Monday, October 31, 2011

Sheep dipping

The sheep are gathered from the field and hill

and transported by various means to the sheep fank*

They wait their turn 

As this age old dance takes place
  Each knowing their steps in this complicated reel.

Down they go

round and round 
 muncuairt muncuairt

Then out they go -  and next set please!  
It is an easy gentle rhythm - punctuated by jokes and laughter

and the occasional blocked drain.

And boys are welcomed into the fold 
- held up to see and wonder - and learn

as this spiral dance continues on.

and the sheep are soon back where they belong.

* fank - from the Gaelic word fangi - temporary enclosure or corral.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Seven Days

So many things happen in our busy lives that I want to hold on to and remember. Little things - things that might go unnoticed, or missed in the hurly burly. Nothing special and yet - oh - how completely special!

We have had Seven Days of spending time with our beautiful guests. So many lovely moments - so hard to choose.

♥ Revelling in these glorious Autumn colours.
♥ Loving all those extra pairs of boots in the hall, still covered with sand from the beach
♥ Watching them fall in love with the stone circle
♥ Shopping in town, (or, if you are 4, then finding more interesting things to do);
♥ Halloween party fun
♥ Late night chess matches (with a wee dram by the side!)
♥ Then all too soon, these seven magical days are over, and we are saying goodbye.

It was such a wonderful holiday - missing them already.

If you would like to join in with your own Seven Days, please leave a link in the comments, so that we can all share in each other's ordinary, extraordinary days.
(I have made a little button on my sidebar that you are welcome to copy)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just dropping in..

to share a quick Hot Chocolate with you.  

Having a wonderful time with our beautiful guests - just about to make up a few sandwiches for a beach picnic. Gorgeous sunny days. Wish you were all here.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Seven Days

A picture for every day of this mid October week.   A week of gales, storms, freezing cold, and glowing Autumnal sunshine.

Big skies, big seas and vast empty beaches.

Long lazy breakfasts with family

Interesting sculptures found in a playground maze.

Gathering the sheep from the hill grazings

Hens at the end of the rainbow.

And all my girls together.

So many things happen in our busy lives that I want to hold on to and remember. Little things - things that might go unnoticed, or missed in the hurly burly. Nothing special and yet - oh - how completely special!

If you would like to join in with your own Seven Days, please leave a link in the comments, so that we can all share in each other's ordinary, extraordinary days.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This moment...

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember. 

I am happy to be joining in again with Soulemama this week. Wishing you all a weekend full of joy.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Self Indulgence

Loved having my elder daughter, son in law and grandchildren here with us for a few days.  Such a blessing to spend some uninterrupted time with them.  So - some Grandmotherly indulgence in this post, as I show off my  snaps. Erin is 8 months already - such a happy face and a smile that lights up the world.  Finlay is 3, and is a wee bit more serious - but you have to be when you are saving the world! They left on the ferry today and we miss them already.

Now, though, we are looking forward to our next visitors - the lovely Denise and her family are travelling a long way to spend a week with us. Lots of fun, food -maybe a bit of knitting and plenty of laughter.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Country lives and dreams

Reading and knitting time again. I haven't been here for a couple of weeks, as i have not had anything new to show - I think you would all get pretty bored with a stripe by stripe account of my ripple, so i will give a little update on that soon.

There has been an icy north wind hereabouts over the last few days -real finger numbing stuff.  James has been asking me to knit him something pink for ages, so the time seemed right for a pair of pink handwarmers. The yarn is from the stash I inherited from my mother - an aran, or worsted weight from the Falkland Islands. Most of the stash is cream, traditional aran sweater yarn, but there are two balls of bright cerise pink - just the job.  I am making up the pattern based on various mitten instructions I have- the first time I have ever done this, so, if it works out I will share it here and on Raverly. Don't hold your breath though :)

I dreamt about my mother last night.  In the dream, we were moving to America, but was concerned about leaving all my crafty stuff behind.  She appeared and said to me "Don't worry - the first thing we see when we get to Santa Monica is a huge sewing machine shop."  So there you are.  I now have this wonderful vision of her having a wonderful time in a huge heavenly craft store - I like that.

Reading - well this week the Library Van came, and the lovely man had brought some books he thought I would like.  A photographic history of the Women's Land Army, and a light and fluffy country romance type story, Mulberry Lane by Elvi Rhodes.  I sometime go through phases when I like to read about English country village life, and this is one of them.  It should pass soon.

So that is me this week, joining in with Ginny's wonderful Yarn Along.  See you there. xx

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apologies again..

I forgot to introduce to you our newest arrival, despite having heavily trailed its appearance in previous posts.

Here he comes, being put through his paces by one of our neighbours.

and by the proud Crofter himself.  

Ok - not quite as cute as the piglets or cows, but very handsome nevertheless.  So, without further ado, let me present our 1953 Ferguson TEF20 tractor.  He hasn't been named yet - Fergie seems to obvious, and also, our surname is ferguson, so we have enough Fergie's in the family  Any suggestions welcome below.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Seven Days

  A picture for every day of this busy week - a brief glimpse into what has been happening in our world.

There has been some crafting,

a visit to the Police Station
(James being given the thumbs up for knowing the emergency number)

A glorious hunter's moon

learning to play chess - (or chest, as James called it )

Fresh local food at the Crofter's market

and special little people staying in our house!

Wishing you all a wonderful week filled with blues skies and happiness.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Holy Cows

Delia and Baby, our cows, have been up on  a section of the hill grazing for a couple of months now, but we could see them most days as we passed along the road.  At the beginning of the week, however, we noticed they were not around.  No worries, to begin with, as just over that dip behind the trees, there is a small lochan where they go to drink, but a couple of days passed and there was no sign of the girls.
On Wedensday, while I was up to my eyes in pie crust, and errant piglets, John decided to take a walk up the hill and check on them.  He covered the hill, but couldn't see any signs.

He noticed that Flossie and her calf, who had been their companions on the hill, had been brought down and were in a field near the house. Off John went to see if our two had come back down with them.  He returned a couple of hours later and announced that our cows had found God!
Still thinking about our poor Robbie, my heart sank, as I imagined some tragic end for Delia and her daughter, but thankfully - all is well.

They had wandered through a gap in the fence which led to the garden of the old Free Church Manse, and couldn't get back out.  They were just hidden enough that we couldn't see them, but as we climbed up the steep path, they came over to greet us very happily.

They are looking in great condition - Delia has lost a wee bit of weight, which is what we had hoped would happen.

They were very pleased to see James, anyway.

Now they are back grazing on the heather covered hillside for another week or so. We will bring them down to the croft when our visitors are here - and then Baby will be going to a very special place, for a secret rendezvous ♥♥♥!!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Who ate all the pies?

We had a cooking demonstration night at the village hall yesterday.  Organised by the parents of the Croilegean ( playgroup) to end our healthy eating project.  It was a great success.

We all contributed a pie or two - this is a small selection, there must have been around 20 pies altogether.

My offerings were - a bacon apple and onion pie (no, not yet...)  Just bacon, onion apple and sage cooked together until nice and soft and melting, then sandwiched between two sheets of puff pastry - delicious.  The other was a bit more time consuming - Rainbow Chard and Feta  in a filo pastry.  The recipe can be found here - well worth the effort , I have to say.

But - oh my!  What a feast was in store for us before all that.  Sneaking into the kitchen where some frantic food prepping was going on, I  found a veritable rainbow of delicious colours.

And then it was time for the demonstration - we are so lucky to have such talented  people in our community.  The food was wonderful - and the taster-size portions were  - well - Hebridean sized.  As plateful after plateful of vegetarian picadillo with pancakes and salsa, followed by creamy kedgeree, macaroni bolognese, chicken princess, summer pudding and chocolate roulade were passed around, I began to wonder how we were going to be able to even look at a pie.  But, somehow, we managed to do them justice.

It was great to see the children getting involved - handing out the plates, welcoming guests and just being part of it all.

And the Croileagan children had worked hard setting up their displays, making vegetable printed seed packets and collages to decorate the hall.

And the answer to the original question?  Well - me, of course. Two slices of leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast - sshh, don't tell anyone!

p.s If anyone want the recipes from the cooking demo, drop me an email and I will send them as a word doc.


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