Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Earlier

The sun shone for a short while today which allowed Jake and Bow to spend a couple of hours out in the garden. Sophie had been called into work at short notice so I was on dog sitting duties for part of the day. Bow was quite happy outdoors with Jake, he just kept popping into the kitchen to check I was still around before heading outside again. He is very good with the chickens and doesn't even attempt to chase them, but he did sneak into their pen and eat the carrot peelings I put out for them.
 
 
I was mostly pottering in the kitchen prepping some vegetables and making a big pot of vegetable soup.( Ignore the bare plaster walls in the photo - the kitchen is in mid decoration and we are at the stripped wall stage, it may stay like that a while!)
 
 

 
The soup had broccoli, cabbage, red peppers, garlic, potato, tomatoes, red and white onions, leeks, celery and carrots plus some vegetable stock and lots of seasoning. I left it as a chunky soup rather than blending it and I had a big bowl of it for dinner this evening.
It was very tasty, and I enjoyed it even more since it was made from part of a bag of veggies that Sophie had brought me to use up :)
 

Monday, 21 April 2014

O is for...... and 52 Projects

Hmmm, not quite sure where that week disappeared to, needless to say it was a week of lots of doings and goings with no time for anything else much at all not even blogging.

I completely missed my alphabet blog post on Friday and never even had a chance to post this week's 52 Projects post either. In an attempt to catch up with those I am going to use this post for both.

Joining in with Mum's Simply Living Blog for an alphabet blogging post.

O is for old............

I like to look at the site of the local canine rescue quite regularly, and recently amongst the many dogs there for rehoming one in particular was giving me sleepless nights. I just couldn't get this dog out of my mind and kept checking in to see if he had found his forever home yet, but every time I looked he was still there waiting for the right family to find him. Nobody wanted him because he was old, and skinny and had a few lumps and bumps on his body. He was 14 1/2 years old and I suppose people didn't want to take a dog that probably wasn't going to live very long, or was going to cost them in expensive vet bills with age related problems. I couldn't help thinking of Jake and how he would feel if for 14 years he had a loving home with me and then one day I died leaving him all alone in the world. That is what had happened for this dog to end up in the rescue, his owner had died. In one fell swoop he had lost the one person he loved and who loved him, he had lost his home and everything familiar and in his golden years he was now living in a kennel with a concrete pad and absolutely nothing he knew around him. My heart was breaking for how he must have been feeling and I just couldn't stop thinking about him. After another sleepless night I said to Ian "There's this dog............" and told him the story of Bow. I needed to make sure that "this dog" ended his days in a loving home.
That's when we hit the stumbling block....... the rescue centre only wanted to rehome Bow into a home where he was the only dog, and of course we had Jake........I was gutted!! I met up with Sophie that morning and began to tell her the tale of "this dog" but before I could she started in with "Oh mum, there's "this dog" who is old and no one wants him and it's so sad, I need to ring the rescue and go and see him!" so I parked up the car and we rang them there and then, a 60 mile drive later and Sophie, her boyfriend Marcus, and I arrived at the rescue to meet Bow the 14 year old Bearded Collie.(His name could have been spelled Bo, Beau or Bow, but the rescue had him listed as Bow. )

rescue photo

rescue photo

rescue photo

He was sweet, gentle, friendly, calm, and very affectionate, you could just tell this dog had been treated lovingly through his life. He hadn't been adjusting well to the kennels and one of the assistants there had been taking him home with her at night as the staff were so worried about how disorientated and stressed he was. He had also picked up a tummy bug and lost lots of weight.
Sophie and Marcus made arrangements to be vetted and home checked the following day, and we all felt that Bow would fit well into their home and their lives. The home visit was 11am the following day and by 12:15 the three of us were on our way, driving the 120 mile round trip to go and collect Bow and bring him home.
 That was six days ago now and in that time Bow has settled into his new home well, and formed strong attachments to Sophie and Marcus. He has also been to visit here several times and enjoyed being in the garden with everyone, and he gets along fine with Jake, as long as Jake remembers that Sophie is Bow's mum :)

watching Sophie clean the car

Waggy tail as she gets near

First in line for a pat

 He follows her everywhere and watches everything she does. He really is such a gentle and placid dog who just loves nuzzling your hand for a stroke or cuddling up next to you. The thought of this gentle soul seeing out the last of his days in a rescue centre was so sad, so I am beyond happy that he now has a forever home with Sophie and Marcus. I started out last week on a mission to have this dog as part of the family and now he is, maybe not in the way I had originally planned, but things have a way of working out if they are meant to be...... I am a strong believer in that train of thought.
Starting to put a bit of weight back on
Content in his new home after a day in the garden.

So if you are thinking of rehoming a dog, please don't overlook the oldies waiting out their time in the rescue centres. They still have so much to give to the right person, just because they are old doesn't mean they are worthless.

My 52 projects for this week was helping get this wee chappie into his forever home.


                       

Now I just need to catch up with what everyone else has been up to :)

Scarlet

Angela

L-A



Love from Liz x








 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

52 Projects Sunday



                                       

This week's project was to start tackling the room of doom, a spare room which is currently being used as a warehouse to store all the bits of furniture I have earmarked for future projects, bookcases, books, sewing equipment, furniture brought from the last house which hasn't yet found its niche here, my treadle machine which is awaiting a revamp, and all manner of "stuff" which doesn't have a home just now. If we had a garage that was water tight this lot would be in there but as ours is an old sectional garage with holes in the roof anything that goes in there needs to be able to withstand the weather.
Yesterday Sophie and I made inroads into decimating the "stuff" a bit. We took a few broken bits and pieces to the bins. Then we stopped off at the local charity shop and unloaded the filled back seat of the car there. After that more things were taken to Sophie's flat where she will make use of them.
Of the furniture remaining in the room a chest of drawers is earmarked for a friend for her craft room, and a pine tallboy will soon be collected to go to someone else. Then the swinging crib will be going down to Lancashire once I have bought a new mattress for it and made the quilt and covers. There are four dining chairs destined for my kitchen once it has been decorated, and a chunky stripped pine coffee table which will be going in the living room. Once those are gone the remaining big pieces will be destined to stay in the room when it is overhauled and put back into use.
If I tell you that these photo's are the after pictures you can have some idea of the amount of stuff that was in there.

 



Every item in the room now has a destination either within my home or off to someone else. The more I deal with stuff like this the more appealing it seems to me to just dispose of all my possessions and live in one of those tiny houses I wrote about in my last post.
My home is mostly filled with recycled and revamped pieces of furniture which hold no sentimental attachments to me and have little monetary value so I could quite easily send the whole lot to the auction house and not think twice about it.
At least now we can actually get into this room, before you could only step two feet inside and then you were faced with a wall of furniture. It's a big improvement believe me :)

Here's what everyone else has been up to this week;

Scarlet

Ann

Angela

L-A

Juhli

Mum

Enjoy the rest of your evening everyone, and a Happy Birthday! to my friend Harry :)

Love from Liz x







 

Thoughts for the future

It's funny how you get older you start to think of the future in different ways and sometimes what you find yourself pondering over can be eye opening.Ian is much older than me and  with his health issues we are under no illusions that sooner or later the time will come when I will be left on my own and I will still be relatively young when this happens. The more I have been thinking about this prospect the more I have been realising that when this happens I will only really  have myself and Jake to consider in any decisions I make from then on. Being left alone doesn't hold any fears for me, I am quite happy to spend most of my time in my own company, and I have a circle of good friends who I could spend time with on other occasions.
I have been thinking that when this time comes I may grasp the opportunity to downsize my life further and try something a little less conventional, a style of living that isn't an option just now as I have to take into consideration Ian's medical needs and the equipment which that entails.
I am drawn to smaller space living and have pondered several different avenues I could try out to facilitate this and also try and combine it with some semblance of living off the grid where possible.
I could try something where I would have the ability to move around geographically and see different places, like a small motor home or camper van big enough for me and Jake.


Something like this, which is currently on sale, not your typical vintage vw camper but functional, although this would mean taking only a bare minimum of belongings and being quite ruthless about space. I would be able to travel wherever I felt like though, even abroad if I wished.
Or I could go down the route of being mobile by water and live on a narrowboat. Living on a boat on the open sea does not appeal to me if I am going to be alone, but I could happily travel along the network of inland canal ways and live on something like this;
Kismet, Much Loved Canal Boat For Sale

Chugging along at a couple of miles an hour and mooring up wherever I felt like staying would be an adventure in slow paced living. These narrow boats are kitted out well inside with plenty of small storage spaces, a galley kitchen, small bathroom and bedroom and a living area more than ample for me and Jake.
The one thing I would miss with the two options above would be having some kind of a garden to be able to grow my own fruit and veg and to be able to spend outdoor time in.Which has led me to the third option I am considering and that is something along the lines of one of these;
                                           Living in a tiny house
I'd love to have a go at actually building one of these tiny houses and could really see myself living in one of these with Jake.
The main issue with this would be finding a place to have it sited where I would be able to have a little bit of garden space around me, maybe some rented land might become available or a bit of woodland to buy at a reasonable price, who knows.
It's all food for thought and possibilities for the future.

What do you think about small scale living?

 

Friday, 11 April 2014

P is for.............

Joining in with Mum's Simply Living Blog for an alphabet blogging post.

P is for planting.

I have been biding my time and waiting for the weather to start warming up a little here before I got serious planting and sowing in my greenhouse and garden. When I have sown my seeds in cold damp conditions before I have had poor germination rates and lots of the seeds rotted away in the soil. It doesn't take long for the plants to catch up once they are up and growing so delaying a short while won't make much difference in the overall scheme of things.

So this weekend I will be sowing lots and lots of vegetable seeds. I have already planted onion sets, shallots, and a patch of potatoes, and I already have some peppers growing. 
I have also planted up strawberry plants, and some of my pineberry plants all of which were grown from runners and have been overwintering in what is left of the little tomato house. The rest of the strawberries have just overwintered outdoors in the various tubs, beds and hanging baskets.
I also want to get some perennial flower seeds in, especially those that may be beneficial for my future bees.

A couple of friends are growing some different vegetable seedlings and we will be trading amongst ourselves so everyone will get a good variety of plants. 

This morning

I'll be heading into town again later this morning where I have a few errands to run, prescriptions to collect, banking to do, and that sort of running about stuff. Then I will be visiting the textile workshop as today there is a visiting fabric shop and I want to buy some fabric to make a baby quilt set as a gift for the new grandbaby. A friend gave me a beautiful wooden swinging crib which I will be dressing so I need something suitable for making the quilt and fitted sheets for it.There isn't anywhere locally to get fabrics at a reasonable price so when this visiting shop comes on its twice yearly trips most of the local sewers/crafters are lured out to indulge in a bit of fabric stashing.
There will be plenty of people also using the workshop as a meeting place whilst they are there as they meet up with other crafty friends and enjoy a coffee and a bit of cake whilst they chat and browse the fabrics available.
I have made arrangements to meet up with two friends there to do a bit of trading at the same time. It's an ideal central point as we all live in different directions from the town.A rhubarb crown has been dug up and will be passed on to one friend, along with a bunch of small clip top bottles for sloe gin making. The other friend is meeting me a while later and bringing me a handsome cockerel to replace Del boy, the silky cockerel that was killed by the fox.
In between meeting up with my two friends I will visit Sophie at her flat and have lunch with her.
Sounds like a plan to me :)  
 

Thursday, 10 April 2014

A good day

                                      pic from here

It's been a very good day today;
 I woke up with my alarm without knocking it to snooze three times first..
 I enjoyed an early morning swim with my friend, followed by a walk down to the forest with Jake.
 I received a nice compliment.
 My usually gruff and grumpy dentist seemed to have had a personality transplant in time for my dental appointment this morning, which was a refreshing change.
 I also enjoyed a cuppa and a chat with my friend while I was in town for the dentist, and I resisted a piece of cake. My halo is gleaming :)
When I got home I had a chatty telephone call from my mum with positive health news from her, which was very welcome after a lot of treatment on her part, and a lot of worrying on our part.
I shared a healthy and tasty lunch with Ian.
I spoke to my son on the phone.
The chickens laid a couple of big fat eggs.
It didn't rain all day.
I enjoyed finishing off one of my books and beginning another.

It is now just 3pm and I still have a lovely long forest walk, with Jake and a friend, to look forward to later.
Then this evening it is time for yet another enthusiastic and fun Beekeeping class.

Some days are just wonderful from start to finish, just by appreciating the small stuff - today is turning out to be one of those days!

I hope you are all enjoying your day.
Love from Liz xx

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Starting

This bit of garden at the front of the cottage was used for my little pumpkin/squash patch last year. It was really productive,  but this year I have decided to grow some potatoes in there instead. I usually grow potatoes in barrels and growing bags but I am hoping to grow some bigger ones in the ground. 
 
The ground was looking a bit sad and neglected after the winter and in need of a good digging over to get it ready for planting again.
 
 
 Luckily for me Sophie and her boyfriend came for a visit this afternoon, and it didn't take them long at all to give it a quick turnover for me :)


Now I just need to rake out the straggly bits of roots and debris left behind and I can get my chitted seed potatoes dug in.
I'm going to use the barrels I usually use for the potatoes to grow squash plants in after I half fill them with alpaca manure. The courgettes and squash plants are all really hungry plants so they should thrive on the rich manure along with plenty of watering.
It feels like the right time to start on my vegetable garden for this year now that the soil temperature is beginning to rise a little.


 

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

For Today

Joining in with The Simple Woman's Daybook  for April.



                                Outside my window..

There are two tiny black faced lambs peeking through the wire fencing around my garden and trying to nibble at the grass poking through whilst their mums enjoy a bit of free time to graze not far away. The farmer on his quad bike has just ridden across the field and over the crest of the hill to check out more lambing sheep, and one of the farm collie dogs is now running to catch up with him. There is a bit of a chilly wind today, and some grey looking clouds are passing overhead, but every now and again the sun peeks through for a few minutes. On my side of the fencing the raised beds are looking empty and desolate and crying out to be planted up with this season's vegetables. A few small weeds have started to appear in the gravel path, and the strawberry tub has started to green up as the new leaves emerge on the plants which have overwintered. 
 

 I am thinking....
I am thinking about how to rearrange things in the garden so that I can fit in a  couple of bee hives in a good location.


 I am thankful...
I am thankful for friends and family, and a healthy "bump" which will soon be my baby grandson.

In the kitchen...
Ian is sitting at the table listening to a debate on the radio, eating fruit and porridge and having a cup of coffee. The wood stove is blazing away keeping the room nice and toasty and also boiling a kettle of water for doing the lunch dishes later. Washing is drying on the ceiling airer and a stack of logs are drying out next to the stove. Dinner is prepped and all the morning kitchen chores are out of the way.

 

I am wearing...
I am wearing black leggings, a purple and black sweater and black socks with no shoes.
 

I am creating...
I am creating an embellished cream and white scrap quilt for my bedroom...slowly!

 
I am going...
I am going to drop my collie, Jake, off at Sophie's this afternoon and go to the sewing group for a couple of hours. I will catch up with friends and hopefully get a few squares made for the quilt I have started for my bedroom.
 
I am wondering...
I am wondering whether to dig up a rhubarb crown for a friend and take it to the sewing group or leave it to another day and drop it off at her house.

 
I am reading...
I am reading several books about bees, Patriot by Rawles, re- reading Robinson Crusoe (thanks Harry!) still working on the Spanish language book, and part way through Shirley Maclaine's account of The Camino. 

 
I am hoping...
I am hoping to get seeds sown, a patch of garden dug over and potatoes and onion sets planted by the weekend.

 
I am looking forward to...
I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty again in the garden.

 
I am learning
I am learning lots of new information about beekeeping and the life of bees which is fascinating.

 
Around the house...
The bathroom redecoration is finally finished off and more progress has been made on preparation in the kitchen for decorating in there. The house is a little less chaotic than last month but it seems that in order to make changes I also need to create a mess until things fit together again in their new order. It's all baby steps :)

 
I am pondering...
I am pondering plans for the summer.

 
A favourite quote for today...

 


One of my favourite things...
One of my favourite things is the smell of freshly mown grass. Our garden needs mowing the first good dry day we get and I can't wait to smell the cut grass for the first time this year.


 A few plans for the rest of the week:
 Morning swimming with my friend, long walks with Jake through the forest, housework, a monthly meeting of the local LETS group tomorrow, seed sowing and greenhouse pottering, a haircut, watching some films with Ian, a beekeeping class, and lots of reading.
 
A peek into my day...


                      

Monday, 7 April 2014

Making small changes

I'm on a quest this week to try and make the layout of the cottage flow better. I have had this in mind for a while and have been pondering the ways we use the different rooms and how to make them work better for us.
One of the main things that I have been meaning to change is which door we use for coming and going. This is a big issue as because we live on a working farm there is an endless supply of mud, and animal slurry which ends up on boots and paws. At the moment we use the front door which has a tiny 3ft square porch area where the coats get hung and the boots get kept. The problem with that area is that there isn't really space to be taking off boots and coats and you are blocking up the entrance for everyone else. The hallway is carpeted so if you step inside, muddy boots and a muddy dog trek the outside in.
The back porch which is off the kitchen is about the same size BUT within it is a door to an inbuilt little walk in store cupboard about 4ft square. I currently use this to store my canned foods and preserves, but this space should really be put to better use. We had light and power sockets installed in there when we first moved in so I'm thinking it would make a useful space for coats, and shoes with room to sit down when taking boots off.
It would also mean the muddy dog would enter the kitchen first which has a washable floor, and a friend has already made me a wooden gate to keep Jake in the kitchen area. It would save me such a lot of cleaning and be a much more practical use of the limited space we have.
We got in the habit of always using the front door because the way round to the back was closed off with wire mesh fencing which was fastened to the wall, and very difficult to undo to pass through. Now there is a wooden swing gate on there instead this isn't a problem, but for some reason we just never got out of the habit of using the front.
I made a start this morning by whittling down stuff that was living in the back porch and moving some of it outside. As we haven't been using the back door that area had developed into a bit of a dropping off point for stuff destined for the shed or garage so there was lots to be moved like ladders and part used tins of paint and varnish.
Tomorrow I will start working through my preserves and stash of jars,packing them into labelled plastic crates ready to store in one of the sheds. It may take a while.

Have you got space in your home that isn't working for you?
 

Sunday, 6 April 2014

52 Projects Sunday



This week's project has been on my list a good while but I have not had the motivation to get it completed. My tiny bathroom has three walls which are fully tiled and one which up to now has just been painted. I set to a short while ago and did the other bits needed for a spruce up in there like painting the ceiling and the woodwork, but ran out of oomph before I papered the wall, despite having the paper since last year.
On Friday I spent the afternoon wallpapering in Sophie's flat and at the end of the job there was still half a bucket of wallpaper paste left. I wrapped it in cling film and brought it back home, determined that I would get the bathroom finished this weekend. It's a tiny wall so wouldn't even take that long to do, but up to now I had been avoiding it, maybe because there was a power plate right bang in the middle of the wall which I would have to cut around - not my best kind of job.

So today was the day, no more procrastinating, here's the before after I had already removed the various cabinets and mirrors. Unfortunately the ugly heater has to stay as this is a rental and that is the only heat source in there.




Now it looks like this;


I even managed to do a really neat job of cutting around the socket. Once the paper has dried out I will have the cabinets and mirror to rehang and the heater to fix back onto its bracket.
It took me less than two hours to complete this, so why had I put it off for so long!
I'm really happy to get this project out of the way.

Here's what everyone else has been up to;

Scarlet

Angela

L-A

Ann

Juhli

Mum

A booky confession



Some time ago I posted about books and how much I loved reading. Somewhere in that post I mentioned about loving the feel and smell of books and how I thought I would never be able to settle to reading a book on a kindle. I have to confess that I was wrong and I am now a kindle owner. Ian gifted me one for Christmas and loaded it with books about The Camino for me, so I worked my way through those as my introduction to e books. I still prefer to read real books and I don't think that kindles or other readers will ever fully replace books, but I can now appreciate how they might be useful to have around as a complementary way to read. Minimalising is an obvious advantage as they can store many books without taking up room in the house which is a good thing. I will probably use mine for taking on any holidays as I could use it for keeping in touch online but also load it up with lots of reading matter, and not do my usual trick of filling up my suitcase, carrying extra weight and then usually leaving the books behind or passing them on to someone else so I don't have to bring them home.



One aspect of these e readers I find great is that if I come across a review for a book that sounds really interesting I can usually get a taster preview of it online and then if I decide I really want to spend money on it I can download it instantly and be reading it in no time. I also like the fact that there are lots of free e books to download, many are classics that I haven't yet read but have been meaning to.
  The only problem with technology these days is that things become obsolete in such a short time that I wonder how much use I will get from this kindle before it is no longer compatible with current operating systems or parts of it become fatigued, or it stops recharging properly or gets a damaged screen.
 You don't have to worry about any of those kind of things with real books and you don't have to stop reading because the battery has run out.
So  I have to confess to becoming an occasional kindle user, something I never thought I would say!

 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Green

I love walking with Jake through woodland areas just taking in the sounds and sights and smells of nature all around us. The air in the forest always seems much fresher and energising than elsewhere, and I always go back home feeling refreshed and peaceful. 
 
The Autumn leaves are now nothing but leaf mulch on the pathways through the forest, and signs of Spring are everywhere with lots of young plants emerging and the whole place becoming much greener.
 
The small river is flowing quite fast at the moment after a rainy night and drizzly day.Too fast today for Jake to want to go for his usual swim and game of jumping after stones, instead he settled for a quick dip along the edge.
 
 
 In a short while this area will be carpeted with bluebells, the plants are just beginning to emerge now. It's a wonderful sight once they are in flower.

 
 There are still lots of swampy areas being kept topped up from recent bouts of rainfall. The local frog and toad population have been on the move and mating the past couple of weeks, we have been falling over loads of them recently on their travels, so maybe these pools will soon be filled with frog spawn.
 Plenty of pools, ditches and bogs for a water baby collie dog to find and wallow in. He needs an almost daily shower on our return home to rinse out the peat, mud and other forest detritus from his undercarriage.
 Lots of thick moss and lichen on the tree trunks and rocks.
 Shallow ditches and tiny streams which have developed naturally channelling the rainfall down the hillside and towards the little river.

 
Green is a colour I love outdoors in nature yet for some reason I never really have any green indoors in my house in the way of decor or furnishings. I'm not sure why that is, but I only have to look out of any one of the windows here to be totally surrounded by nature in all its greenery.

Little surprises

Last year I split my large rhubarb crowns into small pieces, I rehomed about ten pieces to other people and replanted the remaining bits in raised beds, as they had got a bit out of hand when left without borders. I wasn't really expecting to see much growth this year from the small pieces I replanted but a quick wander around the garden earlier showed all the split pieces growing quite vigorously already. They must like the extra nutrients from all the alpaca poop I have added to the raised beds over winter.  
 
 

I also found a few volunteer ruby chard plants which had self seeded and were doing well.
 

Also a small greengage tree which I planted five years ago has tiny white blossoms on it for the very first time.I hope they survive the winds and cold temperatures and I might get my first greengages this year. Last year the little apple tree was covered in blossom but I only ended up with a couple of apples after wind and frost got all the blossom before the fruit could set.
After being down in Lancashire earlier this week I can't believe how much difference just 200 miles makes to how far ahead the trees and plants are there compared to here in South West Scotland. It was very noticeable with trees heaving with blossom and flowers in bloom everywhere. Still I am happy with the little surprises I found in my garden today, at least it feels like the garden is getting started for the year :)

It's a sheep day

Looking out of the kitchen window today it is a grey and drizzly kind of day but it is also a "sheep day". Sometimes there are cows in the field at the back of the house, sometimes it's just sheep, sometimes it's a mixture of both and sometimes we just have an empty green hilly field.
Today is definitely a sheep day, with lots of little black faced lambs running about in little gangs amidst their mothers, or just laying in the grass resting.



The lambs can be quite noisy with their constant bleating, but it's a lovely sound to hear coming through the kitchen window. In fact living in the countryside isn't really quiet at all as there is a continuous stream of sounds; cows mooing, bulls bellowing, sheep baaing, lambs bleating, birds singing, noisy crows, tractor engines, the quad bikes zipping past, the wind blowing through the hedges, insects buzzing, water running along the nearby stream, the farm dogs barking, my chickens clucking to announce the arrival of the latest egg and the quiet clicking noise of the electric fencing.
 All those sounds are part and parcel of life here, and sounds I will never get tired of hearing rather than the roar of nearby traffic, and intermittent sirens from emergency vehicles that we used to have as background noise in our last home.
  

Friday, 4 April 2014

Another week gone

It has been a week of visits this past week. My son Tom and his partner Cat arrived on Sunday to surprise me with a visit on Mother's Day which was lovely. The bump is coming along nicely! They also brought a friend and the two fur babies with them so Jake had doggy play mates for the day and went to sleep that night totally exhausted. I imagine Cat would have been exhausted that night too after driving over 400 miles in the one day to get here and home again.
On Tuesday night I made the trip down to Lancashire along with Sophie and her boyfriend. We stayed until the following night, visiting my mum who has just returned from three months abroad, and fitting in a million other things whilst we were there. It was a hectic 24 hours, enjoyable, but very tiring. Jake stayed with my friend on her farm and had his own little holiday with her three dogs and the alpacas. He does not enjoy being cooped up in town and misses being able to run free through the forest and countryside so I opted to leave him on the farm where he is much happier.
Once we were back home we spent most of Thursday daytime just chilling after arriving home exhausted around 3am.We encountered a convoy of about 30 military vehicles as we neared home, they were part of a big training exercise which has been going on locally for the past week or so. There have been military Jeeps and trucks up and down the main roads every day lately, but not so many at once as we saw in the early hours.
Thursday night was my second beekeeping class which was just as informative and fun as the first one had been. I met more local beekeepers, learnt lots more about keeping bees, specifically swarming bees, queen bees, queen cells and lots of related topics, and generally just had a great time.
Friday was back to my usual morning swimming session and walking Jake along the river in town, after which Sophie and I transported her mountain bike from the cottage to her new flat in the back of my little car. Then we spent the afternoon wallpapering her bedroom with some bargain paper that was picked up in the sale reduced from £15.99 to £2 a roll, which made for a very cheap bedroom makeover :)
We finished in time for Sophie to head to her evening shift at work whilst Jake and I made our way to the forest for our usual evening walk with my friend and her two dogs.

 Another week almost over, the days are passing so quickly just now!

Q is for .................

Joining in with Mum's Simply Living Blog for an alphabet blogging post.



Q is for quad bikes,


which are currently whizzing past the cottage all hours of the day and night as lambing season is well underway on the farm here. Sometimes the quad is towing a little trailer with a sheep and her new born lambs if there is a problem, or the lambs are cold and need warming up. Mostly there is a collie dog perched on the back of the quad ready to leap off and get to work once the farmer gets to the right field. It's a busy time of year on the farm and the noise of the quads zipping past the cottage is the soundtrack we have got used to for lambing season.  

Sunday, 30 March 2014

52 Projects Sunday

                                  

I completed a couple of projects this week. One was celebrating Earth Hour last night with some friends, which I wrote about in my last post. The second small project was learning how to make a couple of different little Easter decorations at the textile workshop on Friday.It was a small group and we were hand crafting stuff so it was a quiet, relaxing few hours working and chatting together. At the end of the class I went home with a lovely fabric covered egg, a glove bunny and a couple of chicken pin cushions :)










Here's what the others have been up to;

Scarlet

Mum

Angela

Ann

L-A

Tracy

Juhli

Enjoy the rest of the day everyone.
Happy Mother's Day to all mums.

Love from Liz x

 

Earth Hour

For Earth Hour this year I invited a couple of friends over to the cottage for the evening. We started off taking Jake and my friend's collie Meg for a walk in the dark down to the forest and then back along the lane.



Once we were back at the cottage we had the open fire in the living room and the wood stove in the kitchen for heating, and lots of candles in jars for lighting. It was quite cosy and atmospheric having the place lit just by candle light.
We ate a simple meal that had been cooked on the woodstove, and we also finished off the last bottle of sloe gin from the past season.
After we had eaten we sat and talked in the living room by candle light and just enjoyed the conversation and watched the flames in the open fire. It was a good way to spend a low tech evening and to enjoy the simplicity and peacefulness of being disconnected from the power grid.