A miscellany

Keith and I have climbed unsteadily back on the wagon following a dangerously prolonged period of daily celebrations what with Mum, `Ishbel and Lachlan all being in residence (in various combinations), Barry coming to decorate the spare room and, to top it all, Alison along the road having a significant birthday. “There is no more red wine in Berwickshire” Keith reported in sombre tones to Ishbel, who had called for a blow by blow account. We have stocked up on Kombucha, which at least has the decency to look a bit like beer, and are braced for health. Lyra is assisting in this great endeavour. As I loaded the dishwasher, she ate my cream doughnut.

Despite its deleterious effect on the liver and waistline, it was lovely having everyone home. On sunny days we wandered the Hirsel woodlands and patrolled the cow circular. February is calving time and so far we have spotted three newbies. Lachlan and I were lucky enough to catch one still sticky newborn, just finding its feet. On windy days (of which there have been many) Ishbel, Mum and I repaired to the garret to make stuff for a friend’s expected grandchildren. In time honoured fashion, we consulted Ishbel’s book of Fat Square projects, considered the available fabric scraps and then went completely freestyle. The rather tame Square Teddy Comforter, was rejected and instead a couple of big bits of green fleece went into a pleasingly curved Mr Frog. Emboldened by the Frog project, we decided to aim bigger and convert a half cut up blue fleece robe into a rabbit. In light of the base shape of the head bits, Ishbel named this Testicles (pronounced to rhyme with Hercules of course). I hope Froggie and Testicles will be happy with their new owners….
Next up was a valance and cushion for the newly decorated spare room. This was rather mundane, so to liven things up I deployed another section of the seemingly endless old library curtains and some old PJs in making Alison a Dalmatian pinny for her birthday (here modelled by mum) Alison actually has Alsatians, but in the absence of any German shepherd night attire I took some artistic license. However, Ishbel has now enquired if I have any “Wissler fabric’ and clearly is planning a veritable crufts in apron format when she returns in March.

Gardening has been an on and off affair in the gaps between rain and storms and important cow patrols. Lots more bulbs are emerging, with little Iris and crocus joining the snowdrops, and we have our first daffodil in the orchard. The hellebore are stunning. Every year I pot up a few of the seedlings and tuck them in to fill gaps. They cross pollinate like nobody’s business so I never know how they’ll turn out. One of last year’s crop has turned out to be a double, so I am very chuffed indeed. The forecast for Sunday is good so I shall be along selecting this year’s lucky seedlings tomorrow….

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