Frosty Forest

Managed to take a good action shot of Max today!  This is rather an amazing achievement, as usually by the time I have lined up the framing background, called Max to me, and pressed the button, he’s way past me.  Honestly, I have a gazilion pics of the tip of his tail.

But today, in gloriously snowy magical Hillsborough forest, I captured this moment.

Max running in Hillsborough Forest

Run Max, Run!

I do so love the forest at all times of the year, but the current cold snap renders it a truly magical kingdom, where showers of crystal tumble upon you as you pass, and your shadow is as tall as the trees.

hillsborough forest in snowI know we’re all waiting for the thaw, so that traveling arrangements can get back to normal, but I’m carpe diem-ing, and making the most of the wonderful scenes that we currently have.

Christmas in London

Just spent the most wonderful weekend in London and am so proud of my little darlings – well, not so little these days!  Harry’s just finished his first term at Central, where he’s one of only 4 students doing theatre sound.  He’s absolutely loving being in London (and what 18 year old boy wouldn’t!), but I was caught unawares by one of his comments about what was so great about life in the capital city: he said, no-one had once made a remark about his appearance.  OK, I know Norn Irn is a bit conservative when it comes to its inhabitants, and sure, people with blue dreadlocks don’t merit a second glance in London.  I just never realised my tough gothy heavy metal loving son was so sensitive about  jibes at his long hair and baggy shorts.

I’m so proud of this young man, who’d previously dropped out of school.  But, inspired partly by our lunch with an astronaut at KSC last year (thank you Storey Musgrave), he decided to follow his dream, and secured himself this rare opportunity by portfolio and references.  He was working with Pink last week.

Jemima had a ball.  Which was just as well, as it was her treat for getting such great feedback from her teachers this year!  I’d asked her “Would you like a puppy? A pony? No? OK how about a weekend in London…” and was bowled over by her exuberant acceptance – literally!

We gave a standing ovation to Legally Blonde, we shopped at Harrods and bought her Christmas pressie of a lovely new red coat, we ate Chinese food in Chinatown, joined in the carol singing at the tree in Trafalgar Square,  ice-skated at the Tower of london, and drank mulled wine watching the street theatre at Covent Garden.

It’s looking likely that the pair of them will be here next year (Jem’s sent off her audition applications to Laine and Bird today), and I just wonder – should I join them?

Jade and Pearl

I had the real pleasure last week of collecting a piece of jewelery that I had designed and commissioned myself.  While in China I’d acquired a couple of small pieces of jade, and a few freshwater pearls.  Intrinsically they had very little value, but I was keen to have them incorporated into a piece of jewelery that I could wear.  Here’s the end result:

A pendant made from jade and pearl

unique piece

I’m thrilled to bits with it, and am looking forward to wearing it over Christmas.  I tend to buy necklaces and the like when I’m abroad, simply to be able to answer “Oh I got it in Venice/ Luxembourg/ Skye” or something when it gets admired.  So I shall look forward to telling people about the jade carving factory just outside Beijing, and the freshwater oyster place in Huangzhou where I picked up these little  gems, and of course they are a beautiful reminder for me of a beautiful country.

And a big thank you to Margaret Forbes the jeweler for creating such a stunning piece.