Thursday, October 22, 2015

You wouldn't think it would be so ...

Difficult to get rid of a car full of branches!
I told you in my last post that we had cut the Apple trees and the car was loaded, not just with sacks full but big branches loose, ready to drop off at the tip on the way to our dentist appointment.
Our local one was closed so we headed to one 10 miles further on.  When we got there a tree had blown down and blocked the road.  OH climbed over it to go to the tips office to check whether the chap in charge knew, he had no idea.  I waited in the car and took this photo as I waited for him of the rainbow forming.
As we couldn't get rid of our load we had no choice but to take it with us and thought that we would have time to find the tip where we were going.  No such luck!  OH stopped at a tyre company to ask where their local tip was and we followed directions only to find that the road was closed completely due to roadworks!  We ended up parked in a Tesco's car park and had to leg it to our appointment.
I wanted to buy a few items but the car was so jammed full of branches it was difficult to get a couple of bags in but we managed.  Then we headed back thinking that by the time we got there they might have dealt with the fallen tree.  They had cleared the road but the tip had closed!  We continued on back to our village and thankfully our local tip was now open. We had driven 100 miles trying to get rid of them!

Terri X

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


We had strong winds last night and were awake for hours as it rattled round the house. I finally dropped off again about 4am and didn't wake till 8am. I didn't have to work today so thought it would be nice to have a leisurely day. It started off well.  Occasionally my boys do the National Lottery scratchcards so I gathered their winning ones together and cashed them in and we had 16 pounds so we all went to the local cafe for a late breakfast this morning.

  When we got back we decided to prune the two Apple trees in the garden.  These are quite old trees and we had blossoms early in the year but they got hit badly in the frosts so we never got any apples.
A local lady whose aunt and uncle originally planted them said they used to bear lovely cooking apples and she was thrilled to see us pruning them today.  It was quite hard work, OH rested the ladder against the trees and i tried to guide him to the branches i wanted lopping off.  My job was picking up all the bits.  The local tip wasnt open today but I loaded the car up to the brim with the branches ready to get rid of tomorrow on the way to our dental appointments. (We have ours done together as we have to travel 50 miles to the dentist).

After a quick Hoover round and sorting washing a friends son popped in to explain how the programmer works on our new heating systems.  He seems to have got it working just right in his house so he gave me a few tips to try.
Then two council workers turned up to look at the gutter leaks we had reported months ago.  We have old cast iron guttering and it's like a waterfall front and back when it rains.  The rear wall is getting quite damaged.  They managed to silicone the front but couldn't do the back because our wood delivery was in the way of the ladder and it made the angle too steep to climb up safely.  It is quite high as we live in a house like a three storey.  Considering it was months ago we reported it and we never knew they were coming its frustrating as we only got the delivery of wood last week.  We will just have to use up the wood first then try to get them back again after.  Still one waterfall now is better than having two i suppose.

I thought I would just sit down and catch up on Eastenders but a friend contacted me and we ended up chatting for a while.  I felt myself starting to flag a bit, just needed a cup of tea and to sit quietly for a while.  I seem to get tired in the afternoons lately, I think it's just part of the menopause but time was getting on and I needed to start preparing the dinner.
My cup of tea got forgotten as some of the family called round and then just as we settled down to eat dinner and watch a movie the doorbell went.  We seem to be getting a spate of charity workers knocking all wanting us to sign up to contribute by direct debit.  I currently do one for the blind and have decided to keep that up for 12 months and then do a different charity but I cannot afford to do more than one good cause at a time. I always feel a bit awful having to explain though.

I feel tired this evening, its now 9pm and the day has gone so fast and the forecasted 75 mph winds are back.  It's blowing loudly down the chimney so it will probably be another difficult night to sleep.  I found this and thought its just how i feel right now..

Good night
Terri X

Monday, October 19, 2015

In My Kitchen this Week

 Shepherds Pie
Such a comforting dinner when everyone is tired and hungry after a days work.  I personally like baked beans on the side with mine but OH eats it on its own.  It does have some veg in it and a sprinkle of cheese on top.

I have condensed my cookbooks and these on the shelf in the photo, are the ones I like to browse through. I have 4 Jamie Oliver's, a dairy one that is years old now, a couple of Hugh's, a slimming world family recipes, Hummingbird bakery and A Girl called Jack.  I have asked for her new book as a Christmas pressie.  I keep any recipes I cut out of magazines in a pink folder.

We don't often have puddings but we do like to have a cup of tea afterwards with something, usually of the chocolate or biscuit variety.  I made a lovely chocolate cake this week as I had a friend coming round for coffee and a catch up.  I forgot to take a photo of it as it didn't last long enough!

Another batch of naan breads made ready to freeze.  There is only 11 in this pic as OH pinched one when I wasn't looking!  

As mornings have been a bit frosty this week, our dinners have been warming.  My chicken broth lasted us 2 days, made from a carcass I had frozen and I used every bit of veg I could find languishing in the fridge.  Sausage and mash served with Yorkshires and plenty of veg,  jacket potatoes and chilli were all filling warm you up meals. 
 Today I made a Nigella recipe,  rapid ragu.  If you have never tried it, do because it is a tasty and quick recipe which can be ready in 30mins.
This is the pic from her recipe.  It's made with minced lamb, pancetta, caramelized  onions, green lentils and masala.  It smells lovely whilst cooking and I serve it with some Moroccan couscous.

Not much leftover!

Terri X

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Winter Preparations

We've had a couple of frosty mornings and the local weather forcast is saying that this years winter will be colder and more seasonal weather.  It's true that the last couple of years we have had long damp winters so I guess we are due a cold, snowy one.
Now that we live on the outskirts of the village I am not so worried about stocking up food as we would be able to walk to the local shops if necessary.  I will miss my little stove that we had in the cottage as during the power cuts i got pretty good at cooking one pot meals on the top of it. 
 We now have a lovely multi fuel stove with a back boiler and radiators and it gives us lots of hot water too. We ordered a metric tonne bag of dried seasoned wood, sourced from a local forest.  This is to supplement the wood we have collected ourselves.  Then we had a delivery of another 3 bags of coal and got the coal man to tip it into the bunker with the couple of bags we had already.  I am not sure if this will be enough but we can see how we go.  Their service was brilliant as i ordered it Monday afternoon and it came Tuesday.
I have a little camping stove and candles put by in case of power cuts so...
All that's left to do is finish yet another crochet blanket!  I have been joining in with my first CAL on Facebook and it's a pattern by Sandra over at Cherryheart blog.  I am enjoying learning a few new stitches and it's big enough to keep me warm on my knees while I'm working on it!  
So all I can say is bring it on Winter...I'm ready for you!

Terri X

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Loch at the bottom of the road

This is a lovely view of part of the village, these photo's were taken (not by me) overlooking little Loch Shin.  It is the main thing holidaymakers see when they arrive and often camper vans are parked up looking towards the water.
Also on this loch is this...

This is the Broons house on its little island.  It is a new house as the old one was destroyed in the bad storms earlier in the year. In case you don't know , "the Broons" and "Oor Wullie" are a cartoon strip that appears in the Scottish Post newspaper and it is much loved.

This is another view of the Loch showing the dam that was built as part of a hydro electric scheme.  

A sailing club and a fishing club make use of the 17 mile stretch of water. There is salmon swimming in these waters.

I am lucky now to be able to walk down the road, strolling past the fire station, a camp site and cafe is opposite, the police station (which always seems to be empty),  past the community centre and popping into the library there, walking down a slight hill, crossing the road where the doctors surgery and local junior school is.  Apparently this year they have about 40 pupils which is more than the previous year.  Then i walk past the Post Office, I am frequently in there and have a little chat with Bobby who runs it.  There is a tweed shop and pub/hotel opposite, chemist and local hairdressers and the Loch is at the bottom of the road.  

Terri X

Monday, October 5, 2015

October Trip

Taking advantage of the sunny weather this past week, we decided to take a trip down to Aviemore to go up the Cairngorm mountain.
You can do organised walks up there but we took the easy option and went up by the funicular train. 

The route up to the car park is lovely as you climb upwards and as it was such a lovely day there were lots of people about.

This was the view from the front of the train and if you look closely you can just see the building at the top over 1097 metres up.  There is a restaurant and shop up there.

The view from the top.
The chappie in the red coat is OH taking his own photos.  He can stand a lot nearer the edge than me as I get vertigo.

Going downhill we spotted the gleam of water through the trees so we parked at the side of the road to go and look.

The heather was still flowering beside the path

Beautiful autumnal colours

This little chap was swimming happily along

And out of the shallows there was this stunning view

Terri X

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Naughty but Nice!

I'm talking about this treat at one of our favourite cafe's!

We sat outside as it was sunny enjoying the view looking towards the Black Isle.
"The Storehouse" is situated on the A9, the main road through the Highlands so it is always busy, it has a little gift shop in a shed, a lovely farm shop and in the restaurant the food is really good. We had a beef and crispy onion sandwich and then shared a piece of their delicious cheesecake.

Cappuccino flavour, yum....but it was very rich so half each was enough.

I took this photo of OH walking towards this anchor placed on the grass.  I was looking directly into the sun but I like how it came out.

I felt really stuffed afterwards so we headed onto the Black Isle to go to Cromarty, the perfect place to walk off lunch. I have blogged about it before but its one of my favourite places full of pretty painted cottages with lovely little gardens and I like to stroll around the streets and pop into one or two
 little shops.  This trip i came home with these...
I just love these colourful chickens and I like to start my day with a bit of colour so I am using them for my breakfast!

Then I brought another soap dish to go with the purple one I'd previously brought.  It's sad how much pleasure these little dishes give me!

Terri X

Friday, October 2, 2015

Indian Summer

I'm loving these late summer days we've had this week

Having the beach all to ourselves

Sitting on the sand, eyes closed, listening to the waves


We headed to the little pier to sit and eat our lunch,
chips from the local award winning chip shop.
You just have to try them don't you!

Sparkling sunlight on the water

Terri X