22 May 2014


Just a quick one to say farewell for the week and thank those of you who left very supportive comments after the last post, particularly those who confessed their own car related shame. A brief still wrangling with the insurance company having decided we'd like to keep the car and get it mended ourselves with the settlement. A local mechanic has said he can do it. It amazes me that the insurers can write it off without even seeing it but there you are. Doesn't look like it will be sorted before we go away. Our lovely neighbours will be looking after Trigger and the plants. I spent an hour I could ill afford today making bracelets out of copper wire to put around the bottoms of all the vegetables; they do seem to be helping and without M's nightly slug patrol for a week, we're going to need something. 

Camera news......I sent the birthday one back to the supplier on Tuesday, they got it yesterday and fingers VERY tightly crossed, they have sent the replacement today. This means it COULD be here tomorrow. I MIGHT have it for Scotland. In the absence of anything other than my phone and the little point and shoot, here are some shots from the garden when it was sunny yesterday.

Billy's Button/Water Avens

Astrantia Major beginning to open:


Astrantia....possibly Red Ruby but I'm not sure:


I saw this tiny lichen when out with the dogs yesterday and wanted a closer look. The cup was only about 3/8 of an inch or half a centimeter wide. Just beautiful:

Jack cooling off in a stream:

Wide angle from the little camera:

Phone slug. Fascinating if disgusting and destructive:

So, I'll be away for a week and am unlikely to have a phone signal or internet access. I'll miss all those other blogs but it's a holiday from everything. First proper one since 2010. I had my back shattering accident four days before we were due to go away in 2011 which was most inconvenient. The forecast for Loch Goil is cloudy for the next ten days but no rain. Do I believe that? I do not. Keep your fingers crossed for me regarding the camera and until next time, here are the dogs tearing a bank apart; ecologists they are not. 

19 May 2014


Well firstly, apologies for a long absence. It's been a very strange week with massive highs and lows. The day after my last post; the day before my birthday, I stupidly managed to reverse my beloved Polo into a low and, thanks to a jammed headrest, invisible wall. Unbelievably, because of its age, the insurance company considers it a write off and I was almost inconsolable, thinking an enjoyable birthday impossible. The 'ugly' bit in the post title referrs to the state of the near side rear of the car. However, fighting back the tears (pathetic I know), I woke to a new camera from M, 50 white tulips from my mum (above) and, most touchingly, this radio I had seen and liked in John Lewis at Christmas from OB, which he bought with his own money: 

He also made me a beautiful card which I forgot to photograph. I am so lucky to have such a lovely, kind, thoughtful son. I met eight friends for coffee which was really lovely and then had a massage and then lunch with another friend, which M had organised in secret. So sweet of him. I then drove home in my mum's car which she has kindly lent me as the Polo is undriveable.....apparently. I took the dogs out in the beautiful sunshine with my fabulous new camera; a change of allegiance - it's a Nikon. Sorry Fuji. 60 x zoom. I took these with it that day....Stonechats: 

Meadow Pipits:

Very excited about it, especially the zoom and the quality; it's in a different league. Still a bridge camera but a bit more expensive than my Fuji. These are a few more I took that day:

A friend, who had been in on the camera present, said she would love to buy my old one and we arranged to meet on Friday to hand it over. While we were out walking, with me showing her how to use it, my new Nikon came up with a 'battery exhausted' message and proceeded to shut down. It just needs charging, I thought, and enjoyed watching my friend's delight at the Fuji's 30 x zoom. However, later that evening, it became clear that the Nikon was not accepting charge and was completely dead. To cut a long story short, it's a dud and, since then, I have a had no camera. Gutted again. If only I hadn't sold it to my friend so quickly. The likelihood of me having a replacement by the time we leave for Scotland on Saturday morning is close to zero. To add insult to injury, I saw our Cuckoo today in the big Beech tree close to the house and could have got a pretty good shot of it. However, my little compact point and shoot 2 x zoom wasn't cutting it. I'm trying not to get too upset about it and took these with it this weekend in the glorious sunshine.

This flowering grass is everywhere on the moor and, on a positive note, has not been able to capture with either of the two much better cameras:

Our house:

Tormentil everywhere in the grass:

Bluebells in our neighbour's enviable garden:

Welsh Poppy:

Trigger's summer coat is almost completely shiny and looking so much better than last year:

View from his paddock in the morning sun:

Insects on our neighbour's daisies

Kitchen window sill shadows:

This is NOT the plant that came up in my big pot last year and looks more like a Geum:

Obese slug on granite and lichen:

Unfurling fern:

Jack by the Hedge:

Lady's Mantle:

The beautiful purple Periwinkle I'm encouraging to spread everywhere:

I never show you the garden because it's taken a long time to get the dry shade border to a point where it's presentable. However, I'm going to be brave and show it to you....please excuse the chicken wire - it's there to stop Jack escaping.

Some closer in:

I took these few on the Fuji I think; I'm getting confused. Beautiful open sky:

And landscape of which I never tire:

The lambs are out on the moor now:

I think that's enough for now. Sorry I've been so rubbish but I've felt totally overwhelmed by the car thing added to stuff with my mum and, stupidly, the camera. I feel completely lost without it. So, until next time, here are the dogs looking fantastic - the last picture I took before the new camera died!