Interiors, Uncategorized

Boxes, bags and bubblewrap

July and August flew past. We hosted lots of lovely guests and spent our free time walking and enjoying trips out in the boat. I caught my first fish,  it was quite a small mackerel, but delicious. The house in Greenock is now home to a new family and their stories. But we haven’t said goodbye to packing. ..

boxes2

Almost since we moved in we’ve been waiting for a start date for our extension works. Now it’s excitingly/unnervingly/thrillingly/worryingly/nail bitingly/disturbingly close and I’m busy once again with tissue paper, bubble wrap and boxes, squirrelling  away the contents of the soon to be demolished kitchen.

I’ve been arranging a temporary kitchen, MrS found this excellent induction hob

induction-hob

and we have our combi oven and an old slow cooker rescued from Greenock

slow-cooker-1

so we shouldn’t have to live on beans and toast (though I have been wondering if I should start a pop up cereal cafe).

cereals

We’re hoping we can live here through most of the  build, time will tell.

And I’ll keep you posted

Family history, Uncategorized

Invitation

I haven’t posted much recently, we’ve been busy looking after our lovely guests,  and sorting through a lifetime’s worth of goods in Greenock. That task can be heart rending, which things from a long and full life do you keep? How can you dispose of the rest? George’s background helps, he often says that the  most important aspect of archiving is knowing what to throw away.

Some things tell a story, there was the trunk, but its story was lost beyond any living memory, and there are photos whose stories can be brought to the surface of memory. And then there are other things which tell their own story.

This bag……

gold bag

 

…..can be opened up to reveal

invitation peeking

 

……………………………….this invitation

invitation.jpg

 

 

……………………………………..and tell me the last time it was used.

 

And to satisfy my liking of coincidence and circularity,

 

 

………during our sorting

 

……………..we found books of Gaelic songs

 

………………………which we passed, via a friend

 

……………………………..to Oban Gaelic Choir.

 

Food, Uncategorized

Banana bread, blogs and downward dogs*

As I write this the house is filling with the delicious scent of bananas and baking; I’m making a banana loaf ready for our next guests.

 

When I first started baking for guests I made Welshcakes, (though these are  cooked on a griddle not baked) to share a little of my Welsh background. And of course because they’re delicious

 

I also wanted to use Scottish recipes, though I still haven’t perfected shortbread despite having a few favourite family  recipes to choose from.   Oatcakes and butteries have been more successful

finished oatcakes

 

and  bolstered by that experiment with puff pastry I’ve had a go at the French breakfast classic, croissants.

ome made

Following other blogs has opened up a world of recipes for me, I love reading the posts here and made a batch of breakfast cookies last year.

cookies

 

And so back to my banana bread, it’s out of the oven and cooling down. But where did this recipe come from?

 

Well I tasted it first on a picnic last week and asked for the recipe. And this morning after yoga class I was given not just the  recipe but a little bag containing some essential ingredients.

banana bread recipe and ingredients

 

And now to share…

slice on a plate

 

*the yoga pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interiors, Uncategorized

Back to business

I haven’t posted in a while, but we haven’t been idle. Walls which were painted last year have been refreshed, furniture has been moved around and the dining  room has a new colour scheme.

We had a little uncertainty about plans for the summer, but now any building work has been pushed back to the Autumn,  so it’s all systems go for the summer season.

We woke to grey skies and rain,  but this afternoon the sun has returned. Lets hope it’s here for the summer.

blue sky and clouds

 

 

 

Food, Uncategorized

Work in progress…..

We’ve been away doing our own bit of ancestral tourism and exploring a little of the Western Isles.

uig teapot

..and maybe enjoying the odd cup of tea

Now we’re home it’s all systems go for the summer so I’m back to the baking. Yesterday was Welshcakes and oatcakes, today I’m trying something new.  Croissants.  So far the technique is similar to the one for Aberdeen butteries but more, well, buttery. I don’t have a family or neighbourly recipe for them, I’ve gone back to my trusty Good Housekeeping cookbook.

 

They need to rest in the fridge for half an hour, and that time’s nearly up.

 

 

To be continued……

Food, Uncategorized

Spring

We might not have a Superstore on Seil but we do have a super store. We go there most days, for our newspaper, eggsjam and other essentials. For the past few months we’ve been trying to make the journey on foot which though admittedly challenging on our more humid days is a much more sociable way to travel.

B at the shops

Bramble waiting outside the shop 

 

The weather has been lovely for the past few days  and it’s brought out a wonderful display of flowers, in gardens and growing wild. I can’t name them all, but here are just a few from this morning’s walk.

And then there are also these cute youngsters

ropped cute lamb

Which did give me qualms about some of the contents of my shopping bag, but it’s all part of the cycle of life, here on Seil.

History, Uncategorized

And the Academy Award goes to …*!

I love finding old pictures of Sheiling, so I was really excited to find it had featured in a movie . I came across this site – Reelstreets which not only lists film locations, but has a clever now and then feature so that you  can view a still from the movie and then an up to date photo. The “now” picture of Sheiling was taken a little while ago too. The tree has been felled and the bushes cut back since it was taken, but the gate and posts are still in place.

The film is The Bridal Path a 1959 movie starring Bill Travers and with a cast including  George Cole, Gordon Jackson and Annette Crosbie. Other scenes were filmed at Ellenabeich, Oban and Castle Stalker. I haven’t seen the movie yet but it is still available, so will be joining the dvd library here.

* The Bridal Path rates a respectable 6.9 on IMDb but it didn’t win Best Picture for 1959. That honour went to a slightly better known and bigger budgeted film,  Ben Hur

Food, Uncategorized

Oatcakes

I tried making an old Scottish staple today. Oatcakes. I didn’t have any family recipes, though I’m sure there must be some, so I used this one from BBC GoodFood. And as I was using up some ingredients,  I tweaked it slightly. My gluten free oats were coming to the end of their shelf life so in they went and then I thought it would be nice to make them entirely gluten free so used gluten free buckwheat flour. I used salted butter, again using up stocks, so didn’t add all the salt.

oaty dough

work in progress

The finished products suited my taste but I think in future I’ll add the recipe quantity.

This  recipe and all the others I found asked me to bake the cakes but I set aside some to cook stove top on the griddle , this is how they would have been cooked in the past. The stove top version worked but the oven baked ones were crisper.

baking tray

ready to bake

All in all I was pretty pleased with the result and they weren’t at all difficult. So now I have an addition to my repertoire and one I can offer to guests on a gluten free diet.

finished oatcakes

finished product