Friday, September 11, 2015

Around the croft
















Well - not much has been happening around here, this year, as you can well imagine. Yet - everything has changed. We sold all the livestock last year, when John became ill, and I re-homed our hens during the summer. I developed a mild intolerance to eggs all of a sudden, and also, James and I want to spend more of our holidays travelling, and visiting family, so it seemed the right decision all round.
I've had the vegetable beds removed, and the wilderness of weeds that had sprung up over the last couple of seasons hacked back. This will be cut regularly, and I hope that eventually it will resemble grass. It will never be a proper lawn, but close enough. there are some trees around the edges of the plot, and I want to have that as a woodland area, with bulbs,wildflowers, and some more trees. A nice seat here and there and it should be how I envision it. I have to say that taking out these beds was a very hard thing to do, when I think how hard John worked to put them in. I don't think he would be very pleased, to be honest, but they would have been almost impossible for me to get back into production, and to maintain them. Our needs have changed now, and we have to adapt to them.

As far as the croft land itself goes, I still have the one up at the house. My neighbour is using it, intermittently, for his sheep, and that suits me just now. Later, when I have more idea of what I am doing, (and who I am), I can decide how I am going to use it. The lease to the bottom croft - our original one, has been sold. This happened back in the spring, when John was still alive. It has gone to the son of a local crofting family. John was so happy that this young man was taking over, and getting started with his own croft.

Still - we are enjoying some early autumn colour in the garden just now - dahlias, lilies, crocosmia and a kind of spirea like shrub, which I don't know the name of. I also tried a couple of agapanthus in pots this year, and am pleased to see them flower this week. We have some salad too.

I''m beginning to have some thoughts on how to plan the space outside to suit our new circumstances. The Caravan of Delight will sadly be going. Not far - just up the road to a neighbours, but it needs to make room for a garden shed. It was a useful annexe to the house, but a shed will be even more so now. I am thinking I will put a few small raised beds over at the far end of  where the washing green is, and use the space around the polytunnel more. The polytunnel itself will be recovered soon.

This lovely sunny sheltered spot, where the henhouse used to sit, will be made into a proper seating area , and I plan to have more flower and herb beds around the perimeter. At the moment, I have a makeshift area for pots of lavender and my agapanthus, but I have big ideas for this space...

So changes are beginning to appear around this croft and garden. The focus now is on making life easier to manage, and to create a practical and beautiful space, if I can. Of course, the planning is easier than the doing, but for now, it's one step at a time. xxx

43 comments:

  1. Hello lovely lady, so nice to be able to comment here again
    Wonderful photos, miss that place, miss you all
    With love in abundance x

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    1. hello to you too - come back soon xx

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  2. Some lovely plans, one little step at a time. Thrilled to see your friend is under offer, I have had my eye on that beautiful home for a long while, maybe one day...

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    1. hello - yes its been a while for her. its a lovely spot xx

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  3. Change is never easy, but it sounds like you are making plans that will make your days much more pleasant.
    I have been thinking about what to do as my animals pass since I too would like to travel more and animals
    require a lot of attention.
    I hope James is enjoying school and learning a lot.
    I pray for you daily Jacqui and I am so happy comments are opened again.

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    1. Thank you Tracey.Its good to be back! James is enjoying being back at school - he likes being with his friends. love to you xxx

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  4. Lovely photos and what a beautiful spell we've had. September is a lovely month for light and then it just keeps on getting better and better as the sun sinks lower in the sky. Lots of little changes around the croft but in reality each one large! Wishing you peace and productivity xx Eleanor, Ellie, Nelly...as known in various places :)

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    1. Hi Nelly - yes the weather is being very kind to us right now xx

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  5. Ah yes, one step at a time. Change certainly is hard sometimes, but we endure and carry on. May your days be filled with peace. Sending love from the middle of the Canadian prairies.

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    1. Thanks Mrs D - I appreciate your love xxx

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  6. I have looked forward to your holiday postcards over the summer and gave kept you and James in my thoughts and prayers especially this week as we have said a much too early goodbye to a special person in our church family to the same disease. It is good to hear of your plans for the croft. I was wondering what you would do. My husband and I hope to move to Shetland in three or four years time when our last two boomerang children are finally independent and either married in the one case and through post graduate study in the other. Your photos of a similar landscape feeds my heart as we wait and I thank you for that and also for your thoughtful words about life and your environment. Hugs xxx

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    1. Hello Ellen. Thanks for your lovely comment. I am sorry to hear of your friend- such a hard thing xxx

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  7. Dear Jacqui, first I wish to thank you for the beautiful summer postcards that you sent us. The beauty and spirit of the place you inhabit is unique. I feel very fortunate to be able to see your posts and to be inspired by them..

    Now that summer is yielding to autumn, there will be a different energy in all our lives. I send my very best wishes to you and yours. xo

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    1. Francis - thank you. Your comments are always lovely. I do feel the difference in the energy xxx

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  8. it's lovely to be able to say 'hello' again....although i very much enjoyed your postcards over the summer. :)

    i'm glad that you're finding ways to make life more simple -- i've been thinking along those lines myself...life has a way of changing course and i find it entirely more restful to flow along with the change. ;)

    much love to you and James, mel xo

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    1. Dear Mel - lovely to talk to you again. Yes - go with the flow - it's how we ended up here, and so I'm happy to go with it. Xxx

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  9. Time always brings change, whether we want it or not, and I think that sometimes it is better to grasp it and make it suit us. I have changed lots of things around here since the FH died last July, some of it through necessity and some of it just because I could. We rehomed our poultry in the spring, and I am pleased with the freedom and extra time that that has brought to me. My raised beds are still going strong, and I am determined to make them more bountiful next summer, as this year it has felt as though I haven't really produced very much, but we have actually enjoyed beans, courgettes and lots of tomatoes, even if some crops, like spinach, were a disaster! So glad that you have opened comments up again as I have missed being able to say Hi. Thanks for popping in to my place now and again - it has been a pleasure and a privilege to have you there xxx

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    1. Thank you Morgan - the pleasure is all mine. Reading your words has helped me so much in these last few months. I do hope to grow veg next year, but on a smaller, more efficient scale. xxx

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  10. Those plans sound wonderful, and whatever you choose to do with the garden it's always going to be a beautiful spot.

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  11. You are right, Carrie - the views are wonderful all around xxx

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  12. I too have slowly made some changes in the year since losing David my husband to amyloidosis. Like you and Morgan I have passed my hens on to another home to allow me and my daughters to get away to see friends whose support has been so lovely. We went to Scotland for 3 wks in the summer and stayed Mull, done abit of decorating, filled the woodshed and sold a car. I have found the strength to do things that I didn't expect to find and it is the love of my friends, family and most especially my daughters who get me through. Reading the words that you and Morgan write about shared experience also help tremendously. I have two polytunnels and grow too much - time to reduce, and I am finding that hard. I will be really interested to see what your growing plans are. One thing at a time ... I tried to pass on David's daily shoes but was down the charity shop like a mad woman early next day asking to have them back. Not ready for that yet. It is a long road but when I think back over the year it has been strengthening to me and our girls in many ways. Your own strength shines through your post . Ali x

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  13. Hello Ali - nice to hear from you again. I'm glad you had a good summer. It's encouraging to make these small projects happen on our own, I think. It certainly helps me to keep stumbling along. I have to say that John's wardrobe remains resolutely closed. I am nowhere near that yet. I can understand your trip back to the charity shop -smiling knowingly:) Lots of love to you xxx

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  14. Keep following your instincts. You will know when it's time to take a new leap of faith. I had that inner voice guiding me from the time my husband first had his stroke and for several months after his death. There were nights I would go to bed thinking I could never accomplish something specific without him and wake up the next morning feeling like I could take on the world. It's like putting the pieces of an overturned puzzle back together. They will all fit again eventually but you will feel like one piece is missing. Reading your words brings right back to those months right after my John's death. Keeping things simple and taking life one day at a time worked best for me too. You're doing fine. : ) xoxoxo

    ~ Wendy

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    1. Many thanks for this, Wendy. I recognise those feelings too. Simplify is my watchword right now xxx

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  15. Hi Jacqui, I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your summer postcards, and admire your forward moving ideas and plans, despite everything, it's never easy to adjust along with coping with bereavment and loss and finding yourself as a single parent. I've been there in a different way with an ex who left me with 3 kids, 2 acres, and a collection of animals to look after, I ended up having to re home some of them, which was hard, but the best thing for me to help me cope with it all. As long as you are doing what's right for you, that's what matters, one step at a time and all that, sending you lots of good wishes, take care x

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  16. It all feels right so far, and apart from the veg beds, it's only small changes. That must have been a very hard time for you all. You are an inspiration x

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  17. well done for making a tranquil space for you to enjoy, I'm sure John wouldn't want you to feel burdened by the vegetable beds xxx

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    1. Thank you Driftwood - it seemed a big change, but "tranquil" is a good word to describe what I am looking for xx

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  18. hello. I just found your blog this week when looking for inspiration and reassurances about an impending move from the south of France back to the Western Isles and the hopes of starting a croft. I'm so sorry for your loss and can't imagine how hard this summer must have been for you and your son. Thank you for sharing your story with us. x

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    1. Hello Cara, that's big move! Are you from the islands? Your pictures of France are stunning. Thanks for your kind words. We are doing ok and managed to have some good times in the summer, despite it all xxx

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    2. I'm so sorry, I meant to reply to you much sooner but... life! Yes, I'm from North Uist and both very excited and incredibly apprehensive about moving back. Thank you for your kind words about my photos and for your lovely comment on my blog yesteday. xx

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  19. Thanks for your summer postcards, Jacqui. I am so impressed that you have been able to have a vision of what's best for your family in the near future, and to make decisions to move towards that. Bless you.

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    1. I just need to be careful that I don't make too many big decisions just now. Garden plans are safe enough, I think. Thanks for all your love and support, Christine- your cards have been such a boost to mexx

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  20. I'm sorry for everything you've been through lately. I only just started reading your blog and didn't know. Your space here looks so peaceful and relaxing. I'm sure it will help you heal. I wish you all the best with the decisions in the future. Take care.

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    1. Hello Jennifer - thanks for dropping in. I've always loved to come here and share words and pictures, so I guess it's a space I feel comfortable in. A good place to record memories, and I'm grateful for that xx

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  21. I can see the shift of summer light leaving and autumn arriving :) I know you will find a perfect harmony on your land that will fulfill you completely. BTW, thanks for turning on the commenting!!

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    1. Hello Karen- you I've missed everyone's words. We'll take our time and see what evolves, I guess. Xxx

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  22. You have such a lovely place and your plans sound like it will be even lovelier when you are finished! i feel for you trying to figure out who you are and where you and your precious son are going. i am in a similar place myself. You are very wise to take it slowly, very slowly ~ one day at a time and the path will unfold. God bless you!

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    1. Thank you, Jackie. I know I need to be patient. I've had so much support from the blog world, and it really helps xx

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  23. Hi Jacqui - Best of luck with all your plans. What a lot of changes but I know how animals tie you down to a piece of land. I wish you the best as you sort out "who you are." You are strong and so lucky to have your son there with you. Wishing you both the best as you sort it all out.
    From western Massachusetts - Kristin

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  24. Oh, thank you Kristin - I am so thankful for James, he certainly keeps me going. I suppose I've been adapting over the last year, when we became aware of the likely outcome of john' s illness, but I'll be groping along for a while yet. Thanks for taking the time to comment -much appreciated xx

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  25. Hello Jacqui-I've really enjoyed receiving your summer postcards, and it's good to hear your new plans.
    Sending love to you and James

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    1. Thanks Debora - lots of love to you all xxx

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