Monthly Archives: June 2012

REFEULING… Airstream trailer cafe at Jupiter Artland. Between rain showers, Jack was a great sport. Our shoes are still drying.


Greetings All!

I have now completed one (plus) year of blogging. This is so exciting. Here are some my favourite posts of the year.

June                       December

July                        January

August                    February

September               March

October                  April

November                May

And a preview of what’s to come- Olympic Torch, Chicago, Minnesota Stay at Home Mom on the Town, Vespa, John as a Dad (it is pretty sweet), Jack’s Edinburgh Adventures and finally- Ben’s Part-time Job… stay tuned.


You’ve got to love a post with a rhyme in the title.

This is a guest post. Buffy is on the road, OFFLINE, incommunicado, :X. She asked me to distract you from the void that appears when she doesn’t post.

Ceramics, pottery, clay it all comes down to this malleable and finite stuff that comes out of the ground and once were done with it and you cook it, really cook it, it’s basically stone and can last for ages. 

There’s something permanent about it that contrasts really well with it in it’s plastic state and it’s hella fun to get your hands dirty.

Back in the day, I did this at school, making ashtrays, always ashtrays, what do kids make now at school? Iphone caddies?

At school we had a teacher, Abdo Nagi, a Yemeni guy whose dad made wooden locks for a living (a dying craft right there) and got taken in by some British diplomats and ended up becoming a potter with a studio in the garden of his adopted British family and teaching us. He smiled a lot and brought a big lump of porcelain in for us. Nice guy. He taught me sgraffito which I loved. 

You can see some of his work here.

Flash forward to the present day, I took a ceramics course, but joined a bit late and my Lisa Bonnet-esque teacher would not let me have a go at the wheel in just the 5 sessions I had. So I dug out my knowledge of slab building. Score, slip, join, smooth repeat. The last session was a bit like watching a movie on the last day of school, but not as scary as watching the animatronic version of Lord of the Rings.

We tried Raku, which is fun and fast, which is unlike most ceramics, where the process is: wait a day for it to dry, glaze it, let that dry, wait for it to be fired next Tuesday, wait a day for the kiln to cool down, not for the impatient.

Raku is done in a dustbin with a canister of gas. When your pot is red hot and glowing from within you throw it into another bin full of sawdust… magic happens when the sawdust catches on fire. It cools down in 10 min and you place your work in a bucket of water. 

The smoke and flames do weird-crazy-cool stuff to the glazes. Herewith, the pictures.


Red hot


The end result

A.O… Doing her best impression of a sleeping Hamburgler. She is a cutie. More pictures to come when I am back.


On Saturday we participated in a 5km fun-run to support the community where Ben is a volunteer. We were greeted by rain and wind- but as we had committed, there was no backing out, at least according to Ben. 

We finished in about 25 minutes and waited to see Ben’s manger finish the run, then we headed out. Luckily Ben had the genius idea of using a City Club Car to get to and from the race. Nice job Ben!


Edinburgh has two seasons- June and the rest of the year.

There is no bad weather, just bad clothing.

We have been trying to not let the water get us down. And this weekend was a prime example (a three part posting).

We caught Toy Story 3 in St. Andrew’s Square- drizzly and chilly.

(Ben- “thank goodness for Nikwax”)

(Woody- looks so dry) 

(Under the poncho- Sperry’s so great for Edinburgh)

(Edinbrughers do not let the weather get them down, neither do we)

(Poncho fun- handed out at the cinema)

(An evil bear that smells like strawberries-Lotso the Bear)

The outdoor cinema was part of the Edinburgh Film Festival which officially kicks off on June 20. We had great plans to pop back to see some of the other films, but the constant rain did slightly dampen our spirits.


After reading 58 scholarship applications this weekend, I was struck by how much these youngsters have already done. The majority also have some lofty goals for themselves- I was inspired brought to giggles by some of the one liners in the essays. Here are a few:  

According to an ancient Chinese proverb, “If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity, grow people.”

“Being an extrovert and a visionary I am at my best when I am on a team and I tend to end up the leader.” 

“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth” – Thoreau

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

“My initial success of life was winning the highest degree in folk dancing in Istanbul.”

“Knowledge will remain with you wherever you go.”

“I am sure I will achieve my goals and contribute to the global environment.”

“To start with, I would like to focus my efforts to curb infant mortality in any of these sub-Saharan African nations.”

“I do not come from a well endowed family.”

“I have a monetary lacuna.”

“I remember my childhood dream was to be the head of the United Nations.”

“If my mind can conceive it and my heard can believe it, then I can achieve it.” – Jesse Jackson

“Be a hero in whatever you take as target. Always be a motivator, be a victor and not a victim.” Mr. Bulusu

“I am still learning and what we learn with pleasure we never forget.”

“A career is what one does for a living, but ideally it should be in cohesion with what one enjoys doing rather than a simplistic mundane responsibility .”

“If you shoot for the stars and hit the moon, it is okay. But you have to shoot for something, a lot people do not even shoot” – Confucious

I am looking forward to seeing where some of these exceptional young people end-up. I also need to start thinking about what’s next for me… 


Ben turned 38 on June 14- I cannot believe I am married to a 38 year old.

Ben had a great day, he did, you can ask him.

It started with the 7.00 a.m. viewing of the Olympic torch, followed by coffee and a full days work then home for cupcakes and song- sung by me. It was not great, but my heart was in it.

(Cuckoo’s Bakery- our local cupcake shop)

(All for me?)

(So tasty… as they were Ben’s, he rationed them over several days, if they had been mine…50/50 in one sitting- YUM!)

Ben says as he gets older birthday’s are less important- I completely disagree and will continue to celebrate his birthday- with or without him- but of course I hope it is with him!

We are going to have another mini-celebration when my cousin Jack is here. He is a Gemini as well and it is a perfect excuse for more cake.

WORKING ON THE WEEKEND… Plowing through 58 scholarship applications. WOW! That is a lot of reading. Some inspirational lines coming your way- these students are impressive and it is really challenging to decide who will get a scholarship.


CITY WALK… Some shots of a sunny Edinburgh.

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