Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Rain, rain and more rain

After yesterday's stunning blue skies and cold but bright weather, today couldn't have been more of a contrast.  It was so misty that the hills surrounding us disappeared into the grey gloom - everything looked drab and washed out.
In fact, we got a phone call at work to say that the rain had been so heavy that it had been pouring in through the (closed) windows, to the extent that Ealasaid's bed was soaking wet.  Not the best news at any time, but certainly not when it's only a few months old!  It now feels like the tropics in the house as the heating is on full blast as we try to dry everything out - the boys are loving the obstacle course created by a mattress and bedding being suspended over every available heater!  

Monday, 30 January 2017

Monday Madness

Mondays are always slightly crazy in our house, so I don't know why I'm picking this one out for the title of Monday Madness.  Today started with me running incredibly late because I was searching the house for something crucial Colin had forgotten to take with him when he left the house before me. Some considerable time into my frenetic search came the phone call to confess that he'd found the offending item on the floor of the car...ho hum!  

Off to work I (belatedly) toddled, to be met with lots of fellow commuters, who clearly weren't impressed at the intrusion on their mid-morning snack.  We exchanged a few pleasantries and parted on friendly terms, however.  





On arriving at work, there was an unspoken void, until Nicky told me that Miss Percy was no longer with us.  Tumours on her kidneys meant that it was time for her to join Nellie and so many other precious friends in that wonderful field in the sky.  Sleep tight, beautiful baby. xx



Sunday, 29 January 2017

Oban and North Connel trip

We were very pleased with ourselves today - managed to get to church in Oban, leaving from Lismore, at least 5 minutes before Mum and Dad got there, and they were only leaving from North Connel.  Not only that, but we were actually on time!

Heading out to North Connel after Church, we took a quick detour to watch the Isle of Arran coming into Oban Bay.  She's not a boat we see here often, so we thought it was worth capturing her picture while we had the chance.


Then it was off to Grandma and Seanair's for lunch, before heading home.  It was a beautiful, crystal clear starry night, with even a planet visible, apparently.  We say an extremely bright light in the sky, which we manage to see on the telescope too, though not properly - one of these days we will read all of the instructions and learn how to work the thing properly.  All attempts to capture the beauty of the night sky on camera failed dismally though (unless a few wee star trails count) - think that's another learning curve we have to tackle!



Saturday, 28 January 2017

Photography experiment

It being another chilled out day in our house, I decided to take the opportunity to get back to my photography course, which I've been rather neglecting of late.  Another module is now completed and I also took the weekend challenge, which was "out of focus".  Not entirely convinced with the results, but it's a start and I can always try to capture some more shots tomorrow...if I remember!


Friday, 27 January 2017

Day off


Another stunning sunrise awoke me this morning on my day off from work.  It was a freezing cold but beautiful day, although definitely a day to spend indoors, as the hailstones were never far away.  I spent the day quite quietly, although I did manage to have a quick wee bonfire in between hail showers.  Colin achieved a bit more though, going over to Oban to get the back window of the Animal repaired - we now have a secure boot area, which will mean the Animal is the luck vehicle to get to go on its holidays this year!

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Work and a wee win

A quiet day at work today - lots of opportunity for getting ourselves organised for the busier weeks ahead though.  We did have a meeting with representatives of one of the island groups, though, with a view to some future collaboration.  Watch this space! 

Came home to discover another wee competition win...a book this time, Cradle and All by James Patterson, courtesy of a World Book Day competition.  Colin and my Dad have read quite a few of his books, but I haven't tried any yet.  Looking forward to starting this one and maybe finding a new reading craze for myself.  Huge thanks to the competition organisers for the opportunity/ incentive.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Work

Today was definitely a day where the theme was work.  Off I went to work as usual, with Colin in tow.  A passing boat demonstrated that there were countless others nearby also hard at work.


Not only that, but we sent Dad off to do some tree work as well, in our absence.  Now, if only we could find some way to separate him from his fashion statement of a hat....!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Uneventful or highly significant?

I really wasn't sure what to write about today.  Personally speaking, it was a pretty quiet and insignificant day, but for various other people/ pets/ projects, today held quite a bit of significance.  

For our friends and colleagues in Port Castle, today saw the start of another stage in the renovation work which will give them the new kitchen they've been waiting for for about 10 years.  Colin and Simon were hard at work installing electrical cables, ripping out old worktops and rearranging just about everything, prior to plastering and then installing the new kitchen.  It might not seem like much to most people, but to Nicky, it will be a dream come true when she can finally use her lovely kitchen that's been waiting in storage for so long.  

For Miss Percy, today was significant in that she started her antibiotics to see if her swollen leg can be cured.  If this doesn't work, as Nicky said, with a heavy heart, it will be time for her to be reunited with old friends in the big field in the sky...so a hugely important day for this old lady, as she starts what could be her final battle.

A big day for her pal, puppy dog Florence, too, as she, albeit unwittingly, could be having to face life without the old friend she's always had beside her.  She just wants her cat to be able to play with her again...it's not easy understanding life when you're an excitable collie pup!


Finally, today could hold massive significance for our whole island, as the survey about the Bachuil Project closes today.  No matter what anyone's personal views on the subject may be, I doubt many people could argue that this could be a potentially life changing decision for the whole island.  We can only pray that the correct choice is made, even if that decision is not our own one.  

All in all, what at first glance seemed to be a pretty ordinary, unimportant, almost boring day, could actually be one of the important days in recent memory.  

Monday, 23 January 2017

Stunning sunrise

I'm no early bird...in fact, everyone knows it's a dangerous business even talking to me before my first coffee in the morning.  However, today it was a privilege to be up and about, getting ready for work, as the sunrise was absolutely stunning.  It was the kind of beauty you only see in pictures or films of exotic locations you can only dream about but this morning, it was right there on our doorstep.





Another lovely thing about today was going back to work and finding Miss Percy (yes, she is a girl and yes, she is called Percy!) still hanging in there.  At 21 and with dodgy kidneys and a very dodgy leg, we know she won't be with us forever, so every day is a bonus.  She's still a beautiful lady, despite her advancing years.  

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Trip

Well, we finally made it off the island to church, for the first time this year.  This was enjoyed by all, especially Ruairidh, who has decided to promote himself to the ranks of Sunday School, refusing to go in to the creche provided...little darling!  

A quick shopping trip was followed by a visit to Grandma and Seanair, much to the delight of all, but particularly the little people.  Lovely to get back to normal and do all our usual Sunday things.  Poor wee ferry must have been knackered and glad to see the back of us as it headed back to Port Appin after dropping us and all our baggage off in Lismore.  

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Sunny Saturday

It was such a treat to waken up to blue skies and beautiful sunshine, so there was no way we could dream of staying indoors.  We decided it was time to try to return the garden to some semblance of normality after winter storms and general child and chicken induced mayhem.

Not being a pyromaniac in the slightest, I immediately got to work on a bonfire, while Colin did some general clearing.  I was joined at one point by Ruairidh, who seemed somewhat oblivious to the fact that it is January and near freezing at times!

Work stopped for a while as we watched the neighbours moving house.




After his general clearing, Colin went on to work on stage 2 of the chicken complex...think the girls and guys are looking forward to moving in to their new premises. 





Friday, 20 January 2017

A productive day off

A day off work meant the perfect opportunity to get ahead with about a million other things. Sneezing every 5 seconds put paid to the original gardening and bonfire plan...there's always tomorrow for that, hopefully.  So instead, we used the time to sort out some of those photos that we'd been planning to deal with for weeks.  Lots of printing and framing later, the dining room table was groaning under the array of pictures.  The final stage in the master plan will be to get them displayed in one of the holiday lets we manage, to allow guests to purchase a lasting memento of their holiday in Lismore to take home with them.  That is definitely a job for another day too!  

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Gardening already

Quiet, uneventful day at work for me today, but for Colin, although it's only mid-January, today saw the first work on the garden of one of his clients.  Nothing much growing as yet, but some freshly dug and edged beds are now already for their spring and summer splendour.  Not a bad view from the office for Mr. C today either, looking from Port Ramsay to Laggan and the surrounding hills.









Wednesday, 18 January 2017

29 years

The 18th of January is a day I dread every year.  It's the anniversary of my Gran's death, 29 years ago this year.  It was the start of a rather horrible run of things, with someone really close to our family dying on the same date for several more years in a row after that. I'm always glad to get through the day without anything else horrible happening.  So far so good this year!  

One bright spot of the day, which recurs every single year, is Gran's cactus - it never fails to bloom on important dates, particularly today, the 18th of January and on her birthday, the 21st of June.  Hard to believe that not only is her cactus, which was her mother's before her, is still going strong despite being several decades old, but that it is so sensitive to the family that has nurtured it all those years.  Nature is a wonderful thing.  





Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Four legged friends

So, I could spend today focusing on the delightful cold that our dear children have passed on to me or I could focus instead on some of the "people" I pass on my commute to work each morning, and the friendly face who greets me each morning...she's just pleased to see me, honestly - not looking for prawns or tuna fish at all!  All of these furry faces (and some others who didn't pose for photos so nicely) are great for taking your mind off the sniffles...can't feel sorry for yourself when surrounded by such beauty.  



Monday, 16 January 2017

Coughs and sneezes...it must be Monday!

You can always tell a Monday by the level of coughing and sneezing happening when wee people fancy another long lie instead of trooping back to school.  Ealasaid and Alasdair didn't quite manage to be convincing enough, so off they went on the school bus.  Mr. Ruairidh, however, succeeded in having an extra day at home - despite feeling rotten, he was still pretty chuffed to have quality time all to himself with Daddy, then with Grandma and Seanair.

The walk to work was as beautiful as ever, with some spectacular light falling on the sea behind Port Castle...photos just don't do it justice.




Pretty girl waiting for her dinner...just can't get the staff these days...

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Another quiet Sunday

We woke up with good intentions for actually making it to church today, but coughing and spluttering children soon put paid to that idea.  So we had another quiet day, with lots of quality time spent with wee people needing lots of hugs...and chocolate biscuits!  The canine wee people had a lovely, chilled day too, and even did their best to strike an intelligent pose to see if that would hurry their dinner along...

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Photography Club

Today saw the first meeting of the year of Lismore's photography club.  We started in the graveyard, then followed the setting sun along the island.  A lovely day was had by all, with everyone achieving a lot more than they expected - each person was pleasantly surprised with the results of their efforts, despite feeling a lack of inspiration at the time.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Reflections

A quiet day, with lots of time to reflect on the events of yesterday and on all the happy memories we have of Mary.  Also a good opportunity to think on making the most of friends and family who are still with us in person.

That said, there were also some spectacular views on offer on the way to work today, but even so, the prize for the most stunning picture of the day has to go to Miss Tansy, whose flaxen mane does just as amazing a job at contrasting with her chestnut flanks as any snow fall could hope to do with the flanks of the hills on which it falls.