We’re counting down to summer here in our house (and garden). Just a few more days until the solstice, then the days will start to gradually shorten. It stays light until very late in this part of the world but despite a few hot spells here and there, it doesn’t feel as though we’ve had a real summer just yet. On Sunday it turned out beautifully warm and still and we spent the afternoon making raised beds and planting a silver birch and another apple tree.

Have you seen my peonies, by the way? They’ve lasted for ages and are still going strong.

I’m off to Inverness again on Tuesday so will replenish them.


Joe got his swing. He likes it.

We’ve been out collecting oysters from the shore - it’s the wrong time of year to eat them (and to be honest, nobody in the house would eat them anyway. It’s a texture thing I think). So we put them back in the water afterwards. But once there’s an ‘r’ in the month we’ll be back to get clams and mussels and will be cooking and eating them with spaghetti or in a risotto. Joe loves seafood pizza too…

This week has been grey and windy, with heavy rain showers, but today the sun’s back out. It’s still gusty but that’s the Hebrides for you. Joe’s been to a corncrake festival with school, and there’s a beach trip planned, and a picnic too (the theme is TOP SECRET though) before term ends in a few weeks. I still struggle with the holidays running from the beginning of July until mid August. It’s ingrained: for me, September is the start of the academic year. But not here.

I have a bit of a thing for stream walking. I don’t know if that’s an actual Thing, but it basically involves slithering down the bank at the edge of the garden and wading upstream along the perimeter. You can get pictures of things from an unusual angle down there. It’s gloomy and dank but a little bit magical too.

You also have to duck down to get through the willows. I ended up with a soggy behind actually, squatting a bit too far to get a low-down photo.

Joe likes hanging out in the stream. He picks little grubs out of the banks and watches the sticklebacks. The cat likes it there too and crosses it to reach the croft for his mousing expeditions. Joe sings to him - some song he’s made up about catching him a fish. It ends with Joe proposing to Mackie (the cat). Mackie just sits on the bank and observes.

Indoors, I’ve been reading a book called The Boy Made of Snow by Chloe Mayer. It’s one of those I can’t put down, so a random library choice which has paid off again. I’m almost at the end now but we’re back at the library on Thursday so I’ll be picking up a few more novels.

I think I might do a blog post on reading.

Anyway, that’s pretty much everything covered. I need to do a lot of printmaking done before term ends, then photograph everything and list it in my shop. I’m closing down my Etsy shop and moving things over to this one. I need to start my annual list with Joe too: things we want to do during the summer. I’m half looking forward to it and half exhausted at the mere thought of it…