Wednesday, 31 October 2012

End of Season Holiday

After a busy summer season, Sue and I treated ourselves to a little holiday. We rented a cottage in Melvaig, just north of Gairloch - that's on the mainland a couple of hour's drive north from Skye. The landscape becomes more wild the further north you go, but there are some fantastic sandy beaches - and dogs love sandy beaches.... more pictures to follow very soon....

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Allotment News - Raspberries gone

The previous owner of the allotment planted about ten raspberry canes shortly before I began to garden the plot. I tried to look after the canes, but although they produced a few good size berries, they seemed to do it a few at a time, rather than producing a large crop all at once. Is that normal?

Anyway, when we bought the allotment  the previous owners said they didn't want the raspberries transplanted into their garden, so I left them untouched all this year.

Today, I decided it was time for action, so I have dug them all out. This was not an easy task - in the three years they have been growing there, they had produced dense roots which all tangled together and made pulling up each plant a case of digging all round it and pulling out bits as and when I could. Phew. Come the spring, I will discover just how much of the root I have left in the ground which has sufficient will to live that it sprouts into a new plant...

Friday, 12 October 2012

Allotment news

I might have had a bit of a disaster with the brassicas (though I think a couple of cabbages and some of the sprouts will still be OK). Then the runner beans suffered from a late spring frost and an early autumn one, so we didn't get a lot to eat from them, but the carrots have made a good size, and there's no sign of root fly, and the potatoes are excellent, if a little scabby, due to the dry summer, But after a light peeling, they cook really well. These are the First Earlies which should eat as 'new' - the Second Earlies are actually better, but we'll get through them all eventually! The swedes are good too.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

I'm back home, now Sue's away!

No sooner do I get home from my trip to Devon and Hampshire, than Sue departs for a trip to Kent to visit her Mum and friends. *sigh* Here she is, giving Cupar a farewell snuggle this morning...

I took Sue down to the railway station at Kyle of Lochalsh this afternoon. She takes the scenic railway trip to Inverness, and then boards the overnight sleeper to London. It's a comfortable way to travel, and certainly costs a lot less than my two-day trips in the van. But of course, Sue can't bring back furniture, a cooker and a pile of shopping, as I did on my trip last week.

Here's the wee train at Kyle station, about to depart...

It has been another stunning autumn day here on Skye, so when I paused at the Co-op in Broadford on my drive back from Kyle to Roskhill, I walked to the end of the car park and took this view over the Old Pier and Broadford Bay. This has to be the most scenic supermarket car park in the UK...!

A little further down the road, I stopped again to catch this classic view of the Cuillin...

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

East, West, Skye's Best!

Here's the view over Loch Bracadale that greeted me as I drove across Skye back to Roskhill last night, on my way home from my trip to the South of England...

It was great to see family and friends, but it's good to be home!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Now I'm in Southampton....

.... actually, not quite. I am in Hedge End, which is just east of the city. I'm here to visit long-time friends Sara and Rod. Today, the weather was beautiful, so we had a very pleasant walk in nearby Farley Mount Country Park near Winchester...

The park is home to a hilltop monument to mark the burial place of a racehorse named 'Beware Chalk Pit'

The walk ended conveniently close to Hursley, where the excellent Kings Head provided us with a pub lunch which we enjoyed sitting in the sunny garden. 

The pub serves several real ales - I tried the Doom Bar, while Sara had Squirrels Delight. Both were very palatable! Rod was driving, so stayed with Coke. Tomorrow lunchtime, I set off back to Skye, with an overnight stop booked at a country B&B near Preston.

Monday, 1 October 2012

I'm in Torquay...

...and just to prove it, here's three pictures I took this afternoon. It's not quite the same as the harbour at Portree...!!