Wednesday, 31 August 2011

A jaunt.

At last I finally felt up to leaving the old homestead.
Happy Plant Garden Centre.
Due to the awful Summer we have had our front door hanging basket and door side pots were looking decidedly scruffy. Canna Lilies were never a good idea for the planters although the creeping jenny stuff has done well.
These two below are to go in the garden. Sedum is one of my favourite plants as it spreads. Plus you get the flowers now and into the Autumn.

Also in the bag is a Bergenia, another favourite with me. (Elephants ears).

Winter flowering pansies and a Bugle join the creepers.

No picture of the hanging basket as a) I cant see into it as it is too tall for me and b) it needs the plants to get going a bit more!

Now this is not our garden.

We have no pond, let alone two.

Though seeing these does give me food for thought..........

There are some ginormous newbuilds dotted around. How they got planning permission.......

This however is old. A lovely cottage covered with honeysuckle and roses, and ivy. I love the fact this has no harling and you can see the beautiful stone. One thing I regret is that our cottage does have the harling - its a sort of a pebble dash if that explains it any better. Our last home also had harling but would have had it for centuries, unlike here which is only 30 years old.

Why the eagles on the gate posts? I dont know.

Another result of the strong winds we had a few days ago!

Not sure what the combine harvester will make of this trampoline which also had a jaunt.

Monday, 29 August 2011

'Er indoors.

Thats me indoors. Whilst Mike braves the elements. I continue to convalesce. (Thats my excuse - along with a list of others.) (I am so small I would get blown away.) (etc.)

Two Sandwich Terns and other waders. Wind is good for bird watching. The birds presumably feel safer on the ground. I know I do.

Still some people are daft being daft. I should point out here that I once was a surfer. But not so daft, I lived in Cornwall then.

Rock Pipit. Note him bracing himself against the wind.

Knot. Dont they look purposeful!

Anyway that's me at the moment. Indoors. With the heating on. The wind has just about slowed down, in the last hour. (Now 4.30p.m.) Regular readers of my blog and the previous one( will know of my hatred of the wind. The cats dont like it either and keep asking us to 'switch it off.'

At least I do not feel guilty sitting around and reading. Though I do wish I didnt speed read. I have just read Frogspawn and Floor Polish by Margaret Mackie in two hours.

She lived at Felbrigg Hall in Norfolk, a National Trust Property. Her husband was the Property Manager there. I am sure we would have visited it, but there have been so many! And there are no pictures in the book! So I am not sure. But we did have a lovely holiday in Norfolk. And as we are members of the National Trust so visiting is 'free' I am sure we would have gone there.

My brother's wife was a property manager at Saltram House near Plymouth. Also National Trust. I stayed with them for a few days - a most enjoyable experience - not just being with them but the whole National Trust back stairs experience.

Saltram House was used for filming Sense and Sensibility, the one with Emma Thompson in.

Also not feeling guilty at knitting during the day.

Cocoon for baby due December, daughter number 3. My first attempt with a circular needle. The cocoon and four double pointed needles for the hat. The next one I might get right! If you look closely the pattern on the cocoon is slightly different to the pattern on the hat. I know not how that happened. I seem to have got it right on my second attempt, work in progress.

This is just like the toadstool we did strange things around when I was in the Brownies!

I really enjoyed my time in the Brownies. But I was chucked out after 'christening' someone in the church font.


I think tomorrow I may venture outdoors.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Gale Force 9

Gusting to Force 11.

Some people are just daft.

We have rain coming in through the dining room window. Fortunately it is the only one leaking as it is the one to be replaced with a patio door.

The garage is also leaking which is an unpleasant surprise. Its only when you get a day like today that you realise something is wrong and the weather is so bad you cannot actually get up and inspect it to find out what is wrong.....

Really cannot believe the date. August, August, August. Sure its not November?

Friday, 26 August 2011


Most of the day!

When these have seeds we are going to collect them. I dont know what it is about teasels but I love them.

This ancient plough has been abandoned in the middle of a wood. Its the sort of thing you see painted up and then placed on the middle of some of the vast lawns that abound with the new builds around here.

This is a sign on one of the house drives. Must be a story behind it.

I just had this vision of someone gazing at the sign and pondering and then suddenly getting squashed by a troop of Mounties hurtling up the drive.

Mike keeps bringing home pictures of all the different fungi. I ought to do a special blog. Just on them. First I need to obtain a very good book..

So I know what I am talking about.

And search his pockets. He does the cooking remember.

I intend staying upright.

And finally - a well camouflaged Buzzard.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Flying things.

Heron. Lots of ponds round here, many man made. Consequently quite a few herons.

Small Copper butterfly.

Common Darter dragonfly. Not that common in this part of the U.K.

Mike went off to the Loch of Strathbeg this afternoon. Our local RSPB bird reserve. He saw many birds but did not manage many photographs. One of a very blurry Osprey. Which shouldnt be here now anyway. They are all heading off to Africa for the Winter.

Soon will be the arrival of thousands and thousands of pink footed geese. The grasslands have been flooded at the reserve in readiness.

Health update. My lungs are now clear. I have a daily bottle of high energy drink. Should be flying myself soon.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A hunting we will go...

These pictures don't need words do they?!
No idea what he/she is catching, but Mike said there were lots.

I have to own up that many years ago I twice went hunting these beautiful creatures. Both times none were caught. At the time it was great fun and my horse loved every minute of it too. I was 14 and she was 3. We shared a life for two years and then exams came along and she moved on. And so did I.

Even though foxes probably took my hens and a few ducks I dont begrudge their space on the planet. My fault for not being more security conscious.

This morning I went to the Health Centre. I now have to see a doctor in the morning as 'they' want to check I am completely clear of infection. I went for my annual check on my lung function. Since being diagnosed with COPD I still havent had a check as every time I go for it I have or have just had a lung infection and they cant do the tests. This time the nurse has promised she will call me back in the Autumn. I am only ever ill in the Summer, how strange is that?

I am also to get some High Energy Juice drinks on prescription. I'll be running like a deer!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Rural Living.

Thank you garden birds! We have loads of these beauties. The first to flower and its nearly as tall as me. What is odd that the sunflowers are all in a row. Equidistant from the fence. Do you think we have a secret gardener or just a precise planting bird. Or he/she gets so far before losing its grip on the seed?

In the late afternoon I stagger down to the summerhouse and just sit.

I try to squint and only see the bits I have painted and not the bits waiting for me to regain my energy.

You will have to 'hit' this picture. Brer Fox early morning on Mikes walk.

Bucha is known as the Land of the Big Sky - so no apologies for more sky pictures.

I was sitting in the summerhouse the other day when our neighbour D called in. To invite me to the Rural.

In England - the Womens Institute, in Scotland the Rural Womens Institute.

My Mother was very active in the Womens Institute and whilst I lived at home and therefore could not argue I was dragged in too.

Some of my memories of that time and the Womens Institute are happy ones. Perhaps I have emptied my brain of the unhappy ones, if my Mother was involved there would have been plenty of the latter. Ho hum.
One good one was a trip to Ireland. Two days in I fell off a piano (dont ask) and broke a bone in my foot. I spent the rest of the bus tour on a stool in the middle of the aisle, where the tour guide should have sat, with my foot on the dashboard.

Ireland is strongly Catholic. Our bus driver certainly was. Every time we passed a church, of which there were many, both hands off the steering wheel while he crossed himself.

The other thing was that where in this country we have 'Give Way' at road junctions, in Ireland it was 'Yield!', which I found hilarious.

Not so hilarious was that I missed the tour round the Guiness Factory as there wasnt a wheel chair.

Now I am in a bit of a quandary with this invitation. One thing you could say for my Mother was that altho a staunch traditionalist she moved with the times.

The delights that await me in my local branch are;

Competitions - Fruit smoothie. Knitted article to be donated (to whom?!)

- Arrangement (of what?!) 2 sweet mince pies.

- knitted cushion (unsewn), table runner (any craft) bridal slice (2)

And on my birthday next year - 3 hyacinth, 6 narcissi, pot of own choice. Exciting or what!

I shall probably go if only to meet the local hoi polloi.

It is also the same night of the week as the Rotary so I have a good excuse for not going every time.

Hoping I am better by October when its a talk from Jimmy Buchan of Trawlermen fame. Although I have heard it all before and I either have to do a doric limarick(sic) or make 2 girdle scones.

Better get practising.

Sunday, 21 August 2011


Mike took Chloe to the train station yesterday, for her to return to Edinburgh, where she lives and manages a posh cheese shop. Thats what you do with a degree in Philosophy dont ya know. As they were a bit early Chloe suggested they went to look for dolphins.

And there they were!

The mouth of Aberdeen Harbour is a great spot for seeing dolphins. A good viewing point is at the Torry Battery which is south of the harbour and has a parking area where you can look down. As you drive down the Beach Boulevard North of the harbour you can sometimes spot the splashes which indicates their presence and then do the detour round the other side.

I have to say that seeing them either in the flesh or in these pictures chokes me.

Such joy in life and living.

Now here is a tale of something that did make me laugh.

Being totally p***** off with this pleurisy I, yet again, googled it to see how much longer I am going to be feeling like a zombie. ( Perhaps I should go volunteer as an extra to Brad Pitt in Glasgow where he is making a movie about zombies.)

So what came up on google? My blog.

Lets just enjoy the dolphin pictures........

Saturday, 20 August 2011

I'm back - but my sense of humour is still missing.

Possibly the worst thing about being ill. Normally I can laugh or make a joke out of all manner of disasters. But with the onset of shivers and chills, weak muscles and no appetite I wave goodbye to the giggles.
But I can just about manage a smile. Bit wobbly round the edges. But a smile. Forced. But a smile.

Thursday Mike and youngest went to Loch Garten. Met a red squirrel.

Some years back daughter number three volunteered with the RSPB and spent a week here guarding the Ospreys. They survived. As did the Peregrine Falcons she guarded in Lincoln City, where she now lives.

Chloe survived her picnic.

Despite the cloud formation over the Cairngorms I dont think they got wet.

Despite tramping over country side a long way from here, Mike managed his dawn walk and was rewarded by these deer leaping through the barley. Why would you want to go to anywhere else when you can see these on your doorstep?

And this very odd looking sheep.

And a Llama. A Llama? Yep, apparently lives at the smallholding that has the peacocks. With a few Llama friends.

Yesterday they went to Craigievar Castle. West of Aberdeen and a National Trust for Scotland castle. This has been closed for some time while they take off the harling (outside coat) which was not allowing the building to breathe, and reapplying a new one which does.

Wellingtonia. One of many fine specimen trees.

Daughter eyeing up the new harling.

I am so glad I didnt/couldnt go. It was a lot of steps. No electric! No tea room! No way.

Apparently they lived there till the 1960s.

Now they must have had a sense of humour.