Back from the Loch

Whilst the Student was studying (=falling asleep on the sofa) Pam and I had a quick drive to Pitlochry for some errands and then decided to try out the Boathouse on Loch Faskally, which despite us being here over a year we have never tried. Great lunch with amazing views and carry-out of scones for later back at home, as we realised SleepyStudent would be sulking if we did not bring something home! The ducks in the loch are really noisy and not at all shy. Image is clickable of course.



What a week of things going on, with the removal of the vinyl flooring in the kitchen which turns out to be NOT the thing to do. Midweek we had explosive (not quite) foul water drains which cost an arm and several legs to repair and flush. At least the overspill (not ours thankfully, but from the lodges) will be good for the azalea.
At last I have got off my backside and arranged some clearing out work to be done on the BarraHouse. A simple question posed on a closed FB group for IoB and several suggestions and recommendations later I have arranged for the house to be cleared out. Very nice guy will be doing that this week. His wife was so polite on her Messenger conversation but at all times I was waiting for the traditional "who are you and your connections with Barra?" question, which came eventually. Turns out she knows me and mine quite well and my Aunty Penny was her boss on a YTS scheme decades ago. She remembers Anthony and I dancing at Siobhan and David's wedding in Castlebay Hall. We were not that bad, surely?
Talya and Joe arriving Saturday for a quick visit which was yet another opportunity for me to show off my vegan cookery skills - all successful I may add! Thursday evening for about 20 minutes we had the experience of a snap blizzard, but it did not last thankfully. Anthony had returned from GMC Tomar having worked very hard all weekend. Today being Sunday means a range of trips to the recycling centre with bits and pieces and just taking it easssssssssy.


We have a rough division of labour in this house where Anthony takes the bins out on a Saturday night, but since he is in Portugal I did it this time, and what a lovely garden we have over near them! Click below


Waiting for news from Portugal

I had the loveliest of birthdays this week with a painting of Para Handy's Vital Spark and the most amazing painting from Anthony in addition to the Whisky Cookbook. I cannot wait to try some of them out. Being 54 is a nothing age at all so I think I will only celebrate on the multiples of five, as on my FB account this week happy memories of GM50 kept popping up which was a great thing and made me laugh.

Anthony went off to Portugal on Wednesday for the six monthly OSMTH meeting in Tomar. I could not go this time as I was lecturing at the LSE which went very well and I had more Gann questions this year than at any time in the 20 years of doing this course! I hope they all pass their exams in April. I travelled on the Sleeper train as usual and for back to take Pam off to Dundee where she is dog and cat sitting for Talya for a few days. Meantime I aimed to be up early on Saturday to go to Dunkeld to see an exhibition and take the chequebook. Sadly by the time I got there all the Bruernish images had been bought. A year ago I thought about buying one, but now they are completely overpriced with an additional digit at the front of them. So I treated myself to an our in the kitchen shop in Dunkeld indeed and got change out of a one-er. Much better use of money I think! The dogs are missing all the commotion in the house so yesterday we had a "let's lick George' half an hour, which was great fun. I am glad I never got a dog in London as it is better having one here when I have the space and the time to spend with them. Both are loving running about the garden all day but when I am ready to play with them they are exhausted! Although I have put these Doggy-lick images already on FB, you can click below for a memory.

Snow in March

Just ahead of GM54 the snow comes! It must have been my tempting fate yesterday by enjoying a day by the fire:


But today it is there in abundance. Dogs are loving it but the snow shower stopped at 0730 long before Anthony and Pam got up, and it has started to melt. I love the sound of snow melting out here in the silence, as it sounds so LOUD.

Images of the garden in this surprise snow are viewable once you click this image


House to myself!

Pam has come back up from That There London whilst her house is being done up and dust is everywhere, so I am getting to plan lots of vegetarian dishes to keep us fed. Anthony and Pam have left early to go to Dundee where Talya is settling in. I have no idea what they are getting up to there but from the things they took it looks like a day of furniture assembly - good luck with that! So I have the house to myself and the dogs, and will take the opportunity to move some paintings around in anticipation of the next three months of guests visiting. After almost two weeks of blue skies and frosty mornings we have rain today with even more expected in the afternoon, so I will do all my hard work in the morning and settle down in the Big Room with the fire on and read my books - bliss.

Anthony is off to Portugal midweek for five days or events and I am down in London for my LSE Lecture on WD Gann on Wednesday. I have been lecturing on Gann now for 20 years, across two different universities, a bit of a milestone indeed! I have tied this in with a trip to work to make my visit for March as brief as possible. It is not that I don't like London (how could you?) but I prefer the calm of the countryside up here in the Crankies.

So far I have had only one birthday card, but the postman has not made his Saturday delivery so I expect a sackload today and on Monday my actual birthday. Last night at midnight I got a SMS from Wee Cath telling me she is out for a coffee with one of my undergraduate pals, Angela Downie, who I have not seen in 30 years. It is very strange being able to write "30 years" as I still feel as if I am in my 20s, but the haircolour and creaking bones and dodgy kidneys tell a different story! It is doubly strange because only this week I was thinking about my old Uni pals, Angela being one of them…

Good Vibrations!

Accommodation booked for my brodate with bestie Adam in August, as we are heading to Glasgow for Kelvingrove Bandstand gig by Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys, doing "Pet Sounds". Adam is a real fan and I love the music too, so this should be fun. We seem to go to see the BB every two years or so, the last one being at Hampton Court Palace which was amazing. Roll on August!

March = my birthday

I know of lots of friends who have their birthdays in March, but I am at the start of the month, so I have to get priority. It is only fair! We have blue skies here in the Crankies, but freezing cold, and the Poor Student is in the middle of his mid-semester essay writing so the house is under a lot of stress. Doggies are out enjoying the cold and sun so that keeps me out of trouble. Already filling up the diary with visitors for the springtime, but summer visitors are yet to book in! I seem to be drawing in novels yet to be read. That is probably the only thing I miss about London is the half hour each way reading time on the 205 bus! Today is the start of Lent2017, with nothing much planned at all in this house, except Fasting & Abstinence today, with no doubt some hoovering to be done as Vincent is having one of his six-monthly blows so everywhere is covered in his silky fur.

Our charitable foundation, The Cuthbert-MacLean Foundation SCIO has been making some springtime donations which we are really pleased with, and they are being well used indeed. I am glad we started this out as we seem to have made some changes to groups and lives across the country.

I am still getting used to this new format of writing, so with some practice here are images of the garden taken this week… Feel free to click!