Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Christmas break.....

Well, it has passed for another year and 2006 certainly proved to be the busiest one! By the time Christmas Eve arrived all orders and Christmas pressies had been delivered to customers, friends and family. The stove in the dining room was finished and chugging away - just having a warm house for Christmas was such a treat!

The tree and the rest of the house were eventually decorated very late on but I did enjoy doing it this year. The tree was kept very simple with lots of fairy lights, glass, white decorations and silver jingly bells.

The dining room was a bit more festive with red berries, holly and ivy, and traditional scandinavian style decorations.

The weather has been amazing, very cold with lots of heavy frost, but beautiful blue skies, it couldn't have been more perfect.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Christmas so far and are enjoying the break, it has certainly done Gregg and I good to just stop and relax for a few days. My mum and two sisters arrive tomorrow so the house will be full of fun and laughter for a couple of days.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

This week

It has been over a week since I last posted due to the madness here at Primrose Hill Headquarters! The phone never stopped ringing last week with orders, so I owe a huge thank you to Country Living Magazine!
As promised, I have an update on the "stove fitting"! Gregg has been working really hard at it, and has now got all the pointing finished on the wall that will be behind the stove. He's taken it back to the original wall and will be lime washing it next week hopefully. He's off to dig out a couple of flag stones for the hearth, they are currently located in the floor of a beautiful dutch barn not far from us.
Here's a picture of the chimney sweep last week, looking very "Mary Poppins!" and the fire place in it's current state!
This is little Lexie, the younger of our two cats, she's a little madam, but very cute and adorable! She's very good at keeping me company these days when she's not getting up to mischief!
Well, I'd better get on with some more sewing, more orders to get out today. Thank you all for your kind comments about the updated web site and for all the orders, you've certainly kept me busy over the last couple of weeks!
Hopefully the next update will be of the stove in working order, fingers crossed!
L x

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Updated web site at last

At last we have got the website updated with a few goodies for Christmas - probably a bit late but there are still 13 days of web shopping left until the 19th December! I would have loved to put more products on the site but we just haven't got the time at the moment. If I get a chance I might pop some photos of our other bits and bobs on the blog - it's always easier to take photos for the blog than for the website - I'm just too much of a perfectionist!

I do like all the new additions, some will stay after Christmas as they aren't just for the festive season, but they would make lovely gifts at this time of year! I particularly like the cotton ribbon selection we have, my presents will definitely be getting tied with them this year! I've also been using them for trimming some of the new brooches I've been making lately, they look gorgeous and really finish them off.

Anyway, must get on, I've got an evening of sewing ahead of me. At least this is one more job ticked off the rather large "to do" list!

Have a wee look at the site and please do let me know your comments - all feedback is much appreciated.


Lisa x

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The T-pot club.

It's all that Cherry Menloves fault, she started it.......... only joking! Everyone has been showing off their T-pots and jugs so I thought I'd join the club!

Here's a picture of the cupboard where I keep all my nice china, mostly Bridgewater Pottery, a lot of which I have very kindly been given.

Here's my lovely hearts T-pot, in beside some lovely mugs and one of my favourite little jugs that my sister-in-law, Kirsty, gave me a couple of years ago for Christmas. Gregg hates the T-pot as it does dribble a little when pouring, apparently it will get better with time, either that or he's just rubbish at pouring the T!

Here's another one of my favourite little flowery jugs which I bought at one of the Country Living Spring Fairs in Scotland. It is soooo pretty and the perfect size for wild flowers in the summer, I tend to use it more as a vase than a jug!

And here is my latest purchase, I bought this beauty at the Perth Christmas Fair that I did last week. The stall was all beautiful china, made by the lady herself, when I saw it I just had to have it! I also got a lovely little jug for my nana for her Christmas, it has a cream background with lots of wild flowers on it, really, really sweet.

Over at Willow House there are lots of T-pots on show too, you should go and have a look, and also some gorgeous homespun goodies for sale - be quick before they all go!

Nonnie also has a beautiful T cosy on show over at hers too.

Right, I think I'll go off and have a cup of T after all that chat!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December at last.

It is December at last! My last Christmas fair is now past so I can now get on with the list of orders and then wreath making later in the month. I have really enjoyed all of the fairs this year as I've done a lot of new ones. They started mid October, with this last week being the most hectic, 5 days of fairs over the last 7 days, whew! Last Sundays fair was lovely, it was in the village hall in Ashfield, a beautiful little conservation village just outside Dunblane. The hall looked very festive and there was a real "Christmasy" feel to it all. Then it was onto Perth Mart on Monday and Tuesday, this was a really big fair, very well organised and very relaxed, lots of mulled wine and even a pianist playing Christmas carols - really quite a special fair that I thoroughly enjoyed. Then it was back down the road to home turf to do Beckys Green Gallery @ Home Christmas fair. Her house is amazing and the fair went really well - it was lovely to see so many familiar faces again. I'm very aware of still attending fairs in what was my "local patch" as that was where I established the business initially and have been so well supported. I just have to work doubly hard now at doing the same up here in Perthshire, but now that our fourth Christmas is almost under our belt I'm pretty confident it won't take too long! Our customers are alway keen to know how we're getting on in our new adventure of life in the sticks and the progress with the business, it's been great to be able to tell them about the blog, so they can see it all for themselves!

Gregg is off this week so he's getting on with the next project in the house - putting in a wood burning stove in the dining room. We have a hearth with an old mini range - we're not quite sure how old it is, probably about 100 years old. It's seen better days which is a bit of a shame as it would have been lovely to keep it. It has a little oven with two mini hot plates on the top and then a griddle above the area for the coal, it would have been very sweet in its day! Here's a photo of it below - we'll keep you up to date of the progress this week!

I must just say thank you to everyone for their kind comments about Henny Penny - I do miss her, but these things happen when you keep chickens. I will have to introduce you to all of them soon, they haven't had any mentions on the blog for a little while now, will keep that for next week I think.......!

Anyway, off to empty the car, a job I hate, and then get on with some sewing. It's just so lovely to be home again, not long now until I can start thinking about getting the decorations out - how exciting........!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Feeling very guilty.

Today is a bit of a sad day. When we moved up here to the cottage, one of the highlights for me was that we inherited the owners last chicken, Henny Penny. She was very timid at first but within a week I had her eating out of my hand, she was a real character and used to follow you around the garden, over that first summer here she was my best friend. She roosted in the stables and we were amazed that nothing had attacked her in the night but she survived right through the winter. We then added to the collection this Spring but she chose to keep her own little house in the stables, so we let her. She has probably been a lot safer since we got Chrissie the dog, as she also sleeps out in the stables at night, almost a bit like a chicken body guard. Well, for the last couple of nights I have let Chrissie sleep in the house as it's been sooooo cold, and to be frank I just didn't really fancy going out into the cold of the night to put her to bed. But, through my laziness, poor Henny Penny is no longer there, she wasn't there when I went to let the others out this morning and there is a rather suspicious pile of feathers just outside the stables door, I can't believe that she's no longer around. It would a delight if she suddenly appeared as she has been known to wander, but I really don't think that is going to happen today. What shall I do without my little Henny Penny? :o(

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A long week..........

It has been a week since I last posted, and what a week it has been. The dreaded lurgy set in and I ended up in bed ill during what was probably one of the busiest weeks of the year, great! But, we survived, my mum and youngest sister came to the rescue on Friday night so it all came together in the end. On Saturday we did the Meigle Christmas Fair, a lovely little village not far from us. Last year was our first Christmas living in Perthshire so I was very much a new face on the block. It was so nice to be asked again this year, to know a few faces and to have so many returning customers - even when you don't have as much work made as you should do! As usual I forgot to take the camera so no photos I'm afraid! Saturday evening was spent baking and setting the dining room up as a "shop" for the day as Sunday was our "Open Day"! Sunday morning was the usual rush getting last minute bits and bobs sorted, while I was out in the greenhouse making up a fresh wreath for on the door I was thinking "why are we doing this, nobody is going to turn up!" - well I couldn't have been more wrong! From the first customer who arrive at 11am, the house never stopped until 5.30pm! Copious amounts of mulled wine was drunk and many a mince pie devoured! It was such a fab day and I'm so glad we made the efforts that we did as I truly think they were really appreciated. Above is a photo of the kitchen textiles we are selling this year, gorgeous peg bags, oven gloves, T-towels and aprons, unfortunately not made by myself, but lovely all the same! They are hanging up in our lovely newly painted kitchen - more to follow on that in another post!

So this week is another mad week of sewing as I have got almost no stock left! We have the Ashfield Village Christmas Fair on Sunday - a lovely little conservation village just outside Dunblane, the ethos of the fair is that everything is handmade in Scotland so that should be really nice. Then it's a two day Charity Christmas Fair in Perth on Monday and Tuesday which I'm really looking forward to as I've never done it before. I promise I will take more photos!!

Over at Pixie Wood , Cherry was attending a fair at Losely House in Surrey so I can't wait to hear about how she got on, I'm sure she did fantastically.

Anyway, I'm off to let the chickens out and walk the dog before I get stuck into the sewing!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thank you

Just a very quick post to say Thank you to everyone who has commented on our success in getting into Country Living Mag. Every time a comment is left there's a little bubble of excitment inside me when opening it, so thank you all. Frantically sewing at the moment as we've got a fair on Saturday and then our "Open Day" is on Sunday, we must be mad! And as well as all that we're trying to get the web site updated with some Christmas bits and bobs, phew! Well, just to get you in the mood, here's a nice snowy picture that is hopefully destined for the web site - we are forecast for sleet this week so fingers crossed it doesn't arrive at the weekend - although it would give it a lovely Christmasy feel, wouldn't it?!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Country Living Magazine

Today is a very exciting day! The postman delivered my monthly edition of Country Living
Magazine, but not just any edition, the December Christmas issue, I love it - this magazine is my bible! You're probably all thinking, yeah, it's nice but it's only a magazine......... Well, the reason for it being soooo extremely special is that we, Primrose Hill Interiors, are featured in the Christmas Emporium, our little felt covered notebooks are on the first page. I really do think I am going to burst with joy!
I was very lucky to meet Kitty Corrigan, the Deputy Editor of CL magazine, when we exhibited at the CL Spring Fair in Scotland.
Kitty very kindly bought a couple of the notebooks at the fair, so they obviously went down rather well in the office!
Sooo, I am now off to spend the entire weekend making copious amounts of stock! We are also hoping to have the website updated with some lovely little Christmas bits and bobs by the beginning of the week, ooh I am going to be busy - there just aren't enough hours in the day at the moment!
I have had a quick flick through the mag and it looks absolutely divine, lots of gorgeous ideas for the coming festive season, ooh I can't wait!
Enjoy the weekend whatever you may be up to, I don't think I'll be posting again for another couple of days!!

P.S. Please do go out and buy yourself a copy of the Country Living December issue - it's well worth it, although I would imagine a lot of you are subscribers anyway!!!

L x

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

What's in a name?

Now that the Christmas Fairs have started again I am meeting lots of existing and new customers on a weekly basis, this is the part that I really enjoy as it gives me a chance to catch up with people and find out which products are selling well etc. A question I am frequently asked is whether we are a London based company because of our name - Primrose Hill Interiors - Primrose Hill being a rather posh part of London. It always give me great pleasure in explaining the story behind the name. Primrose Hill is the name of the house (pictured) which my mothers family were brought up in. My grandparents moved down to Lanrick Estate when my mother and her brothers and sisters were all very young so we were all brought up there. I have so many fond memories of living on the estate, I spent the majority of my childhood there and always returned as a teenager on a weekly basis. I often spent the weekend with my nana and papa sewing, gardening, cooking and generally exploring the estate. It has had a great influence on my life and I constantly find myself doing things now that I remember my nana doing when I was young - it's funny how life can go full circle - don't you think? Anyway, enough of my ramblings, I just thought I'd explain that we're not from London - although the connection with the name does help! Here's a link to the estate website incase you want to have a bit more of a look at the magical place where I grew up..........

Friday, November 03, 2006

Carrot Cake Recipe

After so many of you commented on my carrot cake yesterday, I promised to post the recipe, so here it is! It's a real fave of mine, kindly given to me by my aunt Linda!!


For the cake:
7 Fl. oz. sunflower oil
3 tblspoons golden syrup
8 oz. brown sugar
12 oz. plain flour
3 tspoons baking powder
3 tspoons mixed spice (I'm always fairly generous with this!)
3 eggs
3/4 lb of grated carrots

For the icing:
8 oz. icing sugar
1 1/2 oz. cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
little milk

Heat oven to 180 deg. C
The above mixture can make either one big cake in a 10" tin or two smaller cakes in 8" tins. Grease desired tin size with butter.
Put the oil, syrup and sugar in a large pan over a very low heat until the sugar has dissolved. (The sugar and syrup will melt together but the oil will stay separate)
Add all the other ingredients to the pan (remember to seive the flour & baking powder!) and mix well.
Place mixture in tin and pop in the oven. I generally leave in the oven for about 45 minutes but that is not a fan assisted oven, so remember to change the time accordingly.
Leave the cake to cool and then turn out of the tin. For the icing, seive the icing sugar into a large bowl, add the vanilla essence and the cream cheese and mix well, if needed add a little milk and then ice your cake.
All that's then needed is a good cup of coffee and some friends to help you eat it!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Door Stop Lady

Well, I discovered today that in Bridge of Allan I am known as "The Door Stop Lady"! It could be a hell of a lot worse, and I am actually quite flattered - so thank you all! My feet have never hit the ground since 6am but it has been a wonderful day, so thank you to all who came along to the fair and thank you to Gill for hosting it, I think it was a real success and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I eventually remembered to take some photos halfway through the day so a lot of the handmade goodies had gone by then, never mind, I've got another fair on Monday so I'll hopefully have more made by then! I'm now off to bed with a hot ribena and this months Country Living!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Handmade Woodland Pot Pourri

Just a quick post today as loads to do before the fair in Bridge of Allan tomorrow. I sat and made lots of bags of woodland pot pourri last night, it's always very popular at this time of year and makes a lovely gift. Sorry the photo isn't the greatest, it was taken very quickly this morning! It's a gorgeous sunny day today but very cold, just the kind of day I love at this time of year. There's nothing beats going for a walk in the woods, rustling through all the leaves and gathering mossy twigs. When Gregg took Chrissie for a walk this morning he saw a red squirrel up close, it stopped to have a good look at him while running up a tree, he said it was lovely and fluffy with little tufty ears, so much prettier than the grey squirrels. Amazingly, since we've moved here, I have yet to see a grey squirrel, it has always been reds that I've spotted, which really is quite special, we're very lucky to have so much wildlife right on our doorstep. Anyway, off to get another carrot cake in the oven for tomorrow! The fair is at 33 Kenilworth Rd, Bridge of Allan, 10.30am - 4pm, all welcome.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A cold Halloween

Well, I've decided to leave my broomstick at the back door tonight, it's just way too cold and windy to be out flying around on a night like this! As my nana would say "that wind would take the nose off you"!! Seriously though, it is sooooo cold outside, and because it's so blinking windy I don't think we're going to be able to light the fire :o( Last week I lit it when it was windy and the whole house filled up with smoke, we really must get an anti down draft thingy fitted to the chimney pot! There's a story to that actually, when we first got the chimney opened up and swept last year the chimney sweep told me we would need what I thought he said to be an "anti-dandruff" thingy, I thought he meant that the soot would start falling in or something, what a wally! Yet another blond moment to add to the collection! Anyway, seeing as it's Halloween and all that, we thought we'd put a little pumpkin in the window to scare off all the ghosts and ghouls, not sure if we'll get any trick or treaters this evening or not - we'll see!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Busy sewing

Today has been a busy day sewing for my first Christmas fair of November on Thursday, down in Bridge of Allan. It's a Coffee, Cake, Cards and Gifts open day at a friends house so it should have a really nice relaxed atmosphere. There's going to be myself selling my usual wares, Gill selling her Phoenix cards, and another few stall holders selling jewellery, organic handmade soap and Fairtrade Guatamalan bags and accessories.
I've been busy sewing little mossy green felt christmas trees adorned with bells, buttons and gorgeous ribbons, each one being that little bit different from the next. They're filled with rosemary, cloves and cinnamon, and look fab dotted around the house at Christmas time. I've made them for the past two years but always change the design slightly so hopefully they'll still be popular this year. The bells are a new trim that I've used and seem to have proved popular so far! So I'm back off to sit at the fire sewing on another 40 buttons and bells, ah the joys!!!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Up on the roof

Today Gregg went up on the roof to check the
other chimney as we're putting in a stove in the
dining room soon - heat at last! After last winter,
our first in the cottage, we promised ourselves
we'd have a stove put in before this winter -
we'll be cutting it fine but will hopefully have it
done in the next few weeks. Gregg was checking the chimney pot and surrounding brickwork and
spraying it with weed killer as there was some willow herb growing out of it over the summer!
We've got a lot of work to do inside too - but that will follow in another post! I did ask Gregg where the life insurance policy document was before he went up on the roof.......very cruel!
Also today I've been playing about with the blog, changing the colour scheme and adding a link to
our web site and other sites that I love. I've come across some really interesting blogs over
the past wee while, it has really become quite
addictive, but nice to know there are other people out there who are also pationate about living "the country life" and all the bits that go with it! I really hope Gregg has the sense to have a look at some of the sites for Christmas pressie ideas, his life (and mine!) would be so much easier and I'll have lots of lovely pressies under the tree!
I also really enjoyed this weekend as the weather
was pretty reasonable and we got out for a few nice walks with Chrissie. I enjoyed it even more than usual as I'd treated myself to some new Hunter wellies as I'd worn a hole through the sole of my old ones, which resulted in some rather soggy socks over the last week or so, so I definitely think I was justified in buying them!
Todays pictures are of Gregg up on the roof and a view of the garden from up there looking down onto the veggie garden - as you can see all of the raised bed are now full of top soil so I can start to plan what I'm going to grow next year - how exciting!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fixing the bridge

Today we decided to "fix" the bridge that goes over the Bruckly Burn, the wee burn that runs down to the Alyth burn (the big burn!) and goes over to the chicken run. When we had all the heavy rain this week the burn was flowing right over the top of the bridge - not good when you've got holes in your wellies! The bridge has gradually
sunk over the last wee while so something had to be done as it just acts as a dam when the burn is in full spate. The banks were also needing built up with stones as they were eventually
washing away with all the rain. So we decided to put some large stones under the two logs that
support the slats to try and lift it above the water level. We also cleared lots of gravel and silt from under the bridge to let the burn flow easier underneath. Some of the larger stones came from in front of the cottage that were acting as a border with the farm road, so a bit of muscle was needed with the wheelbarrow to move them! So you can now see from the photos that the bridge is a bit more level and higher than before and will hopefully survive the winter!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Fruits of our labour

I picked the last of the tomatoes and chillies yesterday as the plants are starting to die now so I thought I'd better before they all go mouldy! I've put the tomatoes into a brown paper bag and put them in a cupboard as they are supposed to ripen well by doing this - can't remember where I read that little tip - I'll let you know if it works! I'll probably forget and find a mouldy mess in a couple of weeks!
I'm going to thread the chillies up and let them dry out, they're great for putting into soups to give them a wee bit of a kick!
Also busy today getting all of the stock tagged and priced for the Travelling Souks that I'm doing tomorrow and Tuesday. Tommorow is at Thriepley House, Lundie, near Dundee and Tuesdays is at Kilbryde Castle, by Dunblane. Fingers crossed both will be a success, really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things for Christmas, time will just fly by between now and mid December, what a thought!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The sounds of autumn

Even though it was Friday the 13th yesterday we had a super day. I managed to get some sewing
done outside in the sun, always a treat when it comes to this time of year. It's amazing how it's still so mild for this time of year - when the sun was out yesterday it was gorgeous. As I said in my posting the other day, we lost the mink trap when the burn was high with all the rain we had on Wednesday. So yesterday we had to walk down the burnside to try and find it. Luckily we have a path that leads almost from our house all the way along to Alyth along the den, it's a lovely walk through the woods and alongside the Alyth burn, as shown in the photo. About half a mile
down from the cottage we
found the trap in the burn ( thankfully as it's borrowed from a neighbouring farmer!), so we were then able to enjoy the rest of our walk through the woods. Catriona was also with us, so with her help, the three of us gathered some acorns and beech nuts for me to dry and put in my woodland pot pourri - a big seller at christmas time!! We came across lots of toad stools on the walk, I find them really amazing as there are just so many different varieties. Catriona took a photo of the one shown above.
I also took myself off on another walk to gather
some pine cones - again for in the pot pourri -
I've had my eye on a big branch with loads of
cones on it that I pass most days with Chrissie - so we scrambled up the bank and collected about half a carrier bagful!!
It's been on our tea-time walk the last couple of days that we've seen lots of geese flying overhead, yesterday we saw a huge flock. I love the sound of them, it's such an autumn sound and reminds me so much of my childhood as we used to have lots of geese in the fields surrounding our house at this time of year. I also love the sound of pheasants when they ( and you!) get a fright and fly out the undergrowth - it's such a magical sound, and the way they just glide through the air, although a tad hap-hazzerdly! This photo shows a gorgeous male pheasant that took to roaming around in our garden in the spring - I do hope he makes it through the shooting season!
The pot pourri probably won't make it onto the web site as I can't make enough of it at this time of year so if anyone would like a bag its £4.95. I'll try and get a photo of it posted soon!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Has the earth moved for me...................!!

Well, after all that rain yesterday we really MUST get all of our topsoil moved this weekend.
Both the burns are really high, and I think the
mink trap may have been washed down the burn, oops, we'll need to go wading tomorrow to see if we can find it!
The soil is to go in the raised beds Gregg built for me over the summer, we have 10 in total, mostly for veggies but I'd like to grow some flowers for cutting too as it's lovely having them all over the house. So far we've managed to fill 2 of the boxes, it's really hard work and takes a lot longer
than you think to fill one box. I have a feeling
Gregg may be at it all weekend!! We've also got a large pile of well rotted manure from when the last owners of the cottage had their 2 miniature ponies in the "paddock" - so that's to be added to the boxes too.
The weather is good for tomorrow but the rest of the weekend is doubtful so we'll see. We're hoping to get the woodburning stove in the dining room soon as I'm not spending another winter in the "ice box" - I got chillblanes on my feet for the first time ever last winter! So we've got a fair bit of work to do on that as there is the original stove behind the wall and god knows what else we'll find! Ooh the joys of renovating an old cottage!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Chillies are so easy to grow...........

I've managed to grow loads of red and green chillies in the greenhouse this summer, something I've never grown before. I've also got a huge crop of cherry tomatoes at the minute on my tumbling tomato plant. Not sure if it's warm enough for them to rippen in the greenhouse so I might need to bring them in to the house to finish them off, we'll see. I've had about half a dozen so far that have rippened but that was a few weeks ago. I have to admit I did cheat a bit as both the plants came from Dobbies in Perth! We were a bit late in getting the greenhouse cleared out, it had a huge grape vine in it and loads of spiders and cobwebs. I use the term "we" very loosely - Gregg cleaned it out, I wouldn't got near all those cobwebs and spiders! I just stood outside shouting that he'd missed a bit every now and then!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Grotty day

It's a really grotty day today, it was horrible and misty when I walked Chissie this morning and it has now been raining for about 2 hours, I hate days like today. Gregg has also gone back to work after a week off, shouldn't really admit it but I do actually miss him!! I'm busy getting lots of orders done as well as trying to get stock made for myself as my first couple of christmas fairs start two weeks today. They are at Thriepley House, near Newtyle on Monday 16th Oct and at Kilbryde Castle, outside Dunblane on Tuesday 17th Oct. I have got soo much sewing to do to get enough stock together for these fairs! I have ordered some lovely bits and bobs to complement our range so hopefully they will have arrived by then or I'll be selling empty brown paper bags!!! Here's a nice cheery picture of our dahlias outside the greenhouse, one of the last flowers left in the garden from the summer. I bought them at Snapdragons Garden Flowers, my friend Janes organic flower business which she also runs from home, she has a super blog at .

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Busy week

Gregg has been off this week and has made huge progress with the fencing - all thanks to a nifty little tool that he managed to get for attaching the chicken wire the fence. So we now have all the poultry safely tucked into the bottom area of the garden down beside the burn - they had taken to going across the road in search of better worms and came very close to getting squashed by large tractors a few times so hopefully they'll appreciate it rather than being a bit peaved at not getting to wander!!
The photos show the fencing coming down from

the main road in front on the chicken run, and along the main road. So all that's left to do is a bit of picket fence from the main road down to the corner of the cottage and put the new posts and gate in - not much really!!!!!!
The apricot call ducks have settled in well, they seem to enjoy following the geese around and have now ventured on the "the big burn". The females are very noisy - every time you hear them quacking away it sounds like someone has told a funny joke! They also like wandering around in the grassy part of the garden which is nice as I can watch them from my work room
window. Here's a picture of them playing at the big burn - hopefully they wont go wandering and get lost down the burn - they might end up in Alyth!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Nasty furry animals..........

After a bit of an early start last Saturday morning, I delightfully came home with more feathered friends to add to the growing menagerie...........! I'd headed up to the rare breeds sale up at Thainstone market just outside Inverurie, what a fab day! Joined by my Uncle David, Aunt Alison and the two little monsters Katie and Chloe, we all wondered round checking out the poultry for sale wondering what we would purchase for ourselves. Katie was after some white silkies as she'd like to show them and hatch some chicks, so her daddy very kindly bid on some lovely little bantams, a gorgeous little trio, had her name on them. I managed to buy totally not what I expected, I came home with 5 wyandotte bantams, 3 blue laced and 2 red, and 3 apricot call ducks, all very sweet and settling in well. Uncle David managed to purchase loads of weird and wonderful looking hens, about 16 in total I think! Aunt Alison got herself a pair of Embden geese to befriend lonely Amelia the chinese white, who are now all getting on very well.

This weekend proved that keeping poultry is not all sweetness and light, collecting your eggs in the morning and having a loving trail of chickens run after you. We had a vist from the mink, a nasty little creature that could cause devastation in a chicken run at the blink of an eye. Luckily, we managed to spot him coming up the burn, the cheeky little monster poked his head up through the planks of the bridge trying to catch our chickens by the legs but was unsuccessful in catching any for his dinner. We managed to get a trap from a very kind local farmer - he even had it baited for me. So we spent most of Saturday morning camouflaging the trap set into the banking of the burn in the hope that we might catch something in the next day or so. To our amazement we came home to find the mink in the trap only a matter of hours after setting it up, our little chickens are so lucky, they could all have been eaten in less than 24 hours. The mink iscertainly a beautiful little animal but unbelievably vicious, the noice that it made was really quite disturbing. Again, thankfully one of our neighbours was able to help us dispose of the little creature, not something I would have liked to have done myself. Another episode in the adventure we seem to be leading, certainly one that I would say was character building.

Monday, August 28, 2006

We had a fantastic day on Saturday at the Strathardle Gathering, that was the first time we'd been. Lots of sheep and cattle to look at, all very impressive! There were Highland Games on in the morning as well as the Highland Dancing competition. Our little friend Catriona was dancing, she won 6 medals, 3 firsts, 2 seconds and a third, as well as the overall cup winner for her group - well done Catriona!
Lots of money was spent trying to win a gold fish, both Catriona and I won one each! So far both are still alive although Catrionas has already jumped out of it's bowl once!!

The men spent most of the afternoon in the beer tent while us girls (myself, Christine, Suzie and Catriona) had fun taking part in the musical cars. You have to drive around the main ring and when the music stops the passenger has to run into the centre of the ring and grab a flag. Lots of cheating goes on, we didn't do too well as we got caught on the corner, we'll just have to do better next year!

After a few beers in the pub after the show, we managed to drag them men home to enjoy a great night up at our neighbours, John and
Christines farm. We all enjoyed a game of the
"cornflake box game"! You have to pick up the

cereal box with your teeth without your hands
touching the floor! Not the easiest, there were some very sore legs by the end of the game, as usual there was a reasonable amount of competitiveness between us all, determined to get that last slither off the floor! The remaining three were Catriona, Steve and myself, Catriona being the only one who actually managed to pick it up with her teeth, although I did manage to lick the floor! By 3am Gregg was asleep on the kitchen floor so we decided it was time to go home! All in all it was a fabulous day enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Adventures in the country.........

We had a fun but windy time last weekend camping in Glen Clova with family and friends. On arrival we discovered that our campsite was half way up a hill to meet up with the others, so we carted all of our gear up the hill and decided on a spot to pitch the tent, when Chrissie the dog decided to do a big poo right in the middle of it!!! We also hadn't quite realised how big our tent was, but with the help of everyone we managed to get it pitched in the increasing wind! We had a super tea cooked on the open fire and BBQ, we even managed steam pudding with custard for pudding (thank you Claire)!!!! After a very competitive game of trivial pursuit in the Taj Mahal tent ( ours!!) we decided that at 2am we'd better all get off to bed. The wind had seriously picked up and as you can see from the photo above our tent had to be anchored down with stones!!!! By 6am one of our tent poles had snapped and the tent was more or less blowing away! Gregg decided to go out and try being a human tent peg but decided it wasn't really a job he fancied while I had another couple of hours zedz! Luckily the rain stayed off and we managed to get the tent down and all our gear back down the hill! We were back home and in bed by 9am!! The tent had seriously suffered though, by the time we took it down another pole has snapped and part of it had ripped!!! The joys of camping on a hillside in Scotland!! We did round the adventure off with a nice BBQ'd breakfast later on in the morning at our place when the rest of the troops had given in and packed up camp too!