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 🙂
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! 🙂
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… 🙂 ❤
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! 🙂
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! 🙂
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:-)
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 🙂
Celebrating our wedding anniversary with a lovely home-cooked meal and a glass (or two) of fizz;
Enjoying our new Egyptian cotton bedding set and new duvet fill – Ooh, right now it feels like sleeping under a soft fluffy cloud, cosy and comfortable – sheer bliss;
Having our new washing machine and tumble drier delivered – yes I know it’s very housewifely of me to be so pleased about household gadgets but seriously, it makes life so much easier to have practical items in the home that work efficiently and effectively behind the scenes;
Finally feeling like I’m really settling in properly to my new job, one month in. There’s always something uncomfortably unsettling about feeling like the new girl, unsure of the specific processes and procedures of that particular environment, but inevitably it always takes a little time to become truly proficient in any new role 🙂
A few images from this afternoon’s leisurely stroll with my husband along the banks of the Caledonian Canal in Inverness. We saw boats, and ducks, and enjoyed the warm but breezy weather and beautiful blue skies.
It was nice just spending quality time together in the fresh air, walking and chatting and comfortably putting the world to rights – and to cap it all off we bumped into an old friend who was also out for a walk with her son, so we stood and chatted with them for a while too, which was lovely.
Altogether we whiled away a relaxing couple of hours in the sunshine, a perfect Friday afternoon walk 🙂