Thursday, 31 May 2007

Shopping for transvestites.

I hate shopping for clothes, it's possible that I missed out on some vital female gene that creates shopping enjoyment. I'd much rather be in the garden than in some stuffy, noisy, clothes shop full of people much more glamorous than me. The changing room lights make me look hideous and I simply cannot be bothered by the whole humming and hawing over what to buy. Strange to report then, that yesterday myself and newly retired chum, Marianne spent an afternoon in the shiny shops of Dundee. Even stranger to report that I came home with no less than four items of clothing and none of them were from a second hand shop. Two items were rather feminine in their outlook, one might even be a dress, and the other a flouncy empire line top with a ribbon tie. Which brings me to the point of my photo. Even though I have tried it on, alone and with the back up of two step daughters and a partner and they assure me that it isn't the case, I have an awful suspicion that this outfit will make me look like Grayson Perry. Incidentally, he's the one on the right wearing the dress with a ribbon tie. This would only be a good thing if I were, in fact Grayson Perry but I'm not. I think he's a bit fabulous though and the combination of Mr Perry and UK telly garden chap, Monty Don in the same photo was too much to resist. Two ideal examples of manhood but as I am allergic to the whole grooming thing, my own style is closer to Monty's. I'm much more likely to look like a gardener than a transvestite potter. Unless I'm wearing my new top.

P.s - this lovely photo isn't mine - I downoaded it from Flickr and it was taken by Mark Blunden.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Sylvia's sparkler and a garden guest

When I was living at up the road last week I took some photos of Sylvia's work for a website she is hoping to start up. It isn't often that I am in the presence of such beautiful stuff and I had great fun playing around with images. This one looks like it could be in a catalogue and I'm a bit proud of it.

We were back there last night for wine and sticky toffee pudding and when we came home Archie led me into the garden, accompanied only by a torch and a sense of wonder. All became clear as he shone his light on the pond. There at the bottom, was a newt. Seems like the tadpoles we imported might not all be frogs!

Thursday, 24 May 2007

A return and a farewell.

It's good to be back home in Mog Towers, I had a great time at Sylvia's beautiful house looking after Molly, Original Puss, Ginny and Penny, watching DVDs on the surround sound thingamabob, but you can't beat home comforts. So here I am again in my little flat with the sound of the downstairs neighbour's snores to lull me to sleep and a cat that wants to bite my ankles. I do have Archie to cuddle in the mornings and I'm afraid not even three cats, a dog and Daniel Craig on the telly screen can compete with that. Here is the room that I hung out in to do my knitting and it has the honour of being Anna, stepdaughter's favourite room in the world. You can see why Molly loves it too. I finished my recycled cotton jumper and it is just right for slinging over my shoulders as the Scottish summer air turns cool. Almost finished is another log cabin square so the blanket is becoming more of a reality.

Sylvia came home bearing fine chocolates and heaps of ripe oozy cheese. Just in time for our friend Travelling Steve to appear for a final visit before heading off to the open sea. Steve is the only person I know who has a section labelled Expeditions on their C.V. His last trip was on a push bike - from Land's End in Scotland to Damascus in Syria. The only bits he didn't cycle were on water! This time he's off to the Mediterranean in a sail boat and the best bit is ...... he has invited us to stay when he drops anchor in Greece, or Turkey or Spain. This is the first time he has sailed this far although he's lived on the boat for two years. Best of luck and good windspeed to Steve.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Housesitters of the World Unite.

No photos today because I am away from home. Not very far away but far enough to be without the technology to make this look pretty. I am house/dog/cat/cat/cat-sitting for our friend Sylvia who is visiting her family in France. It is in my interest to make it easy for her to go as next time she's taking me with her ( as well as Archie and Grahame X. )

So, I've moved two streets away from home and left Magnus in charge of Archie. The plan was that we would spend this time apart and make specific plans to meet up for lunch/dinner/other activities. It all sounded very romantic to me and I know that Archie is just dying to get the house to himself so that he can have the radio on all day without me complaining, steak sarnies and beans for every meal. Other folk however have raised eyebrows and asked leading questions about the state of our relationship. This feels like a good idea to me. It's only been two days out of six but so far we are both having fun. Typically, I'd only been away for about an hour when I went for a walk and bumped right into him. We were supposed to stay out of each others' way today as well but I had left a vital half of my recycled cotton jumper in the knitting bag so I was forced to come home. After living with someone all the time it is a sweet thing to be able look forward to seeing them. Every time something silly or interesting happens I just want to get on the phone to tell him about it. What a sap. Of course the lure of this particular housesitting gig has nothing to do with Sylvia's fantastic mega screen surround sound film watching apparatus. Not to mention the cupboards full of DVDs that I haven't seen......

I also have three different knitting projects if I get tired of the complete Keanu Reeve oeuvre, so by the time pictures can be uploaded I might have something to show. Right now I'm off to bed to wrestle with a duvet hogging dog and three heat seeking cats.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Random, me?

I was tagged by Floofle ( ) so I've had to think carefully about random things. Or think randomly about careful things which is more likely I suspect. Anyhoo, I'm going to treat this as if it were some kind of word association exercise and try to just write some things down. All information given will be true but I can't guarantee it will make sense!

The rules:
1.List 7 random facts about yourself on your blog
2.Tag 7 more blogs , making sure to let them know.

Seven Random facts about me.

1. When I got married, the wedding service was conducted in our living room by a Salvation Army Major in full uniform. No tambourines unfortunately.

2. When I was little I thought that I could communicate with animals using the power of my mind. I spent a lot of my time in the field next to my house in Inverness, staring at horses.

3. If a spider is stuck in my bath I feel morally obliged to leave a spider escape route made out of toilet paper so that the fellow can climb out safely. It usually works.

4. I don't mind mud but I hate crumbs.

5. Magnus the cat was kidnapped in a case of mistaken identity and taken to live with an accordian player called Stephen over forty miles away. It took the involvement of the local constabulary to get him returned. To add insult to injury, Magnus was mistaken for a lady cat.

6. My Aunt Nan's ashes were eaten by ducks.

7. I like to say thank you to things - flowers, the morning, the veg in the propagator, a clear night with stars. Whatever people think, this does not necessarily make me a hippy.

Ok, some of those things are not really facts about me but they are part of the funny little world that makes up my life. It's not a bad place to be really. By the way, it was Sandra, the Major on the right of the photo who married us.

I'm going to nominate
A friend to Knit With
When The Going get Tough, The Tough Get Knitting
Zanac ( my brother Tom's blog ) at

and I can't think of any more who haven't been done already. maybe I need to make more blog friends!

Friday, 11 May 2007

From the Sublime to the Rock n' Roll Ridiculous.

The Cope, originally uploaded by El Ramingo Duende.

A week of contrasts in the Mog household. Saturday was a meeting of the newly created Wine Imbibing Neighbours Organisation - Aka WINO. A hand picked selection of chums all chip in £5 every month and one of us chooses a theme and the relevant wine. Archie was this month's host and we drank some lovely stuff. My dad came along for the first time and although we haven't heard from him since, mum assures me that he enjoyed himself!

Sunday found us drinking strong coffee and painkillers en route to Pennicuick to see Miss Frugality/Julia and her partner Robb's exhibition of pictures, bags, brooches, woodturning. Lots of beautiful things and it was a close call between a picture or a bag. After telling Archie that if we bought the bag I would fill it to the brim with more knitting projects, we agreed to buy the picture. At the moment it is only the promise of a picture as it has to hang in Pennicuick for the rest of the exhibition. One day it will be ours - we can't wait! We also got to hang out with the Frugal family and friends at Julia's sister Jennifer's house which was an unexpected bonus. Pictures on Flickr if you want to see more........

Tuesday was a rare event for a village dweller like me - a proper gig. I went up to Aberdeen and while Archie and some friends went to a poetry book launch ( Knotbrook Taylor from the Blue Salt Collective no less ), I met up with Carol from the Aberdeen chapter of Stitch and Bitch and we went off to see Julian Cope at the Lemontree. JC's music has been part of the soundtrack of my life since I was thirteen and it was strange and lovely to hear him singing obscure B sides and singles that I listened to obsessively as a teenager. He's a proper English eccentric, currently collecting Rock n Roll cliches, hence the outfit, and in another part of his life he is a respected authority on archeological matters. I love him to bits, he's odd and inspiring and anyone who can keep my attention from 13 to 38 must be doing something right. The only downside? I had to stand up in a loud room for three hours and a couple of days later the muscles in my bum still hurt. Too old to Rock n Roll, surely not yet?!

I still can't do proper links so here are the addresses for stuff I have just mentioned, you'll just have to cut and paste like in the olden days!

Miss frugality

The Blue Salt Collective

Julian Cope

Monday, 7 May 2007

Oh, Rangercraig!

I may have mentioned before that the Scottish Parliament elections happened last week. In order to vote you have to be registered. When you are registered a polling card gets put through the letterbox box by Brian the postman. It has been a source of constant concern/plotting to Rangercraig that even though polling cards are sent out, when it comes to actually voting, all you have to do is turn up at the polling station and state your name and address. No ID is asked for and no card needs to be shown. A system ripe for abusing.

Picture then the scene at the Village school on Thursday, a tall bearded man walks in, approaching the desk with the confidence of the truly wicked. "I'm Grahame X, " he says. " I've come to cast my vote." The name is dully scored off the list and ballot papers handed over.
" Don't you need to see my card, or any other identification ? " asks the bearded fellow. A reply in the negative issues from the desk. "But how do you know it's really me? Surely anyone could come in and pretend to be Grahame X ? "
"That sort of thing doesn't happen here." says the desk in Local Government tones.
" Well it does now! "
and with a swish of his metaphorical cape our hero shows himself to be none other than Rangercraig. Lurking behind him with both polling cards, his partner in crime - the true Grahame X. Much jaw dropping ensues and the voting takes place with the correct ballot papers.
Tune in next week when Rangercraig meets the Queen by dressing up as President Bush!

NB. Photo of Grahame X and Rangercraig in disguise to prevent detection from the Electoral fraud people, just in case they are not busy enough sorting out the rest of the mess from last Thursday.....

Friday, 4 May 2007

So sleepy - I nearly forgot I finished the scribbler.

Worth all of the moaning and groaning. After saying never again, I am already eyeing up some Felted Tweed in my stash to make another one with. I'll never learn!

Early morning - new chair.

It is twenty past five in the morning and I am usually deep in my duvet. However there was an election for the Scottish Parliament yesterday and it is traditonal in our household that we stay up to see who wins/loses. This year there is a new electronic counting system and some kerfuffle about having local council elections on the same day which meant that three different voting systems were used. No surprise then that some members of the voting public got a bit confused. Add to that the fact that some people who vote by post didn't get their papers delivered in time. Some counts have been suspended, ten times more ballot papers have been 'spoiled' than usual and some people just didn't get to vote at all. Blimey. Lots of confusion and bad temper. Did I mention that a boat carrying votes broke down on the River Clyde and a helicopter with ballot boxes couldn't take off for the Western Isles. Makes hanging chads seem like a walk in the park. The birds are singing a wonderful dawn chorus, I've been up all night and I have absolutely no idea who is going to be in charge of me for the next four years!

On a much more democratic note, I have taken charge of a new chair. It arrived in the Mog house via the Freecycle network ( ). If you have never visited this site, go and have a look. Freecycle works on the principle that people who have things that they don't need offer them up for free and if you need something you can ask for it and someone will give it to you for free. Much simpler than the Scottish Parliament elections and it has a lot more scope for generosity. Not only did the lovely Kelly in Dundee give me a chair to sit on, she also gave me book to read whilst sitting on it. The Collected Works of Dorothy Parker no less. The new chair will soon be taking up residence in Knitting Headquarters but until then it is gracing the living room. Here are a couple of photos of my new chair with Magnus and Georgie battling for a place on it.

I'm off to bed!