On A Damp Day

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »



Damp  Enthusiastic  Borrow  Unadvised  Wheel  Property  Balance  End  Foot


I was glad it was a damp day:

My body less than enthusiastic

For any kind of exercise.

Instead, I decided to borrow some smiles

From the kids – get excited

About Lego and train tracks.

There were strong arguments

Concerning the merits of both;

So the livingroom became our playground

Despite this move seeming unadvised.



Eldest always starts

With the tracks’ ‘turning wheel’;

Seems to devise

A new way to incorporate property –

Like a station, or a garage for electric cars.

Youngest searched the bricks

For each specified piece

To begin a coveted helicopter;

Complementing our fire house build

And letting him tick things off, too.


The balance always shifts in time,

The draw of brotherly collaboration calls,

And soon my boys are ‘testing’ all

Spaghetti-curving lines.

Steam and diesel models

Co-habiting with pleasure;

Happy whoops and giggles

As each story’s told and grown.


And I’m at the branch end

Taking my foot off the brake:



Tomorrow is the return to school/nursery. 

I am dreading it.

It has not been the easiest of Summers here, with Eldest being out of sorts for much of it, but I will still miss them a LOT as the whirlpool of term time sucks them away from me again. Plus I am liking the boys’ uber-affection that has slowly reappeared in the last three weeks or so!

I have laid out their uniforms already, checked everything has a nametag and that gym shoes are accounted for.  We sharpened Eldest’s pencils yesterday and rounded up stray work that had wandered into his bag at the end of P2 so we could return it to classmates (!)

I have a note of what the school meals are for the coming weeks, and Youngest is looking forward to his nursery snacks, too 😉

The boys have done the fashion show and know all their school clothes fit ok.  We know that their stress toys I made them (they call them ‘Panenis’) are still hibernating in their bags, and can be told secrets and slights until Mummy can cuddle them better.  We will talk about ‘heart-strings’ tonight at bedtime, no doubt.

It has been a pretty good last day, the boys both said that the ‘shell pasta with cheese and sausage’ was a very suitable ‘last dinner’ (which made me teary).  Hubby has played with the mentioned train track now, and it has been photographed and cleared away so that we can all manoeuvre tomorrow as we try to get out of the door for 8.30am!!

All will be well, but still my heart is heavy.  Primary 3 and the preschool year of nursery.  How did we get here so quickly?!







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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Seascaping For A While (Skye Posts VI)

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Skye Posts 2 Comments »


Hiya 🙂

I forgot to mention yesterday that Hubby had gone for a walk before he made dinner, in order to investigate how one would get to Castle Moil, as it seemed to be so close to our cottage (see the walk description in the link, by scrolling down a bit).  Hubby followed the path from the pier, and took some great pictures of the sunken boat, and the sea-worthy one pulled up on the beach. 

Hubby realised that there must only be a way over to the outcrop at low tide, so he and the boys played chess and draughts until 11am in order to get as much beach as possible for their trip. 


Wee reminder of the rules…

Ewok or Scooby doo ghoul, do we think??

I checked for dry washing, tidied up a bit and took time over my breakfast before waving them off and having a shower.

My plan was to go for a wander down the waterfront today and take some pictures from the Skye Bridge, too.  I wrestled with my OneDrive downloads, as my phone has been refusing to transfer photos via USB for a few weeks now (!) and I really wanted our holiday pics to be backed up on a stick every day while we are away.  Unfortunately, this took a lot longer than expected (damn you, silly 2-gig laptop *shakes fist*) so the boys all trooped in just as I was getting my shoes on to head out!!

The boat is unsunk!

They had all been eaten alive by midges, it transpired, but there were a few good boat-watching tales and pictures that salvaged the outing!

I said my goodbyes and headed out about 12.30pm.  I walked down to the waterfront and took a few pictures, but I really wanted to walk up to the bridge.  It wasn’t a particularly windy day, but there was a lively breeze once I got up there.  On our first night here, I had overheard a French lady remarking that they had visited Skye in Autumn one year, and that the bridge had been closed due to high winds.  I can only imagine how scary it would be to stand in those conditions 😉

See the red circle? That’s our cottage as seen from the Skye side of the bridge!

It had taken me just over half an hour to get there from the cottage, so I had some time to breathe in the view before I headed back for my promised late lunch with Hubby at 2pm.  It’s a shame that it was so overcast, because my pictures really don’t do the place much justice.  I could see far into the distance from both sides (I’ve circled our cottage!), and I watched a couple of captains stop to have a brief chat over the side of their vessels.  I think one waved to me, but by the time I made up my mind to wave back, he was away under the bridge 😉 

I briefly wondered what mood I appeared to be in, and whether anyone had tried to jump from that spot before.  I’ve resisted Googling it, though…  Do you ever get these thoughts in high places?  Or is it just my morbid writerly mind?!

I took a snap of the lighthouse too, because I knew the boys would love to see it from above.

As I was leaving, I spied some steps that appeared to lead down to the beach at the waterfront.  I thought it might be nice to wander along, then come up to the bridge as a possible activity for tomorrow. I filed it away to tell Hubby about over lunch.

While walking back, I saw two signs I had failed to capture properly in my excitement when we first arrived on ‘the Skye side’.  Better late than never, eh?!

Just before I went back to see my menfolk, I went to the other side of the harbour from the cottage, and realised that there is a nice café there, called Harry’s.   I know a little man who is nuts about cafes, so I think we’ll have a bite to eat as our token meal out tomorrow morning 😉 I also took some more photos from that angle, of course (and phoned Hubby so the boys could get a kick out of waving to me from the livingroom window, heehee).


Hubby and I did indeed have lunch together at the agreed time, and the kids (who had been nicely playing with daddy) came and had a snack, watched a lovely sailboat in the harbour, then went and shared the tablet and let me hang out a washing.  I also attempted to do some picture uploading again, and worked towards putting my second post about our holiday out.

It has been a few days since Eldest has had a good long walk and time with me by himself, so I took him to explore the other side of the harbour, as he had been asking to see it.  As we walked, he asked me about my time on the bridge, and begged to see it on a walk with me tomorrow.  I said I didn’t mind doing that with him, but that it was a bit of a trek – and Youngest probably wouldn’t like that!

Eldest and I looked out over the water together (the snap of him beside the pic of the kids is him viewing part of this project) and then walked behind the houses opposite our cottage to have a closer look at the red telephone box Youngest and I had spied from the single bedroom.  Eldest was too busy to have his picture taken in front of it, however 😉

Eldest asked lots of questions about where roads led and why things were built or done the way they were, as usual. I love how much he thinks about operational matters.  He explained that he wants to see how far away the bridge is from our cottage, and also if any large boats go under it while we’re looking down.

We got back around 6.30pm and Hubby went out for a chippie, which we all enjoyed.  There was bread and a choice of raspberry or strawberry jam for afters, followed by more chess in the livingroom before baths etc.

Tonight’s poem did not come to me very easily, and I tried two different starts before I alighted on the ensemble below – so my 15 minutes felt very tight!  There is a rhyme and rhythm in the below though, so I didn’t do too badly:



Roast  Tactic  Greatest  Hearts  Cave  Haunting  Mother  Ballroom  Deformity


I began to roast

He continued to boast

And I watched every tactic

Work well.


He loved my attire

Talked of hearts being on fire

He’d begun to cave now

I could tell.


I’d been haunting this spot

For three weeks, now he’d caught

On to my charming ways

And was smitten.


My mother’d be pleased

And go weak at the knees:

For his ballroom suaveness

Was fitting.


But my ‘deformity’

Is that I can’t just BE,

When things go this nicely:

I wander.


So this beautiful man

Will (probably) be canned –

I’ll go hunting for more love

To squander.


My discarded first attempts at working with the generated words were:


Roast child for tea?

A tactic I’ve used regularly,

Always the greatest delicacy

(I ‘kid’ you not)


Although their hearts

(Obviously a nonsense/fairytale poem-to-be!!) And then:

It was over his mother’s roast

That it hit home:

This wasn’t at all like I’d pictured.

Then the segue into what I ended up with.  I can’t always explain the exact way my mind works, I find it just best to roll with it 😉

I love the lamp by the livingroom window that my page is snapped beside.  There are so many pretty things in and around this house, I feel I need another week to take all of them in properly!!


[Click here for the rest of the posts about our Skye holiday]

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

And A Puffin In Portree (Skye Posts V)

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Skye Posts 2 Comments »


Hi 🙂

I had a slow start, after seeing in the small hours last night.  I breakfasted up in ‘my’ room, looking out at the harbour.  Lovely Crunchy Nut Cornflakes and tea!

I wrote a wee poem about it, in 5 minutes; following the 5 – 7 – 5 Haiku syllable rule:


Halting hunger here:

Sheltered harbour for my thoughts.

They leave on gull wings.


I like the double meaning of ‘gull’ 😉

The kids were in high spirits again, then Eldest decided to refuse to go out after being repeatedly asked to calm down.  I took him into the single bedroom (moving my crockery out of the way) and let him survey the comings and goings on the jetty.  We watched a large boat have people file onto it, saw it round the corner, and waited patiently for it to emerge from behind the buildings opposite us, to go under the Skye Bridge.  Hubby came to find us and had a squizz at the harbor with Eldest.  Youngest was apparently passing time at the locked front door downstairs (one can tourist-watch from the porch windows).

Us parentals got hugs from a newly-zen seven year old. Our day then got back on track a bit 😉

The plan was for us all to go to Portree, and for me to mooch about the craftshops for an hour or so while the boys went off in search of more boats, and side streets to explore.  It was quarter to eleven when we set off, and we unfortunately didn’t get very far before Eldest’s high-backed booster seat’s cover decided to come loose and flap about its occupant’s ears!

I had adjusted the back of the booster to make Eldest more comfortable yesterday, and it now appeared that the seat cover does not like to stretch to the full height the back support can reach…

We turned into the first carpark that we saw in Broadford, and there was actually a gorgeous yarn shop! The kids were not happy with the dismantling of the seat I did and the time it took me to eventually admit defeat and realise that without tape we would definitely need to find a new booster somewhere (Eldest is not quite tall or heavy enough for us to discard the back part).

I had to walk into that yarn shop with no time to browse!

Heartbreaking 🙁

The lady behind the counter did not sell any kind of tape, but she knew where the nearest DIY store was, and gave great directions!  I mournfully looked around me one last time and left, promising to return to buy something before our week on Skye was over.  Oh the hard things we mothers do for our offspring… 😉

I sent hubby into the DIY place with the manual for the seat, so that his predicament could be quickly understood from gesturing at a nice neat diagram.  Sure enough, he came back promptly with a kind of fabric tape, which even coordinated with the cover!!  Eldest remained fascinated with the apparent nonchalance of the shop’s dog, who was lying in the sun right in the path of vans and cars entering the grounds.

I got to work on the chair, and it may not have been too neat, but the tape did a turn 😉

We still have no definite idea how it happened, but just before we drove off with Eldest’s seat sorted, we realized that Youngest’s (5-point Brittax) was no longer attached to the car 🙁 we removed the stuff from between the children on the back seat (a likely culprit), and I held (a now awake and very grumpy) Youngest while Hubby secured the seat properly and tugged on the strap etc.  Scary stuff, good thing I regularly check!!

We were more than half way to Portree when we discovered Youngest’s Thomas hat was missing.

It turned out to be wedged between the car’s backseat and the child seat, but we didn’t work that out until we’d driven back and looked under other vehicles and asked if it had been handed in at the aforementioned DIY store (and had a heated argument ensue in the back seat: Youngest defending his right to ‘a go’ of the red toy snake, whereas Eldest felt slighted as it was obviously his due to red being his favourite colour.  They both got yellow snakes handed to them, then hated me)

We were doing well, heading back in the Portree direction, when Youngest complained of a sore tum and looked pale.  I walked him around a large layby for a while, trying to also surreptitiously be in easy reach of the puke bucket (one never knows).  We deduced that he was still hungry(he’d snacked earlier), so I fed him a sandwich and an oat bar; and his colour returned.  Yaay!

Eldest was beyond bored by this point, and not being quiet about it.  Despite it being well after midday, he didn’t want any food.  I turned up Skin’s album for the rest of the journey.  The first track resonated with us all by then 😉

I was DESPERATE for the loo by the time we got to Portree (about 2.15pm…) and there was a preposterously long queue for the public convenience on the high street.  Not an experience I wish to relive any time soon!  The boys ate more sandwiches in the car, and I got some lunch once I’d returned from my loo escapade; but failed to eat fast enough for our (now demented) children.

Youngest only wanted to hold my hand, and was bent on buying something from a gift shop. Eldest declared that “booooooe-wing” and wanted to “find somewhere to explore, Daddy!”.  We did go to a nice gift shop (Cullin Crafts) that the boys liked the smell of (there were lots of soaps on display) and I managed to keep the boys from smashing any of the trinkets.  Eldest bought a pack of cards with Skye scenes on it, the boys agreed on a magnet displaying Armadale Castle, and Youngest went for what he thought was a penguin, but is actually a cuddly puffin.

He’s called it: “Penguin da Puffin”.

Hubby offered to take the boys as planned, but I could tell the kids were not in a receptive mood, so instead Youngest elected to come and browse in another yarn shop with me, while Eldest went down to look at the harbour with Hubby (divide and conquer, heh heh heh…).

Youngest had plans for nearly every ball of yarn we saw, but finally plumped for “a sunset one” to make “a froggy”.  He also chose a bead that he liked the look of, and cajoled me into buying two packs of safety eyes instead of one.

Eldest shouldered into the shop just as we’d finished paying, so Youngest told him what we bought and exactly why, which the lady who served us seemed to find endearing.

The boys were intent on going back down to the harbour, and we all did, but Eldest was very restless by this stage and started to display some dangerous behaviour, so we headed back to the car.  I had to offer piggy back rides in order for us parents to look less like we were holding the kids against their will, as both boys were screaming as we came upon the town square and everyone’s eyes were drawn in our direction…!

On a lighter (my poor, poor hips) note: on the way back to the cottage an aphid made friends with Youngest and rode on his clothes for a while before jumping out of the open window 😉 Eldest also fell asleep, enabling Youngest to monopolize the red snake for once.  He was very happy.


It may look like a crumb, but the fly is on Spiderman’s chest…

We broke with our usual protocol and had a pizza dinner even although it is not Friday (gasp).  While the yum was cooking, the boys had another wave of nonsense seize them; so I took them up to their room, stowed all the breakable lamps etc away inside the spare duvet in their wardrobe, and inflated two light-up balloons (yes, I brought them and a pump with us) so that they could play their usual version of volleyball with them.  They loved it!

After dinner, Eldest played me at chess.  He is getting pretty good, and I talked him through any mistakes either of us made, etc.  He asked me not to let him win, but there were airborne pieces when he lost. The poor love (muhahahaha…)

He then happily went back to teaching his brother, and I loved listening to his little explanations. Youngest furrowing his wee brow and backtracking to try another piece, or asking for clarification, was immensely cute too!  They soon went back to draughts, however.




I managed to publish my first Skye post while the boys played another round of balloon mayhem with Hubby.  It takes so long to edit photos on this infernal laptop!! I love the spacing of its keys and the blue and white aesthetics – but URRRRGH…

Today’s poem was penned too, while I thought about how I often feel like the party pooper around here: with my eye constantly drawn to clues about what will happen next, while plans whirl in my head that detail how I’ll fix the fall out!!

It was a Jimpix concoction, so I struggled a bit. I think the result is passable, however:





Touch  Wetland  Flousers  Crax  Horologium  Boomer  Mobile  Cheery  Coyote


They like to kick up their shoes

Touch any wetland

(Flousers that they are)

And I follow,

Hoovering up their enthusiasm

Like some Crax;

With my beak stuck into

Their playtime.


Keeper Of The Cranial Horologium


Boomer Of The Rules


I’ve my mobile poised

To take the ‘perfect’ scene

And freeze it;

Capture those cheery little faces

Happily ignoring my clucks.


Wiley as Coyote

I consume myself;

Figure out their next move

And counteract it from my bag.


I’ve stayed up late again after my boy cuddles and songs, followed by chat ‘n’ cake with Hubster.  It may not be good for the wrinkles all this candle burning, but it is fab for the whirring mind.  Wish I could take this room and view home with me!  The week is going past far too fast…




[Click here for the rest of the posts about our Skye holiday]


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

A Hot Layer of Sand (Skye Posts IV)

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Skye Posts No Comments »

Hiya 🙂

We knew it was supposed to be the warmest day of the week, so Hubby and I had planned to take the boys to a beach where they could get lots of rockpooling action with their shrimp nets.  We decided last night that we would get up about 6.30am.  Both of us forgot that an alarm would need to be set.  The boys chose today to sleep in, of course 😉

We finally got moving around 8.30am, and rushed about trying not to waste any more of the day (as I didn’t want anyone cooking on the sand in the midday sun!).  As I was coming out of the shower, the fire alarm above the kids’ bedroom door started cheeping ominously, but stopped after I glared at it and said a few choice words about it daring to try and ruin our plans. 

I’m that scary.

The boys wore their wetsuits in the car, and we brought their minion trainers from last year’s beach trips, because no one cared if they got wrecked!  It was indeed a very sunny day and all the windows were down in the car, with the music blaring once we left the waterfront at Kyleakin (where we are staying).

Unusually, we found the beach at Waterloo (near Broadford) pretty quickly, but there was a rather long marshy trek across the wet sand to get to the proper beach and rocks!  The sea seemed to be extremely far out, and I was worried that by the shape of the beach we would be pretty cut off trying to get back to the car, which we’d parked outside a row of houses; and would maybe have to go a circuitous way back.  Hubby assured me none of the research he had done had mentioned that, nor warned that the tide came in very fast (which was my other concern, seeing the lay of the land).

The menfolk discarded their shoes pretty quickly, and the boys absolutely loved the feel of the sand between their toes.  I kept my shoes on, and the support dry-ish for my rather large bunion on my right foot, which was still annoyed at me after yesterday’s exploits on the stones…!

The first rock pool we came to was a large shallow one, where the boys found a ‘vicious’ hermit crab, some sea anemones and lots of shrimp. We took a funny video of Youngest, who was hysterically laughing at the proposal of holding a shrimp, begging Eldest to go first, but both boys did brave them in the end.

I had wanted to hold Youngest’s hand, too, but it was already rather messy…

Hubby and the kids then went wading quite far out from the shore, as the water was shallow for a good stretch, and Youngest wanted to practice his swimming.  Eldest became bored pretty quickly, and decided to scale the rocks beside him to get to me instead.  He did really well, even with bare feet and a shrimp net!  I was on the rocks by this point because the tide had begun to turn and had chased me and our numerous belongings up there 😉

Eldest splashed about in another rock pool, while Hubby had a hard time convincing a tiring Youngest to come back to the beach in a sensible fashion, and not to try and outdo Eldest’s feats; or worse swim further out to sea…a bit of tantruming ensued, but there was soon a race (“super cat speed!”) to the next rockpool, where Eldest found the biggest crab of the day.  Hubby was very jealous.

We also used the ‘glass’ bottomed boat for the first time, and even let the crab (and later, a sea snail) ‘drive’.  Successful first launch, methinks.

Youngest was truly exhausted by this point, and was also shivering.  The beach was deserted, so I quickly dried, stripped, re-suncreamed and re-dressed both boys without modesty (not that they cared, anyway), before carrying Youngest a fair way back. He eventually stopped crying and agreed to have an oat bar and walk for me 😉

There was quite a lot of water to navigate on our path back, so everyone’s shoes got a good soaking, and we were all glad we hadn’t left it any later!!

Tempers were pretty frayed in the car when Hubby nipped out to get supplies, and the boys continued in that vein when they got back to the cottage, despite being fed. They didn’t really stop arguing all the way through Hubby calling the Landlady to OK me changing the battery in the fire alarm so that we wouldn’t be rudely awakened in the night (been there…) nor did the kids heed any warnings that the tablet was going to be taken away!

Sure enough, Eldest lost his usual tablet privileges through being violent towards his brother, then began creating merry havoc in the livingroom; so I sat with him for a bit and showed him an app on our new tablet that went through all the pieces and moves involved in chess (or ‘chest’, as the boys have christened it) using engaging videos.  Eldest was riveted!!  I was able to slink away after a bit and get more writing done, while he asked Hubby questions and then challenged him to a real-world game 😉

I even remembered to put the very sandy wetsuits and shoes out in the sunny garden to dry.  It only took a few hours as it was so hot!

We all enjoyed a ‘breakfast grill-up’ for dinner, which Youngest decided would go best with a left-over wrap from yesterday; then the boys played draughts again. (They came in while I was editing the photo, and asked that they be given unhappy faces and runny noses…)


Hubby went for a short walk while I got the boys tucked in and settled. He snapped a quirky sign on his travels!


Mr. Laptop continues to be very slow at uploading photos to the WordPress Editor, or letting me change any of the text colours etc!  I think all these holiday posts are going to have to be backdated, but I have been trying hard to keep up with the days as they happen, and writing it all down for you 🙂

Today’s words hinted at divorce proceedings, or even a death; but they did not seem like nice holiday topics – so I went a different way:



Layer  Trustee  Split  Grave  Habit  Judicial  Admit  Responsibility  Beer


As each layer came off,

I beseeched the trustee

Of my dignity;

But she split

And left me in a grave state

Of abandon.

This was so out of habit for her

I just carried on –

Relishing the sudden lack

Of judicial input.

I decided neither of us

Would admit to guilt;

But soldier on and swear to

Responsibility lying

Solely with the beer…


I wonder how the above situation turned out, and whether the speaker regretted anything the next day 😉 what do you think she got up to?!


[Click here for the rest of the posts about our Skye holiday]

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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Sedate? (Skye Posts III)

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Skye Posts No Comments »


I got some good ‘holiday’ words today – and I wrote a holiday poem!





Watch  Rest  Boot  Meaty  Birds  Sedate  Curly  Rapid  Handsome


I have time, here.

I can people- and boat-watch,

Rest while my mind

Kicks off each boot;

Tackles meaty topics

Surrounded by the cry of birds.


Some may call this sedate,

But I call it life affirming…


(The life inside of me

That doesn’t sit well

With curly-haired shenanigans,

Rapid-fire questions,

And that melting kind of handsome

I fall ‘victim’ to as ‘mum’)


We were on the beach at Elgol today, but it was not sunny until we came home 😉 there was also a lot of horse poop about, which we found strange as it is a shore full of large pebbles.  Navigating through the poop and uneven stones was…challenging…with our boys!

I nearly fell so many times I was beginning to understand why the horses’ bowels may have been so overactive…

Tricky tricky…

There was beautiful scenery on the drive there and, although the sky was moody, the shoreline was pretty impressive, too! The boys liked poking about in the couple of pools that were there, and searching for fossils that we had read we might find, but didn’t discover anything too interesting. 

Youngest did pick up a (thankfully clean!) heart-shaped pebble, however, and also pointed out a much larger one as well.  He’s good at seeing hearts in unexpected places!

We took a seat up on the rocks at the far end of the beach, but things went sour from there, as we had to pick our way back to the car – Youngest was tired and stumbling, while Eldest was impatient and not inclined to look where he was putting his feet…

Upsa-daisy, baby!

We left via a short detour to a cafe to find toilets, and Eldest and Hubby went and stocked up at Co-op while Youngest and I had a wee nap in the car.  I didn’t wake up until we were at the cottage!  I can’t usually sleep in awkward places.

If you look closely, there are SHEEP on this beach 😉

The sun had come out by that point, so I sat outside at the picnic table in the cottage garden for an hour or so, taking in the sea views, writing my poem, and letting my mind come up with lots of different ideas for future works 😊  Hubby took a sneaky photo or two.  I was wearing Eldest’s Spiderman cap (because Youngest’s Thomas the Tank Engine one didn’t fit, plus black went with my top, of course). 

Hard at work 😉

The boys were in a grumpy lazy mood, and were watching YouTube and playing free games on the tablet in the downstairs bedroom (and intermittently exclaiming over any cool stuff they saw out of the window) within earshot of hubby; who was scribbling song lyrics in his notebook.  Happy us 😉

After a yummy dinner of beef wraps (made by Hubby) the adults played a game of chess to introduce the rules to the kids for the first time.  I *won, but I made some moves I was kicking myself for, as it is really hard to think ahead when little inquisitive fingers keep poking the pieces about!



This looks tricky!


Aaaand she’s off for her victory lap around the kitchen!! (*We were playing that the king can’t take in check, as that was how I always played as a kid.  But according to the internet this is wrong.  Sorry Hubby…!)

The boys then played draughts against each other.  Eldest won and was very happy, and Youngest was grinning just because he got to participate, bless him.  He does love a board game!

I downloaded the day’s photos and did some bloggy stuff while Hubster got the kids bathed and suppered.  I then cuddled and read with the boys, snuggled up in their double bed.  Youngest loves having his big bro in the room with him, and Eldest said Youngest is: “my cutie-heady-hot-water-bottle-dog”.  Brotherly love, eh?! 😊

Hubby, meanwhile, cast a line off the pier near the cottage.  He caught a nice long bit of seaweed.  After our supper, Hubby went out for a wander and met a big toad ambling near our picnic table. He then went to explore the other side of the harbour for the first time, and took some lovely photos. (Hubby, not the toad).

I have stayed up writing into the early hours again, but it is so nice to sit at this window and look out on the harbour! 

I could never snap enough pictures of the light at different times of day here.  I feel like one of those property experts, taking in how the rooms change mood subtly depending on what the sky is doing.  I really love this cottage!

Sunset and wine, bliss!


[Click here for the rest of the posts about our Skye holiday]


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Achingly Good Fun (Skye Posts II)

Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry, Skye Posts No Comments »


First real day of our holiday, and the Jimpix generator has to get in on the act!!  How do you like this selection?!

I could not find any search entries for ‘mingdom’, but the Urban Dictionary has many a definition for ‘ming’.  The meaning I attribute to it regularly (probably because I’m Scottish?) is: yucky. So, I decided that a ‘mingdom’ was like a rather disgusting kingdom for the purposes of my poem. 😉

The other word that I did not recognize in tonight’s mix was ‘wackets’.  Again, there were no proper search results, only these…which got me thinking…

Youngest picked Green Eggs and Ham to accompany The Rubabdub Mystery in the toybox for this holiday; and Eldest read it to him in the livingroom yesterday evening, while Hubby and I got a few things sorted.  We like a bit of Dr Seuss around here, and he handles words in an unconventional way – pretty damn near perfect for this mad generator and the fact we’re on our holibags, no?!


Aches  Stem  Quit  Mingdom  Levitate  Ale  Chickenpox  Wackets  Hotdog


There are aches

And sometimes pains,

That stem from too much fun and games;

If you don’t quit

You might regret it.

(Although, I wouldn’t really sweat it

Because now, when you are young,

There is not much pain in fun;

Just when you’re adult

And you’ve lost some

Of your capacity

For Mingdom)


When you no longer think dirt

Is fascinating –

THEN you’ll hurt;

If you want to levitate

Over grubby tiles

And hate

To be disturbed from your ale

To count Jim’s chickenpox,

And fail

To see the Wackets in your jackets

(Or the Zug inside your mug)


If a hotdog’s not fab food

Then (let it be understood)

Next day: you might be SORE

Or even see fun as a chore!

So don’t get uppity

Or grow fast –

Permit this ‘childish’ stuff to last!


‘Cos to creak and moan is AWFUL

(In fact, it should be made unlawful…)


HeeHee, that felt good to write 😉

The kids were a force to be reckoned with this morning, waking up around 7.30am after their late night, then careering around the house shouting their heads off.  There are lots of lovely lamps and big breakable ornaments here (not things we have out at home!) so Hubby took the boys away to look at boats around 9am, and let me get showered and figure out a few bits and bobs before our main trip of the day.

Mad about the buoy…

We decided to check out Armadale Castle, and paid our £20-odd to get us into the grounds, before rounding the corner and discovering there were signs asserting that we weren’t actually able to explore the castle due to it being unsafe.  Our boys were not too happy with that (!) but we took some photos outside it and wandered a bit.


Follow meeee, I know the way!

Eldest saw a steep path that he wanted to follow, but Youngest sensed that it may be a long walk, so asked to turn around.  Hubby elected to go to the estate’s museum with Youngest, and I embarked upon a magical mystery tour with Eldest (first swapping phones with Hubby as my photo storage was full!)

We had been given a map of the grounds for each child upon arrival, so Eldest strode ahead confidently, telling me he was sure it wasn’t a dead end.  We arrived at a gate, but it was easily negotiated, and another sign informed us that we had embarked upon the ‘Blue Trail’; which ominously continued outside the bounds of Eldest’s charted territory…

We went up a muddy path through woodland, buoyed by the promise of ‘viewpoints’.  The path levelled after a while, and Eldest was a bit disappointed because he thought he’d be getting “really high so I can see everything!” We came out in a patch where the trees had all been felled, and there was a fork in the path which made us a smidge nervous, but we went over a little bridge (and looked at the place where three sheep had suddenly shot out, much to Eldest’s amusement) and saw another post telling us we were still on the blue trail 😉

Our perseverance was rewarded with a gorgeous view a minute later.  Eldest took many photos, but this is the most flattering to both me and the scenery…the wind keeps my look interesting, don’tcha think?!

We were still off grid but trusting that the path would head us back to the castle grounds at some point.  We had been walking for a good half hour by now, and it was trying to rain on us.  We forged ahead for a while, but came out at a road that didn’t indicate where the blue trail continued, but heralded the start of the ‘Red Trail’, which that sign near the gate had warned was pretty long and uphill!! I beseeched Eldest to retrace our steps, and luckily he agreed (after asking why going the other way, with signs indicating it was a clay pigeon shooting range, probably wasn’t that clever…)

(Yes, I had to explain what clay pigeons were, and why people hate them enough to kill them).

I was painfully aware that Hubby had the ‘essentials’ rucksack (also still referred to as ‘The Change Bag’, as it has a wardrobe or two in there) so we were alone without food, water, wipes or spare socks.  Scary.

Following Eldest, back through the Fuschia.

Hubby had also phoned us with a rather distraught Youngest in the background, wanting to know what our ETA was on getting back to them.  Luckily Eldest was on a mission to return quickly, and has developed a great sense of direction.  I was impressed that he could meld talk of asteroids hitting Earth, his beloved ‘motorbike game’ and  YouTube observations with his explanations of how he knew we were taking the right paths back.  I got lots of random-onslaught cuddles too, which are always welcome!

We all drove home and had an extremely late lunch in the cottage.  The boys and Hubby then watched Federer win Wimbledon.  There was cheering.


Ooooh the serious nature of board games…

We had a kind of spaghetti bolognaise instead of chilli for our Saturday meal, me trying not to let the kids ruin the kitchen chairs with saucy goodness.  When the plates were cleared, Hubby and I taught the sproggies The Rules of Draughts.  Youngest, in particular, took it in very well. We have decided to leave the complexities of chess to another day, but the boys are already looking forward to it!

They were too tired for their chapter again tonight, but we did sing the ‘I love your eyes song’ at Youngest’s request (we substitute ‘love’ for ‘like’), before our Ten Elephant Cuddles.

It’s just occurred to me that I haven’t yet taken a photo of the brilliant colouring in Youngest did for us at the museum, so I’ll try and get that rectified tomorrow.  For now though, I’m going to sign off and go get tea and cake again.

It’s a harsh, cruel life 😉


[Click here for the rest of the posts about our Skye holiday]


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!


Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry No Comments »


Reaction  Enemy  Dragon  Thinker  Commitment  Estimate  Spend  Drown


I love watching

Every reaction

As I become

Your un-enemy:

Less dragon

Than creative co-thinker.


I love your commitment:

How you estimate

Then adapt your play

When it needs tweaked –

Start a new storyline;

Introduce a new character.


I always wish I could spend

This precious time

When we habitually drown

In routines that bind.


The feeling is leaving my calf,

But our hearts are truly alive.


Eldest is very very glad to have the next 48 days to not attend school.  He has worked very hard all year, and earned a glowing report, but it is clear to all of us that he needs a rest.  (Well, as much as our whirlwind questioner ever rests!)

It has been hard seeing him flagging, but I think we are beginning to turn a corner.  We wrote our lists on Sunday, outlining all the activities we were hoping to incorporate on this holiday, as a family as well as individually.  Lovely things like beach trips and castle explorations, along with swimming and eating out, feature prominently – but both boys also insisted that ‘cuddle buddles’ be added, as well 😀

This week has been very much a ‘decompression’ week, where the weather has not been spectacular and the kids have wanted to stay close to home, so we have: pored over block-structures, explored our book collection a bit (haven’t unearthed our missing FFs, yet), written a story, drawn things, done some numberwork with playing cards, danced about like loonies, dressed up, had a fashion parade while choosing which (everyday) clothes were too small and which ones the boys liked from the next size up…etc etc.

I do love being able to ‘slow down’ and sit beside the boys, have tickling sprees, sprawl on the couch or rejoice with them when they win enough coins to acquire new wheels in the ‘motorbike game’ they can’t stop talking about 😉

The crazy cheek and nonsense will find its own level as the holidays progress, I can already see the hugs increasing and the kind deeds and words coming back between the boys.

If you have kids on their holidays, how is it all going for you, so far?


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!



Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 4 Comments »


Quiet  Sky  Range  Soothe  Ossified  Floor  Mute  Demonic  Disturbed


Today I looked to the quiet sky

Watched puffy white messengers

Range across its expanse

At a pace set to soothe my mind.


I read to cuddly children –

On a bed adorned with yellow men –

Of adults so ossified in their views

That it would floor the gentler parents among us.


In this old book of mine

There are passions, bade to stay mute;

Lest demonic, ingrained ‘truths’

Broke forth and disturbed newspaper reading, and tea…


We made the unfortunate discovery today that we do not appear to have the twelfth or thirteenth Famous Five installment in easy reach ☹ I was so sure I had the complete set?  I will have to get hubby at some point soon to check the garage for other book boxes, or again steel myself to putter about in the sliding wardrobe in Eldest’s room to see if they have been intermingled with the glut of other kid-tomes in there.  (That is always dangerous, because I keep discovering old favourites that need their covers stroked and illustrations flicked through…)

The boys were briefly bereft, but soon perked up when they realised just how many other Enid Blyton stories were hiding in the book box on top of Eldest’s ‘white wardrobe’! I began reading The Rat-a-tat Mystery to them, but it referred to an earlier book which we had also unearthed, so I read the first chapter of The Rub-a-dub Mystery  instead 😉

I felt instantly protective of poor Snubby: to think these guardians are his favourite ones to stay with…!  The way they speak of, and to, him – I cringe imagining how his other aunts and uncles must behave towards this orphaned boy!  No wonder he takes Loony with him everywhere, at least the dog loves him…

I decided to have a wee tap about, and discover how many books Blyton had actually written. I came across this page.  Can we say WOW?! The woman only lived for 71 years!  If we said she wrote for 50 of those years in total, that is still more than a book a month.  It’s the kind of statistic that makes writers want to quit before they start.

I’ve been writing for almost 34 years, and have only managed 2 books as a kid, and two-thirds of one as an adult… 😉

I then looked here, and it is staggering to see how much she contributed to other publications; and to learn that she also produced whole magazines of her own work…over 900 of them!!

With her being that prolific, it is easy to see why her family were torn over her image versus her reality.  It harkens back to what I was pondering yesterday (and explains why I am again going to have to backdate this post, as I sit still tapping it out after 1am; and can hear Youngest becoming unsettled in his room…!)

It was interesting to read this article, an interview with Blyton’s granddaughter, who has written a Noddy book.  It says she is guarded about her Grandmother, but is proud of her mother (Blyton’s younger daughter, Imogen) for writing A Childhood At Green Hedges challenging the cosy persona the books paint of Blyton.

The article asserts that the children of famous writers for young readers are seldom happy.  Thank goodness I’m not going down that road then, eh…?!

What’s your favourite Blyton novel or story?

I think I enjoyed the Wishing Chair collections best, but I loved the Malory Towers and St Clare’s books growing up, too – and I’m definitely not regretting going back through the Famous Five adventures with the kids…

I did have a lot of time on my hands at one point in life, it seems!


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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!



Finally Off The Hook…

Childhood, Parenting, Things I Made This Week No Comments »


How are you all? 

I know my posts have been erratic recently (I shall get the missing poems onto the screen in the next week or so) but hopefully you know that I have been thinking of you?!

The last few weeks of the Summer term always seem to be particularly frantic, and this year’s has been no exception 😉 but today was the last day…Yippeeeeeeeee!!

Can you BELIEVE that Eldest has finished primary 2 already, or that Youngest will be a preschooler come August?! What the flaming Nora happened there…?!

I have been very busy trying to complete the teacher gifts that I had negotiated with the boys.  I found this free crochet pattern on Ravelry for a pirate.  Eldest and I agreed that it was perfect, because his teacher this year had dressed as ‘Where’s Wally?’ for World Book Day, and then had adapted his outfit to fit with the Pirates vs Mermaids theme of their school Summer production 😉  I did not, however, fully appreciate how much time it would take me to make, nor how badly the kids would want extra cuddles this past week and use up most of my ‘free’ time…

I dutifully started crocheting on Saturday (the 24th) and worked on Eldest’s choice until Wednesday, when I decided to whip up Youngest’s gift (because I needed a change of project, and I knew it would only take me a couple of hours!)


Youngest had picked this pattern from the same blog as Rab the Rabbit, so I made sure that neither of the boys saw where the Toothfairy had got her inspiration…


Youngest was very taken with the monkey, and he enthusiastically helped me to squish the stuffing in, too.

His nursery Keyworker was chuffed with it, and I wrote in the card that Youngest wanted me to make a ‘mumma monkey’  because his Keyworker “works so hard and she’s kind to all the children” (bless him!) 😀

By bedtime last night, the pirate was legless (!) but getting there.  All the pieces had been crocheted, but I had had to tweak the wooden leg instructions, as it at first ended up too long.  Eldest had stuffed the finished piece nicely for me, however.

By about 11pm all was sewn up, and I am rather pleased with how he came out, given my need to quell the (usually rampant) perfectionism in order to meet my deadline! 

Both boys loved cradling him before they went in for their last day, and Eldest was quite sad that he had to say goodbye to his cuddly pal so I could wrap the figure in tissue paper!

Unfortunately I didn’t witness the unveiling of the pirate, but Eldest says that his teacher said “Thanks, I love it!” and remarked that the toy must have taken a while to make! It did take me a good 90 minutes to clear the coffee table of the crafting rubble that had been adorning it all week, whip the house back into some semblance of order; and vacuum up all those pesky fluffy bits of stray stuffing before my parents were due to visit us this afternoon… 😉

The fab thing about making Amigurumi toys is that each one comes out with its own wee character, and recipients know that you are also handing over time spent thinking about them.  The kids chose and helped to mould their gifts too, and I love that!

Even better, though, is the fact that it is officially the Summer Holidays now!!  7 weeks of no schoolrun madness, or having to stick to others’ routines 🙂

Happy, happy, happy!

I’ll leave you with the pictures that the boys drew for their teachers’ cards, I hope you have a great weekend lined up 😉

Youngest’s “Me dancing with poppies, on a rock”

Eldest’s “Pirate on a Beach, With Sand”



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Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!



Childhood, Parenting, Random poetry 2 Comments »


Today’s wee random word foray, to mark it being Fathers’ Day:


“Amongst many other things

He saves mummy’s bacon.

(That means he helps me out

When I’ve done something silly,

Or I am stuck on something)”


I saw a small chromatic shift

In hubby’s face

As Youngest was heard to blurt:

“And he makes good food,

And likes cud-a-win us!”


Our other, bigger, monkey

Frog-leapt from his seat

And hugged his Dad, forcefully.

All thunder-clouds vanished

As affection bloomed.


This cultural obsession we have

With naming days

To declare our feelings for people –

When, if we just looked,

Hourly evidence is everywhere.




Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

Copyright © 2017  Montaffera All Rights Reserved
Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!