Saturday 29 April 2017

One Little Adventure At A Time

The sun was shining and we needed a break so we decided to set out on our first real adventure out and have a tour of the Island.  There was a lot of families out and about cutting peat, an unenviable task and from what I can gather requires strength and skill.  It has a certain charm to see the smoke coming from the chimneys and the beautiful smell of burning peat.

From my very limited knowledge I believe it is then laid out on the moor to dry a little before being transported back to crofts.

The peat is then piled into a beautiful mound and left to dry out throughout the summer.  It is quite a lengthy process but so worthwhile and a vital resource for some.
It was a delight to be out and about albeit in the car to see the wonderful weaving sheds where the Harris Tweed is woven.  Harris Tweed is  hand spun, hand woven and dyed by the crofters and cottars in their own homes throughout the Outer Hebrides.
We drove around the Westside district of the Island, discovering some amazing views, stopping at places of interest and enjoyed chatting to both locals and tourists.  We discovered a little furniture store and had a lengthy chat with the owner and then carried on to see the amazing Callanish stones.  We enjoyed a nice lunch at the Callanish Visitor Centre and then took a stroll up to the stones.  Well worth the walk.  It was a little blustery I certainly had to hold onto my hat...
It was an amazing sight to see the collection of standing stones arranged in a cruciform pattern, my photographs do not do it justice.

It was a little nerve racking at times with sheep wandering the roads.  I also had to hold my breath at times when I saw them climbing the mountainous terrain.

We now have a renewed energy, we are going to enjoy a nice meal together and catch up with some of our hobbies.  Tomorrow is another day...

Maybe not, I think that should say I will be catching up with my hobbies.  The boys have had a hard day!  We did carry on into Stornoway but I will save that for another post.
See you soon.

Thursday 27 April 2017

Slow But Steady

It hadn't occurred to me that everyone wouldn't know what a car boot sale was until I read a comment left on my last post.    It then becomes very obvious that others wouldn't know either as it is a typical British phenomenon.   A car boot sale is a public event held in a large area where people get together to sell their unwanted goods from their car boots/trunks.   Much the same principal as a garage sale but a lot of people getting together.   You then pay a fee to the organiser for your pitch, a lot of events are held for charity and some farmers have diversified using a field as a way to earn money.  It is an ideal way of making money out of your clutter or if buying grabbing a bargain.   Some organisers also charge for entry (people coming to buy) I hope that helps.

We have had some very unseasonal weather here in the past few days including a little snow although it didn't settle.  The winds have been quite blustery so I have been happy to be indoors focusing on getting some more unpacking done.  It will be sometime before we get started on the outbuildings wanting to focus on the cottage both inside and out first.  I didn't want to use a bedroom for my craft essentials so the landing in the attic has been transformed into a temporary Mamas Mercantile.  I have arranged it into a ideal storage arena where I can find solace in some of my vintage finds that I treasure.  It will eventually become a little reading nook but in the meantime here is what it looks like so far.

It still needs a little work but I am getting there, one box at a time.   Mickey loves to go upstairs and sit or lie under the attic windows particularly when there is some sun.  We are thrilled with how quickly he appears to have settled into his new surroundings.
This is the view from the landing attic room. 

I can just see the waves breaking on the rocks if I stand on tip toes.  Gerard torments me with his comments on what I am missing.  We intend to walk down sometime tomorrow if the weather holds, I am not one for walking in the rain if I don't have to.

The two attic bedrooms are now sorted just a few paint jobs to do once downstairs is done but it is comfortable enough for when family visit.

I need to unpack some suitable towels and hang the picture.

The nursery is one of Mickeys favourite places, I do wonder if he is looking for the children or enjoying them not been here.  They do pet him a little too much.

Slow but steady wins the race.  All the old and familiar ready for when the Grandchildren visit.

I thank you for all your comments and encouragement it means a lot.  A very warm welcome to new followers I hope you enjoy my little adventures through life.

See you soon.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Here She Is...

 So many of you are keen to share the joy of our new home so here she is warts and all.  She is in desperate need of some sprucing up, painting and the guttering replacing BUT she has stolen our hearts.  Over time she will be transformed from the ugly ducking into a beautiful swan.  Already we have made a difference to the inside.  I have made curtains, throws and table linen for the lounge.  Gerard has been busy painting a trunk and side table so we are making progress.

Ta Dah...

We have been to the local Historical Society, Comunn Eachdraidh Nis in Gaelic which has a local history archive and a small museum to do some research on the cottage.  It appears that the outbuilding was the original cottage and the newer cottage was built in 1920.  It was a joy to look at some of the photographs through the years of people who have lived and worked the Croft.  The croft leads down to the sea but we have yet to explore the paths down.  If I stand on tip toes, bearing in mind how short I am I can just about see the sea from the attic landing window, Gerard obviously has a better view.
I will share this with you again when the weather is a little better.
We went to the local car boot sale yesterday which made us both smile.  It consisted of 5 cars so not at all what we have been used to.  There was bacon/egg rolls and tea/coffee for £2 available in the school canteen, it would have been rude not to...and the perfect place to chat.  I met a lovely lady who moved here a couple of years ago who is keen to start a knitting/yarn group locally so I am meeting up with her next week.
So far our move has been everything that we had hoped for and more.  There is plenty of work to do to transform our cottage back to its former glory, but we are certainly enjoying the process.  It will of course take time but that is one thing we have in abundance.
See you soon.

Friday 21 April 2017

The Adventure Begins...

I am living the dream, we have been living in ur new home for the past two weeks and loving it.  We had an amazing trip to Florida which I will share at a later date.  The phone and internet were connected yesterday so I will catch up with you all as soon as I can.  We drove up through the night enabling us to catch the first ferry out from Ullapool.  With hindsight it is not something we would do again we missed out so much on the beautiful views driving through the stunning landscapes at night.  It was breath taking getting our first glimpse of Ullapool despite the dreary weather.  The sea looked rather choppy but we coped quite well.  The dog was on his best behaviour thank goodness, I think he was just pleased to be back with us.

The ferry trip took two and half hours but passed really quickly as we chatted to other dog owners in the dog lounge.
We have moved into our little croft cottage and are now making it feel like home, a little bit at a time.  We have some wonderful neighbours who have made us feel most welcome, bringing us soup and scones on our first day and an abundance of coffee and biscuits.  We both feel at peace and settled.  Our nearest neighbours and view from our windows are a delight.

Mickey, the dog struggled a little for the first couple of days but is now quite happy to ignore them.  We are blessed with some beautiful views and are looking forward to exploring the Island.  There have been a few issues, it hasn't all been plain sailing.  There was no oil and then a problem with the boiler, electric power cuts and a leaking sink.  Despite it all we are happy and settling in well.

The view from the bedroom window, on the ground floor a huge bonus for Gerard not having to climb the stairs.

The outbuilding is enormous and will be a mammoth task, but we have great plans to convert it to a craft room for me, a workshop for Gerard and then around the back a potting shed and indoor garden.   We are excited about the project but will get the house sorted first and enjoy our surroundings for awhile.

I will update you as we progress with our Hebridean adventure.  I thank you all for your comments on previous posts and emails I will get back to you as soon as I can.   Looking forward to catching up.  See you soon.