A sideline project for an IT guy who likes to cook

Month: August 2022

Painting to Glasgow

I’ve taken the passenger seat for the first time in ages, a sign of the fact I’m tired of the drive through to Glasgow! I’ve had a real taste of what commuting along the central belt might mean and feel blessed I’m lucky to live near my place of work. This is my seventh trip over in the space of eight. Probably been more times this month than I have in my life time. I also clocked my head on the half open boot as I walked into it. The side of my head throbbing, possible I had a few cartoon stars as it happened. So I’m taking a moment, to watch the world go by.

The toing and throwing between the cities a result of my son starting his 2nd year at university and the final throws of painting a flat that’s seen some neglect. There’s been a Coldplay concert at Hampden Park, the national football stadium and some interviewing (more about that later)

Over the week I’ve been painting by myself, mainly door frames and the hall. A tiny space where you could barely swing a cat. I needed to know there would only be me who might touch something inadvertently. As we get close I’m wondering what kind of state I left the painting in and hoping that the time I spent there on my own was worth it.

The flasks are loaded with coffee for when we arrive, and I’m told there is a surprise home baked blueberry and polenta loaf. The van is packed with Ikea boxes, a good sign that we are getting closer.

Coldplay, is on the stereo, the family band and we have the Buenos Aires concert playing. Amazingly boy number two is listening with us rather than his own little sound bubble. It’s a chance to reflect on the amazing show we saw Tuesday evening.

As I mentioned earlier, a coincidence I was interviewing through in Glasgow as well. A set of grads facing into getting their career started in IT. I stayed over to try and avoid another motorway trip. A first night in the flat and an opportunity to walk into the centre where the recruitment was taking place. Enjoyed the light coming in through the windows.

I came across someone who’d had a placement in the pharmaceutical world, a SAS programmer. As I read this on the CV, I reflected and caught a breath. How could it be that time had gone by so fast, 25 years later here I was interviewing someone with a similar path to me.

As you can tell it’s been a busy old week, the idea of cooking a distant hope so it’s taken a backseat and I can totally see how easy it is to fall on a bad diet.

Thankfully there is a wind beneath my wings and a compass who keeps me straight…I feel blessed again. The blueberry loaf was magic by the way, thanks for joining me for coffee!


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Braemar Farmers Market

A lovely little market, every 2nd Sunday, 10-3. Known as the Ghillies Larder

Just setting up, Ghillies Larder

We arrived early after packing the van up at the campsite, and needed to do a little loop round the village just to put the time in which wasn’t a problem on a glorious sunny day.

At the entrance a textile stall which my wife couldn’t resist. I commented on the prime location to the weaver and she agreed apart from the fact sometimes she gets attacked by the midges! We did a quick loop after that just to orientate ourselves and found ourselves talking to the the lady on the wine/italian delicatessen stall. From that moment on talking to each stall we visited.

The Bee keeper from Royal Deeside the most fascinating, a choice of honeys and I’d never thought to ask about the differences and why there is a clear runny, a more cloudy version and a heather honey. She explained (and seems obvious now) depends on what the bees had been collecting and the time of year. An explanation around how she keeps bees in different locations in order to ensure the different flavours. We joked about the midges, to find it wasn’t a laughing matter they were worse than the bees in that they got through the net. We also talked about the health benefits and the tests the universities are doing. Could have stayed for longer. I’ve still to open the jar I bought.

The award winning cheese maker from Drumturk, again a lovely lady armed with a Tupperware tub of samples. Before I knew it I was eating goats cheese, oh and had bought some, which has been the basis for my wraps this week. Just a few thin slithers, a little ham and some leaves.

The Highland Beef stall. The beef all bagged up and ready to go with a couple of offers with regard the price. At some point I wan’t to try smoking a piece of brisket on the BBQ (don’t ask….Roy Choi and his TV show has a lot to answer for!). I couldn’t resist the diced highland shoulder for a stew I know will save us at the weekend, slow cooked so there is something after a full day of painting.

The veg stall, that had the most vibrant selection of colours. A beautiful red cabbage, chard with yellow and red stalk bundles. Baby carrots just lifted. I came away with a little heavy bag and mentally compared it to our veggie box that I just cancelled. This half the price and more vibrant assuring myself I’d done the right thing given the cost of living. The box a luxury I can no longer afford.

If we were having coffee I’d tell you I’d met up with a long time friend for the first time in six months. He lives fifteen minutes away and no real excuse for not meeting up sooner other than we are both busy, similar path with teenagers and the work life balance. Great to catch up. We also attended a session at the book festival. Ricky Ross talking about his autobiography. Both my wife and I long time fans of the Band Deacon Blue. Followed by a meal out.

Ricky Ross

I was tickled by the image of Shaun the Sheep being part of the Artemis Programme and can’t wait to hear more about his exploits!


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

Sunny Braemar

It’s early, I joke with my life we are a last up! 6:15am and the campsite is well and truely asleep. The sky is turning over for a new day and we feel blessed. The cloud already lifting and we are hoping for another adventure.

We bagged a couple of Munro’s yesterday, cycling from the campsite, an amazing blue sky day and a round loop yesterday and today we are hoping for the same except a much longer cycle in.

It’s nearly the vans 10th year and the first time we’ve camped out it in just the two of us. We joke about being one of those camping couples. With a tinge of sadness time has moved on where the boys would pop there heads down through the hatch and look at us upside down.

Coffee is essential it gets us going, a big bowl of muesli and we are away. Ben Avon is calling.

Determined to post a coffee share this week, it’s been a fortnight since I last shared and its flown by. I started typing for the last one but the chores got in the way. Having just taken the keys for the next year at university residence for the big man. It needed a lot of paint! So a couple of trips through to Glasgow, full on up and down a ladder and I felt like I’d been to a boot camp. Oh how my body was sore on Monday, a little like today as I do a final read through.

This weekend has been a tonic being out in the fresh air and I’m ready for the week ahead.


The #WeekendCoffeeShare is an informal weekly link-up hosted by Natalie the Explorer that serves as weekly heart beat and sort of of a mind-dump. Helps me reflect on my week, with a list of achievements, thoughts and rambles normally whilst drinking a beverage probably listening to music.

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