Sunday, 28 February 2021

Back Awheel

 It is good to be back on the bike again...mind you the weather helps!

We have been doing the 15 mile, about 25km round trip to Mauchline...four times so far!!

Saturday was too busy for bike, sorting more firewood and moving three carloads of garden pots from our neighbour's late uncle's garden. The people inheriting the house were going to put them all in a rubbish skip.

 We will make up two big pots with the best plants for her which she will be able to see from her front window, and renovate his garden bench, which was also deemed to be rubbish.

We managed a donder round the lanes this afternoon on our bikes after Pirate built woodshed number two. Now it is ready for filling, and a small stack of wood is by the sawbench waiting....

We saw an interesting moth this afternoon...I think it was a moth...

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Stormy weather

 What do you do when it is blowing hard outside and raining as well?

Look at the things that are half done because we are too busy....

So washing and ironing caught up with, the last batch of marmalade made, Lemon and Seville Orange, fiddly little bits of mending done and two new orders packed to go off on Thursday. Bits and bobs of tidying to make doing things easier....

The car is in for its annual test plus some tlc, so definitely no going anywhere! 

Nothing actually constructive apart from the marmalade, but lots of small things that needed doing.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Yet another bike ride!! To Burns country...

 Wonder of wonders...good cycling weather two days in a row!!

Today we went by bike to Mauchline to post orders and other post, and to treat ourselves to takeaway/carry-out coffee and chocolate at the Mossgiel Snug. 

This is run by the farmer who farms where Rabbie Burns farmed in the 1780s!

I buy my milk for yoghurt making from there and sourdough bread....but today they had sold it all!!  Incentive to get baking again.

This was the first home of Burns and his wife Jean Armour.

A few of the back streets from their time in the town have been preserved. Normally some of the houses and shops are open a few days a week, run by the local Burns Society,but not at present of course.

Bike Ride!!

 We went out on the bikes yesterday!! My first this year!

I have been wanting to photograph this rail viaduct for years...

It was just fifteen miles, enough to start with and lasted as long as the best weather if the day!

Today we are off again on the bikes, before the weather turns to custard again...the same distance, in the opposite direction, to post off a couple of orders.

Saturday, 20 February 2021


I am managing drawing every other day...a small success.

 And photographing bike bits from every angle to sell them, hopefully...a steady success...

We did manage a walk today....another success, if a soggy one!

Reading John's latest post on Going Gently blog,  we have all achieved so much during the past year.  

Gardening, writing letters and blogs, walking more, selling bits to make money and space, edging towards doing my own work.

Yes, there are plenty of things that we haven't done...sewing not finished, genealogy not touched in the past year, no bike racing, no seeing family, no going back to parts of Scotland, let alone New Zealand....but we have to focus on what we can do  and have done

Thursday, 18 February 2021

Slow progress

Pirate went out on his bike yesterday to test run a new gear cassette. He was dressed up like an onion...but after one lap of our five mile circuit he was back! 

It was far too cold and windy to be safe....but it was a successful ride as the wheel worked.

We have a few indoor plants, which are mainly Pirate's concern....and they are thriving! 

The fig is a cutting from the walled garden near Abergavenny, given to me by my late friend Big has had a few setbacks but it is looking good.

The one on the left is an Aubergine...or took two months to germinate....and flowered late...and one flower was pollenated, resulting in a two inch long fruit! 

I took pity on it before the frosts set in as the flowers are beautiful, and the plant is still going.

 They will be out in the new greenhouse in the spring..and the fig may even get out in a sheltered spot in the fresh air!

Next step, sort out the seed store and clear more windowsills!!
From being minus 10 C we are heading for plus 10....but with galeforce winds and heavy rain showers it doesn't feel like that.  Not so windy as  in the Western Isles.... thankfully!

Tuesday, 16 February 2021


 We have been helping a fellow villager clear some derelict land between the river and one lane out of our village..he doesn't have a chainsaw...Pirate does!

So to go with the small woodstove that I might be in line for as someone else upgrades....


We were lucky to finish before the rain shower came through..this is it as it left us...

Sadly I didn't have a camera with me to capture the most perfect rainbow that we have ever seen....

After the shower, the sky was clear for the sunset.

Sunday, 14 February 2021

Still drawing

 Well Carruthers....

More practice needed!!

Saturday, 13 February 2021

Lazy day

 Saturdays start with snuggling down for two hours from 6am, listening to radio Scotland.. especially Out of Doors from 6.30am....and trying not to relax so much we go back to sleep as it is an interesting programme!

Then pack up various bike bits for posting...get them posted just in time....

Some bike bits make beautiful patterns.

Then get fresh food shopping done and home...Pirate finished splitting and stacking firewood, then lunch, and rugby on TV...

While outside the wind is rising and whistling round the back door.

It makes a lot of noise but we can't find where it is coming in!!

Friday, 12 February 2021


 Everything seems to have slipped out of we are trying our best to get back to the life pattern we had as a start...

We were always early risers...and this Winter being our first here in three years has been difficult to cope with, let alone any other restrictions.

So earlier bed....after usually turning off TV and computer by 9pm.  We can make exceptions.....we are now watching a programme about Stonehenge....

We walk nearly every day....

This was Wednesday's walk...two and a half hours passing seven farms! 
One of these runs a feed store in a small barn and they are changing their small woodburner next summer as it can't cope... hopefully I can buy it when they get the new one, for my workshop.

Yesterday the cloud was high and the air dry.

Our walk took us along field and old track to see a local farmer. He has visited NZ, and his daughter lives there..Pirate lent him two copies of "Footprint Flats" cartoon books...and he gave us a dozen eggs! His farmworker has been there too...and wants to go again as soon as...

She decided that this was her better side!

Ice by we have been helping with the village tidy man started mowing the verge and picking litter on the stretch of road by his cottage. Being outside the 30 mph village limit the council cannot litter pick without a road a few people decided that they had enough! The council workers have provided litter pickers and bags and pick up full bags when they are around in the village.
This man has been clearing a derelict patch between the river and road with permission of the farmer..but he has no chainsaw..and we do...
Noone else wanted the we are getting it....we have build a woodshed with four pallets by a fence...and the fuel for my workshop heater is building up!!

So small tweaks at a time, accepting cosmic chuckles, trying to stress less...and the knowledge that new patterns take a fortnight to come easier..

Tuesday, 9 February 2021


 We managed a lunchtime walk today, by which time I had got all the washing out or in, washing up cleared and frozen soup put on the kitchen bench to thaw...

We had no snow but it was very cold last night. I am not sure what we had here but it was -18C in Bannockburn. They had heavy snow in East and Central Scotland, but nothing here until we had a shower of those small dry snow pellets after our walk.

The sheets were lovely...a good hot wash and nearly dry on the line..ironing damp as they say. It makes a nice smell, freshly ironed sheets...

Then try and sit down to concentration. Perhaps I need to get up earlier and do the drawing first?!You will have to read the pictures from the bottom up! I never know when blogger will do that 😄

Saturday, 6 February 2021

These odd times

 We are trying to re-set our routine...waking seems to have slipped...and that means our heads don't get going until late morning....then it's lunchtime and then the light has gone again!!

TV and computers off at 9pm has been a good start and bed by 10 to get a good night's sleep and up at a decent time and not waste daylight!! Easier said than done...

I make a reasonable list of Things I Need to Get Done....and it is frustrating how little is actually being done.  

At least drawing is getting there every other day on average...but I am not inspired.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

A down day of sorts

 Bike bits today, as it was blowing a cold hard easterly and raining and sleeting...

Cleaning, photographing and beginning to list, putting in more research into history and prices as we go.

Mainly chainrings today, nicely cleaned and pirate polished.

Two more sales came in, so they have been packaged ready and all the paperwork done.

So much computer work that I left it at home charging the battery while we had a short walk around Hannahston..a very wet Hannahston!! No photos from today, but I had no inspiration to stop in the rain that started again...and we were home again before it got dark and the rain too heavy!!

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Snowy walk

 There is still some snow lying, and underfoot it ranges from icy solid to flaggy mud..but it was enjoyable.. although a bit long.. two hours! We caught the break in the weather and it restarted snowing as we arrived home for lunch.

It has continued showering all afternoon, alternating wet sleet with big fluffy flakes..but it doesn't appear to be sticking.

This afternoon's job was researching bike bits and their value, as pirate cleaned the next ones...I will list them tomorrow.

And joy of joys I had sale on Etsy! A small saltglaze footed cup for whisky and a wee jug for water...both saltglaze.  All packed up and ready to go.