Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One hour project

Quite a contrast to the snowy winter that we were experiencing this time last year! When exactly is it all going to fall? Every so often we receive a beautiful dusting, a few inches of white diamonds to cover all the dismal brown to remind us that we are in the depths of winter but other than that who would know? This mild turn of climatic events suits us down to the ground since the tractor is still in pieces and our truck is no longer road worthy, so to prevent us from being totally farm-bound, we are on the hunt for a much needed new (to us) vehicle. Faced with icy roads, we know the limitations of the camper van so choosing to stay at home and plough through the paper work has never been harder to avoid. We struggled through a 2 week detox (free of booze and chocolate) which is now over, so we can binge again and with all this time indoors I think that Jamie has actually completed the tax return. To ensure that we are keeping our creative juices flowing and not throwing away the winter idly watching dvds and drinking whisky, we have risen to the challenge of the one hour project. This means we give ourselves one hour (a week) in which to complete a finished piece of art. Sunday was our first attempt, obviously my knitting and Jamie's whittling wouldn't be up to the task so we dug out all the pens and ink that we could find and gave it a go - scanned pictures follow - hope this encourages everyone to give it a go. Meanwhile it's back to the seed catalogues and the warmth of the stove.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Best of British

When the offer of spending the Christmas period with friends and family came up, we could hardly resist, what an excellent opportunity to totally overindulge ourselves with everything and everyone that we miss from the UK! So after slaughtering any remaining birds, winterising the house and depositing dogs safely with good neighbours, off we flew. My parents kindly eased us gently back into life in the motherland. First stop on Jamie's hit list was a good pint at an old fashioned local pub, think we managed that several times thanks to my dad. I was then incredibly happy to be reacquainted with our old dog who never quite made it out to Nova Scotia and incidentally now resides like a King with Jamie's ma. After lots of family fun and dog walks throughout the rolling countryside of the Scottish Borders we headed south again and got our fix of pretty market towns, medieval churches, Royal castles and of course nose-to-nose traffic at a stand still on the M25. Along with all the wine and cheese we could politely consume, I even managed to squeeze in a cream tea with real clotted cream, in fact, our only culinary regret is not consuming enough curry during our stay. It was a rare joy to loaf around London like a tourist rather than dash around cursing like a hardened commuter, we even mustered a little excitement for London's big date with the Olympics. Nothing seemed to have changed and we fitted in to step with old friends like we hadn't ever left. In fact, if we didn't have the battle scars to prove it, we could almost merrily fool ourselves into believing that this flower farm in Nova Scotia was all a figment of our imagination. However, after a wonderful break it's now back to reality and so far so good (cold but good). Thanks to the house elves the pipes didn't freeze, the van actually started, the dogs appear to have missed us and the snow hasn't properly begun to settle yet. Of course we are donning the long johns and trying to ignore the icicles on the inside of the window panes but dare I say it, a pretty good start to the year - hurray!