New Kilt

I ordered my new kilt 6 weeks ago it it arrived today. I got it from Geoffrey Tailors in Glasgow. As I already have a Campbell kilt, I didn’t really want to get another derivative of that tartan, but what does one do? I couldn’t really get another clan tartan so I was looking at some of the weird and wonderful 21st Century kilts that Geoffrey Tailor does; I actually liked some of the tweed style ones, but in the end I decided that a tartan would be better. I wear my kilt every day to work and now that the tourist season has started I’m getting a lot of comments from the visitors about how great it is to see a Scotsman wearing the kilt to work every day. I think the effect wouldn’t have been quite the same had I not decided on a tartan kilt. But which one?

The brochure I’d picked up in January had a nice brown-looking tartan that both I and Lorraine liked. So I called them about it and it turns out that it isn’t brown at all, but grey. Seemingly the large, well-known kilt makers in the country all have their own design of tartan. The grey one is part of Geoffrey Tailors own design called Thistle. They do a grey one, a claret one, midnight blue one or two others. They were all nice, but we decided that the grey would be the most versatile and I wouldn’t have to add several shirts and hose to the order. If I’d gone for the claret, which was the one I liked best after the grey, I’m not sure I’d have gotten away with all the green and blue shirts and hose that I have to go with my Campbell kilt.

It’s not actually completely greyscale tones. There is a subtle line of green through it which you can make out in the photos and it makes all the difference. They did them also with a line of pink, and it actually looked really nice, but it certainly wouldn’t have gone with my other clobber.

I decided to be a little bit different though and get the hipster version. This is a casual style and differs from the traditional style kilt in that it sits on the hips, where trousers would normally sit. The traditional kilt goes around the ribcage and in summer it gets really hot, so the hipster is now my summer kilt. But as it has less support than a traditional kilt would have, I had to go for a lighter weight (i.e. less material). So this one is made from 7 yards of material rather than the typical 9 yards so it probably won’t have quite the same swing to it. Maybe it will though; I’ve only had it on around the house for 10 minutes and out into the garden for some photos. I’ll wear it to work on Monday and see how I get on.

All in all, I think I made the right choice and it’s thanks largely to Lorraine’s good eye.

Folks came to visit

My mum and dad came to visit today and it was wonderful to see them. My mum has had MS for many years and is more or less completely immobile now. My dad also is not in great shape and is constantly hooked up to an oxygen bottle. One of my mum’s carers and her husband brought them over in their black cab. It’s big enough to get my mum into in her wheelchair and my dad had his folded up. It’s about 40 minutes to the ferry from where they live and then an hour’s crossing so it really was a big day out for them.

Freya was excited about them coming so we set off to meet them from the ferry around 11 this morning. We went straight to the Post Office and I showed them round my little shop and it was really nice that they were able to see it. Bear in mind that my parents have not visited my home ever because I’ve pretty much lived abroad for the last 10 years since I finished university. In fact, the thought came to me as I waved them goodbye that it is the first time ever that I’ve waved goodbye to them from my own home. It’s always been the other way round right up until today!

After the PO we came back to the house and had some lunch and then retired to the living room to watch Freya painting her my little pony and having a blether.

It’s always inspiring to see my folks and how they cope but particularly when they show that they can still make trips like today.

Thanks for coming mum and dad!

Hamish is 2 today

So our wee boy is now 2! I managed to get out of work at five and get round the supermarket to get some shopping and bits and pieces for a birthday tea. Freya and Rachel tried making a cake this afternoon but it didn’t work out very well. Hamish didn’t mind though. He had fun blowing out the candle and even managed to do it all on his own and then give himself a round of applause. Well done our little man!

Father’s Day – it’s funny because it’s true

Here’s the card I got this morning from Freya and Hamish for father’s day. I almost sprayed my tea over the dining table! Nice choice, kids!


Couple of Hamish shots

Lorraine was doing some gardening tonight and the kids were sitting on the grass. The light looked right for trying out some fill flash so I got my SB800 and tried taking a few shots but none really worked out; they were all over cooked. Guess I need to learn how to dial down the flash, although I thought the TTL (through-the-lens) was supposed to adjust the flash automatically to give the right exposure?

Whatever. Here is a couple of shots anyway.

Trip to Holy Island

I went to Holy Island for the first time today with Freya and Lorraine’s mum (Lorraine had to stay home and carry on with her translation work 🙁

It was a great trip and a wonderful place to visit. It would be nice to do a retreat there one day. The peace and tranquillity there makes the Isle of Arran seem like a city centre and it was weird getting off the boat on our return and stepping on to the “mainland” of Arran!

We didn’t manage to get there in time for the Lama’s talk at 2.30, which was a shame, but it was still worth making the 10-minute crossing. Next time we’ll go with Lorraine and Hamish too, maybe take a picnic and do some walking.


Down the shore with Hamish

This is Hamish all dressed up to go down the shore on Saturday. I just love the quizzical look on his face (first time I’ve ever written ‘quizzical’ I think and I had to look up the spelling. Two zeds – who knew?). He loves going out and often brings his shoes through or puts them on himself when he wants to go out. Check out how dirty his knees got and how happy he seems to be about it. It’s getting easier to interact with him now and this is where it starts to get fun. He’s talking quite a bit and even said ‘how are you’ when I got home tonight. He’s taking to the talking more quickly than Freya did. His French is apparently not too bad so I’m told (we have a French au pair).

I’ll huff and I’ll puff and …

I finally got a home from work on a Saturday afternoon before 4pm and it wasn’t raining! Lorraine is busy working to a deadline and so I got the kids dressed up and off to the beach we went so that Lorraine could have an hour-and-a-half of peace to get on. It’s just so cool to be a mere minute from the beach and have such great views. Living the dream my friends.

Freya decided that she wanted to play the Three Little Pigs so we took turns to be the Big Bad Wolf. Each picnic or bench seat along the front was a house, but not only did we have straw, stick and brick, we also had sand and mud houses too. She’s an imaginative wee thing is M’Lady. Anyway, this is a shot of her huffing and puffing and trying to blow my house down because I wouldn’t let her in, no sir, not by the hair on my chinny chin chin. In her version though, she managed to blow the brick house down as well because the Big Bad Wolf had super strong huff and super strong puff. I didn’t stand a chance.

I was thinking of putting this photo in for the TWiP (This Week in Photography) contest. The theme for the current contest is red and the prize is a copy of Aperture AND Lightroom as well as three books (they went a bit nuts on the most recent TWiP episode [#22]).

I used Scott Bourne’s Velvea action to give the photo some pop and, as Scott puts it, visual acuity, and it really worked quite well.

Freya’s 4!

It was Freya’s fourth birthday yesterday and we had a lovely day. More pics to follow (thank goodness for Lightroom and exporting cos I haven’t had time to visit the blog for a long time!)

Christmas day 2007

Freya was poorly through the night on Christmas eve, poor little love. She was sick several times, necessitating two bed changes (ours and hers). She spent most of the day laying on the sofa, but thankfully she did perk up for long enough to open her presents.

I think we did not too badly, considering that we’re trying to fit as normal a Christmas as we can into the madness of packing to leave. Decorations were therefore minimal, but we did put up some tinsel and have a candlelit dinner. I had a pork chop and did roast potatoes and steamed Brussels sprouts, carrots and broccoli (well, you have to have sprouts, right?). It was rather good and we had a good feed, leaving the orange and cranberry Christmas pud until later on, round about Eastenders time.

So, here are a few pics that I shot in the morning. Enjoy!