Saturday 27 November 2010

A Fairy Mouse

The postman delivers a box. Its contents are carefully wrapped in zingy green tissue paper secured by a beautiful felt bird... could only be something lovely from Beth at The Linen Cat...

... a fabulous fairy mouse. Now carefully re-packed and hidden as it's a Christmas present for A. I hope she likes it, if not I'll happily look after it for her!

While I was out on the gravel, I took another photo of my own sewing attempts. A gingerbread man has joined the posse as promised.

Now to this morning and we joined much of the rest of the country in experiencing our first snow shower of the year. So no Saturday morning cycle though there wouldn't have been one anyway as I'm currently suffering from some kind of mild sickness bug, the appetite seems to be slowly returning now so hopefully whatever it was is going away.

I did make a feeble attempt at a couple of snowy photos in the garden...

It all looks lovely, though I'm being grown-up and boring and hoping it doesn't get any worse and that the roads stay clear!

Hope all is well wherever you are this weekend...

Wednesday 24 November 2010


A's school Christmas Fair is this weekend. In addition to the crocheted scarves I mentioned in a previous post I will also be donating...

... tree decorations. Made from felt and hand sewn/embroidered/embellished. Several of the Mums have been making these, the ones above are all the ones I've done so far. I'm hoping to add a couple of gingerbread men to the collection before Saturday.

I also had a go at some crocheted snowflakes. Two of the ones shown here were made using Lucy@attic24's tutorial, the rest using this pattern. I also tried another couple of patterns but these two produced the best effect though I still think they look rather wonky even after blocking & stiffening. I think Lucy's pattern is probably the more forgiving in this respect.

Again I'll try and get some more made before Saturday. The show I was doing is now over and I have a little bit of time in the evenings. It was Crazy For You, all the songs listed at the end of this post were from it. It went really well, the cast on stage did an excellent job. By the fifth night in a row it does get a little wearing, though looking on the bright side it was five nights in a row of not having to deal with bed time for the children! I'd been asked to play as they needed a double bass for the Slap That Bass solo. I understood there wasn't much money in it but I would get something. I have to admit to being a little disappointed to find that the "something" for four nights performance (and four nights rehearsal not to mention private practice time) amounted to less than what I received per night for playing bass in shows when I was in my teens. So much for inflation!

While I'm moaning, I'll also note here that the pesky starlings have discovered my birdfeeder, grrrr! It's a squirrel proof one which keeps out the jackdaws (there is another feeder they can use) but not, it would appear, those greedy starlings. I'll need to find another way making sure the sparrows, blue tits and robin get their fair share undisturbed, any suggestions?

This morning was gorgeous. N and I went for a walk at the loch. Yet another current bug bear is the speed (or lack of) at which toddlers walk.

Frozen puddles delayed us quite a lot today.

On the otherhand, were I at work (I worked for 13 years in a factory on an industrial estate in the middle of nowhere, all the windows in the office area were obscured by those loathsome vertical blinds and there were no windows at all in the fabrication line area) I wouldn't even have been able to get out at all. For being able to have the choice of whether or not to go outside (albeit "lumbered" with children) I am glad every day.

The folly on the hill (still unvisited, perhaps next year...)

Reflections in the loch. The surface of the loch was mirror flat until N started jumping about in the shallows. All those tiny little ripples on the water were caused by him.

We then went to the cafe for an ice cream each, mmm.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

I've not a lot of time to spare today so I set off on a favourite circular route of about ten miles.

Looking up through the tree branches at the bottom of the hill.

Nearly at the top now. Rather a plod today, but at least I make it. It feels good to be out in the fresh air and countryside. A little bit of Autumn colour remains and it's still a novelty to see the lovely shapes of the bare trees.

Just as I leave the trees the sun comes out, the fields to the north west are lit with its golden glow.

Mist lies in the strath to the south west. In the distance beyond this silhouetted tree can be seen the hill and temple.

Here is a rainbow (very faint!) - it would appear that there may be a pot of gold buried in the distant farmyard. Young calves pause during their breakfast to watch what I'm up to.

The sun has now risen into the bank of clouds so the light has turned rather murky. My favourite knowe of trees can be seen in the distance.

Getting a little closer, I like the three parallel lines of wall and hedges in this photo.

And here it is again, as seen over the gate with the red gate post. This is the first time there have been cows in this field when I've been passing this way.

The bird of prey (top left) was repeatedly diving at the rooks in this tree (a much zoomed in shot of the tree on the left of the mound from the previous photo)

A little further on I see another bird of prey, it had been feeding on a sheep carcasse quite close to the road but retreated to perch on a hedge when I stopped to take a photo.

The neatly trimmed fiery orange beech hedges caught my eye here. As a bonus there is yet another bird of prey, sitting on the telegraph pole in the middle of the beech hedge on the left.

He flew off shortly after. With the help of the RSPB website I would say he's a buzzard (as were probably all the other birds of prey I saw & heard today).

One last view of the copper hedges contrasting with the green fields. Then home. Quick blog update, bit of housework & dinner preparation, then tonight's last night of the show...

Monday 15 November 2010

I got daisies in green pastures...

Zoom Zoom...

Quince brandy. Made with ornamental quinces which apparently should be fine. Looks nice, looking forward to tasting it come Christmas.

Bargain angora blend yarn, 50p per ball from a local charity shop.

Fab set of tins from Ikea, the big rectangular one is especially useful, my faithful old round tins have been usurped.

Some recent bargains from Morrisons of all places...

... a cake stand for £5, I don't think it's too Christmassy - I'd happily use it other times of the year too, and...

...a new knitting & crochet book, also a mere £5.

Haven't had much of a look at it yet, first impressions are that it's quite attractive.

Nice blanket (though I think it was just rows & rows of treble stitch)]

And a hot water bottle cover. I lurve my hot water bottle. (Our house is Victorian, we live in Scotland, it gets a little chilly at this time of year!) I may treat it to a cover at some point.

This morning was the chilliest so far I think, but it was lovely while it lasted. I took my camera with me when N and I walked to the local chemist (to buy another hot water bottle for hubby so mine is now all mine!) to capture a couple of frosty scenes...

So just a quick catch-up post. Things are a little busy at the moment, I'm going to be out the next five nights on the trot slapping my bass (note the b in bass!). Well, I suppose it's nice work if you can get it but I can't be bothered now so I'm away to boil the kettle for my hot water bottle... (perhaps I need someone to watch over me!)

Good night.

Saturday 13 November 2010

Saturday Morning Bike Ride

Chasing rainbows...

The Autumn Watch weather forecast predicted clear skies this morning, it was wrong! It did seem quite promising when I set off...

The early sunshine casts a lovely tree shadow on the green field. There is a hint of a rainbow behind the tree. There are certain trees I photograph fairly regularly and this is one of them. I like how it stands at the centre of the four different coloured fields. This view of it is obtained from the cycle path.

I don't stay on the cycle path for long though and am soon heading into the countryside along one of the many unclassified roads we're lucky to have round these parts. The sun also doesn't stay out for long and I get caught in a couple of heavy showers.

Puddly fields.

Recent strong winds have stripped many of the trees of their leaves. The oak trees seem to hang onto their leaves longest.

(I took very few photos of this section of the ride as it was raining too heavily much of the time.)

By this point I've been back on a different section of the cycle path. Here's a shot of the bike on another bridge, the water which can be seen in the the background is not a loch or even a pond, just a huge puddle.

This is the view from the other side of the bridge showing the road I'm about to take.

Several miles and a couple more rain showers and rainbows later...

I visit the remains of Duchal Castle. The castle is built on a little outcrop of rock which is surrounded on three sides by a ravine. Parts of the ruins are thought to date from 13th century (information from here)

This time the rain is falling in the distance.

Another favourite tree to photograph.

A sheltered spot, and some beech trees are still managing to keep hold of their leaves. On the other side of the road...

...a highland cow.

Distant purple grey hills and woodland.

It doesn't seem all that long ago that this view was lovely and green. Some sections of the countryside seem to have very quickly taken on their washed out winter colours.

After writing that last comment I thought I'd just check when I was last this way and it was actually away back in July. Here's the post - it's interesting to see what a difference four months makes to the countryside. I covered quite a lot of the same ground then as I did today and you will notice that I do often repeatedly photograph the same things. So if you checked out the July post you'll know that coming up next are...

...the roman soldiers.

Here they are from the other side just as the sun came out again briefly. There is also another faint rainbow (the fourth I saw today - two were just too faint to photograph well) arching from the tree in the centre and over the farm.

Then home (no muffins!)


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