Thursday 31 March 2011

The White Stag.

This is an aerial view of the White Stag on Mormond Hill. This is the side of the hill we see from our current house, and will see from our 'new' house.

Apparently this was created as a wedding present. That is as far as my research has got to. I am lured on to find out more!

And unlike other such man made creations, our horse and stag being the only two in Scotland, it is made from quartz. Most of the others, in England, are from chalk.

This picture below, which is of the horse, shows how it has been made. Now how did they do that? There weren't aerial photographs then, so how did they get all the proportions right? Quite amazing.

I just had a silly thought. Obviously both the stag and the horse are best seen from a distance. If you were walking on the hill and came across this load of stones you would have no idea what they were there for. So did they have someone across the fields bellowing, right a bit, down a bit, you've missed a bit.........!

Just chuck a few more stones on Jimmy.

Another thought, it is very nice that soon I will have the time to really get stuck into researching the area I live in!

Our very last paying guest is in. Due to be arriving 'early evening', he arrived at 3p.m. Deep breath. I will not have to deal with this any more. Very nice man. But oh one does wish they would think about what is required to ready the place for paying guests. So he had to circumnavigate the vacuum cleaner in the dining room.....

Little does he know that his bed is in the classifed adverts in the local paper.

Wednesday 30 March 2011

White horse, Mormond Hill.

Not the best of photographs. Apologies. Story is that some king way back lost his horse and one of his men gave him his. This was done to commemorate that. On the other side of the hill, that we can see from our current house, is the stag. Not sure of the story on that one, something for me to find out. I feel another book coming on!

The morning was spent going to the doctors. All my results are back from all manner of tests done on my digestive system, including the torture of the endoscopy. I swear, if there's ever anything wrong in that region I wont tell anybody. I never,ever, want to go through that again.

Nothing major found. So thats another bit of me that had stress as the answer.

I have had most of my body throwing up problems that eventually were put down to stress. Skin rashes, high blood pressure, loss of voice.

On my gravestone will be the words, "She thought it was stress again...."

The afternoon was at the hairdressers. Best antidote to stress. Head massage. Someone else doing things for you. And a good end result.

Also managed to pack a few more boxes in between.

Off out through the mist and murk to Rotary this evening.

Just had a phone call from our phone company. Our new telephone number for the new house. But you gave us a new number a week ago, and I have spent all day yesterday giving it out.


Tuesday 29 March 2011

Sunset last night.

Cool! Never, ever tire of the sky. Mother Nature is wonderful. I am surprised that men have allowed this to be a feminine title, they've grabbed everything else. Who says God is a he? It was certainly men who thought up the census form this year. How boring. They could have had a fun page, like whats your favourite colour, or flower, or film, or book. But no, its what do you do for work, what does it consist of, what do you actually do, try typing in bed and breakfast in answer to every question and you get a bit fed up of boring questions.
A picture of Minerva McGonagall who does not want to be left behind. She has nothing to worry about.

Today I set up and cleaned a guest room and this was the last time I shall ever do this for a paying guest!

This afternoon I waved good bye to two bin bags full of super king size sheets and quilt covers, that I had offered on freecycle (washed but NOT ironed). Yay.

The rest of the day has been taken up with telling insurance companies, and everyone else who takes money off us that we are moving. You dont realise how time consuming this is.

So no boxes packed by me today.

Mike has been sorting through the greenhouse, packing up pots, potting bench, seed trays, shelves. He then bravely went up the ladder with a saw and lopped a few branches which overhang our driveway. Not normally a problem as they are so high, but then, so are removal vans.

Out in the fields the tractors are sowing the next crop.

When we first visited Cherry Cottage the field at the front was full of sheep. Last time we visited the fields had been ploughed. Wonder what the crop will be there.

Its exciting int it.

Monday 28 March 2011


This is the machine I have used for the last eight years, well I am on my second one, but thats by the by. Very efficient for bedding, particularly the super king size, which we use on our super king size beds in the b&b. Having not done as much ironing as usual, as we have no guests in, my scars are just about healed. Somehow, despite a lot of ironing and therefore an experienced steam press user, I always managed to burn my hands. Just yanking the huge sheets through I would end up touching the top plate, yow. Our buyers are aso buying this wondrous machine. So its back to the ironing board. Whilst googling for pictures of women ironing I was totally gob smacked as to how many famous artists have done pictures of women ironing. Picasso, and this one by Degas, which I absolutely love! Its title is 'Women ironing'. Well if the woman on the left is ironing, thats the sort of ironing I would love to do! Havent quite got as far as drinking out of the bottle tho. Despite all the decluttering, boxes off to the tip, charity shop, marked for car boot, freecycle, keep, I have not found one iron, and I know I had at least two. So my Mothers Day treat was me off to ASDA to buy a new one. Also a pretty ironing board cover as the board I did find. Packing away most mornings is now routine. This morning Mike told me "Dont go mad." This because I was taking pictures off the walls where guests go..... We have one last guest in on Thursday. A single man, the booking Mike took, despite my mouthing at him, "NO!" The fact that the library is now stacked high with boxes containing books, and empty shelves all around them, and the corridors also have boxes stacked up, I think our guest just might have a clue that we are flitting. So a bare wall where once there were pictures and who is to know if they never saw the wall when there were pictures?????????????? I am rather cross about this booking. I have had to hang fire on quite a lot of activities. Such as selling the bed he will sleep on! And the sideboard on which will be displayed the cereals, fruit juices, yoghurts..... Oh well, once he has departed, I will be going mad. Because then there will only be two weeks to go. Before we do.

Saturday 26 March 2011

Car Boot.

After a week of almost balmy weather and high temperatures for the time of year this morning it was cold, grey and showery.
Arriving just before 8a.m. to set up, we were joined by other car booters, in total six. I would say that we were alone in not being 'professional' booters. They all had those clothes hanger efforts on wheels and jewellry stands.
The boot sale is on an area of waste land where a block of flats were demolished. It is on a corner of two roads, so wherever you are there is a wind coming from one direction or another.
The first half hour brought the usual dealers, who pick out anything they consider re-saleable. Then the obvious regulars. Pockets crammed with empty carrier bags and the other pockets crammed with small change.
What I did find curious that these regulars spent a lot of time just walking from one end of the row of cars and back again. Not coming up to the stalls, just patrolling. And this went on til we left. One got the impression they were part of a coach trip. Perhaps there is a coach company somewhere that offers a tour of car boot sales. Saturday Peterhead, Sunday Thainstone (this is a big one).
Then there are the Grannies, usually in pairs, and who pick up an item, scrutinise it and ask how much, once they realise you just want rid and are asking silly money, they clear the stall, all the time saying loudly, "Oh this'll do for poor Aunt Nellie, she'll love this." "And Mrs McWhirter collects these silly things dont she?" Mike was so enamoured of this pair, that when she asked him if he had a bag meaning carrier bag, he grabbed a large hand bag I had actually never used, crammed stuff in it and beamed, "You can have the bag for nothing." Most expensive item on the bloody stall probably, all my own fault as I never ever say to him how much a thing has cost me, "Oh, it was in the sale, " is my usual. Serves me right, and I swear the old dear winked at me, as I stood there open mouthed.

There were two or three men of oriental appearance who did this parading, back and forth, for over an hour and never approached any stall. It was quite unnerving.
The chap who took the money, and walked around chatting to all the stall holders, told us they were probably thieves and he had his eye on them. He looked to be about 16, and the oriental gentlemen were copies of Oddjob from the Bond film, hmmm.
I had to go to the loo which meant a bit of a walk into the town. We must have picked a bad day, the place was deserted. I didnt pass anyone!
I did think about nipping into New Look and buying a coat. I do have a coat and I was wearing it, three jumpers and a hat and gloves, but I was frozen to the core.
When I got back there were fewer of the paraders and three of the cars were packing up.
We then had a flurry and I sold quite a few cds and dvds but by this time we were down to selling at 20p each, next we would be paying the customers to take stuff away.
One chap was raving about a video game on offer, but then said,"You should have that on ebay."
(I checked when I got home, selling at £2.50, not really worth the effort, and you have to post it off.)
By this time I could not stop shivering, teeth chattering, and was convinced hypothermia was setting in. So we called it a day.
We made our pitch money of £10, plus £16.20p. And when I had repacked up the boxes there was one empty box.
It has taken me four hours to warm up to a normal body temperature.
We still have loads left, and loads we didnt take this morning, but unless there is an indoor boot sale I wont be car booting again til the Summer.
I think I can take me coat off now, best leave the hat on a bit tho.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Loch of Strathbeg.

This is the beach, the loch is (obviously!) to the left. Yes this IS the North East of Scotland. Beautiful? Yes.

From this ancient map you can see how close to the beach and sea the loch is.
(Our 'new' house is to the left, off the map.)

I have mentioned this bird reserve owned by the RSPB, of which we are members, on this blog and my previous one. (Greenbraebedandbreakfast.blogspot.)
Over the years we have had many diverse connections with the reserve.
When we first came to live here it was the place Mike headed to. He is more an out and about bird watcher than I, who am quite happy with noting what is in our garden.
There was very little bird life in the garden,when we first came here, but, as we added feeding staions all around, the bird population and variety built up. So we have our own little bird reserve.
Then we provided bed and breakfast for the new manager, Dominic and his wife as they house hunted. And became firm friends.
Next were major works at Strathbeg, for clearing silt and ditching work, environmental surveys and so on, and again we housed the workers, professionals et al. So we have always felt a close connection and interest in the reserve. Now we are moving nearer to live.
Where we live at Greenbrae, (for a few more weeks), we have experienced the excitement in the Autumn of thousands and thousands of pink footed geese that arrive at the Loch of Strathbeg, every year, to overwinter and feed. These geese fly over Greenbrae, in great skeins, calling to each other, a really heart stirring sight and sound. Some years, depending on what is growing in the fields that surround Greenbrae, we have had the geese land and feed quite close. Amazing sight. The geese go westward in the morning to their feeding grounds and then back east in the evening.
The farmers around the Loch are paid by the RSPB to set aside fields of grass to feed the geese to minimise the damage that they can do to other growing crops around. But we still get the huge skeins flying over heading somewhere else! Then, back in the evening to roost at Strathbeg.
It is a good feeling that our involvement with the Loch of Strathbeg will continue.
If you are still with me after all this about Strathbeg the downsizing continues with our first car boot sale on Saturday. ......

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Sea Eagle.

This is one big bird. If it were to stand on the ground and face me we would be eye ball to eye ball.
Usually seen on the west, we have had a regular visitor around here called Ralf. I think the name is from the letters on his id tag.
Mike had a day off from house clearing today and went off to our local bird reserve at the Loch of Strathbeg. When we move house we will be much closer.
He has officially volunteered now. The manager of the reserve is a personal friend of ours. We had him and his wife stay with us whilst house hunting.
He rubbed his hands with glee, they are a bit short of actual bird watchers on their staff as there is a lot of maintenance work the staff do, and the bird watchers who do come are not necessarily coming on a regular basis or want the responsibility.
Dominic has said Mike can take his car where others are not allowed to and watch the sea birds.
The Loch of Strathbeg is very close to the sea.
I fully intend to go with him on those trips. Just imagine your own private view point. Fantastic beach, sand dunes, I can draw, take photographs and watch the sea. All from the comfort of the car, not a draughty hide where you have to speak in whispers.
In fact I might decide to leave Mike at home. No, better not, I have only just worked out the difference between a cormorant and a shag. And I still can't pick out an eider duck.
But I do know a sea eagle when I see one. In fact I duck.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

More packing.

I have almost run out of boxes!
Pictures are a problem. I even resorted to watching a video online. This showed you how to wrap a picture, well, I think even I could do that without a video. What it did not tell you is what you do with them then. Do the removal men load them up one at a time? Or should I stick a few together with the parcel tape? The smaller pictures that fit into a box are fine, I have stuck some cushions in with them as added protection. But we do have a number of larger pictures.
I will just bubble wrap them and lean them up against the boxes and hope for the best. There are quite a few large mirrors too....Even after all this bubble wrapping and parcel tape I still have a box full to car boot. The house we are moving from has acres of wall and I was continually adding to our picture gallery over the years!
As well as all the packing up of a very large house and its contents and praying it will all fit in to a much smaller house we are arranging for the utilities to be stopped here and started there.
Talk Talk who we had chosen as the cheapest package of telephone/broadband/etc. informed is that the house was 'not on the system' so it would cost us a lot more to go with them. (?)
Could this be some clever marketing ploy or are they yet another of the companies who think Aberdeenshire is one of the islands in the North Sea? Ordering things online can be quite annoying when our post code demands a higher delivery cost. As my friend Lena says, who orders lots for her business, "We do have roads, we do have one of the richest cities 30 minutes away, so why the ****** h*** do I have to pay more?"
We ended up with British Telecom. They informed us that the telephone at our new abode was cut off in November last year.
So how come we telephone the owners and speak to them?
Anyway they are to provide us with what we want and we do have a new telephone number. Problem was that by the time Mike had got this far, the air was just clearing from definitely blue, to a pale mauve, as he had listened to the menu of press this button for this and this button for that, and not one instruction was for give me a telephone; but he had written the number down. I was just about to set off and send this to family and friends, I looked at it and said, "How come all our friends at Lonmay have a number starting 53 and you have written 58?" I tell you its a wonder we have a workable telephone right now! Crash!
All these years and he never told me he was dyslexic! (and I am not, but still unsure as to the spelling).

Monday 21 March 2011

Fraserburgh Beach.

Fraserburgh will be our nearest town when we move. Do you think I could persuade Mr Morrison to move there too?
Still my preferred supermarket. In Fraserburgh its Tesco. Quite a big one. But Mr Morrison knows about meat, and presents tasty cuts of meat, whereas I do find Tesco and even more so, Asda, to be verging on tasteless.
Ah well, you can't have everything.
Fraserburgh does have this amazing beach. Surfers and wind surfers love it. When I lived in Cornwall, many years ago, I surfed. We will keep that one in the memory bank, not something I would want to repeat particularly in the North Sea.
The nearest I get to the sea now is the beach. I have always loved to see what has been washed up and collected the odd shell and pebble. We have quite a collection of drift wood here, which I guess will end up on the fire. Though I do have one piece which is in the shape of a seal, life size, which might end up in our new garden or, better still, on the wall of my studio(!)
I spent the morning packing our library of books into boxes. Bit difficult at times as every time I made up a box, picked up a few books, turned to put them in the box, there was a cat in it.
Well - just off to tart myself up to go out for my birthday meal.
Thank goodness my eye sight is failing, I can't see any wrinkles at all!

Sunday 20 March 2011


Last pair of guests depart tomorrow.
Then I can really get packing boxes!
When our very last guest arrives at the end of the month he will probably be on an air bed with a flask.
We took Jemima Puddleduck to her new home this afternoon.
When we move we will be nearer to our friends, who have taken her, so will be able to visit, which is nice.
She now has four other ducks to play with. It took all of five minutes for the drake there to assert his droit de seigneur. Then followed the usual pecking order session with the other ducks. But she seemed fine, ate, swam in the pond, and was dibbling away in the mud as we left.
Hopefully a happy ending .
Our three cats are getting a bit worried with all the disappearances of furniture, and ducks. So a lot of reassurance being given.
And the cat travel boxes kept well out of sight.

Saturday 19 March 2011

All quizzed out and still a question remains..

A good turn out last night. Hopefully enjoyed by all.
As Mike was asking the questions, it was down to me to collect the answer sheets and do the adding up. Problem was that as Mike was driving I could have a drink. So by the end of the evening I am not too sure I got the grand total right. But as one team were so far ahead, that one point here or there - what the hell. Mike checked them as well so there you go. I won my own raffle prize back. Which wasnt a bottle, as all the other prizes were, damn.
And there was a rowdy table who demanded most of my attention, just like the night before. This time the team in question (no pun intended) had sat as far away from the questioner and screen, that showed the questions, and moaned and moaned about not being able to see or hear. When I suggested they moved to another table nearer the stage, "We've just got settled, get him to speak louder and slower."
But they stayed to the end and were laughing and joking with me by then, whether that was down to the booze intake or my charm, I know not.
Home again, home again, jiggety jig, with the big moon we have all been promised, didnt look any bigger than what we normally get.
Now, because we had had to leave home at 6p.m. there was no way I was going to persuade the ducks to go into their hut, as it was still light.
Mike went to shut them in on our return, to discover there was only one duck.
As before when this has happened there were no feathers, nothing to show how a fox could get over the fence and back over with a quite large duck. So what happened?
Smoky Robinson is no more.
Tomorrow, Jemima is off to a new home. My friend who has ducks and hens had said she would take the pair of them when we moved. She is going to take Jemima tomorrow as I cannot bear her being alone again.

Friday 18 March 2011

Who knows what this is?

The second picture was shown last night as part of the Primary School Quiz. Our rotary club organises this every year for our area.
This was last night at the nearby indoor bowling alley. Not your ten pin bowling, oh no, this is the purple rinse, white cardigan and pumps brigade. With bowling on a green. And all deadly serious. Not sure whether this is a Scottish thing, but I have never come across indoor green bowling before. Very popular, the place was packed. This was 6p.m.
We had ten teams competing for this round, the winners go onto compete against other districts, until there is a champion school.
We had to set up the tables and chairs for the contestants. Rows of chairs for the parents - at a suitable distance so as to reduce any parental guidance!
Although that didnt stop one grandma, who had obviously taught her grandson to lip read, until I cottoned on and glared at her. I couldnt work out why this child was gazing steadfastly at the bar, beyond where the parents were and then as if he had received a word from above wrote down the answer. So I turned to look at the bar and there was this white haired glam gran, clutching her gin and tonic, gazing fixedly back at the boy.
Then there was the surreal moment of one of the teachers leaping across the room, grabbing a piece of paper, waving it aloft and shouted, "This was on the table before we started!"
This was a list of words, which just happened to be the words the kids were being asked to spell.
Turned out we had recycled the scrap paper from last year and the words were the same on both spelling questions, this year and last! Whoops. I think that was my fault being keen on recycling, but you would have thought whoever collected the paper up would have ensured there was no writing on it. So we had to scrap the spelling question wholesale.
I was unofficially supervising the table with the lip reader and three mates, who were a bit rowdy. If they didnt know the answer they were egging each other on to write something silly for the answer.
I have to own up in that I do enjoy the company of most children and had all on to try and remain serious, but it isnt in me. I had all on not to join in.
However, back to the picture. One lad had it as a small cabbage, the brains of the foursome looked doubtful, but for once was stumped. What normally happened was that he totally ignored the other three and wrote down the answer while they larked about and wound each other up.
But this time he was stumped. Meanwhile one of the three jokers was hitting himself on the forehead, "I know this, I know this, think, think, its something to do with the Jews."
The brains looked at him open mouthed, the other two fell about. They ended up with 'small cabbage.'
After the answer papers had been collected I had to tell him that he had been oh so nearly right.
Jerusalem Artichokes do not look like this. It is a tuber that is eaten. The picture is of a globe artichoke, and the leaves are eaten.
He looked at me in disbelief. When the official answers came forth, we exchanged a glance, and his face was a picture as he turned to his team , and said "I told you I knew that one."
It was the only question he got, nearly, right all evening.
My last job was to be the official photographer.
By this time I was exhausted. But I performed magnificently and the photographs are all fantastic. Problem is I was so out of it I forgot to ask which school each picture was of, or make a note of their logos on their sweat shirts. So come this morning and I am preparing to send them off to the local newspaper I realised my error. I know who the winners are as they are holding up the shield, but nine other lovely photographs, I havent a clue which school they belong to!
So -probably missed the deadline before I sort it all out.
Ordinarily I would have spent the rest of the day so doing, contacting all the schools, even driving round them clutching the photographs, but today was spent cleaning the house for paying guests in for the weekend, and supervising yet more furniture being taken away.
And tonights preparations, yet another quiz, this time for the adults. Mike has done all the questions, again for the Rotary, this time to raise funds.
I havent been out much in the evenings for some time, in fact a long time, and tonight will be my third night out in a row.
I am 62 on Monday and feel 92.
Oh, forgot the flowering artichoke picture. Years ago we holidayed in Britanny. We went twice, both times for two weeks, never ever before had we managed to holiday for two whole weeks, and it was wonderful. When we came to live here I really felt how much it was like Brittany. But no flowering artichokes. There, they were growing in the fields hundreds and hundreds of them, fantastic sight. Whilst there I bought some flowering and dried them and still have them.
Here I grow cardoons, which are somewhat smaller, and have dried their heads. You can eat them, but I havent.
Now that would make a good quiz question, show a picture of both and ask what are these.
Probably get, "Something to do with the jews and Donald Duck." (cardoons/cartoons geddit?)

Thursday 17 March 2011

Not our house, but very like!

What a day.
The Re-use charity were due at 11a.m. So I moved all the furniture into the corridors ready for them, and moved my stuff, to keep, out of sight, just in case they got carried away and removed everything in sight. Also moved the tip stuff and charity shop out of the way.
12 o clock no sign. So I phoned to be told they wouldn't be coming till after 1p.m.
So I began to boil my eggs for lunch and there they were coming up the drive.
Now, what did I say about them removing everything in sight?
"Hmm, Cant take that, Health and Safety." I must have heard that phrase so many times.
The arm chairs dont have a fire warning label. The chest of drawers is rickety, well yes till you slide the back in the grooves, I just hadnt got round to doing that after I had moved it.
The castors were off the bed side table, ever heard of screwing them back in? And on and on.
This a charity which claims to make new from old. If they havent the skills to screw a castor on, then how do they perform their claim?
Then we came down to "Not enough room in the van." They had come with a list I had provided, which included a large, old fashioned wardrobe and a nest of tables, both items I had managed to give away, which is just as well as there is no way they would have got the wardrobe in their van even had it been empty.
So I am left with more for the tip and quite a lot to now put on freecycle. Hoping to avoid the latter as I have found of late that people will leap to email you to say YES I really want that and then three days later say well I didnt really, so you have to start all over again.
All the magazines telling you to rid yourself of clutter. Well it aint easy.
Bonfire next.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Phoebe gets her new home.

Way before we do! As you can see, she is still not sure about it. Normally she would be on the highest perch possible. But from the food on the floor of the cage, normal parrot behaviour take food out of bowl, have a taste, spit it out, repeat, she has been for an explore and found the fruit bowl and the walnut that was a treat.
We have just over four weeks to go before we move lock, stock and boxes. So a bit of stress at a time for the parrot, time to adjust to her new cage.
The move will not be as horrendous as the last move. That was nine hours of me driving a white van, from the Midlands in England, to the North East of Scotland. Three cats in one parrot cage, laid flat, and Phoebe in a smaller cage, gripping on to her perch and holding her body horizontal for the whole journey. Still unsure as to why she went horizontal, unless it was to see the car in front.
When youngest daughter and I arrived our first job was to undo the large parrot cage, get it into the house and put it up again for Phoebe to sleep in what she was more familiar with.
We just got her settled when it fell apart.
This time this cage will fit through doorways. It will be last onto the removal van and first off. Phoebe will be in a carry cage and the journey should take all of twenty minutes. That of course is if the solicitors do their bit and the keys of the new house are there when we need them.
Tomorrow morning we have Peterhead Projects Reuse team coming to take away some furniture that we will not need.
Mike has valiantly continued to clear the loft and is now on first name terms with the team at the tip.
I am beginning to think our removal man's estimate of 100 boxes was a bit out.
I know I am fed up of filling the damn things. Especially as so far none of it is our stuff that is going in them. Daughters.....
Mike is still of the opinion that people will buy anything at a car boot sale.
I look forward to our first - when we will return with everything he has put in - and nothing of mine. That is when I shall ask him to pay for the pitch.
And he will probably be invited to the tip team's Christmas party.

Sunday 13 March 2011

My Studio!

Wherein I shall also write me book, sew, chill out, play opera full blast, and have a wine down.
On todays viewing we discovered that there is a sink unit within, all plumbed, and a fridge, what more could you ask for? Also power, and not a hint of damp, and the floor solid enough to take the weight of my cherished huge chest of drawers.

This patio door is in the kitchen and is at the side of the house. Where the halogen heater is, is where Phoebe, our parrot, will be. In her new cage. Ordered yesterday.
She is not aware of how lucky she is, as for a while she was on the recycling list.
But as she is one of my daughters, albeit feathered and noisy, she is still my responsibility and we are hoping that with a bit more attention, which she will get as we do not have to cater for bed and breakfast guests, the noise might be lessened.
She gets shut away quite a lot, because of paying guests, but still demands, in her own special way, that she meets and greets everyone and if for some reason or another this does not happen - well - just imagine yourself in the Amazon jungle.
Through the patio door you can see our nearest neighbours. There is a road between us, which is beyond the brown coloured , very manicured hedging.
This picture shows the breakfast bar and inbuilt t.v. Ye gods. Not sure how long that will last.

Last lot of measuring done on todays visit. Pleasantly surprised as to how much I wanted to keep will fit.
Down to the nitty gritty I was counting plug sockets, I needn't have bothered.
This house is wired in to NASA I shouldn't wonder.
Mike has arranged for a guided tour from the man of the house, (who we still haven't met.) This tour to be instructed as to how all the wiring works and what its for.
"So we dont go up in flames", I said.
This was in response to a "What do you want to know that for?" as if we had asked for the bank account details, or their blood group.
Then the mobile phone was ditted and handed over, so Mike could explain what he wanted to know - and why - to the man of the house who was "Out with the dog", as he has been every time we have viewed the property.
It would appear that I could play my opera and it would be blasted out to every room. So he wants to know where to switch it off!
Telephone into every room, computer into every room, t.v. in every room. Not sure I can take all this technology.
Our chest freezer has just gone, collected by a freecycler. In a howling gale and rain. I only put it on this morning and had just managed to scoop up all the ice. (Someone had left the lid up....and it wasn't me.)
So, rooms are emptying.
Also today our buyers have been offloading some of their garden furniture and pots. Another hour with them .
I tell you I really do look forward to being downsized, retired, but still managing a wine down - right now.

Saturday 12 March 2011

Sunset last night.

Just hoping we get as good as this when we move. Or should I say be able to see it. It isnt the sort of thing you get on a house specification is it? It has to be better than watching it set behind roofs, and theres no chance of that!
Today we sold the brass bed. I was quite stunned. I like it, indeed love it, but didnt really expect anyone else to.
I did wonder about handing over a plaque stating that all my children had been conceived in that bed, but thought better of it! Too much information.
A lovely couple, who are putting their cottage back to how it should be, bought it.
They are also to take the large old fashioned wardrobe we inherited with the house. And if my beautiful huge chest of drawers wont fit anywhere in our new house, they want that as well.
We are going to measure up at our new abode tomorrow afternoon. Then it really will be on the downward/downsizing track.
On Monday I begin to pack up the 100 boxes the removal man is to bring.
We have two more bookings for our b&b. A couple in next weekend who have visited here before. And then one man at the end of the month. For one night, whoever took that booking has a lot to answer for.......
So far we have managed to, almost, clear the loft. Boxes are piled high on one leg of the corridor, out of view to paying guests. Mike's car is full of more stuff for the tip. Mine with stuff for charity.
It is snowing heavily today, so we did not go to the car boot. That will have to now wait for two weeks, as we have the paying guests in. Hopefully by then the weather will have improved.
The snow isnt lying but with temperatures forecast to plummet over night it may well be deep and crisp and even by the morning. Hasnt stopped the birds singing. A blackbird is warbling away. Chaffinches are doing their bit. And the pheasant is calling. Well more like shouting.
On counting the boxes already filled, its a toss up between which lot are the most, the daughters, or the car boot stuff.
Not much of ours. Well, not yet.

Friday 11 March 2011

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse.

This lighthouse was built on top of the castle at Fraserburgh. It is now part of the Lighthouse Museum. In my healthier days I have been to the top of this lighthouse. It is just as if the keepers have left to go shopping. An old valve radio, iron beds, all very 1950s.
Fraserburgh will be our nearest town, not Peterhead. So no Morrisons, but a Tesco. Hmm, know which I prefer.
Well, we have now booked the removal firm. Lovely chap, deaf as a post. Just got his bus pass, so he can get a discount at the fish and chip shop. I had better go get a bus pass.
"Ye'll need a hundred boxes." A hundred! I have already got that many I thought. Where am I going to put 200 boxes in that tiny cottage?
So we sorted that out, they are all to go in the dining room, "So ye can sairt them all out at your leesure."
He did a lot of working out on his calculator. Not sure what formula he was using, probably think of a figure and then look as if you have worked it out scientifically. But the final amount was okay be me.
So, a 100 boxes being delivered on Monday.
4 weeks and four days from then - we move.

Thursday 10 March 2011

Today's loft clearance.

Car already full with flattened, cardboard boxes that once contained a variety of electrical equipment, most of it long gone to the tip and replaced! Didnt realise we had had so many toasters and microwaves. Along with all the polystyrene packing. Sheesh.
Apart from the box with the speakers on top, which is a box to be car booted, the rest belongs to the daughters.
Transferred my clothes from a wardrobe, to be recycled, into what was a guest room wardrobe. Also chest of drawers, to match, now in our bedroom with my stuff in. I have finally got a bed room with matching furniture! Bed and breakfast guests have been the priority for so long now I feel quite guilty at putting my clothes in ! Up till now we have had three rooms for paying guests. But have decided to go down to two till the 31st March, when we retire.
I had to go to the hospital yesterday which I had been dreading for some time. It is over now and I am feeling just a little frisson of excitement now that we are starting a new chapter in our lives.
We have had very strong winds here today. Fortunately it just stopped. I had visions of the roof coming off, a tree coming down, really do not want anything disastrous happening now......
Fortunately nothing happened so we have no excuse and are continuing with the loft clearance.

Wednesday 9 March 2011


Where would we be without photographs?
This is the Bull Ring in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. This is the town where I went to school, a bus ride away from our village. Here is where I stood under the bus station clock waiting to meet my date. You can just see the face of the clock above the shops facing.
A statue of Queen Victoria once took pride of place in the middle of this roundabout. Presumably, way before that, it was indeed a bull ring. Where cattle were sold?
Thanks to my friend Rita for posting this pic on facebook. A lot of other people's memories were triggered too.
I have lots of photographs, as I am sure many of us have. But, oh, how they deteriorate.
My wedding photographs have all taken on a deep brown tinge. And we got married in 1980, not 1930.
There is a lot to be said for digital photography and computers. Whilst I doubt I will ever accept Kindle, I like to feel and smell a book, even if they have shown their age, photographs are something else.
When we move I shall ear mark some time to trawl through all the old photos and get them scanned and onto a disc. Preservation.
All photographs, since we came to live in this house, which we are about to leave, are on the computer/and/or on a disc. Fresh as the day they were taken.
All ready for a walk down memory lane.

Monday 7 March 2011

A septic tank.

How exciting is that!
But for the last few days in this buying and selling game it has been an all consuming subject.
At the very last minute our buyers solicitors wanted us to mark with a cross on a map exactly where our two were. Despite the fact that legally nowadays you have to have registered them with the Scottish Environmental Agency. Which we have done and paid for the privelege. The certificate even has the ordnance survey references. But no, we have to put a cross on a map.
Even worse is that our new house has no legal documentation as to where the septic tank soaks away or even more scary where the 'mains water' comes from.
So just as we thought everything was done and dusted. Far from it. Solicitors now meeting at dawn.
On with the downsizing, and decluttering. Ye gods. Mike goes up into the loft and throws boxes down for me to sort out. So far we have come across one box that has anything to do with us!
E mails now flying back and forth from me to daughters. Do you really want to keep............?
Then I reseal the box and label it and they pile up and up.

Thursday 3 March 2011


Reading up on the churches. 300, 300! worshippers. Where did they come from, how did they get there?

Ancient map of the area. You can see where Longside is, where we are still living. (allegedly till the 15th April.) If you draw an imaginary line from Cairnbulg point to Rathen our new abode is somewhere there. Although geography was never one of my strong points.
Lonmay is a very widespread area with houses dotted here and there.

Mormond Hill, from which this picture was taken, we can see from our current home. Standing on top of the hill looking over towards the North Sea, encompasses Lonmay. Though I can't see the house we are moving to!
But you get the idea of the surrounding land. Whereas here we look out onto, what has been termed, prairie farming. Huge fields which grow crops of barley, wheat, oats, oil seed rape, carrots, in Lonmay there are more cattle and sheep. And its flatter. Here at Greenbrae the description would be more ' rolling countryside'.
But, wherever you are in Buchan, there is always the big sky.

Wednesday 2 March 2011

The Knuckle.

First I must apologise to readers of both my blogs. As I inadvertently put a posting on this one for the other and vice versa!
This blog is the new life, the new area, although not that far away, it is completely different to where I am now. But from mid April this is where I will be.
Inverallochy is our nearest village which is right alongside the village of Cairnbulg. Both ancient fishing villages. Both have castles, though Inverallochy is now a ruin. Kinnaird is a lighthouse that was built on top of the castle, and where the Lighthouse Museum is at Fraserburgh. The only one I am not sure of is Dundarg, but Cairnbulg is lived in, the rest are ruins, indeed at least one has been buried by the sand.
I now have a load of furniture to go to Peterhead Projects Re-Use Charity. To witness the house emptying will be strange.
We came here from a much smaller house and over the years have furnished all the rooms, now we have to reverse that!
Some of the furniture I have rescued from charity shops or had it from fellow freecyclers and I have given a lot of t.l.c. to these items and been rewarded by the wood coming back to life with a glow, and a chair re-upholstered just makes your heart zing.
Perhaps I could start a factory up in the summerhouse!
I hope that at the weekend we can view our wee house again and I can concentrate on the summer house to see if it is possible to take some much loved pieces after all.
The main house would not be right at all for such stuff. Its all black shiny work surfaces, shabby chic it is not. I can cope with that and will put my own stamp on it never fear.
Its exciting int it.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Ever decreasing circles.

To get rid of, to keep, getting nowhere fast. This one is going.

To keep.

Our buyers, who are to continue doing bed and breakfast have not indicated that they wish to buy any of the guest rooms bedroom furniture. Which was a bit of a shock.

Or the bedding, or the towels. All of which are top quality. And none of which we use!
So I guess theres a plus. We can now enjoy the high percale cotton mix sheets and soft white fluffy towels.
But the furniture, beds, wardrobes, chests of drawers, bed side tables, and just how many bed side lights can a person deal with? And televisions.
I already have a list of stuff going to Peterhead Projects Reuse. They take in furniture and household stuff and sell it on.
I have tons of stuff for car booting.
Now, I am probably going to have to get in a second hand furniture dealer.
I have four notebooks on the go with lists in. One for day to day activities, WHAT TO DO TODAY. One for the house we are selling, one for the house we are buying and another notebook that attempts to co-ordinate the other three!
Could do with another one headed, "Get a Life."