Sunday, 31 October 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall

I've spent the weekend, stripping, and sanding and wire wooling. This was my granny's mirror. I remember standing in front of it when I was a little girl. I used to tie a cardigan round my head and pretend it was long hair. I used to spend hours looking at myself, not seeing the cardigan, only long flowing tresses thinking I looked liked a fairy princess. I obviously needed to get out more even then!
I've wanted to hang the mirror in the bathroom, but haven't liked the dark colour as a result of years of varnishing and I didn't think it would go with the wood we already have in there.
But, now I love it again.  The varnish has been  stripped away and the wood sanded with a fine sandpaper. The real difference came after hours of buffing up the frame with wire wool. It's now taken on a sheen and a mellowness that won't look out of place in the bathroom.
When I've finished painting round the door frame and a bit of skirting board I will put some pictures on here of the finished bathroom as promised back in the summer

Friday, 29 October 2010

To the lighthouse

It's been a big beautiful blowsy day, and this morning we walked out to the lighthouse at Rhue just north of Ullapool. I posted pictures a couple of years ago, here
Luckily, the weather hadn't paid attention to the forecast, and  it didn't rain,
although it was windy
Big skies, and big bold brashy clouds like ships with no time to slow down, scudded over the mountain tops
Would it be fun to climb up the ladder? We never found out. It was padlocked.. Probably to prevent old people from misbehaving, doing something silly, and toppling off  the top!
 Ben mor Coigach where we recently walked the 'postie path' with Helen
We left the lighthouse and walked up the hill to look down on Isle of St. Martin sheltered in the bay. There is a house on the island you can rent and I think sometimes what an adventure that would be in the winter with the gales and rain lashing at the windows. Or snow. Christmas with family and friends, marooned on your very own island.
From our vantage point we could see over to Ardmair point and the road in the distance winding ever further north. There is less and less habitation the further north you go. In some parts the only road the A838  is reduced to single track. It really is a long way from anywhere. But it's so good to be out in it.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The state of Marriage!

I had a comment on my blog recently from a friend saying in some countries it was said  you could tell the state of a marriage by the state of the woodpile outside their house!
I went out this morning to look at ours
Oh dear! There can be no doubt, it's a bit wobbly and up and down!
While I was comparing my marriage to the woodpile, I noticed that one of us still hadn't quite completed the painting of the house - I expect that would be me then!  We ran out of paint towards the end of our 'House Painting Party' in May. Now a new tin of paint has arrived and the last bit of painting under the eaves can be finished.

I think you can tell the state of a marriage by the neat and tidy way the sawdust is collected in the wheelbarrow after all the sawing and chopping has finished! I'm not quite sure whose job it is to move it - although I think I can guess!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Good morning

By the time I'd rushed outside it had almost faded, but an early morning canter round the garden in my pyjamas is a great start to the day I think!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The colours of autumn

The snow is still here, but only on the high tops. Meanwhile the landscape continues to look more autumnal by the day. I used to think it was the bracken turning golden that gave the hills their  autumn coating  of russets, ochres, deep oranges and browns, which indeed  it does,
but the tips of the grasses take on a fiery tinge too adding to the saturation of colour
The ginger look starts in September and continues through the winter. On an afternoon such as  we've had today  it gives a  wonderfully warm glow to the surrounding hills.
Meanwhile, on a footnote. Old fatso in the garden has got to make way for a copper beech hedge we're hoping to plant before the start of winter - at least, that's the plan!
Don't be silly, of course she doesn't look appealing - she's only a sheep for goodness sake, with a slightly trembling lower lip!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

It won't last...

.....but, first thing this morning, it did look lovely.
Stone cold birds on the garden table
Cars to de-ice
A rather wintery outlook
And over there in the hills I can hear the deep mournful
bellows of  the male red deer as they compete to mate with the females
in the herd. The rutting season starts at the beginning of October and there is much
roaring and clashing of antlers amongst the male stags asserting their dominance over the herd.
Like gladiators entering an arena, they parade around proudly
showing off their armoury of antlers. It would be interesting to hear what
the females make of it all!
We must keep keeping on with the woodpile, before winter
really does overtake us. I was hoping Flossie might come up and
lend a hand mouth
              In the meantime we feed the wood burner conscious of the effort
made to collect every stick and log - strangely it feels very satisfying
    I love the blackness of the stove with the
brightness of the fire.
Home grown, home made wood!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Wood working

I do find it very difficult to combine both visitors and blogging!
We've had a busy two and a half months and family and many
friends have been up to stay. I love it and I'm not
 complaining in any way, it's always more enjoyable to be out and about walking with friends,
but there is an awful lot of daily routine and grind
that gets put to one side when visitors come to stay.
Blogging is just one of the things that gets overlooked, along with masses of paperwork,
housework etc.
There is one visitor however who seems to thrive on the daily grind, and looks tirelessly until she finds
some really tough manual labour and hard graft she can get stuck in to.
Dear Helen 'played' in the 'garden' for hours during her recent visit; chopping, shifting
lifting,sawing and stacking wood from the, never ever going to get any smaller, woodpile.
 When Robin came last month he and Niels worked out a way of getting the logs up
to the top of the hill. I won't go into details, just to say it involved some rope, some straps
some planks of wood and the van!
In the way that only boys can!
So, some of the wood that has been dragged up the hill waits here for the
next stage in the proceedings
Niels made himself one of these - I think it's called a horse, and it's for sawing logs without
getting a bad back!
Then the wood comes round to the front of the house and is stacked
ready to go in the log baskets next to the wood burner in the sitting room.
It looks wonderful stacked up against the side of the house, and stays dry under the
Occasionally Helen sat down - probably because Niels asked if he might take a little break!
Refusing to take part in any activity at all, other than eating, the sheep
with the green tag in her ear whiled away the afternoons enjoying the sunshine, oblivious to
the noise from the chain saw and the strimmer.
If she thinks at all I imagine it must be to wonder how that new sheep that has arrived in her garden
manages to eat so much while staying so slim!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

The end of summer

 I do love this time of year
The last of the foxgloves hanging on by a thread
Thistles that have long since dried still keeping their heads
Spider's webs glisten and shimmer
 Bracken curls and crumbles through fingers
The promise of winter. The holly is full of berries
 ripening in the late afternoon sun.
After an unbelievably dull summer
Autumn, so far, has been just wonderful.
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