Jackanory with photos. Great new app!

 

Who needs a Playstation?
Who needs a Playstation?

Which creative genius suggested they make a TV show consisting of a person reading out of a book sitting static in a chair for 20 minutes and called it Jackanory. No sets. No special effects. No fancy costumes and yes it was a huge hit! The intimacy as a 5 year old sitting cross legged in front of the telly watching a lucid adult reading you a story was the water cooler moment for the new TV generation in the late 60’s. I can hear the theme tune now….in fact here it is …..

 

Of course things move on and they moved on a pace with Tales of the Riverbank in which Ratty Rat and Hammy Hamster undertook projects. Riveting rivering by anyones standards.

Johnny Morris is the voice of these incredibly creative rodents. I was glued to this as a kid and can’t imagine why we didn’t invite the helpful little critters into our homes and live amongst us.I suppose rat fever and the plague is likely the answer to that

But goodness me how things have come on. Now anyone can make their own wee story using a New app… Adobe Voice . It’s very simple and within seconds I had the hang of it oh – and this makes an Aberdonians heart sing – it’s freeee! Just download  Adobe Voice onto your phone and off you go. Start telling your own Jackanory/Tales of the Riverbank stories.

They clearly had a huge respect for women in those days.
They clearly had a huge respect for women in those days.

I’m sure will get better in time. It’s fun. It’s quick and it brings it all to life. Have a shotty and leave a link on the comments bit of this blog and let’s have a look at what your Ridley Scott influences can achieve.

 

A-Z of Scottish Storms. Never mind Henry.

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Life is confusing enough without names for every puff of wind coming our way. Apparently it’s so we pay more attention. So far we have suffered a series of middle class names with strange associations.

1. Abigail – a gingham clad extra in an Enid Blyton book. Irritating but not scary.
2. Barney – an irritating Purple Dinosaur who has driven many parents to hard liquor and reexamining the gun law.
3. Clodagh – Rogers, the singer of the Eurovision hit of many eons back. Long blonde hair and vintage 70’s trousers. Disturbing but again not scary.
4. Desmond – my Auntie Margarets fat dalmatian. aka a sap
5. Eva – Hitlers girlfriend
6. Frank – a boiler suited American form the 1950’s
7. Gertrude – a goose in a Disney film. And as of today
8. Henry – a tweed clad, blustering, red faced, upper class twit of the year.

Henry
Henry

I propose we ditch these no name names and go for something altogether more menacing.

We all remember Hurricane Bawbag our local vernacular for one of these great whirling twists of hell and so here are suggestions of alternatives;

Hoots mon.
Hoots mon.

The A-Z Scottish storms.

A Argie barge
B Bahookey
C  Crabbit
D  Drookit
E  Eejit/Erse
F  Fankle
G  Glasgae kiss
H  Humfie-backit
I   Into a’thing
J  Jaggy Bunnet
K  Kerry oot!
L   Laldy
M  Manky
N   Numpty
O   Oxter
P   Plooky
Q   Quench the quine
R   Radge
S   Stoater 
T   Teuchter 
U   Up shite creek
V    Voddie 
W   Watch yersel’?
X    Xactly why am off to tae Benidorm for ma holidays?
Y    Ya Bass!?
Z    Zip it or I’ll batter ye.

 

Now we’re feart!  Am heidin’ hame noo.

I love our language. It’s bloody great!

Terry Wogan. The boss. Gone.

The perfect shirt for radio.
The perfect shirt for radio.

The first time my name was on the radio was  a birthday request by Stewpot for my 6th birthday. “Mares eat oats and does eat oats, and little lambs eat ivy….”.no it does exist it’s just that I am ancient. From that moment to this, my overwhelming obsession in life has been radio. A medium where you as a listener really connect to the presenter and as a presenter if your doing your job, to your listener. To me the master of them all was Terry Wogan and when I heard the chocolate voiced, cheeky, twinkly eyed Irish man had passed away today there was a tear in my eye.

images-8Sitting circa 1976 on the way to school in Mums old Morris Minor I would turn the radio onto Radio 1 and crank up the volume, the second she stopped at the lights Mum would slap my leg and turn back to the Radio 2 Breakfast program which was then hosted by Terry Wogan. It only took me a while to to realise Noel was just a pretender to the throne (with bad streaks) but at a very tender age I also became a Wogan fan. His gentle self deprecating humour won me and millions of others over to be dedicated fans.

images-8When I heard Chris Evans was taking over his Radio 2 breakfast show all those years ago I wasn’t convinced he was the man for the job. But then who could ever take over from Terry? The day Evans took over he played it very low key and respectful and quiet and there was hope but within the week his volume was up, his me me me style was back at the fore and the memory of that lovely lilting unassuming Irish brogue was lost to our grumpy early morning ears.

Hearing his voice on air on a Sunday was piecemeal indeed but better than nothing. Which is sadly where we are now.

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A huge loss. A colossus of the broadcasting world. Anyone who has ever asked me who I believe was the best radio presenter of all time I used to say listen to Terry Wogan. I always will.

 

Oh and to prove I am not insane….here’s a 1943 version of Maisie Dotes….

Light blue touch paper and retire

So throwing a party. It’s always a buttock clencher. Will anyone turn up? If they do will they enjoy it? Is there enough food? Drink? Music? Jollifications? Well in this case it seems that’s a yes.

It started at 6.30pm on the dot and went off like a rocket. Over 150 people at one point all talking, laughing, drinking, eating, singing, dancing. The local craft brewery 6 Degrees North set up a bar to let people taste their wares – which was delicious. We poured white wine, red wine, prosecco, beer and whatever else the heart desired.

There was a rumour of a soft drink being served but we don’t have proof.

Water. Rumoured to have been seen but not consumed.
Water. Rumoured to have been seen but not consumed. (from wiseGREEK)
Mmn a pint of your foaming ale young man
Mmn a pint of your foaming ale young man

The fa’s fa of Aberdeen were out in force.

The instruction was ‘keep the glasses topped up’ and that was the theme of the night.
This is gauged by the fact I was giving the band (sorry) who were fabulous – Chris Bradley and his co-hort Austin – talented buggers – some unsolicited backing vocals and beginning to whirl people round in a centrifugal force sort of way when the long suffering husband recognised the signs of imminent badness and oxtered me into a friends car.

Making a run for it after appalling unwanted accompaniment
Making a run for it after appalling unwanted accompaniment

David said it was like having a 3 year old in the back of the car as I lay flat in the backseat refusing to put on my belt ignoring his pleas to ‘wise up’. It was not until the driver Rachel said “If I slam on the brakes you will fly through to the front and kill me” which made me sit bolt upright and behave instantly. She is from Ireland and I love her voice so her wish was my command.
Back to our hotel Malmaison (sorry) – where we stayed on an amazing ITISON deal and though I had a canapé or 6 I needed something to soak up the belly of booze so room service was order of the day. Just a tip scoffing a burger lying horizontal is not advised for a 50 year old woman. Of all ages I should be more than aware of the effects of gravity as I was instantly when I awoke this morning and  was concerned I had killed the long suffering husband as all I saw was red splatters and meaty nodules. I was in the set from CSI Miami. My burger had hit the duvet and hard.

I can't tell is that burger or husband?
I can’t tell is that burger or husband?

Mortified I have written a note of apology to the hotel and am on the wagon. Forever. Ish. I blame dress stress and worrying no-one would turn up. But you know the most shame making thing of all – I was in bed juggling my burger by 10pm Hardly hard core party girl these days. However others exploits put mine in the shade the details of will eek out on this blog. But that is enough for now. I shall leave fellow attendees wondering if it is their story that will be told. Guffaw.

Sack of tatties

A mature party - unlike one we've ever had. Sadly.
A mature party – unlike one we’ve ever had. Sadly. Courtesy of www.thetelegraph.co.uk

Why is it I wait until the morning of a party to get something to wear? It’s not just any party either its our party. A party to relaunch our restaurant in Aberdeen.

As ever I have been concentrating on the night itself, the folk, the food, the drink and the music and then come the revolution I think. ‘Och I will just wear that-it’s’ fine’. Then I realise when I try it on and the poundage of Christmas still clings to my not insubstantial fleshy bits  it is not in fact fine at all unless I want to look like a mutton dressed as lamb, VPL, bulgy bodied, baggy kneed harridan. Which I don’t.

The thing is it’s a perfectly good dress, from Sandwich which my pal donated to me but it won’t cut the mustard unless I cut the calories and it’s a little late for that.   To wear a too tight bulger is just not going to do for the relaunch of the restaurant  plus let’s be honest I am seeing people I haven’t seen for 20 years and I don’t want to look well em.. 20 years older. Also I don’t want to look as though I have tried too hard so the frock that was for the offsprings 21st is not getting an airing. “She’s done up like a dogs dinner look at the state of that!” Its a rock and a hard place situation so I get up at 7am and google all the shops in Edinburgh, the majority of which don’t open till 10am ! Why? Anyway we are leaving at 10am so the only real option is John Lewis.  Concession central so I am standing at their locked grill gates at 8.59am  to find something. Anything.

Cramming 20 dresses into a changing room finally I try this one on. Thankfully this photo is not of me in it – obviously – but well I felt black was a little dull. So.images…I tried on another 25 and by now hot, sweaty and grumpy I plumped (sic) for this one from Damsel In A Dress. Bright. Cheery. Machine washable. Yes I have complete aversion to dry cleaning anything. Ever. Grippy and lazy my two watch words.I_5055344785255_01_20151216So relieved off I run to check out, pay, run home, pack car, put sausage dog in car, drive to Aberdeen. Arrive, shower, open bag, realise new dress is still in Edinburgh 120 miles away so I have no option but to wear the original sausage skin.  I blame this stress on what happened next which I can’t quite bear to write down yet. Mortified. Tomorrow when my blood pressure returns to normal I will.

Badly behaved old bat (dehydrated)

PS Googling Damsel in a Dresses website and happily found this great Blog Damsel In A Dress from California which has nothing to do with that stripy thing above and everything to do with a great blog. Its on my blogroll from when I remember how to add it.

Aberdeen – The Silver City – love it!

It’s been a long haul. A long low slow lazy can’t be bothered to get up and at it haul to hoover out the blog and start afresh. But here we are.

IMG_3612With the sausage dog on board a new year full of adventure beckons. Here is my little ginger man in the back of the car with his mini-Schnauzer mates. That’s Basil on the left – and  Doris on the right. Three wee crackers, you can spot the tartan blankets as they were well wrapped and just getting their circulation back after a long walk along the beach in Aberdeen. Bbbrr.

We were up last week amidst the aftermath of the storm that wreaked havoc in the area. Dramatic scenes all around not least the sandy beach which was so covered in drift wood no-one could actually walk along it.

IMG_3592 IMG_3593Here’s a photo of a tree which was snapped off at the roots and carried through the churning sea to this lofty spot. It was wild, windy and cold but great. We had faces like well slapped babies bums, dogs like drookit wigs and an intense need for some food so we stepped into The Sand Dollar on the front. Overlooking the beach and sea their welcome was warm and their food delicious.Soup of the day and great hunks of warm bread and butter set us up for the brisk walk back to the car. It’s almost worth getting cold, wet and shivery just as an excuse to get in there and toast up.IMG_3590
Though I haven’t lived in Aberdeen for years. I love it. The silver city – it aye feels like home. But colder.

 

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Dog friendly Edinburgh

Snozzling

As a sausage dog obsessed woman it is always great when you find a gaff your hairy pal is made as welcome as your two legged one. Miss Dynamite and I as ever were stomping the streets this week with Doris Schnauzer and her admirer Charlie ChoriZo Sausage dog when we fell into Water of Leith Cafe relocated from its very successful Coburg Street address to the main drag of Inverleith down to Canonmills at 1 Howard Street it has been reborn and reopened which is a delight to its many many fans.

I knew a warm welcome, a sticky cake, a light lunch and a smile were on the cards but I didn’t realise they are dog lovers to boot.

An area is designated for the 4 leggers an immediate bowl of water produced and as you can see a little love nest blanket.  Everyone was very happy and we stayed for hours.

I can recommend it for you and your Hairy pals – 2 and 4 legged like. 
The Water of Leith Cafe

1 Howard Place

Edinburgh.

 
  

    
 

Dine in Edinburgh’s newest restaurant. DINE.

Dine with Stuart Muir.
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The new kid on the block in place of Blue the much loved and missed groovacious bar restaurant of the early 90’s has been refurbed and reborn as
Dine with Stuart Muir.

The high heid yin comes from down south and had the sense to poach Stuart who was the head chef at Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor restaurant in Edinburgh to head up the team in the kitchen. Yum.

Muted lighting, warm, caramel, colours, high backed leather banquettes and delightfully sociable round tables create a warm inviting atmosphere and seats up to 80. The cocktail/champagne bar which seats up to 30 has slouchy low down comfortable leather chairs facing a bar glistening with a fine array of bottles, liqueurs well kent and eclectic.

We started with a cocktail. The list is extensive and the Santana ”
100% agave Casa noble crystal Tequila – cointreau – blue curacao – lime juice – cinnamon.” I can recommend highly. Pal Dynamite had a winter warmer which happily was not a big slipper but a chi-chi wee tea cup offering a warm concoction that made her cheeky chops smile. Lick your lips and have a gander at their creative list of cocktails here.

And so to dinner.

The a la carte menu read very well. Not too big, not too fancy and not too expensive. We were out for an impromptu girls meal on a Monday evening so requested the market menu which at £14.50 for 2 courses or £17.50 for 3 including coffee is a billy bargain.

Some went a la carte. Some market menu. And regardless of what we chose – there was nothing but praise, smiles and compliments to the chef all round.

Starters included pork rillete; two generous quenelles of rillete served with chargrilled toast – yum yum yum – toast has never toasted or tasted so good. Homemade Humus (yes you can spell it like that) and a pickled thing too set the rillete off to perfection.
Friend Janes a la carte wild mushroom risotto disappeared like snow off a dyke with oohin and aahing noises so – “excellent” was the verdict from her.

Main course I went for the veggie option – a bean casserole – don’t be so beanist – this was a belter. I am not a veggie but just fancied something warming and this hit the spot. Rich, delicious, warming and a mighty portion too for the Aberdonian tum.
Salmon was chosen by two and the presentation was impeccable as was the taste. Cod enjoyed by our a la carte girl also got top marks.

Sadly my phone had spent a few seconds face down on Princes Street earlier in the day so my camera was not up to the mark. I took a few but they would in no way do the food justice. So you will have to take my word for it.

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So get thee to Saltire Court, Cambridge Street upstairs from the foyer of the Traverse. Go on up you go.

It was first of many a Christmas night out and this one will be hard to beat.

Tonight I am off to meet the Tesla – the amazing electric car which is taking the car world by storm. I will report back.

Bendy men, margaritas & broccoli.

Yes.

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Yup I am still doing the yoga – in case you are in any doubt this is not me, this is a bendy man. A very bendy man with small pants.

And the yoga had a hiatus as a night of margaritas took their toll. Even posting the photo of the cocktail is giving me an undulation of the belly. Yuk.

Unknown-5You see we had agreed to have just one wee cocktail and then received the lovely news my wee niece had had a baby – (Jack, 7lbs 8oz, mother and baby doing well). Well it is the first baby in our family since my now 20 year old son was born so of course we wet the baby’s head. Extensively.

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The following morning was grim. Puckered mouth. Scaly skin. Road map eyes. In fact if you can imagine the polar opposite of any supermodel you can think of then you are still no where near the hideous state of poison we were sporting.

When I say “we” my dear friend is staying with me just now and she announced she had lost a good bit of weight juicing. So inhabiting the world of the clichéd middle aged woman once we found our discarded clothes we put them on and walked straight to an electrical shop and bought a juicer and then off to buy our body weight in vegetables.

Yoga and juicing. Have I been abducted by aliens? Well let’s see  Well…well… well….I am off to rest before taking the plunge. The shock might kill me. Raw broccoli in this body ? Help.

Yogaholic.

 

Not me. Yet.
Not me. Yet.


For those who read this blog you will know I love food drink, dogs, music, dogs and my long suffering family and dogs but the one thing which has eluded me over the high days and holidays, low times and desperate days is the love of exercise. The need to don lycra and thunder over the pavements, inhaling great lungfuls of exhaust fumes or standing in a gym with the waft of rubber and old socks all around as forever been a mystery to me and my undulating thighs. So it has come as a bit of a surprise – nae shock – that I may have found my”thing” I am not claiming to be good at it, or changed outwardly – yet – but for the past couple of weeks I have been doing yoga.

Oh hark the middle aged Aberdonian has discovered yoga surprise surprise.

But I Have.

And I am so convinced that this will be a life – body changer – I am going to document my journey here.

From stiff, lumpy, stressed and hunched to a long languorous lithe young thing – no ok fair enough I got a bit carried away with the superlatives there but change is gonna come…..wish me luck!
P.S I know you don’t believe me

 

PPS written with a glass of wine in my hand – you could have apoint.