Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Spring has arrived!  Things have been a bit quiet at Chez MacLeod mainly because we have been working hard on other things.

I like gifts ... and nothing is better than a gift of an unwanted piece of kit which is going to be thrown out when friends down-size.  I have been the proud recipient of this 

A wheel barrow!
Today, being the first day it has been warm enough to get out to do chores in the garden, I gave it a formal launch into service.  It is light, and just dandy for any jobs I need to do in my little patch.  So thank you Brian and Maggie; as they say in Glasgow, "It's Pure Dead Brilliant!"

There is only one thing I want to do it now ... paint it PINK!  At least I think I will paint the handles pink and I have decided that the colour of wee Harriet's wellies would be just fine.

Inspection time shows we have some, well almost come ....through the winter successfully.  

 All the bulbs have survived.  My squirrel-proof mesh covers worked.

Harriet, 19 months,  watching the hailstones cover the back garden.

 Alpine plant gets a pelting of hailstones between the sunny outbreaks.

The eucalyptus tree I planted carefully in a sheltered corner has, so far, not been affected by cold or frost.

We're off to the park now.....

Friday, 20 February 2015


The reason we have been so pre-occupied this month s that Iain and I have been updating the Clyde Cruising Club Sailing Directions for NE Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.  We have had our heads down for weeks now.

  One of the jobs I am doing is choosing photos for this new edition.  Here follows 2 photos taken in 2007 that are not going to be used.   :(

Briain's photo:   Brian and Maggie's boat (Westerly, white) Arctica with us (Seol-na-Mara) tied alongside at Stronsay Pier. Stronsay is an island in the Orkney group, east of the Main Island.

My photo:   A Bugatti on Stronsay pier early one morning! 

We were moored as shown in the above photo but Brian and Maggie had departed.  I awoke at 7:00 am to the sound of the big ferry (astern of us) revving up!  In my night attire (aka T shirt and knickers) I climbed out into the cock-pit and inserted the jack staff in the stern.  (The is my early morning ritual as I am a stickler for flag etiquette!) Anyhow, as I was doing this my attention was diverted: I heard the flip-flop, flip-flop sound of (and within my limited vision feet 7 feet above my head) a tribe (what is the collective noun for a group of monks?) walking a single line, hems of black robes swishing, heading for the ferry.! Uh-h-h.... hello?!  Nothing for it I climbed up the ladder which was right next to us (I must have shoved on a pair of jeans...) and when I got to the top of the ladder and clamboured on to the hard surface of the pier ... this Bugatti was parked right there (which had been out of my sight 7 feet below) forming the head of the queue awaiting to drive on the ferry!  The conga line of monks (from the monastery oh Papa Stronsay) had made their way on to the ferry in readiness for the trip to Kikwall.  

I think that is a much more interesting picture than perches and rocks showing at low tide!

Monday, 2 February 2015


Today is Alastair's 7th birthday.  We had a birthday party for him yesterday (Sunday) in the form of dinner and a big chocolate cake with 7 candles.

 Here is the Birthday Boy

 And here is Baby Ellie, just under one week old (i.e. I took the photo a week ago.)

A glimpse of everyone: Baby Ellie on the floor in her infant seat, Iain, Alastair, Ishbel, Mairi and Harriet in her party dress from Auntie Dawn originally given as a gift to big sisiter, Ishbel.