Sunday, December 30, 2012

December 30th

I've been enjoying hanging out with the animals recently. Meg is so beautiful and soft and luxurious. And she sleeps all day. I'm envious.
This was me feeding tagliatelle to the hens the other day. I gave them my leftover tomato sauce too. They loved it.
And the gorgeous pigs. I give them apples every few days. They're boisterous and sweet. 

Today I've knitted, gone for coffee, cuddled my cat, watched TV with Hagos, played piano, and generally chilled out. It's been fab.

Friday, December 28, 2012

December 28th

My sister and brother-in-law gave me a blanket-with-arms for Christmas. They know me well! Meg and I love to snuggle up on the couch sharing a blanket, and this means I can keep my arms warm while I cuddle her, or knit.

Today has been a lazy day. Tomorrow will be a lazy day too, and I feel like I need at least two very lazy days.

Before lunch I lay on the couch to read Great Expectations snuggled up in my blanket-with-arms. And as I lay reading I saw myself reflected in the TV, with the fire also reflected. So I took a photo. Meg has been favouring the other couch lately, which I'm not very keen on as I like to be snuggled up with her.

Any minute now (in a lazy kind of way) I plan to get dressed and head over to the hen house to clean it out. I'll probably make them porridge with mealworms as a treat. They love that.

Then it'll be back to the couch and the blanket to watch a film later, drink hot tea, read more of my book and indulge in a bit of knitting. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 14th

It was my works Christmas Party tonight. At the very civilised time of 5 till 9pm.

I talked everyone into doing Make-it-Yourself Secret Santa, a tradition I did in my previous job. I was so impressed by the range and thought that everyone had put into their presents. We had: a painting!, knitted socks (that was me), home-made chocolates, bath salts, a little bird box/insect box, painted tea light holders; and other things I don't remember. A huge success, I would say.

So now I'm happy to be home and on the couch. A very long day.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10th

I am exhausted. If I was a celebrity my PA would cancel all my immediate commitments and I'd be allowed to rest for a couple of weeks. As it is I'm eating satsumas to try to avoid an all-out health crash. I'm looking forward to Saturday, when I have three whole days off.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

December 9th

A wine spritzer, and Elf on TV. Lovely Sunday afternoon.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

December 8th

The massive tree at Whitmuir Organic Cafe. We were so eager to look at the cakes on display we didn't notice the tree until we sat down!

Lovely Christmas cake and delicious cappuccino.

Friday, December 07, 2012

December 7th

Our friend Turkey - for life: not for Christmas :)

I had today off, and I slept until just after 1pm. I was so tired, and so ready to let it all go. I got up for half an hour at 8am to let the hens out and have breakfast, then I scooped up Meg and we went back to bed. It was heavenly.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

December 6th

Skaters at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, East Princes Street Gardens.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

December 5th

Can you please stop it snowing?

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

December 4th

I secretly love silly knitted items.

Monday, December 03, 2012

December 3rd

While I was heating up the car this morning. 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

December 2nd

After a long day on the road - a bit of knitting in front of the fire.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

December 1st

My wee Christmas Pudding :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Noticing beauty

Life is too busy with work at the moment, to take time to notice many things like this beautiful chilli ripening from green to red. 

I'm hoping it's about to settle down a bit, particularly as I go into December. I have a fair bit of time off work coming up, which I feel more than ready for.

I miss my home, my husband and my little cat when I'm at work. I like being in Edinburgh and a few other things about work, but working full time doesn't suit me or my home life.

Hagos commented today that we don't like when anything intrudes into our weekend routines. And it's true. I think it's because the rest of my time is taken up with stuff I have to do, so I like having the weekend to free-wheel. And also my work has many people in it. And overall I don't like people very much. In general. I much prefer the company of animals. Of course, I do like some people but only in short bursts, apart from Hagos :)

I also think I need to stop eating sugar all together. I've been off caffeine for a week, and I'm sorry to say I feel much better (I LOVE caffeine). I don't think sugar is much better for me. I'll have to pick my moment.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


This is me unravelling an old pair of beady bed socks. I had intended mending the holes in the soles but I quickly realised the wool was so worn it had to be binned. The socks were very well-used! 
I saved the beads to use on another garment. 

I've taken a break from sock-knitting and am working on finishing the purple and green 'bramble' jumper. I only have the top of the second sleeve to knit and then I'm finished. Then I'd like to work on the chunky jumper as a quick gratification fix.

I watched the documentary on Ian Rankin the other day. Very interesting to see a writer pushing through the doubt and uncertainty. I would've liked to have been privy to his creative decisions, but that would have been very intrusive.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Coffee, pigs, and autumnal wrapping

The day began with coffee and cake at Whitmuir.
When I went to see the hens I discovered the pigs had escaped! It was nice to see them roaming around.
They were too quick for me to get a good photo of them. Especially when food was enticing them back to their pen.
As well as making presents I also really love wrapping them. Autumn is a good time of year to be wrapping presents.

This is a traditional thing for me when I get Lynsey's presents. I get her six presents then put them in the order to be opened with the letters of her name. I hope she likes them.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Le Weekend

Friday night I started designing JJ's mittens. He wants a pair exactly like mine, and flippantly I agreed. That was last winter. Now, every time I see him he asks how I'm getting on with them, so I thought I'd better get started! Knitting them will be simple, but I've never designed anything before and getting the scale right is proving challenging. Luckily I was good at maths at school.
I've been on all poultry duty this weekend. They are such a funny bunch. First I let out and fed the shared eight hens, then I did Turkey and her little friends. I was sure the chicks were growing by the second! At one point I couldn't find the chicks when I went to check on them. I looked everywhere, in all the hedges and was getting concerned when I found myself back at their shed and could hear them tweeting. They'd gone into a little pen surrounded by wire mesh and couldn't get out (or maybe the were pretending but they were in there a long time), so I coaxed them out with food. At breakfast time the different gangs all swapped food: Turkey was eating the chick food so the chicks started eating Turkey's pig food as well as the layer pellets. Then the eight shared hens turned up and they all wanted to eat the chick food too.

The photo above is Henrietta at our kitchen window. I could hear a scuffling sound coming from the kitchen and this was the cause of it.

I've had a good weekend, but I'm looking forward to next weekend even more. I have four days off and I'm planning to mostly go nowhere and catch up on home stuff. 


Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Mystery of the Missing Eggs - Part II

We knew our hens must be laying elsewhere when our egg count dropped from 7 per day to 3 or 4 or 5 per day. And yesterday Detective Inspector McCulloch caught Malcolm in the act and found three separate cashes of eggs, resulting in the above crop! We think Malcolm herself has recently started laying. What a great find! They were all underneath some very private bushes.
I took the above photo on my morning walk. I love the wooded area near where I live, beside the pigs. It's quiet and serene and choc-full of nature.

Hagos is home today for 16 hours. I took the day off to be with him. He and Meg are in bed, catching up on sleep :) 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Wondrous Eggs

I never tire of looking at the colour and variation of the eggs our hens produce. Big and crinkly, small and geometrically perfect, white and pointy, brown with a speckled bottom. 

When I collect the eggs I feel as though I'm collecting precious jewels. And even though each day's eggs are comparable to the day before's I still marvel at them all.   

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

This is love

Me and Meg having an afternoon Saturday sleep.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

New Sock on the Block

I can't stop knitting socks. This is 4 ply alpaca.
We harvested the rest of our potatoes last weekend and now they're stored for autumn / winter.
Busy, busy days. I'm looking forward to some days off between now and Christmas.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vegetables and Socks

Our potatoes and (I think) onions have done well this year. But our garlic, courgettes, tomatoes, beans (non-existent!) and strawberries haven't! The courgette above is our first, and in addition to those three tomatoes we got another two earlier, as well as three strawberries!
I'm planning to dig up the rest of the onions, garlic and the last of the potatoes tomorrow.
I bought the gorgeous wool above from the K1 knitting shop near my work today. That shop really is too close. When I have a tough day at work I go there to cheer myself up; and when I have a good day at work I go there too! I particularly like the alpaca (the pink wool) 4 ply. I've knitted the yellow socks below with it, and my white vest (unfinished). I've been strangely drawn to pink recently. Not garish, bright pink, but antique/dusty pink. I almost bought some pink Tweed 4 ply from John Lewis yesterday (also rather close to where I work) but couldn't decide what other colour to put it with. I'm really enjoying knitting socks right now (they're good for when Meg is on my lap).
My finished winter socks :)
And my almost finished pair of socks made from leftover wool.

And tomorrow it's SATURDAY! My favourite day :)

Friday, September 07, 2012

The Pigs

I've fallen totally, utterly, and completely in love with my neighbours' pigs.
In particular, with this one, who uses my body as a scratching post (my clothes are covered in mud and spit when she's finished) then lies her head on my foot while I scratch and massage her. She is adorable.
Her three siblings are lovely too, 
I know I shouldn't get attached but I have such an urge to get in amongst them and roll around and cuddle them. I must've been a little pig in a previous life. 

The hens often walk under the electric fence and go into the enclosure too. They all seem very happy together. 

The pigs are incredibly playful and boisterous and funny. I love them. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Margarita Friday, and Plum/Greengage and Apple Jam

THIS! is how Friday evening began, with pre-mixed Margarita from Sainsburys. It was SO good and just exactly what I wanted.
On Sunday we went to visit Hagos's mum, Bette. I got up early in the morning and made my annual Plum and Apple Jam, and I also made Greengage and Apple Jam. The Plum and Apple Jam turned out very well. I've still to test the Greengage and Apple Jam but I have a slight suspicion it 'went over' before I potted it, meaning it will be glue-like rather than jam-like in consistency. We'll see. I hope it's okay. 
I got five jars of each. I mainly make it for my friend, Lynsey, for her birthday as she likes it so much.
And this morning I found my first Scottish-grown tomatoes, which had fallen from their plants. Only two, and it doesn't look like we'll get many more. I have surprising courgettes coming through though.

September is looking like a very busy month for us between home and work life. I'm looking forward to settling into Autumn in October and closing the door early and cosying up beside the fire to watch Strictly Come Dancing (which begins in two weeks' time), Lilyhammer (a Norwegian/American collaboration starring Steve Van Zandt - Silvio from The Sopranos, which starts on BBC4 on 11th Sept), the third series of The Killing (gotta love those jumpers) and the second series of Borgen, and The Great British Bake Off continues too. I do like Autumn TV.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


My green Ribbon Twist jumper became such a staple of my winter wardrobe, that I was quite keen to knit another one (as the green one is now much-washed and much-worn and has felted a bit). Unfortunately the yarn is discontinued (or maybe fortunately as it was between £7-8 a ball). But I discovered that Cucumberpatch were offering the yarn at a discounted price, the only drawback being that they only had white with pink and blue ribbon, or beige. The white part is fine, but the pink and blue ribbon isn't so great. Anyway, it was only £2 a ball, so I get a new winter jumper for £16 including postage! Hagos suggested I dye the wool, and I plan to look for a deep blue dye. 

It knits up so quickly, I did this in one evening, almost the entire back! Quite fun after knitting so much 4 ply.
Though I do love knitting 4 ply. It's so comforting. This is my first finished yellow and yellow stripy sock.
And today I pulled up my First Earlies - Casablanca! I only bought Casablancas because of the name. Hagos and I love the film. I got a good crop, and most of them are now stored with the rest of my main crops.

Storing potatoes is a new thing for me. I usually just leave them in their tubs until I need them for each meal, but we have more this year as we grew them in raised beds. Plus, my main crop got blight, so I wanted to make sure they weren't left rotting in the ground. I laid them out to dry in the sun for a couple of hours, then brushed them all down before putting into hessian sacks. I so hope they keep as it would make a difference to my growing and planning for the future.