Instagram Phyl's Blog

Thursday, October 08, 2015


Yeah, I know I'm a soppy old fool but this made me cry. As I get older, it never ceases to amaze me how short life really is. Yesterday I was the child, now even my oldest child isn't a child. Apart from death (and the dog), I've already ticked off everything in this list, and having witnessed my parents during dad's illness, I've touched on that from as close as you can before you touch it yourself.

Enjoy the little things, because it'll be over before you know it.

Nursery tales

Charlotte has been helping out at Amaia's old nursery this week as part of the compulsory work experience scheme in her school. Today she came in laughing about how little the kids seemed to be on the ball...

Charlotte: I asked them what day it was today, thinking that wasn't too hard a question. The first one to stick his hand up replied 'Saturday', the second asked if it was 'nursery day' and one wee guy at the back was almost wetting himself waiting for me to pick him to answer so I asked him what day it was and he proudly announced 'It's tomorrow, isn't it?'


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Humans of New York again

This week HONY's photographing refugees arriving in Europe and having them recount their stories. Read them.

Mary Queen of Cakes

Arran day trip

Leafing through this month's Waitrose magazine with a view to finding the recipe for their ghost meringue Halloween cake, featured on the cover, Charlotte came across a photo of our current queen. I use the word 'our' loosely, as I am not a royalist and really do not like the idea of a head of state who isn't elected... Charlotte, of course, knows my feelings on the subject and also knows that I don't take an interest in any of the royal family gossip floating around the magazine shelves of the local supermarkets. Wondering if Amaia too had picked up on my indifference to all things royal, Charlotte turned to her and asked 'Amaia, do you know who this lady is?' , pointing at the queen...
'Emmmm, is it Mary Berry?' she asked! I think she has indeed inherited my profound indifference to the royal family, and perhaps she's also inherited my love of cake!

Monday, October 05, 2015

It's not what you think, kids!

I love to discover subtle cultural differences. This amused me last week. My father-in-law brought it from Denmark as the kids miss it, given they never get the opportunity to go there. But although the kids are half Danish, their UK cultural programming was at work... I noticed that every time they reached for it to put it on their bread, they completely subconsciously assumed, wrongly in this case, that blue would be the milk chocolate and red would be plain!


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Indy boy

Yes Scotland's first annual Independence rally

A friend sent me this link last week. We often joke with each other on social media as both her kids' photos and mine are often use to illustrate Indy-themed newspaper articles, posters, videos (3:43) and similar. (I'm sure this is simply because I have tagged so many of them as creative common on flickr.)

So on Saturday we popped along to the George Square Hope over fear anniversary rally. The kids know the routine by now. You get flags and face paint and generally have fun. Léon sat down in the chair when it came his turn for facepaint, and the volunteer who was doing the painting stared at him. He took off his glasses and she stared again pointing. 'It's you!' she said. Then she turned to me 'It's him!' I was confused. I didn't know her. Then she elaborated, somewhat awestruck: 'It's the wee boy from the newspaper articles and the posters, isn't it?!' I've never been great with faces so I would never have picked up on something like that myself, but it was sweet to see him starting to be recognized as 'that wee boy!'

Anyway, maybe her work will get him into another publication or two (these are quickies from my phone, I haven't uploaded the camera batch to flickr yet - sorry to keep his public waiting! ;-) )

Sunday, September 13, 2015

On the right track

Today Marcel moved to Edinburgh. It feels odd not knowing if he's in or out or when he is in for the night. It's not the first time he's been away so I have spent the last four or five years slowly letting him go, but it isn't any easier, just because you know he's old and wise enough. I suspect my impressions of the new set-up will develop slowly over the coming days.

But one thing that did make me smile today is the knowledge that we must be doing something right. As Marcel ran around packing the car, the smallest three also seemed to be running around purposefully. As he hugged them goodbye, Léon stepped forward as spokesperson and handed Marcel £1-10 in coins. 'Look, we know it isn't much but we've all clubbed together to give you this so you won't need to worry about dinner and stuff like that once you move out!' he said seriously, handing over the cash he and his sisters had taken from their piggy banks for him. What sweet kids they are, even if it isn't going to get Marcel very far at all in the capital!