Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “nature”

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    It’s parliamentary, my dear - Oct 21st, 2014
    When I first arrived in Scotland in 2001, the new Scottish Parliament was quite new. In fact, they didn’t even have a permanent building! But finally, in 2004, the building was completed and the MSPs moved in. [more...]

    A day at the Kelvingrove - Oct 5th, 2014
    I spent yesterday in Glasgow visiting the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It’s one of those places I can return to over and over again. In fact, I’ve probably been there a dozen times over the last 12 years. I kind of feel like that’s not often enough, but as the friend I was with has only been twice in the same time span, I guess I’m doing OK. [more...]

    Perambulating in Perth - Sep 15th, 2014
    I had a wonderfully fun weekend in Perth, where I did a lot of perambulating. (But you could probably guess that from the title of this post.) A friend met me at the train station on Saturday, and then we made our way to St John’s Kirk before heading out for a nice meal. Then on Sunday, we wandered along the “William Souter Walk”. [more...]

    Inch by inch - May 18th, 2014
    I spent a wonderful day on Inchcolm Island, exploring the abbey and surrounding grounds. It was one of those happy days, despite there being a slight tug on my emotional heart strings. But I knew that would happen as the first (and last) time I was there was nearly 12 years ago with Paul. [more...]

    Where blooms the sweet bluebell - May 17th, 2014
    Today is the start of a four-day weekend for me so I’ve made a concerted effort to get out of the house so that I don’t spend the whole time hidden away in my room. So I asked my housemate if he was up for a wee walk somewhere. [more...]

    Retreating to nature - May 7th, 2014
    On the second day of the retreat, we had the morning free for activities before an afternoon of presentations. Once again, I was left solo on my activity choice because I didn’t fancy sailing or mountain biking, and it seemed no one else fancied a wee nature walk and exploration of an old burial ground. [more...]

    Retreat to the castle! - May 7th, 2014
    The first day at the retreat centre began just after lunch, and we were all given opportunities to participate in an activity prior to a short presentation before dinner. I wasn’t keen on the idea of playing on the water, so opted to take one of the bikes into town to check out the old ruins of Finlarig Castle. [more...]

    Castles in the glen - Mar 15th, 2014
    I’ve had yet another lovely day wandering around the Roslin area near my home, and am feeling energised with the switch from rainy winter weather to the crisp subtlety of spring. [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...]

    Glencorse Reservoir: A quick walk - Feb 2nd, 2014
    The weather wasn’t as wet and rainy and snowy as predicted, so I took advantage of the relatively blue skies and took a wee walk along the Glencorse Reservoir in the Pentland Hills. [more...]

    The way of the monks - Jan 2nd, 2014
    Another day, another ramble through the local environs. This time it was a 6k walk along the Monks’ Walk in the Pentland Hills near where I’m living on the outskirts of Edinburgh. [more...]

    Walking in the New Year - Jan 1st, 2014
    Ah, a new year has begun. It’s such a wonderful feeling—especially when you’re boring like I am and don’t imbibe in booze the night before. (I like to start the New Year sans hangover!) [more...]

    Franklin, my dear - Nov 8th, 2013
    It’s been two weeks since I attempted to visit Franklin Falls, and I am pleased to say that I finally made it. Yay! Of course, I’m also a bit embarrassed to say that missing it two weeks ago was an error caused by a lack of understanding (or maybe a lack of proper signage?). Boo! [more...]

    A dam sweet day - Oct 29th, 2013
    Another day, another road trip! This time it was the journey back from Okanogan County to the Homeland—with several stops along the way. [more...]

    Almost all mines - Oct 28th, 2013
    The last couple of days have been spent in Okanogan County visiting lots of awesome people. And lots of old mines. So, it’s been a pretty awesome couple of days. [more...]

    Railroads and Ramona - Oct 25th, 2013
    Today’s plan was easy: Wake up, drive to Franklin Falls for a gentle hike, then meet with my amazing friend, Ramona, for dinner. And I’m pleased to say that the day was a partial success! [more...]

    We blew it - Oct 24th, 2013
    Today was spent doing more touristy stuff with Mum and Dad. This time, over the Old and New Blewett Passes with a few stops along the way. [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...]

    Falling words - Sep 27th, 2013
    I went to Snoqualmie Falls on my way home from my Olympia/Portland journey and was amused when I noticed words embedded into the steps and sidewalk around the visitors’ centre. I couldn’t find anything about them on signs, so I don’t know if they are meant to form together into a poem, or if they’re meant to spark the imaginations of others—or if they’re just meant to be random falls-related words. [more...]

    Family, friends, and falls - Sep 27th, 2013
    Wow! What a busy week I've had. And—would you believe it from the title?—it was filled with family, friends, and (water)falls. For those who are following my Homeland Holidays, this update is for you! [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...]

    Bullets, bikes, and BBQ - Sep 11th, 2013
    Once again, it’s been a couple of busy days as I enjoy my lovely American holidays. I admit that yesterday began with a less-than-happy start as my stress levels got the best of me, but it improved drastically as the day went on. [more...]

    Old bikes and flowers - Jul 20th, 2013
    When the Stirling Smith announced that they were going to unveil their restored, 1930s ice cream bicycle, I marked my calendar and prayed for nice weather. I really wanted to see this groovy old ice cream cart up-close and in person, and the lure of free ice cream made it all that much better. [more...]

    The only lake - Jul 13th, 2013
    Did you know that there is only one lake in all of Scotland? I know that may be hard to believe, but it’s true. (There are, however, more than 31,000 lochs scattered about the country.) And did you know that in the middle of Scotland’s one-and-only lake is a wee island that houses an ancient priory ruin? [more...]

    Snail lessons - Jun 2nd, 2013
    I’ve spent the weekend out in the garden which has turned into quite the snail lesson for me. [more...]

    My garden - Jun 2nd, 2013
    For the last two weekends, I’ve been working in my garden trying to get it all pretty for the summer. Last weekend was my initial attack, pulling all of the things that I knew were weeds and trying to determine what was in each of the many pots scattered around the patio-style garden. [more...]

    Building bridges - Feb 19th, 2013
    On a ramble through the English countryside this past weekend with my brother-in-law and cousin (also in-law), we came across a bit of the trail where the path had eroded away by a stream, leaving a crevice 2-3 feet deep and 2-3 feet wide—but with very crumbling banks on either side. [more...]

    A day in Peebles - Jan 12th, 2013
    I am so totally exhausted. But I’m so glad for the exhaustion because I’ve had a great day out with a friend. [more...]

    Low, but lucky - Nov 15th, 2012
    I’ve been a bit low lately and reached out to a friend for a bit of company. When I’d first mentioned that I was stressed and needed to get out of the flat, I imagined that we’d meet up for a wee walk somewhere so that I had a bit of human interaction. [more...]

    Summer holidays - Jul 31st, 2012
    I don’t know if it’s fair to say that I’ve been on my summer holidays, since I’ve been an unemployed student for the last year+, but calling this past week my summer holidays is a great excuse to share a bit of Cliff Richard, so there you go! [more...]

    Escaping to the hermitage - Jul 28th, 2012
    Sometimes I wonder if I could become a reluctant hermit, living in my own little hermitage, hiding away from society, and sulking away my life one day at a time. But, thankfully, I have just enough of a desire for company to save myself from myself! [more...]

    Escaping to the hermitage - Jul 28th, 2012
    Gallery: I spent a lovely day in Perthshire visiting the Hermitage and Fish Ladder with my friend, John. Oh, and a couple of whisky distilleries, too! (Fun!) [more...]

    A poetic starter - Jul 25th, 2012
    Since I turned in my dissertation draft yesterday, I’ve decided that I am going to take a week’s holiday to rest and unwind before I have to start working on edits for the final version. So, in between now and July 31, I am on holiday! Which basically just means I’m going to go and do fun things for the next week. [more...]

    A door to nature - Jun 26th, 2012
    Over the past few months, I have realised just how much I miss having my very own front door; a door that I can open up to the great outdoors. [more...]

    Sunny days - May 23rd, 2012
    The sun is shining brightly in Scotland today. And I am so thankful for it because it’s made me realise how happy I am right now. [more...]

    Out of place - Mar 31st, 2012
    As I walked into town this afternoon, I noticed a dandelion growing in a wall along the pavement. It was sticking out brightly against the grey stone as if to say ‘Hello! I’m here! I belong!’ even though it wasn’t really meant to be there; even though it risked someone removing it or spraying it with deadly chemicals. [more...]

    Summer is near - Mar 27th, 2012
    Summer is near. Very, very, near. And that’s awesome because it means that my jacket is getting a break from service. [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...]

    Getting better - Jan 14th, 2012
    For a few days now, I’ve been feeling the dreaded claws of illness tightening their grip on my immune system. In fact, by yesterday I wondered if illness was winning, as I found myself suffering on the couch with a fever of 39.1°c (102+° f) and a niggly headache. [more...]

    The dark days - Dec 16th, 2011
    The dark days of winter are upon us. Oh yes, they really are. Even more so here in Scotland compared to my (only slightly) lower-latitude homeland. But those nine degrees don’t make a difference when you’re in the deep dark of winter. [more...]

    A modest proposal - Dec 8th, 2011
    Hey! Wanna know what I did today? (Of course you do!) Well, today I turned in my dissertation proposal for my Master of Letters in Media and Culture. And I’m pretty gosh-darned excited about it! [more...]

    Bit of a wander - Aug 30th, 2011
    Yesterday was a completely new experience for me: Walking through the English countryside. The walk was suggested by Paul’s cousin, Olwen, and I happily accepted the offer. Though if I’m honest, I didn’t really know what to expect for it! [more...]

    Robin Hood’s Bay Walk - Aug 30th, 2011
    I spent the day walking along an old rail bed in North Yorkshire and couldn’t help but take a load of photos so that Mom could see the old train tunnels and arches. [more...]

    Home away from home away from home - Aug 16th, 2011
    Today I left my new home in Stirling to take a train journey to Billingham, England—Paul’s hometown and home to some of my in-laws. My sister-in-law, Liz, and niece, Rachel, met me at the train station to bring me to my English ‘weekend’ home. [more...]

    The feathers - Aug 16th, 2011
    A couple of nights before we had services for Paul in England*, a woman I know told me a story about feathers. She said when angels pass by sometimes their feathers fall to the ground. And that our loved ones become our own angels when they die. [more...]

    At the beach: A holiday recap - Jul 25th, 2011
    I suppose it’s time for a holiday recap, since my Washington Coast holiday is over. So, here goes! [more...]

    Playing Make Believe - Jul 18th, 2011
    I met a make believe friend for the first time today in Seattle. Yay! What fun we had wandering around laughing and being silly! [more...]

    Schrodie lives!! - Jun 19th, 2011
    It was just before 4 a.m. when the screaming howls of cats outside my bedroom window woke me with a start. I ran toward the back door to rescue my cat, only on opening the door I heard the sounds of an animal running into the cedar trees. [more...]

    Horsin’ around - Jun 11th, 2011
    Like many girls her age, my foster daughter is a horse freak. I mean, she gets really, really, really, excited about the idea of horses. Me? I’m not really into them so much. I mean, I like them and all, but I don’t get excited about them. [more...]

    Final blooms - May 19th, 2011
    We moved into our house on May 15, 2008. About a week later, all of the pink tulips planted along the front side began to bloom. They were truly lovely and we enjoyed bringing them in to adorn the mantle. That autumn, we planted loads of yellow and red tulips to go along with the rest. [more...]

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