Politics

Yes, you read the title correctly and yes, even I’m amazed that I am broaching such a subject.

However I’ve been lucky enough this year to have visited Holyrood, Brussels and Westminster which has given me quite an insight into how governments work.

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Don’t worry I am not going to push my political beliefs on to you, as that is something that I totally disagree with. But I thought I would give you some food for thought on my insights.

All we get to know about politics is what we see in the press or watch on the news. The commons for example is always portrayed as lots of big kids squabbling. Europe is hardly mentioned, oh well that was until a referendum was announced. Holyrood is hardly mentioned except for when things go wrong , though the upcoming elections are starting to gain momentum.

But what about all the other work that goes on behind the scenes, the hours that not only the politicians put in but also all their staff. We get to hear about the expenses, the second homes and all the other bad publicity but we never hear about any of the good work that they do. What about the long hours that are put in every day and the time that is spent away from their families.

Now this isn’t about sticking up for politicians either but it is to make you stop and think that there are two sides to every story. I know I certainly had my eyes opened over these last few months.

Did you also know that your politician is very approachable? I’ve met quite a few recently of all different parties and what I can say is that they are all very friendly, want to hear your opinions and will find the time to talk to you. So why not send them an email, go to a surgery or even the old fashioned way of writing a letter. We’ve elected them and if we’re not happy with how things are then we have to tell them. They are not mind readers, they are not going to read your social media rants. If you have something to say then tell them!IMG_4510.JPG

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A Chaotic Week

Where to start? Well, as you can see my blog is a wee bit late as it should have been published last week. However to say last week was chaotic was an understatement. On Tuesday I was in South and West Cumbria most of the day and on Wednesday I spent the day in Kendal. Both of these days were to do with the day job. On Thursday I spent the morning in New Cumnock as part of the Rural Leadership Course. Then at 3am on Friday I set of for Birmingham for the yearly Theo Paphitis #SBS event. I returned home at 16:30 yesterday and I am now sitting on a train to York as I am in York all day tomorrow for meetings in regard to my day job again. Thankfully this type of a week doesn’t happen very often but when it does I end up exhausted! Hopefully this coming week will be a bit more relaxed after I return from York.

The one good thing about my time away is that I returned yesterday to see that I had lots of chilli seedlings. In fact out of the first batch that I planted, there are now only three varieties left to germinate. I do  love this time of year and seeing the start of new growth.

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The highlight of the crazy week would have to be a trip to the House o Hill last night. This is one of our favourite places to go out for a meal and we had been lucky enough to receive a gift voucher for the hotel, for out Christmas. I’d noted during the week that they were running a special valentines menu for this weekend.

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Though not romantic at all, last night was the only night that my husband and I would be spending together so we decided to book a table. As per norm the food was fantastic and we decided to mix and match the special menu with the regular one. We went with the sharing platter for our starter, with him choosing the Haggis Bon Bons and the Deep-fried Brie Wedges. I chose the Vension Lollipops and the Duck Spring Rolls. Apologies for the lack of photogrpahs but the plates were empty before I had realised. Next we chose the Pie of the Day and I had the Flat Iron Steak. I had the steak before Christmas and I loved it. I’ve never had an egg with steak but this works perfectly. Then unusually for myself I actually had a sweet and chose the Chocolate and Orange Ganache Tart. Oh my was I glad that I had. It was like a giant Jaffa Cake but ten times better. So if you live nearby and haven’t planned anything this evening, I would highly recommend booking a table (if there are any left) and heading to the Hoose.

We had a lovely relaxing evening at the Hoose and it was just what I needed after my eventful week. If only Scotland had won their rugby match  yesterday then it would have indeed been one of those perfect days!

A celebratory week

Well, I’ve did it!! At the beginning of the week I turned 40 but have to say it has made no difference whatsoever to me except having a lovely day.

Anyhow prior to celebrating my birthday I headed to the House o Hill Hotel on Saturday night to celebrate that great poet Rabbie Burns with my husband and friends. This is the third year that I’ve managed to get tickets for this fantastic evening and if you are in the area or are a local then I highly recommend going next year. Not only is the food fantastic but so is the company but be warned you will be in tears with laughter!

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Monday was the day that I did indeed turn 40 and as both my husband and I took the day off work, we decided to head out for lunch. I had planned to head somewhere new to eat as there have been a number of new establishments that have opened in the area in the last six months. However when I looked them up I discovered that not a single one was open on a Monday. I was indeed disappointed but not to be beaten we went to one of our favourite places and headed to the Selkirk Arms Hotel. We arrived rather late as joined the A75 at the same time all the traffic appeared from the Irish ferry but we were optimistic and got there with ten minutes to spare. As well as the Selkirk having their normal menu they also had a 2 course lunch for £12. This menu will change on a regular basis as it’s an opportunity to try some new dishes ahead of the next full menu launch in March. Two meals jumped out at me straight away from the 2 course menu which was the  BREAST OF PHEASANT with pomegranate & lemon cous cous, orange & apricot sauce and then the BRAISED OX CHEEK with mashed potatoes, savoy cabbage and red wine jus. I love pheasant but have never had Ox Cheek and I was not disappointed by either. We had a fantastic meal and can’t wait to return to try other dishes on this menu. A great choice for my birthday lunch!

My week and a wee rant

My blog is a wee bit late this week but I’ve been at a trade show for half the week in Glasgow. I arrived last Saturday and got set up before meeting friends for a drink and something to eat in the evening. We’re all a fan of good ales so was really pleased when they suggested going to Bier Halle. We had a couple of rounds and the selection was fantastic. In fact if we hadn’t booked to go for a meal, I think we’d have stayed as the food that was on offer looked extremely tempting. But as I said we had already booked a table at Chop Chop and I am so glad we went. We were recommended the banquet and at £20.95/person it was an absolute bargain. My only regret was not taking any photos to post on here. We had a fantastic selection of food and everyone was really  pleased with the food.

I then had a great three days at the trade show with some great conversations with fellow traders in the evening. It was part of one of these conversations that brings me to my wee rant, “the sugar tax”.

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So it has been decided that those in power should consider introducing a sugar tax due to the state of the nation and the amount of people that are overweight, especially children. Has anyone ever considered that maybe sugar isn’t the problem but possible the lifestyle that a lot of people now lead? Yes, I know that there a lot more sugary drinks available but I also know that we don’t exercise anywhere as near as much as we used to do. We never had computers, ipads, x-box’s etc. when we were children. We used to get home from school and couldn’t wait to dump our bags to get back outside. But those days seem to be a distance memory. In fact as adults we also seem to spend an awful lot of time sitting in front of computers. Maybe we should spend some time working this amount of time out, and then try to reduce it. Go on, go for a walk in the evening or during your lunch break. Try change your lifestyle even slightly and I bet you’ll notice an improvement.

So yes I am against the sugar tax but I am very much for changing our lifestyles. We only need to take small steps at a time, go for that walk or try to limit the time spend in front of a computer screen. You can do it. It has got me thinking and I am making a conscious effort to walk more every day.

Me again!

Well this is the third week running that I’ve managed to post. However I wouldn’t be surprised if I don’t keep this up! I do intend to, but life always seems to get in the way.

So the beginning of the week was supposedly blue Monday. Its the day that we are most likely to give up our new year resolutions if we made any. But hey if I am still writing then I’m going against the stats! It is however just over a week until my birthday and I haven’t completed my list of 40 things to do. This list just isn’t for my birthday though, it’s to last all year. Well you are the same age for a whole year, so why just celebrate for the one day!

One of the things that I want to do but haven’t added to my list is to lose weight. I managed it a few years ago but it has slowly crept back on. I don’t diet as such but do calorie count using the My Fitness Pal app. I’m not usually open about this but a friend mentioned today that she also uses the app. So instead of being secretive about it, I’ve actually friended her on the app. Now I’m hoping this will strengthen my resolve to keep at it. I shouldn’t be making excuses but my work pattern does not help with watching what I eat.

I also want to take more photographs and share them. I have a personal instagram account which was hardly used so I have re-activated and it has been getting quite a bit of use already. Including all the snow photos that I took over the weekend on the way to and from Edinburgh, including this one.

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The scenery was stunning on the drive home from Edinburgh on Sunday. Aye it’s fantastic to look at but awful to work in. The views continued like this right up until we got close to home and then suddenly it all disappeared and we returned to a very wet landscape. 😦

 

So who am I?

If I’m going to start a blog then I suppose it would help if you know a bit about me.

Well I am a Scots Lass and very proud of this fact. My background is in agriculture and I’ve held quite a few posts through it but I currently deal with wildlife in my day job. Besides my day job though, I also run two businesses. I’m also a volunteer for the Prince’s Trust. Oh and if that wasn’t enough, I’m a participant in this years Scottish Enterprise Rural Leader Programme (SERLP).

I’m also extremely passionate about food and drink including where it is sourced. I will support local producers whenever I can and I suppose this is why I am also one of the organisers of a local food festival.

So how do I find the time to do anything else? Well it is a very true saying that if you want anything doing then ask a busy person as they will find the time to do it.

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Highlight of the week? Well it would have to be winning the Innovation workshop with my team as part of SERLP last week. I was a wee bit concerned when I was told I was going to be a team leader but I had a fantastic team and was very proud of them. Oh and the prize was a bottle of Macallan for each member of the team. #happyscotslass

The beginning and why

The why is that I have a big birthday this year and as a new years resolution I decided that I would make a list of forty things that I had to do in 2016 and this is one of them – start a blog!

I run a couple of businesses which both feature quite heavily on social media but I have to be restrained on what I post on them. So on the 30th December I took the decision to use my personal Twitter account more and tweeted the following “Not been using this account enough & decided that need to. So all those opinions I have & suppress on business accounts will be tweeted here”.

But then I thought why just Twitter? So I have reinstated my personal Instagram account and have began Scots Lass Shenanigans as well.

So join me in my musings, feel happy to agree or disagree as I take you not only on a journey of my personal opinions but also keep you up to date on my list of 40 things to do in 2016! (this was number 17 on the list)

 

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This is number 15 which is still ongoing (walk 10 miles/week on average).