Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
We had frost last week and Hugh took this when we were out for a walk one morning. It is the view to the crossroads in our village and our house is the low one second from the left, with its windows glinting in the sun. Not a bad spot for a labrador to grow up in.
Her ladyship is off to Scott's Selkirk tomorrow to meet a good friend and enjoy some Borders fare. The little village of Selkirk has been laying on this two day event for the last nine years. The author Sir Walter Scott was sheriff there (not with a shiny tin star and spurs, he was a local judge) and there's masses of entertainment laid on for the whole weekend - live music of all (Scottish) sorts, reconstructed courtroom dramas, shop- and stall-keepers in costume. Lindsay has never been so has her fingers crossed that the rain stops at the very least, so she and Susan can wander about dry if not warm.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
My fancy black collar has white paw prints on it - a Christmas gift last year - but the white bits are peeling off due to my enthusiasm for forays into the undergrowth.
I can now (not very) exclusively reveal that WE are all moving next door, permanently, at Christmas and H & L will then be working on our cottage so they can offer it as a holiday let from next summer. It will sleep four and will be wheelchair accessible throughout by the time they are done with it. As it is already a quirky property they want to retain all that and make sure there's still lots of art on the walls and some handmade furnishings to delight guests. Then there will be the fresh eggs and home made bread and preserves waiting for them, the walking and cycling from the door, the gorgeous brown hound looking cute in the next door garden - how can anyone resist?
As if that were not enough, they have only gone and acquired a 'mature' caravan! To be fair they were very kindly offered it by generous friends and with a few modifications and some TLC (no, not that one) it will be ready to roll. Sleeps three - that's two arty types and one ME, so I am looking forward to some mini adventures in the spring.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
With luck I'll be allowed to post soon about the developments happening round here, though she's threatening to add some of her Christmassy stuff to The Border Tart shop so I'll be lucky to get a look-in at the keyboard.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Hugh and his pal Joe spent two days walking a part of the Southern Upland Way. It is Scotland's longest walk. It stretches west to east from Portpatrick's romantic seascapes over the Mull of Galloway to the dramatic North Sea cliffs at Cocksburnspath. Tracking through some of Scotland's most beautiful and varied scenery, it offers an unforgettable holiday experience for serious walkers and weekend visitors alike. By the way I lifted that last bit from here
Anyway, L and I dropped them off near Moffat and they walked back to Traquair so they clocked up about 31 miles, staying overnight at St Mary's Loch.
Since then, we have been in Newcastle (my first experience of being in a flat - no pheasants there), down to Washington where I met new friends who have a fine garden full of interesting sniffs AND a big sponge football for me to sink my teeth into AND they let me have some banana - pretty sound all round, that place. Then H and L needed to do some work near Edinburgh so we all went off in the Land Rover for that jaunt. I notice I did not get included in the coffee shop stop on the way back, however.
The brambles (blackberries) in the garden are ripening well now (they are always later than the wild ones) and the first few were added to some apple jelly that L made the other day - glorious colour, methinks. Not content with that, she then felt the need to make a batch of boozy mincemeat for Christmas selling. First, though, there's the Harvest Supper at the Village Hall to contend with, then a Halloween Wool Gathering - more of that on Lindsay's blog
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The Three Graces or
Macbeth's three witches or
Wilson, Keppel and Betty (for those of you old enough to remember your grandmother talking about them!) or
Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod or perhaps
Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil (aye, right)
Seriously, though, Joe, Hugh and Ross did a great job serving tea, coffee, cake and large amounts of cheek, and they did all the washing up too.
Other stars of the day were Lorraine and Anne who stitched and stitched and brought goodies to sell, and Trisha, Queen of Hearts, who supplied the chocolate fountain (which promptly gave up the ghost!) and made the day of children large and small, and brought her own lavender and produce to sell too. And there were other bonuses - Hazel and Sheila and Alison all arrived with home baking to supplement the supplies. Heroes every one!
Little me? I saw a crumb or two of cake from an empty tin. Such is my lot....
Monday, September 17, 2007
The cottage was a TV free zone but the twosome had taken their own entertainment
for him, his guitar and a new guitar magazine
for her, more stitchery and books
for them both, a fine bottle of malt whisky
Friday, August 31, 2007
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Monday, July 30, 2007
Do you like this painting - it's called Big Sky (yes, really) and it sold on the opening night of the current exhibition. His Lordship was fairly pleased about that.From the sublime to the ridiculous, I can also bring you the first image of the 2007 Southdean Show rag doll which you have, of course, all been eagerly awaiting. For those of interested in such things, she is a fine example of recycling - brown upholstery remnant cotton body, jumble sale blouse fabric, gifted skirt fabric, hair from silk and linen yarn L has had in stock for twenty years, necklace is a bracelet that she made, ribbons from my late lamented friend next door and pantaloons of the finest embroidered linen which started out in Devon, went to Portugal and made it all the way back to Chesters. Now all you have to do is pay up, guess her name and she's yours, on 11th August at the Show. And I have been asked to point out that it took YEARS to plait all of her hair...
Meanwhile, the main activity round here still seems to be in the form of destruction but L has also been out with paint brushes and rollers inside and Hugh is set to build aviaries for a neighbour outside so there is evidence of constructive work too.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I am not doing too badly for walks these days but I had expected more opportunities to lie in the garden and soak up some sun, instead of which the place is still a quagmire. There has been some sunshine in between the showers so the fruit is ripening regardless - Lindsay has been gathering it in and freezing most of it to make jam with later in the year. The rest is getting devoured at breakfast time.
I realise you don't all know the layout of my house and that of my late lamented biscuit supplier next door, but the two houses are connected by an internal corridor. If all the doors are open, I can really get quite a turn of speed up running down hallways, doing handbrake turns at the ends and haring back again. Makes a bit of a mess of the carpets and rugs but I am a dog and dogs don't do vacuuming or worrying about the odd bit of damage (I have been known to misjudge things and hit the walls/tables/bookcases/people).
There's a lot of other stuff going on still - not much in the way of ART but stacks of bits for other people, some of it paid and some not - in the last few weeks there has been gardening (paid and unpaid), grass cutting (paid and unpaid), logo designing (paid), preparations for the Village Show (unpaid) and yet more sorting out and letter writing and dealing with officialdom (definitely unpaid), AND only one instance of baking (possibly a record, this) .
H and L are doing much scheming with drawings and tape measures and pacing out and photographing but it's all a mystery to me. If I learn something useful I'll be sure to let you know but in the meantime I think I'll just have to let them get on with whatever it is they think they are doing.
Friday, June 29, 2007
The exhibition is up and running - the private view was last Friday evening which was a very wet and miserable one. But our generous friends came along and livened up the proceedings considerably - and three of Hugh's works were sold that night! Then yesterday Humphrey, our website building hero, went along to photograph the work so that we can get them onto The Workhouse website - images here soon too!
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Some herby views here, to start with. The healthy bits...
As to slugs, Lindsay has only read about using sawdust to keep the critters off but she has been out today putting mounds of very coarse shavings round the tenderest of the plants. The shavings are sold as horse bedding and we usually use them for the hens if we don't have any straw for their houses and nest boxes. This year, though, the slugs that are doing the damage are titchy teeny wee things which are difficult to spot. So we'll just have to see whether the sawdust idea works or whether they are so wee they just squirm underneath or through the soil. Coffee grounds worked for a while last year but you have to drink a mountain of coffee and also every time you water the plants you wash some more grounds away.
Monday, June 04, 2007
Lots of growth in the garden though not all of it is edible (I know, I've tried...) First we had a sunny April, then a rainy May, so everything is up and running, including the slugs which have found their way to some of Lindsay's seedlings. She's planning to build some sawdust walls to stop the little blighters in their tracks but she'd better be quick.
Either slugs or rabbits have been feasting on the more tender leaf type herbs too - a new wild fennel plant has been eaten to the ground. L was looking forward to drinking it as she's a bit of a fennel tea freak these days (it balances out the less healthy cake and chocolate habits, she likes to think).
Apart from gardening, it's quiet here, as H and L are forever up in their workrooms, slaving over masterpieces - I'll post some work up once we have decent shots. Humphrey who built The Workhouse website will be photographing all the exhibition works later in the month.
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)