Spring

April 9, 2016

Admittedly, THE VIEW today didn’t look particularly spring-like…

THE VIEW

…and even the few daffodils that we have, were bowing their heads in the rain.daffodil

Even so, it’s a new season and there are new lives at Garybuie. The first arrivals were six Cuckoo Maran chicks.

Maran chicks

Our laying hens are dwindling in numbers through natural wastage so we thought we’d get some new blood by buying some eggs online. We bought a dozen but struggled throughout the incubation with humidity levels. Whether that affected the hatch rate I don’t know, but the outcome was disappointing. It looks like three of them could be female. (Darker head colour in the Cuckoo Maran)

Over the last couple of days Thelma, the Silkie, hatched four Silkie chicks. These chicks are destined for a new home when they’ve grown; a birthday present for a young lassie.

Thelma and chicks

There are other birds awaiting their own spring arrivals, including BB and Louise who are in the same ‘maternity wing’ as Thelma!

L to R, Thelma, BB and Louise

L to R, Thelma, BB and Louise

Polly Blue-tail made her nest a bit too early I think as a particularly cold snap has seemingly thwarted her efforts, as she’s already a week overdue. Mrs Under-by however, began a week or so later, opting for the main coop this time rather than the Guineafowl house!

mrs under-by

And let’s not forget the other young lives at Garybuie, Hamish and Dottie, who are now discovering the great outdoors!

Hamish

Dottie

Always up to mischief, outdoors or in!

Hamish and Dottie

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Hamish and Dottie

March 6, 2016

Poor wee Dottie developed cystitis not long after her arrival at Garybuie resulting in her first visit to the vet. She is now fully recovered and apparently has been given new batteries along with her anti-biotics! She’s a blur; a whirling dervish. Hamish can’t keep up and won’t sleep without his sister but thankfully for him, even her batteries need recharging at some point! There’s so much to do, like trying to poke some life into the old fella…

Dottie

…checking out the wider world – from a safe spot of course…

Hamish

…helping with the planting of seedlings…

Hamish & Dottie

…and all the cleaning up afterwards.

Hamish and Dottie

Going…

Going

…going…

going (2)

…gone!

gone

New kids on the block

March 1, 2016

We’ve had several days of crisp, winter weather. Good to be alive weather.

the glen

So good in fact, that someone has decided that it’s time to start a family. Unfortunately, Thelma, the silkie, had been using that very duck-box to lay her eggs and wasn’t too pleased that Polly Blue-tail had taken over!

Polly and Thelma

On this particular occasion, Thelma ended up depositing her egg right there on the straw whereas the following day, she climbed into the box with Polly! Needless to say, she wasn’t well received and Kevin ended up playing referee, returning Thelma to her own house and locking her in for a while!

But the real news this week is the arrival of two new kids on the block! Hamish…

Hamish

…and Dottie.

Dottie

As the song says, “There maybe trouble ahead…”

And finally, ‘The man with the Diamond Drill Bit’ arrived, our marble wash stand top was successfully drilled and we now have a functional wash basin! (Kevin played plumber’s mate with his essential cold water spray!)

bathrooom

Uninvited guest

February 18, 2016

“Steady on! This is a well known MUSCOVY perch buster! Are you a Muscovy? No, didn’t think so, no self respecting Muscovy would sport a hat like yours!”

Muscovy & guinea

“Yeah, that’s it, DOWN is where you need to be heading – find your own perch!”

Muscovy & Guinea

It’s Gertrude’s fault!

February 16, 2016

Now I should have LOADS of pictures to show you after our trip south, enjoying a holiday with family at Centre Parcs in Penrith. The problem however, is that I neglected to pack my CAMERA! Can you believe it? I blame Gertrude, the storm that is. She swept across Skye the night before we travelled and in her rush, decided to uproot one of our large conifers out back. Uproot and leave reclining gracefully on the power cables! Fortunately, the power guys were on the ball arriving on the scene within the hour, calling in the tree-cutters, felling the tree, cutting it into logs and stacking them, clearing up loose debris and restoring power by mid afternoon! That’s what I call customer service! Anyway, in all the excitement, my camera was forgotten.
En route south, we stayed overnight in Falkirk and visited the Kelpies there. Of course no camera, so I’m relying on the Helix Park website to provide a photo of the breath-taking, 90 feet high sculpture. We could have stayed there all day, seeing how the appearance of the steel-clad beasts constantly changed in the shifting light. We will return!

Kelpies

As for Centre Parcs, we had a great time – mainly in the pool, where there were waves, rapids, slides and flumes galore! I’ll tell you something, Granny and Grandad Skye slept VERY well! The weather was kind too so the kiddies got lots of cycling in although poor Patrick was under the weather so couldn’t make the most of it. Here he seems to be using Jedi mind control to work the pedals, rather than his weary legs!

Patrick

Even the twins’ legs gave out eventually, needing a ride home at the end of a long day…

twins

Thankfully our daughter-in-law, Sarah, was more reliable than me in the photographic department!

On our return to Skye, the bathroom – yes, the saga continues – is almost complete. In the photos it looks complete but we still await a diamond bit and a plumber to return from holiday, cut the marble and plumb in the basin. ‘Smoked Trout’ is the paint colour. Who comes up with these names?!!

bathroom

bathroom

bathroom

Watery matters

January 26, 2016

What with rain, rain and yet more rain – both the vertical and horizontal varieties – there not much of The View to see! So, I let Puff provide a little interest in today’s shot.

Puff

There’s really not much to report at the moment. We’re down to just our permanent residents in the garden, so outdoor chores are down to a minimum. Of course this reduction in numbers does mean that we have a couple of well-stocked freezers!
It’s the time of year when we head south to visit family but no WWOOFERs this time, just our trusty neighbour, Gerlinde, and for the first time, morning duties will be carried out by a young neighbour, Elliot, on his way to school.

So, before we head off, I thought I’d show you how the VERY slow progression of our bathroom transformation is going!

bathroom

I’ve got everything crossed here in the hope of the plumber returning within the next couple of days! After the joiner completed his work last week, we still need the shower, towel rail and sink fitting.

At the moment, we have a Wash-Stand minus the all important wash part!

bathroom

The First Post of 2016

January 5, 2016

‘The View’ – plus two ducks!

Puff and Biggles and view

We’ve had a few welcome dry days and it feels like we’re walking on terra firma once more! No wind today either so feeling less raw. Constant wet weather has meant that collection of fallen leaves is much delayed this winter as they’re all stuck like glue to each other/the ground. Consequently, all of our pavde paths looked like this today…

leaves

…so it seemed like a good opportunity for a major belated sweep-up!

If there’s one thing I hate it’s food fads. There’s always something new that we should or shouldn’t eat and believe me, we encounter quite a few of them during the BandB season! Today however, I finally came across an article on ‘Yahoo Lifestyle’ which bodes well for our 2016 season:

P1020718 “LIFESTYLE”
Forget Broccoli – The Superfood Of 2016 Is Fry-Up Favourite BLACK PUDDING – by Andy Wells 05 January 2016…

‘One thing you wouldn’t expect when compiling your superfood diet now that January is here would be something you’d find on a fried breakfast.
However, this year you can include black pudding to your new year shopping list as experts reckon it is about to be extremely popular in 2016.
The divisive breakfast staple – traditionally made using pig blood and oatmeal – is actually full of protein, calcium and potassium.
It also enjoys the benefit of being nearly carb free and packed full of anaemia-preventing iron – something lacking in modern diets.
The addition of black pudding to the superfood list will be something of a shock to most, and Darren Beale from MuscleFood.com is just as surprised.
He said: “Some of the foods have been on the up for a while like avocado oil and maca root, but others like mushrooms and black pudding have been a total surprise to us.
“It’s great to have this new research available to find out the hidden qualities in food and we can’t wait to see how these new trends take off.”
The black pudding surge has already begun in earnest, with one Scottish butchers, famed for their blood sausages, already seeing sales soar.
Shona Macleod, managing director of Charles Macleod Butchers in Stornoway, told MailOnline: “The shop has just opened again.
“I opened the mail orders and we had about 40 black pudding mail orders to go out today.
“That’s is a lot for the first day open in January.”
Other superfoods set to be huge this year include seaweed, black beans and birch water.’

Birch water?!!

We always offer Stornoway Black Pudding – it’s delicious – but many times it evokes a wrinkling of the nose, so who knows, now that it’s firmly on the food fad list, we might not be able to keep up with demand! N.B. to all potential Garybuie guests, do NOT expect birch water – or maca root for that matter!

Sunset

Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2015

Needless to say that at this stage in the festive proceedings, I’m very busy and I’m sure that you must be too! So, just time to wish those of you who do get chance to visit Garybuie over the Christmas period a very merry Christmas (holiday) and good health and happiness for 2016. Check BB out in her festive get-up!!

Festive hen

The first frost

December 13, 2015

Finally we have a break in the wet and windy weather. We’ve had our first minus figures – albeit SMALL minus figures – these past couple of days and what a difference it makes. The ground has firmed up with a fairly hard frost and it’s much easier getting around the place; much nicer than slithering around in mud.
Polly Blue-tail and Mrs Under-by decided that a higher perch was the best way to prevent frosty feet!

musco-teers

“Hey Big Fella, what’s up with this water then?”

Big Fella

One thing’s for sure, everyone is keen to make the most of a high-energy snack of mealworms.

mealworm feast

Back in from the cold, the bathroom project is seemingly heading from bad to worse. There is however, a plumber on the near horizon! A joiner on the other hand is apparently an even rarer breed but never mind, I guess that half a bathroom will be better than none!

bathroom

A bathroom and a book!

November 20, 2015

Sunset at the end of the glen…

sunset

Things outdoors are moving quietly along in their winter’s way. There are still a lot of young birds around because of everything starting so late this year. Even so, Kevin gets on with his dispatching duties when times are right. It is lovely to have our own chicken (and ducks) in the freezer again!
Indoors however, is a different story. There’s the usual repair and replacement going on in the BandB rooms but our big excitement this winter is the imminent (hopefully!) installation of a new bathroom! Now I know that most of you wouldn’t put this high on your list of exciting things but we are easily pleased! When we bought Garybuie, we inherited delightful(!), eighty’s, dark blue bathroom suite and after thirteen years, I think that we’ve done enough retro! What do you think?

retro bathroom

I shall show you the new look!

Things have also been busy for me on the creative front. During the BandB season, two separate guests asked for pet portraits, which was quite a challenge at such a busy time! Since then, the same guests have asked for three new portraits between them which is was great!

There was Albi…

Albi

…then Solo…

Solo

…and soon to be completed, Max.

Max

Some of you may remember the strange incident back in 2012 when poor old Broody Brenda had her nest stolen! I thought that it would make a nice children’s story, so I wrote it and submitted it to various children’s book publishers. No luck there however, so after it sat around for a while and because we now have three young grandchildren of course, I decided to get it printed myself.

Book

So now I have a surplus of ‘Broody Brenda and the Nest thief’! I shall put them on sale for next year’s visitors but in the meantime, if any of you have a child or grandchild (3-5 yrs) who might like such a tale for themselves, then get in touch and I shall dispatch a copy tout suite! They cost £5.00 plus postage.


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