Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Down South

October 30, 2014

Somebody out there might be wondering why there have been no new posts on Garybuie’s blog recently. Well, we’re currently south of the border visiting family, checking up especially on how our grandchildren are growing.
Patrick has apparently grown this much…




The twins too are able to do so much more.



Holly and Jake

Holly and Jake


Back to the blog

July 9, 2014

Garybuie’s blog has taken a back seat for the past week as Kevin’s mum & aunt have been visiting. We all had a relaxing time together and the weather was fairly kind although it was breezy on and off with the odd shower thrown in for good measure. A tip for visiting Skye: Always wear layers, the top one being waterproof! Now although both ladies are Yorkshire lasses, ‘Calendar Girls’ they certainly weren’t – more like a ‘Pack-a-mac Pair’!

pack-a-mac pair

pack-a-mac pair

Of course nothing else around the place had the week off. Veggies and ducklings are a-growing at a great rate and today we had a lovely surprise when Nest Thief emerged from amidst the tall grass and wild flowers with seven chicks!

nest thief

Needless to say that everyone had to come and inspect the new arrivals!

visiting the newcomers

A jumbled week

April 12, 2014

tulipsThe horizontal rain has returned so no VIEW today. I haven’t the heart to show a non-view of the ridge again, so this is an indoor spring-like shot instead!
What a week! Last Sunday, we were expecting our first guests of the season; four guys who made their reservation back in December. What we didn’t expect were four guys on motorbikes, one of them being Kevin’s uncle who we’ve not seen for about twenty-five years! So our Bed and Breakfast involved dinner too on Sunday, but only after Kevin got to go out and drive around the island with the surprise guests. They got drenched!



Recovery after late-night socialising was difficult as we’ve had guests for most of the week. It’s so difficult to get back into the breakfast routines after a six-month break but I’m sure that we’ll regain the hang of it soon! After our surprise start to the season, the whole week seems to have been a catalogue of unexpected (some unwanted) events. The first one was when I decided to finally use the compost from the wormery. I’d planned to use it in the polytunnel but my plans were soon dashed when we removed the top few inches containing the worms to discover that the ‘compost’ appeared to consist mainly of un-composted eggshells! It was impossible to separate the shells and we had to throw the whole lot into the outdoor compost heap, in the hope that creatures other than worms will be able to tackle them.

compost disaster

I guess that B and B quantities of eggshells are just to much to handle! So, this season a maximum of a dozen eggs, finely crushed, per week methinks!

Thanks to the return of wind and rain, problems with the conservatory added to the week’s jumble of events. One of our leaks had returned. Nothing major but undesirable none the less. Obviously with the idea of killing two birds with one stone, the conservatory chaps arrived the following day to fix the leak and to plaster where the old lead flashing had been removed. Of course we have had two weeks of fine, spring weather but no, how about plastering when the forecast was anything but spring-like! Hence, later that day, slithering plaster…

slithering plaster

slithering plaster

The glass of the roof is a special, self-clean, tinted kind. Water only, NO chemicals. And what came leeching out of the cement but the chemical anti-frost additives. So poor Kevin had to get onto the roof (in wind and rain) to GENTLY wipe off any staining, rinsing off with a watering can. It was suggested that we tuck old sheets under the flashing to protect the glass. Of course heavy planks of wood had to be added or the sheets would have no doubt ended up at the end of the glen! Lovely. Thankfully, we have no guests booked in over the weekend and hopefully the slithering plaster matter will be resolved. And the leak. Again.

There have been animal problems too. Kevin disposed of one of BB’s chicks today as it had developed splayed legs and couldn’t stand. The other three are doing just fine although BB hasn’t ventured outside with them so far. Who can blame her in this weather! Can you see wee Three Lives peeping out from under mum?

BB and chicks

No eggs are being laid in the wee box in the polytunnel coop and it’s easy to see why. The Musco-teers detected something not quite right…


That’s no hen!


Hamie has decided that it’s the perfect place convalesce! There has been some laying going on in the ‘over-by’ coop however, which we opened up for that very purpose. Both Broody Brenda and the Nest Thief, among others, are laying in there and I’m hoping that Brenda will sit first. That way, we can then reduce the size of the pop-hole so that the Nest Thief can’t fit!

And finally, here’s one for Matt and Sarah…

wee garden

Photos re-cycled after youngest son’s memory lapse

October 28, 2013

Still no camera. I mean to look at him, you wouldn’t think that anything was wrong…


…but I guess that zombie/fatherhood has addled Andy’s brain and he still hasn’t got around to posting my essential piece of blogging equipment back to Skye! He’s promised to post it today, well, actually he’s promised that Mary, his wife, will post it today. Unfortunately, she appears to have her own problems!


I know that he’s only 14 months old, but maybe wee Patrick was the one more suitable for the job! Anyway, for now, I have to rely on re-cycled photos to illustrate this post. Fortunately, life at Garybuie is a seasonal affair and many events are repeated on an annual basis so I do have a photographic record of such events.
It’s almost the end of October and although it’s a wee bit early, we appear to have halloween covered! A major October event at Garybuie is the waking of ‘The Beast’

The Beast

Now it’s only been a couple of days, but so far there’s been none of this…


…or this…

The experts

Fingers crossed!

double room Another seasonal occupation for me is carrying out any essential decorating. This year it’s the double B and B room’s turn for an update. New chairs, new curtains, new colour and new accessories. Obviously I can show you the ‘before’ but you’ll have to wait for the ‘after’. (Did you read that bit Andy?)






double room 2


On the animal front, nothing much has changed since before our holiday. The 4 Muscovy ducklings are coming up to 6 weeks old, whereas the mixed bunch of chicks and Breda’s threesome are 14 and 15 weeks old respectively. The Silkies are all pullets I think, which will be great for our 2014 incubation plans! They are such comical wee fluffballs but you’ll just have to take my word for that at the moment! (Won’t they Andy?!)

Introducing Maximus and Hercules

February 24, 2013

Well, there was a bit of a surprise when we woke up on Saturday morning…

snowy ridge

Where did our beautiful blue sky go? Oh well, it was still nice to get out for a walk and by the afternoon, the sky had returned to its preferred hue! At least I made some new friends on my snowy walk – it’s amazing the power a carrot has! Aren’t horses’ lips the most wonderful things?

Equine friends

As enjoyable as my walk was, it was good to get back with The Beast (Yup, there’s a truce at the moment!) and finish off my latest painting. I’ve called it “Companions enjoying the sunshine” and the subjects live here.


So now it’s time for another challenge. Meet Maximus and Hercules, A.K.A. Max and Les…



These two heroic-sounding cats belong to our son and daughter-in-law, Matt and Sarah, and I took these photos when we visited them (and the twins of course) in January. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get them to pose nicely together. So, challenge no.1 : I need to combine these two pictures to make a joint portrait. Challenge no. 2 :the scale of each cat isn’t the same and so they need to be matched up. Challenge no.3 : Dad gave me some money for my birthday recently and I treated myself to some good quality coloured pencils from Derwent. now it’s time to put them to the test!



I’ve used the grid technique for this painting, keeping Max’s grid proportions the same on the paper, but increasing Les’s grid proportions slightly on paper. The sketch looks OK but there are added problems to combining the two pictures; the backgrounds are completely different so need to be combined somehow and also, new shadows will be thrown by Les onto Max. So far I’ve enjoyed myself immensely and I’m looking forward to working in a different medium too. An extra plus point about all this sunny weather/approaching spring is that now the sun manages to clear the opposite hill earlier in the day and consequently, the conservatory has been transformed from an icebox into a very desirable place to be! Perfect for painting and a lovely view too…

artist's view

Anyway, so far, so good!

Max and Les

A holiday sandwich

October 13, 2012

We’ve arrived back at Garybuie after our short holiday down south. Travelling back in the car, it occurred to me that the holiday could be likened to a sandwich; scenic travelling and stop-overs providing the top and bottom ‘bread’ layers, with a delicious filling of grandchildren, children and extended family members, mixed with a complementary salad of local walks in the countryside.

We stayed a couple of miles away from where we used to live and although the volume of traffic, people and noise is still a shock to the system, the open countryside wasn’t far away. I think that maybe I’ll allow pictures to tell most of the story – in sandwich format of course!

The bottom slice of bread consisted of our route south, staying overnight in Pitlochry, famous for its salmon ladder (marked), which allows salmon returning to spawn to bypass the hydro-electric dam. No salmon at this time of year though! This particular slice of bread turned out to be thicker than expected as Kevin took a wrong turning and we ended up travelling over the Forth Bridge to Edinburgh!

The accompanying salad…




The all important filling, consisting of the irresistably tender…

…and something with a bit more zest perhaps?

And if we could possibly digest anymore, the sandwich was completed with a final slice of bread; a stop-over at Loch Long, north of Glasgow and some terrific scenery over Rannoch moor and Glencoe…


Heading south

October 3, 2012


We’re away south tomorrow to see that new grandson of ours – and to check in on those twinnies of course! Our neighbours, Mark and Gerlinde, will be once again be stepping in to look after the place for us as usual and thankfully all residents are behaving themselves at the moment! Before we go however, I thought I’d give you a brief update on the tree-felling situation.

The bulk of the back part of the forest has been felled now and sunlight can be seen coming throug the trunks of the riverside trees.


I doubt that I shall manage to post anything new while we’re away but who knows, I might suffer from one or two of those soppy granny moments and be unable to resist sharing! Hopefully, Patrick will like his painting, ‘Families’, when he’s old enough!

Sorry about the reflections from the glass – and Patches’ dusty paws!

Season’s end

October 2, 2012

The B and B season that is – and I don’t care who turns up at the gate, they’re NOT COMING IN!!!

The weather certainly isn’t the holiday variety that’s for sure. We had or first frost last week…

… and breakfast for our  guests has been a noisy affair on occasion, with sheets of rain  being hurled horizontally at the conservatory windows.  But as the weather fluctuates between heavy showers, gale force wind, dazzling sunshine or a silent mist, there’s always a view somewhere to make me stop and stare.

The good thing about these squally conditions  I suppose, is that  I’ve  had no excuse not to get on top of a few indoor tasks! We’ve had a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes in the conservatory this year and because the plants were looking particularly bedraggled, we picked the remaining fruits, putting some aside for ripening and roasting the majority to make tomato sauce. The chillies, on the other hand, haven’t done well at all. Hey ho, I don’t use an awful lot of them anyway so I just pickled the few which we did have.




I’ve also been grateful for the changeable weather as it has given me the opportunity to do a painting for our newest grandson, Patrick, who we will be travelling south to visit soon!

Look what we’ve got!

September 1, 2012

Yesterday, our youngest son and daughter-in-law presented us with our third grandchild, Patrick. He weighed in at seven and a half pounds, even though he was a couple of weeks early. Thank you Andy and Mary.

Return to the north

March 21, 2012

On Monday, we returned north after our visit south of the border. Now that I’m home and armed with the necessary equipment to download photos, I can give you a recap of our wee holiday. The weather for our journey south was abysmal, with mist and mizzle obscuring all the views, so sharing the grandeur of the highlands with you was not an option. Just to make us feel welcome on our return however, the weather was pretty much the same, although mean and moody had replaced featureless grey. Atmospheric is the term I like to use!

Heading to Lancashire,  from where we originated, meant a huge change in scenery; gently rolling moorland rather than the rugged beauty of the Highlands. For most of our break we stayed in a self-catering cottage at Cronkshaw Fold Farm on the West Pennine Moors – the same place where we stayed before Andy and Mary’s wedding a couple of years ago.

Of course the main reason for our trip was to see our twin grandchildren, Holly and Jake, for the first time. The new family spent some time with us on the farm and we visited them in their own home too, so lots of time for cuddles!




Matt and Sarah with their hands full!

Thankfully, the weather stayed dry all week so we managed to get out for a few walks with the new family, visiting some old haunts. It was a strange feeling covering the same ground as we did twenty-odd years ago when our own boys were small. Here are two pictures taken almost 29 years apart, with Matthew in the same spot but no doubt with vastly different thoughts going through his mind!

So all in all, we had a lovely time back in Lancashire with family, especially the two newest members! Thank goodness for Skype so that we can watch Holly and Jake grow until we meet them again.

A very happy Granny Skye!


P.S. This post has taken me two days to complete thanks to a VERY rude interuption by ‘The Beast’! More on that later!!!


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