28 September 2018

September 2918

September, the month of colour and abundance and the croft has provided us with some beautiful nourishment.

The best crop so far from our four year old "Katie" apple tree, not bad considering the battering it gets from the wind

Some furry lupin pods releasing their seeds ready for planting out next spring

Our front garden is not exactly pretty, the mower will not go through the gate and Zara finds it a bit restricting,
so decided to grow potatoes in it instead, which have done very well indeed.

Our potatoes seem to be getting larger, this one weighed in at just over 3lb !

Rosehips are plentiful this season and so have been picking them to dry as a natural, health-giving delicacy for Zara who finds them very yummy.


A peek into some rock pools along the coast showed up some fantastic sights and colours

and with the help of some intrepid explorers .....

we found a secret cave !


Aultbea has now set up it's own Men's Shed

Who knows what they'll be getting up to,

watch this space.


Now this is my sort of traffic jam !

On the road to Inverness,

I think they might be heading for the M25 !


Wanting to replenish our stock of bamboo toothbrushes
I found that the supplier was out of stock,

so I tried this new supplier "Save Some Green",
love the label "Loved by Pandas, Great for Humans" !


In an attempt to reduce the use of plastic, especially the dreaded cling film, an old practice is making a comeback,
 it is the use of waxed wraps, so I thought I'd give it a try.

If you want to make your own, take a piece of pretty
 cotton fabric and cut to the size you want  ....

and in a large pan melt some beeswax, about an ounce

lay the fabric in the melted wax until it is evenly soaked up, spread the wax with a metal tool if needed

take the fabric out of the pan using a peg as it will be hot
and hold it for a few seconds to cool down
 before putting aside

you can then use it to cover bowls, press down at the edges and the warmth from your hands will make it adhere to the bowl

or use it to wrap your lunch; 

they can be reused over and over again,
 washed in warm, soapy water 
and rewaxed as needed.

If you can't be bothered with all that, 
you can buy them already done online, worth a try,
 a nice eco gift for Christmas ?


Quote of the Month

"Be kind whenever possible.
It is always possible.

The Dalai Lama



Book of the Month

Thank you Janet for recommending this one.


Another quote of the Month

"The body benefits from movement 
and the mind benefits from stillness"

Sakyong Mipham


This next clip (found on Pinterest) is especially for
my sister-in-law Elaine

( hope the new hip is settling in well Elaine and hope Colin looked after the cats well in your absence)


This next photo was forwarded to me via Facebook 
(Bobbie Caldwell)
this month and I thought it would be lovely to include it in this blog, hope it makes you smile.

Thank you Karen xxx


 So from the sleeping beastie Wilma

and Tilly who is always looking for mischief

 and big-eyed Zara, smiling for the camera

Malcolm and I wish you all a happy October



1 September 2018

August 2018

Another great night in Aultbea !
 3 Lochs Cinema presented it's second film showing
"The Greatest Showman" in Aultbea Hall

As with all good cinemas popcorn and ice cream were on sale but everyone is welcome to take their own refreshments to enjoy at the cafe tables.

Special thanks to Stan Miller for making this happen in Aultbea and creating such a fabulous atmosphere.


In August 2014 Janette and I thought it would be a good idea to swim in Loch Ewe every Sunday morning,
 regardless of the weather!

And yes, we are still doing it and the dogs now join in too!

We are enjoying the warm water temperature at the moment at around 14 degrees along with the jellyfish,
who also enjoy the warm water 
but they move on as the water temperature gradually makes its way down to around 4 degrees.

Glad you still love it as much as I do Janette ❤️


The peach tree that Malcolm planted three years ago
in our 10' x 6' greenhouse produced over 110 of the sweetest peaches you can imagine !

Many of our neighbours have sampled these peaches
 and I feel that there may be several more peach trees planted in our area.

The polytunnel has been bursting forth and the interspersed nasturtiums, marigolds, sunflowers, geraniums, hollyhocks and sweet peas have kept the bees, hoverflies and 
the good guys happy and kept the bad guys away.

Butternut squashes have now reached the roof of the tunnel
and are looking good, 
thanks Jim for your original plant.

Out on the croft, with no effort on our part,
Malcolm found the largest field mushroom I've seen 
and very tasty too !

Out on the vegetable patch a slightly different story,
the wild sea cabbages and kale were doing brilliantly
and then
the caterpillars arrived !!!!!

and then
there were only stalks !!!!

A lesson learnt for next year, cover up with netting
and I no longer believe that caterpillars prefer to eat nasturtiums rather than cabbages:

our cabbages look skeletal and the nasturtiums look lush !


Local bullrushes on a walk to 
The Aroma Cafe and Perfume Studio at Mellon Charles


I love it when my "little" nephew comes to the Highlands
with his family.


Because they say "yes" to everything !

swimming in the loch and kayaking,

investigating under the pier

getting blown away,

ceilidh dancing,

looking after salty Wilma,


playing pool,

playing table tennis,

being silly,

beach combing,

skimming stones,

and bare-back riding,

and lots of singing, playing instruments and playing cards.

Zara seems rather chilled 
when it comes to the family photo shoots
and takes it all in her stride

I think this next photo sums up a great holiday !

Thank you James, Caroline and Charlotte
for coming to the Highlands and being such good fun !



Double rainbow over the croft

thank you James for this photograph

Panorama across Mellon Charles

thank you James for this photograph


It's always wise to give your guests a comfortable seat
to sit on !!!

Sorry about that Fee, glad you saw the funny side !


This month we were privileged 
to share in the love and celebrations of two special friends
on their wedding day in Dumfries and Galloway.

Jessica and James 
we wish you a lifetime of happiness together
 thank you for sharing your love


Dumfries and Galloway holds very special memories
 from our time spent living there

fab to see you Joanna, 
my most colourful of friends,
 you are always an inspiration to get creative

chatting with April and Doug outside of the
Auchencairn Post Office/Cafe
it was like being on the Continent,
 chatting with all the familiar locals, it was as if we had never moved away.

Thank you Alison for providing coffee and delicious cakes
on your morning off, great to see you ! 
I don't think you're taking this retirement lark very seriously.

Lots of love to all of you in Auchencairn,
we're only sorry that we didn't get to meet up with all of you



On the way back from our trip
 I finally got to see the Kelpies at Falkirk and I loved them !

Eight years in the making 
and sixteen weeks to put them in place,
 they are magnificent!


Website  of the Month


from Bernadette Logue

The Daily Positive website provides actionable inspiration
for a better life and a better world.
Subscribe for free.

Well worth a look.


Books of the Month

These two books were recommended reading on
 the Daily Positive website



Quote of the Month

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow,
learn as if you were to live forever."

Mahatma Gandhi


Ooh, just stumbled across another rather lovely quote that you may like.

"If you inherently long for something, become it first. If you want gardens, become the gardener.  If you want love, embody love.  If you want mental stimulation, change the conversation.  If you want peace, exude calmness.  If you want to fill your world with artists, begin to paint.  If you want to be valued, respect your own time.  If you want to live ecstatically, find the ecstacy within yourself.  This is how to draw it in, day by day, inch by inch."

Victoria Erickson


A bit of fun !

This photo courtesy of Campaign For Wool

"Casually taking the sheep to the shop with the children;
all wearing their wool coats "!


So on a fun note, it's goodbye from us five girlies

and from Him-in-doors

we wish you a fabulous September !