At Home With Mum In Scotland In The Springtime

Scotland 2013-9

The back of the house, with conservatory and courtyard suntrap.

I’m feeling so lucky and so very grateful to have been able to come over to see my Mum in Scotland this past week.

Mum’s hip replacement seems to have gone well and she is getting about on crutches OK.  I’m here to report that looking after one not very mobile older lady is a piece of cake compared to wrangling the household in Sydney.

Would you care to join me on a tour of my Mum’s lovely house in the countryside of Scotland, just 12 miles outside Edinburgh?

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How To Have A Real Scottish Holiday – A Guide For The Misguided

Real Scottish

On Tuesday Beth from Baby Mac innocently asked whether any readers had been to Scotland and where they’d recommend she and the family visit when they go in June this year.

Cue a deluge of excited comments suggesting lovingly remembered places and times.  We all love a chance to share about places in our heart, don’t we?

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Guest Posting Over At Out And About With Kids


Puffins are far and away our favourite Scottish Seabirds.

The Scottish Seabird Centre is a really cool family tourist destination, an easy day trip from Edinburgh.

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News Of A Husbandless Christmas, A Long Haul Holiday – And Avoiding The Horrors of Heathrow

FIFO families dad away for Christmas
This post is brought to you by Emirates... I would love to report that Emirates is flying us gratis to Scotland but sadly we’ve paid every cent of the flights ourselves, boo hoo.


So what’s a mum of four to do????!!!

Our FIFO* Intn’l Man of Mystery is working right over Christmas and New Year; he’ll FO on December 11th and FI again on January 11th 2014.

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Beautiful Beaches of Scotland’s Outer Hebrides – A Guest Post From My Sister Morag

I’m thrilled today to have a post sent over from Scotland by my younger sister, Morag.

Mo, her husband and wee boys and my mum went to North Uist for their summer holidays in late July this year.

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Holidays With Heartbreak – Family Catch Up

Sunshine in Sydney suburbs Well, it’s a bleary-eyed morning here at Casa Catastrophe.

But thank goodness we have a sunny morning in Sydney at last.

Teen16 flew back into Sydney late last night, and we didn’t all finally get to bed until 1.30am.

He had been with his Dad in Scotland for just 10 days. Our Intn’l Man of Mystery’s dad, the kids’ grandad, is gravely ill, so his usual three and a half weeks at home became two as he and Teen16 flew back to Scotland.

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Improving My Travel Photography – Panoramic Shots

Club Med Bali panoramic shot Bar and Lawn

Where better to read about photography than on a flight overseas?  I had bought a couple of ebooks from Digital Photography School but had never studied them in detail.

So I’ve been reading up on photography whenever I’ve been on a plane this year.

Click on the photos to see them at double the size. 


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Wee Pressies From Scotland For You {Giveaway ended}

We’re back! Just…

The flight should touch down at 6am on Monday so I’m scheduling this post before leaving Scotland.

It’s always nice to bring a souvenir or two home from your travels, and a few wee presents for family and friends.

And this time, I’ve brought some gifts from Bonnie Scotland just for you blog readers.


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Scottish Stories – Sunshine + Rain, Laughter + Tears

Sunshine Rain-5 Typical Scottish April weather we’ve been having here. Maybe a wee bit nippier than usual.

There’s sunshine when it’s raining, then lowering grey skies, then wee blue patches. Always changeable, very breezy.

You need to be prepared for all possibilities, and go nowhere without a waterproof, a hat, scarf and gloves.

Life’s like that too, isn’t it?  Changeable.

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Scottish Stories – A Muddy Walk To See The Lambs

Muddy Walk-1

So it struck me as we walked along this muddy farm track, that my wee lass has never really spent much time in mud.

What fun she’s missed!

A lovely cousin of mine has a house that was originally an old farm steading. We visited one day and went for a walk to see the lambs.

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Scottish Stories – The Knitting Knapper Strikes Again

It was all Minnie The Minx’s idea. She’d seen some knitting needles in a shop and was keen to have a go.

AND we were heading to Scotland. Minnie is left-handed and so is my big sister.

‘Aunty Mairi can teach you to knit!’ I said. I like that passing-the-buck school of mothering, don’t you?

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Scottish Stories – At Yellowcraig Beach Today

Yellowcraig Beach East Lothian Scotland

Well, it’s a long way from Sydney’s beautiful beaches!  I heard that my hubby and Teen16 and Rusty Rocket were swimming in the sea yesterday at Jervis Bay.

Not us here in Bonnie Scotland. The wind is perishing and the sea would be worse.

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Scottish Stories – On Friendships Old and New

two little friends I ran away from home when I was 16 years old. Well, actually, I got myself a scholarship to a school on the West Coast of Scotland where I boarded for the equivalent of Years 11 and 12.

Luckily for me, another new girl started at the same time, and, like me, JV had come from a huge public school. We bonded straight away and so began many adventures.

JV’s Mum was always really good to me and I spent lots of time at their house.

Our toast festivals were legendary.

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A Winter Playground in The North of Scotland

As a sharp contrast to the humid heat here in Sydney, here are some photos of my gorgeous two nephews who live in Nairn in the far north east of Scotland.

My sister Morag took these photos at the great playground by the sea one frosty winter’s morning. Thanks Mo!

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Snowy Scotland – Nature’s Artwork

My mum and sisters are shivering in snowbound Scotland just now.  What a contrast to Sydney where it’s steamy and number one on my gratitude list is having a pool.  Splash!

My elder sister is called Mairi Stones, she is a felt artist, mum of twins… and photographer of Mother Nature.

Aren’t these photos Mairi took just gorgeous?

Scotland Snow on Hills

This is the shore near my sister's house - nice view! That isn't snow on the beach, it's frozen sea left when the tide went out.

Leaves frozen in ice

Mairi went to the pond near her house and saw lots of leaves on the ice, she peeled some off to reveal this beautiful image.

Leaves frozen in ice 2

Leaves frozen in ice 2

Leaves frozen in ice Scotland

Leaves frozen in ice 3

Gorgeous photos… and here’s it’s hot… weird, weird, weird.

Have you visited Scotland in the winter?




A Sister Sets Sail – Sailing Around The Meditteranean With Kids Aboard

I have two very lovely sisters who both live in Scotland, Mairi and Morag.  No, you don’t get more Scottish names than theirs.

Mairi is the eldest sister.  Morag and I agree it’s a marvellous thing to have a big sister; someone to copy and learn from your whole live through, someone to look after you.

So this week Mairi, her husband and their two children are finishing packing up the family home, packing up their boat and preparing for a year of sailing around the Meditteranean.  It’s a big week at their house.

They are brave, don’t you think?  I very much admire their adventurous spirits and their derring do.  Their boat is not big, but the waves they face will be.
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