads will be used as part of the final decorations.

While I was at the Castle I also took the opportunity to visit the Tapestry Weaving workshop to see how the Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries are coming on. You can stand and watch as modern artisans weave replica tapestries based on ancient medieval designs, also destined for the renovated Royal Apartments when they're done.

The Castle wasn't the only place I visited on my morning stomp - plenty more pictures in my Flickr Photostream if you want a look.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Crisp mornings

Stirling is a truly beautiful city, and perhaps never more so than on a crisp winter morning. The other day we were all up at the Tolbooth for a meeting and before it started I nipped out and got this shot of the early morning light over the rooftops of the old city. Very pretty!

Today I'm at the University, equally crisp and stunning. Today's visit is to host a couple of lectures/seminars on sustainability, peak oil and economics! Sounds dry but the speaker is very high powered and I'm feeling pretty excited about it all.

Both sessions went really well today. Full to bursting point for the morning public session and some good discussion at the afternoon closed session. Well done to the lovely Rachel Nunn of Going Carbon Neutral Stirling for getting Chris over here!

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Still finishing off

But getting there!

Only 4 rows of neck ribbing to go followed by the making up. And then I can start with the kid silk mohair.


Actually, this is a really lovely pattern using Sirdar Tweedie Chunky that's been a joy to knit up, and has got me back into cable knitting. It's just that I'm itching to use my kidsilk haze bargain yarn and to get back to some crochet again.

Sunday, 14 February 2010


I found a new view on my way to my tango class today - well, new to me anyway!

As I came over the hill from Top of the Town, the sun was just cutting through and hitting the Wallace Monument in the most amazing way. Particularly set against the old and new roof tops of the city.

Sadly this quick snap doesn't really do it justice, but you might just get the idea. Stirling truly is an amazing place to live and work, I'm so lucky!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Healthy weekends

A healthy way to start the weekend - just finished at the gym and now sitting in Beanscene with a paper, a skinny latte and a fruit yoghurt pot.

Mmm! Time to chill now.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

It takes two...

The cliche goes that it takes two to tango, and indeed it does, but fortunately I've managed to find a class where I can go along alone and still learn.

Some of my more regular readers may remember that at New Year I blogged my New Year Resolutions, one of which was to take more risks and to 'pick more daisies'. Well, this weekend I did just that. I have long wanted to learn how to dance properly. When I was younger I 'did' ballet. Truth be told, I was sent to ballet lessons as a little person because my Mum was tired of me 'tripping over a blade of grass' and she thought that ballet lessons might be just the thing to make me less clumsy. I'm not sure they worked at the time (I seem to remember spending most of my childhood with massive bruises on my legs from bumping into things) but as I've grown up I think the ballet did make a difference - my posture isn't bad and I seem to have a certain affinity with rhythm.

So anyway, back to this weekend. Last week at work  I found a poster for Tango classes - no partner necessary, just turn up and give it a try. And in the spirit of 'picking more daisies', turn up I did.

Well, it was fantastic. It may just have been and 3 other couples, but I can truly say that I had a great time. So much so that I'm signed up for the 4 more classes and hope to carry on beyond that too. Not having a partner means that I get to dance more with 'teacher', so not exactly a disaster. And the other couples are wonderfully welcoming. I'll definitely be there next Sunday - now if I could only find a man that wants to learn to tango....!

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Far too nice to be stuck inside...

But sadly I am.

As I sit at my desk working away, the glorious sunshine of a cold winter day tempts my attention away on a frequent basis. Too frequent!

And then I think how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful part of the world. And to have the kind of job where I can pause every now and again to enjoy the view.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Different kind of handmade!

I thought I'd share a different kind of handmade today. I was inspired by a friend who has been posting about some of the great meals she's been making and I thought I could join in too.

Yesterday we were discussing what great meals you can make from left-overs. So tonight's meal is a homage to Frances.

Voila, baked egg with yesterday's left-over roast vegetables and the end of a yummy goats cheese. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes and there you go. And it even tastes good too!