J > At work re-painting the larch cladding, this warbler, singing from the wires at the electricity pole from which a cable runs underground to Carrick. As he sings, he turns his head from right to left (never the opposite), to ensure that any other willow warbler within hailing distance will get his message, loud and clear. Occasionally he turns around and does the same in the opposite direction, thus covering all bases.
D > Some while ago I pre-mordanted a few skeins of wool with Alum, storing it dry for when the Sweet Cicely came into flower. The ideal time to pick the leaves is just before the flowers become abundant, after which the depth and vibrancy of colour starts to diminish. The soft creamy yellow will be the foil to another more dominant colour
J > A few days ago, an spring high tide coincided with exceptionally low pressure, and a lunar-solar alignment that, together, pulled the sea up to the highest level we remember seeing in ten years, a phenomenon all the remarkable because there was absolutely no wind : the sea was flat calm.
J > Clun Forest isn’t actually a forest at all! Before we moved to Uist we lived a little to the north of the Clun Forest. It was always high up on our favourite areas to go exploring, whether summer or winter, for coffee and cake or a striding out along Offa’s Dyke or the rolling hills of traditional small-scale pasture and woods that make this border country so wonderful. These days, the sheep to be found grazing on the hills of the Clun Forest are various : Llanwenog ; Hill Radnor ; Welsh White Mountain ; Beulah Speckle-faced ; Welsh Hill Speckle-faced ; Brecknock Hill Cheviot ; Kerry Hill ; and
D > Isn’t the smell of home baking wonderful. It stirs the soul, makes us remember our childhood, and fills the house with joy! Recently, I’ve found I’ve got more time for home baking. No prizes for guessing the reason!
D > Q: Compost – or Mulch? A : It depends! We compost heavily before planting new trees, fruit bushes, rhubarb. Each winter or early spring after the first year, we top up with mixed mulch made from shredding prunings and other tougher garden waste. The main use of compost, however, is for digging into areas to be planted with potatoes.
We recently had the opportunity to acquire a large number of books published by the Everyman’s Library, and included in The Millennium Library. Thanks to the Coronavirus, both J and I are in need of reading material and at the least expense possible.
J & D > We’re falling back on our own resources, as the coronavirus crisis bears down on us. Thank heavens, that we own our own house outright, we’re without mortgage or other debt, and have good fertile garden soil and all the other the resources we need to grow much of our own food, and to live healthily and well!
Until even a few days ago, we would never – we could never ! – have believed that anything like this could happen – other than in a Holywood disaster movie! Yesterday, the Scottish Government announced that ferries to the Outer Hebrides will, until further notice, be limited to carrying only persons who are permanent residents of the islands, or key service workers !