Thursday, August 31, 2006

rowan jelly

requested by Kati

Rowan, mountain ash, sorbus aucuparia.
2lb firm ripe rowan berries
1 small lemon
3/4 pint of water
2 lb sugar

wash and de-stem the berries, add the chopped lemon and water and simmer till soft, approx an hour.
Strain and add 1lb of sugar to 1 pint of juice. Bring back to the boil, stirring to dissolve sugar, test setting, skim and pour into sterilised jars.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


this kind of beehive stone hut is known as a clochàn, it is built with a method called corbelling, layering stones in acircle with each layer narrower than the layer below using no cement or wooden support.

Sally has made this lovely pond in her garden
close up of ornamental reeds

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


local wildlife blocking the path, I removed it to a safer location.
good crops of rowan berries, wonder if its time to make some jam?
the view back down the path, these are Forestry Comission made and maintained in association with the Kintyre Peninsula people, nice job they are doing of it too.
this is the view looking out to Loch Fyne, it was a bit dull so I have brightened this photo.
we looked at how this rock had formed under pressure and heat
just under the rockface is a small clear pool, it would be drinkable if the forestry were not actively spraying poison all round the hill to clear rhododendron. it is marked on the map and has probably been a well dedicated to Bride(Bridget) in times past
and some moss

Monday, August 28, 2006


safe home, course very thought provoking as usual. journey non eventful as car behaved in front of the two people I was picking up, thank goodness!
having difficulty uploading nice pictures of Scottish hills, will try again tomorrow.

Friday, August 25, 2006


it isn't really showing up but the biggest pot has a lavender in it, which gives of its lovely smell as you brush past. I have been picking a few flowers when cleaning the house and then I vacuum them up, a natural air freshner, handfuls have also found their way into my bath(checked for creepy crawlys first!)
this hosta has grown this year from a little offshoot from a friend.

I am away this weekend on a Permaculture course, so will post when I get back.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

greenhouse savourys

Hungarian Hot Wax peppers, I think they ripen to red so yet to see how hot they are
and these 'very savoury' wetsuit boots, no longer allowed in the house, even after non-regulation washing machine wash. . . .

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


impatiens 'Rosette', worth a picture as its been flowering like this all summer.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Mondays aren't always the best things when its back to work after a nice weekend, having swapped and worked extra last week I have today off so I am feeling very rested and cheerful. Some heavy rain during the night has left the garden nice and fresh this morning, it will probably cloud over but I had a nice barefoot wander on the grass in some sunshine. this gladioli had to be tied up after blowing overtwo days ago, it seems to be ok, I had some really nice plain yellow ones last year but they have not come out yet.
a stray basil plant in amongst the bizzy-lizzy, I am wondering if I spilt basil seeds into the potting compost, or in the tray I use to pot up as lots of basils have popped up here and there and in amongst other things, I always think of it as a greenhouse or window sill plant but here it is, surviving the scottish summer outside.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

links for swim OR more pictures of me

photograph from Inverclyde Now, me on the left, Frankie in the middle and 'unknown boy'(sorry)
another IN photograph, this is our Forbes escorting his swimmer, good picture.

reporting on last weeks swim Inverclyde Now , and the Greenock Telegraph which has a nice picture of Rory , I am in the background behind his head.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I harvested today tomatoes, snap-peas, lettuce and courgettes. Even after the odd day of rain the garden was so dry that I decided to 'tip and twirl' a rainstick which came from New Zealand. On searching the internet I find it is actually traditionally from Chile. I found this link if you would like to make a rainstick.
It seems to have done the trick, it is now raining wetly and forecast to continue for at least another day.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

places to sleep

the laundry basket
the reception room

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Clyde

Wildside wondered why the 'river' was so wide at the point of the swim, quite rightly so as it is really an estuary there, the Firth of Clyde. This is a map of central Scotland, I have tried to indicate in a green line the course of the Clyde, and by green arrows the point at where the swimmers went from Kilgregan to Greenock. Sorry for any confusion, but I always know what I mean myself; that I am in the sea at Greenock in the Clyde, and that I am fresh water river paddling near Lanark in the Clyde(that'll be the upside down banging head off rocks part. . .ah, I don't do that part any more).

The River Clyde
The River Clyde flows from its source near Lanark to its mouth, Glagow, at the Firth of Clyde, where it flows into the North Channel of the Irish Sea. The Clyde was well-known for its ship building which has declined, Glasgows docks saw the launch of well-known ships as the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth II. It has a total length of about 106 miles (176 km), making it Scotland's third longest river and the tenth longest river in the UK.

The Firth of Clyde
The Firth of Clyde is the estuary of the River Clyde, from its upper tidal limit in Glasgow to the outer firth in Argyll and Ayrshire. It includes the Mull of Kintyre, many sea lochs, and the islands of Arran, Bute, Cumbrae and some smaller islands.

historical link here
you can take a grand trip out on the Waverly

Saturday, August 12, 2006

clyde swim

swimmers and kayakers at Kilgregan, each swimmer has a kayak partner for safety, they can hold onto the end of the kayak if they need to stop. there are rescue boats out and the kayaker can call on them if they need to. the swimmers are all raising money for charity and they swim just over a mile across the Clyde to Greenock.
swimmers and kayakers head towards Greenock. the sea was a bit lumpy in a couple of places, wind causing waves, all the swimmers finished in good style.
there were a few demo boats to try , I tried the Greenlander, and the Greenlander Pro, my friend Maggie tried the Romany HV, really liked it and then used it for the whole day and now is choosing which colour she would like to order.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

more sneaks

more pictures of Sandy and Morag's garden, the seat at the end of the grass path
round every corner another view of somewhere more to go beautiful plants
and more beautiful plants. I love how they are all put together together.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

sneak preview

nearby friends are opening their garden this weekend,(under the Scottish Gardens Open Scheme) for the first time. this garden is only six years old and has been created from a green field site. it looks and feels like a garden that has been established for many years , above is the view as you walk into the garden , round the corner of the house. the centre path is viewed from their patio, there are lots of paths to wander round, did I mention he is a professional gardener, can't you tell! he made the seats too.
it is filled with beautiful plants, I took about a hundred pictures and the garden looks fabulous in every one.

Monday, August 07, 2006

fun paddling

out tonight on the Clyde at Greenock, nice and bumpy but not overly so. I usually paddle my Nordkapp and tonight had a quick paddle in the club Anas Acuta, I own one of these but it is awaiting outer surface refurbishment; the club boat has had gel coat applied to reseal the surface, it is approximatley the same age as mine(over 30 years, they made em good!). I was planning to 'Marine Cut' the surface on mine and try to polish the existing lay, the expert of the gel coat says my surface won't polish, any opinions??

Sunday, August 06, 2006

wild things

I didn't quite get this bluetit into focus, cute wee thing
this patch of grass, at the edge of a vegetable bed, I havent got around to being neat at all this year , a fine mixture of meadow grasses, good for grazing!

I found this 'doctor energy' , has some great gadgets.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Raindrops on . . .

Berberis 'Somerset'
Cotinus, smoke bush
Holly, Silver Queen
Lobelia cardinalis
Alchemilla mollis