Monday, 13 January 2020

Season of Storms

The stormy weather continues with winds predicted today between 80 and 90mph for this afternoon.   The ferries have been cancelled and for the first time since we have lived on this beautiful Island all the schools are closed due to transport issues.  It would not be safe to run the school buses in such high winds.  We live on the Isle of Lewis which is a small Island off the west coast of Scotland, accessible by ferry or plane.  There is a freight ferry every evening and this has been cancelled too so no fresh goods getting in.  I have mentioned before how blessed we feel that we have an extensive store cupboard.  The walls of our cottage are really quite thick as it is made with stone and is over 100 years old so although we can hear the wind howling around it is not at all frightening but very reassuring.  We moved here from a small village on the East coast of England in Lincolnshire so we are quite used to the bracing winds.

We did manage to get out for a stroll late last week along the coast but not easy to capture the white froth of the waves crashing along the boulders.  The spray of the sea blowing quite a distance as the sea hit the coastline.

I must admit it was nice to get back into the car and warm up the wind was biting.

We continued into Stornoway to top up with supplies and admired the calmness of the harbour.  It is always such a joy to take a stroll and see the eclectic mix of boats both for work and pleasure.  The fishing boats are a real pull for gulls and can always be seen.

Gerard and I love to admire the leisure boats/yachts and choose one each time we visit to sail away in, what fun we have in the choosing.

 As far as a health update not a lot to report.  I am waiting for another CT scan to establish if the nodules on my lungs have grown or not.  I am monitored whilst exercising and a decision will then be made if any further action will be necessary to my heart.  Whilst still a little breathless the medication does seem to be working.

A little sewing and a few projects underway but I will share that on another post.

See you soon.

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Lounge Makeover

It is blowing a gale outside with winds reaching 75 mph.  The electric has been flickering a little and keeps goes on and off so time will tell if I get this post done today or not.  We are just about to light the stove and have soup ready and sandwiches in case it does.  There are no ferries today and they were cancelled yesterday too.  It has become part of Island life and barely has any effect on our lives at all.  We always have a fully stocked store cupboard and freezer as well as plenty of logs and kindling for the stove and for that we do feel very blessed.  It must be hard for those who struggle financially to keep extras in.  Whilst the peat is free it is hard work digging it up and drying it out.  I do love the smell of peat burning as it permeates from the chimneys around the village, bringing some wonderful images of a bygone era.  Did any of you watch Call the Midwife over Christmas?   The Christmas edition was filmed here on the Outer Hebrides and showed some of the beautiful scenery that we sometimes take for granted and some of the hardships endured back in the 50s.

Gerard and I have finally manged to get our little cottage back to some normality, all the Christmas decor has been packed away ready for another year.  It took awhile to get things packed away and rearrange the furniture but we are happy with the results.  We painted the lounge before Christmas and shopped the cottage to find accessories to match.  A cupboard was built in along with shelves giving extra storage and all the pipework from the work to the bathroom have now finally been boxed in.  All in all it is pleasing to the eye and comfortable using things we already had so not costing a fortune.

I love the stag head handles adding to the hint of a Scottish theme.

The table cloth I made using a remnant of stag fabric and added some ribbon to the candles.

I did make some napkin rings to add a little glamour.

I crocheted a table mat for the newly stained box we are using as a coffee table.  The wine cooler holds a set of bulb lights which are battery operated so very handy when the power is off.

It is fresh, warm and cosy.  We were amazed how little we needed to spend as we already had the wood, paint and as said previously we shopped our cottage for the accessories.  We now intend to give our bedroom a little facelift to freshen it up and shopping the cottage once again is definately on the agenda.

Do you buy everything new when you decorate or do you shop your home for new ideas?

Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and your warm welcome back to blogging.  Both Gerard and I have found the whole experience so very humbling and feel so blessed by this amazing community.

See you soon.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Christmas Reflection

My goodness how the time has flown when I look through my camera.  But I do feel that I should report on a few of my happenings for the festive period.  Such a lot of effort goes into the planning and preparation of Christmas I want to be able to look back and recall some of it.

Soap always plays a part in our festivities.  They make a great stocking stuffer and a wonderful little gift made with love.

I put a few coins in the ones for the Grandchildren and smiled a few times wondering how often they would be washing their hands in pursuit of the coins.

Oils jams and pickles are a must and play a big part not only for the store cupboard but for mini hampers I make for friends and neighbours.

The braised red cabbage went down a storm, this year made with apples and red wine.

Cooked for many hours in the slow cooker and ready for the freezer, along with soups and casseroles.

Baking plays a big part in the festivities too and this year was able to enjoy the company of our youngest daughter in the kitchen.  In fact if I am to tell the truth she did most of it...OK all of it.

Quiche, a sausage wreath  and a variety of pies/tarts. 

There was of course a traditional trifle and several variations of bark.

Christmas cake and pudding.

Many hours were spent sitting in front of the trusty stove, reflecting on seasons past...

...and also many hours looking out of the window admiring the stunning views.  The atmospheric skies and spectacular cloud formations.

We decorated the cottage and took time to reflect on so many events of the year.

But the one thing that stands out about Christmas 2019 is LOVE, we have been surrounded with the love of our family and friends and for that I feel truly blessed.

See you soon.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Happy New Year

I am back and hopefully will be able to start blogging again very soon.  I have a very generous husband who has bought me a new computer and a son in law who will be able to set it all up for me remotely, I am so impressed.  I do hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and here's wishing you everything you wish for yourselves for the New Year.

I must admit I have had a tough few months which has kept me away from the computer as well as technical issues but hopefully I will soon get back into blogging and be back with you again. Your friendship has been remarkable and I am so sorry that I have excluded you these past few months.  I have had a few medical issues which have been a battle but I am feeling a lot stronger.

We were unable to travel for our planned break away which was disappointing but thankfully the family came to us which was a joy.  My goodness how those Grandchildren have grown since we saw them last, they are a joy to behold.  I was diagnosed with mild to moderate heart disease with manifests itself as angina.  I feel truly blessed as this is now under control with medication.  I start a 12 week rehabilitation course on Monday.  At the same time the heart issue was diagnosed from a heart scan, nodules were found on my lung...I am awaiting another scan and further investigations.  Since then I discovered a growth which is been investigated.  I am back at the hospital tomorrow.  A saga indeed not helped by us both having one of those awful seasonal bugs/virus's that has kept us both low for a week or so.

I am so thankful for your friendship, prayers and well wishes.  It was a joy to go onto my computer this morning and find so many messages.  My apologies to everybody for the delay in opening my mail and not getting back to you.   I promise I will try harder.  I will end for now and promise that I will be back soon.  Take care

See you soon.

Friday, 4 October 2019

Blogging Update

The saga continues I am still unable to load photos and now I am struggling with my laptop, it is very slow and sluggish.  To this end I have decided that a blogging break is in order until a resolution is found.  I am keeping busy doing a little painting and decorating but will share all this with you once I am up and running again. 

I do thank you for your emails and your concern.  Both Gerard and I are well, it is a computer issue that is keeping me away.  I will keep you updated.  Take care.

See you soon.

Friday, 27 September 2019

Tale of Woe

Since my computer had a recent update of Windows I have been unable to access any of my photos or upload photos onto my blog.  I am so frustrated with the whole ordeal.  Patience I suppose is a virtue so I will not give up yet and persevere with it to try and share the photos of our Disneyland Paris experience and of the beautiful Villages Nature Paris - Center Parcs which is where we stayed.  This is becoming a saga and indeed a tale of woe.  I rely on my computer to keep in touch with family and friends who love to see the photos that I take of our surroundings so it certainly is a disappointment.

I also have photos to share of an amazing exhibitions at the An Lanntair, it is a real treat and shows the work Of Tom Hickman.  We also had lunch at the Castle and took a stroll through the grounds, such a beautiful sight as we enjoyed the leaves dropping and the changing colours showing all its seasonal splendour.  The different hues with a backdrop of the harbour is magnificent.

I have kept myself busy making new pelmets for the kitchen windows and cooking up a storm in the kitchen.  Adding chilli oil and pickled red cabbage to the store cupboard.  I have also used the slow cooker to cook up red cabbage with apples in red wine for the freezer, a delicious treat for the cooler months.  I have had the tedious task of altering several pairs of trousers that have been languishing in my wardrobe for quite awhile.  Trousers are always way to long even a petite or short fitting as I am only 4' 11" tall.

Hopefully I will have some photos to share on my next post.

See you soon.

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Dover Castle

It was sad leaving Bertie and Honey behind as all too soon it was time to leave and move onto another adventure.  This time with Victoria and her little family.  We were heading for Disneyland Paris using the Euro tunnel from Ashford in Kent.  We drove down from Norwich and stayed overnight, giving us plenty of time to enjoy Dover Castle and its surroundings.

The drive up to it was magnificent as was the white cliffs of Dover which we took time to view.  There was so much more than we had anticipated and not enough time to do it all. 

There was a train that took you around the grounds and from one exhibition to another, made it so much easier for Gerard to get around.  There were actors within the castle and the courtyard bringing life as it as in medieval times to life.

A highlight for Gerard was the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and Queens Regiment Museum.  He loved talking to Wilbur and Hector about his time in the Army and looking at the exhibits together.

There are many displays videos and recordings which took us up to the Regiment's most recent operations in support of the UN and NATO in Iraq and Afghanistan

Another highlight was a stroll around the Church St Mary-in-Castro which for centuries was the Garrison Church for the Dover and then later Dover/Shorncliffe Garrisons with military padres leading services.  The church remained active with daily services right through the battle of Britain which was fought overhead.

Although now part of the Diocese of Canterbury the military ethos remains with regular services attended by veterans groups and as repository of many memorials from units and individuals who served in the area.  It is legally an "Extra-Parochial Place" as the church pre-dates the parish system and the castle was variously a Royal or Military place.

Although a beautiful day there was a lot of wind which made it fun for rolling down some of the banks and flying a kite.

Finally, the views were spectacular you could see for miles around.

As always I thank you for your visit and for your uplifting comments.

See you soon.