Sunday, July 15, 2018

 Last week, the evening view from Heron's Flight front garden.......

It is July 15th and a calm, rather dull morning - quite a contrast from the earlier gales and then wonderful HOT SUNNY weather  - the latter did us all such a lot of good - but the gardens will be suffering for a long time!
The  lawns are burned and no amount of spraying has done much good so far....
The vine, in the greenhouse, was burned and, while the lower leaves are unaffected, the uppers, shielding the new bunches of grapes are no longer there - so I think there will be few grapes later this year.
The hedges, in contrast to the grass, with their deeper roots, have grown twice as quickly - not good! 
However, we all blossomed!! 
Duncan and I have enjoyed the visits from old and new friends, the most recent John Townend, who fitted Heron's Flight in to a tour of the outer Hebrides and all the golf matches in the south and east of Scotland!

The new village play park, just one hundred yards from here, is being very well used and it is lovely to hear the happy children's excited cries - the first play park Plockton has had and a great contrast to the one "swing" when John and Moira were growing up!  Well done to the little band of determined Dads!

The yacht race took place yesterday - a trial outside Regatta fortnight, to entice more yachts to enter - its normal date is a fortnight on, when the small boats sail too and the bay can be very "cluttered", with many visiting yachts at anchor too - making yacht racing a challenge.  We shall see if the Commodore and Committee think it worked....     It was exciting to see the start and finish from the front garden.

Moira and the children will be coming in two weeks, for the second week of regatta, when many people who work elsewhere, come home and meet up, enjoy the sailing and ensuing gatherings.  I hope that Daniel or/and Sean may come and sail before then too.  Catriona is again looking forward to meeting a childhood friend, Heather, who holidays here at regatta time, from the far east.

Duncan is having a lovely life with his little legs getting shorter??  certainly more muscled!!  as he is being walked daily by the Sharp family and sometimes other friends.  Each evening he listens if can hear the gate being opened and I am aware someone is coming long before they get to the door!  
Our friends the Sweenie family are also here on holiday - they have the Craft house, newly renovated and gorgeous, close to here, and Duncan often goes walks with them and their four month Collie puppy, Cooper.

When Moira arrives, she will have her two dogs as well.  It is always a lovely time for me!

I hope your summer is a good and happy as here!   Are you travelling around?  If you are in the north west of Scotland, please look for the signpost to Plockton and come down into the village!

Best wishes

Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14, 2018

We are recovering from a very stormy night! Today has been blustery and quite wet at times – winds are abating and the 65 – 70mph gusts are just bad memories! I had put my car well up the drive as part of a high trellis was threatening to fall into the drive – it has not happened yet, but does need a bit of attention, when the weather does calms down.
My car, this morning, was covered in leaves and tiny broken branches from the big silver birch near the hay rake – no damage at all......

Today my guests and I have spent quite a lot of time in the porch, watching the yachts in the bay – most were here overnight and all but one had a good anchor. The one moved a long way in the night, luckily not bumping into another boat, or the shore in front of Heron's Flight! It is a good spectator sport!!

Duncan is a lucky wee dog! A family living quite close usually have an evening walk and he is often included! Rowan, their daughter takes lovely photos and I see them – Duncan exploring the salty water, Duncan running among the long grass which is full of flowers – I'll add a couple at the bottom of this letter......  Now, I do not know how to transfer photos from email to here, so I'll send something else till I learn!!!
Here is Duncan in his preferred "bed"  - Catriona's size 6.5 shoe box!
Duncan in front of the poppy bed, as they emerged.  Not one left standing after the gale of last night.....

We have had the best three weeks of weather I can remember, till last night. Temperatures were daily in the mid /high 20'Cs and nights were very warm too. We fear, now the Jet Stream has moved, that all is back to normal!! But the midges have really not been a nuisance, which is a bonus.
Plockton is very busy now and will remain so till October probably. The sailing season has begun and there are races weekly. The children have instruction each Tuesday evening and it is lovely to see the Topper fleet on the water!

I am as busy as I'd like to be, with friends returning and new guests arriving. Malcolm and Denise Bain leave tomorrow, after a lovely visit. It is so good to see them again! Safe journey home.....

It'll soon be the Scottish school summer holidays and I hope some of the Edinburgh family will be coming. Just at present, Catriona, who left school at the end of her 6th year, is in Majorca with eleven of her long-time school friends. She will be heading to Uni in the Autumn.......

Are you travelling far on holiday this year? I hope you enjoy every minute of it! Are you coming to the North West of Scotland? Perhaps you'll come into Plockton.... If so, pop in and say hello!

Best wishes, Ann

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15th 2018

Duncan and I have been home since the end of April and are now settled back in Heron's Flight, meeting new guests and welcoming
old friends. Today and tomorrow we have four young French visitors – charming, thoughtful and fun! All four have supped their way through my porridge and declared it good!!!

Ten days ago the Hills returned – then I knew my summer had begun! Denise and Dave were married last August on Calum's “Sula Mhor “ pleasure boat........Last week the Houghs and Mitchells were here – it was a great pleasure to see them all again – and to provide, on the whole, very good walking weather!!

Duncan, my wee three year old Shih Tzu, is settling down quite well. He still usually insists on barking when someone unknown comes down the drive – tail wagging all the time. However, I think it is becoming less - wishful thinking, perhaps?? I shall continue working on it!
He has made new friends who come down and take him a walk some evenings – he waits in the drive, hopefully..... The Sharp family do not have a dog and, though daughter Rowan really prefers to be around horses, she is very good with diminutive Duncan! So when they call down to the house for him, Duncan is beside himself with delight!!
During the day, Duncan follows me around, in and out of the house – when he hears me picking up the car keys – great excitement! He is a good wee companion.......
He is also not at all greedy – a complete contrast to little Ruah!  
How I miss her.......

After tomorrow I have a few days with no visitors and I hope the garden may benefit!! My neighbour Teresa Peach is practically settled in her new house and I await the arrival of my new neighbours. Another neighbour, Marie Campbell at the top of my drive, will hopefully come home after nearly a year in hospital, after a severe stroke. Her husband Ruari has had the house adapted and it's now ready for Marie. I am so very pleased about that!

Will you be travelling this way later on? If so, perhaps you'll call in and say hello, or stay a few days? We'd like that!

Best wishes, Ann

Here is Duncan in his chosen "basket" in front of the Rayburn, in the kitchen.  The basket is my grand daughter Catriona's shoe box - size 6.5!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Thursday April 19th 2018

Some of you will know that my winter has been spent mostly in Edinburgh with the Family. We all did go to Plockton at New Year, where our friends the Sweenie Family, from Inverness, joined us. That will have likely been the last joint holiday, as the Sweenies bought the Craft House, in the village, and it soon will be completely renovated – lovely!! It is only one hundred yards from Heron's Flight, so we shall be back and fore often....

In my absence, the pier house, Tigh an Fhaing, was put on the market, by my neighbour of over 40 years, Teresa Peach. She has bought a lovely, property at the Frithard end of the village - just what she wanted for Malinky the Labradoodle and herself! I heard today Tigh an Fhaing is sold. So I'll have to walk a good bit further than of old – to the joint hedge – to talk to Teresa! I look forward to meeting my new neighbours who will take over the property in early June.

Next Wednesday, Duncan the Shih Tzu and I travel back to Plockton. It will be a sad journey and homecoming – my first in over ten years without Ruah..... Some of you already know that she was put to sleep six weeks ago, in Edinburgh, having not been really well for quite a time.

Guests arrive on Saturday, 28th April. Two couples from Belgium and I look forward to welcoming them to Heron's Flight! Thereafter I shall have quite a busy time! Several guests are coming back again, which is especially lovely!!

I shall miss having the family around and being able to take part in celebrations such as Catriona's eighteenth birthday, last Sunday. It was a very special day from start to finish.
I shall miss Daniel's thirteenth birthday, on April 27th...
But home beckons.......

Will you be travelling this summer? Are you by any chance coming near the north west coast of Scotland? If so, perhaps you will come into Plockton and see my village and where I live....


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

It is March 7th, 2018

I am still n Edinburgh.  This is really just as well as, when we arrived in mid-December, Ruah had been unwell and spent the night before we travelled on a drip in the Broadford vet's clinic.

Over the weeks the vets here, very near where Moira lives,  tested, re-tested, got samples, tested  again and were very unsure as to what exactly was going on.  She had left home with a very high kidney count so was on antibiotics which seemed to be doing the trick...

At the weekend Ruah became very ill and she was overnight in the animal hospital, on a drip, then we transferred her to the local vet, to finish that and have yet another blood test.  She was very poorly obviously and after the blood test showed no improvement, we decided that Ruah had had enough - her eyes were telling us that too......

All of our friends who knew and loved Ruah as much as I did, for more than ten happy years, will be sorry to hear my news.  She was a very special companion, always happy, never angry, never far from me - yes, and always greedy!

Duncan is lost without Ruah.  He is following me just as she did and eventually he will realise his friend is not coming back..  As I will......


Monday, January 22, 2018

It is catching up day!


We had a lovely, just as usual,  New Year in Plockton, having come up from Christmas in Edinburgh.  Sam was working in the Royal Hospital and Catriona had a new year party  to organise for her friends, so we, Moira, Sean, Daniel, I and the four dogs travelled north in one car - yes, it was a tight fit!

Our friends, the Sweenie family, joined us for the few days -   Mum, Dad and three children.  We all went along to the bonfire on the island, with fireworks,  There was a big crowd there....  After, we wandered along the main street, first footing in friends' houses then back home with five tired children.....

The next two days were spent greeting "first footers" at Heron's Flight, visiting more friends  to wish them a Happy New Year and doing our level best to empty the two very full fridges!!

At noon on January 2nd we all abandoned Heron's Flight, our friends to Inverness and us down the road to Edinburgh - the adults were all working the next day.  I came back to Edinburgh for a spell too.

Last week was certainly the most wintry we have had!   Heavy snow  fell and then the roads and paths were treacherous.  Each day, before Moira and Catriona motored away, a long process of de-frosting was necessary.    However, this morning the road outside the house is black, leaving the garden still to thaw.

My laptop, just before Christmas, stopped working, with a sinister warning the only  thing on the screen.  It was not hacked, but a major fault.  Luckily I was in Edinburgh and Moira had thought to have an extended warranty on it - Sam gave me it two years ago  at Christmas.  So the shop from which it was bought took charge and, a week later, I got it back, for the cost of the external drive I bought to have all my programmes saved.  Too good to be true?  Well, the "new" laptop has some programmes on the desktop that I have never heard of and little else.   The email programme is not mine and I am a creature of habit!  So I am limping very carefully, along gradually finding my blog, for instance, and counting the days till I can get Andrew at home to come in and "mend" everything.  To me it is a mammoth task, but I'm sure Andrew will make light of it!

I am hoping to go north this weekend or next, the first if it has a good forecast,  As we literally walked out of Heron's Flight after New Year, there is a lot of tidying, cleaning and laundry to do.  I'd like to be back on the Tuesday evening, before dark.  Moira's three long days are Wednesday, Thursday and  Friday, when I can be very useful here.  I am very happy to be here too, as it is very quiet at home at this time of year.

Alison in Toowoomba is now very happily settled in her new house - not too far away from the house she and Ian lived in for many years.  She has got a small garden now and it has a recent addition of a bird bath - I wonder if she might think of a domestic pet too, as I do know she loves dogs?   Comment, Alison!

I hope, wherever you are, that you are well  and that one day, maybe later this year, we may meet!

Best wishes

Monday, December 11, 2017

Season's Greetings

I have tonight been sending out a Christmas message and a few email addresses have not been accepted.   If you do normally have a message at this time of the year from me and now have not received one - PLEASE email me and I shall rectify the situation.  I do not want to lose touch with any of my friends.  Thank you