Archives for the month of: December, 2014

Years endOnly a few hours left and then the ragged remnant of 2014 will fade into memory. A year in the garden, digging, planting, harvesting, digging and clearing again. It seems we over-estimate what can be achieved in two years but under-estimate what can be accomplished in ten! I’m looking forward to another year of planting and growing, propagating and sowing.

Final frostAt last we have had frost; the Nasturtium that have flourished for many months have finally surrendered to the weather! All around the garden are signs of new life, new buds appearing on the shrubs and bulbs peeping through the earth.

Rosy RisingPast few days have been spent with family and friends, sharing meals, swapping presents, sharing news, eating too much and sharing the view.

Winter sunsetSomewhere from the recesses of memory I vaguely remember my grandmother opening the front door to welcome in the New Year and shooing the old out the back! The garden has grown old and tired too but new plants will come from the gathered seed, the sun will begin to make its way North, the days will gradually lengthen and from the Old the New will Spring! There is  much blessing in small things we need only stop long enough to recognise them. May 2015 be filled with wonder and surprise!

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!


a little belatedly…

perfect presents!

Time to relax, Oscar has his house back, stretched out on his blanket, purring. Family sitting quietly by the fire, reading or writing, listening to the radio. Didn’t take long to unwrap the presents, demolish the dinner and get into the chocolates!

house guest

The “house guests” have returned home; a bit of R&R seemed to rejuvenate this poorly kitty as he ran spryly up the stairs this morning, much to Oscar’s chagrin!

Christmas day!And it stopped raining! The girls got out to roam without getting their britches wet and seemed to enjoy Brussel sprouts from the compost bin (well someone has too!) Hope you have all enjoyed time with family and friends, giving and receiving, relaxing and sharing…

Happy Boxing Day, thanks for stopping by…

flickering small  in our darkness…

Like a candle flame...

Glasgow, “Dear Green Place“; the place we called home for most of our adult life, rocked by another random accident just before Christmas. As the names of those caught up in the carnage are released, our thoughts and prayers are with all those with broken, heavy hearts.

Glasgow’s people are friendly, when the worst happens they rally round. When the worst happens, they are the ones running to help not running away. The kindness of strangers ministering to other strangers. Our emergency services, our teaching hospitals, our work-place chaplains and ordinary people.

On hearing the news yesterday the first thing I did was email the kids, “Are you all right?” I quickly got a “yes” from one but not the other, my anxiety mounted as his phone rang out but finally answered. I can only imagine how hard it is for those still waiting for an answer.

The mountain of floral tributes and candles around Queen Street is astounding as the city unites to mourn. But in Glasgow strangers will support strangers. As the slogan says “People Make Glasgow

“Lord let Glasgow flourish through the preaching of thy word and praising thy name.”

Words inscribed on the bell in the nearby Glasgow Tron Church, where a book of condolence has been opened, where people can go to reflect and pray; a quiet place in the busy city street. Glasgow.



Finally stillness, calm blue sea, Holy Isle painted in rainbow colour and snow over Arran. What a week of weather we’ve had! It started quietly enough last Tuesday but by the time I left town to come home, it was blowing a gale with horizontal rain. The road home, deep in standing water as the rain cascaded off the hills. Sheep soaked with misery, facing the rain or sheltering in the gorse, in almost total darkness.

New vocabulary – “weather-bomb” or “explosive cyclogenesis“. Who knew? It just meant exceptional weather and “phenomonal” seas. Thunder prowled around the cottage in a low growl, lightning seared the heavens illuminating sheets of rain. Hunkering down in our cosy beds, hoping some slates would still be clinging to the roof in the morning and the chickens would be safe, we waited for dawn…

Morning opened with yet more more rain; continuing through till Friday morning. Suddenly a dawning, strong silence. The wind had finally worn itself out; not before chilling the cottage to a cool 13 degrees inside, first time we’ve had to light the fire in the morning for a long while!

Next days were spent retrieving plants, pots, fleece. Letting the chickens roam again now that the chance of them being blown away had abated. Songbirds rejoined the  garden, the grass flattened by driving wind and rain, windows covered in salt and debris. Ah, the rural idyll!

We have lived to tell the tale with only a few slates lost, today quiet and clear, time to let the girls out, surprisingly, still laying…

 Thanks for stopping by; have a great day whatever the weather!

Some different views of the storm:

December Moon

Stepping out onto the dark landing, a warm orange glow paints the walls. In the Western sky, golden light, skims the clouds, a beacon in the dark winter sky.

Sweet Morning Light

Sunrise, in pink and lavender hue; yielding to peculiar yellow-grey, stormy light… Could it be?

The best is yet to come...

Drops of rain, tap a delicate rhythm on the window pane. Rain, sun, a tinsel twist of rainbow to decorate the dawning skies…

First snow

Finally, cloud curtain lifts to reveal first dusting of snow over the distant mountains. It’s beginning to feel a bit like Christmas after all!

Thanks for stopping by, have a good day what ever the weather!

Christmas allotment

Finally given up hoping for some cold and pulled up the thriving nasturtiums from the weedy orchard. Each evening the weatherman promises a touch of frost and each morning I pull back the curtains to cool damp. December 2010 & 2011 were cold, snowy months but the news-reader has just reminded us that every month this year has been the warmest on record, apart from August!

I’m reading your blogs on Christmas preparation and envying your snow scenes; all I ask is a touch of frost! I haven’t even taken photos of the December garden, its just green and damp. “Resting” my daughter reminds me. Perhaps it is because we don’t have “Thanks Giving” to kick-start the Advent Season (although we very quickly acquired “Black Friday” with its disorder and mayhem,) I just don’t feel quite ready. I can’t even get a package delivered from a major department store – it has now spent a third day being driven around rural Ayrshire. Wonder if the deliveryman cares that the customer service person knows it’s sitting on his van and his boss knows it is there too and that they do deliver “up to 7:00 pm” – he has exactly 15 minutes left to deliver before I hit the “I’m not happy” page on the website…

But it’s not all bad, I’ve finally painted the last little patches that were needing repainted; the paper under the paint pot was dated May 2013! The vacuum cleaner bags were delivered by Royal Mail at 7:30 pm last evening, so I can clean up all the dust I created rubbing down the plaster.

Missing Iris...

But for now, I’ll listen to the carols and hope for cold and wonder if hubby will be up for buying the Christmas tree on Saturday when he has only just left the monsoons of coastal East Africa!

Have a good evening and  thanks for stopping by! 

(In case you are wondering, CITY LINK have failed to deliver yet again)