J > No, not a new collective noun for hyperactive blogging ! The sudden rush of posts in the past couple of days, some of them back-dated, is not due to a sudden burst of creativity or energy (or, at least, not entirely). It’s just me finishing off a pile of part-complete posts stretching back to last autumn, when I was – to be frank – somewhat depressed by the loss of what psychiatrists term ‘agency’ – the perception that your affairs are under your own control. I know, we’re so fortunate here in Uist, as far as Covid-19 restrictions and safety are concerned, but …Continue reading →
J & D > This is one of our regular stock-takes of our winter store of spuds – with three varieties of main-crop potatoes. We do this every 3-4 weeks, normally. We take the opportunity to check the potatoes in every box for any rot or starting to sprout (both are high risk if the weather is mild and very wet – typical of south-westerly winds). This time, there was not a single spud that had to be thrown out. Typically, any problems are before Christmas : in the new year, it’s rare to lose any of our stores, and the spuds will probably last us until early summer.Continue reading →
Bread – the staple of the northern European diet ; with olives – the qunitessence of the Mediterranean diet.
Nicely sums up our lives – J and I.
And very very yummy!
J > It’s eight or nine years ago that Denise and I were struggling to find the money to pay for these top specification triple-glazed windows from Norway. But thank heavens we did. I think back winter nights as a child, scratching with my finger through the powdery frost on the inside of my bedroom window, so that the moon would cast patterns on the opposite wall.Continue reading →
This is the walled garden and house in winter from up on a ladder by the South Gate.
J & D > From the east bedroom window, the light is failing fast. With the sun now below the south-western horizon – behind the islands to the south west, the shadow of the Isle of Barra casts darkness over the southern end of Uist, and the waters of The Minch. In the far distance – 30 miles to the east, its just the the snow-covered peaks of the Isle of Rhum that catch the last rays of roseate light that passes over the top of the lower hills of Uist and Barra.Continue reading →
J > There’s been so much wind and rain, lately, that it’s now impracticable to give the sheep supplemental feeding – hay and sheep ‘pencils’ (a compound feed shaped like short stubby pencils) – outdoors. There’s far too much wastage, and on a very wet day almost all the food I put out may be spoilt. One morning last week, as I was manouvering through a gate with a full bag of sheep pencils over my shoulder, an especially viscious squall of wind and rain struck me sideways ; and …Continue reading →
J > From the perspective of the every-day life of islanders, Lochboisdale is not a through-route to the mainland, as so many first-time visitors to Uist assume. It’s at the end of a very long dead-end road ; except not dead yet, but clinging-on-to-life. That’s why, these days, the centre for shopping and services (whether medical or religious) is now at Daliburgh. That’s six miles away – at the junction of the Lochboisdale road with the main north-south route that joins all our islands together, rather than joining us to the mainland.Continue reading →
Attention all guests booked to stay at Carrick Eriskay next ‘summer’. Calmac’s Summer 2021 timetable will be published Wednesday 16th December. We recommend making your vehicle reservation as soon as possible, especially for Carrick bookings during July and August. Read More on Calmac Website >
J & D > No, not the famous book ; and, no, with all those trees, this is definitely not in Uist!
Here we have a photo by our daughter Becky, whose natural talent is clearly evident in this exceptionally well composed and captured photo (though luck does certainly have a role in these things). And for such a small image file, the quality is remarkable.
The viewpoint is above the Towy valley, in Wales. This is the sort of landscape that Denise and I hope to get to know better, next spring – hopefully.Continue reading →
D > We pulled on boots and coats, and set off for a simple walk along the lane to the hill fence, up the old sheep fank on the side of the hill, and back again. We went out empty-handed – we didn’t even have our phones or cameras ; and certainly no guns. And yet, we came back with a couple of brace of widgeon!Continue reading →