Thursday, March 23, 2017

Top Ten Thursdays - Resting in Peace

This weeks top ten is one of those subjects that a lot of people don't really like to talk about - what we want when it comes time for us to leave this world. Thanks to Tamara at confessions of a part-time working mom for setting the topic.

As a nurse, this is a topic that I've spoken to many people about over the years, and I would encourage you all to let someone you love know if you have specific requests for when you die, as it really does help the people left behind.

1. I would like to be cremated and I would like my ashes mixed with Ken's (whenever we die) and have half our ashes scattered in Tasmania at Fossil Bluff, and the other half scattered in Argyle where Ken grew up.

2. If they're in a fit state, before the cremation, I would like to donate my organs.

3. I don't want a fancy coffin, I'd much rather have a plain white cardboard coffin that people can write messages on or draw pictures on - if I did want a proper coffin I'd want one with pink hearts all over it. Here's a link to a fab website where you can basically get what ever you want, and caters to all budgets - click HERE to visit.

4. I' m not sure I want a formal church service, maybe a memorial get together outside somewhere where people can enjoy natures beauty.

5. At the above get together I'd like everyone to wear whatever they like but as long as there's a bit of pink or purple on every person.

The next few are songs I'd like played at some point on the day, whoevers organising can make that decision:

6. The hauntingly beautiful My Immortal sung by Evanescence.


7. There you'll be - Faith Hill (from the movie Pearl Harbour)


8. Save the best for last - Vanessa Williams



The next one has to be played at the end of the get together as it's the song that Ken and I walked out of the church on our wedding day to.

9. Especially for you - Kylie & Jason (I hope it would make people smile).


10. The last one is an important one, so listen up my gorgeous Kennykins. If I die before you, I need to know you're going to keep going with your life. You're allowed to be sad but you're also going to be able to smile, hopefully at some of the very silly things we've done in the past. Love you.

So there you have it - a topic that is not always easy but is really important to discuss.

Before you leave, why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and enjoy your life.

Pamela & Ken
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Sunday, March 19, 2017

A to Z Blogging Challenge Theme Reveal


It's almost April and that means one thing - the horror of the A to Z blogging challenge! For those who've never heard of it, it's basically a post for every day of April, except Sundays, for every letter of the alphabet.

This is my second year doing the challenge and this year I'm trying to be much more organised and have a theme so that I know what I'm doing, and I'm actually going to try and write my posts ahead of time. If you're interested you can read my post, What was I thinking? which rounds up last years challenge - I think it gives a good feel of how 'traumatised' I was by the end.

Onto the theme reveal............the A to Z of the Scottish Highlands!


It's only 15 months since my husband and I made the move from outer London to beautiful Scotland so it's a perfect chance to do some more exploring and share this magical part of the world with others. Not every letter is going to be a place, some will be things or traditions of this area, and unlike last year I have  worked out what I'm doing for over half the alphabet already.

Good luck to all my fellow bloggers who are joining the challenge and now we just have to wait until April 1st - how fitting that it starts on April Fool's Day.

Until then, be good, stay safe, and prepare to enjoy.

Pamela & Ken
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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Top Ten Thursdays - St Patrick's Day

This week's top ten is all about St Patrick's Day, good, bad, or indifferent. I have to say that I've struggled with this, as its not really a day that features in my thoughts too much, apart from people wearing green. I've come up with an eclectic top ten that's sort of what I know about this green day.

1. I think my earliest knowledge of St Patrick was that he supposedly drove all the snakes out of Ireland, and I remember thinking how great that was as in Tasmania we have very poisonous snakes.

2. The Fugitive (film, not tv show) has a scene involving a St Patrick's day parade, and the river has been dyed green which I think is very cool. I've found a youtube clip which shows this happening.


3. March 17th, which is when St Patrick's day is celebrated, is the anniversary of St Patrick's death - he died in 461 AD.

4. The biggest St Patrick's day parade is held in New York City and has over two million spectators - that's four times the population of Tasmania lining the route of the parade.

5. Fittingly, as it is an Irish celebration, the parade in Dublin is a four day celebration of all things Irish.

6. Whilst I was googling things about St Patrick's day I found this fabulous youtube clip showing a flashmob of Irish dancing in Sydney's Central Station in 2011 - watch and enjoy.



7. Shocking news, St Patrick wasn't Irish!!! No, he was born in Roman Britain and kidnapped by Irish pirates. In fact the only patron saint of the British Isles that was actually born in the country they are known for was St David who was indeed born in Wales. St George was born in Turkey, and St Andrew was believed to have been born in Israel and was one of Christ's disciples.

8. I love how people change the colour of drinks and food items to green for St Patrick's day - green beer, green latte's (not sure I'd like my latte messed with), and even green cakes. The only green thing I've made in recent years was mini grasshopper pies, which were scrummy (no grasshoppers were harmed in the making).

9. Our antipodean neighbours in New Zealand always start the celebrations first due to their position in the world and the international date line.

10. So that we're in the spirit of things, here we are sporting a complexion that is almost Shrek like in it's greenness, wishing you all a happy St Patrick's Day.


So there you have it, a mixture of facts and thoughts on the Irish celebration - before you go why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog, Confessions 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 eat something green this week.

Pamela & Ken
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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Top Ten Thursdays - Crazy Things

This weeks theme is looking at all the crazy things we do in our lives - okay, only the top ten, as with all the crazy things we do I'd be here for days. Thank you as always to Tamara from Confessions of a part-time working mom who hosts this blog challenge.

Here's the ten that I feel able to share:

1. Co Hosted a Christmas in July party with my friend Elaine complete with mulled wine. What made this particularly crazy is that we went out the night before and then had to organise and host the party after not very much sleep and a little bit of a hangover (just a warning, a hangover and the smell of heated red wine does not mix).

2. Went to the Pudding Club and after a main course we then proceeded to eat seven different puddings. We were determined to try them all and by the end I think we were both a very interesting shade of green.


3. When I was 23 I went to work in Saudi Arabia for a year - everyone in my family thought I was totally crazy. It may have been crazy and there were multiple crazy things that happened during that year, but it was also a great year because it's where Ken and I originally crossed paths.

4. I know I include this one in lots of posts but it was quite a crazy thing to do, and that was attend the Fairy Festival - it was a gathering of many people who are willing to share their special breed of quirkiness.


5. Myself and a friend, when travelling in the USA, walked back to our hotel from a nightclub in Washington DC via back streets after midnight. At the time, the early 1990's, the city was known as the murder capital of the US.

6. In 2011 I did a crazy relay race with a friend that was advertised as a fun day out designed for all abilities - they obviously weren't including me when they said "all" abilities as by the end I thought I was going to pass out or throw up, and we finished absolutely last! The race included a run, followed by lots of different activities including; cycling, canoeing, a sack race, and lots and lots of climbing. My feet were more blisters than feet at the end of it, and we had to be rescued during the canoeing as we just kept going around in circles.


7. A few years ago I convinced my husband to attend a death cafe with me - it was being held in Notting Hill. I was hoping for an open discussion on how people face death and thoughts about life, but instead it became a platform for a few very opinionated people on euthanasia - they basically hijacked the session and I came to verbal blows with them once they found out I was a nurse. As Ken says, I take him to all the best places.

8. I was once crazy enough to agree to be a model in a charity fashion show - I had to wear three different outfits, we had our hair and makeup done, and then were escorted down the runway by older gentlemen in suits. I'll be honest and admit that I had to have several drinks of wine before I made my way onto the runway.


9. Yes, it's still the fashion show, but my last outfit was a whole new level of craziness as it was a slinky nightdress with matching dressing gown, and shockingly I chose this myself. Needless to say, the majority of a bottle of wine had to be drunk before this performance, and as you can see I was still clutching onto the wine as I was escorted down the runway.


10. When I was writing this post I asked my beloved what the most crazy thing I'd ever done was, and his reply was "marrying him". Some may say that love is the craziest thing that exists, but at least Ken and I can be crazy together.


So there you have it, my top ten crazy things - what sort of things have you done that you consider crazy? Before you go, why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and do something a little crazy this week.

Pamela & Ken
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Saturday, March 04, 2017

Cafe's and snow in the Cairngorms

Today we headed out to for a day of fun despite the weather being atrocious - raining a lot. We headed towards Aviemore and Rothiemurchus figuring that if it kept raining there were lots of cafe's for us to sit in away from the dreich (Scottish for dreary) weather. On our way there we went past this school which had the most fabulous paintwork. It's an eco school promoting reusing and recycling.



When we arrived in Aviemore the rain seemed to get heavier so we went straight into a cafe for lunch. My beloved thought he was ordering a panini but by accident ordered the special which was a bowl of soup, a toasted panini, salad, crisps, and a piece of cake to follow - he was a little stuffed afterwards.


These were the cakes he got to choose from and he went for the one at the front with the raspberry and strawberry on the top.


At Rothiemurchus there is a really lovely shop which sells gifts but also has a farm shop attached. We were quite amused by the name of this beer - Sheepshaggers Gold. It is brewed at the Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore and on the bottle is says "the best beer baa none".


Ken then spotted these fabulous dry rub mixes that sound a bit like they should be in a fancy health spa rather than a farm shop.


We went for a drive to Loch an Eilein which is not far from Rothiemurchus - I don't have any pictures as the carpark is a little way from the loch and it was now sleeting so didn't fancy doing the walk. Definitely something for another day as it is meant to be a really lovely walk around the loch and there is a ruined castle on the island in the middle of the loch - the walk is 4.5miles.

When we left to head home the sleet started turning into snow, which you can see on the sides of the roads.


Once we got onto the road back to Nairn the snow had well and truly set in, with the road quickly getting covered.




Bramble was loving the snow, finding lots of interesting scents in the heather and taking off after the trail - she was showing that she's a true spaniel with her nose fixed to the ground.



What a beautiful girl - posing so perfectly despite her bottom getting frozen.


Pablo waiting patiently in the snow - a couple of other cars did go past us whilst we were wandering around, but most sensible people were staying in.


I know those tracks - they belong to the very rare Bramble Jelly Sassy Pants.


Look, I've come out from behind the camera - I think I must have had a sixth sense about the weather as underneath the coat I've got three other layers, including a thermal top.


That's our brief day out enjoying various cafes (yes, there was more than one but I don't have photographic evidence of them both) and the awful weather. Until next time, be good, stay safe, and be kind to yourself this week.

Pamela & Ken
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P.S: Final two pictures are of Bramble in a couple of outfits I tried on her when we went to the pet store - I think you can tell by her face that she's not very impressed. My favourite was the pink hoodie but I restrained myself and left them in the shop.



Thursday, March 02, 2017

Top Ten Thursdays - Vision Board

Have you ever made a vision board? I haven't either, but this weeks top ten is the things we would have on our vision board. I know that some people use them to picture what they want to achieve in their careers, relationships, or simply in their life. I've had a think (yes it did hurt my brain) and these are the things that are on my virtual vision board, mostly places or things I want to do.

1. Cat Cafe Aberdeen - a few years ago we went to the cat cafe in London and it was fabulous, I was in crazy cat lady heaven. I've now found out that there is one in Aberdeen which is only a couple of hours from us so it is high on my list to visit this year. It's called the Cat in the Window Cafe and if you're interested, click HERE to visit their website.

Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium London

2. Live Music Festivals - last year due to the arrival of our new furbie (Bramble Jelly) we didn't go to any festivals, so this year we need to make an effort to get out there and enjoy some outdoor music.

Bellowhead performing at Cornbury

3. Picnics - another thing we didn't do last year was go for any picnics which is something we love to do. So this year part of exploring the Scottish Highlands will include being organised enough to take our food with us and enjoy it in the great outdoors.

Harris, the Outer Hebrides

4. Tasmania - this year we're going home to Australia for three weeks, and the majority of that time is going to be in Tasmania. (It's not technically a vision board thing as the flights are booked, but I'm still putting it out there).

Fossil Bluff beach - Tasmania

5. Coffee - I can't leave the elixir of life off my vision board as without it none of the other things will get done. Skinny latte, one shot, with room for cold milk - perfect.


6. Sandcastles - I love building sandcastles and haven't done so for a few years now as adult life has got in the way. It's such a fun thing to do and as we live right by the sea now there's really no excuse, so watch this space for future creations.

Ken's mega castle on Harris

7. Travel - I love finding out more about the world we live in by actually experiencing places and there are so many places we'd love to visit. Top of my list at the moment are Ljubljana (Slovenia), Sintra (Portugal), Prague (Hungary), and Reykjavik (Iceland)

Budapest

8. Survive A to Z - yes, the A to Z blogging challenge is looming ominously at the end of this month. All of April, posting nearly every day, and I still have no idea what my theme is going to be. I keep hoping that inspiration will hit me but so far nothing. 


9. For Ken - if my beloved had a vision board then I'm sure that a major feature on that board would be cars, and in particular the E Type Jaguar, which is the first car he would buy if we won the lottery.


10. Affirmations - all through my daily planner I have positive thoughts and sayings that I have stuck into it as I think that saying these things to yourself can help remind you to be kind to  yourself and take time to be grateful for everything that you have. I saw this one hanging in a cafe and really liked it, so this would be in the middle of my vision board with the rest of the top ten circled around it.


There you have it, my top ten things that are on my virtual vision board for this year. Before you go why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog, Confessions of a part-time working mom and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with in their list - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and think about what would be on your own vision board this year.

Pamela & Ken
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Top Ten Thursdays - Motivation

This weeks top ten is something that I lack on a regular occasion - motivation! I regularly have days where I'd quite like to stay under the duvet with my beloved and leave the world outside to carry on without us, but as a grown up I'm not really meant to do that so have to find the motivation to do things.

1. My beloved - no surprise that Ken is the number one thing that motivates me to do anything. He is my reason for being and he encourages me with all my slightly crazy schemes.


2. Music - sometimes the best thing to do when feeling unmotivated is to put on some loud music and sing at the top of your voice. One of my favourites to do this to is a song that came out in 1992 - What's Up, 4 Non Blondes.


3. Treat yourself - being motivated in life isn't all about making plans and sticking to them with no wriggle room. Make sure you treat yourself occasionally in order to keep doing what you want to do. The treat could be getting your nails done, or going for coffee and cake with a good friend.



4. My Soulmate - (okay, I may be cheating slightly but he definitely deserves more than one mention). Exercise is one of my least favourite things to do and also difficult for various reasons, but Ken encourages and supports me and we often include an exploratory walk in our adventures which helps keep me moving.


5. A Motivational Speech - not from someone else, but from yourself. Sometimes we need to give ourselves a good, rousing self talk to get ourselves moving. Maybe not quite as stirring as this one from Independance Day, but whatever works for you.


6. The sun - I know it's a bit of a cliche, but when the sun is shining it makes everything a bit brighter and improves my motivation greatly. For those that think the sun doesn't shine very much in the Scottish Highlands, you're very much mistaken as the sun shines plenty, it just doesn't have much heat behind it.


7. Equality - I don't think that this needs an explanation, but equality is something I believe in and that keeps me motivated to sign petitions, write to politicians, and stand up for this fundamental right of human beings.


8. Animals - they motivate me to be a better human being. How anyone can cause harm to an animal is beyond me and I would love it if the laws on animal cruelty were a lot harsher.



9. Love - I think that the desire to be loved and to give love motivate the majority of us at some point in our lives. I'm very lucky to have a wonderful love in my life (you knew it would get soppy at some point so you can stop rolling your eyes now) that makes everyday special and often motivates me to ask myself how I got so lucky.


10. Ken - enough said but he is my constant motivation everyday of my life.


That's it, my list of ten things that can motivate me when I really need it. Before you go why don't you pop over to Tamara's blog, Confessions of a part-time working mom and see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and do whatever you need to do to stay motivated this week.

Pamela & Ken
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