Jonathan: Morning and evening Tilly and I go out through the south gate and across the road to the beach. On a night of blanket cloud, this requires a torch, but more frequently our way is lit by the moon and a host of stars – more numerous and bright than any town-dweller might imagine! From the light-clouds of myriad galaxies to the familiar patterns of the constellations: and second only to the moon itself, yet more constant in its position and brightness – Venus. And even now as I write this – looking out over my shoulder to the southern skies, there she is, stationed over the dark outline of Cnoc a Deas, ready to light our way across the road and start our daily rounds.
Denise: Here’s some of the colours I’ve been dyeing in the past few days. White sheeps wool – mostly Cheviot X – dyed with (clockwise from top left) Alkanet, Ragwort, Anatto, Cutch. Only the Ragwort required a mordant (alum in this case) to fix the colour. I shall soon start spinning these into yarn.
Jonathan: After the great hurricane of January 2005, we rebuilt our greenhouses and then built our potting shed and workshop/store; though by then money was getting low and we didn’t install electricity. It would have been difficult and expensive – certainly if we put the cables underground. I do also recall some ideal or our outdoors work being in tune with nature – putting away our tools and tidying up as the sky darkened; and the disturbance of the natural dark by vulgar electricity. What romantic tosh!!! Anyway, after several days toil, we now have electricty. Alas, due to lack of money and time, it is only lighting, but now we have been able to move the young chicks from their cardboard box in the dining room into a cage in the shed – with the infra-red lamp over them. For power (eg for tools in the woodstore or workshop), I shall soon install an outdoors electrical socket at both front and back of house so we don’t have to have a house door open – letting heat escape -when we use an extension lead. When eventually we get round to renovating our own house, we can make a better job of all this: but for now, it’s safe and it’s progress – albeit budget style! [Photo – Welsumer and Buff Orpington chicks in their new cage.]