Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Spring could even be here

 We managed a walk between showers...and you can feel the warmth from the earth despite the cold wind.

And not long after we arrived home....

The view from the back then the front of the house.

Tuesday, 11 May 2021


 I am back in the laptop now for design work, and have wrestled with software new to remembering the old from a couple of years ago....

I have even got the laptop and the printer talking.

However I have been fooled by the printer not seeking to understand custom sizes...yet...

I want to print the back of some square cards....

Meanwhile I will stick with what the printer knows .....for now!!

The square card will have to have hand written backs...for now! 

Then they can go in the Etsy shop. High time I put more stick in there.


 I think that is the right word...

I stand corrected, Kintsugi!

I have a Buckley pancheon that I found 24 years ago...complete...went back to pick it up the next day and someone had thrown a brick in it....

Now pirate is mending it and I am tempted to highlight the mends in gold! It is a beautiful honoured hardworking object.....

Friday, 7 May 2021

Greenhouse jam...


You can just see a snow covered Ben Lomond...80 miles away by road or 51 miles as the crow flies. (Do crows fly in straight lines?)

Greenhouse traffic jam....potting on and potting up due and it is still too cold to put them out. They will have to go in the polytunnel on the staging that I built using old pallets.

The washing machine is running again at last! New brushes and the door tweaked so that it properly triggers the switch put in last time.

Off to the Land of Dennis the Menace!

 Yesterday we had another trip to Dundee for an hour on the velodrome...a long way to go, but every time we come home a different way, and aim to do more than just the one thing.

We drove up through hail showers, but luckily we trusted the weather forecast and after twenty minutes wait it gave us a dry hour!!

We drive round Dundee to the Tay Bridge past the home of DC Thompson, the publishers of The Beano comic magazine...and Dennis was 70 this year.

This was after we arrived home..and no that isn't a twister in the distance, it's the steam outlet from the chipboard factory in shadow!!

Today has been mainly bright sunlight...but still cold wind...and the washing machine is hopefully being mended. Probably just in time for the next band of showers!

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Happy Anniversary!

 We celebrated with a bike ride, of course! With a hot chocolate stop at a local farm shop.

We watched curtains of rain... probably hail and snow...pass by, with a sigh of relief! 

It was bad enough being wrapped up as if for a Winter ride!!

The washing machine decided to sulk...but we haven't run out of clothes...yet!!

Then a wee dram...why not?!

That was yesterday.....there is much more snow on Arran today.

Tuesday, 4 May 2021

We escaped!

 And caught a rain free hour for a walk!!

We checked the cherry and apple trees for blossom... hopefully the insects have been able to do their job!!

And talking of trees....

I might have to redo it though...I am learning to do finer lines...

Sunday, 2 May 2021

A good Weekend

 Saturday was hang the housework, out on the bikes! 

We went on our "newest" us..pirate on his Allen and myself on my Hobbs..and both behaved beautifully. 

First stop was for coffee at nine miles to see if our local farm coffeeshop and plant centre was open.  There was a long queue for the milk vending machine and none for the coffee machine, the plants were on sale and the cafe opens after the bank holiday. 

They are busy enough usually, so starting on a bank holiday weekend would not have been a good idea!

Then along a bike path (ex railway) for five miles to a local shop...and sandwiches, before dropping down onto the coastal national cycle route to go north through Ayr, and past Prestwick Airport where we headed inland on the lanes. We were glad to have a tailwind up the hills from there as this was the longest ride we have had for a while...35 miles/ 56km...and taken easy it was enjoyable. Something to build on, as we are looking to ride further afield. 

I think we have another  bike rack that could go on the Hobbs, which would mean that I could carry things including a camera. Until then, no photos on the Hobbs rides!

Today we had our first family meet-up, at Tebay services on the M6.  A good meal out with Pirate's son and family just after two of their birthdays. A chance to catch up and hand over presents.

We took the opportunity to drive home with no motorway apart from the section over the border from Carlisle to Gretna. A nice relaxed drive with the road from Old Tebay to Appleby new to both of us...and we managed a stop to see the view back towards Tebay.

Quite often the stopping places don't coincide with the views, but this one did it well.

Friday, 30 April 2021

Busy as ever!

 Yesterday we had an early start and headed for Dundee again, not quite missing the traffic congestion through Glasgow.

Showers were forecast, but we didn't expect a hail shower as we were unpacking our bikes!

Thus time I rode the track session, just steady riding for me for about 45 minutes, then the hail started again! The other three ride a little faster most of the time and longer. Then a takeaway cuppa..and the craic lasted as long as the riding!

We decided not to come straight back down the main roads, and had a little detour round small roads and lanes, via Cupar Angus and coming into Perth at Scone.

Down the main road nearly to Stirling, then across via Doune to Fintry. There we had intended going over the Crow Road to Lennoxtown to see a friend in his bikeshop...road closed for three we had to go around the end of the big hill not over it! But....road closed signs....but again...traffic coming towards us..ok, carry on....

We weren't supposed to go that way....a quarter of the width of the road had been washed out ! It was safe enough to go through.

Fresh coffee and biscuits were very welcome when we arrived...and more talk and buying tyres for me passed the time to avoid the evening rush hour!

With more long driving coming in the future I need to get back in practice to stay safe...we were both well tired...but it was good to see the landscape for real and to see friends too.

Today was a late start..catch up on housework after yesterday, and get plants out in the new bed at last...just broad beans and parsnip, and thinking where the beans and peas will go.

I managed to finish a small linoblock...of a sunset...

And then we had a magenta and peach sunset....not that this tablet sees it as that!

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Drawing, cutting

just small much a challenge as big ones.
I might make two of this one, one with just the central trio of maize stalks.

On to the next one. I think I will build up a few before inking, to save on washing the roller, block and slab between each one.

I forgot to reverse the image on the block..tracing then lots of rubbing out!! Followed by putting the design on again.
Thinking through what is black/white is a challenge.

Tuesday, 27 April 2021

Garden progress

 The seedlings look better for having had bubble wrap over them overnight...memories of losing plants when we first got the polytunnel...

And Pirate has finished the sides of the bed by the polytunnel.

Broad beans and parsnips are ready to go in, and I will put black, light , weed suppressing membrane over the rest to keep it weed free and warm ready for peas beans and sweetcorn.

Today is cold wet and windy, so today I will get on with my mended laptop and install photos and suchlike so that hopefully I can print the rear of the linoprinted cards.

There are a couple of new designs brewing in my mind as well...

Meanwhile Pirate is sorting the warmer indoor homeroom instead of a cold shed!!

Monday, 26 April 2021

Just ticking over

 Getting housework sorted...little by little...not pushing myself after the second jag (Scots for vaccination) yesterday. Keeping up with the laundry.

Pirate has been cracking on with improving the raised bed where the legumes will hopefully grow, and we both have been tidying the garden steadily.

Today's weather has turned cold again, after two days of shorts weather. Back to jeans and fleece jackets!! Then a decent shower of rain at suppertime...relief that I won't have to water the small pots outside tomorrow.

Nighttime frosts are forecast again so all the small plants in the greenhouse now have bubble wrap over them!  It's about time to sow squash and pumpkin seeds, but I think I will hold back on that for a week or so.

The sepia printed cards have, I think, dried, so they are ready for the writing on the back.

The larger prints are drying slowly....frustratingly slow....but no point packing one in its tube to have it arrive stuck to its lining paper.

So a couple of just clearing jobs away... hopefully to get creative soon. The forecast tomorrow is for cold , wind and it just might be tomorrow!!

Remembering and thanking

Anzac biscuits.

Thank the Australian army for looking after grandpa. 

Thanks to those who didn't return.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Back on track

 Literally!...We had a sale to deliver to near Dundee to a fellow cyclist, as posting them would cost far too Pirate and mate had a ride on the Caird Park velodrome in Dundee. It has been nicely refurbished after all the construction work at the athletics track beside it. 

It was good for them to get together, have an hour or so on the track and plenty of talk! Then a takeaway lunch together outside in the sun!

Mate gave us a lead car around Dundee and over the Tay Bridge, which I have never been over...the cycle/footpath goes down the middle! Then home via another delivery in the Kingdom of Fife.

A long day but a good day! And the shed is three wheels and two rims lighter!!

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

More garden work

 Just tidying and weeding a garden in Dumfries...but staying in a cottage that the garden's owners also have, right by the Scotland's second oldest lighthouse...and you can sometimes see England!! 

It is almost level with Silloth on the English side..

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Printing at last!


A card window, while inking, then a balsa wood frame , matching the thickness of the lino. This is so that the card doesn't get distorted in the press.

The card placed carefully...

A wool felt mat for even pressure

Sepia on cream card for a change
And some square cards.
I tried a few parcel tags with a Field Maple print...they look ok, so I will make some small blocks with different leaves and trees.

A productive day...and Pirate made lunch (after riding his bike on the turbo trainer because it was cold outside!) and supper!!