Tuesday, 28 April 2009


Friends arrived last week from the deep south - where by all accounts it's warm and sunny.It's sunny here today, but that's because our friends have gone back to Surrey and Sussex! 
It wasn't exactly freezing for their visit, but at times it was a wee bit chilly. We walked over Ullapool hill and admired the view - the bit that we could see. 
We walked into Ullapool 
 and ambled along, and chatted
No, These aren't our friends. These chaps hung around on Shore street while we ate our fish and chips. We sat on the new benches overlooking the harbour, wishing it could be just a bit warmer
Later we paid a visit to Ullapool Museum
There was a slide show showing the land and the people around Ullapool.
 Originally the museum was a Thomas Telford parliamentary church. Built in 1829 it still contains the old pews and pulpit.
  There is also an exhibition on "Lochbroom Lives" The museum shelves (and pews) are full of archives and local reference material.
A schoolroom from days gone by. I think he's just passed his pet spider to this little girl, he's certainly up to no good. Whatever he's done she looks a bit distraught and it's made her hair go wrong.
And their teacher is too busy reading the 'Ullapool News' to notice!
We also managed a climb up  Stac Pollaidh but I didn't have my camera with me; however  here is one I did  earlier when Robin came to stay.
And now our friends have left and life has returned to less eating and drinking! Talking of eating, I nearly forgot!  One of the 'finds' of  our friends visiting, was the discovery of Lochinver pies! On our way down from Stac Pollaidh Michael worked up a ferocious appetite for a pork pie!  Pork pies we didn't find but Lochinver Larder satisfied Michaels cravings, producing pies with suculent meaty fillings encased  in light pastry.  The verdict was "delicious!"

Sunday, 19 April 2009

A tour of Lexie

Lexie is an old, converted and 'barely' modernised crofters cottage that sits further up the hill at the back of Edith's garden. Edith is a near neighbour and has lovingly had this once ruin of a crofters cottage restored. There was no way that Janne (Niels' sister) was going to return to Denmark before she had had a tour of the cottage.
There are 39 steps up to Lexie. Edith skips up and down them in her trainers!
Janne and I took a more leisurely pace!
Edith doesn't live in the cottage, she has a cosy little house back down the hill with water and electricity, but this is where she comes with her family, children and grand children, to play and to camp, to light fires, to roam the hills, to have fun and adventures.
The kitchen/dining room
where the family gather for meals, they light candles in place of  light switches.
Next door to the main room.
The living area, full of lovingly placed treasures, and of course, all treasures  have a story to tell
This wooden bowl, a 'find' from her sister in law that Edith has polished and polished with wax until it glows warm and mellow
 They don't make clothes pegs like these anymore!
An old foot plough makes a good shelf for a candle
Paintings by one of Edith's grand children - I think! I was trying to pay attention.
Edith and her hammock - she says it's really very comfortable and you can have the best night's sleep ever.
Then she shot up the ladder. She was so quick I couldn't focus the camera! She needs 'go faster' stripes on her sides! It's impossible not to be impressed by Edith. She won't mind I'm sure when I say she is in her eighties and apart from a recent really nasty cold, that left her feeling tired, she is as fit as a fiddle with masses of energy and enthusiasm.
'Rest and be thankful' it says.
And that's just what Edith likes to do, until she remembers she hasn't shown us the out side loo!
Rain water is collected and stored in a barrel.
The loo itself is a compost affair. All very clean and sanitary involving wood shavings.
A little discussion on waste products!
Thank you Edith. Lexie is a truly delightful and magical place. Janne and I  thoroughly enjoyed our tour.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Camera happy

Family came visiting at Easter. Robin (son) and Janne (Niels' sister) took a million photos in Inverewe Garden.
 There were amazing plants. Triffids and 'things' with unpronounceable names
A Robin studying Lichen growing on trees
enjoying the view
and, looking for worms maybe?
The Azalea Garden, although maybe we'd moved on by then. Inervewe Garden is well worth a visit if you happen to be passing!
The following day with camera batteries recharged we set off north for  Kylescu
Jo (daughter) joined us. She has been busy writing her dissertation but took time off for a couple of photos!
Even Niels left his office for the great outdoors!
and it truly is a beautiful place.
Violets and primroses grow in profusion

 This was maybe the best view. The hotel restaurant was open!
 and on the journey home, the last photo opportunity

the sun setting at the end of a beautiful day.

Friday, 3 April 2009

A missed lunch and a portrait.

Tony paid us a flying visit last weekend. A very old friend from the other Brookwood, deep down in the south where they have shops and airports and stations.  We drove him miles to a very nice hotel/restaurant in Kylesku specialising in fish. When we arrived they had just stopped serving lunch!  We had a drink and a packet of chicken flavoured crisps and agreed, looking at the menu that it all looked very tasty!
Tony brought a picture of Lamb Chop for us (our resident sheep with an eating disorder) that his daughter Sophie had drawn. All I've done is added a little colour to Sophie's original drawing using photoshop.

And Lamb Chop herself! I think Sophie captured the "Have you got anything to eat?" expression extremely well. I haven't shown the drawing to Lamb Chop, I think she'd see it as something to eat - a new type of biscuit or something
Sophie also sent instructions on how she managed to achieve such an accurate picture
Brilliant Soph. Thank you very much.
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