Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

A brief 2018 re-cap and looking forward…

January 17, 2019

I’ll begin by wishing you a belated Happy New Year and hoping that this won’t be the only post from Garybuie for 2019! This feels a bit deja vue-ish I have to admit, but I always start out with good intentions and then proceed to get swallowed up by major refurbishment projects, followed by increasingly busy B&B seasons. However, the D.I.Y issues were completed before Christmas this year, so I now have until the 1st April to re-charge my batteries, with a couple of time-saving plans thrown into the B&B mix!

2018 was another busy year in terms of visitors, April now being the only month when our three rooms aren’t filled pretty much every day. We also had a successful chicken breeding program, using both our incubator as well as the services of our ever helpful Silkies! Bruce was responsible for most of our season’s chicks, although in other respects he wasn’t the best of cockerels. He wasn’t great at getting his girls to bed so many of them tended to stay out partying well beyond bedtime, perching on top of bushes blethering and being completely uncooperative when we came to usher them coop-wards.



So, it was time to go online for eggs to incubate, this time Blue-Laced Wyandottes, with a view to rearing a more authoritative rooster! You can see our lacey youngsters below, perching with some pals.

Lord Lacey (A.K.A. Denis – more on that another day!) is now our resident cockerel, besides Wee Man of course, and so far his behaviour and crowd control are impeccable!

Probably the most time-consuming aspect of running the Bed and Breakfast is the laundry. Many of our guests are ferry passengers staying just one night before their sailing. Consequently, we calculated that laundry duties probably take an average of two hours per day, sometimes still pressing bed linen as the new day’s guests are arriving. We have a neighbour who runs a guest house/self-catering cottage and she sends her laundry out. She invited me to ‘piggy-back’ on her laundry service to see what we thought. What we thought was…WONDERFUL! The particular service didn’t cater for smaller B&Bs, but this year they are, so for this season I have my own contract with them – YIPEEEE! It’s amazing what a difference those couple of extra hours make. Not only is there more time to keep on top of outdoor chores, but it also means that we can occasionally get out for one of our three-hour-holidays, on the bike with some butties! And no matter what you may have read about crowds on Skye, there are still places where you won’t see a soul…

Another very special outing was aboard Red Moon, a boat that can be chartered for sailings around Skye. We climbed aboard in 2017 for Kevin’s birthday treat and enjoyed it so much that we did it again last summer, the weather being so much better on that occasion. To be fair it’s not a three-hour-holiday as we needed to take a night off, when, after stepping on deck, we sailed and spent a night at anchor, enjoying wonderful views, food and company! Anyway, here’s just a brief glimpse of Red Moon, as really she deserves a post all of her own!

Late Spring and early summer saw some fabulous weather; dare I say that it was too hot sometimes? Yes, I dare! I’m not a hot-house plant by any means! We even had a Spanish guest who was complaining (lightheartedly!) that it was too hot and that all the travel books had advised to bring plenty of warm/waterproof clothing. Consequently, he didn’t have enough tee-shirts!

Needless to say, the minute school holidays started, and our family came to stay for a week, the weather changed and didn’t change back! At least our granddaughter, Holly, was happy to be dancing in the Rain!


And the kids could hide under the trees for their picnic!







But we still managed to get out and about, poking around in rock pools and finding fossils and dinosaur footprints!






And when the season was over, the big project this year was the installation, after a sixteen year wait (!), of a new kitchen! Like everything at Garybuie, stripping things back ALWAYS reveals some flaw or other. On this occasion, it was historical water damage to the floor. It was worrying to say the least when the joiner had to keep removing more and more of the flooring before he could make any progress!


Anyway, in then it was well worth the wait and I’m looking forward to cooking all those breakfasts when the new season begins!


And now that all the work is complete, there’s time to catch-up on other winter tasks…

…Dottie likes to supervise my paintings…

…Hamish likes to check on any parcel deliveries…

…and Patches is in charge of temperature control!

We headed south for Christmas, enjoying the company of our family and all the gifts from Santa…

…and in particular a special gift in the shape of Sean, our fourth grandchild, who arrived in early December! His brother, Patrick, seems quite happy with his arrival so far!

The Fairy Glen

July 11, 2016

We’ve just had a week off from a busy bed and breakfast season, enjoying instead a visit by our eldest son and his family. The weather wasn’t great but we got out every day, one of those days visiting the Fairy Glen.

Fairy Glen

Many of our visitors spend time in the Fairy Glen although none have managed to glimpse any fairies. The twins however….


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!


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!


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


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?!!




Gradual return to normality

September 22, 2015

We’re in the final couple of weeks of our B and B season and I’m looking forward to cooking the last breakfast I can tell you! It’s been another successful season and evening meals have proved to be more popular than we thought for the first year.
Out of the whole season, last week was probably the most hectic, on a social level at least. We started the proceedings with a flight south to celebrate Kevin’s mum’s 80th, grabbing the chance to see our grandchildren too.



The party was a great success, although I have no photographic evidence as I forgot completely about my camera whilst catching up with relatives who we’ve not seen in 20 years!
Garybuie was in safe hands during our two-day flying visit as our first WWOOFers stepped in to help. Lorenzo and Giulia from Italy learned their baby-sitting duties fast and did a great job. We spent more time with them on our return and they dug up our main crop potatoes (the haulms were dying back early this year) doing a thorough job of weeding the cleared plot while Kevin and I collected some bags of manure from new horsey neighbours in the glen. We then had another birthday to celebrate – Lorenzo’s. And just add to the excitement, my cousin phoned on his birthday morning to say that they were camping on Skye and en route to Garybuie! Anyway, the more the merrier for Lorenzo’s birthday dinner…

Lorenzo & Giulia


We all enjoyed some birthday cake and Lorenzo finished it off for breakfast!!! Cake for breakfast in Italy is quite normal apparently. I think I’ll stick to porridge!
Our young Italian friends left the following morning, slowly making their way home to university life. My cousin stayed a couple of days longer, helping us celebrate ANOTHER birthday – dad’s this time. They had an interesting wee run-around hidden in the back of their camper; a forty-year-old Honda 90cc bike. For some strange reason, Wallace and Grommet came to mind…

Julie & Geoff

Julie & Geoff

Good and bad things on our return

March 3, 2015

We managed to avoid any snow on our return journey north but for the last couple of days, we’ve awoken to varying amounts of the stuff. This morning big, fat flakes fell to earth and it looked as though they meant business but by the time I took a shot of The View this afternoon, the snow line had retreated to higher levels.

The View

It’s good to be back at Garybuie and even though it’s been a pretty action packed week with our grandchildren, Granddad Skye seemingly involved in most of the action…



… we feel as though our batteries are suitably re-charged for the start of our new season, just one month away.

There have been good and bad things to return to. Dad was most upset to find one of the hens dead whilst we were away. It was Nest Thief. At least Broody Brenda’s nest should be safe this year; I’d like to think that Brenda is much too nice a girl to have been involved in a murder! And just today, Kevin has had to dispatch one of the Guinea Gang who we noticed wasn’t well when we got home; slightly laboured breathing, loss of (dishevelled) plumage, sitting alone. I looked online for any hints as to what it could be but I’m none the wiser. Better to be safe than sorry, plus the fact that we don’t like to see any creature in obvious distress.

The good news however, is that Thelma and Louise have still got their two chicks. They finally ventured outside last week, although with the weather being so cold, they’ve returned indoors for most of the time. They are VERY careful mothers!


And look at this, here’s aunt BB in the foreground, sharing a mealworm treat!


In our years of raising chickens, never has a mother hen allowed any other hen near her chicks. The Silkies have a different attitude however; all just one, big happy family – including Wee Man!

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

Finally I’m ‘with camera’ so some random catch-up shots!

November 3, 2013

Bentham sunsetI’ve been re-united with my essential blogging tool. Between some serious downpours and a day in the kitchen yesterday preparing food for a neighbours’ get-together, I’ve managed to take some completely random catch-up shots! First in the camera were one or two (not very good) holiday shots. The one on the left was the sunset seen through the kitchen window and the next two are of wee Patrick – a chap who enjoys his food! The second one is blurred but it catches a ‘father and son’ moment! (sorry, soppy granny moment!)
Andy and Patrick
Pusscat has discovered his new favourite spot…
…and during our neighbourly ceilidh last night, he made it quite clear that there was a price to pay for sharing that spot! “Lots of attention or OFF the rug!”
Any and Pusscat



Now here’s a character I’ve wanted you to meet for quite some time.

This is BB, our wee black Silkie with eyes like polished jet

Just looking at the Silkies makes me smile!



BB is a bit of a loner, only spending time with the other Silkies at bedtime. She’s quite tolerant of the occasional cuddle and it feels more like stroking a rabbit than a bird. I think that she secretly prefers ducks – or maybe it’s just their tea-time treat that she likes! Lucky and Chance don’t seem to mind.

BB, Lucky, Chance

If you remember, the Silkies were hatched along with some of our own eggs: just look at the difference in size now between Bantam BB and a black pullet of the same age. Mind you, the black pullet does have genes from Big Fella which makes the difference all the more pronounced!

BB and friend

Speaking of Big Fella, he’s quite the happy chappie at the moment as we’ve opened the ‘Winter Spa for hens’ (polytunnel) recently and he’s pleased to hang around with the teenagers in there, hiding from the rain. Such a serious plumage is hard to keep in tip-top condition when it’s wet!

Big Fella in Spa

And finally, here’s a photo which Matt sent just this afternoon….’Ghost, Ghostbuster and Ghoul’!

Matt and twins

Home again, home again…

October 21, 2013

We arrived back at Garybuie yesterday after our family holiday in the Yorkshire Dales. Unfortunately, having a head full of feathers – too long living with chickens and ducks I guess – I managed to leave my camera in our youngest son’s car early on in the proceedings. He left as eldest son arrived so I’ve been camera-less for most of the week! Andy has now posted my essential bloggers’ tool back to Skye but until it arrives, wee Patrick remains locked inside, un-viewed! Fortunately, Matt took some pictures on his mobile phone – we can only talk on ours! – and emailed them to me so at least we have a few pictures of things to do with twins in the Yorkshire Dales!






A holiday – longer than 3 hours too!

October 9, 2013

There’s not much to report from Garybuie at the moment, things are just ticking along. My main occupation recently was to give the kitchen an end-of-season scrub from top to bottom. Lots of elbow-grease required but very satisfying. Where does that come from, elbow-grease? There was enough grease around, perhaps adding more from my elbows wasn’t such a good idea! Yoghurt and toast only next season I think! (Just kidding!) Anyway, the reason for my brief blog, (post-haste perhaps? dashing-board?), is that tomorrow we’re off on holiday so I thought I’d better let you know in case you worry where I’ve got to – Ha, ha!!! We’re going nowhere exotic, just south to the Yorkshire Dales (better than exotic in my book) where we’re meeting up with kids and grandkids!!! Dad, along with Mark & Gerlinde, our ever-obliging neighbours, are going to be in charge of the place. I hope that everyone behaves! Well, we can’t have a post without some pictures so here are three with the mixed-bunch of chicks as the subject.

I was just too late with the first one. It was a wet day and the Silkie was sheltering between the legs of the other chicken. It’s great to have a tall friend!

tall friend

The sleeping arrangements of the mixed-bunch. The straw on the right hand side is the Aylesbury ducklings’ bed. Unlike the chicks, the ducklings like to loiter outside like teenagers avoiding an early bedtime!

on the fence

The Silkies however, can’t get that high and prefer to cuddle together on the ground, just one big ball of fluff!

ball of fluff

Simple entertainment

June 7, 2013

We’re alone once more at Garybuie (apart from bed and breakfast guests of course) and we have some fond memories of our grandchildren enjoying simple things in the glen. The ducks and hens held great fascination and Jake in particular enjoyed stroking one of the ducklings, finding its bill something to giggle about! (Sorry, couldn’t hold the duck AND get a picture at the same time unfortunately!)
duck watching
For once we were grateful that the council hadn’t repaired the many holes in the road, this one, over a culvert, providing entertainment for quite some time…
hole filling
…and as for the wobbly wee tree well, apparently there are few things as funny!
wobbly tree

wobbly tree 2
But my favourite picture is of the twins enjoying the ‘rustic’ transport at Garybuie!

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