The Northern Lighthouse Board not only had to provide their keepers with cottages in which to house their families, but also land on which to graze a cow and grow their own food.
The (empty) greenhouse is , of course, a fairly modern addition. These photographs show the 'garden' area as it is today.
Some of the garden is under cultivation. Thanks to the local Banff and Buchan College, based in Fraserburgh, which sends along a team of young adults with special needs to cultivate it. They appear every Friday in term time along with their tutors and plant seeds, weed, and cultivate.
During the school holidays, well, back to nature.
Some things survive. The rhubarb crop is amazing. And I am sure that they all get a great deal of satisfaction from watching seeds germinate, flowers appearing. But I have a sneaking suspicion that they get far more enjoyment from going berserk in the Museum shop and buying far too much rock than is good for them, and spending a lot of time sitting on our cannons outside having a fag. And, sadly, we do not have a cow.
So second plan for me is to, whilst working alongside the local college, to involve volunteers, either retired folk in sheltered housing who miss their garden and still have the knowledge, bit of energy, delight in gardening to join in with the young adults. Or anyone else I can drag in!
Who knows, we might then get a cow! No, even I am not that daft.
Produce from the garden would supply the restaurant at the Lighthouse Museum, we are already using the rhubarb. Aaaah Rhubarb Crumble with our wonderful chef's artistic twists. To die for.
So, there you go.
Now in between all the planning and plotting for the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses to make it more user friendly and such a wonderful place to visit!!!! I did manage something I have never done before.
Art 'En Plein Air'. This is just a posh way of saying, "Get outside, draw, paint, but get outside.!"
So our Wednesday Art Group went to St Combs. Plonked ourselves on the beach, or in my case on a grit store box, quite comfortable actually. And painted, drew, sat and just looked. It was overcast, but it was warm and no wind, which is heaven up here. After two hours we moved to the Community run cafe and had lunch.
Then today - well it was like being in the Med. Our Thursday Art Group started with lunch, much more civilised. And then moved on to Rosehearty Harbour.
I sat on the floor here and drew some of the boats, pen and ink.
Did a lovely study of the lobster pots.
Watched the other lot, across the harbour, with deck chairs, paints, water, creating a finished picture. I really must get more organised for this 'En Plain Air' activity.
And then just looked at the amazing view. Life in the North East of Scotland, you cannot beat it. When it isnt windy, raining, misty. Just wonderful.
Ey up, I havent finished. Last night whilst lighting the wood burner I hear a dull thud. On looking out of the window I saw that the front garden wall was now laying on the lawn.
And a Land Rover with a trailer pulling away. I shot out. Apparently the bloke in the landrover had stopped to have a chat to the farmer examining his Neeps (Swedes/big turnips) in the field opposite and wanting to chat face to face had reversed his landrover so to do, his trailer then did a sharp left wheely and demolished our wall, "I forgot I had the bloody trailer on!"
Anyroads, demolisher and friend are currently rebuilding wall. While the DP and I mutter about should have demolished the lot and then we could have a nice picket fence, as really the wall is an abomination......made of breeze blocks and some sort of ghastly 'dressing' which wouldnt be allowed on any self respecting DIY tele programme.
Ah to be in a Lighthouse Keepers Cottage. With a lovely white wall, or a harbour wall, such artistry.....