Thursday 30 January 2020

Art Exhibition

We are without a doubt having a mild winter but the winds and constant rain are starting to depress me a little.  As usual this morning we woke to the rain thrashing against the window almost horizontally, intermittent internet and finally a power cut that lasted seconds.  What a joy to finally see the sun shining as the morning progressed and dancing shadows as the light moved around the room.  Little things can bring so much pleasure.

I continue to do well at the heart rehabilitation, baby steps but each week able to do a little more.  I am still getting breathless but thankfully not as much chest pain.  I do thank you for your concern and your prayers, it is a great comfort.

Last week whilst in town we went to Ann Lanntair for lunch and to stroll around the latest exhibition.   What an amazing sight to see.  It was an open exhibition in multiple genres by artists resident in or from the Outer Hebrides.  There is a lot of talent about in my opinion but I will let you judge for yourselves.   I enjoyed picking out some of my favourites.

The lunch was very good too.  The restaurant looks over the harbour so it was a delight to see the ferry come in and know that there would be fresh food in the shops.   It was so nice to enjoy a treat out in comfortable surroundings and enjoy each others company.

Is the weather taking its toil on you?  I am more than ready for a little colour...

See you soon.

Saturday 25 January 2020

Unfinished Projects

My goodness I can't believe how long it has been since my last post.  It certainly wasn't intentional, time has certainly been flying by but (there is always a but...) every time I went to the computer to sit down and do a post there was no internet.  This is my third attempt and YES this time I am saving it so I can just press publish if I fail to complete yet again.  We have been hit quite badly with strong winds and rain but thankfully no severe damage.  Our outbuilding lost a window, the whole frame was blown out it has been boarded up as a temporary measure until the weather picks up and it can be repaired properly.  There are areas of the garden that are flooded but the water doesn't stay for long we have a wonderful drainage system that is quite effective.  We feel blessed and very thankful for our cottage and the warmth and shelter it provides. 

There has been a lot of soup these past few weeks, wholesome and nourishing (here comes another but)  but I am a little fed up with it so I intend to have an afternoon cooking up some meals for the freezer.  A chicken curry is on the top of the agenda, along with bolognese sauce.  Much depends on what ingredients  I have available.  I do like to have some meals ready for when I have been to the hospital.  I continue to do well with the increase of medication, although still a little breathless at times.  Medication is reviewed weekly so I have no concerns.  We are very grateful for the wonderful NHS we have here on the Island, I do know it can be a post code lottery at times.  My next ct scan is a week on Monday so I am hoping that a plan of action is forthcoming with regard to the lung nodules.

I have so many projects at the moment that are languishing in a basket unfinished.  I am hoping that if I make a record of them that it will stir me into action and that I will get some finished.  Sounds like a good plan here's hoping it will be effective.

First up is a quilted table runner that I wanted for a gift for Christmas, I would like to get it finished so that it can be used for this year.

The boys coats are unfinished so it would be nice to get them done all ready for Spring.  I love the lining fabric that I used and am happy with the overall effect with the tweed.  I think I may cover some buttons with the lining fabric to see how that looks.  I have got some duffle coat toggles if I don't like the effect.

As a priority there are trousers to alter...

A table runner and a lavender filled heart need to be completed for the lounge.

Finally the only crochet project outstanding is Honeys blanket which has been slow going.  Now that I am feeling so much better I am confident that I will have it finished soon.

Have you lots of projects that are left unfinished?  I am usually pretty good at finishing things off so not usual for me to have so many projects left languishing.

Once again thank you so much for your comments, emails gifts, cards and prayers you have certainly made me feel so much better.   I have been a little slow with my visits and have not always left a comment but I do get around to you all eventually.

See you soon.

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.