Saturday, 19 October 2013

Driftwood

Working Monday to Friday means that I finally have weekends free to do as I please. This weekend I decided to stroll on up and join my dad and the dogs in Cullen (seeing as my Mum was off sunning herself in either Spain or Portugal - I have no idea which!).

When I'm with my parents, 90% of my time is spent either cuddling or playing with dogs as its something I really do miss. I also like to subject them to the camera an awful lot (although Alfie is always ready for a photo opportunity - I swear he is a blogger in disguise).








As I arrived in Cullen straight after work on Friday, we had a sneaky chipper for dinner (White pudding supper for me and a red pudding supper [a Scottish thing which is bizarrely only in the NE of Scotland - central belt they have no idea what you mean] for my Dad). After that it was pretty much an evening of tv and dog cuddling.

Saturday pretty much started the same way as Friday ended. However on Saturday, my dad wanted to take a trip to the graveyard as he has been researching our family tree. As far as I remember, he has managed to trace back to about 1700's. While he was in the graveyard, as it was cold and I was ill, I stayed in the car and got a bit silly with my camera - well what's a girl to do when there is no signal and only an iPhone?Not much really....



Once my dad had navigated his way back to the car, we headed on up to Baxters for a cup of tea and for one of their infamous pancakes. If you're not familiar with Baxters, they are a family run business originating in Fochabers in the NE of Scotland. They sell soups, jams and various other wonderful things all around the world. For me, Baxters is somewhere we used to visit when I was little. I have fond memories of going there for pancakes with my granny and at one point, from what I can remember, they used to do factory tours (I don't know if they still do or not).

 








Pancake demolition complete, it was time to head back to the cottage. On our way back, we went for a drive through some of the smaller fishing villages. One of the villages which we drove through was Findochty.




Once back in Cullen at our cottage, it was time to warm up from the torrential rain with a cup of tea and to spend the remainder of the time relaxing.


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Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Chinese Hamsters



Chinese Hamster Darwin

Today I am going to talk about something slightly different. Hamsters. Chinese Hamsters to be precise.
As you may or may not know, I have a lovely Chinese Hamster named Darwin. He is 3.5 years old and he has been a part of my life since he was a tiny baby.

Recently I have been noticing more and more Chinese Hamsters up for adoption - either on the SSPCA website (Scottish version of RSPCA) or in the re-homing section of Pets at Home. To see these lovely animals there breaks my heart. Personally, if I had the time and  the space, I would gladly re-home as many as possible, but sadly I do not (both Darwin & my Syrian, Mr Fluffles, keep me busy!).

To me, Chinese Hamsters make a wonderful addition to your family. They are intelligent and entertaining, but also extremely loving. Over time, they can become tame and trusting.However, I would say that they are more than likely best suited to a home without children as they can be quite shy. I know that if I make a loud noise in my flat, Darwin will run away and hide and I would imagine in a house with children, it would be quite noisy for a hamster.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

I have always kept Darwin on his own as after doing months and months of research prior to getting him, I discovered that they are solitary animals and will more or less hurt anything else in with them. I do know that a certain pet store will tell you that they are sociable with other hamsters, sadly they are not.

I feed both my boys my own mixture of hamster food. This includes normal hamster food with added extras. The things I add can include porridge oats, budgie seeds and seed mixes. As Chinese Hamsters are prone to diabetes, I limit sugary, pet shop bought treats to a strict minimum. To be perfectly honest, Darwin doesn't usually like these and much prefers the sunflower seeds I offer him or a millet stick on which he can pull off himself over sugary pet shop treats.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

When people think of hamster playtime, the first things that spring to mind tend to be either a wheel or a ball. Darwin doesn't like either. He has a flying saucer which he adores and will spend hours running on it. Instead of a ball, he has a playpen. This is simply a large plastic tub in which I will put lots of toys in it for him to play with. This can include egg boxes, tubes or a wooden barrel with holes in. I will also hide bits of food around the playpen for him to find.

Chinese Hamster Darwin

The things I love about Darwin:

He has learnt the noise of the sunflower seed tub opening and will wake up for treats.
He loves a good sand bath.
He is happy to snuggle up either in my sleeve or my hood for a cuddle.
He enjoys being in front of the camera and is quite capable of working a pose or two.
He doesn't like alfalfa bits and will quite happily put them to one side.
He enjoys building a fort type thing in his home.
He pouches sunflower seeds like they are going out of fashion.
He has the ability to melt people's hearts when they meet him. Considering my Mum was not a fan of dwarf hamsters before she met him, she now absolutely adores him and even has a nickname for him - DD!

Chinese Hamster Darwin

Chinese Hamster Darwin

I hope you enjoyed reading this different post. If you require any more information then Hamster Central is such an amazing resource for all Hamster related things. They have some really knowledgeable people on their forum which covers all breeds of hamster. Alternatively, if you have questions then leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them :).

Oh, I believe Darwin would like to give you all something for reading his post:



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Friday, 30 August 2013

Home comforts...

Living away from home has both its perks and its downsides. For instance, it is great being able to have your own space to live your own life but then again you miss certain little things that you grew up with.

Recently I spent a few days back at my parents house and it got me thinking about my home comforts which I will share with you below:

Barney & Alfie:

 
                              (L-R Alfie & Barney)

I miss this terrible twosome too much - whether it is Alfie's obsession with his ball or Barney's thievery, I miss it all. I love spending as much time with them as possible and either causing chaos with them (much to my mums annoyance) or taking advantage of their snuggling ability (yes, they are both extremely cuddly as well). I also miss walking them as going for a walk without a dog is not the same thing.

Bucket sized mugs of tea:


Being British, a cup of tea is never far from my mind.At home, my Mum has these ginormous mugs which are the size of small buckets. I love these mugs as not only are they huge, they also manage to successfully satisfy my tea obsession (for a while anyway).

Homegrown vegetables:


My Dad has green fingers (actually my Mum isn't too bad either - hey Mum, I know you read this :p) and every year since I can remember he has planted a veg garden. To me, there is nothing better than the knowledge of knowing that you grew the veg upon your plate yourself. I just wish that my garden wasn't shared so I could do the same.

A few others that I have no photos of:

Homecooking: I don't know if there is anyone who doesn't like going home for a home cooked meal by their parents. Particular favourites of mine include: Mince & Dumplings, Cullen Skink,roast dinner and my Dad's Lasagne.

Living in the Countryside: Living in a city is amazing - don't get me wrong. However, sometimes I prefer being surrounded by fields and the peacefulness which is the countryside. I love it anytime of year - from lambs in the fields in Spring to beautiful snowy scenes in the Winter. There is no time of year that I do not appreciate the countryside.

Shutters: My parents live in a Victorian house in which most of the bedrooms have wooden shutters in them.These are great as they block out every single speck of light which means I often sleep in and wake up wondering what time it is. My mum also brings me in a cup of tea to wake me up too :).

                                                   What are your home comforts?





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Monday, 18 March 2013

You know you're a blogger when....

001) You instagram pictures of your food so much that even your parents know better than to ask what you are doing.
002)You have replaced reading magazines with reading blogs.
003)You refrain from opening/wearing new items until they have been moved from your 'waiting to be photographed' pile.
004)You are active on every social media network around.
005)Your blusher collection may be nearing 30, but you must have the latest (insert name here) blush as it is popular among fellow bloggers.
006)You burn a candle while blogging.
007)You spend so much time in Starbucks that even the staff begin to know you.
008)You spend as much time catching up on Youtube subscriptions as you do watching television.
009)You have a box in your bedroom where you store empty products purely to use in a 'Products I've used up' post.
010)Your Boots card is used just as much as your bank card.

This was something I came up with for fun. If you have any more to add, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Make sure you follow me on Bloglovin if you don't already (especially if you currently follow me on Google Reader)
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Friday, 8 February 2013

Goal update Feb 2013

Since I set this goal list at the end of last year, I have been thinking about it a lot and trying to do as much as possible from it (although realistically some are going to take much longer and some have to be when the weather is nicer). This time I have managed to complete a couple of the smaller ones and a few others are in progress.


2013 goals:

001)Find a permanent job
002)Take part in a charity event: Race for Life, Moonwalk etc
003)Decorate Bedroom
004)Decorate Hallway
005)Minimise clutter in flat
006)Print out 100 photographs from my own work
007)Complete 3 sketches/drawings
008)Make more of an effort to be self-sufficient (making own bread, jam etc)
009)Read Life of Pi (in progress 08/02/13)
010)Watch The Notebook (I'm probably the only person on the planet who hasn't seen it)
011)Go to Edinburgh Castle (I've lived 30 mins away for 16 years and I have never been....)
012)Save £500 - I am the world's worst person for saving....It goes something like 'ooooh that lipstick is pretty...I don't have one in that colour' (in progress 08/02/13)
013)Watch 'The Seven Year Itch' and coincidentally watch all Marilyn Monroe films I can find
014)Climb a hill/mountain - 'Ben Ahee' anyone?
015)Make a Cheesecake
016)Finish building my flat-pack camera which is currently sitting on a stool
017)Build my pin-hole camera
018)Grow some window herbs to use in cooking
019)Host 2 dinner parties
020)Go home to my parents house to gut out my old bedroom...
021)Go on 2 photography adventures with photography-mad friends.... (1/2 complete 08/02/13)
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