Sunday 27 February 2011

Royal St Andrews

St Andrews is a beautiful town on the east coast of Fife in Scotland.

Relics of St Andrew brought there in 732AD and this attracted pilgrims from far and wide and became an important ecclesiastical centre.  There are many ruined buildings in the town.  The most imposing of which are the ruins of St Rule's tower (probably built around 1130)which overlook the bay and the remains of St Andrews Cathedral and the graveyard associated with it.

Its university, founded in 1410 was the first in Scotland and of course was where Prince William and Kate met.  ITV (British TV station) have a good site giving lots of information about the forthcoming royal wedding.

St Andrews is also very well known to golfers.

There are some great little shops, and of course, being a university town, lots of fantastic bars and restaurants. 

St Andrews will always be a special place for me because it is where my own son and daughter in law met and fell in love while they were students at the university.

Love, Liz

Saturday 26 February 2011

Prized Book

Here's a little book which belonged to my brother.

It was a Sunday School prize in 1962 when he was just 6.

It’s a bit of a strange story, but the illustrations are lovely.

I wonder if he wants it back?

Love, Liz

Friday 25 February 2011

My Granny

This is Lizzie - my Granny.

Lizzie - photo taken early 1950s

She was born in 1902 and died in 1997.
She and my Granda had a hard life, but they were wonderful people.

As I was looking at these photos recently, I noticed her handbag and had a rummage to find where I had put it.  I was given this handbag to play with when I was young.  I loved it because it made me feel grownup and the horse emblem used to be quite shiny. 

I would polish it when I was polishing my Brownie badge!

I hope one day (God willing) to have a grand-daughter that I can pass the bag on to.  I will also give her the photograph and tell her lovely stories about my Gran.

My lovely Gran!

Love, Liz

I was going to call this post "The Old Bag", but I thought that perhaps someone would not read it through and think the old bag was my Gran.  She'd have had something to say about that! (ha ha)

Thursday 24 February 2011

Millionaires' Shortbread - a sweet treat!

This is absolutely yummy!

I bought this packet of Caramel Shorcake - made by Thorntons. 
Here in Scotland we call it millionaires' shortbread 
These bite sized pieces look very small, but it is a very sweet treat!

Its so easy to make yourself.

First make your shortbread and bake.

When cool - cover with some Nestlé Carnation caramel.

Then melt some chololate in a bowl and cover caramel.

When set - cut into whatever shape/size you want.

I have to tell you that it is very sweet, but absolutely delicious.
Perfect with a wee cuppa!


Love, Liz

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Family Room Fireplace

This is the fireplace in my family room.

It is orignal to the house and made of marble.

I have decorated the mantlepiece with blue and while china.

A pretty tea pot and butter dish.

Candles and flowers.

Love, Liz

Its nice to sit by the fire and read.

Monday 21 February 2011

Cross Stitching Leftovers

I used to do a lot of cross stitching when my boys were young.  I suppose it was my way of relaxing after they had gone to bed.

Most of them are from Cross Country Stitching magazine (early 90s).

I have many of them framed.

I came across these little "not quite finished" projects recently, and am trying to think what to do with them.  All (sensible) suggestions greatly appreciated!

Going to start doing this again - didn't realise how much I missed it!

Love, Liz

Sunday 20 February 2011

Flower of Scotland

These are the words of the anthem that's played at international rugby and football (soccer) matches and on many other occasions too.

Flower of Scotland

O flower of Scotland
When will we see your like again
That fought and died for
Your wee bit hill and glen
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

The hills are bare now
And autumn leaves lie thick and still
O'er land that is lost now
Which those so dearly held
And stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

Those days are passed now
And in the past they must remain
But we can still rise now
And be the nation again
That stood against him
Proud Edward's army
And sent him homeward
Tae think again

It refers to the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 when the small Scottish army under Robert the Bruce defeated the English king, Edward II and his vast force at the Bannock Burn, just south of Stirling.  After his defeat, Edward retreated back to England and Scotland regained her independence.

Bruce reviewing his troops at Bannockburn

So, that's what the song refers to - a proud moment in Scotland's history!

Love, Liz

Thursday 17 February 2011

Mary Queen of Scots got her head chopped off!

Mary Queen of Scots was executed (by the axe) in 1587 on the orders of her cousin Queen Elizabeth I of England.

Mary Queen of Scots

Why am I telling you this useless piece of historical trivia?

Well, yesterday, writing about shortbread and how the little triangle pieces were called petticoat tails, started me wondering where that name came from.
I discovered that although shortbread had been around in Scotland for a very long time, it became more popular because it was Mary Queen of Scots' favourite.

There are a couple of reasons given for its name -

v  the name is a form of "petites gatelles" (or little cakes) much loved by Mary
v  it is in the shape of the pieces of fabric which were put together to make the underskirts worn in 16th century - you've probably seen pictures of the huge skirts worn in the time of Elizabeth I.

Catherine de Medici, Mary's mother in law
easy to see the shape of the skirt in this pic (Wikipedia)

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn.

However when Elizabeth died, it was Mary's son, James (6th King James of Scotland, Ist King James of England) who succeeded to the throne! 

So there - how's that for a fitting end!!!!!

Could write several posts about the facinating life of Mary who was also Queen of France for a while ---------- maybe some other time. 

History boring??????  Don't think so!!!!!!

We used to sing a song when I was young "Mary Queen of Scots got her head chopped off" and we would decapitate a dandelion, daisy or buttercup!

Love, Liz

Wednesday 16 February 2011

Scottish shortbread and a dire warning!!!!!!!

Phew ……….!!!!
Took a while, but I got there!
Warning - blogging can damage your pots and pans!!!!!!!

Was so engrossed in changing blog  last night that I totally forgot that I had put a pot of vegetables on to have with our tea (tea in Scotland can also mean your evening meal).  Suddenly there was an awful smell and I remembered!  The pot was totally black and the kitchen was full of smoke!  Had to put the pot outside, it was raining, so that helped.  Must be going blog crazy, because it did cross my mind (for one tiny second) to take a photo of burnt pot!!!!!!

Kitchen still reeks this morning!

So, after all that, what do you think of the new style blog?

shortbread mould

This strange wooden thing (also in header), that looks like a breadboard with a thistle on it is actually a shortbread mould.

look at the price - 1/6
Make your shortbread - this recipe is from an old Be-Ro Flour baking book - one of the most used recipe books in my collection.
Flatten onto mould - as in directions for Petticoat Tails
Remove from mould
Cut into little triangles

Perfect with a wee cuppa!

Oops …… what's that smell?????!!!!!!! (only joking)

Love, Liz

Tuesday 15 February 2011

Victorian Rose

Here's another wee glimpse of my home.

This is the ceiling rose in the hall.  I think this is an acanthus leaf design. 

The cornicing is very different from the others in the house - it is much more plain.

We have quite a high staircase.

I really like this light fitting.  The little shades on the light remind me of Lisa Simpson's dress! 

It is absolutely freezing here in Greenock today!  Glad to be indoors and warm.

Love, Liz

I'm hopefully going to be making some changes to the design of my blog - so if you can't find me (well, my blog), you'll know I wasn't successful!  Oops!

Sunday 13 February 2011

Scotland's Flag - The Saltire

A wee bit of Scottishness for Sunday!

This is our national flag - also knows as the St Andrew's Cross or the Saltire.

Image from Wikipedia

The apostle, St Andrew, was said to have been crucified on an x-shaped cross.

St Andrew

Legend has it that it became our flag because in 832AD, a small army of Picts and Scots under Oengus II were going into battle against the Angles led by Athelstane.

On the night before the battle, Oengus prayed that if his outnumbered force were to be victorious, he would appoint St Andrew patron saint of Scotland.

The next morning, just before the battle, white clouds in the shape of a cross were seen against the clear blue sky.  Taking this as a sign from God, the Picts and Scots confidently marched into battle and defeated the Angles.

Oengus then appointed St Andrew patron saint, and the glorious white cross against blue background became Scotland's proud flag.

Great story, eh?

Love, Liz

Friday 11 February 2011

Style Evolution ....... Not!

Now don't laugh!

(Why is it when you say that to someone, they automatically do laugh?)

Went for an eye test yesterday and need stronger new glasses.  I've been wearing glasses since I was 10 - so as you can imagine, there's been a fair bit of glass used in helping me see clearly!

I looked out some old frames to take into the optician's shop - I think they "repurpose" them. 

All this made me think about my glasses style evolution…….  oh dear!!!!!

Dame Edna eat your heart out!

My early glasses style I can put down to my Mum, who must have thought that these were lovely and suited me to a tee!

Later styles were not much better - but I probably choose these myself - were they fashionable at the time????

My sons called these my "Deirdre glasses" because of Deirdre in Coronation Street!

Is it me, or do they all look exactly the same with just minor variations?

I think I suit the ones I'm wearing now, but I'm not confident enough to post an up to date photo! 

Hope the new frames I've chosen are OK - its really hard to see what you actually look like in frames when you are as shortsighted as me.

Never mind - in a few years time I'll wonder how I ever thought they were the bees knees!

Love, Liz

Wednesday 9 February 2011

The Beatles

Were you a Beatles fan?

Paul, George, John, Ringo

According to the news, on this day, 50 years ago, the Beatles has their first gig at the Cavern Club in Liverpool!  (Surely it can't be that long ago!)


Click on pics for better view!


On this day in 1964 the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in America.

Beatles For Sale

Forgot that LPs had two sides!

This is the first LP I ever owned - Beatles For Sale!  I got it for my Christmas (1964).  It was in mono and cost 32/- (32 shillings or £1 and 12 shillings)!  I think my parents must have got this as a gift for themselves, as I was only a tiny baby in 1964 (ahem …)!

Favourite Beatles song?  Hmm … that's really difficult as there so many greats!  Loved - Revolution (1968 I think).

What's your favourite?

Love, Liz