It’s that time of year again. I think it’s the daffodils that does it. Although winter is gradually letting go its grip and things are starting to warm up, here in Kintyre, we still have a bit to go. Still, the clocks have changed and the evenings are much lighter. We’ve even had a few sunny days!
So what have we been up to?
Mid way through February, we made a flying visit to Bathgate to a 70th birthday party. We hadn’t appreciated how much things had changed in the town centre, especially around the new railway station but it was nice to see a few familiar faces and talk over old times.
Unfortunately, we may have brought a sore throat virus back from West Lothian and it bubbled away in the background quite nicely until our trip to Lanzarote. Suse did a splendid job in choosing the accommodation and despite me being quite poorly, we had plenty of sunshine and lots of good chat.
Rather than doing things in the Central Belt after we got back from Lanzarote, we scuttled back to Larick House to recuperate, organise an MOT for the car and finally do some orienteering at Dumyat in the CompassSport Cup. ECKO actually qualified for the final in October which was most pleasing as some of our better runners weren’t available.
Easter came early this year and we for once we didn’t go to the JK. Suse attended a Tai Chi course in Glasgow and I stayed at home and played with the new garden mower, which seems to be a good purchase. We’ll keep the Beast but given how much easier the new hover mower is to use I don’t think it will see much use.
We have used fewer logs this winter because of the pellet boiler (which btw is behaving itself) but we’ll still need to re-fill a couple of empty bays. Emily and Jo offered to buy a hydraulic log splitter and somehow this triggered the construction of another Beast-like machine, which rather surprisingly, works very well, especially if the original logs are sized correctly.
It’s been back to the day job for Suse, when she offered to help a self-employed friend who was ill to finish a magazine. It was to be his 50th, so he was very excited about it. Unfortunately he died before full instructions could be given, so it all meant a lot of difficult questions, asking people for articles and photographs, not knowing whether they knew the circumstances. As well as producing the Tai Chi Union magazine, Ronnie was the organiser of Tai Chi Caledonia, the Scottish summer festival which Suse usually attends. He was a man who had made many friends and the taiji world is seriously in mourning. It was kind of therapeutic to be able to perform this last favour for him.
We have commissioned the watering system for the polytunnel and Suse has started to plant things which most importantly are starting to grow rather than drown. We still have a little bit of paving to do but the polytunnel is just about finished and with a bit of luck, our crops this season should be a bit more successful. Suse also has re-worked the soft fruit area and all of the plants are now in good compost in raised containers.
A prospective visit from Emily and Caitlin prompted the construction of decking, stools, tables, fencing and paths for the “Rainbow Café”. This is really Phase 1 of a larger project which this summer should see us building a 2 storey tree house, a slide and a bridge. I also have a hankering to sew a shade sail roof over the decking. (Hope we have a need for it)
When they were here, we took Emily and Caitlin down the peninsula to Westport Beach to collect shells for the café. On the way back home, we called into Glenbarr for compost, coffees and cakes. Nice spot, pity it’s just a bit too far away from Whitehouse to be able to pop in more regularly.
Finally, when the weather dictated, we decorated the downstairs bedroom and ensuite. So it is ready for you, Kathleen, when you visit in May.