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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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Apr. 19th, 2015

So, my Dad and Darlene are visiting us here for a few days. We've taken a few day trips out and about. Here's a run down...

They arrived via train on Wednesday evening, having travelled from the Netherlands in the morning via channel tunnel to London and on up to Dumfries. A pretty long train journey for one day. We met them at the station and had dinner at the station hotel. Linda's parents' old house, which we normally rent, is currently unoccupied so we brought them there to settle in. So they've been staying there during the nighttime.

On Thursday, we met Jenny and the kids for lunch and stayed around the house playing with them in the afternoon. The weather's been really nice lately so we played a bit in the back yard. Later, we went out for a nice meal in the evening.

Friday we went over to a newly refurbished whisky distillery in Annan, which used to be owned by Johnnie Walker. It was a pretty interesting tour, and we had a nice lunch there. In the late afternoon, Jenny and Andy hosted a nice barbecue dinner at their house.

Yesterday (Saturday) we took a very long, but enjoyable, drive around the winding roads of the Scottish Borders. Again, the weather was fantastic, nice and sunny. We drove from Dumfries over through Langholm and on to Hermitage Castle.... a very secluded spot. We took a look, but there was no cafe there so we went back into Newcastleton for lunch. From there, we drove up to Jedburgh to take a look at the abbey there. We ended up visiting a really interesting place there: the Mary Queen of Scots Visitors Centre. After Jedburgh, we drove on up to Kelso and saw the abbey there before turning back towards home... a beautiful drive through the Borders, through Selkirk, past St. Mary's Loch and the Grey Mare's Tail waterfall on down to Moffat and back to Dumfries.

Today, we'll be visiting Andy's parents and just hanging out a bit.

Mar. 30th, 2015

All in all, a wet but nice staycation in the Lake District....

Mar. 30th, 2015

So, the weather this weekend has been a bit rainy for the most part. We're on holiday down in Borrowdale. I guess it's what's to be expected... as apparently it's the rainiest place in England, near where we've been staying.

Jan. 29th, 2015

The journey into work this morning was a bit treacherous...  we're having a snow storm.  Must be the same one that hit the northeast U.S. a day or so ago.  It's pretty unusual to get snow here in the Dumfries and Carlisle area, but we're sure getting it right now.

The A75 was fairly OK in my direction this morning, heading toward Carlisle, but in the other direction the traffic was backing up pretty bad as some lorries were having trouble making it up the hills near Carrutherstown.

I feel like the people at work here should be telling everyone to call it a day and go home at this point, but I haven't heard anything yet.  I have a class to teach at 1:00pm, but nothing this morning.

Hopefully the A75 will be OK when I head back that way.

Oct. 16th, 2014

The weather was a lot better today... nice and sunny. We all took a train trip (not very far) to the seaside town of Bridlington... had a walk around and then went to an ice cream place.

Last day of holiday is tomorrow... be back home tomorrow night.

Holiday in Yorkshire

We are having a holiday with Jenny, Andy and the kids in the Yorkshire Wolds, east of York. We've rented a nice 3 bedroom cottage for 4 nights, and came down yesterday.

Today we went in to York to have a nice walk around, altho it was drizzly. Went to visit the Jorvik Viking Centre, which was interesting.

From Wikipedia: "Visitors are taken back to 5:30 pm 25 October 975 AD in a time-capsule, and then embark on a tour of a reconstructed Viking settlement which includes Viking voices speaking in Old Norse, as well as aromas and "life-like animated figures, made by laser technology from skeletons found on the site."[3] Beyond this is an extensive museum area, which combines an exhibition of some 800 finds from the site with interactive displays and the opportunity to learn about tenth-century life and to discuss it with "Viking" staff. Among the exhibits is a replica of the Coppergate Helmet, which was found near the site of the centre and is now in the Yorkshire Museum."

Some pix:

Jul. 27th, 2014

The weather is back to normal now after having about a week of really sunny, hot, cloudless days. It was getting to the point where we couldn't stand the sun and heat anymore.


Jul. 22nd, 2014

It's a sunny, hot day today. Went to the horse this morning, had lunch and I just got back from walking Tess. Linda wants to clean out the garage room today but I'd just assume leave it for another day, maybe when it's cooler. We did some of it yesterday... It's a case of moving all the stuff out that we had put in there when we were cleaning out other rooms. Things eventually end up in the attic after going from room to room for a while. We want to get a sofa bed so we can make that room into a nice guest room and a kids playroom (and second grandkids bedroom... when they get older and are both staying overnight...). I'm like "let's put up more shelves" so we can store things better, but Linda isn't a big fan of shelves for some reason.

Jul. 11th, 2014

It's nice to have time off when the weather is so good lately. I had a half dozen things I needed to do in Scotland for work (but hadn't been able to do because I was asked to help out on installations in England).... so looking at the silver lining of getting laid off, now I don't have to do those pesky work-things.... can fully enjoy the weather instead. Work is for suckers. heh heh...

Apr. 10th, 2014

The weather is back to being normal. Damp and dreary. I'm sitting here at the farm fun place (kids soft play area) which has just expanded recently. It's quite a bit bigger now. Linda, Jenny, Adam and Ayla are all here... but I have a free moment alone with my diet Pepsi so I thought I'd write an entry. I'm "on call" today but they're leaving me alone, which is nice. Pretty busy here at the fun farm... and noisy. School's off so it's probably a lot busier than it otherwise would be. Far outnumbered here by kids and mothers.

Not much to say really.



Linda and I just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary yesterday. We've been on a short holiday to the Lake District, staying in Braithwaite near Keswick. It's the first holiday we've had in a long while, actually. We don't go away much because of the animals... but this holiday we took Tess with us. It was a rather wet weekend but we got a few walks in and saw a few things... Spent a good amount of time in the pub at the place we were staying, just relaxing, reading and sampling the local beers (and imported Pinot Grigio).

Tess' Holiday

We've taken Tess on a holiday to the Lake District. Here are some pix of us out and about today in the drizzly rain.


The rain this winter had been unreal. There's been flooding all over but especially down south in southern England. The Thames has burst its banks now and everyone down there is getting very uptight. Another area of very bad flooding has been the Somerset levels, south of Bristol.

Typical Day

Today has been a typical day, so far. When I'm not off on a call for work, this is what a typical day for me looks like:

Wake up at 8ish and call into the office to say I'm at home and I'm "on call" if I am needed to go to a customer (because of a breakdown of their equipment). I cover Scotland and northern England for a company that sells and services automated storage and retrieval systems. There haven't been many breakdowns lately, and there wasn't one today.

8:15am to about 10am is usually spent in bed reading, with Linda. Checking Facebook, etc. Checking my phone every so often to make sure I don't have messages about work.

At 10ish, Linda and I go to the horse, at a farm on the other side of town. Linda takes care of the hay nets (which need to be soaked because of Meggie's dietary requirements) and food, while I put two horses out and then muck out two stables... Meggie's and another horse's stable whose owners help us out on other days. Horse poop goes into a wheelbarrow and then gets dumped in a muck heap on the farm. All the while, as I'm on call for work, I'm checking my phone periodically in case I get a message or missed a call. I often listen to my iPhone music while I'm doing the stables. Sometimes, on nice days, Linda takes Meggie out for a ride while I walk with them.

By 11:30 or noontime, we're usually done with the horse and we drive home, or often stop off to get a few things at a supermarket. I hate shopping, so I usually just wait in the car. If I don't get a call from work by noon, then I know I won't need to go anywhere that day.

When we get home, I normally walk Tess the dog around the neighbourhood. Length of walk depends upon the weather. Today it's nice and sunny so we went for a pretty long one.

I've been taking baths lately, more often than showers, and today I took a nice bath after getting back with the dog. Something about coming in from a chilly walk makes me want to lie in the bath a bit.

Then I turn the news channel on to see what's going on, have some lunch... which brings me up to 2pm right now. Later we're going over to Jenny's for a visit with her, Adam and Ayla.

Dec. 27th, 2013

Spent most of the day playing with Adam and Ayla. Nice.

It's a very windy day outside today. We haven't had it too cold this winter so far, and no snow.


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