Sunday, 31 January 2021

Keep walking....

It was a hard frost last night, but it is still clear and is snowing further south in Wales and England.

 The view from the top of today's walk.

I have made a wish list of jobs to do, instead of having it clogging up my mind.

First one off the list, yoghurt made overnight.

Marmalade making will be divided into smaller batches....who needs ten pounds of plain marmalade anyway?!! 

I will do the first one after we have watched the men's cyclo-cross world championship ...

Time to recharge the tablet ready for that!

Saturday, 30 January 2021

Icy walk

 Still a bit of ice underfoot, so we are still walking instead of cycling. 

Pirate is riding the turbo trainer as I write! I did do ten minutes yesterday to try out the latest "new" bike...I was intending to do more today, we woke up late this morning...we even missed most of our favourite radio programme on Radio Scotland, "Out of Doors" which finished at 8am!! So today has been a day of bits plus a walk....printing and baking have been put off until tomorrow!!

We did watch the women's cyclo-cross world championship on the tablet this afternoon...rather them than me....hard and soft sand, greasy tarmac, slippery mud, steps up and a ramp down and a bridge with 20% cold wind and rain!!

Thursday, 28 January 2021

Grubby fingers

 And clean bike bits!

Pirate has sorted out from one shed twenty chainrings and a few cranks... that's one heap of cleaning!

After our daily walk and lunch I got down to cleaning and listing for sale a few more items before supper..and cleaning!!

Saturday, 23 January 2021

Print progress

 This evening I have been trying to remember how to add to my website...then severely editing images to get them on the newspost isn't much, but it took well over an hour!

Hopefully I will remember next time! The aim is to add something at least twice a week...which is also incentive to do more drawing and printing!newspost, I am not moving that....enough battling with IT on a smallish touch screen for one day!!

Snowy walk



 It's a good thing that we got the fleabay sales off in the post yesterday! 

I managed to buy the last sourdough loaf from the Mossgiel Snug too. It would be good to be back making my own, but I have enough to do, and if we can keep a local small business going that is sourcing from other small businesses....that is good.

Ice and snow today, so the only place we are going is to get our weekly newspaper.

We have been gifted two sets of walking crampons and it looks like they are needed today.

Tuesday, 19 January 2021



Blogger has put these on in reverse..but never mind! 

I have taken a pencil rubbing of the block....

I think I have done enough, test print tomorrow.

We managed a slightly muddy walk around Hannahston reserve at lunchtime. 

It had rained all night, but it was ok then. Looks like the next two days will be wild, possibly snow, certainly wind.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Days off..sort of!

 Yesterday was the snooker final on TV..all afternoon...and until very late! ( I lasted until 10.30!!)

Pirate was transfixed for much of the time! The Wishaw Wizard against Yan, the new boy on the block.. memories of the young Steve Davies.....nip and tuck until the end, when the final was won by Yan,  but both DESERVED to win !!

I pottered about, tidying this and that corner,  making the house feel easier. With so much going on, it will never be all tidy, but certain working areas need to be uncluttered.

A few more bits were clean enough to go on eBay, and it is nice that today a fellow seller has given me more information about one pair of hubs that I am selling.  

There are good people out there...not just the ones who want to squeeze your prices right down when what you are asking is already reasonable.

After packing last night's sales, today was an expedition to the post office in Mauchline and a shop and cafe by there, run by an organic dairy just outside the village. They live in the farm that Rabbie Burns moved to in 1786 (I think).

It is good to back a local venture. Sourdough bread from another small company, home baked cake, eggs from another farm from near Mauchline and veggies from a grower further north. No cheese there...yet! They are planning to produce yoghurt soon. I was glad to be able to tell them that theirs is the best milk that I have found for making yoghurt.

I had hoped to get everything there in Mauchline, but it did make a large dent in the list that otherwise would come from a larger shop....I feel happier shopping there than our other local bigger town where mask wearing and giving others space is a bit sketchy.

We saw some beautiful skies on our way home. There is one place that I think I could sit all day with a camera and a drawing pad and watch the changes.

All packed away....and did I do any more linocutting? No!! Shopping takes it out of you.

Watched some factual and history programmes on the tv...and minimal "news" !!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

A little further

 This might be going ok...if nothing else, it is good practice!!

New moon a couple of days old.....

Friday, 15 January 2021

Slow progress

 It's not going entirely as I would like... getting your head around reversed images plus positive and negative.....and it isn't turning out as I hold in my head...

But it is getting there slowly.... although it might be a back to square one job and start again.

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Print progress and politics

 Deciding which size to go for...I think the full A4 size, with small cards made from that...

For the moment I have taken off all but UK postage from my Etsy shop , and will only send to Scotland,Wales or England...until I can understand the new tariffs and rules...and it is not exorbitant.

I don't have many sales at the moment, and overall most do go abroad....

It is worrying....

I also wonder what I have to do to get home sales... 

Monday, 11 January 2021

A grey day

Today's weather was grey...and wet, very wet. But at least it was forecast, so we could say that it was doing what it said on the tin!!

We had a necessary journey today.

Posting sales and returning a new , completely unsuitable phone that vodaphone sent Pirate...when he said that he needed a smaller type of phone, with buttons..a phone that is a phone for calls and texts...they send him a touchscreen very thin, over six inch long smartphone....not something that will survive piratical treatment in back trews pocket or rear pocket of his road cycling top....

Then a visit to the Mossgiel Snug for local organic milk for yoghurt making, good  sourdough bread and local tatties. The dairy has opened a cafĂ© and coffee shop and are beginning to sell local produce and working towards having as much as possible of it organic as well. 

A few necessities from the Co-op shop ...and home again through the rain. 

The idea had been to carry on with the new drawing...but first there was encouraging a friend in Cornwall who has been inspired to start making in clay...then there was cleaning shiny bits of bike in order to sell them.....

 Ah well, tomorrow is another day!!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

New day, new beginning

 Apparently it was -8C at Ayr seashore this morning, so we must be minus double figures, just.

We are still walking most days, carefully, off-road. Just an hour or so is enough.

Wednesday, 6 January 2021


 I need to go through the door and find is a bit lacking at the moment.

I feel a bit out of practice of being selfish and just doing things for me instead of things for us.

Pirate had his walk alone today and I still didn't get anything started.


Reading list

 My reading list isn't loading....could be just that the world and his wife is using tinternet and we are near the end of the line....or it could be Blogger's problem

So I can't read or comment for now..

Tuesday, 5 January 2021


I am waiting for the last of the juice to finish its final filtering...the jelly bag fibres clog up with the fine apple particles. 

The wild apples have produced a nice , quite sharp but pleasant tasting juice.

They will need water bath processing, but it is a satisfying result after lugging bagfuls of apples, juicing initially in the machine, pressing the pulp and filtering at least twice!.

We might even go again, after finishing the apples with a batch of jam, mixed with something from the freezer...I haven't decided which berries yet!

Today's job before bottling was a run to our local(!) Post office, ten miles away to post sales and some essential shopping.  Otherwise I haven't done much.

Pirate had another hour's walk before yet another beautiful sunset..keeping well fit!!

Monday, 4 January 2021

And repeat...

 Today's walk had the same aim...apples!!

Two large bags of apples have been mushed and pressed, now the juice is being filtered....

I can make some jam when I have some waxed circles for the jars...four pounds of apples are sitting ready for that!

And we head into lockdown again...because even as an island the drawbridge wasn't lifted, as New Zealand did....because some people have no self respect of respect for others....because big business rules all including politics.

Our one consolation is that with just under 9% of the UK population, Scotland has 5% of infections, even with a better track and test regime, apparently based on the Irish one.

Grasping at straws? Maybe.

My brother contracted covid 19 ....he is alone, but in a bubble with his friend and family...and friend' s wife is a teacher...who only goes home and school and shops on-line 100%..... So don't let anyone tell you schools are safe areas..... Luckily he doesn't seem to have a bad case of Long Covid, but time will tell.

And for some light relief....a tiny house from the local Wee House company....makes me think of some older houses in New Zealand..,

Productive walks

 The day before yesterday we tried a reverse walk of one we had done before...and a little variation along what looked like an unused old track, with banks and hedges grown into trees.

We were aiming for returning up a hedgerow where we had spotted wild apples.

We found some on the old trackway, but thought can't overload ourselves here...and when we got to the original tree, they had gone!!

So yesterday we returned to our second source and picked up a large shopping bag full....and it doesn't look as if any have been taken!!

Four pounds of apples after preparation, two pounds of reduced price cranberries, half a bulb of garlic, mixed spice, cayenne, salt, a quart of vinegar....= a full maslin pan of chutney!!  (And a rather sticky kitchen floor!) Twenty-one jars done...storecupboard and presents sorted!!