This Year’s Christmas Special

I’m going to be spending a week of the holidays in a cottage in the middle of nowhere with some of my favourite people.

I just want to say Merry, Merry and have a fun-filled and safe New Year!

I’ll be back the first week of January with happy adventures and hopefully heart-warming tales.

For now, I’ll leave you with these, my holiday favorites:

Nothing Says ‘I Love You’ Like WD-40

We went back to Glasgow last weekend to help Dad and Anne decorate their tree and see some friends.

The younger-than-us people sitting across from us on the train thought we were Mormon, because of Sarge’s beard.  We figured they meant Amish, but further figured they were too drunk to compare and contrast.  We arrived in Glasgow laughing and cold, with some doughnuts to test on my people.  The second batch looked more like doughnuts.  So much more that Sarge wanted me to get a picture of them.  I didn’t.

We got to the house and had doughnuts with eggnog.  And I actually got that warm feeling inside that meant the holidays had arrived in my heart and mind.   And maybe it meant I was a little tipsy, too.

We then decided to put the tree in the stand, and spent a lot of time and problem-solving skills trying to make it fit and not fall over.

‘If we wedge a door-stop in there, saw a bit off the end…’

Sarge volunteered to do the actual sawing, and ended up with a band-aid on his hand, after ‘grazing’ it.  I said his injury meant he had to repeat it next year.

For my part, I sat in the middle of the living room eating chocolate mints and saying, ‘No, it’s crooked…yes, it’s fine…no, it’s crooked again.’    I’m not the best person for the job.

When we went to bed, the tree was up.  Without decorations on it.  I wonder if naked Christmas trees will be a new family tradition.

The next morning, the gift I ordered for my Dad arrived.  Before we left, he asked to open it.

Glasgow Green on Saturday

On the way to meet friends at a coffee-shop, I took a picture of what the world looks like.  It’s one of my favourite shots of the year.

I then had hot chocolate at the coffee-shop and talked about the snow and other things with friends until it was time to get the train back to Edinburgh.  The train stopped, and we met friends at the pub, where I declared, ‘It’s too cold to snow tonight.’  I’m eating those words.

On Sunday, there was another snow dump on the way to the book-group.  Even though Invisible was my choice this month, all I remember saying at the meeting is, ‘I can’t feel my face.’

Sarge and I went to the shops after books and coffee and thawing out.  Christmas shopping that isn’t online might not be the best thing for even the strongest relationships.

‘Right, wanna break up?’ I asked.

‘WHAT?  No.’

I then realised what I’d said.

‘I meant, in the shop.  In the shop.  For shopping.  On second thought, let’s shop together.  Don’t go.’

I wanted to get something else for him in case the stuff I bought online and without misunderstandings didn’t arrive.  I told him to pick a DVD .  Because I didn’t want to break up in the shop.  Or  anywhere.  He picked something.  And his real gift arrived the next day.

That was the day my front wheels began to squeak and rebel against all the snow and salt they’ve had to contend with.  Beautiful and photogenic snow makes for angry wheels.

And Sarge came home with a can of WD-40, saying it was the least romantic gift he would ever give me.  It actually made me giddy.  Because nothing says ‘I love you’ like a can of WD-40.

A Do Not Want List For 2011

Stop sign
Image via Wikipedia

These are things I could do without next year.  Just for the record.

Insomnia/heartburn/bad stress.  Who needs that?  Even if it does mean blog posts can run through your head at four in the morning.

My internal Editor.  Shut up, seriously.  When in doubt, let it out.  Just do it.  Write it/say it/send it.  And do a little dance when you’re done.

Mail that consists only of bills.  See Item 1.  Anyone want a pen pal?

Fear of turning 30.  It’s happening in March.  If I was scared, I’d be screwed.  Considering that on any given day I feel 8, 19, or 83 and half years old, 30 is just a number.

Cabin fever.   Get out of the house.  Now.

Bad coffee.   I don’t have the time.

Out-of-Order signs on accessible toilets.  Or said toilets being used as supply cupboards.  Or no accessible toilet at all.  Because I don’t want to pee on the floor.

Living in a place called Procrasti Nation.  Do it today.  And then do something else tomorrow.

Unfinished/Neglected projects.  Do SOMETHING towards SOMETHING every day.

Scatterbrain Suzy:  Put your cards back in your damn wallet.  Put the phone back on charge.  Tape your keys to your head.  File your paperwork.  Don’t leave books in the fridge.  Throw stuff away.

Inspired by a Reverb10 prompt.


What’s on your Do Not Want list for next year?

Back-seat Baking: Cider Doughnuts

There is Christmas shopping to be done, but I didn’t want to go out on Saturday.  Strange, me not wanting to go out.  I embraced this feeling and spent time reading books and poems, sometimes aloud.

Sarge went out and came home with a haircut and a bottle of Kahlúa.  And ingredients for a Backseat Baking Adventure: Cider Doughnuts.

This is our own spin on the recipe, which I found via the lovely Emily Drinking Tea .

For our own spin, read: the use of alcoholic apple cider (Magner’s Irish Cider).

Sarge went out again at 7.30 at night to buy an electric mixer, as per the recipe.

What follows is a run-down of what your favourite couple did next:

Sarge:  Reduced generous cup (mug) of cider and gave the rest of the bottle to the writer in the house.  Left on hob for half an hour.

Sarge:  Followed recipe, whisked ingredients.   Waved whisk at girlfriend as proof of posh kitchen utensil ownership.

Lorna:  Ducked and dodged bits of batter.

Sarge:  Used electric mixer.  Spent extra time mixing because new mixer isn’t very good.  Worried slightly about burning smell from said mixer.

Sarge:  Added a pinch of cocoa the mix.

Sarge:  Rolled out dough on baking tray.  Then realised tray was too big for freezer.  Lost equivalent of one doughnut to bottom of freezer while trying to jam tray in.

Sarge:  Transferred dough to giant ice-cream tub and hoped that worked, too.  It did.

Lorna:  Hummed U Can’t Touch This for no apparent reason.

Sarge:  Made White Russians (Kahlúa over ice, with added vodka and fresh milk, finished with cinnamon.)  Turned pint glass into doughnut cutter.  Prepared to fry doughnuts in wok by making doughnut holes with spirit measurer, previously used in making of White Russians.

Lorna: Took pictures.  Hummed the theme to The Odd Couple, for a possibly apparent reason.

Sarge:  Filled the wok with oil and guestimated temperature.  Finally fried doughnuts.

Lorna and Sarge:  Watched The Big Lebowski with The Big White Russians while eating some of The Big Doughnuts.

Photographic Evidence:

I realise I didn’t do much except record the whole thing for posterity and provide the random soundtrack.

Good team-work again!

And the doughnuts were delicious!

Back To My Roots

I am a natural blonde.  No, really.  I have proof:


Little me with my Reading Face on. I still have the face.



It got lighter in the summer and darkened in the winter.  By the time I was eight it no longer changed with the seasons, no matter how much lemon juice my Nana squeezed on my head.  Maybe that’s why I felt such infinity with fish as a child.

My favourite doll was a redheaded kilt-wearing thing of beauty from the ‘International Collection’.  I wanted her hair.  When I was ten, I called my own hair ‘the definition of non-descript’.  The ‘blonder highlights’ my cousin put in when I was eleven just looked fake to me, and actually fried my hair.

I moved to Scotland and wanted red hair, wanted the hair my Grandma had in her graduation photo.  I’ve since been told that it was painted over using ‘artistic licence’.  But it was still my Holy Grail of Hair.  Grandma and my old kilted doll.

So began my relationship with the box/gloves/various hairdressers I really miss.

I’ve always liked the red side of the colour wheel.  Being red has always made me feel more confident.  If I needed a pick-me-up, I would make an appointment to ‘brighten up’.  Four hours later, I emerge from salon with hair that should come with a UV warning.

I’ve been every colour on the chart from chilli to plum and other food colourings, to ’54’ and ‘63’.  Like I said, red shades to me equalled confidence and brightness, easy laughter with an air of mystery.  It also meant £80 and four hours of salon-time every six weeks.  Or two boxes of store-bought colour, gloves, and the help of friends who now know my hair is indeed as thick and stubborn as it looks.

I’ve always thought the time and money and stories and blackmail photos were a good investment.

But I’ve forgotten what my actual colour is.  The one after the roots.  Sarge asked me once, and I couldn’t tell him.  And then I got curious.

And  so, I’ve let my hair go.  This may not be the time to do such a thing, with holiday photo opportunities around the corner.  I’ve decided I don’t care, and I don’t want to chop my hair off and make the roots less ‘noticeable’.  They’re my roots, I like them.

I think I should turn 30 knowing what colour my hair really is these days.  I can be confident and full of laughs no matter what my hair colour is.  However, considering I’ve just written a bunch of words about the state of my head for all to read, I should perhaps work on that air of mystery!