1 September 2017

August 2017

Welcome to the blog, enjoy

Beautiful photo of across Loch Ewe taken by my nephew James Mansell


The last Saturday of August each year is the date for the Gairloch Produce Show,
showcasing wonderful fruit and vegetables
grown in the local area
together with scrumptious baking, arts and crafts
and photography, something for everyone.

Malc's Mum looking closely at the exhibits

Leeks were grown by the yard !

and the kale was almost larger than Mum !

I'm showing off now but I won first prize
for my "Crofter's Choice" flower arrangement,
flower arranging is not something
that I am generally known for !!!

but it did look rather lovely and included
oregano, kale, mint and spearmint
so smelt delicious and some of it could even be eaten.


The Sunday morning swims continue
regardless of the weather,
Janette and I have now clocked up 3 years of weekly swims
and our occasional swimmers are getting younger which is lovely to see.

Jenny has decided to join the happy band
and has bought her first ever wetsuit
that she was eager to try out

and on her second swim was pleased to swim out as far as the pier with us,
there will be no stopping her now.

Even on grey days our team of dogs still think it's great,

although Storm looks a bit sorry for himself
he's actually only trying to look appealing to get a biscuit


Round and about the croft....

Wilma thinks that the latest delivery of 25 tons of logs 
is a rather good look out point for rabbits

Watching the birds feeding
while the rain is battering against the window

Wilma trying to negotiate a half share
of the new field shelter

Hollyhocks against the wood stack


Quote of the Month

"If you are kind to your body,
it will respond in an incredible way"

Vanda Scaravelli


Finally got to see Eilean Donan Castle,
the iconic Scottish Castle

where we met up with Kathryn and Jim after six years

It was great to see Neve growing up so beautifully
and to meet Ruben for the very first time

So, so lovely to see you all !


On Sunday, 27th August our beautiful cat ,Lulu, sadly died,
she has been a wonderful part of our family for 13 years
and brought us immense happiness
and so enriched our lives every day

Wilma will miss snuggling up with her and falling asleep

and sitting in the warmest spots by the kitchen stove

We will miss you sweet Lulu xxxxxxx


The next few photos were taken by my lovely nephew James 
when he and his family were up on holiday this month,
so thank you James for enhancing this month's blog 

This photo for me sums up holiday happiness !! I love it !!

and smiles all the way

All dressed up for adventure

Charlotte taking Zara for a paddle by the jetty

Got the hang of this kayaking lark

and some magnificent shots of
Loch Ewe and Isle of Ewe

Looking towards the Torridons

and Wilma just lapping up all the attention from Charlotte !

So, from Zara,

"Him indoors"

and me

bye for now, 
let's see what September brings,
happiness to you all


6 August 2017

July / August 2017

July has been a very sociable month with loads of community activities !

Our team, "The Bearded Ladies", (a motley crew!)
ready for the annual Aultbea Raft Race across the harbour,
starting from the pier and paddling across to the
Aultbea Hotel.

( Thank you for this one Stan Miller )

You may be thinking that we're sinking
but we did make it to the other side of the harbour !

( Thanks for this one Stan Miller )

Our team, "The Bearded Ladies", didn't win the race
but we weren't last
and despite the midges being out in force
a great crowd turned out to cheer everyone on.

(Thanks for this one Stan Miller )

Just in case you didn't recognise any of us 
from the left "The Bearded Ladies"
were Lorna, Moira, me, Nibby and Fiona,
only one beard made the crossing.

This year's raft definitely will not make it for next year,
back to the drawing board.

Just in case any of you were wondering about
'elf and safety issues,
Lorna was in charge in case of accident !

It was Moira's first ever raft race but she needed no persuasion to join the team
and loved every minute of it,
so much so that she's ready for next year's race !

Even in the rain it's great fun watching all the various rafts arrive...

getting ready to enter the water

A big thank you to Willie, Murdo and team 
for organising yet another wonderful event.

Even though it was a wet and windy evening
for the raft race
Malcolm's Mum was still up for coming out to show her support. 


At the Aultbea Fun Day
Mum was a good sport and at 92 had her face painted
for the very first time, 
well done Mum !

The pipe band came to play

and there certainly was no shortage of homemade cake !


The Wester Ross Growing Group
have planted several fruit trees 
at the Clapper Bridge in Aultbea ,
with a long term view of growing food for free,
wood for fuel and growing communities
in this and other locations.


Round and about the croft...

Malcolm's potager is growing well

and there have been about 65 full-size, juicy peaches 
on the three year old peach tree in the greenhouse, 
not bad for the Highlands !

Zara's hay store/field shelter is now complete
and both she and I love it !!!

Malcolm amused himself making and carving
a really great gate;
from the left is me, then a chicken, a goose,
Wilma the dog, Zara the horse, Lulu the cat
and finally Malcolm !

Lots of young sparrows and starlings wanting to be fed


Across the loch


Wilma entered into the spirit of the "Doggy Fun Day"
in aid of the Munlochy Animal Rescue Centre
organised and run by Janette and Lorna
walked very nicely to heel with her young handler Maisy

Not surprisingly Wilma didn't think too much of
the fancy dress outfit for the occasion,
but she tolerated it for a while.


My nephew James, wife Caroline and daughter Charlotte
 wanted an authentic Scottish holiday
and they joined in with everything !!!

They are the most up-for-anything visitors we've had so far! Brilliant !

They danced the night away at the Poolewe Ceilidh
and Charlotte looked so pretty
as she twirled in her salmon pink dress

and they barely missed a dance

Thank you to The Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership

[on Facebook : The Poolewe Ceilidh Partnership]
Two Lochs Radio, the smallest radio station in the UK
who hosted the evening
Full Tilt Ceilidh Band

for a fabulous evening.

They joined in with the Sunday morning swim ...

Caroline joined the band of "life guards" 

Charlotte learnt to kayak,
no sooner had the paddles touched the water and
she was off

James was up for swimming to the island...

everyone was up for marshmallows over the camp fire


playing "Wilma-in-the-middle", Wilma won most times

throwing stones into the sea, always a great sport

So, James, Caroline and Charlotte
come back to the Highlands again soon!


With licks from Wilma, who's had a hectic month,

and me

and Malcolm

we'll sign off with Wednesday's beautiful sunset
over Poolewe