Monday, 24 August 2009

As part of my new keep fit regime I have signed up to do a sponsored walk for diabetes research. Donations are welcome through my just giving page: Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Friday, 7 August 2009


County map
I've visited the counties in yellow.
Which counties have you visited?

made by marnanel
map reproduced from Ordnance Survey map data
by permission of the Ordnance Survey.
© Crown copyright 2001.

Sunday, 5 July 2009


Found 3 geocaches (geocaching) in Unst and the only one in Yell today. Long hill walk to the first one on Hermaness, didn't go on to find the puffins but saw a couple of gannetries and Britain's most northerly rock. John took a route new to him on Hermaness so I could find the geocache and niether Craig or I had been there before - took a geocache to get me there! The location of the Yell geocache was also new territory to all of us.

Muckle Flugga Lighthouse, view from Britain's most northerly geocache:
Gannetry (each white dot is a gannet):
Signs of a dry summer, this peaty pool is dry and the peat exposed and cracked:

Fern unfolding at Hermaness:
Burrafirth Beach, Unst:Ex- RAF Skaw, site of a geocache:Stored at Skaw in a bunker - amazing what you find at the top of a hill!:Bobby's Bus Stop, site of a geocache:Craig playing what has to be the largest percussion instrument I have seen! Very tuneful, brass pies cut to length and fixed into the boat:View from Yell's only (as yet) geocache:

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Photo Fest - School Trip to Mousa

We went to the island of Mousa on our school trip. Mousa is now uninhabited but contains the world's best preserved pictish broch and some great wildlife. We went with a guide from the field studies trust and had a great time exploring - including climbing the internal staircase to the top of the 42' broch.

We weren't the only ones interested in the wildlife!


Got a likin' for lichen!

Young Arctic Skua (Shetland name Scootie Alan)

Pair of Arctic Skuas

The following photos were taken on the island of Bressay at the weekend.

The island of Noss, a nature reserve only inhabited by nature wardens in the summer.

The old coastguard watch tower - and the site of a geocache!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Fantastic weather and geocaching

We are in the middle of a spell of uncommonly good weather and I for one am really enjoying it.I've taken the opportunity to do some geocaching on my own, with the dogs and with friends including 2 new ones - geocachers Simply Paul and Bambography who were in Shetland for a geocache event in Unst. I couldn't make the event but they came by the house on Friday night and we did the Lunna cache at about midnight before they went on to be first to find my Burn of Lunklet cache and Angela and I headed home to our beds! We met them again the following day as we were all heading for the same geocache at the same time - unplanned and we also met Dubonnis who was heading up the hill to it too.

The waterfall at the Burn of Lunklet, site where I set my first geocache.

Too calm for sailing, Craig and his partner have to paddle back into the dock!

Craig in the Lerwick carnival in a suit definately made for winter weather!

Bonxie (Great Skua) chick found on the way to the Bressay Lookout Tower geocache.

Jake after swimming in the Valayre Burn on the way to the Voxter View geocache. Photo just for his mummy who was complaining at the lack of them!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Beach walk, puffins and a geocache

Been away being the moral support for my sister and niece while said niece (Caitlin) had a double hip operation to sort out her dislocated hips caused by her cerebral palsy. We got home yesterday and we all tired. Today I had a long lie and then we took advantage of the fantastic weather and took the dogs to Sumburgh. We walked the West Voe beach:

We went to the Auld Scatness archeological site to see some living history and then went up Sumburgh Head to visit the puffins and guillemots:

Before heading home we found my third Geocache (thanks John!) and I set my first travel bug off on it's adventure.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Chutney and Relish Recipes

I bought some reduced price tomatoes and peaches at the Brae co-op yesterday and now I'm making Tomato and Garlic Chutney and Pickled Peach Relish. Kitchen smells great!

From Knobby, member of the Poultry Keepers Forums:

Knobby's Pickled Peach & Chilli Relish
Makes about 450g/1 lb

475ml/16 fl oz Cider Vinegar
275g/10oz Light Muscovado sugr
225g/8oz Stoned dried dates
5ml/1 tsp ground allspice
5ml/ 1 tsp ground mace
450g/ 1 lb ripe peaches (He used cheap Tesco tinned ones, I used fresh)
3 Onions sliced
4 fresh chillies, seeded & finally chopped
4 Garlic cloves
5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
5ml/1 tsp salt

Place the vinegar, sugar, chopped dates & spices in a large pan & bring to the boil, stirring occasionally

Cut the peaches into small chunks & add to the pan, simmer for 40-50 mins.

Transfer to food processor & liquidize until you get to the consistency you like.

Spoon into warmed jars and seal. Leave to cool.

(I'm doing double the quantity)

and from Sara Lewis' Slow Cooker Book:

Chillied Tomato and Garlic Chutney

1kg/ 2lb tomatoes - skinned and rough chopped
1 large onion - chopped
2 cooking apples - peeled, cored and chopped
2 red peppers - halved, cored and chopped
75g/ 3oz sultanas
100ml/ 3 1/2 fl oz distilled malt vinegar
250g/ 8oz granulated sugar
2-3 large mild chillies - halved, deseeded and chopped
6-8 garlic cloves - finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick - halved
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp salt

Preheat slow cooker if necessary. Put all ingredients in the pot, mix, cover and cook for 6-8 hours on 'High' until thick and pulpy.

Warm jars in bottom of a low oven, fill, seal and cool. Store for up to 2 months, once open keep in fridge.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Chickens, Loki and a mystery solved

I do the work of weeding and they fight over it!

Loki sitting enjoying the sun this evening

We moved the hens to a different shed this week and the egg supply went down. I put it down to the move and hoped it would improve. After weeding the veg patch tonight I moved the pallet over the compost heap to put the weeds in and found these! I love the way they have tried to lay them in the old egg boxes for me!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Chicks and baskets

I finally remembered to post a pic of the chicks. I got 9 hatched out of the 12 original eggs, very happy with that. The chicks are very cute and being cochins are fluffy right down to their toes!

At the Eid Craft Group last night I showed some of the members how to make woven baskets using newspapers as a sample material. The end result was four complete baskets and plans to make more from other materials.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Geo cache

My GPS arrived today and Craig and I went looking for and found our first geo cache: Lest We Forget Voe . Looking forward to finding some more now.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

tree close ups

Our local loch has a small tree plantation and it's a great place to walk the dogs. Tonight I was playing around taking close ups of the trees.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

This and that

Well the eggs are now in their 4th incubator since incubation began, after candling I am down to 9 eggs out of the original 12, not bad for posted eggs - they are due to hatch on Thursday, hopefully the chicks will find their way out of the shell. Let there be lots of girl cochins!

John has netted over the top of my veg patch as one of the exchequor leghorns started flying up and over the netting sides, ratbag! I was going to clip the wings of all three (they all look the same to me!) but he came up with the netting solution (which is actually better).

I've learnt another new craft (what again?). Last Thursday night a friend showed me how to do iris folding - something I had seen but avoided because it looked complicated. It isn't! If you want to make cards and/ or pictures that look good but are easy to do, this is for you. Have a look here for ideas and instructions: Iris folding . For these two I used the inside of used envelopes, lots of patterns and shades of blue in them!

Anyway, back to the other crafts, I have a basket to make and the willow is finally soaked enough ( I think). Pics of basket and chicks (god willing) will follow to bore you!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Friday on the beach

There's a time and a place for everything - and a Friday afternoon seems a good time to be in place on the beach. OK it wasn't the warmest of winds, but I was being paid to be there supervising 2 children who were playing well together!

My kids are jet setting at the moment - I had a phone call yesterday morning at 7.30 from Craig who was just about to set out for a day at EuroDisney - he seemed surprised I was still in bed, wait until next week when he's in bed on Saturday morning! Kirsty is in Portugal with the family she is working for, 1 week down and another week and a half to go.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

coiled rope planter

Today I made my second rope basket. I am using it as a planter and I'm really pleased with it. The whole thing is made from beach combings. The base is a bucket lid, the sides and bindings are rope. I have lined it with a rabbit food bag and it's now home to a lavender plant.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Spring garden and more baskets

Photos from the garden, it might still be cold be the plants are trying their best!

Shetland daffodil:
Drumstick primula:

Flowering currant:

Baskets ( just for a change)

First, one made of recycled rubbish from the beach - rope, plastic strapping and driftwood.

My first basket made from Shetland grown willow, an egg basket for me!

Made to order, a basket for a flower arrangement.