Just Frances

Made with 100% pure awesomeness.

Archive

    Loading

    April flowers - Apr 26th, 2016
    Another year has passed since my beloved Paul died. And so, another year has been spent making the journey to lay flowers on his grave. I’d like to say that it gets easier with each passing year but it doesn’t. I’m just used to it now; I’m just (mostly) prepared for the waves of emotion that take over. [more...]

    An Edinburgh non-starter - Apr 24th, 2016
    With five weeks to go until the Edinburgh Half Marathon, I’ve realised that it’s time for me to be honest about my ability to participate. And, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t think it would be wise for me to attempt it… even though there’s a stubborn voice in my head telling me to risk it. [more...]

    Normal kidneys - Apr 9th, 2016
    I had my annual kidney check-up a couple of days ago to see how Bob and Dave are coping with their inherited polycystic kidney disease. And I am very pleased to say that my kidneys are working well. As I’ve said before, I am always a bit nervous when I go for these check-ups because I know that it won’t be like this forever; I know that one day I will be told Bob and Dave are too unwell to keep the rest of me well. [more...]

    The road to recovery - Apr 4th, 2016
    It’s been more than three weeks since I was first stricken with a nasty little virus, and I am still on the road to recovery. I expect it will be a long road, but I’m hoping it’s not too long! After all, I have too many lovely spring-time plans to be laid up half-dead for much longer! [more...]

    An Easter return - Mar 27th, 2016
    Wow! What a madcap, crazy month it’s been! But I’m back now; I have returned! And on Easter, no less. Not that my return is as wonderful and worthy of my Saviour’s return … but I’m not one to let a funny (inappropriately funny?) link go un-joked about. [more...]

    A funny(ish) Frances - Feb 28th, 2016
    Like many people, I fancy myself a bit of a comedienne. I like to crack jokes and I regularly have episodes of SUBS syndrome that I just can’t control. I’m not suggesting that I am the funniest woman in the world, of course, it’s just that I can’t resist a (bad) joke. In fact, if it weren’t for bad jokes, I wouldn’t have any to tell! [more...]

    Conquering the law - Feb 21st, 2016
    I arrived in North Berwick yesterday for my birthday weekend, with a plan to conquer The Law as part of my visit. And since yesterday was spent exploring Tantallon Castle and the coast, today was the day to climb the hill! [more...]

    The answer to life, the universe, and everything - Feb 21st, 2016
    Today is a special day in my life. Today is the day I become the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Yes, today I am 42! [more...]

    Tantallon to end - Feb 20th, 2016
    Today is the start of my birthday weekend, and my last day as a 41-year-old woman. So to celebrate, I’ve taken myself away for the weekend. Not far—just to North Berwick. But it’s a nice little village that I’ve been meaning to explore for a long time, so my birthday was a good excuse to do that. [more...]

    Dilapidated beauty - Feb 17th, 2016
    With my birthday just around the corner, I am more aware than normal that I am getting older. I am ageing; I am becoming more and more dilapidated as time goes by. I’m not upset about it, I’m just more aware. And, I suppose, I’m a bit wistful. [more...]

    Defining happiness - Feb 16th, 2016
    As I (slowly) make my way through Tal Ben-Shahar’s book “Happier”, I am faced with questions of just what happiness is. I know that I want happiness; I hope for happiness; I pray for happiness. But what is happiness? Is it as simple as being happy for a moment in time? Is it a long-term state of happy emotion? Or is it something else altogether? [more...]

    Caching Oban - Feb 14th, 2016
    The first time I was in Oban was for a quick lunch stop as part of a bus tour with my best friend, Rachel, when she came to visit me way back in 2002. I’ve been meaning to return for a while now, so when my friend asked if I was up for a weekend break to Oban I couldn’t say no! After all, there were a few fun geocaches I was hoping to find! [more...]

    A letter challenge - Jan 31st, 2016
    It’s that time of year again, so dust off your quills, fill up your ink wells, and grab your parchment—or at the very least, find a Bic and a bit of loose-leaf! Why? Because the annual “A Month of Letters” challenge starts tomorrow! [more...]

    Affordable vintage - Jan 30th, 2016
    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was in Edinburgh today, so I went out with my lovely friend, Susan, to find some affordable vintage flare. I had hoped to find some fabulous 1950s tea dresses or some fantastic handkerchiefs, but those things didn’t seem to be in ready supply. But I did manage to find a few lovelies to bring home! [more...]

    Happy hills - Jan 24th, 2016
    One of my hopes for 2016 is that I can keep myself motivated. Motivate to succeed. Motivated to stay active. Motivated to work harder. Motivated to accomplish many, many goals. And motivated to be happy. [more...]

    Happy milestones [or not] - Jan 21st, 2016
    I have decided to finally read “Happier” by Tal Ben-Shahar. It’s a book I acquired nearly two years ago, but I’ve never quite got around to really reading it. Instead, I’ve just flipped through the pages from time-to-time. I think the reason I’ve never really read it is that I have always felt odd passing by the self-evaluations (called “time-ins”) and personal exercises. [more...]

    A winning week! - Jan 15th, 2016
    I attended the International Data and Information Management Conference in Loughborough (England) this week. The conference was a great opportunity to meet with other information science researchers—and to present my own research. But it was also a great opportunity to win back some of my academic self-esteem and self-confidence. [more...]

    Hopeful butterflies - Jan 10th, 2016
    I want to fly. I want to soar into the sky and touch the Heavens. I want to reach all of my goals; I want to succeed! I know I have it in me, but I often allow myself to let my fears and insecurities take over, preventing me from spreading my wings; preventing me from realising success. [more...]

    Oh, great; a winter run! - Jan 9th, 2016
    Today was my first race of the year. My first run of the year, to be honest, because a chesty cold kept me away from my running shoes until now. And it was great. But it was cold. Like really, really cold. But then, it was the Great Winter Run, so I wasn’t exactly expecting a heatwave! And in fairness, it didn’t seem too terribly cold once I started running. [more...]

    Filters, finds, and falls - Jan 3rd, 2016
    I enjoyed a nice wee wander up to the filter beds near Glencorse Reservoir to find a geocache near a waterfall today. I even saw a filly along the way. As it happens, it was the first time I’ve left the house all year, and it really felt good to stretch my flexors! (I’ll leave the alliterations alone now.) [more...]

    2016 half goals - Jan 2nd, 2016
    Right. It’s a New Year and therefore time to state my new running goal. And for the first time in a long time, my goal doesn’t include a full marathon. It’s hard to say that, but I know it’s the right decision at this point in time. Especially because training for a full marathon really impedes my ability to hit my half marathon goals. [more...]

    Starting 2016 - Jan 1st, 2016
    I woke up this morning ready to start the New Year with hope and faith for a good 2016. Not with the naive notion that this will be the best year I’ve ever had, nor with the belief that it will be a year of nothing but joy and happiness. No, I don’t dream of a perfect year, as I know perfection is a myth. Instead, I simply dream of a year where I am more happy than sad; more healthy than ill; more productive than lazy; more optimistic than bleak. I pray for a year that starts and ends with laughter and friendship. [more...]

    Wrapping up 2015 - Dec 31st, 2015
    With 2015 quickly coming to an end, it’s time for a bit of reflection. And as I look back at my hopes for the year, I am pleased to say that I’ve succeed in all but one of my hopes—the desire to learn how to sew a skirt. But I didn’t even attempt that one, as I realised it isn’t a truly important goal for me. And so, I’m calling the year a success! [more...]

    Combing the Ayrshire coast - Dec 30th, 2015
    I spent the last three days beachcombing in Ayrshire with a friend and managed to find all sorts of cool things. (And, sadly, a cold!) Our walks took us north to Ardrossan and as far south as Culzean Castle. It was my first time exploring that area of Scotland, but I’m sure it won’t be my last! [more...]

    A selfie Christmas - Dec 25th, 2015
    Hello and merry Christmas to you all! As I mentioned the other day, I am spending my Christmas (mostly) alone—but I am doing so with new and old traditions to keep me company! [more...]

    The holiday hush - Dec 23rd, 2015
    The holidays are here again, and that means I’m facing an extended period of holiday hush. “Hush” because, like most years, I will be spending Christmas and New Year alone again*. Only this year, I’m going to work really hard at not being too hushed. [more...]

    Gastropod grief - Dec 17th, 2015
    It started a little over a year ago. Every few days, I would wake up and there would be faint, shimmering lines on the carpet in my bedroom—always along the path of my laptop’s power cord. My first thought was that maybe there had been an electromagnetic something-or-other that interacted with the man-made fibres in the carpets. I didn’t really give it much thought, especially as it wasn’t a daily occurrence. [more...]

    A quick hello - Dec 9th, 2015
    Hello, dear Just Frances readers! It’s been a while since I’ve shared a post so I thought I’d pop in and let everyone know I’m alive. And let you know that I’m struggling a bit… Not about anything “serious”, but rather about what to share. [more...]

    Edinburgh: A city in perpetual change - Nov 20th, 2015
    I spent last night getting lost in discussions about Edinburgh’s urban landscapes as part of a panel discussion called Lost+Found in Edinburgh: Our city today. The event was part of the Being Human Festival, a festival to celebrate the humanities, and was certainly a fun way to waste away a couple of hours in the middle of the week. [more...]

    Another year closer - Nov 16th, 2015
    Yesterday marked two years since I began my PhD studies. And that means I am another year closer to being Doctor Ryan. It’s a title I’ve longed for since I first began my bachelor’s degree all those years ago, and being this close to actually having it is pretty exciting! [more...]

    A historic half and half - Nov 15th, 2015
    I spent yesterday at the Holyrood Park Education Centre, getting educated on whisky and beer pairings as part of Historic Scotland’s inaugural “Half and Half” event. The afternoon’s class was put together by The Scotch Whisky Experience and Stewart’s Brewing, and was absolutely fantastic! [more...]

    A Wales of a day! - Nov 9th, 2015
    I’ve been down in England spending a few days with my brother-in-law, John, and on Saturday he suggested we drive across to Wales for a wee day of adventuring. And as I can’t resist a good adventure, I happily accepted the idea of a pilgrimage. [more...]

    That tatty old man - Nov 7th, 2015
    I went to a play with my brother-in-law, John, last night. He had sent a message a few days ago to say there was a play I might like to see on my visit, but that was all I knew. But I happily agreed to go along. After all, what fun is a long weekend in England if you don’t get out and enjoy the culture? [more...]

    Halloween brews - Nov 1st, 2015
    Yesterday was Halloween. And Halloween means playing dress up. It was also the Alloa Real Ale Festival. And that means drinking beer. And as I love dressing up for Halloween and drinking beer, I spent the day in costume at a beer festival. [more...]

    St Giles’ from above - Oct 23rd, 2015
    I felt the need for a bit of exploration this afternoon. The sky was bright and blue and there was only a mild nip in the air and I wanted to do something fun outside. And so, I decided to finally take advantage of the guided rooftop tours at St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile. [more...]

    A haunted tower? - Oct 18th, 2015
    I was invited to be someone’s guest for a wedding yesterday evening, and he suggested that I pick a castle (or something) for us to visit during the day. I opted for Huntingtower Castle near Perth, as I was very interested to see the painted ceiling, and Perth seemed like a convenient place to meet up. [more...]

    A day at Dirleton Castle - Oct 4th, 2015
    I spent yesterday exploring Dirleton Castle with a friend. It’s one of the nearby castles I’ve wanted to see for quite some time and I was so pleased to have someone to explore with who is just as silly as I am! We even managed a wee stop to see a few boats and gather some shells in Cockenzie. That last stop also counts as one of my stops along the Making Plans Goal of seeing those 14 amazing places near Edinburgh! [more...]

    Saving the best for last! - Sep 28th, 2015
    I ran my last Loch Ness Marathon yesterday. (Maybe.) And I accomplished a PB whilst doing it—which was totally unexpected. Even better, I am nowhere near as sore as I was the day after my first (and slowest) Loch Ness back in 2011. [more...]

    The love point - Sep 24th, 2015
    Once again, National Punctuation Day is upon us. And that means I am going to talk about one of my favourite things—punctuation! But I’m going to change things up this year by talking about punctuation as it (may) relate to love. Because we all need a bit of love (and punctuation) in our lives. [more...]

    Scottish half; take two - Sep 19th, 2015
    Today was my second time running the Scottish Half Marathon and my second half marathon of the month. Unfortunately, I was a bit slower than last year, but I did manage a better time than last weekend’s race. And with that, I only have one race to go for my September madness! [more...]

    Half BraemarAthon - Sep 13th, 2015
    My crazy month of races began today with the Braemar Half Marathon—after forgoing last weekend’s planned 10K in favour for a wee ride on the choo-choo train. I am a bit disappointed with my time, but as I went into the race with the plan to go slow and just finish, I’ll not complain too much. [more...]

    Choo-choo to Abbotsford - Sep 6th, 2015
    Today was opening day for the new Borders Railway between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. And as I am a bit of a train buff who enjoys being “first” to try new things, it made sense that I should make the journey. So that’s exactly what I did today: I rode the rails between Edinburgh and Tweedbank. Along with all the other train geeks in Scotland! [more...]

    A very a-peel-ing day - Sep 5th, 2015
    I was chatting with my friend Iris yesterday and learned that she’d never been to—or heard of!—Linlithgow. And as it’s one of my favourite places, I needed to remedy that. (Which also means I'm keeping up on my desire to be more adventuresome.) So we boarded a train this morning to make the 20-minute journey to the ancient royal burgh. Once there, we wandered around the Linlithgow Peel—with a wee stop off at St Michael’s Parish Church and Linlithgow Palace, of course. [more...]

    The king has left the building - Sep 1st, 2015
    Today should be my Uncle King’s 53rd birthday. Only he left this world for the glory of Heaven a few days ago. I knew it was coming, as did he. But that doesn’t make his exit any easier. And so here I am, wondering what to do with the birthday card I bought him; wondering what to do with all of these tears. [more...]

    Balancing lonely and love - Aug 15th, 2015
    Some days, I think about how lonely I am, and about how I want to find someone to share my life with. I think about how I want to find someone I can love, and who will love me back; about how I want to find someone who makes my heart sing with a joy so loud that it drowns out the loneliness. Only it’s not all that easy to find that person. If it were, I wouldn’t still be alone after more than six years of widowhood. [more...]

    The brew master - Aug 9th, 2015
    I love beer. But I bet you probably knew that by now. Especially if you follow me on Untappd. I also love cooking and making edibles from scratch. I love learning, too. And I really love a good adventure. So yesterday, I combined all of those loves together for one great make-your-own-beer adventure. [more...]

    From Roslyn to Roslin to Rosslyn - Aug 2nd, 2015
    I grew up a couple of miles down the road from Roslyn, Washington. So when I first moved to Edinburgh in 2001, I was excited to learn that there was another Roslin here in Scotland, on the outskirts of the city. And since beginning my PhD, I’ve been living on a rural estate south of the city, and just two miles down the road from—you guessed it!—the Scottish Roslin. [more...]

    Training month - Aug 1st, 2015
    As September is a month of races, I’ve decided that I should probably make August a month of training for races. And so, I’ve started the month off with a seven mile run and I’m looking forward to increasing my mileage throughout the month. [more...]

    Blue moon demands - Jul 31st, 2015
    I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my parents were really mean when I was growing up. As in they were so mean that they denied us sugary cereals and junk food. And if we got soda, we had to share a can. (See, I told you they were mean.) When we got special treats, or when we asked for special treats, we were told those things are allowed “once in a blue moon”. [more...]

    Over the Pentlands - Jul 30th, 2015
    Remember when I mentioned I am going to have more adventures? And that I am going to fill up my diary with all sorts of fun things? Well, today was one of those adventuresome days! Even better, I managed to visit two of the 14 places BuzzFeed says I should try to see this summer. (Yay!) [more...]

     1 2 3 >  Last ›