Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A young twenty something......

Well, today is my last day of being a young twenty something, I got a bit down about it all a few weeks ago, but I think I'm over it now. So many people say "it's all down hill after you hit 30" and such like, but I'm beginning to realise that life is totally what you make of it and you're only as young as you feel.

I want to make some changes to my life this year, I've also realised that it is up to you to make your life a happy one as nobody else is going to do it for you. I need to learn to say no.

So, things are going to change with the business, no longer will I be sat all day making door stops as that's what I've done for the past 2 and a bit years! Yes, it's nice being known as the "door stop lady" but my sewing machine knows how to make lots of other beautiful things, as I've discovered over the past few weeks. Also, in a couple of weeks time my routine will be completely flung up in the air, I'm going to be a 6am - 5pm working girl, Monday to Friday, no more working weekends or going to sleep in an empty bed as Gregg is away on night shift. He starts a new job, a regular working hours job, so hopefully some sanity will be installed back into our lives instead of the sporadic way of life we have always known. I'm really looking forward to it.

This change will hopefully mean that we can start to live our life the way we have wanted to since moving to the sticks, we'll be able to spend a couple of hours in the evening in the garden tending our veggie plot, and, fingers crossed, we may even get those pigs that I've been hankering after for years. My next purchase from Amazon will be a book about keeping pigs me thinks, any recommendations?

It's funny how reaching a milestone birthday like this makes you sit back and re-evaluate your life, it does feel slightly grown up making these choices - something I have never ever really felt, I've always been a bit of a tearaway, mischief follows me and I still love a bit of a wild night out (as much as everyone thinks you live the quiet life out here in the sticks, I would beg to differ!)

I shall leave you with a picture from the garden last summer, my favourite season of the year. Fingers crossed my plans come to fruition, at the end of the day it's up to me to make sure that it does, as, unfortunately for me, the fairies around here won't do it!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Busy, busy....

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, it's all a bit mad over here at PH HQ just now. Four weeks today will be the opening day of the Country Living Magazine Scotland Spring Fair , and I'm starting to get my knickers in a bit of a twist now. As usual, I leave everything to the last minute, I drew up a list last night of things still to do other than loads of sewing and creating, and it's huge! Never mind, we'll get there, Gregg is almost finished all the new bits and bobs for the shell of the stall so that's one less thing to worry about, where would I be without him, my "craft roadie" as he calls himself!!

While sewing away yesterday, I listened to podcasts from the Wiggly Wigglers site, they are fab! A real bunch of gigglers with lots of very interesting stuff to talk about, it really kept me going all day. I would highly recommend them if you're into gardening, issues about the countryside and the running of a rural business, highly entertaining!

I'm hoping to enlist the help of my little friend Catriona at the weekend, she is my top door stop filler and may hopefully progress to label attacher this weekend - are you around to help this weekend Catriona? - in return for lots of hot ribena and copious amounts of pancakes with nutella? :o)

Anyway, must get on, off to listen to the last couple of Wiggly Wiggler podcasts and crank up the sewing machine!

L x

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Vintage buttons and Country Living

I've just come in from walking Chrissie, windswept and rosie cheeked, it's wild and dreich out there. "Dreich", such a great Scottish word, don't you think? At last, my March Country Living has arrived, it's normally here long before it hits the shelf of our local newagents, was not impressed when I popped in yesterday to see it sitting there and I STILL didn't have mine, humf! Anyway, I'm so pleased, my friend Caroline who has the Twice shop, has a little feature in it this month, her sewing roll has been featured in Emporium. We met last year when we both had stalls at the Travelling Souk and at Perth Mart Christmas Fair. Her products are gorgeous, real vintage beauties made into a lovely selection of gifts and goodies for the home.

This lovely little lot arrived in the post this morning too.............

Just over 100 real mother of pearl vintage buttons, some of them are really gorgeous, I have a real thing for mother of pearl buttons and use them on so many of our products. I'm also waiting on another lot arriving, this time 600! Yes, 600! I'll maybe have to part with some of them and sell them in the shop............. hmmmm, we'll see!

We're also waiting on another arrival, but of a different sort, the geese are apparently due to start laying on Valentines Day, but so far no eggs from them. I went out and spoke to them today, I told them that if they didn't start laying soon they'd go in the pot, that normally works with them! Their eggs are fab, they are huge with really tough shells, great for baking with and Gregg loves them for breakfast, they make HUGE fried eggs! Fingers crossed they'll start laying soon.

Thank you all for telling me what you got up to on Valentines Day, it's nice to know there are still some romantics out there! The chocolate cake was yummy, I was worried it wouldn't be very nice as it was a bit hard when I put the chocolate ganache over it, but as Julia over at Chrystal Mountain said, 20 seconds in the microwave with lashings of cream and it was dish delish! Left overs for pud tonight, guess who's going to be a few pounds heavier by the end of this week!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sweet Valentines..........

Do you remember when you were little, waiting on the postie arriving in the morning, was there going to be any Valentines cards for you? Or even worse, would there be one for your brothers or sisters and not one for you? If Valentines Day fell on a school day they had a "Valentines Post Box" in both our primary and secondary schools, it caused great hilarity, and you could get up to all sorts of mischief sending naughty cards - not that I ever did of course! ;O)

Today I got one lovely card and a bunch of flowers, in return I have baked a chocolate cake and never quite got round to making that card.......................oops! Much creativeness has been going on in the workroom today though, so that's my excuse. At last I feel as if I'm getting somewhere, lots of new products have been flying off the sewing machine, all of which I'm really pleased with, I'll maybe show you some of them nearer the time of the fair..............!!

I'll leave you with a picture (sorry it's not the greatest photo) of our yummy cake - well I hope it will be! I've used some of our lovely blue duck eggs to make it! Gregg is busy making the supper, fillet steaks (from a local farm), dauphinoise potatoes and fresh veg from the organic shack down the road, mmmmm, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Happy Valentines Day to you all, whats is everyone doing tonight I wonder?

L xx

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Blizzards and snow babes......

Well at last the snow has made it's way north, it's snowed all day today and has been on and off for the last 3 days, so we have a good 4 -5 ", it's fab! Today has involved mega snowball fights including rolling around in the snow getting it shoved up my back and down my bum!, walking about in a blizzard trying to find ski poles, but best of all was this........

Meet Sadie Frost, the snow babe! We decided, rather than to build the conventional snow MAN we would build a snow lady! Gregg had a bit of creative direction in the modelling of the body, hence the rather large boobs! I decided she must cover up so we gave her a rather fetching red bikini, hope she doesn't get frost bite on her bum!!!

Here's more pictures of today, me, Catriona and Gregg all posing with her!

Catriona making her head!

Gregg posing with his new lady friend!!!

Catriona and me making some moves on the snow dance floor!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

ooh, ooh, must tell......

I don't think I have ever posted twice in one day, but this afternoon there was much excitement in the hen house. Our hens are starting to come back into lay now, the most eggs we've had in one day is 5 so far. You can generally tell which ones are either laying or about to come into lay as their combs go really red. I've been keeping an eye on them all, the light sussex are laying, one of the rhode Island reds is laying and a couple of the little wyandottes, probably the red ones, but some of the others are starting to go really red too.
So, this afternoon when I went into collect the eggs, I found 2 in the little corner where some of them seem to be laying and there were 2 in the nesting box closest to the door, a nesting box that hardly ever gets used (we have 5, but they generally only lay in 2 or 3 of them). To my delight, both the eggs are a gorgeous blue colour, a complete surprise as I didn't think any of our hens laid blue eggs. So, I am now left wondering are these eggs from 2 of the three blue laced wyandottes that we have (2 of them are very red in the comb) or are they from the apricot call ducks? As far as I'm aware, the ducks will only lay about 10 eggs in the year and are more likely to go off and build a nest somewhere, lay their eggs and then come back with ducklings (or am I being completely naive in thinking this - they'll probably all get eaten by the mink?). So only time will tell, I really hope that it's the little wyandottes that have laid them as then we'd have lovely blue eggs to add to the deep brown and white eggs we get from the others. Here's a picture of todays eggs.

Will keep you posted, it's no wonder I never get any work done!

New stockist

Today sees another delivery flying off via Royal Mail to a wonderful little shop in Glasgow, in Princes Square, Fifi & Ally - don't you just love that name?! This is a new stockist for us which is always quite exciting. I haven't actually been to the shop yet but I have read lots about it, you can read a little bit here, another really fabby blog. I've also read that it was recently voted one of the top 100 shops in the world, "Fifi & Ally is Glasgow’s hippest lifestyle concept store specialising in quirky fashion and lifestyle ..." how cool! So, another addition to the "to visit" list, I really must get down to Glasgow, I'm in desperate need of a VV Roleaux fix and haven't been to visit my sisters new flat in Glasgow, tut-tut, what a bad sister I am.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


Ok, this is a bit weird. It would appear that I have a cyber twin. What?, I hear you all say, yep, a cyber twin. While taking my usual trip through blogland, checking my fave sites, I came across this.

Ooooh, I hear you all say, that is a bit freaky. The freakiest bit of all, is that Rachels blog was probably one of the first blogs I started reading when I entered this other universe, yet I've only recently felt compelled to comment, I think that's what you call a "lurker"!! The only bit in Rachels comparison of our two parallel lives that isn't quite accurate is that I didn't move to Scotland, I've pretty much always lived in this country all my life. But the even freakier bit is that before we moved up here to the sticks, I lived not that far from her..........

So, I wonder if we will ever meet? will we be alike? or are there thousands of us out there all living this idyllic life of crafting, chicken keeping, house renovating and gin drinking at the wonderfully young age of 30 (not quite there yet, still another 22 1/2 days to go, sorry Rach, didn't mean to rub it in!), is it just a coinicidence that our paths have crossed......................?
We'll see.

You should have a read of Rachels blog, Oh, the glamour....,about life in general and extremely entertaining.

Ooh, and another thing while I'm talking about all things weird and bloggy, I'm not sure about everyone else, but I get a bit freaked out when "anonymous" people start leaving comments and I don't have a clue who they are. I feel as if I should know who they are but don't, as they seem to know me - so can you make yourself known please? Ta.

L x

P.S. Yes, I know you're probably all thinking, poor thing, she's been on the gin already this morning, well I haven't, the bar doesn't open until 5pm in our house. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who does this, but if you have time to blog you have time to have a G&T, both can be done in tandem and it is generally a very nice experience!

Right, I think I've said enough for one day.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Gorgeous day

Work wise, today has been crap, one of those days when you really just feel like throwing in the towel and getting a normal job................
But, thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny day, I took myself off for a long walk with Chrissie this afternoon to sort my head out, I'm a great believer in thinking that you have to have the lows to appreciate the highs, my way of putting a positive spin on having a rubbish day!

But best of all was this........................................
.....................getting the washing out on the line! And there's nothing better than bring it in, pretty much dry and smelling wonderful................until you get a whiff of the sceptic tank and then the moment is totally lost! Ooh, the joys of living in the country, I'm off to put the chickens to bed, light the fires, make the tea and have a large bombay sapphire and tonic, I think we may even have a lime lurking in the fruit bowl.
Enjoy your weekend.
L x

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Do not read if you're a vegetarian.............

The other night there was a knock at the door at about 9pm, I was in alone and thought "who on earth is it at this time of night?" Well, when I opened the door (with Chrissie at my feet incase it was someone dodgy!!) I got a bit of a shock. It was our neighbour with a brace of duck for me, shot that day. Hmm, what do I do with these was my intial thought, but being the thankful neighbour that I am, I gratefully received them and accepted the instructions as to how to "deal" with them. "Don't bother plucking them, too many feathers, just slice them open and cut out the breast!" was the instruction - boy could I have done with Hugh F-W! I left them hanging at the front door overnight while I deliberated over my dilemma. Gregg wasn't home until this morning, so do I deal with them myself or be a wimp and leave them for him? I very pathetically opted for the latter!

So, Gregg got to it this afternoon, with me watching, he's skinned a mink before so kind of knew what he was doing! After a bit I got bored and decided that I was probably never going to have to do this kind of thing so I didn't really need to know, a bit pathetic, eh! I didn't think you'd really appreciate photos of him skinning the duck, so I'll spare you the gory details.
It has brought us back to a conversation we have constantly, one of our main reasons for moving to the sticks and having some land was so that we could be more self sufficient. We have just over an acre at the moment, enough to keep the chickens, geese and ducks, a large veggie plot and lots of room for growing flowers. We'd love to have a bit more land, ideally the field across the burn from us would be perfect. My dream is to Keep Tamworth pigs, breed them, some for selling and some for the freezer. I'd also like to keep sheep, again to sell, for the freezer and for their wool, ideally a rare breed too as we would then at least feel as if we were contributing to the preservation of our rare breeds. I quite fancy an Anglo Nubian goat too, but that's more for a pet and just for the fun of having a mad goat, she would of course have to be called Gertie!
So, we were sat at the table this evening enjoying our duck, although I have to say I did find it a bit weird eating meat that still had feathers and a head attached to it a few hours ago? Gregg asked me the question that he asks me all the time whenever I'm whittering on about this menagerie of animals that we're going to acquire "so, do you think you'd be able to take one of your little piggies or lambs down to the abatoir for slaughter and then enjoy a nice Sunday roast?". Hmm, I think I could, I would love to think that we will one day, but how will I actually feel when it comes to eating it? Only time will tell, I know for a fact though that if we do get all these animals I won't be able to use the excuse "but they're our pets", from the outset they will always be destined for the freezer, maybe that will help me get my head around it.
I'll leave you with a picture of our supper, pan fried duck breast on mashed potato, veg and a good dollop of leftover home made cranberry sauce! It was rather tasty...........