Diary 2

30 December 

Had a wonderful time in Bonnie Scotland with the O’Connors for Christmas. Out for Indian food on Christmas Day with the family and playing games which included a Chilli-Challenge with Tess which she failed epically having to drink my pint, Anthony’s pint and young Ruaraidh’s Irn Bru to recover. I am sure she won’t do that again!

19 Dec: I have been very busy recently, and have failed to keep the diary up to date, so here are a range of images taken recently. Each one is clickable down to a photo album.

Starting off with: 

The Pyramids and the Sphynx

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Then of Aswan

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Then of Philae Temple

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Then the Temple of Sobek

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Getting up at 2am for a long coach ride, picnic and then to see the temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel - well work the journey itself!

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Thebes and Karnak

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24 Oct: Now that my HBP pills have been reduced I am on much better form. Still not sleeping all night, but at least when I go back to bed I am fast asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. Very busy at work, which is nice. Anthony has been busy with funeral arrangements recently as his aunt’s partner, Ned, died suddenly and he was left with all the arrangements. Funeral was last Monday and there was a great turn-out. I read Ps.121 of course, my favourite. This week, having been let down by the neighbour’s offer on the house, we have finally gone on to the market. 

11 Oct: Pauline and Caroline arrived on Thursday evening very late for their last KingsX visit before we move NOTB. What a laugh we had. Friday night was out for dinner to the chorus of “We are not hungry at all” but they and Cara and Dean managed to much their way through dinner nevertheless! Then to Millers for some drinks, drinks and more drinks. Much hilarity and great conversations until I had had enough at 2am and headed home. Clickable image below.

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They all got back at 4am and sat up until the tubes started again. So that meant Saturday was written off, and we only managed to get to the Greek Canteen for lovely lunch at 3pm and then a walk through Granary Square before a pick-me-up at The Parcel Yard. But first we had to try out the Poetry Wall at KingsX station. Very clever. Here is Pauline looking for her words to appear. This is clickable too!

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Saturday evening was spent eating absolute rubbish and watching a very difficult movie “Child 44” which was shocking and amazing in equal measure. The girls left for the 0845 train to Glasgow this morning having done very little of their ToDo list at all!  Laundry is all done now and ready for our next guests on Tuesday…

02 Oct: In Cologne for the OSMTH meeting. Lots of friendly faces to meet and greet again from across the world. Had a trip to the Cathedral on Wednesday night followed by an amazing organ recital. The Marshal General making an escape from his flag table is clickable.

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19th  Sep: House has been valued at last so a couple more estimates before putting it up for sale. Grand news indeed. Almost every week and weekend until we move to Scotland is filled with visitors coming down for their last visit. In the middle of that we have an OSMTH meeting in Cologne and a honeymoon transcribing monuments in Egypt! This weekend, Georgie McMahon and his pal Kyle are here in London to attend a comedy gig in Hammersmith of all places, so this morning I managed to wake them up and take them on the Grand Tour of London, from Monument to Trafalgar Square via the South Bank. They are shattered! Click image for more adventures…

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30th Aug: Too much of a good afternoon yesterday at Cancer is a Drag 2nd Anniversary show. I had to come home at 8pm as my feet were killing me! Old age… This left Anthony and Ian out until 2am having a great time. Here is a link to the images of the day. Click on Rose, Anthony and Ian for the rest.

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29th Aug: Today is Anthony’s birthday. We have been up for hours. Had a very salty Chinese take-away last night which meant I was drinking milk at 4am in the garden before the sun came up. Sun is about to start to shine, so that is good news for our trip to see “Cancer is a Drag” charity event later this afternoon. What to wear?

And just to cheer us all up, here is an image I love, taken on the way to Lime Street Ward Club lunch where Anthony is a member and I am just a guest.

26th Aug: Big day yesterday - got a call from the lawyer to say that the Missives have been concluded and we are now locked in to the purchase of the house in Scotland! Great news indeed! Not quite time to start packing yet, but since all of the entertainment is in a storage unit in Perth already, all we have left are sofas and clothing here and that won’t take long to pack - I hope!

23rd Aug: Back in London after celebrating Pauline May’s 50th in Glasgow. I arrived quite late as my plane was delayed. Lovely to see everyone celebrating with her reaching this milestone. Being shattered from a week of early shifts I took the opportunity for the Wiseman Waggon to take me back to G20 at a decent hour! Saturday morning we were out shopping for a while before seeing Glasgow Pride (images here) and then the rest of the afternoon with Clan Byatt in the Griffin. What a hoot!

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15 Aug: Lovely day out in Brighton watching the inaugural LGBT Cricket at Sussex CC Ground. What a great laugh with Ian and Neil and Anthony. Good BBQ and then a long walk into town, with an emergency ice-cream on the way of course! Then a range of venues were visited, just for research of course before hitting the cab back to the station and the second to last train home. Faces are red from the sun today!

13 Aug: Thunder, lightening, huge raindrops - must be the signal for the company Summer Party which was an afternoon on HMS Belfast. Good food, lots of chats. Click on HMS Belfast’s ship’s bell for some more images.

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05 Aug: Took Ruaraidh and Grandma Cat to see “The Railway Children” at the temporary Kings X Theatre. What a great show! The star being the train of course which appeared at the very end of Act One… 

03 Aug: House present from the neighbours. How thoughtful!

31 Jul: House changes and updates are forging ahead. Pale colours are the flavour of the month, and slowly, very slowly my multi-coloured walls are disappearing. Six months today we move in to the new house. It does seem a lifetime away, but time passes very quickly. Lots of visitors in the next week or so, including a very exciting visit to see “The Railway Children” at KingsX! We wanted to go last December when it was last here, but could not get tickets, so the excuse of Cat and Ruaraidh being here was just the opportunity we needed! Tomorrow will be spent writing up the next newsletter and preparing for various charitable events in the next months. Starting to fill up the diary until October already!

23 Jul: Lovely early evening high tea at the View from the Shard. This was a gift from my colleagues at work, and much appreciated as it needed neither a place of storage nor dusting!

More images here

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21 Jul: Drove to Bonnie Scotland on Thursday night, during the worst storm of the summer! Additional hindrance to our drive was the 2-hour diversion through Warwickshire with the M6 closed. What a convoy we were in! Emptied half of my life into a storage container and had a drive through Perthshire. How beautiful it all was, the greens of every shade, the running rivers and streams and the slippery roads! I was glad to get out of the van at last and have some breakfast and a stroll about. We had a quick interview with the lawyer before heading to Aberfeldy, only to be disappointed there at the estate agency-speak. What a let-down. From there, back to Pitlochry to be underwhelmed again. Feeling quite deflated we had a drink in the hotel, got some great advice from the manager and I collapsed in bed at 7pm!

Images of Pitlochry and Aberfeldy are here.

Saturday’s viewing was more beneficial and not as far into the Wild Green Yonder than I had thought. We both loved it and told the couple we did. Saturday afternoon we drove down the A9 to Rosyth to stay with Cat and met T-bag who was visiting her mum. We went out for a drink (Irn Bru for the responsible adult) and then a lovely curry before heading home.  We sat up until quite late just chatting. Sunday off to the graveyard to pay our respects to Ross and Mandi before buying bits and bobs that Cat needed. I was pleased that once I had put in the battery for the new scale that I was slightly lighter than in last October, and I am now 90Kg, my lowest since the 2000s! This “lose one kilo a year” diet seems to be working!

Monday, Husband Anthony put in an offer, which was countered, then recountered and finally accepted. We move on 29th January 2016 which seems a long way off, but with the house not even on the market in KX yet, we have plenty of time.

We have already a booking for the first Saturday in June to ride the sit-on mower, but all other weekends are free! We will have another visit later in the summer once the Missives (Scottish legal terms) have been signed on our behalf.

This is all very exciting!

Slightly older Diary follow me…


28th Jun: I hope that yesterday’s sun was not the full whack of summer! We had a Javelin trip down to St Nicholas-at-Wade for a tea and scone afternoon, raising funds for charity. What a great laugh. Our friends had a lovely garden (see images) which we explored and the conversation flowed. It is handy that the Javelin is so fast and so convenient for us in KX!

Click the Dingly Dell below…

21st Jun: What a wonderful day Friday 19th June was!

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We were up very early, not in a rush to get ready, but just with excitement that our friends from far and near were in town to celebrate with us. It was a two-taxi journey for us from KingsX to Cannon Street, and when we turned the corner, the Banner of the Fan Makers had been put out in our honour at the Hall. What a great honour for this Liveryman on his wedding day!

As is to be expected, the welcome from the Hall staff was wonderful. We had our not entirely without a bump interview with the Registrar, and then it was time to begin. Anthony whispered to me “Did you write these vows?” and I said “No, we chose them together from the samples from the council”. Everyone was very impressed with the words, and although there were not too many tears from me (par for the course) there were many handkerchief moments from our guests. Once it was all done and dusted, our lovely Best Woman and Best Man had signed our paperwork, that was us MARRIED to great cheers of joy. Congratulations continued on the Terrace of the Hall, with everyone catching up with those they don’t see very often and a wonderful buzz developing in the sunshine. Lunch was great fun, including the Loving Cup celebration which was a great laugh. Speeches were delivered well, with Siobhan making me hide behind my napkin as my childhood experiences with Catriona were exposed to everyone. Indeed the surprise of the day was the honeymoon in November down the Nile for me to practice my translation skills in situ… What a wonderful surprise!

We boarded the Routemaster up to Killick Street for the evening party at The Driver where we were joined by our evening guests. Food was delicious there too. I took a moment to listen to the hubbub of conversations and laughs from our guests and it confirmed for me that this was a much better party than even our wonderful CP one was. 

19th Jun: Well! It is finally here - I am getting married to the quite spectacular Anthony at noon. London if filled with our guests all excited about the day ahead. Just waiting my turn in the queue for the shower and then we can all go to Skinners’ Hall for Part I of the day and then later on back to KX for the evening party - Anthony delivered the cake there yesterday with his two trusty marshals Fiona and Paul. We have been up since 6am doing nothing but laugh and gossip and have coffee, so we are well prepared. Our Funding project (in lieu of wedding gifts) is growing by the minute and we are amazed at the generosity of friends near and far who have not only paid for travel, but London hotels AND donated to the fund!

16th Jun: Counting down the hours until our friends and family arrive to celebrate on Friday with us. I am glad we are having a smaller event this time as it will give us more time to chat to those we don’t see very often and who are so important in our lives. I was thinking, as I waited on the life-saving 205 bus home this evening, how lucky I am to have great friends around me: a sense of belonging as part of so many lives is really a wonderful thing. Today No1 friend had some very bad news and it is difficult to know what to do apart from the usual. As you get older there are more incidents of a major kind to have to deal with - events that you would have liked and expected your parents to deal with on your behalf, and since I have neither I have to learn to deal with these myself. I guess at 52 (and a quarter) the time is about right to have to take control!

It is now official news at work that we are returning to the Homeland the autumn. So that is that!

13th Jun: What a long day! Off early to Sandwich for Denys and Barbara’s Diamond Wedding anniversary lunch. Picked up the Almoner at Stratford and headed to the coast. What a lovely lunch we had. I met friends old and new, and was seated next to a lady who had seen The Mahabarata in the Glasgow Transport Museum in 1988. You never get to meet anyone in England who saw that magnificent theatrical event. She had gone especially to see it, but only saw Part II, not the full 9-hour session I sat through one Saturday. We both agreed that even now it sent shivers down our spines when we remember the performance, and what we loved and took away from that special event. Small world indeed!

Images of the Anniversary are here

12 Jun: Time is passing so quickly… The very efficient and hard-working plumber has almost taken up residence in the house and will be back on Monday as we have taken his advice and gone for a change to the Throne. Sink now working properly and looks rather nice. By this time next week the second part of our wedding celebration will have started, and that DOES seem to have crept up on us rather quickly! Tomorrow we are off to celebrate dear friends of ours Diamond Wedding anniversary in Sandwich, Kent, so that is a relatively early night this evening - although there are amazing shows which were recorded last night to watch first! FJT arrives mid-week, so there will be some catching-up to be done…

09 Jun: Just 10 days to go and already things are getting exciting. Final preparations for the two venues are under way. Last weekend we went up to Birmingham for a meeting and back. Who knew Birmingham International was only 1:10 away from Euston  How convenient is that! Anthony is busy getting quotes for work to be done on the house and some will start this week - Eeek! So for now it is all GoGoGO!

01 Jun: Just putting happy memories of Rebecca’s 40th on here until I get more time! Here is the link!Rebecca 40th 

What a great weekend it was!

Nothing at all happened in May!

13 April: We headed off to Belgium for Stefan and Valeri’s wedding - and what a weekend it was! Just the loveliest of weddings, great family to meet and many laughs. Images of the wedding are here and the rest of our Belgian trip are here, and here is a video

Good Friday: Have not been feeling 100% since I got back from Scotland but on Wednesday at 16:00 I returned to 99% which is good enough. Taking Anthony on a walk through the new parks and open spaces of Kings X was worthwhile as this had to knock out his monsoon of a hangover. From where I sit I can see his doing his best to get over it still. Off to church in an hour. I have to say I am starving from this Fasting and Abstinence Day, but thankfully I only have seven more years before I am too old to fast. When I was a teenager, I thought being 59 was such a long way off, but now it is getting sooooo close!

Images of some of the new open spaces are here, but for now here is a sample.

We are now counting down the days until we get married, but we have some amazing adventures beforehand, including a trip to Belgium next weekend for our lovely friends Stefan and Valerie’s wedding and then to Portugal the week after for OSMTH GMC

© George MacLean 2016