Friday 29 May 2020

Poetry Journal

Are you keeping busy?  I am filling my days but I must admit I am getting a little lethargic and feel bored at times.  It seems to be the same old, same old each day.  All the talk of easing lockdown has unsettled us both a little as nothing has changed for Gerard and I.  We are still shielding so are not able to get out and about.  Our walk is around the garden and land beyond, it would be nice to have a change of scene but we are thankful and try to remain as positive as we can.  We are blessed that we have our shopping and prescriptions delivered and have good neighbours.  Still not reading as much as I would like although I am browsing craft books and patterns.  What a joy these treasured books are.  I am also still writing poetry and keeping them in a journal, which records the journey through these days of  the Covid19 pandemic.  I am hoping that some of the poems are enjoyed as I share them on the Church website.

Here's one that I wrote about new life:

Mothers pain and mewling cries,
Freshly opened brand new eyes.
You arrive in God's good grace,
Your squishy fingers, tiny face.
Bringing sunshine like a summer's morn:
What a time to be born!

I thought about all those born and the joy they bring, but also the heartache of not been able to visit the new addition to the family.

This one talks about shielding and the isolation.

Today my legs are aching
Longing for a walk,
To wander past neighbours houses,
To stop, to smile, to talk.

Today my legs are restless
and my busy mind is bored.
Bur even when I am sitting still
I'm walking with the Lord.

This poem was written when the wearing of masks was announced and a reference to the Thursday evening applaud for key workers.

Silencing lips, covering mouths,
Clapping hands, touching hearts.
Hidden smiles, neighbourly waves,
Kind words sustaining us for days,
Raising voices, silent prayer,
Taking comfort, HE'S still there.

This one was written as we were awaiting the announcement from the First Minister about easing lockdown.

Waiting for the news,
Presenters sharing views/
Safe but also free...
How will all this effect me?
Could the day be today,
We go to Church and pray,
We can smile at our friends.
The unfamiliarity ends...
Will anticipation lead to celebration?

Are you keeping a record of events around this pandemic or do you just want to forget all about it?  I want to forget all about it but as it is such a big part of our lives and will have many effects on our future I thought it prudent to record parts of it.  I am thinking that I may put it to one side along with a few other items as a time capsule.  I am hoping that I will be able to look back on this and have some treasured memories of a very strange event in our lives.  

Take care and stay safe.

See you soon.

Tuesday 26 May 2020

Crafting Update

The Bank holiday weekend came and went with very little in fact no difference made to us at all.  It was so unusual not to see tourists, particularly campers and cyclists go past our little cottage on route to the Port or lighthouse.  It will be interesting to see the effects on the Island once the ferry routes have been re-opened, time will tell! (Laura I actually live on the Isle of Lewis which is an Island off the West Coast of Scotland).

I have continued on my little journey of crafting to pass away the time.  I have made a draw string bag to house the playmat and toys and added a bear.  I came across this pattern and couldn't resist.

It is in the book Sweet & Simple handmade by Melissa Wastney which shows 25 projects to sew, stitch, knit and recycle for children.  It is a book that has been worth every penny as it has been used so many times.

Thank you for all your lovely comments on the playmat and toys it was a delight to read through them.  The teething rings are wooden craft rings bought from etsy I had some left over from a previous project.  I had made mini wreaths last Christmas and did a demonstration on how to make them at our ladies Church group.  The fabric was cotton and literally rounded at the ends to make it look a little like rabbit ears.  Hope that helps.

We are hopeful that we will be able to get together with family at Christmas and are already starting to think about it.  It gives us something to look forward to so baking with Granny is on top of the agenda.  I came across this amazing pattern...

...perfect for our youngest Grandaughter and her dolly.  I must admit the frills were a little bit of a faff but the instructions were very clear and easy to follow.  Already for our baking session.

Perfect and fit for the little Princess that she is.

I have added a Harris Tweed bag to the gift drawer and a couple of needle cases.  They are the perfect gift to pop into an envelope.

We are plodding along and look forward to hearing the First Minsters announcement on how things will start to open after lockdown.  It has been a strange journey for Gerard and I as in so many ways nothing has changed.  We do feel blessed and are thankful.  Take care dear friends and stay safe.

See you soon.

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


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.