Tuesday, 30 December 2008

And Santa Bond gets an entry all of his very ownsome.....

Gymkhana Time

Piccies say it all really but it must be noted that Toby is on a lead rope for very good reasons. Unfilmed (by me anyway) Clyde had previously unseated Toby who re mounted only to be bucked and cantered wildly round the ring whilst staying seated For everyone's peace of mind a lead rope it was, the same with Rosie's mount Barra. They were both considerably disturbed by the presence of one of their friends dressed as a reindeer which set off all the trouble in the first place....Scary ears indeed.

Boxing Day Walk

A wonderful relief from the cooking and drinking duties (the two go hand in hand with me at festive times of year) as the children and I headed up into the hills. This means a very steep start that we timed (22minutes) and then a walk around a lovely Loch at the top on a crytal clear day. The dogs were doggily appreciative, the world up there is so different, no trees to speak of and moorland stretching away over to Loch Awe. We left the cobwebs on the top, along with the ghost of Freya's srisps which she dropped almost as soon as she opened them...even happier dogs.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho, trimming the tree and all that jazz.

Time to drag a poor healthy tree into the house and burden its braches with baubles and tinsel.....we love it! Toby was instructed to remove Santa from his painful perch and restore the Angel at once......The pictures were taken just shortly before the tree gracefully bent over to a 45'angle and had to be shored up with the heaviest kitchen weights I have. It still has a bit of a list to it.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Freya's Thursday

First a musical end to The Nativity Play....then rush home to make truffles for Christmas Presents. In the morning Garret, Howard, Myrna and I joined with John, Dilla and others including the duke and young dukelets to plant bluebell bulbs for next years Bluebell Festival...they are already spectacular but a few more will be even better!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

From dancing to running in just 10hrs

Change of pace and change of clothes for the inaugural Santa Sprint with jogscotland. A family event with a rather strange theme for this time of year. Toby full of unsocialble germs and so left home alone but the girls did brilliantly. Well done to all.

Vegetarians avert thy gaze.

A fast and furious night out last night at Brenfield, home of friends one of whom has reached that big 40...I wonder what that feels like. I guess I shall just have to wait a few more years to find out........ The celebrations were held in a barn, with bar and the biggest cooker you have ever seen welded together by the birthday boy and friends,large enough for a whole cow. They know this for sure as they had one in there for a wedding recently but we were more modest with merely three sheep. The burners beneath blazed and kept the ceilidh dancers warm. There is nothing like a good old scottish dance with the kilts swirling, the boots stomping and the pipes skirling away. The bar was busy all night but less busy once the dancing started as you just canny twist and drink. The dancers were far too fast to get many photos of but here is one and the magnificent cooker.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

The bestest present!

Today I got a big box in the post addressed to "Fee" with "Merry Christmas, open now" I need no further encouragement...legitimate permission to open a present early and I am there with (christmas) bells on. Inside perfectly wrapped in large amounts of paper was one of the best and most thoughtful Christmas presents I have ever had.....a lovely hand crafted Yorkshire Pork pie. Maybe there is someone somewhere who would not appreciate it but not in this house. There is of course a history behind this as David The Deerstalker had said he would bring me up a pie at Christmas time but has had to cancel the trip(imminent arrival of puppies). I do love them and have never had such a beautuful one! Scotland is great but not good on pork pies.... I had never thought that I would get one made specially for me, my mind was on Ainsleys or a supermarket one so thank you very very much David!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Photos by Freya taken here on Saturday.

Photo Time

The Place...Here
The date...Early December
The occasion...Friends brought togther in some way by our children.
The result... A good night in together once a year we have been going about 10 years with a theme to make it more fun and cheesy. So, this year how could it be anything else but the 1970s with a Mamma Mia tinge to it. We went for it with 70's inspired food (who could pass up on prawn cocktails, pineapple and cheese on sticks, babysham, cheesecake, vol au vonts, chilli,etc etc), Dr Tom Baker Who, several Agnetas (the blonde one from Abba) quite a few hippies, gallons of blue eyeshadow, a Zaphod Beeblebrox and a very cool miniskirted Janice. A great night. Thanks everyone.

PS Tip of the day...do NOT go out to walk the dogs at 1am wearing Flip Flops AKA hippy style. The problem comes only when you remember said footwear resulting in a swift desent onto bottom and left elbow. The bottom has automatic padding and is fine, the elbow is less well covered and hurts!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Frosty Day

Garret and I took a wee ride out today on those fine boys Barra and Lewis. When I say walk this is exactly what it was. There was a fair amount of horse ice skating going on without a faster pace...boy was it cold out of the sun. Very pretty though.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

“Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig.”

The above quotation has absolutely no relevance but I like it.
We have not had an animal tale for a while so here goes with the latest. One advantage with the early nightfall is that I can now send the offspring out to put the animals to bed. This can be a relatively quick task if all are behaving or a lengthy and dirty task if, well, they are not. There is a crucial window in the twilight zone of too much light, the geese etc refuse to go in the hut and too little one falls over roots, pigs, buckets and anything else unlucky enough to get in the way. Tonight the weather was cold and this is good as the mud is frozen and does not grip the welly in a vice like grip with every squelching halting step. So, Freya and Toby drew the short straws and trudged off first to Mrs Pig and the Piglets. This is the easy bit as the food is lobbed over the fence in the general direction of the trough with is usually covered in heaving, hairy piggy bodies which then get covered in food. No matter, it all gets eaten and then off to the other field where Mr Pig inevitably lurks by the gate. He is still a very gentle pig but HUGE now. He sets off with an enthusiastic trot to his trough as soon as you get in the field and I usually do the decent thing and get the food in the trough ASAP. Next the goats get their food; Poppy likes to pick at the best bits from Mr P and then goes to join Tabitha. The geese/ducks are then chivvied along, so far so good. Hens and the cockerel are usually in (we have a two day old chick in with her/his Mum who hover round the hut all day and so are fine). Then, as instructed the children check that the three older chicks that we hatched out in the incubator are in the hut but there is no sign but an ominous cheeping is coming from under the hut. There is then a few minutes of stretching and torch shining then two chicks are captured and returned to the hut. Eventually I wander out to see what is taking so long and to check on how many children I have left. The last chick is left up to me to capture. By this time Mr P has finished his tea and after investigating the yellow feed bucket noisily has come up to see just what I am doing lying on the frozen mud with both hands under the hut. I think that I did very well to not swear in the precise and terse instructions given to Freya. One well place boot to the neck (his not mine) and he was gently encouraged not to come any closer for the time being. As a footnote to this Mrs P is in season and he is well, a wee bit frustrated and there I will end. Suffice to say all chicks are safe and I escaped unharmed to fight another day. The same could not be said for poor Freya who dropped a large stone on her very cold fingers whilst putting the feed boxes away.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

ooops- forgot this one.

Nigel and Liz well under control in the kitchen.

Just the one more......

Sunday...a brisk snowy walk to the pub.....perfect.

and theres more......

PHOTO ONE Whitey joining our meal as thirteen were due to sit down (had to be reprimanded and sent to bed early as he did not eat up nicely).
PHOTO TWO Toby and the inevitable electronic attachment
PHOTO THREE Girly Cousins (L-R Becky, Jess, Rosie)
PHOTO FOUR AND PHOTO FIVE And then it snowed!