Saturday, 1 August 2020

The End of Shielding

Today is the day that Scotland comes to an end of shielding.  As we look back and reflect on the past few months we have a lot to be thankful for.  There will be a lot of adjustments to be made as we leave our little cottage and get used to the 'new normal'.  We are a little apprehensive but are eager to make the most of things.  After all my efforts making masks, I have found it so difficult to wear one, the elastic seems to be the issue.


I will persevere of course but in the meantime I thought it prudent to try something else.  To this end I have made an infinity scarf using cotton fabric.



It is made up of 6 scraps of fabric:

1. 10 1/2" x 21"
2. 10 1/2" x 18"
3. 10 1/2" x 16"
4. 10 1/2" x 15"
5. 10 1/2" x 19"
6. 10 1/2" x 21"

1 - 3 form the outer scarf 4 - 6 the inner using 1/2 seam allowance.  Once the 2 pieces have been sewn right side together sew along the 2 long edges.  Piece 1 should face 3 piece 4 should face 6.  Leave a 4" opening and turn right side out and then hand stitch the gap.

It is snug and I am hopeful that this will suffice instead of the mask.


Time will tell. 

We have been thrilled with the produce we have grown in the indoor garden, we are harvesting salad leaves, rocket, courgettes and spring onions on a daily basis.  We need to think ahead a little more for next year and adopt the  successional  sowing method so we can stagger the harvest.  We have a lot to learn but are happy with our little experiments thus far.  The rhubarb is prolific and we seem to harvest a pan full every few days.  The herbs are hung all over the utility/kitchen drying out, I am thrilled with the quality of them.  The potatoes have also done well we have several varieties and we are pleased with them all.  The cauli and kale are doing well and we have started some sprouts off.  The tomatoes are enormous but as yet have not ripened but we are hopeful.  All in all we have been happy and are already planning for next season and indeed year.



 One of the problems we have had with shielding and online shopping is the over ordering of some produce particularly vegetables.  To this end rather than waste food I have been using oddments up to make a soup for the freezer.  This is a parsnip and sweet potato one, blended and all ready for a lazy day.


We have also been blessed with an abundance of eggs from our lovely ladies.  So we have been able to share them with neighbours and pickle some for the store cupboard.  The treat for this week was meringue, delicious with strawberries and cream topped with a little grated chocolate and nuts, decedent and mouth watering.



 A real treat that will be off the menu for a while as we start to detox and stop over indulging.  We have put on a few pounds over lockdown so we need to behave ourselves and get back to a more sensible diet and exercise programme.  We have already started to enjoy our walks once again.  What is not to enjoy when we are so blessed and surrounded by such beauty.

Well, that's all for now I have some cleaning and a few errands to run.  Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.





Tuesday, 28 July 2020

List Making

What a difference a few days makes to the weather, we seem to be having rain, rain and more rain along with the temperatures dropping.  The weekend saw us hunker down a little and put the heating back on.  We are so thankful that we have a full tank of oil and were able to fill it at such a low cost.  Of course that does mean that we are seeing some beautiful rainbows.  Rainbows always make me
 smile as I ponder the pot of the gold at the end of the rainbow.  If only that were true...or maybe it is when you consider Genesis 9:16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.


Look at the beauty of those skies.  The rainbow looks as if the sky is divided as the rain passes over and once again the sun shows her beautiful face.  


I made the mistake of continuing in my quest to get all the soft furnishings washed.  What a mistake to make, I now have them hanging on clothes racks in the hall and bathroom.  Making it feel more like the middle of winter than midsummer.  Another tick off my list to do getting ready for Winter.  Jam making is on the list but as yet I have no fruit with the exception of rhubarb so this may remain on the list for awhile.  I have been interested to read how so many of you are preparing for a second wave of Covid 19 along with predicted Brexit shortages.  I thought it prudent to make another list and add a few more essentials to the cupboard but storage is a big issue in our little cottage so I do need to be sensible about it. 

I have been surprised by the amount of crafting materials/supplies I have got through during lockdown and have started to make yet another list of things that I would like to replenish.  I would appreciate your suggestions if you come across any sales particularly for card making/scrap booking/journal making as I have a limited budget.  It is amazing how much I miss the bargains from a car boot sale or charity shop.

I also have a list of gifts that I have ready for Birthdays and indeed Christmas so that I know where the gaps are and write down ideas as I think of them or see them.

So many lists that keep me organised and are also fun.  Are you a fan of a list?

Hope all is well with you, take care and stay safe.

See you soon.





Thursday, 23 July 2020

Through Love's Eyes

I can't believe it has been so long since my last post, the days have just flown by.  However I have been filling them easily.  We have had a walk each day getting a little further each time and enjoying the beauty that surrounds us.  The ever changing land and seascapes a reminder of how quickly the weather changes and the seasons roll by.

I was a very lucky recipient of Marilyn Moseley's giveaway and received her wonderful book.  What a pleasure it is to browse the pages as Marilyn takes you on a stunning journey of the beauty that surrounds her.  The photographs taken by herself are a gentle reminder of what our dear Lord has created and each spectacular view is accompanied by a gentle reminder of that fact.  It was a wonderful read which I found uplifting and indeed joyful.  The photographs take you through the seasons and are a delight.  The book has become such a nice coffee table book which can be browsed through time and time again.  Marilyn can be found at mountaintopspice.blogspot.com her photography is second to none and is always a joy to visit.



A sneaky peek at one of the pages, it was too hard to pick out a favourite as they are all such high quality and stunning each in their own way.  Through Love's Eyes is a book that I would certainly recommend you won't be disappointed.

The rhubarb has been prolific this year, it seems as quick as I pick it it has regrown.  We have been enjoying it in all its guises, my favourite as a crumble.  This pan full is been stewed ready to go into the freezer for a Winter treat, a warming desert with a little ginger. 


Slowly but surely the Winter store cupboard is been filled.  We are enjoyed salad leaves daily, along with spring onions and courgettes fresh from the garden.  We are close to pulling our own potatoes and the tomatoes have all flowered and looks as if it is going to be a healthy crop.  I have herbs of all varieties hung around the kitchen and utility drying out.  The kale and cauli are doing well.  We have sprouts that we are also hopeful about. 

The good weather has enabled me to get all the cushion cover/throws/blankets/tablecloths/curtains washed and dried.  The luxury of the smell of Summer wafting around our little cottage is a delight.  There has been a flurry of activity around the neighbourhood as the peat's are bought home.  We have such generous neighbours who have given us some.  We now have our own peat stack ready for the stove, keeping us warm both physically and in spirit as we will think of our friends and neighbours as they burn.  Peat cutting is a tradition that goes back generations here on the Island and  is making a comeback as more and more people face financial difficulty due to the pandemic.  Life goes on and things are starting to return to some normality as ferries and flights resume. 

Hope all is well with you.  My apologies for not visiting life just took over I will catch up with you all as soon as I can.  I do thank you for your visit here and your uplifting comments.  Take care and stay safe in these strange times.

See you soon.

Monday, 13 July 2020

Christmas In July


We are certainly not getting the weather that you would expect to be getting in July.  There has been a lot of wind around and rain which is a little disappointing.  What this does mean of course is that we are not getting out and about as much as we would hope.  We have succumbed to the lure of Christmas in July...it was a great temptation and it didn't take a lot of persuading.   I love it!  We have many lists and are ticking them off slowly whilst watching Christmas movies on movies 24 channel.  What fun.  Gift bags have been made with enormous tassels that have been put together with fabric, lace, ribbon and added embellishments such as bells and charms.



Beads and coil less safety pins add to the glamour of these wonderful additions.  To add to the pleasure a few buttons, a favourite pastime of mine sorting through my enormous collection of buttons.  The tassels soon became addictive and I also made one for my bible choosing the blue and green hues to match its cover.





I have also had some fun with oil ready for the Winter store cupboard.  This time an oil infused with citrus fruit, lemon, lime and mandarin.  The beautiful colour of the peel making it look very appealing, I hope it is as good as it looks.




The fruits didn't go to waste, very little goes to waste in my kitchen.  A citrus fruit cake was made and I can testify that it is indeed very tasty.  A drizzle and some peel added texture and taste.




I have also added another bottle of chive vinegar and some mixed herb oil to the store.



We are starting to harvest from the garden which brings us great pleasure, rocket and a variety of salad leaves are a daily occurrence and are so tasty.  More and more of the herbs are been picked and dried, so we feel good. 

Finally I had a package delivered on Friday which contained a book from Marilyn Moseley Through Love's Eyes.  I was delighted to receive it and will give you a proper review on my next post.  We have also just received our shielding letter, so plans are afoot for us to travel to see family in August.  I am hoping and praying that the guidelines remain positive so that we are able to do this.  It makes my heart sing knowing that I will be able to see them soon.

Take care wherever you are in the world and stay safe.  As always I thank you for your visit here to my blog and your comments.

See you soon.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Evening Stroll

Good morning, a brighter day here on the Island.  We have plans to mow the lawns today and to give the tyre planters a tidy up.  There are some pots in the indoor garden that need to be brought outside and plants that need potting on into larger pots.  There is always something to do in the garden.  There seems to be a little wind so that should keep the midges away.

Thank you for all you comments on my last post, they make my heart sing that you enjoy visiting my humble space.  There was some interest in the Cunndal Memorial so I thought I would explain.  on the 15th March 1885 a fleet of fishing boats set off in calm weather, by the afternoon 15 miles out to sea they were caught in a gale and made for home.  For many reasons the harbour was inaccessible, 2 boats lost their 6 men to the sea.  All 12 men were from the village of Eoropie.  The body of one man was washed ashore sadly the other 11 were never recovered.  The sea has many a tail to tell and is not for the faint hearted.

On a lighter note after dinner last night we thought a stroll would be nice to walk off some of the calories.  Lockdown has been our excuse for our added pounds now we need to alter our ways and get ourselves a little fitter.  Our chosen spot was once again Eoropie this time parking by the children's park and walking across the meadow to the beach.  My goodness what a feast for the senses.  The meadow was ablaze with colour, you could hear the lambs and the thundering of the waves as they showed their power along the sand.  You could also smell the sea, the salty air encouraging sharp intakes of fresh air.






As we meandered down towards the sea it was like walking across a carpet of flowers, such a beautiful sight.  A mixture of varieties and colour it was a delight.


The water making its way down to flow away with the sea.  Keeping the grassland watered enabling its vibrant colour.  We did try to name all the varieties of flower but there were a couple that we need to look up.  It was nice to see a couple of baby rabbits hopping through the grasses after the past few years of disease amongst them.







Unusual to see someone else on the beach but there was a family walking their dog in the distance.



The different grasses growing through the sand adding to the beauty of this glorious beach.



Even the sheep were a joy to see, walking through the adjoining croft and nestling into one of the sand dunes.  The perfect end to a beautiful walk.  No home bakes today but I have got fresh fruit if you want to sit awhile.  We are allowed to mix a little more now socially distanced and outside, little steps but each step taking us closer to our visit to family.

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.


Monday, 6 July 2020

Weekend

Yet again intermittent internet has kept me away for the past few days.  I am trying to once again catch up.  Scotland is slowly starting to emerge from its cocoon of lockdown so Gerard and I are able to go a little further and chat to other people ensuring  a safe distance of course.  We are looking forward to getting away and catching up with family, my heart yearns to see them.  We have been able to connect over the internet but it is not the same as been able to chat in person.  My arms ache to snuggle up with our grandchildren and catch up with their adventures.  As we are shielding this probably won't happen for awhile yet but we are getting excited about the thought of it.  The ferries have now opened up and some flights have now been reinstated.  Masks are now mandatory on all public transport and in shops so I have once again made a stack to pass around the village.


I also have several more cut, pinned and ready to sew.


Our daughter has now moved into her new home that they had built so it was a joy to hear our little Grandaughters voice Honey asking me to make her a table cover for her bedroom.  She selected the fabric and trim and it was quickly made up for her.  I also added a mini noticeboard using the same fabric.




Saturday I always prepare our meal for Sunday which this week was roast chicken with all the trimmings.  I  also made quiches and a chocolate cake.




The quiches were made using the eggs from our own chickens and spring onions fresh from the garden.  It is such a delight when we use things we have grown ourselves.  Sadly, we will never become self sufficient but we try to grow some things ourselves.

We do keep having showers and even the odd downpour of rain so you will need a rain coat but it is nice to have a stroll along the machair by Eoropie which is ablaze with colour at the moment. Come along with me...









The ever changing colours of the machair, the sea, the moorland as we go through the seasons adds to the joy of living here.  The natural beauty and colour is  reflected in the making of the tweed which is made on the looms in many of the crofters outbuildings.  The smell of the peat burning in the fireplaces and wafting up the chimneys permeating around the village also adds to the beauty.  All of the senses are treated with the rich majesty of living here.  We are rich and have been fortunate to have found our forever home.  Are you still on your adventures through life or have you found your forever home yet?

Take care and stay safe in these uncertain and very strange times.

See you soon.