Sunday, October 26, 2014

Autumn scenes

We may not have forests full of autumn colour here, but we can still enjoy the shades of the season all around us. The moor has a burnished glow that is just as glorious as any woodland right now. The grass and the shoreline are full of different shades of browns, golds and reds and oranges. The leaves of the potentilla are like a golden carpet, and mushrooms and fungi are appearing everywhere.
Mick and I are still walking this same route everyday. He has an ongoing excavation down by the shore - a rabbit hole, most likely. He spent a fair bit of time today, snuffling and scratching at it.  I left him to it and wandered around. I saw a wren, and almost got a good shot of a buzzard (I think). I went to sit on my favourite rock, looking out to sea, and eventually Mick came and joined me. The wind was strong, and there was a fair bit of swell in the water, but the rain stayed away while we were out. It was a good walk.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tattie Holidays


Back in the day, this long October midterm break was known as the Tattie Holiday, as children were given time off to help with the potato harvest. Times change, and nowadays, we take things a bit easier. The Autumn holiday has become a chance to catch a last blast of sunshine and fresh air before the Winter sets in. Last year, at this time we took a trip down to London, but this holiday was spent at home. John still had his final cycle of chemotherapy to undergo, and travel plans are not really an option for us right now - times change...

But still, I was blessed with the visit of two dear friends and their boys. It was absolutely magical time. We did some touring around, ate out a lot, visited beaches, watched our boys play, while we three Mamas chatted and laughed, knitted, and laughed some more. Such balm for the soul - and even the weather conspired to keep them on the island for longer, giving us time for one more lunch out, one more day of their precious company.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

High Five

Big seas, gigantic pies, new yarn shop, lunch out with my husband, and walking the dog. Good things - normal things. Love to you all xxx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Snippets of Yarns.

Just completed this lovely hat, using a gorgeous silk/merino handspun which I bought in Skye. A great quick knit, which I actually finished in a single evening!

Because, you know, I am not renowned for my speedy knitting, or crocheting skills. Witness the Bullseye blanket, begun at the beginning of summer - the pile of circles has grown v e r y  s l o w l y. Still, I am almost ready to start squaring them off in dark brown now, I have run out of some of the colours, and I want to make 4 of each, so need to order those. Not sure about the fawny/grey colour though. Might change that - decisions, decisions.  Meanwhile the Ripple blanket is still unfinished, the odd stripe or two being added when the notion takes me, and a summer shawl languishes in a basket for another season..

Never mind. I have, this very day, cast on  the Annabel cardigan, using the grey Rowan Purelife aran, that I bought specifically for this project. Well - it's what we do... :)

I've no books currently on the go right now - other than Stuart Little, which I am reading to James at bedtime, and various magazines, but I am listening to We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. I do like her writing, and this is a good one. 

Lots of little bits this week - joining in with Ginny forYarn Along. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Constancy and change

It has been a long time - a lost time, really. So much happening, and yet nothing much has changed. The sun still rises and sets and the rain falls - sometimes even at the same time!

The tide rises and falls, and the waves crash in - each one leaving its own unique, elusive pattern, yet the eternal rhythm beats on.
There is such a comfort in the constancy of nature - the reassuring optimism of each new day -  of every new wave breaking on the shore. Such  relentless hope...

There have been a few setbacks. An emergency admission to hospital with pneumonia and pleurisy, and a subsequent pulmonary embolism meant that John's chemotherapy regime was delayed. Thankfully he has now recovered and is back on track with his treatment - one more cycle to go. A preliminary scan shows that the spinal tumour has shrunk, the lung lesion has not grown, and the disease appears to be "stable". Rain followed by sunshine ... and flowers still bloom in the garden.

Tomatoes grow and ripen, despite my neglectful stewardship. Sungold cherry is a clear winner - little bombs of pure sweetness lighten up this dark time.  

My trusty travelling companion - another constant feature in my life. Funny how animals just know... and he certainly does. I am glad he is here, with that unconditional gaze.
We didn't get Independence. Such a disappointment. I was genuinely shocked at how grief stricken I was after the result. All those hopes - dashed. Forty-five percent of us voted for Scotland to become an independent nation - so close. I am still upset, but I believe we will get there one day - soon.

So - it may be low tide right now, but, you know, soon enough the surf will come sweeping up over the beach, obliterating our footprints, creating the shoreline anew. There is such hope in that thought - solace in the constancy of change. xx

Thursday, September 4, 2014


I've been absent from here for almost two weeks now. To be honest I am pretty much taken up with caring, and working for a Yes victory in the Referendum on Scottish Independence. Polling day is18th September, and the vote is going to be very close. It's exciting, nerve racking stuff, but I am so enjoying it. To see my country wholly engaged in the debate in such a positive way is truly inspiring.

John is still going through his chemotherapy - 2 cycles to go. Its leaving him really quite washed out, but we are focussing on the healing aspects of the treatment. We have been hugely buoyed by your thoughts and prayers.

I am not sure if I will be popping back here before the big day, if not - see you on the other side!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cloud spotting

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend xx

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last days of Summer

The heather is blooming now, turning the hillsides into a haze of purple. It's a lovely sight, but a sure sign that Autumn is on the horizon.

The school holidays are over again, although we enjoyed the very last evening on our favourite beach.

We also managed to pick some of the brambles growing down by the shore, before the birds finished them off - so we have some tiny jars of blackberry jelly!

We've been eating fresh salad from the polytunnel every day...

... and the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. Slowly, mind you, but still, it's more than I had expected.

The vegetable garden has been pretty much neglected this year - I lost two lots of seedlings while we were on the mainland for John's hospital treatments, and the raised beds have become choked with weeds. Ah well - nothing else for it but to begin again - slowly - one spadeful at a time. I am pleased to have been able to put a few crops in the ground, at least - and there is always another season...

I've been developing a herb plot near the house, and I am pleased with how it is turning out. The hens also like to hang out under the trees here, so some protection is needed from foraging chooks.

In other news - we have sold the cattle. It was a hard decision, as they have been such a  well-loved part of our lives here. But looking ahead, realistically, it is unlikely John will be able to get back to active crofting, and looking after them involves a lot of work - particularly in the Winter. With a heavy heart, I put them up for sale, and within the week a deal was done. Happily, they are going to be part of a new Dexter herd in another part of Scotland, where the grass is lush and the Winters are kinder.

 The sheep too, will be going for sale next month. Another hard decision, but better for us and for them at this time. It is not what we planned at all, but this is where we are right now.

So - our focus is on the cancer treatment - the next cycle of chemotherapy is in a few days time. We don't know what the eventual outcome will be, and whether livestock will feature again in our lives, but - its not a bad place to be while we wait... xx

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Life right now

It's a bit of an uphill struggle right now, to be honest. John has started his chemotherapy, and while the nursing staff in the unit are just wonderful, the treatment itself is harsh - a strange paradox of killing and healing. The side effects are beginning to kick in and are pretty unpleasant for him. We'll get there, and of course we are trying to focus on the healing element ...

Thanks again for all you wishes and prayers for us. It seems such an inadequate phrase, but please know it comes from the heart. xx

Friday, July 25, 2014

Measuring the moment

Sharing a moment that I want to remember. No words, just a single special image. Joining in with Soulemama for This Moment. Wishing you all a beautiful weekend xx


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