Weekly Smile: 6 Feb 2023

We’ve had some really weird sunset skies this week – this particular view was taken from my daughter’s back doorstep last night. Lots of pink and orange striations glowing on a purplish backdrop, hovering over dark finger clouds dotted and dashed beneath. Then in no time at all the colour just faded away as we watched, leaving ghostly monochrome stripes stretching across the heavens.

It was a lovely end to a lovely day spent together with my eldest daughter and her family, with grandchildren and pets and love and laughter… So that’s my smile for this week, precious time spent with family and a memorable sunset to mark the occasion ❤

Weekly Smile


Weekly Smile: 16 Jan 2023

I haven’t participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile for ages, but here goes…

Since having Covid two years ago this month, my sense of taste has never fully returned – it comes and goes to a greater or lesser extent, but even on good days is never as fully vibrant or nuanced as it was pre-Covid. Luckily I’ve been cooking for so long I can usually manage to season things reasonably accurately just through experience, and when eating these days I generally ‘remember’ how things taste rather than properly taste them.

I’ve had a cold recently so my sense of taste has (as usual) pretty much disappeared again for the duration. However yesterday I made a chicken and vegetable stew for dinner, which we had with creamy, buttery mashed potatoes, and for the first time in ages I could taste something of the flavour rather than just be aware of the texture of the food in my mouth – so that’s my smile for this week, I could actually slightly taste my food again! 🙂

Weekly Smile: 03 Oct 2022

This week’s Weekly Smile for me comes in the form of a new, more energy-efficient central heating and hot water boiler being installed in our house today and tomorrow, along with replacing and re-siting the old standard kitchen radiator with a new modern vertical radiator allowing for a much more effective use of space.

Not only will the boiler cupboard end up looking much neater and tidier once the new equipment is all in place, but also we will be getting rid of the cumbersome hot water tank and excess pipework in the loft so it will become a much more streamlined system overall, which I’m really happy with.

We’re having a few smaller bits and pieces of plumbing work done too so necessarily there’s quite a bit of upheaval going on at the moment, but it feels so good to have it all completed in one go while the water is switched off, just one lot of disruption rather than multiple visits back and forth.

To cap it all, with the serious hike in energy prices introduced from this month onwards it feels like the perfect time for us to be having this replacement work done, and the thought of saving as much as possible going forward in the midst of a national cost of living crisis is almost worth an extra smile in itself 🙂

Not Many Pandas to the Pound…

We were standing in the kitchen the other day, looking out the window across our back garden, when beyond our back fence my husband noticed a car pulling a small covered trailer park on the street a few doors up.

The back of the trailer had a raised tailgate that ended just short of the full height, and peeking out above the top of the tailgate there appeared to be something black and white and curved that looked similar in shape to the top six inches of a panda’s head. Intrigued, we watched as two men got out the car and opened the back of the trailer to take out whatever was inside – and to our surprise, it actually was a panda! Well, not a real one, it was a painted statue-type effigy of a panda sitting on a small plinth, about four feet tall, presumably made either of plaster or wood.

Together the two men carefully man-handled the clearly heavy panda out of the trailer and slowly carried it around the side of the building out of sight, before returning empty-handed and driving off again.

No idea what that was all about, but there aren’t usually that many giant pandas to the pound here in Inverness, so it definitely made us smile! 🙂

Weekly Smile

Weekly Smile: 6 June 2022

Whatever else is going on in life there are always smiles to be found somewhere…

We’ve just had a national four-day bank holiday weekend for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – that’s 70 years on the throne for her, a new record for length of reign of a British Monarch, so quite something to celebrate… And even for those who are not necessarily ardent royalists that’s an impressive achievement and worthy of all our respect.

Over all four days of the bank holiday weekend – Thursday 2nd, Friday 3rd, Sat 4th and Sun 5th June – even though we are in the north of Scotland amazingly we had absolutely no rain at all. Not one single drop of precipitation. So we had beautiful blue skies all weekend – and after a shiveringly cold and wet May the whole month through, it was seriously smile-inducing to be able to spend the first few days of June in the garden soaking up the sunshine in minimal layers of clothing at long last.

And happily as my son was off work for the extended bank holiday he drove up from his home in the south of Scotland to stay with us for the duration – due to one thing or another we hadn’t actually seen him since Christmas, so it was really lovely to see him again and hopefully it won’t be another six months until we see him again. Both my daughters live relatively near, so it is generally easier to see them (plus their partners and children) more regularly.

It felt so good to be able to cook lots of mum food for him, I know he’s a grown man and he’ll be 40 this year but in my heart he’s still my little boy, my firstborn, and I always marvel at how I managed to grow three such wonderful people inside my belly. We reminisced over some old Top of the Pops re-runs from the early 1990s and sniggered our way through Wayne’s World – a real blast from the past – and set the world to rights in our own way, and it was such fun to spend time together just chilling.

So that’s my smile for this week – a wonderful four-day bank holiday weekend of lovely weather and quality time spent with my lovely very grown-up son… 🙂 ❤

Weekly Smile

Weekly Smile: 16 May 2022

Yesterday was my youngest grandson’s 7th birthday, so I took a bus trip 10 miles out of town to join him for his birthday party. My Weekly Smile is me sharing some of my day with you:-

  • The first pic is me with a big smile sitting on the bus on my way out
  • We passed a sprayer spraying come unidentified crop in a field
  • We also passed the ‘Cloud Factory’ – it’s actually a wood-chip processing plant making pressed fibre-board, and the billowing steam funnel gives it its fun nick-name locally
  • Once we’ve passed through the airport, the bus empties out for the last bit of the journey
  • We drive along the coast to the village where my grandson lives – the water is looking nice and blue today!

I’m not sharing any pics of the party itself, but we all had great fun and ate plenty of yummy party food. The drawing I’ve shared here is my grandson’s version of the Mona Lisa with her enigmatic smile, which his mum has put up on the wall, and the final image is my grandson wearing his new velociraptor mask – he’s a huge dinosaur fan so his big brother bought him the mask which has a chin strap (like a bicycle helmet) internally so that when you open your mouth wide the dinosaur mouth opens too, and it actually roars – what fun, and of course it looks as though the velociraptor is smiling too!

So there you have it, three smiles for the price of one today! 🙂

Weekly Smile… Finally

It’s been a ridiculously long time since I joined in with a Weekly Smile, but here I am at last with something to say!

Things that have made me smile this week include:

  • Successfully completing this year’s April Blogging from A-Z Challenge
  • Spending quality time working in the garden with my husband, enjoying the fresh air and companionship
  • Orange roses bought for me just because… ❤

Bottoms Up

It’s been such a long time since I participated in Trent’s Weekly Smile, and even though I’m finding life a bit of a struggle emotionally just now I do feel bad about not finding something to smile about each week, even just a small something…

So for the first weekly smile of this new year, here is a swan looking a lot less elegant than usual but having a lot of fun doing an impromptu Esther Williams impression just for me – its bottom bobbing in the air as the rest of it turned in an ungainly circle under the water certainly made me smile! 🙂

Say Cheese!

OK so maybe I’m being a bit literal here, but this cute little soft-toy dragon’s big cheesy grin always makes me smile every time I look at her, even when life is overwhelmingly stressful, so she is my Weekly Smile for this week:-)

My Weekly Smile: Raigmore Hospital

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in the Weekly Smile, and yeah I know, a boring, un-beautiful hospital building doesn’t seem much to smile about, but I have some very fond memories of this place.

Although this particular building isn’t actually that old – it was built in the late 1980s – there had been another Raigmore Hospital on a different part of the site long before this one. The original Raigmore Hospital was a wartime construction made up of several individual one-storey brick-built ward blocks that were still actually in use when I gave birth to my three children in the early 1980s, all born there in the original maternity block not too far away.

Looking around now I’m not quite sure exactly where the original ward blocks were sited – under the present staff accommodation perhaps, or underneath the new ambulance base, or under the extension to the car park, all behind where I’m standing to take this shot (at the bus stop, waiting for my bus home)? To be honest the surrounding landscape has all changed so much (and been built on) since then I can’t really get my bearings any more…

Anyway, suffice to say I’ve visited this particular hospital building many times over the last 30 years – visiting at various times my maternal grandmother, my mum, and of course my dad – and I’ve been both an inpatient and an outpatient here myself, including most recently having my hip X-Ray in the radiology department last Friday.

I also worked here too, as a physiotherapy assistant a good 20 years ago – I loved that job, there was a real family atmosphere in the workplace. Being back in the familiar wards visiting dad over this past week or so has brought back a lot of memories of the wonderful camaraderie between the staff and has definitely made me smile – plus I know dad is being well looked after.

And best of all, all six of my grandchildren were born here in this hospital – although actually the new maternity unit is just out of shot to the left. Twice this week I’ve seen beaming new parents carefully leaving the hospital with their precious newborns, and it’s reminded me how all of life passes through the doors of our hospitals, our National Health Service taking good care of us free at the point of need, cradle to grave…

My last smile for today’s post comes in the shape of a stained glass window and access door combination sited in the main hospital corridor – it’s called The Four Seasons and sits at the top of the T-junction between the Outpatient Departments and the Inpatient Wards… so bright and cheerfully lit up by the daylight coming in from the courtyard behind it 🙂