Friday, 22 May 2020

Keeping Busy

What a change once again in the weather.  Today a storm is due to hit bringing gale force winds not good for this time of year and the garden planting.  Whilst England have been enjoying high summery temperatures we are still barely reaching the teens.  Due to the adverse weather conditions today the ferries have been cancelled and are likely to be cancelled at short notice tomorrow.  I am once again thankful for a full freezer and store cupboard.  We had another Tesco delivery yesterday, which went well it was so nice to chat to someone different for a few moments.

Gerard is down the outbuilding experimenting with chalk paint to finish the dividing wall, we are trying to use what we have rather than order more and have to wait.  I am obviously doing this post and catching up with everyone whilst we have internet connection.  I have a beef and ale casserole in the slow cooker and the smell of it is permeating throughout the cottage making very hungry.

Crafting has been a priority for the past couple of days, keeping me busy and entertained.  The playmat is almost finished just needs the final hemming done.  Toys have been added to the gift, it has been a real delight browsing patterns and books looking for something to play with.





Teething rings, a taggy blankie and a patchwork ball.






Such strange times that we are living in with our pregnant ladies isolated and new Mums not able to share their precious newborns with friends and neighbours.  I must admit to feeling a little down now and again myself.   I have to give myself a firm talking to as I have a lot to be thankful for.  Not least been blessed with views of the surrounding crofts and new life frolicking in the glen.


The First Minister announced her plans for coming out of lockdown yesterday.  Little steps at a time...I look forward to seeing how it all goes and hopeful that people will adhere to the new rules.  I do hope that the goodwill and generosity remains long after all this is over.  It is so nice to stand at a window or in the garden and have people waving or nodding.  I am loving seeing the smiles...long may that last!  How is this terrible pandemic affecting you?  I am genuinely interested to know if your mental health has been affected.

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Weekend


My goodness I am late in posting this weekend post but, internet problems prevail once again.  You may have noticed my intermittent reading of your blogs, I catch up when and if I can.  Gerard had his birthday on Saturday so we had a takeaway from the local Inn.  They delivered too so made for a nice treat for us both.  It was very tasty and quite large portions so certainly value for money too which is always a bonus.  One of our neighbours dropped off a very tasty victoria sponge along with candle and a very special brownie cake was delivered from one of our daughters.





Two enormous tubs of sweets were also delivered from another daughter and her little family.  A treat that will go on forever.  I have cut some of the brownie off and popped it into the freezer to have later it is such a shame to waste it.  He was certainly spoilt by us all.  We enjoyed another family quiz with the whole family using our wonderful technology before it all crashed.  I was so thankful for that.  We are certainly blessed with the love of a good family.

The weather has not been great, temperatures have dropped quite dramatically.  Gerard and I have done a little work in the outbuilding but not as much as hoped.  We are trying to divide the very large building into two.  One to make a workshop and storage area for all the tools and the other side to make an area for a table tennis table and such, a games room.  Hence the wall...


We managed to get the potatoes earthed up, which is adding more soil up around the plant into a mound to enable the growth of more tubers.  We are using potato sacks to grow them which are plastic although, I must admit do look like paper.


For some reason I had an abundance of red cabbage and pears so they were cut and made ready for the slow cooker.  Making a wonderful side for later in the year, it is a perfect accompaniment to both chicken and venison.  I seemed to have over ordered on the carrots too so I chopped some up for the freezer rather than waste them.  I have managed to get more Tesco delivery slots, one Thursday and then another for 3rd June for which I am very grateful.  I have started to preplan menus but still struggle to get the amounts right.  Although I am not complaining I feel blessed not to have to go out and in fairness the local store will deliver so we are better off than most.  It will be interesting to hear what our first minister has to say about lifting some of the restrictions, we seem to be a couple of weeks behind England which is leading to some confusion nearer to the borders.  The ferries here are still only taking authorised passengers to and from the mainland and bringing in lifeline supplies.  I am not sure the true impact of that as we haven't been to the supermarket but there does seem to be shortages in some areas particularly baking ingredients.

A little goes a long way it is amazing how far I have been able to stretch a lamb joint given to us by our dear friend and neighbour.  It was roasted about 4 weeks ago and we have had three further meals from it.  It was carved and put into gravy for the freezer and then reheated again in the oven.  As tasty as the first time it was cooked.




It went very nice with a cucumber, onion and mint sauce that I made.

All in all a very nice weekend in spite of the chaos caused by this pandemic.  Although not together with family as hoped or planned we were together in spirit.  Thinking of each other across the miles.  Hope all is well with you, take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Daily Routine

Whilst still cold, it has been a beautiful day with the sun shining.  It is amazing how quickly some of the plants have grown.  The potatoes have already been earthed up once and are ready to be earthed up again.



That's Mickey in the corner of the photo, our dog not a wayward sheep.  He is in dire need of grooming and a good trim but tomorrow is another day.


The spring onions are now ready to be potted on and separated a little.



The mixed lettuce have been a great success and are over flowing from their tubs.  I am thrilled with their progress.


The tomatoes too are doing well.

There are a lot of varieties that need separating and potting on along with courgettes, rocket, beetroot and a selection of herbs.



Some have done better than others.  It was always going to be a gamble with some of the seeds as they were out of date. 

We have also been working on the dividing wall in the outbuilding.  It is hard work as we are stripping pallets and using the wood.  I think it is worth the effort as it looks amazing and I feel that once it is painted or stained it will be even ore effective.  It is still a work in progress but I will let you have a sneak peek.



We seem to have settled into a daily routine of getting our house jobs done as we get up and then having a couple of hours outside once it has warmed up a little.  We still love to watch the hens as they peck and scratch their way around the garden.  Who knew they would bring us so much pleasure and of course their eggs are an added bonus.



The grass already in need of cutting...maybe tomorrow!

A joy also to see the lambs that surround us in every direction.  Their first faltering steps as they suckle their Mums to the frolicking leaps as they chase each other around.  Each moment a reprieve from listening to the latest doom and gloom. 


Then back inside and a little stitching before finally settling down for the evening and listening to the latest news.  We are now in a recession, well no surprise there.  I have such a lot to be thankful for not least a roof over my head and food on the table but above all the love of my family.  What more do I need?


Another stack of face masks made and ready for those that need one.  A neighbour dropped me some cotton round but I am now getting short of elastic.  I need to spend some time on the internet trying to locate and buy some.  Take and stay safe.

See you soon.

Saturday, 9 May 2020

VE Day Tea

What a difference a day makes.  The weather changed dramatically over night.  We woke to drizzly rain and a drop in temperature.  Nice weather for a little stitching either quilting or crochet or maybe a little of both.

Yesterday, VE day was such fun.  We had a amazing time getting ready for afternoon tea with the family via zoom and then a family quiz.  This week Harry Potter and Disney princess's.  Their little faces as they interact with each other is a joy.  I am so proud of each and every one of them. 

The bunting came out...the children had made theirs using a union jack template and were waving a flag to greet us.


I made a Victoria sponge with fresh strawberries and cream alongside sausage rolls.


As the oven was on I also dried out some orange slices in readiness for topping soap or gifts.  I was originally going to make marmalade with it but didn't have enough sugar.


Ham sandwiches with a little home made pickle were our sandwich of choice.  It was fun talking to the children about some of the shortages of the war and how lucky we are today.



A little mint added to the strawberry, made it smell divine.  I must admit it was a little extravagant but tasted delicious.


We shared some of our experiences of Army life with them and showed our medals.  It was a great few hours spent together, I must admit I do feel blessed to be able to have done that.  The wonders of technology once again.  The crochet sheep I use with the teapot and is a wonderful addition to our afternoon tea table.  It was a gift from a blogger friend and such a great reminder of another aspect of technology, we have never met and yet have formed a wonderful friendship.

The poem that I have added to my journal is this:

Victory

A joyous word,
A word laden with loss.
A word for brave men coming home,
A word for brave men who don't.

Victory, is a mood, a promise,
Victory is mothers grieving lost children.
Victory is sacrifice we will never forget.

Celebrate victory, celebrate them.
Celebrate us, and the victories to come.


The Tesco delivery was a huge success and for that I am very thankful.  There were a couple of substitutes, mainly fish but all was good.  I would have preferred to have had the delivery a little earlier but in the grand scheme of things I am so very thankful that I had a delivery slot.  It arrived at 10pm.  I have already booked my next slot and put in another order and  I do feel blessed.  I do need to plan ahead of times a little more but in the grand scheme of things it is going well.

Hope all is well with you.  Did you join in any of your local VE day celebrations?

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.


Thursday, 7 May 2020

Lockdown Continues

Just popping in to catch up with you all.  Open Reach have spent the best part of the day here once more, you are so right.  No internet once again...It is intermittent at best!  I am hopeful it will be alright for tomorrow as we have a virtual VE tea party planned with the family.  Time will tell.

It has been another beautiful day weather wise, the sun has been shining and it has been nice to sit awhile in the garden.  Watching the birds and the the bees, literally.




A little crafting has been going on, my linen trousers have finally been altered after languishing in the to do basket for some time.  More masks have been made to replace the depleted stack previously made.



I have also been doing a little work on a quilt that I am making for a friends daughter who is expecting a baby in the Autumn.  I have tried to incorporate the colours of the Island and then I will enhance it with a little embroidery and applique.




All stitched by hand and filled with love for a much wanted baby.  What are you working on?

No real surprise announced to day as we continue to be in lockdown.  We are awaiting the Tesco delivery which is due today.  I am hoping I will get everything I ordered as we are running low on most things but I am thankful that we got a delivery so we shall see.

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Monday, 4 May 2020

Weekend

Thankfully, we had a very large store cupboard but this is becoming increasingly depleted day by day.  We had done a very large shop prior to lockdown.  We are blessed with a village store that delivers so we have been able to do a top up shop on a weekly basis.  Realistically, it is not affordable for us to replenish the store cupboard  there but we needed to do something.  Our daughter had sat up each night trying to get us a delivery slot at Tesco's to no avail so finally we phoned the help number on our high risk letter.  What a wonderful service, we now have a delivery slot for Thursday and have already put the order in.  Time will tell if we get it all.  There were some restrictions only 3 of the same item and a limit of 80 items per shop.  I must admit it was a great relief to us both.  That was Friday...

Saturday was spent baking and getting a few more animals ready to share with the Sunday school children.  Another poem was added to the journal which I will share at a later date.

Sunday, a traditional roast and listening to the Church services.  Life is very slow paced but it continues and we are blessed.  We have only had 6 cases on the Island with none of them hospitalised and no deaths due to Covid 19.

We finally managed a walk over the croft now that it is all dry it is easier to walk.  We knew there was nobody about you can see for miles but such a joy to get some fresh air and exercise a little.  It was nice to spend a couple of hours looking through past photos.  This time last year a little trip and walk by the lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis.
















Hope you enjoyed reminiscing along with me? 

How was your weekend?  We are certainly living in strange times.  Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Crafting

Mixed weather this week, which is such a shame after all the beautiful sunshine.  The temperatures have dropped making it feel rather cool, not conducive to wanting to get outside.  Whilst the plants have been watered and such no real work has been happening out there.

I have not idle hands I finally finished the knitted bag and stitched it up.  It is quite a nice make and so quick to knit up using such large needles.


I had some oddment Harry Potter fabric left over from other projects so I made a laundry or storage bag for our Grandson.  Once again a good use of scrap fabrics.



Just needs the tie threading through, to finish it.  I finally sorted out some oddments of fabric and made a stack of face masks.  I intend to make a few each day and give them to friends and neighbours, or whoever needs them.  It has been suggested here in Scotland that we wear a face covering for the times when we cannot meet social distance criteria, such as public transport.



I am so thankful that I found a stash of elastic in my sewing box bought prior to our move here on the Island.  A bit of a mixed assortment of widths, but they all seem to work.  I have left a gap to put in a filter if required.

The wonders of technology, we have a quiz each week with the grandchildren.   What fun that is and how they are growing up so quickly.  They take it in turns to devise the questions, so far we have had horrible histories, animals, Disney characters and little Hector this morning asked questions on Hook.  It is such a joy to see their little faces as they interact with each other.  I am so proud of them all.  

To finish a beautiful sunset.  How I love watching the sun as moves across the land casting its shadows across the buildings and imagining us all looking at that very same sun.


Take care dear friends and stay safe.

See you soon.