Tag Archives: Moving

Chez Braveheart

I’m wondering whether I need to watch Braveheart again. There was this programme on the radio a few days ago. It was about Bannockburn. Again. We are being inundated with Bannockburny items here in Scotland. The big 700th celebrations start today. (Some of us are doing more important things, like getting the keys to the new house and all that. Although we are not as crazy as the person we are buying from, who is actually moving out, and in, on this weird day when nothing in Stirling will be normal.)

Anyway, people were reminiscing about the film premiere and meeting Mel Gibson, that kind of thing. I saw the film when it was new, but can’t remember when that was. Recall thinking it was a crap film. But these people said kind things about it, so I’m wondering if I could actually be wrong? Unlikely, but you never know.

The Wallace Monument has been – genuinely – called the Braveheart Monument. And I was reliably informed by the Grandmother yesterday that until recently there used to be a statue of Mel Gibson at the foot of it. How crazy can you get?

On the other hand, one should be pleased people have heard of something, even if it is the film, and not the real battle. Of Bannockburn. 700 years ago. Mel Gibson is looking good for his age.

Do I really want to watch the film again?

Cayenne with everything

This business of cooking meals in someone else’s kitchen isn’t always straightforward. But with me and the Resident IT Consultant having invaded the Grandmother’s privacy and making much of her hospitality for over two months, means the least I can do is cook dinner for everyone.

But then you stand there, having planned something reasonably simple, and you realise that the staples you have in your own kitchen are simply not available. Pasta and rice are easy enough to buy, as long as you discover the lack of them before getting too hungry.

I normally use quite a bit of seasoning, and have far too many spice jars in my own food factory. But here I am looking at salt and pepper. That’s fine, but not exclusively. On the other hand, you don’t want to go out and buy a dozen flavours for a limited period.

So, in this case I sent out for cayenne. It was initially for one dish only, but I’ve found myself adding cayenne to almost every meal. It does spice things up! 😉

If you can’t take the heat…

‘Too bloody hot below the Firth of Forth…’ Quite.

I’ve lost count of the number of people who have offered their condolences on my move to Scotland. You know, it’s cold. It’s dark. Basically, it’s not England (which as we know is the best place on Earth).

Now, I don’t need it to be warm all the time. I remind them the choice was mine and that I originate from a darker and colder place.

Right now it is very hot. Today is hotter than yesterday, which was very hot. I sweat a bit, but my joints like the heat.

Anyway, I was reminded of this climate misunderstanding when listening to Fascinating Aïda, and their song Lerwick Town. That’s the quote on the first line. I am actually below the Forth, if only just. So if their idea of global warming catches on, I expect it will get even hotter. Just as well we’re planning nice spots to sit in the garden, and that it faces north…

Meanwhile, I’m a little tickled by my temporary address. I live in the West Wing. And we have just gained a patio with outdoor furniture, on which it is too ‘bloody hot’ to sit. But it was generous of the gentleman upstairs to arrange it, not to mention pay for it, and I will be down there when it cools down.

Too close to home

When I had a ‘difficult day’ a week or so ago, I worked my way through several episodes of NCIS to cheer myself up. As I sank down on the sofa with another cup of tea, while switching the television on, I discovered that Location Location had just started, so thought I might as well watch that as put more NCIS on.

I lasted several minutes. I used to enjoy Location, and felt that it’d do for some light entertainment. But I have never before watched it while trying to sell my house. And that made all the difference.

When the whiny woman looking for her perfect new home complained some more about almost everything in the reasonably nice house she was viewing with Phil and Kirstie, I got up and put another DVD in, getting my 42 lovely minutes of NCIS, which just about calmed me down again.

It has been enlightening. I had no idea my house needed extending, or that people can’t live without large farmhouse kitchens ‘so they can watch the children play and do their homework’ or that no one can sleep in a bedroom without an ensuite.

What’s more, I had no idea that they could view the particulars for our house online and then come here believing it would miraculously have metamorphosed into their dream house overnight. And then they tell me this while they are here. What’s wrong with viewing politely and then simply leaving?

The art in the cupboard

In the end it was easier than I thought it would be. I know I said I’d find it impossible to get rid of Mother-of-witch’s paintings. But once you’ve hardened your soul, you find that a fair bit can go.

After all, the best stuff is already on the walls. Not everything in my cupboards has gone. Yet. But a lot went. Makes me feel nice and ‘light.’

Art by Anna-Stina

Over Christmas Offspring were here and they needed to take a look and agree to what I was about to do. Son had asked for a few pictures to put on his walls. Preferably beachy things with boats. As it turned out, he has a shortlist, but Dodo is to have final say, and no decision has been made. Except she can’t abide the seagull he’d set his heart on. Seems that Daughter and the Resident IT Consultant are with her on that. It’s creepy, as well as large.

Oh, well.

Speaking of Christmas, we had prepared the paintings and taken them all out in advance to be looked at. Then one day Daughter and I were searching for something else entirely, and I found to my horror that the cupboard we opened contained, not what we were after, but more bl**dy paintings. That came as a surprise, I have to admit.

Later we had a day when we even braved the unframed art and looked through every last folder of absolutely everything. (Bar the sketchbooks. I still have them to leaf through.) A lot of it has gone. It was OK, but I will never have enough walls to display more of anything.

At the very end of her Christmas holidays, Daughter went through the things in her room. There were all the works of art she produced throughout her GCSE and AS-level Art… I quickly realised I will need to build walls going up and down every room in order to hang all the pictures I want.

GCSE Art 1

We got rid of some, but most of it stayed. That’s Art 1 – Witch 0. Well, I suppose it is flat and will take up less space than the books.

My new dream home is an industrial space with masses of large walls. So if anyone knows of a disused factory in central Stirling, going cheap and with a nice garden; let me know.


Bookwitch has already mentioned plans to move house. Things have to be got rid of. There are far too many things.

But whereas too much china or even too many books can prove hard to throw out, they are slightly less personal than paintings done by someone close to you. Picasso is all very well, but Mother-of-witch produced an awful lot of pictures. Nice ones. At least I think so.

Art by Anna-Stina

The walls are full, and at some point I gave up on trying to frame more to hang. So the rest are still sitting in the cupboards where I put them while I was thinking about what to do.

Art by Anna-Stina

I can’t throw them away. Nor can I really take them with me, hoping to find a cupboard large enough to stash them in, in the ‘new place,’ wherever that will be. I once did a picture sale, and actually sold a tremendous number of the paintings. And I still have more.

Offspring would have to get themselves their own houses now – with plenty of empty walls – if the situation is to improve.

I’m thinking of the rolls of large black and white sketches, not to mention the prints, which as the word suggests, exist in quite a few copies. There are sketchbooks. What do I do with them?