beach cottage, bEAching, cottage garden, mEAndering, out and about

Home again…home again

Back home and back to work now.  It is funny how so much happens in a fortnight when I am away – both at home and work.  We arrived home Sunday evening to find the land-line phone is not working and our neighbour has put up a new fence.  At work there has been a few changes (but at least I still have a desk!) and sadly yet another work colleague has received rather bad news on the health front.

And guess what before I can even get myself unpacked and sorted out again my mum is coming for a visit this week to go to the dentist for an urgent appointment.   So it seems now that the relaxed feeling you get after a good holiday is fading fast and being overtaken once again by the more stressful events of normal everyday life.

But yes, I did have a good holiday at our cottage despite the gloriously wetter than normal weather and the fact that it was a  working one – although I don’t consider working in my garden hard work and after spending most of my days working at a desk I quite enjoy doing very manual work in the fresh air.

As an additional holiday treat my better half – who always takes me to the nicest places – took me to the local tip (to off load many, many bags of prunings and weedings), the local builders yard (for cement and paving slabs) and the saw mill (for more planks of wood to make a giant compost bin later in the year).  What more excitement could a girl want!

I remembered to get a quick snap of my wooden bunting that I bought from Sainsbury’s I love it so much it has become a permanent feature and matches the blue of our tumble-down porch where we sit and look out to sea whilst eating our breakfast.

We (or rather my better half) made good progress with the log store (the base is the remains of an old coal bunker) and all is now safely gathered in.  He then turned his attentions to digging out the ground by the side of the cottage to make a channel which will run across this narrow strip of garden to the stream and allow the rain water from the roof of the cottage to drain away.  We saw this drainage channel landscaped into the garden of Broughton House in Kirkcudbright and it was sudden inspiration and just a perfect way to solve our difficult problem.

Meanwhile inside the cottage I have been doing more painting in the living room and have finally got the second top coat on the boarding and have only to finish the rail and shelf which runs around the top.  When that is complete we will be ready to put down the screed before we lay the wood flooring which we have yet to choose and buy.  I am thinking wide oak boards and real wood not laminate – but will need to get a price on this first.

My woodland walk is taking shape again and I cleared all the banking of buttercups just above the lower wood over the little bridge. I love this patch of ferns with all the different greens and leaf shapes.  The creamy white spray of Rogersia flowers are just peeping through and the red Fuchsia petals fall like blossom onto the open fern leaves below.  I could sit here for hours it is so restful. The ground in places had become so wet that once or twice I found myself just skating around in the mud. Most of the plants seemed to have thrived in all the rain and will no doubt burst into flower as soon as there is a bit more sun.  I had no shortage of damp places and it was an excellent time to do some more planting.

We had a trip round the bay to Bayview Nursery in Wigtown and bought an assortment of Candelabra Primulas which thrive in a sunny and damp spot.  I planted them at the edge of the old concrete pond by the wild Iris – I want to create a mass of colour here and hope that they begin to spread quickly.  The pond is another of our ‘problems’ waiting for a solution as it is not a very good pond because it is surrounded by trees but as yet I haven’t had any great ideas as to what I can do with it.  As soon as we clear out the debris it fills up again.

We have self seeded poppies springing up everywhere – but I love the bright spots of colour and the seed pods look delightful in the Autumn.

We had a break over the weekend and drove round to Kirkcudbright for the day.  We spent our time pottering around the Harbour and the shops and galleries…

and finally ended up in our favourite garden at the back of Broughton House on the High Street.

On the way home we spotted this cow who had gone to investigate the standing stone and made a rather unusual picture!!

And that is the end of the holidays and back now to the daily grind.

beach cottage, bEAching, cottage garden, holidays, managEAble, mEAndering, rEArranging, to do list

Ready, steady, pack…

Rain, rain and more rain…but I am sure it is about to stop because a) – it has now rained constantly almost since that sunny day in March when my sister got married (and how lucky was she!) and b) –  tomorrow we are going to our cottage for 2 weeks…yeah…and I have ordered good weather.  We set off tomorrow for Scotland to escape our normal busy lives here.

We are going to a special place that is just as unhurried and stress free as you can get…

where we are hidden away with a gorgeous view to wake up to…

and my flowers are well in bloom…can’t wait to see my garden again.  It is always a surprise to see how much everything has grown.

But before then the packing has to be attended to and as always the question is where to begin.  Of course I won’t be even attempting to do the Friday Fling today

  • Finish bits of washing for holiday
  • Change and wash bedding – I like to put fresh bedding on before we go so it is clean to come back to.
  • Wash clothes ready for work when we get back – I may not get them ironed but I know they will be clean for our return.
  • Ironing to do – as much as possible
  • Prepare clothes to take with us
  • Pack some basic food items – we will shop for rest when we get there
  • Quick flick round with the duster
  • Run hoover over the floors
  • Check bank accounts
  • Water plants indoors
  • Clear out the fridge
  • Have a sit down for half an hour and a cup of tea!

So I won’t be blogging for a while until my return as we don’t have TV or phone or computer at the cottage – no technology just a mobile that only works at the bottom of the garden.  Bye for now…