Sunday, 30 April 2017

Fitbit day 1

After church, we had to pop in to a couple of shops for a few things.  The most important was some entertainment for the hens...a big success so far!
I then popped next door to Argos, where Colin insisted on buying me a fitbit...well, ok, I've been after one for ages.  So, obviously the rest of my day was spent playing with my new toy...managed to fit in a  visit to the parents too though.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival

We had a disgustingly early start today, but after that, things most definitely improved.  Despite sore throats and blocked noses, we all trooped off into Oban to this year's Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival.  Ealasaid only sang in two competitions this year, coming first in the Scots song, with Skyscraper Wean and second in the song from the shows, singing Tomorrow, from Annie, despite her voice disappearing fast by that time.  Alasdair was taking part in the festival for the first time too...which meant there was no way on earth Ruairidh wouldn't be participating too!  Their rendition of Ten Little Squirrels was one of the highlights of the festival, according to at least one person - it was a unique, fun-filled, enthusiastic performance, which got the biggest cheer of the day in the hall.  It wasn't the best musical performance in the world, but their sheer joy at taking part was wonderful to see and promising for their future.

Friday, 28 April 2017

Polytunnel and planters

Well, yes, it is more gardening!  This time, the polytunnel got a makeover, with all the accumulated rubbish and mess being cleared out.  We're now back to basics, with several empty raised beds waiting for contents and the strawberries and the fruit bushes sheltering happily from the birds.  Lots of planters have also been cleared out of weeds and topped up with compost.  They're now positioned all around the garden, instead of being rammed together inside the polytunnel.  And my new flame gun and hedge trimmer have arrived, so lots more garden fun awaits!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Guess what? Gardening!

So I decided that "work from home" meant complete said work before Monday, but not necessarily today.  Well, it was a dry, mainly sunny, not too windy and not even too cold day, so what else could I do?!  Tier one of my gutter garden along the fence is now complete...just waiting for Homebase to oblige with a delivery of more clips so that tier two can also be completed.  A lovely, long row of lettuce is now happily ensconced in tier one, which I was filling at one end before Colin had finished attaching the other end to the fence.  He was pleased!  Now I'm just hoping that the plants and soil will have a firm enough grip to withstand any gales or other severe weather.  
The hen houses were also given an internal makeover, which also meant I gained lots more manure for fertilising my raised beds.  
Colin had even more fun though, digging out my old raised beds, using the waste from there to fill in gaps along the fence so the dogs/ hens/ children can't escape.  My garden makeover exploits will either get him fit or kill him...watch this space!  I gave him moral support as he did all that though, if sitting at the table planting millions of seeds, passing comment now and again on his digging technique counts as moral support....I'm sure it does!  

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

More Garden Exploits

After work today, I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed straight out to the garden.  Dad and Colin were also having lots of outdoor fun, picking up the remains of the dyke wall, which had collapsed into the road.  Thankfully no one was injured during the collapse, which could have been kind of fatal to anyone unlucky enough to be passing at the time.  They've made not too bad a job of the repair, though Colin wants to add a bit more fencing to make the garden a bit more secure.  
I avoided the rocky weight lifting and got on with some planting instead.  Three bags of potatoes are now planted, plus a couple of planters and a tray of lettuce.  I have also finally got two wall planters I bought several years ago actually attached to the wall.  They're now filled with lobelia and petunia, which will hopefully play well together!  Colin also lined the edge of the stone chip area, where it meets with the lawn area, with large stones, ably assisted by Ruairidh, who even built a wee wall at one bit.  Operation polytunnel is scheduled for tomorrow!  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Camera experiments

I was quite chuffed yesterday to find a couple of lenses for my camera that I'd lost a while back.  So, apart from work, plus a trip to the cafe at the Comann Eachdraidh with Nicky, the main highlight of today was playing around with the lenses, trying to get used to them again.  The macro one is working well, but I think I need to do a bit more practising with the wide angle one...seems fine at some points but a bit fuzzy some of the time.  Hopefully a good clean will sort it out though.  Interesting to fit so much more into a photo than is normally possible though, or on the other hand, to see so much more in a tiny bit of detail.  

Monday, 24 April 2017

A sunny spring day!

Woke up to beautiful sunshine streaming through the windows...but by the time I was ready to go out the door, hailstones had started falling, closely followed by snow!  It was definitely an interesting day weather-wise.  Gales meant several ferries were cancelled, so Mum and Dad weren't able to get over till the 4pm ferry, instead of the 11am one, despite the valiant efforts of the ferrymen.  I'm just hoping my poor wee plants which have only just gone outside will be able to survive this delightful pre-summer weather.  The hens are most disgruntled with it, as are the children, though for slightly different reasons - the kids were hoping the snow would lie, whereas the hens were hoping for an end to this nonsense and back to their nice, spring sunshine.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring...!

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Garden Plans

We were up a lot of last night with poor wee Alasdair, who had a really nasty cough, so we didn't make it to Church today.  We did manage to get off the island a bit later though, to continue my great garden makeover scheme.  Lots of planters and plants later and I'm all set for makeover phase two.  

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Garden Day

Having been absolutely knackered after spending most of yesterday in front of the computer, I decided to avoid it for most of the day today.  Still slightly knackered, but at least it's a different kind of tiredness today, after a pretty productive, outdoors day.  
All of the French plants are now planted up...not sure how they'll cope out in the slightly chillier weather than they're used to, but fingers crossed.  Lots of tidying up done as well, so the garden is starting to look almost respectable.  Colin's also been busy, making a couple of gates to secure one of the patio areas from rampaging hens.  Looking good so far, though they've still to be painted...that's a job for another day though.  

Friday, 21 April 2017

Friday Fun

A day off for me, although Colin was working as usual this morning.  Lots more competitions, Etsy listings, photos and even a bit of cooking made up most of my day...the excitement never ends!  Colin also managed to achieve the virtually impossible by getting the last remnants of the France packing put away.  Must be time to start packing for the next holiday...mustn't it?!  Glad to say the mainland car is now back where it belongs, having been here since bringing all the luggage back from the holiday.  Following a road and boat trip by Colin and Ruairidh, it is now safely parked up on the mainland again...far too risky keeping it here, as it would very quickly die on the deplorable roads on the island.  The poor wee Mazda isn't so lucky, as it's now back on island duty...ho hum.  

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Work from home day

It's a quiet time of year at work, so a good chance to catch up with the kind of things we otherwise never have time for.  One of those things is stocking Nicky's new Etsy shop for China Betty...something I could do from home just as easily as from work.  Made a good start on that, but also got inspired to look at my own wee Etsy shop again for the first time in over a year, so trying to get that going again too.  I even managed to get back into doing some competitions, including looking for some photographic competitions to enter.  I could get used to this working from home thing!  

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Fire training and high school training

A normal day at work for me, but for Colin it was a day spent playing, I mean working, with the fire truck. Despite being deputy crew commander and a former HGV driver, he hadn't ever been put through his training to be a qualified driver of the fire truck.  Today was his first day of intensive training to put that right...round two tomorrow followed by an assessment.  So far so good, though.  
Ealasaid was delighted to discover that the Rector of Oban High School, along with some of the Guidance staff, was giving a talk in Appin school tonight, aimed at P7s who'll be heading up to the High School after the summer.  Not only did she have to sit and listen and even answer some questions, but she had to miss her beloved drama for it.  At least she enjoyed the shortbread!  
A final bit of training for today was mummy sheep teaching her new lambs how to stand in the middle of the road and make any passing cars slow down to as near to stopped as they can possibly achieve without becoming lamb chops...can't start that lesson too early!!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

First day back at work

Well, what more can I say...it was work, and it was the first day back at it.  The end.  Seriously though, it was lovely to catch up with everyone again, especially Florence, of course!  Lots of wee lambs jumping about all over the place now, though none were too keen on posing for the camera.  I'll get them yet!  The beautiful spring flowers were slightly more obliging though.  The children were delighted to be back to school (honestly...I'm sure that's what they said...!) and even more (genuinely!) delighted when Grandma and Seanair arrived over for a couple of nights.  Normality has returned.  

Monday, 17 April 2017

Last day of the Easter holidays

First full day back at home after the holidays...lots to catch up on!  Apart from the unpacking and trying to find spaces for the million and one things we seem to have brought back, we even managed to get some work done in the garden.  One main part was planting up the first batch of the plants we brought back from France.  Looking good so far, but I thought I'd better take some photos quickly before the hens move in for the kill!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

One more sleep!

Well, that is assuming we get any sleep at all, of course!  Two very excited boys are still struggling to get to sleep.  One quite excited girl is still organising herself (too cool to be really, obviously excited, but we know she is really!) so she's not asleep either.  Colin and I are still catching up with the million things we have to do before we leave, so no prospect of sleep for us anytime soon either.  Still, we did manage to achieve quite a lot today, with a load of work done at Achuaran, including putting a number of my photos on display there for guests to buy if they like them but mainly to brighten the place up a bit.  We left some of my cards there too to see if there will be any interest.  Fingers crossed!