Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Frosty Walk to Dunrobin Castle

There was a glimmer of sunshine when we awoke so, as I hadn't been out of the house for the last three days, we decided to make the most of it and head to the coast.
We parked up in a small street 

of lovely cottages 

and this good looking building which had 1894 in stone on the side 

I liked its green door and it said Architects office above it

The road was a little icy but we headed towards the sea

across this fast moving stream

this lovely house has its road access through the water

You can see the frost on the ground as we walked through the gate

You could hear the gentle sound of the waves and the sea gulls.  We walked along the coastal path, passing a few people wrapped up like us against the cold but the sun was shining.

Looking behind us you can just see the monument to the Duke of Sutherland on top of Ben Braggie.

I got a wet backside but couldn't resist just sitting a while and looking out over the Moray Firth 

and as we walked further onwards we saw the rear of the castle

There are 189 rooms in the castle and it dates back to the early 1300's

What a wonderful view they have from the windows, overlooking the castle gardens and towards the beach

What a lovely morning we had and as we strolled back to the car the sun retreated behind the clouds once again.

Terri X

Friday, December 27, 2013

Thank you everyone!

A big thank you to everyone who sent me lovely messages with Christmas wishes and I hope you all had a lovely time too.

I got these 3 lovely books as presents this year and I am enjoying having time just to sit and look through them.

I also got this shopping list and menu planner as part of my gift from my son, very practical and it has already found a home on the side of the bread bin.

I was given this lovely bird material and also a pack of material squares to play with.  My friends know me well!

This morning it is drizzling with rain and is 4 degrees but the cottage feels a bit too damp and cold so we have already lit the stove and will keep it ticking over all day.
We nipped out down the village to the Post Office just to get a bit of air as i was a bit headachy, not because of the booze honest, just because i haven't been outside for two days!
The forecasted snow over Christmas turned to winds and rain so we didn't have a white Christmas after all. I have seen the news on t.v. this morning about all the floods and power cuts down south so we were very lucky not to have been effected although as we were warned we might lose power I cooked our turkey Christmas Eve just in case.
I'm going to have a lazy day eating up leftovers and catching up on some t.v. I taped.  I am also sitting here making some little crochet squares out of leftover  ends of wool but I haven't decided what to make out of them yet.

I hope you all have a restful few days before the New Year festivities.

Terri X

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The weekend before Christmas

We were out till late last night at my sis-in-laws house along with some friends and we had a lovely meal of salmon, new potatoes and minty peas followed by pear and raspberry crumble which was delicious.
Then we danced our socks off!
I was happy to collapse into my bed

I love my bed with the jewelled fairy lights and my patchwork above, I think it looks quite Christmasy. 
Today has flown by.  It's very cold and we have had a few snow flurries but they are forecasting 20cms overnight and more high winds are on their way.  I'm glad that i have finished with all my food shopping now and won't have to go out. I've been to our community church this morning and i really enjoyed the praise singing today.  We went to the carol service in the village hall this afternoon followed by mince pies and tea with everybody.  There was a much bigger turnout of people than expected which was lovely and again i enjoyed the music and singing with the children playing percussion instruments.   Its a nice way to start the Christmas celebrations. 

Just wanted to show a few more Christmas bits around my home - this time stags

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas

Terri X

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This Thursday morning

I slept really well last night as I was so tired and only woke a few times due to the winds but they weren't as strong for us as a couple of weeks ago.  Some people up here are still without their phone lines that were knocked out from the lightening.
 The forecast today is for snow so my OH brought the wood and coal inside ready to lay the stove whilst I cleaned the bathroom.  Unfortunately entering our bathroom is like going to the North Pole!  It is freezing!!  Our friends very rarely want to use our facilities because it freezes mid flow!  Now the mats are in the wash, floor mopped and everything in sight disinfected, I even cleaned out the cupboard and tidied all the medicines, flannels and towels are now in neat piles and i now have space to stockpile the toilet rolls.
OH then suggested we go for a little walk before the weather got too bad so after making me climb over the fence, we walked up the hill to the front of our cottage.  You can see the front of the cottage in the photo above and you can see we had already had a little flurry of snow.

II was well wrapped up as it was pretty cold but its a lovely view from up there

I zoomed in on our cottage

and looking further up the hill towards the wind farm

There are three turbines to the front of us but we mainly see this one.  It would look so much more attractive if it was painted in Cath Kidson florals or perhaps it could be yarn-bombed!!

Looking around the sky was darkening and we could see the weather moving towards us so it was time to head back again and we walked further down the hill and called into my sis-in-laws for a cuppa to warm up before heading home.
 The snow is now coming down steadily so the fire is on and OH has just dozed off on the sofa and the cats are curled up too.  

I made a mince curry yesterday and we have the leftovers for dinner today with homemade naan breads.  I might make a rice pudding later on too.  I always do Jamie Oliver's stove top rice pudding recipe as it only takes about half an hour to cook.
The light is going but this is the garden now

Terri X

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A sociable Saturday

OH has been working this week building housing for these parrots.  A friend of ours used to breed them when he lived in the south of England and has now decided to try to breed them up here.  A few of the local crofters think he is crazy especially because of the weather conditions we get here but with the help of my OH his crazy idea just might work!
I'm not that keen on parrots, a bit nervous of their beaks but I can admire their colourful plumage.

It was freezing in the blustery wind this morning and by the time we had stood outside for an hour chatting with the above friend, I felt battered around the ears as I hadn't put a hat on.  We eventually left him to his birds and drove into the village to catch the post office before it closed.  I posted off what I think will be the last of the Christmas cards but you always end up getting one from someone you've forgotten don't you.
We then went to pick up some milk for another friend who was housebound for the day and had run out completely. We weren't intending to stay but she had baked some delicious scones for us and it was just lovely to warm up in front of her stove with just cooked scones and cups of coffee.  She also gave us our Christmas present which was a large sack of coal!  Might sound an odd present but we are certainly most grateful for it and how much better for us to have been given something we can really use and it will last us for a while. The coal is a new type of Eco coal that is supposed to burn cleaner but hotter and of course it is more expensive than the norm so we shall see what it is like.

As soon as we got back home we lit our own stove to warm the cottage up and it was already nearly 2pm.  Some days the time just flies by so fast.  The phone rang and it was my sis-in-law saying the family were just popping up so I duly put the kettle on again.

My nephew lent us his DVD so I cooked a quick tea of sausages for OH with chips and I had leftover chilli and we settled down to watch the film whilst we ate.  
I had phone messages from my son and another friend to answer and then my dad phoned for his weekly catchup.  

I've done another few rows of knitting on a second flannel whilst watching the second half of Strictly, i missed the first part of the programme. The first flannel is already wrapped along with a nice soap and put in a homemade paper box that my son made originally for me and I have recycled it as it was the perfect size.  This will be a little gift for one of my crafting friends.

Tomorrow we are supposed to be visiting our friends down on the Black Isle but we are forecast 80 mph winds again so it might not be a good idea to travel.  We shall decide in the morning. 

Terri X

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy Birthday to my OH

The tide had only just gone out when we arrived at Loch Fleet this morning.  It was a bit cloudy but the wind had dropped and we strolled over the dunes to get onto the beach.

No one else was in sight as we walked over the wet sand only a few oyster catchers and a heron.  No sign of the seals either.

It is such a lovely beach with a huge expanse of sand and I was on the look out for any sea glass but I only found a small piece.  There were a lot of razor shells today

I took a photo of the pebbles as we walked over them, such lovely colours

Then off went to the cafe in Dornoch and  while we were there we popped in to the cathedral.  It is only the size of a church but was built in 1239.  It's modern day claim to fame is that Madonna married Guy Ritchie there!  No one else was inside so I took a few pics of the stained glass windows. 

Some of the windows are quite modern and brightly coloured.

I am cooking us a nice meal this evening, Nigella's rapid Ragu recipe which is made with pancetta, minced lamb, green lentils and caramelized onions cooked in marsala with tinned tomatoes and served with morrocan couscous.  Pudding will be toberone chocolate melted and added to whisked double cream to make a rich mousse.  It looks quite nice in a small glass and you really can't eat a lot as it is so rich.  Not a slimming meal though!!
Later on we are going to settle down to watch a new DVD that OH has picked

Definitely doesn't look like a chick flick!!

Terri X

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Homemade decorations

I had wanted a real tree this year so I checked with the forestry commission website to see where they were selling them this year only to find I had missed out.  They only sell them on one day and it was last Sunday so I had to make do with what we had and although you can't really tell from the photo, it looks very pretty.  It's so dark again today and I took pics at 2.30pm with the lights on but they are still not great.

I like to see homemade things on my tree

Which do you prefer, the knitted or the crocheted snowman?

I ended up making seven of these angels one year for family and friends!

This star pattern was on Lucy's blog Attic24 and I like the different colours so i have hung it up in my kitchen as its too big for the tree.

Played about with bits of felt and buttons

More hearts of course!

Last year I made a rag wreath so that has gone up on the kitchen door

My crafting influence has worn off on my son as he has made us this lovely homemade card this year.  

Our room is looking quite festive and cosy now and we have lit the stove because there is still a nip in the air probably due to the dampness because the temperatures are quite mild.  Still we saved wood as we didn't light it yesterday.
Tomorrow is my OH's Birthday and we are going out for a stroll along the beach at Loch Fleet which is like a nature reserve and we will hopefully see the seals, followed by a hot chocolate and sausage roll in his favourite cafe.  Simple pleasures.  I plan to cook us a nice meal in the evening.
I would also like to say a big thank you to those of you who leave me nice comments on my blog and thank you to all my followers.
Bye for now as I need to get back to my knitting.

Terri X