Songbird Survival Trust …

The snow has lost its fluffiness and is now hard & crunchy. Up to 4c this morning, was positively mafting. I would say a third of it had thawed by the end of this afternoon.

Father was a member of the Songbird Survival Trust, I telephoned them the other day to ask if it was possible for his membership to be transferred to me, this they very kindly sorted out and my membership card & pack arrived today, take a look at their site … https://www.songbird-survival.org.uk

Bruce the Cockerel was nae letting me in the coop to feed them this morning, so just managed to throw a handful in and told him that he would have to man up and step outside if he wanted more feed! 48hrs since they’ve left that coop!
Sure enough, 5min later out he stepped, reckon it was for a minute at the most.

Probably listened to every version of the lake isle of innisfree today, still no decision on favourite version.

Got guest room ready for tonights guests, which was a miracle, as I am having to keep check to see which day it is on a morning, am totally out of sync & am running a day behind! Poor nights sleep again, so felt totally crap when getting up, a sob broke out, but only for a minute, chest aches still and couldn’t manage anymore, but maybe I don’t want to? Maybe that would mean accepting things?? Told Dad I just want him back.
Folk ask how I’m doing, I reply with.. okay, but am not. But reckon folk could be going through their own stuff I am not aware of, also, whilst I’m living this nightmare and am alone with thoughts, I realise that it is one we all have to live through at some point in our lives, just different versions, different coping mechanisms etc. Those who have lived through it, will know it’s the worst, those who haven’t, will be like me a few weeks ago, not even be able to comprehend what a wrench it is, nor will you ever be ready for it when it does come.

 

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Chaffinch at the Gate

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Long-tailed tit

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Blackbird

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Starling

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Siskin, Chaffinch & Goldfinch

 

Another Snowy Day …

Ach, another poor nights sleep and nae up til 8am again.
Was a cold and icy start and so wish Alistair would leave the paths alone, solid ice, was skating everywhere, but not of Winter Olympics standard!
It then became milder & crept back up to zero degrees by midday and then the snow came and came some more.

Pretty much a whiteout and it was a day for indoors and in front of the stove (According to the Poodle)

There were 2 Starlings feeding this am, two turned into 12 at midday and there were fourteen by 2pm. Nae seen any Longtailed tits today, but more Siskins at the feeders.

Alistair arrived home early and snow eased at 3pm. A wee Snowball fight pursued.

4pm, snow falling again, big fluffy flakes, the glen was all silent and still, apart from the odd bird and it was just one of those magical moments.

Ah, nearly forgot! St Valentines Day.
A basket of roses from Alistair arrived yesterday and I owe him at a future date.
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Snow Day …

Last night downloaded a sleep app, which was to record snoring. Mine apparently!!  Think Alistair is exaggerating slightly and seems I’m only managing a couple of hrs per night too, do not believe I am snoring and I think he is hearing Barclay (Or himself)!
Though, I must have eventually fallen asleep, as was so late up and WHOAH, opened the curtains to the most magical morning, not just a blanket of snow, was a great big deep fluffy shag-pile carpet of the wonderful stuff.

Was so keen to get outside, I very nearly forgot to make me morning coffee!!
It was the PERFECT morning and it was time to get the McNikon out.

Late morning, it was time to say goodbye to Stan & Caroline who have been staying with us for the last 3 days. Yet again, we have been blessed, it was a pleasure to host for them and I hope we see them again some day.

On the phone to old friend, when I looked out and saw two people & a dog in the garden. I was a wee bit snarly, apparently they wanted coffee and then I got a wee bit flustered too, but got myself pulled together, apologised etc and the chat in the Gallery with them was good, it actually did me some good.
(NEED to get the Gallery doors open again soon)!

The Chickens were very reluctant to step out of their coop today, only Bruce & Fanny ventured out for a few minutes this afternoon, they were soon back inside mind.
The Ducks actually behaved today.
More Siskins appeared at the Feeders today, reminds me, our guests got a cracking photo of our resident Buzzard.
Majority of the day was spent outdoors.
Hoping sleep will come tonight and that there is more snow on the morro.
Today has been a better day.

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Walking Alone …

Sunday Morning: Had a terrible nights sleep, got up, laid breakfast out for guests etc. Stood with Morning coffee listening to the birds, few seemed to be at the feeders. -2c, felt like -5c, the air fair pinched. Felt like I was going to cry, but chest aching and tight, just couldn’t.’

Ach, needed to clear head, so took an early walk down to Glen Brerachan.
Was probably a first, but I did not take Barclay or the McNikon!! But did take the Coolpix and Olympus for an outing. The odd car passed, think they must have been heading to the slopes, other than that, twas just me and nature, could breathe, bliss!
On my return home, the tame sheep spotted me walking boots and made a beeline for the laces! (Note to self: Order more Parsnips)!

I would take myself to bed in the afternoon, still no sleep came.
Barclay took his bone upstairs onto the landing, so come actual bedtime, he was stood been all protective of it and giving me a wee growl! And am sure he was trying to push me back down again. Had to bribe him with a Denta chew!

Monday: Wow, a beautiful start to the day, even though it was -6c. Clear to begin with, the most lovely dawn chorus and the most gentlest of snow flakes fell for a minute. Sun begin to rise and clouds began to appear.
Lots of chores this morning and busy.
A few hours later, I notice the Ducks were awol again!
Unbelievable!! The Ducks have discovered Loch McBasil, has only taken them 4 months!

Midday and fresh snow began to fall, lasted all of 5min, then it was a milder afternoon.
So much for the blowing snow which was forecast.

The strangest thing, found my Olympus lens cap in the log shed tonight! How on earth! Nae idea, there are something’s I just don’t question.

Had hair cut, so hopefully that will cure the hat hair for a wee while!

Saw good Quentin Tarantino thing today, where Kill Bill was referenced in Pulp Fiction.
Brilliant! Will have to tell Dad. Went to phone him, stopped and realised.

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The Mountains are Calling

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The Way Ahead

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Clever

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Ducks discover Loch McBasil

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The Quick Thaw …

Pulled back the curtains this morning, to see a fresh covering of Snow.
The day was off to a good start.
Though was short lived when I realised I had run out of Coffee!!!
Had to make do with Alistair’s Kenco.

Whilst having morning coffee, I noticed about a dozen Siskins in the garden, so they must be about to return, though these soon flitted off.
I don’t think Barclay’s constant barking helped! He was stood at the gate in full voice for a few minutes, but as I write, I still have absolutely no idea what or why.
After I had got Barclay calmed down, I let the Poultry out, fresh snow seems to send the Ducks in to a skittish frame of mind and that was it, they were soon away flying down the glen.
Then Barclays Groomer came to collect him for Spa Day, waved them off only to discover I hadn’t closed the door and there was the tame Sheep in the sunroom chewing me writing desk! Had to lure him out with a Parsnip!

Come lunchtime, the temperature had reached a balmy 4c and the Snow began to thaw quickly and I saw our first Snowdrops & Aconites.
Also, McQuack had returned. I walked down the road in search of the other Duck, but no sign of McDuck anywhere.
Got the yard brushed and then finished prepping for tonights guests.
It was then I saw a flash of something fly by the kitchen window, McDuck had finally returned. So where he had been for the last 4hrs, lord knows.
Told him anymore of that and he’ll be getting his wings clipped!
Ruddy Ducks!!!

Looked across the river to see that a Herd of 8 Fallow (Including 2 young) had appeared, haven’t seen these ones before, so will keep an eye on them. They seemed happy enough for a few hours.

By 3pm, you wouldn’t believe we had had Snow, that was one quick thaw, though pleased to see more is forecast.

Tonights guests have arrived and are here for three days Skiing.
Barclay back from his Spa Day looking and smelling all posh, but of course doubt that will last.
Another Jamie Oliver 5 Ingredients recipe for dinner tonight, okay, but looks nothing like in the book!
Still weary and hoping can get a better nights sleep tonight, thought I had improved some last night, but Alistair has just informed me that I called out for Dad again 😦

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Blanket of Snow

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Sheep chews Desk

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First Snowdrops

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And Aconites

 

 

Transition…

As a few of you will know, my Father passed away on Monday 29th January 2018.
And I have just returned to Scotland after a couple of weeks in Yorkshire.
On the morning of my return home, someone was wishing me well with my travels and on about me having to pick up the pieces on my return home.
Thats the thing, How do you pick up the pieces?
I do not know how to, as one of the main pieces, is now missing and the life I knew before has ceased, but … I do know how to start again.
Lets face it, I have had one or two new starts in life and that is something I can do and adapt to.
Someone had left a kind comment on Facebook and used the word Transition and I personally think that is apt, that is what this is.
Have already began to change a few small things, like routine etc

For some months now, I have been mulling over the idea of doing an online journal, life in the Glens, Guests, Work, etc etc
But wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to go about it and when discussing with a couple of close friends, had even thought about an anonymous journal.
But yesterday it finally came to me and as it often has been throughout my life, that inspiration came from my Father yet again.
For decades, my Father has kept diaries. Part of his early morning routine, was writing up the previous days events and whilst I have only seen a few entries, they were mainly about the Countryside and Nature, but often included events, personal thoughts etc
Yesterday, I decided to pick up the gauntlet and carry on his tradition.
And I already had begun The Nature Diaries (Of sorts).
No idea yet what or how I will post, as to be honest, at the moment I just seem to be pottering around aimlessly and feel nothing but emptiness and numbness.
Some days you may get an essay, others may just say North Wind doth blow.
Today has been almost Spring like, after a -5c and icy start, the sun had burst and we’ve had a day of bright blue skies, exactly the kind of day it was on the morning of Friday 26th January, as it was one of the last full conversations I had with my Father, which resulted in him asking the Doctors & Nurses to move his bed so he could see for himself out of the window, also for them to open said window, so he could feel the breeze.
This they duly did and his bed stayed in that position until his passing.

This is for you Father
– Karen – xIMG_3124IMG_3125