Country hotel break in the Scottish Borders

From 31st October until 2nd November, my husband and I escaped the city for a short break in the Scottish Borders. We stayed in the Peebles Hydro hotel, which reminded us both of the hotel in The Shining (the way it looked outside, nothing scary!) and had the stunning view pictured above from the car park. Peebles and the surrounding area are completely beautiful, especially at this time of year.

It was wonderful to spend a couple of days together, doing very little, eating delicious food and relaxing. I’d hoped to be able to go for a bit of a walk in the forest but my health and the weather conspired against us, so we did some hardcore lounging around the hotel instead. Also, I tasted pumpkin spice Baileys for the first time and I cannot believe I managed to survive almost thirty-seven years without it in my life.

Because I get geeky about the weirdest things, I took pictures of the lamps in the hotel room. Seriously though, they were gorgeous, especially the Anglepoise desk lamp and table lamp. I have a bit of a thing for Anglepoise lamps but they’re a little out of my price range. If I ever come up with a legit reason to spend a couple of hundred pounds on a lamp, and a couple of hundred pounds to spend on a lamp, it’ll be one of those.

On the way home, we stopped at Neidpath Castle just outside Peebles. The forest there is stunning, so of course I took some pictures. Seeing all the different coloured leaves at this time of year makes me so happy.

And because I can’t go anywhere without taking close-up photos of tiny things, here are some gorgeous little pink flowers looking sweet in the sunshine 🙂

 


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Month in review: October 2017

Last time I did a month in review was July. I’d like to say there were deep and meaningful reasons for waiting until October to do the next one, but there weren’t – I just forgot. Now that I’m bullet journalling again, I’m hopefully going to get better at not forgetting things! On the subject of bullet journalling, I shared my November set-up, so I’ll talk about that again in a few weeks and let you know how it’s going.

October was the first full month of Silver the kitten living with us (and of course he has his own Instagram). Silver likes to paw at my phone and he even opened the Instagram app by himself so maybe he wanted to check out his profile.

Autumn is in full swing and everything looks super pretty at the moment, which is great for photography. I started to reclaim my yoga and meditation practice, and even got to be an existential horror superhero, thanks to my friend Laura (who is an amazing artist).

My biggest mission of the month was preparing for NaNoWriMo. I wrote about it at the start of the month and then again at the end of the month. I also spent a lot of time thinking about writing, especially the supportive online writing community I’ve found and the value of paying creators, and I wrote some poetry too.

With Samhain at the end of October, it’s the last month of my year and I love the feeling that something new and exciting is about to begin!

 


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Autumn garden photos

The garden looks so pretty at the moment. Because a lot of the plants weren’t introduced until quite recently, everything is still very much in its infancy but the details are gorgeous. I love how autumn brings such rich, beautiful colours. The leaves on the strawberry plants (second photo from the top) are one of my favourite things to look at right now.

These pictures were taken with my Sony Alpha a550 dSLR and apart from being cropped square, they haven’t been edited at all.

 


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Vikings and kittens (plus videos!)

The men in my life ❤

Also, a few quick clips of Silver’s first two weeks at home from my Instagram Story, and a very short video of him doing a back flip off the couch. Because the internet needs more kitten videos, right?

 


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Ten weeks old

Silver the kitten turned ten weeks old on Saturday! I’ve been busily preparing for NaNoWriMo 2017 and he’s been my little writing buddy. His contribution has mostly involved reminding me to take breaks by attacking my feet, but he’s trying very hard.

 


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The loss of a furry heartbeat

Shai, my beautiful kitty, died last week at the grand old age of seventeen.

She’d been with me longer than my husband has (I got her when I was nineteen and I got him a year later), but she was kind enough to allow him to move in with us and, after a few months, even let him sit in the front seat of the car. She was a good judge of character.

She lived in two countries, two cities, two houses and six flats, and travelled in four cars and a number of boats. She was a contrary beast and, as was perfectly fitting for her personality, she waited until I’d spent £20 on a bag of stupidly expensive cat food and then promptly bit the dust.

She was my familiar, my beloved monster and basically me in cat form. We’re devastated. There’s a big empty space in our home and our hearts. We watched the sunrise together one last time, sitting in the garden with Shai wrapped in a blanket on my lap, and it was beautiful ❤

Vets4Pets at Fort Kinnaird, Edinburgh, were, once again, absolutely incredible. I phoned half an hour before they opened (we’d been up all night) and we were able to bring her in immediately. She died peacefully in my arms just after 9am on 19th September.

 


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So I gave the cat a bath

Shai had managed to roll in her own vomit, cause she’s a disgusting beast sometimes, so I gave her a bath. She’s clean. The bathroom isn’t destroyed. We both lived to tell the tale. I’m counting this as a win.

If anyone else out there finds themselves needing to wash a cat, I’ve figured out how to do it. Obviously I can’t guarantee this will work for all cats, but it worked for mine.

I put a bit of warm water in the bath, then put the cat in the laundry basket and gently lowered her in. She was completely fine until she realised that she’d been tricked, but even then there was no fighting, just some annoyed noises. Keeping her in a laundry basket was at least a thousand times easier than keeping her in a bath with no other form of containment.

By the time I was rinsing her with the shower, she was happily purring. After I towel-dried her, I gave her some treats and catnip, so we’re still good (in spite of what her facial expression in the photo might suggest).

This has been a sort of public service announcement and also an excuse to share a picture of a soggy moggy 🙂

 


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