Friday, 29 November 2013


Sorting and de-cluttering, ....whatever you do, in whatever field in your life, it looks worse before it looks better!

Papers in boxes LOOK very tidy...and its a mess when they are being sorted/shredded/used for lighting the stove, recycled.....and even, a small amount, filed!   
Have you noticed that people never seem to visit when your home is tidy?

As Winter draws in we'll have less gardening to do and less money to travel, so more time to tackle this mountain of box at a time.

Yesterday the Pirate had his latest appointment with the oncology nurse...all well so far, just keep on keeping on...six weeks down of hormone treatment, one hundred and fifty to go....

It would be easier for him if his op had left an external scar...then he'd have a visible reminder of having had a fairly major op.

Winter makes him sad as it is, the treatment could make this worse.  However he is through half of his worst sad part of the year, not long to go....then he can get me through February and March...

We are booking our tickets for our Hogmanay trip to Eileann Siar today. We're both looking forward greatly to that.  I must buy a spare pair of rechargeable batteries for his camera that I'm using, so that we're never caught with flat or chilled batteries and no camera!!

We went to the Burns Centre for lunch hopefully next time!

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

doing too much...and not enough...

Today a friend came to see us, and he hauled Stuff out from the sheds and overhauled the little generator in readiness for Winter and power cuts.  They looked at a lot of bits and bobs, discussed over many a cuppa...
but when I came back from my two hour's voluntary shopwork in the village The Pirate was obviously too tired.....  learning what is too much is difficult.

At least he is willing to learn!!

He is worried that I'm not riding my bike on the road or the turbo trainer..the answer? When I've got more energy.  

I'm doing more, to stop him doing too I've got to be careful too.

Some things will just have to stay not done for a while.

At least I did do a little more on my quilt that I designed in 1997.....and have been making since then....

Now for a little polo shirt designing...more of which at a later date!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

under the spreading chestnut tree....

The grass is still growing!!     Every time the temperature lifts above 5 degrees C, it is off again.

Yesterday we tidied a hedge and cleared away the cuttings. ( The Pirate was supervising ONLY!!!) and I painted a gate and a it is rather damp.  Not too damp to use a ride-on mower on a lawn that looked more like a paddock, and around a farmyard.

It gets dark and chilly so early, by 4.30 it is clocking off time.
Time for tea, catching up on the incoming mail, and for The Pirate , shredding a mountain of old bills and the like!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

More Cross!!

Today we had a day out at Irvine Beach park watching and helping at a cyclo cross race, one of a series throughout the Winter in Scotland.

Ailsa Craig from above the beach

Looking towards the Carrick Hills

and over to Arran.

Meanwhile.....yer be Dragon!!

and bikes......

The Pirate used to compete in many cyclo cross races, so felt sad that he couldn't ride himself. Present problems plus the state of his shoulders due to accidents while racing on the track now prevent it.
On the other hand he is enjoying helping others practically and passing on knowledge as well.


The Pirate is planning to run a cyclo cross in about a year's time, near our village.
Unfortunately one can no longer include running water, so a crossing of the Dyrock Burn is out of the question!

But there is plenty of choice, and two willing will be his Birthday Cyclo Cross...ok, I know his birthday is in July, but you don't ride these in the Summer!!

we walked a few possible routes before lunch, then afterwards walked to the village shop for coffee and a paper. 

There were still patches of driven slush on the road as we walked home and above us a stunt plane practised lazy loops. 
The clouds gradually came over, giving us a warmer night than we had feared..just decidedly chilly instead of below freezing.

Friday, 22 November 2013

getting chilly

Today has been beautiful, but cold.  Some ice and slush a quarter mile down the road, where a ditch overflows and runs over the road, hadn't cleared completely before it started freezing again.   Many patches in the fields haven't seen the sun atall.

Today the Pirate had his second four weekly injection, so we had a leisurely walk around Maybole.

The main A77 road, from Glasgow to Stranraer goes right through the middle....carrying heavy lorries all day every day.   It gets quite "interesting" when you get lorries going both ways....and perhaps a car parked, or a van doing deliveries.....!!

The bypass route has been set since 2008....the little town is being shaken to bits!!

After a late lunch it was fortunate that a friend arrived to see The Pirate.   I went to do some gardening- pruning raspberries, loganberries and currants- in the next village over.    He had only intended to play foreman and watch me working, or sit in the car....but he has to learn when enough is enough.  Not easy when you're used to being active every day.

By 4pm it was too cold to work- it had got up to 4 degrees C today, but felt not much above freezing.  Home to the farm, and the furniture maker who rents a barn in the yard was in a pickle....he had mixed some plaster in his workshop, went to clean the bucket and his water supply had frozen.

I'm glad I stacked two trailerfulls of wood yesterday and we've been promised another of ready sawn wood.      This is in exchange for doing two days of painting and decorating...barter lives!!

Thursday, 21 November 2013


I bought a chestnut roaster years ago from Aaron it is at last in use!!

tip- cut a slit in the chestnuts then soak for 15 minutes in cold water, then drain, before roasting.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Return of The Pirate!!

He is home!!

snow. not a lot, yet

Not as much as in South Dakota, but isn't it typical...this is probably the morning I go and collect The Pirate!!

It appears to be a layer of  small powdery ice balls which have slightly melted and re-frozen, covered in another layer of the same.  Not a lot, but probably more dangerous than a lot as more people will still be out on the roads!

I'm listening to the traffic reports as I blog...jams, accidents....people in a rush....
At least I only have to collect him from ten miles away!

Monday, 18 November 2013

Fresh Ayr

Today was Final Fit day for my new teeth...and they do! I've never had ones crafted so well. A dentist is not only a surgeon, he/she is an artist and sculptor and engineer too!
Thence to the shops again, to buy supplies for The Pirate...he likes to be clean!
As there was no point doing an extra 20 miles in the car to go home for an hour and return for visiting time, I stayed in Ayr for some fresh air and (intermittent) sunshine.

looking towards the Isle of Arran

a squall coming in towards Prestwick (on the right)

Enough of this freshness....time for coffee in Alloway!

The dose of air worked..I parked in the hospital carpark and slept for half an hour before visiting the Pirate. 
He is improving slowly, , better than another man who went home this morning...and was back again this afternoon.  You can't rush these matters.

I'm so glad  that he is being treated here as the doctors are most understanding of his point of view that he needs to be functioning properly before being sent home. In many other places he would have been out of hospital on Sunday...far too early.

Home a different way tonight, out on the Castle Douglas road and turn for home in Patna.  Only a mile further but a quicker run without rushing. No traffic jams as well!!

Now I'm sitting in front of the open stove eating supper, rice, mushroom and chinese veggies stirfry with almonds, and blogging. 

Just waiting for The Pirate to phone in a short while before he goes to bed.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

walking on

As it was frosty this morning I walked to the village community shop to buy a newspaper. Two miles in all, and by the time I was back home the sky was clouding over.

after lunch, a trip to Prestwick and Ayr for which time the weather had turned dreich..not worth a photograph!!

The Pirate was up on his feet and walking around today, but he still isn't ready to come home...tomorrow maybe, or even Tuesday.... slow but steady recovery is the aim

Still it was hard to come home alone again.

My heart was lifted by the sight of a hare casually loping by as I left the hospital car park...a good omen for tonight's full moon. (and the Pirate was born in the Year of the Rabbit...or rather Hare!!)   As I arrived home the tawny owls were calling to each other across the farmyard.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

carry on carrying on..

I had a good little ride on the bike today, after getting two washes on the line..

halfway round I saw a friend out cleaning her windows...tea and talk was called for!!

It was a shorter ride than intended, but still worth it.
Back through Kirkmichael to pick up the paper I bought on the way out!

A quick lunch and off to see The Pirate after buying pens to do our greetings cards, in Ayr.

He is a little tired today, but he has done some walking.  Slow and steady progress does it.   
Today's instructions? Chill out, get out on the bike again tomorrow morning, don't overdo the housework!!

So this evening I finished making the Apple and Haw Cheese (with a touch of ginger!!)

 I'm having a go at fruit leather for the first drying slowly in the oven, after baking beetroot chocolate cake....just take your usual carrot cake recipe, substitute beetroot for carrot and about 50g of cocoa powder is substituted for 50 g of the flour....