Grumpy old woman?

I’m not a reader of magazines. The only time I succumb to their glossiness is at this time of year for Christmas ideas; food, gifts and decorations. Well, no more! There’s not an original idea out there. I’m sick of reading about how to achieve the ‘Perfect Christmas’ when we eat our ‘Perfect Turkey’, ‘Perfect Roast potatoes’ and of course our ‘Perfect Brussels Sprouts’, all whilst admiring the ‘Perfect Bloody Table Settings’! It’s the same every year with a tweak here and there. Should we cook the sprouts with bacon or chorizo? What’s the ‘in’ colour this year? To be fair, one magazine did suggest some alternative, continental festive dishes but seriously, would Swedish meatballs push your boat out on that once-a-year day? And as for the gifts, most of them are perfectly useless/frivolous, EXPENSIVE suggestions which will undoubtably end up in the dark recesses of some cupboard. So, after disposing of my glossy collection in the re-cycle bin, I decided that I would work with what I’ve got and turn to Mother Nature for help. Yesterday, whilst walking in the re-planted forest on the other side of the river, I spied a fallen larch …

Fallen Larch

Today has been a grey but pleasant day, so I fixed the basket to my bike and headed down the glen to re-visit the tree and gather me some wonderful lichen-covered larch branches complete with lots of cones. I haven’t decided what to do with them yet but hey, it’s a start and I won’t be consulting any magazines!

Bike and larch

Still on a seasonal theme, I spent yesterday afternoon making Christmas cards and today I’ve completed another gift, this one for the neighbours who take care of the place whenever we go away. Maybe this is also a gift which will end up in the dark recesses of some cupboard but all it’s taken is some ink, watercolour and my time.

Fingal and Idrigill

plucking Kevin’s been busy too these past few days but not in a particularly festive way. He’s been dispatching our chickens and can probably pluck one in his sleep by now! This evening, we’re having our first, home-grown chicken of the year for dinner! Better late than never!



As for other Garybuie residents, it’s been a peaceful day of leisurely Sunday activities. Some feeding, some preening, some socializing, some swimming and for the hens, a wee bit of mixed-bathing in the winter spa…

mixed bathing


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14 Responses to “Grumpy old woman?”

  1. Diane Fairhall Says:

    Oh, I do so much agree with you about the Perfect Bloody Christmas! I guess that makes me a Grumpy Old Woman too, but I don’t care! Too much fuss and hype for what is just another day of the year and which a lot of families will not be able to afford in these hard times.

    I don’t think your portrait of the cats will end up at the back of a cupboard – it certainly wouldn’t in this house. πŸ˜‰

    • garybuie01 Says:

      I enjoy Christmas and love to cook for family and/or friends. I also like to make the place look nice for visitors but I DO object to magazines regurgitating the same stuff year on year at 4 quid a throw!!

  2. Diane Fairhall Says:

    Love your bike by the way – I’m a sucker for pink!

  3. Lynda Says:

    We have been off the Christmas Hoopla for many years now. This is the first one in, quite honestly, over 25 years that we are going to have a tree. Why? Because I can go and cut one down on our farmlet this year. That’s why! πŸ˜‰ Free is very good!

    I need to get round to Garybuie more often. I always enjoy my time with you. πŸ™‚ Oh, and I can’t wait to see what you do with the centerpiece!

  4. garybuie01 Says:

    Oh dear, I feel under pressure to make the ‘Perfect Centrepiece’ now!! Enjoy your tree!

  5. mandala56 Says:

    I just went through a new magazine myself that had absolutely nothing of any value in it for either decorations or recipes. Fortunately, I need neither one! All my decorations are either family related, from friends/penpals, or are my own home-made ornaments. We try to make our favorite once-a-year dishes. As I get older, I cling to the familiar. But I do love seeing what people do in the British Isles… just love the customs there and seeing the creativity of people in other countries. Not that I can duplicate it. Just love it, is all. So yes, we do want to see the centerpiece! I just love that photo with the phone booth and bicycle.

    • garybuie01 Says:

      This year our local library has just introduced a new scheme whereby members can download a selection of magazines for free!! Great, I thought, I’d already bought one magazine which I wasn’t overwhelmed by, but here was the potential for loads of new ideas! Ha! Like you I tend to pull out all my existing ‘stuff’ (not as clever as you with the homemade things though!), it’s just that occasionally I fancy a change, especially when the weather’s like it is at the moment – dark, wet and thoroughly miserable! As for the food side of things, it’s usually the vegetables where I look for new twists as the meat is what we have here at Garybuie and the less fussy with that the better. Actually, this year we’re reverting to turkey which we haven’t had since moving to Skye over 10 years ago. We have a good butchers in the village now though, so I thought we’d give him a try, especially as our chicken production has been so dismal this year. There’s always our own duck or ham for the New Year!
      Of course I’m now extremely stressed about the centrepiece. Did you see the film ‘Calendar Girls’? Maybe I’ll crack under the pressure and buy one from Marks and Spencer like the lass in that film, ha, ha!!!

      • mandala56 Says:

        I need to watch that movie again! We also have the online magazines now, but there aren’t any I want. In fact, my favorite magazine of all is Country Living the British Edition πŸ™‚
        My daughter started roasting vegetables for family dinners and we all love them. This year we had home-grown candied carrots and roasted brussels sprouts.

      • garybuie01 Says:

        Country Living is my favourite too but it was that particular piece of glossiness which lit the touch-paper of my outburst and it was all downhill from there!!! Your veg sound delicious, we like them roasted also.

  6. Helen Says:

    Just found your blog! Loved your beautiful place at Garybuie. Come and cook for us this Christmas – it’ll only take you 24 hours to get here and it’ll be summer! My three girls will be with us which will be lovely (you know Elisabeth) but I’m faced with a cooking challenge.Maybe we’ll go to the beach.

    • garybuie01 Says:

      Hi Helen!
      I must say that the beach sounds very appealing, it’s 3 degrees modified somewhat by a fierce wind straight from the arctic! What kind of things DO you have for Christmas dinner? Roast turkey and all the trimmings seems a bit heavy for your part of the world. I’m glad you’ve found me as it’s reminded me to re-visit your website. I popped in earlier in the year but you hadn’t uploaded your Scottish photos yet. Anyway, you have three girls coming for Christmas so I’m sure that they will help with the challenge!

      • Helen Says:

        No I’ve been very lax with the photos. I do have some lovely ones of Skye and MUST get to them and put them up! Oh yes – we have the turkey and the pudding! It gets rather warm in the kitchen and we have to put the air conditioner on πŸ™‚ We also have things like prawns and salmon and salad and ice cream. It was over 30 here today in the sub tropics – our summer is hot, humid and it rains a lot. How are the cats? Lis loves her painting.

      • garybuie01 Says:

        Sorry I didn’t get back to you yesterday Helen but I turned into one of those days when it’s two steps forward, one step back! Turkey AND pudding huh? I think I’d probably melt! Today the temperature has dropped to -3 but last night we had an awful storm, winds of 102mph on parts of Skye and we lost part of our conservatory roof! Kevin & I were out with hammer and nails at 4 a.m.!
        Just had an email from Elisabeth too and heard about her new job. She must have liked her painting as she now wants separate ones of each cat. She certainly likes to give me a challenge!!!


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