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    A Dunblane day - Jul 16th, 2016
    A couple of weeks ago, I visited The Kelpies with my friend Caroline, and we decided that we’d try to get together for some more summer outings this year. So today, we met up in Dunblane for lunch and a visit to the cathedral. And as it happens, it was a first for both of us. Yes, despite my friend living most of her life near Dunblane—and me living just down the road in Stirling for two years—neither of us had been to the cathedral before! [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...]

    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...]

    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...]

    Weekend jazz - Jul 19th, 2015
    The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival started on Friday, setting the tone (pun intended) for my weekend. I admit that the weekend has been slightly less active than originally planned, but the jazz quantities have been maintained, thanks to a well-stocked iPod. [more...]

    The jazz plan - Jul 9th, 2015
    As part of my plan to have more adventures—even if I have to have them alone—I picked up a programme for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. And I’ve marked some gigs I’m interested in attending. And I even added them to my calendar. Now, I just need to find the courage to actually go to the various shows on my own. [more...]

    A religious day in Glasgow - May 17th, 2015
    I went to Glasgow for a bit of museum-ing yesterday as part of my efforts to get out of the house a bit more. I didn’t have a real plan for my visit, but I expected that I would enjoy myself—and the day did not disappoint! [more...]

    Resetting routines - Apr 13th, 2015
    I spoke the other day about the higher-than-normal levels of personal stress I’m experiencing, and that I feel I need a break from my current way of life to re-set my soul. Part of the problem is that I’ve been unable (unwilling? unmotivated?) to create a routine over the past 18 months. [more...]

    Exhilarating sadness - Jul 3rd, 2014
    I was so excited when I saw the Saw Doctors were on tour in Scotland. Well, Anto and Leo, at least. I was even more excited when I found a couple of friends who wanted to go with me last night. [more...]

    An idiosyncratic IPA - May 10th, 2014
    Back in February I had the enjoyment of participating in a beer tasting to help Hot Rum Cow pick a special brew. And two days ago, I got to attend the party that launched the winning brew into the public sphere. (Yay!) [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    A little bit of soul - Dec 14th, 2013
    When my friend first invited me to join her for the Edinburgh’s Got Soul concert at The Queen's Hall, I really only agreed because it was a great excuse to see my friend—and because my late husband always said you should never turn down an opportunity to see a live music performance. [more...]

    Roca and rattlesnakes - Oct 22nd, 2013
    Today was a bit of a hodgepodge day that consisted of shopping, tourist-ing, and panic attacks. But there were no rattlesnakes. Well, at least not ones I saw. [more...]

    Redneck? Yes. - Sep 15th, 2013
    I spent yesterday truly remembering my childhood and the joys of growing up redneck. And it was great. Well, except for the literal red neck that I developed from the blazing hot sun! [more...]

    The radio star - Sep 13th, 2013
    Today I got to play on the air with Steve and Rob at KXLE Radio—the best country station in all the land! It was such a blast, but it made me realise just how hard the job of DJ is. [more...]

    Running with music - Mar 15th, 2013
    There was an interesting piece in The Guardian’s Running Blog yesterday about running with music. The post offered insights from two runners—a pro-music runner and a no-music runner—and it got me thinking about how my own stance has changed over the years. (Just as the no-music runner’s did, only in reverse.) [more...]

    So long, 2012! - Dec 31st, 2012
    If I am honest, I would have to say that 2012 has been a pretty unhappy year. I think it’s been even worse because I had such high hopes for it; I suppose that hoping for happiness only served to set me up for greater disappointments. [more...]

    Sing a song - Aug 3rd, 2012
    For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved to sing—or hum or whistle or la-de-da. Now, I’m not saying I’m any good at it, I’m just saying I love to do it. And, often, I find myself doing it without even thinking about it. Yes, I just break out into a tune. (In a very out-of-tune kind of way.) [more...]

    Big noise means big fun - Jun 21st, 2012
    I had big fun tonight at The Big Noise’s Big Concert in Raploch. OK, I got wet and cold because it is summer time in Scotland and that means wind and rain—I mean really, really wet. But the music more than made up for the weather. [more...]

    Freedom of the City - Mar 10th, 2012
    My day started out pretty lazy and I didn’t have plans of leaving the flat until early afternoon. But then I learned that there was a military pipe and drum band making their way through town. Which meant that I needed to get dressed and get a move on my day. And I’m so glad that I did! [more...]

    YouTube trails - Mar 3rd, 2012
    I decided to spend the day on the couch in an effort to rid myself of my latest cold. (Two colds since the New Year? Well that totally sucks!) [more...]

    Random thoughts: Simple pleasures - Feb 26th, 2012
    Random thoughts—Week 3: List 31 simple pleasures; pick one and write about it. Last year I was challenged to write a list of 30 things that made me smile and I imagine that this list may include a few duplicates, but I will try to keep those to a minimum. [more...]

    Red and rosé - Feb 1st, 2012
    It took a while to convince myself to get out of bed today. I mean, a long while—it was nearly noon by the time I decided to emerge from under my duvet. At first, I wondered if I would spend the day inside. Not necessarily sulking, but sitting around doing nothing. [more...]

    Substitutiary locomotion - Dec 29th, 2011
    Back in the day, kids’ movies were pretty gosh-darn awesome. So much so that (I think) they’ve survived the test of time. Movies like Pete’s Dragon (one that my sister and her kids watch regularly) and all of the Hayley Mills movies. [more...]

    A lesson in carols - Dec 24th, 2011
    Being a guest in someone’s home at Christmas means the joy of participating in the traditions of the family. It’s a chance to experience new things and to learn new lessons. In fact, today’s tradition shared was a lesson, indeed. A lesson in carols, that is. [more...]

    Minor chord - Nov 11th, 2011
    I love a good minor chord. I love minor keys and minor scales. I love a bit of musical dissonance. Unexpected notes; unexpected lyrics. They’re wonderful to me. [more...]

    Music to launder money by - Oct 18th, 2011
    There’s an ice cream van that comes around the neighbourhood most evenings around 6:30. When I first heard the magical music, I smiled as I realised that I could grab my money and run down to buy a frozen treat if I wanted. [more...]

    Fun with maths - Aug 4th, 2011
    [Please note that the ‘S’ at the end of maths was intentional, and not an error. It’s part of my attempt to use that funny British English stuff, since that’s (almost) home. However, I’m not quite ready to add the ‘S’ to words such as toward, forward, and backward. [more...]

    So, I made you a mixed tape - Jul 13th, 2011
    About two months ago I wrote about how distraught and heartbroken I was over the apparent loss of my beloved first (and only) mixed tape (CD) that Paul made me shortly before we got married. I was really starting to lose all hope of ever finding it, but then it happened—I found it! [more...]

    The last long weekend - Jul 4th, 2011
    I’m in the homeland enjoying a four-day weekend before the start of my final (three-day) work week. And as it happens to be Pioneer Days Weekend (in celebration of Independence Day) there is lots going on! [more...]

    Music lessons; take three - Jun 19th, 2011
    When my foster daughter first came to stay with me, we fell into a habit of listening to the radio on the drives to and from town, about 30 miles away. We both liked country, so it worked for us. Then in the evenings I would put some jazz or a bit of Christy Moore or Mary Black on the Bose. [more...]

    Pieces of noon - Jun 8th, 2011
    Once again, I’ve become lax in my efforts to reclaim my lunch hour. In fact, the last time I made a deliberate effort to do so was back in March! OK, in fairness I have taken a couple of lunch-time trips to Moscow for optical appointments but that’s just not the same. But I digress… [more...]

    Music lessons; take two - May 29th, 2011
    Back in April I took Paul’s record collection and a turntable to my niece, Flik. This was a much loved gift and she’s since purchased a few new (old) records to add to the collection. Unfortunately, this left her 12-year-old brother, Haden, feeling a bit left out. [more...]

    Lost - May 18th, 2011
    Last month I decided to write a blog post about the one and only “mixed tape” that was ever made for me. Well, I say mixed tape but it was actually a CD; it was titled “So, I Made You A Mixed Tape” and was a gift from Paul a few months before our wedding. [more...]

    Music lessons - Apr 10th, 2011
    It was about a year ago when I first loaded music onto my niece’s iPod. Her mom didn’t (and still doesn’t) have iTunes so her only music was from my collection; which meant her Uncle Paul’s collection, too. We randomly loaded as much music on as would fit and I told her to let me know what she liked and didn’t like and the next time she came to visit we could be pickier about how to use her 8GB of space. [more...]

    Catch a falling star - Feb 9th, 2011
    I was standing in the kitchen making dinner when my foster daughter asked me if I’d ever heard the song “Catch a Grenade” which prompted me to ask if it went something like this. [more...]

    Challenging music - Feb 8th, 2011
    Over the summer, my friend set a challenge to listen to all of her iPod’s music collection alphabetically. A through Z; every song. Every. Last. Song. [more...]

    La-de-da - Feb 2nd, 2011
    Don’t you love it when you’re sitting there minding your own business and all of the sudden—completely out of the blue—an old camp song pops into your head? [more...]

    I miss dinner parties - Dec 20th, 2010
    Shortly after we got married Paul and I started a new tradition of monthly dinner parties. Parties to which we were the only guests. It began with Paul’s birthday when I asked where he wanted to go for dinner. And he requested a five-course meal at home. [more...]

    Happy 235th birthday, USMC! - Nov 10th, 2010
    Since 1775, the United States Marine Corps has been winning battles and defending our nation. On what marks the 235th birthday of the Corps, I want to say that I am proud to be the daughter of two amazing Marines. [more...]

    Just a doodlin’ - Nov 5th, 2010
    I love to doodle. So today, as I sat waiting for a meeting that took forever to get started, I found myself doodling a bit. The meeting’s theme of social media use seems to have come across in my doodle, too. [more...]

    Donald, where’s yer troosers? - Oct 16th, 2010
    I woke up yesterday morning with “Caledonia” going through my head so decided to grab my “The Best Scottish Album in the World…Ever” CD to listen to on the 30-minute drive to town. The kid wasn’t too keen on the departure from our normal car music—the local country western station—so I played a song I thought she’d like (after listening to Caledonia twice, of course). [more...]

    My favourite things - Sep 28th, 2010
    As part of my effort to take back my lunch time, I’ve spent today’s lunch break composing a little ditty on my laptop just for my awesome readers; who are also some of my favourite things. (Yay! for awesome readers! And yay! for reclaimed lunch breaks. And yay! for whatever else you want to celebrate today!) [more...]

    Remember yesterday - Aug 20th, 2010
    Oh yeah, I’m totally remembering yesterday* today. It started with a text message from my 13-year-old niece who has found that she loves my music collection. Her text was letting me know that one of her new-found songs from my past put her ‘in high spirits’. The song was Good Love by Poison. [more...]

    Running commentary - Aug 8th, 2010
    When I run I think. Even when I’m listening to my iPod, my mind is racing through one thought after another. It jumps from here to there with silly randomness. I can’t control it; I’ve tried. But I suppose that it does tell a lot about the sorts of things that weigh on my mind... [more...]

    A nice cuppa tea and a sit down - Aug 4th, 2010
    When I got home from work today, I realized that I’ve not enjoyed a nice cuppa tea and a sit down after work since my last work day before Paul died. And I realized that I sort of missed that little bit of down time between arriving home from the office and making dinner. [more...]

    Cutting the cord - Jul 26th, 2010
    I am cutting the cord. Or rather, I am cutting the cable. I’m not replacing cable with satellite and in my rural neck of the woods there is no such thing as aerial reception. So, basically, no more television for this gal! [more...]

    Spare change - Jul 25th, 2010
    Faithful readers of Just Frances may recall that I blogged about my spare change about four months ago. They may also recall me blogging about my inability to complete simple tasks these days. So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I never did get around to cashing in those coins to buy some fantastically-wonderful, unneeded thing. [more...]

    Pomplamoose - Jul 21st, 2010
    A few months ago I had a great conversation about music with a perfect stranger. It seems we both liked the same sorts of random bits of everything, but have a soft spot for slightly off-the-wall stuff. After that first (and only) meeting, he started to send very random emails with links to other obscure(ish) bands that he thought I might like. [more...]

    Building my library - Jul 18th, 2010
    I posted a while back about my mission to expand my incredibly eclectic music collection, with the goal to fill my iPod Classic to its capacity of 40,000 songs. Since then, I’ve purchased a few CDs and have borrowed CDs from various family and friends. [more...]

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