Friday, 27 February 2009

Royal Botanical Gardens

Today I decided to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens here in Edinburgh. I've wanted to go for a while and being as I had a few hours to spare I thought I'd bob along. I was frustrated that the weather was a bit grey and miserable and the wind wasn't helpful when taking pictures. But I had an enjoyable afternoon and will definitely be back when the weather is better.
I'm sure I didn't even get round half of the place but here are a few photos that I took...

A detail of the entrance gates


I was interested in the different textures particularly in the tree bark 








The pink flowers in the photo above come from small buds like the ones shown in the photo below!














This building and the surrounding gardens have been built as a memorial to the Queen Mother. I liked the details around the windows. The inside walls were covered with shells and the ceiling was covered with pine cones. A beautiful way to use natural materials to create interesting patterns and textures.






I loved the glasshouse. So romantic and such beautiful windows.


Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Deep Pancakes

I love pancakes! That's a pancake fact.
And I loved my yummy pancakes that I had for dinner last night!
Pancake Day is one of the best days of the year!

But I have to remember that it's not just an excuse to eat copious amounts of delicious, sugar filled goodness. There is a reason why we eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday. In preparation for Lent.

I’m not the kind of person to give stuff up during Lent. It’s not because I don’t have the will power! It’s just I struggle to think of one or two things that will make a difference to my live by removing them for 40 days.

So this year, I’m not going to give anything up, as usual. But I do want to take the time to do something that will make a difference. I want value the next 40 days and focus on something that will help me to change, to grow. I want to deepen my relationship with God and really begin to understand His heart for people and for me personally. And I’m looking forward to seeing how this will impact my relationships with those around me. With Phil, my family, my friends and work colleagues.

Ooh, and I’m gonna try to take lots more photos and develop my very novice skills!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Function and purpose

So, I need to print an A3 sheet in colour. But the colour printer is waiting to see the printer doctor because its transfer unit is at the end of its life, apparently! And the non-colour A3 printer is just not printing! No matter how much I stare at it and wait, patiently.

The solution? Wait until the colour printer has been resuscitated or print it in black and white on A4 paper. Cue magnifying glasses, lots of squinting and comments about how it would be better on A3 in colour. I know, I tried!

It’s so frustrating when things don’t work properly or do what they are designed to do. When equipment that is designed to make our lives easier, more efficient, more productive doesn’t perform as we need it to. Making life more complicated, less efficient, less productive.

But what about us? What happens when we don’t do what we are designed to do?
Are we a frustration to others? To God?

We’re each designed with a purpose, right? And we each have a unique role and function to fulfil. A unique purpose and reason for being alive, for the benefit of our community, our church, our family.
So what happens when we don’t live out our purpose? When we don’t understand how we should function or what our role is?

Do we live in monochrome instead of full colour? Do we give out less of ourselves, less than what God created us to give? Do we make life harder for others? Do we cause others to be less productive, less full, less complete? Do we hinder their purpose too?

Thursday, 19 February 2009


She handed me the book. I said Ta. She said Ta.
She handed me the doll. I said Ta. She said Ta.
She handed someone else the book. They said Ta. She said Ta.

We had some friends join us for dinner last night and their lovely daughter reminded me of the joys of learning new words. And the joys of teaching a toddler good manners. Yes. No. Ta.

Sometimes it bothers me when there is no thanks. No gratitude, no appreciation. But what about when you do say thanks but you’re not sure it sounds completely genuine?

I have many things to be grateful for, but this past weekend I have been treated and spoilt and surprised. I was loved and treasured and cherished. And I said thank you. Many times. Maybe too many times! But I wanted to make sure he knew that I was grateful, very grateful and full of appreciation.

So just in case the million times I said thank you weren’t enough already…here are a few more…To my wonderful husband…

Thank you for spoiling me.
Thank you for loving me.
Thank you for encouraging me.
Thank you for being patient, kind and gentle.
And thank you for being my best friend.

love your very very very grateful wife x

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Window Shopping

From time to time I like to get out at lunch. Stretch my legs; breathe the fresh air. My outings tend to have a purpose; a letter to post, a present to buy, a cheque to cash. But en route I always end up gazing in the windows of the shops I pass. The lovely shops, the shops that I will buy clothes from one day when I can afford them, the shops that lovely ladies buy clothes from. And here begins the resentment.

I don’t know why, but when I wander past these windows my mind wanders to a place where I am unhappy with myself, unhappy with my current situation, and unhappy with how I dress.

For some reason I believe that the day I can buy my clothes from these shops I will have ‘made it’. I will look better, be happier and have a more satisfying life. I mean, that’s what the women who buy from these shops feel, right? It only makes sense that when I can afford the more expensive clothes I will be in a better place in my life, right? Because I’m obviously not there yet, am I?

As I wandered with my feet and my mind, I caught myself defining my life and myself by what I was wearing, or rather, what I wasn’t wearing. I wasn’t wearing the things in those shops, the lovely shops, the shops that I will buy clothes from when I can afford them. So therefore I wasn’t there yet…I hadn’t yet made it…I wasn’t content.

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
(Philippians 4:11-12)

I have seen first hand those who are in need, real need. And I know that whatever little I have in my world is more than plenty compared to what I need. And yet it is so easy to see and long for more. To be defined by things, possessions, gadgets, fashion.

Too often I give excuses for my life as if to apologise for it not quite being the life I dream of or the life I think others expect of me. The picture perfect life I see in films and magazines. The life that will show the world when I’ve ‘made it’. The life that I imagine when I go window shopping.

But what is it like to be truly content with what I have, and who I am? To be truly content whatever the circumstances? To be truly content right now, right here?

I still don’t know, but I know that God is helping me to understand. Slowly I am beginning to see when I let my mind meander along the road towards insecurity and discontentment. Slowly.
I pray that God will help me to catch these thoughts and hold them up to His light before just accepting them. That He’ll help me to see my life and myself the way He does. To know the true value and significance of the things I have, and to recognise the importance of how He defines me. To realise the fleeting nature of material things and possessions. And to strive for treasures that will impact on eternity. Whether I’m wearing clothes from the lovely shops or not.

Photo from flickr

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Some Things I Love...

I love God
I love my husband
I love my family

and I love sunsets...