So I'll be doing a separate post for each day, and changing the post time so they publish as if I've posted on the actual day rather than now, if that makes sense. This means they won't be at the top of the blog - the easiest way to look at them will be to click on something relevant in my label cloud on the right-hand side (the bit with all the random-ish words in) such as "Scotland" or "Islay". If you're using an RSS reader (all one of you) then I guess they'll just arrive as I post them.
This map might help if you're wondering where the photos were taken, or where the hell I'm talking about. If I can be arsed I'll put together my own map, showing the places that are relevant.
I've listed the birds I saw over the entire week, starting once we got to Kennacraig. As it's a week list, if I saw the same species on several different days I've only listed it the first time I saw it. Don't go thinking that I only saw one swallow or something on a particular day. Mammals similarly.
And in case you're wondering, my parents took care of Summer and Basil. Summer's caravanning with them in Wales as we speak - they went on Wednesday and won't be back for almost 2 more weeks. I miss her. My dad made sure Basil had plenty of food and water until we got back Saturday night. And Kay bunnysat Neo for me - a good time was had by both by the sounds of things!
So as usual, something I promised to do, I haven't done (i.e. posting photos of Scotland last year).
If I have chance tomorrow I'll see what I can do, but not promising anything as I'm expecting to be busy.
Saturday we're off to Islay again, because we liked it so much when we were there last year, and thought it was a shame that we only got to spend two days on the island.
So now we're having a week - well actually 6 days and 7 nights, because travelling there takes a whole day.
Here's a rough plan of the travel arrangements for Saturday.
7.00 Taxi to train station. 7.30 Train to York. 9.00 Train to Haymarket (Edinburgh). 12.00 Train to Glasgow. 13.30 Coach to Kennacraig. 18.00 Ferry to Port Ellen. 20.30 Pick up hire car at Port Ellen, drive to accommodation. 21.30 Arrive, decide whether or not we're too tired for a quick walk, and collapse.
Sounds a bit gruelling, but it'll be an adventure. The reason we're doing the public transport option is that Michael didn't fancy driving for 12 hours in one day. Can't say I blame him.
Islay's a beautiful place, full of wildlife and whiskey. Not that I care much for whiskey but the distillery we went to last year was very interesting.
I'm planning active stuff, walking and birdwatching and pony trekking and so on, along with some whiskey-related activities for Michael.
Only problem is I'll miss Summer, as she'll be camping with my parents. We're away a week, they don't come back until we've been home two weeks! What will I do without my dog for three weeks?
Anyway, still have loads to do so I'd best be off. Wish us good weather and lots of interesting animals!
Peas, the first few little French beans, Charlotte potatoes, beetroot, and carrots. Plus some lavender and mint.
We had salmon fillets pan fried with lavender and a little lime zest (worked well), boiled potatoes with mint and butter, and gently boiled beans, peas and carrots. Lovely fresh summer flavours.
In the process of harvesting I discovered more of Summer's weirdness.
Picture me with a wooden bowl which I'm filling with peas. I worry when I'm pulling the pods off that I'll pull off half the plant with the pod so I pick two-handed, one hand supporting the stems. I put the bowl on the floor.
So I'm reaching though the trellis (which is there so I can train the pumpkins and buttercup squash up it - didn't really think it through) to grab the peas. And the bloody dog's putting her nose into the bowl of peas and grabbing some and eating them with obvious enjoyment.
I mean, raw peas! And while I was shelling them she was sitting by me looking expectant, so I let her have a few empty pods. Typical bloody Labrador. She likes raw broccoli and carrots too.
We have an orchid in the orchard. Not on purpose, it just turned up there, looks very pretty. Michael has pics of it which I'll have to steal from him. And I saw a frog earlier, and we had a couple of nuthatches the other day (along with 20 or so regular bird species). And there are loads of common red soldier beetles which I've never seen before (they like to eat aphids and other small insects so they are good guys). Guess my somewhat laissez-faire attitude to weeding is paying off for the wildlife.
Bah. I suck at this regular updatey thing. So bullet points, here we go.
* I've fallen into bad sleep habits - staying up til 4am then sleeping til 1pm. Doesn't agree with me, and I need to get back into a sensible routine. * Garden is good. Pictures will come soon, hopefully. * Michael's been less good. He's had a stomach virus since Sunday morning and still isn't feeling right. I'm feeding him bland foods and making him drink lots of water. * We're off to Islay the weekend after next, for a week. Yay! Islay is beautiful. More details on that to follow. * Mario Kart Wii is taking up way too much of my time. Anyone else have it and want to add me as a friend? * I've just sourced loads of books I've wanted for ages on Green Metropolis, which is an awesome site where you can buy and sell second-hand books. Everything's £3.75 plus varying postage (standard paperbacks are free postage), with 5p from each sale going to the Woodland Trust to plant trees. Great idea, plus they have books I want! * I'm hungry. Pasta, I think.