Sunday, 23 November 2014


Beaches never get boring do they. They constantly change.
Well, as relieved as you might be to not have your ears and eyes assaulted by my haivers, here I am. I've been away in Funksville, the down side of that town, not the up side where the sun shines on on and on. Nope I've been in the dark part of town where its hard to get up, hard to get moving and sometimes hard to figure out what to do. It feels like a giant black dog or a Wolf has been sitting on my head, like a rather unattractive, heavy, down dragging hat, whispering in my ear, 'You suck, you don't deserve to be happy'.

Well, I am happy. So there you stupid wolf hat. Bugger off. Change is good, life is good. I'm slowly getting my sorry arse (can I say arse? I guess its my blog so I can?) out of my funk and beginning to enjoy life and its beauty. I mean its gorgeous here!!! (No offence to my old home and friends in Orkney, I miss you all!)

Leaving Orkney has been sad, I'm happier here, that's true. But leaving one large part of your life, to start another always is a bit unsettling. Even when you know its good and the changes are right. I guess its a bit like saying goodbye to a friend you know you'll not see for a long time. That kind of sad. My poor head's been a bit addled. I applied sleep and sensible-ness, lots of that seems to have helped and lots of lovely friends in RL and online checking in has helped too. Thank you all.

The cellist also left for university. ALL GOOD. These changes are good but adapting to life where things are different good, rather than the different good they were before is often a bit bumpy. Well it is for me. She's happily settled and I'm so glad for her. University life suits both my offspring. I'm so proud of the adults they are becoming. And, that's good. Doesn't mean that it quickly gets normal, I guess its just adjusting. And, as for the house being tidier, I guess the kids weren't to blame for the mess eh? I am, it seems, an untidy fiend of epic proportions. Who knew empty nests could be so untidy??
The summer sunshine has given way to autumn colours the likes of which I've only seen on holidays for years. I have to say I'm liking this whole thing and not the 'leaves on, leaves off' of Orkney when the gales hit up north. Ironically I've not taken may photos of this years autumn colour, mainly beaches, always beaches eh? I do like a good walk on a beach. Plenty to choose from round here.

Not to say we've not had our share of winds here, and not just from the dog either! The storms started in late October, a day here and there, don't get me wrong it nothing like up north. And, you know the funny thing. Well I'll tell you. For the first time as the rain battered the house and the wind rattled the chimney, I felt properly at home. My husband shook his head when I told him. 'You and the weather!'.

I know I'm a freak. I like squally weather, but not, I have to say for my shame, not all the time. So I'm sad to have left and glad to be here.  And, I'm still paddling and enjoying this beautiful new to explore coastline. Its really pretty and I'm so lucky to have so many beaches so close. 

I've been working on the garden between the squalls, but remind me, that putting down mulch matting for paths in a force 7 is never a good idea, mainland or not. My yoga stances were put into full action in my determination to 'GET THOSE PATHS DONE TODAY'. Idiotic. But then when I have I ever been sensible.

As for the garden, the hens are settling in grand, I really struggle to see who's who of the motely crew that arrived. They're looking bloody gorgeous. 

The apple tree left a heap of apples at my feet, gales assited in picking. So I put them in the hammock until I could fathom what to do with them. I've made juice/cordial for himself. They were for cider but to be honest, I think the cordial is a nicer option.

The veg patch I started exactly 10 days ago. I'm doing raised beds and paths, ornamental, slightly formal to give me structure in the winter and decorative, It needs to be bonnie. More on that next time. I'm a wash in turf lifting, path laying, not even started the digging bit yet. I'm in denial. Which is a large river in far off lands I hear. After months of hacking things back (not stopped yet) and moving things around. Months of telling my dear other half, it will start to look better soon I promise. (He's convinced I'm destroying the garden, well sort of convinced.) Its finally nice to start building and planning and laying things out.
OK so putting the paths and beds in only to decide it all needed to move over 1.5ft - well that's what we can put down to experience. It seems the house edegs sticks out more than the fence by around a metre. So moving the whole thing was the only option. I put this lot in by myself, its hard to ask for help when you're really not that sure where you want things. And, its been fun. No really, its been fun.

So I'm slowly and steadily coming out of my funk, engaging with life here. I miss my old life but I love my new life too. Sometimes I guess we have to mourn the passing of one life into another to truly appreciate it? Thanks for being patient and not holding up signs saying 'wot no blog'.

I've started to take photos again, I've started to walk again and I've started to see the beauty in life around me. Funksville can bugger off. There's far too much to do, too much to see and too much life to be living to be scuffling about thinking about stuff.  I've a new garden to dig!

Hope you're all good, enjoying life, belly's full, warm, family well and you're cosy, healthy and happy. Its really all we can hope for ourselves eh?

Happy Sunday folks, hope you have a splendid day.

PS If you see that big black wolf/dog thing around, chase it away. Thanks!

Saturday, 4 October 2014

How not to mow the grass

So I visited the 'old course' at St Andrews over the weekend with some golfing nuts I use to call friends. To be fair only one is a golfing nut. How on earth do I know a golfing nut, but he's aimaible enough and he cooks so I guess we'll pass that one by? Although golf?  My grannie always use to say that golf, is for people who like they're countryside ironed. Not cool in my book. Probably the most manicured and expensive grass on the planet and sadly right beside a cracking beach too, spoilt by a bit or grass ironing in my opinion. However, on Sundays, I learnt from said golfing lunatic, you get to stomp on it for free and walk your dogs, cats and any other animals you'd like. Although maybe not horses. So impressed were the hounds that they left a wee 'steamy' present each on the grass and watered it freely. I did chuckle a bit.  Not the kind of place I'd normally walk but it seemed like a big thing for him so I thought why not. [By the way, its very flat and the grass looks kinda not real its so short, just so you know]

But on the subject of lawn keeping, I can't say I'm quite as precise as the green keepers at the golf courses in St Andrews. You'll not find perfectly criss-crossed attention to detail on my lawns. If that's your thing then grand. But mainly I see lawn-mowing as an outdoor hoovering exercise. To be done in any manner that gets the job done. 

Some like to mow/hoover in straight lines
Some like to shuffle back and forward
As you please I'd say.
As long as the swaithe (the short bit left after the outdoor hoovering) is to your liking, do as you please.

I like mowing in swirls and swishes like an impressionist painting.

I do, it makes me chuckle.

Anyway that's how I attack the mowing, I get there in the end. Yup I tidy it up but the swirls and swishes sadly disappear after the first wee rain fall or dew. Shame really.

For the record, I like weeds in my lawn, pretty ones, they're good for the bees. And I like bare patches, I'm sure some wildlife enjoys a bit of bare earth in the green dessert of a lawn. And I definitely don't add any chemicals - honestly why apply stuff that kills the diversity and might make it grow faster. Have you ever heard of anyone applying 'carpet dust growing powder' to their carpets, to let them hoover them more often. No, I don't think so. And as for moss, OK so it might be a bit of a nuisance when its wet but its spongy and fun to spring along under and can host lots of wee bugs and stuff. Leave it alone, who ever heard of moss attacking you? Its hardly a harmful creature. Birds love it for their nests, so leave it be happy in your lawn. Why not. Spend your money on better things like sausages or Spandau Ballet records, what ever floats your boat, don't spend it on lawn chemicals I plead of you.

Mind you back to the old course in St Andrews. What I did find there was a golf ball growing habitat - all the balls nicely 'hatched' or grown like mushrooms all over a special enclosure. The golfing nut told me it was a driving range, but I say its where they grow golf balls and what does he know anyway. What did make me chuckle was the amount of wild flowers I encountered on the 'auld course' one of which included daisies, clover and (shock horror) ragwort. As shoddy as my green keeping skills are, I ain't go no ragwort in my lawn. Pop along on a Sunday and help them to spot their weeds, tell them how bonnie they are I'm sure they'd appreciate that very much. Just say I sent you. There's a billion green keepers I'm sure one of them might listen.

So chaps if you're gonna iron yer countryside chaps, at least do it properly.

Until next time, keep those green fingers active. Swirl those lawns whilst you're doing your 'outdoor hoovering', home call it mowing but lets face it its more like hoovering the garden. So stripes and blocks are SO last year, set yourself free when mowing, why not.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Scarlet's counsel

In a week when I few things haven't exactly gone to plan, sometimes a bit of perspective is a grand idea. So here's Scarlet up there looking a tad skinny but really getting gorgeous.

Here how she was on the 14th of July, two weeks from rescue and looking so much better than she arrived, how bizarre that seems now.  I natter to the chickens everyday, they're awesome, but you knew that right? They give great advice.

Its amazing how we shine and grow when we're loved and have grand company in which to seek counsel through life's trials and tribulations. 

And of course, a bit of straw and the odd slug never hurts either. 

(That's the chicken not me, honest.)

These hens were rescued from Wing and Prayer Rescue for rescue hens and information in your neighbourhood within the UK visit the British Hen Welfare Trust, other regons may have similar schemes to rescue ex-commercial hens. Goodluck!

PS I went to my writing class tonight, its started up for the winter. Homework, write everyday. Be scared, I know I am.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Dogs life....

Peedie catching some shade. Meanwhile, me and my trusty Orkney Creepie (stool) carry on painting the fence.....4 panels done, a billion to go.
House filled with visitors again, have a lovely weekend guys! Suns shining here hope it is with you too.