Breathe

So here I am. Emerging, blinking, into the light. It’s been a while (six weeks!!!) since I last posted here. I never leave it that long.

I’ve been absent from my blog, and barely detectable on social media, for any number of reasons: family visiting (and more arrived yesterday); my computer playing up (I also have a laptop but it doesn’t lend itself to photo editing or blogging); Easter holidays; going out to work part time to help add a bit more to the coffers…

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During my absence I’ve taken a lot of pictures. And if you’re anything like me, you like a blog post with plenty of photos and not too many words. So I’ll attempt to maintain your interest by using lists. Possibly quite descriptive ones here and there, but I promise you won’t get a blow-by-blow account of life here on Skye for the past month and a half.

So, here we go:

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At home we have been mostly: Painting furniture (and walls)… Watching endless wildlife documentaries (Joe) and glitzy stuff like Pose (me) and welcoming the return of good old Gardener’s World… Reading the odd crime novel and revisiting my LM Montgomery collection… Poring over sea life books (Joe again) - his Nana brought him a few lovely ones including this, which, being a fan of Emily Sutton, I want to keep for myself… Planting seeds and bringing on cuttings… Watching the arborists taking down the huge and sprawling beech in the front garden (but leaving plenty of trunk left for Joe to climb as it’s his favourite lookout post)…

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Outdoors we’ve been: Visiting the castle (as it reopened at the beginning of April) and looking for newts, admiring the Walled Garden and soaking up the warmth in the glass house… Foraging for wild garlic and nettle tips… Beachcombing and rockpooling… Walking through the woods and smelling the gorse blossoms… Spotting the first bluebells… Watching the island become carpeted with primroses…

At work I’ve been: Working locally a few days each week for a friend (and taking Joe with me when he’s off school)… Helping another friend out with an interiors photo shoot… Planning a new workshop to teach at a local gallery who stock some of my work… Putting together ideas for more printmaking (I’ve been approached by a gift shop to sell my prints through them)… Ordering art supplies for workshops and myself… Collecting plants for pressing…

At school Joe has been: Enjoying the Forest School sessions… Dressing up for World Book Day… Having fun on Red Nose Day… Making things for the Spring Fair (and eating lots of chocolate at the actual event)… Helping out in the school garden in holiday time…

Meanwhile, I’m going to be running an after school Nature and Garden Club on Tuesday afternoons with one of the teachers. We have lots of ideas but there’s plenty of planning to be done too…

Other good things of late: A bargain oversized wool cardigan (charity shop, £6) purchased yesterday… Hazelnut and coffee crunch ice cream (in a gluten free cone which was so good I had to check it really was GF) enjoyed near the harbour in town (Joe’s choice: Creme Egg flavour)… Lunchtime treats here … Lambs appearing on the croft by the house…

Proper spring weather: blue hazes, sunshine and breezes… Snowdrops giving way to daffodils giving way to blossom on the trees and celandines and wood anemones… So many bumble bees… Tiny treasures found at the beach (bird’s skulls, driftwood and jewel-like shells)… The discovery of a lone hellebore hiding in the garden and a few flowering currant bushes too… Rhubarb sprouting and growing steadily… The cherry tree behind the house in bud and ready to burst into blossom…

Joe playing on a friend’s croft and collecting fresh eggs from the hen shed… Meadowsweet returning everywhere… Longer days and spending so much time outdoors after school… Doorstep adventures to the shore or collecting small branches to decorate with coloured eggs for Easter… Making plans for a trip back to England in the summer to see friends and family… The latest issue of Creative Countryside magazine arriving (it’s a beauty)…

And things coming up: A trip to Inverness at the weekend, just Jay and me… Easter egg hunts at two different castles… A new book to read (A Kiss Before Dying)… A little project (painting my mum’s old bureau an inky blue colour so I can use it to work at the computer)… Trees to plant outside: apple, silver birch, copper beech…

So. Lots of things have happened, are happening, are planned to happen.

Apologies for such a long absence - hopefully I’ll be back to posting more regularly as I work my way through my catch-up list! I hope you’re having a wonderful April.