Adapting …

Forgive me Father, as it has been 3 months since my last confession.
And again, I do not know where this year is going!
So much has been going on, but as the year matures and comes into its last quarter, I sincerely hope that the sadness & woe that we have known up to now does too.

We had an array of visitors in July, best friend Dawn came to stay with us, as did our Facebook Giveaway winners Jill & Tim and on Sunday 19th we waved Hans & Tinka off. They had been staying with us for a week and we could not have wished for more beautiful and perfect guests. Every minute spent with them was a blessing and they entered our lives at the perfect time, to show us that goodness can exist in abundance. The world certainly is a more beautiful place with people like Hans & Tinka in it and we wish nothing but the very best for them.
Come August, we would also wave goodbye to our Airbnb era too, which has been an amazing experience and how apt, that our last guests were return ones, Paula & Ed, who we are luckily enough to class as friends now and I hope we get to visit them in Jerusalem someday soon.
There had been more than one reason for finishing Airbnb and one of those reasons was, to make the room available for a new house guest!
I would like you to give a right warm Scottish welcome to my Mother, who has made the huge move to Scotland and for now lives with us here at Tulloch.
This of course, means the end of an era at Settrington Estate, which was my childhood home, the place my Father Keepered at for over 50 years and the place that I too would also become a Gamekeeper and follow in Fathers footsteps. Sadly all gone now and I do reckon that Father would be very saddened by it all to say the least. (How I miss you Father).
We had another very sad goodbye also, Alistair’s Father has also passed away.
We really could not make this year up!
Alistair has done amazingly well, I am concerned about him, but am also so proud of him, his work load is immense and he just keeps on going, he has to of course, I will be pleased for him when things begin to ease up.
And then there was me hitting half a century.
I think that is more than enough for these last 3 months.
Lots more too of course and could obviously say much more, but thought best to try and keep a long story short.
We are all trying to adapt to these big life changes.
– Karen – x

Something Had To Give …

It’s been a difficult few days since my last post. Work busy and good, but the rest of it completely sucks.
Nothing like a Sunday evening and your wedding cancelled/postponed for making you say enough now.
Am not meaning Alistair of course, am meaning this Rollercoaster ride of 2018. Want it stop and I want to get off!
I turn half a century this summer and we were to be wed on that day and it was one thing which has kept me going.

Obviously am trying to grieve Dad, but just nae getting chance. And we’ve several other difficult things going on too, all making life exceptionally hard. Trying to deal with things and balance things.

A friend commented the other day, that as long as she’s known me, I’ve always been putting other people first etc and that I should look after myself more. It certainly has given me food for thought.

Talking of Father, it has made me question life after death, signs, spirit, etc etc Wanting to believe there is something, but unsure. Yesterday morning, was sweeping the yard, questioning something else, thinking of Dad, when all of a sudden, a Woodpecker Feather appeared in front of me. The most perfect feather. What are the chances!!? I thanked Dad and put it on the photo frame of us. Now as I type, am wondering with how yesterday ended up if he was just letting me know he was around?

Tuesday, my Wedding Dress arrived.
This brought on a few tears and thank the Lord we have the most amazing Postman!

Wednesday as a day just wasn’t great, well, let me rephrase that, it didn’t end up great.

I had advertised for help with housework and getting the house in order, amazed with the number of people wanting to help. I met Linda and she decided she would pick up the gauntlet, reassuring me, that the hoose wasn’t that bad and she had seen worse and she would begin the following day.

The Farrier arrived early doors to see to McKenzie.

Then, a busy gallery morning eased up after lunch but a pleasant surprise to see a couple of friends appear.

They had come for my help, involving a photo shoot for the following morning. It was something I would have normally loved, but just didn’t see how I could fit in. I would think up on it.

Pet Lamb was sheared this afternoon. Now got a totally different looking sheep and Barclay has been going ballistic ever since! Am sure he thinks another resident has moved into the Tulloch fold.

As the day wore on, I could feel myself getting down. And the fact I was unable to help the friend out tomorrow really began to play on my mind. Their help was invaluable when I lost Father and this was one person I would and should have gladly helped.
WHY.. was everything happening at once!

By evening, my mood hit an all time low.

I think absolutely everything from so far this year just hit me and the tears began.
I was mentally exhausted and openly admitted I could not cope with everything.

Something had to give!

Thursday morning, up for the 2nd time, making coffee and look out to see young Wagtails hopping around the yard, wonderful.

Following Dawns Phone call last night, I did heed her advice and didn’t open the Gallery today. I would instead begin wading through outstanding jobs I never get round to.
And … I finally made the decision to contact Airbnb!
I explained what was going on in our lives and from the 24th July, I will no longer be taking bookings or hosting guests.
Alannah from Airbnb was incredible. And I want again, to give her my thanks.
She was very understanding and efficient. She took over everything for me and for the the first time, I actually understood what the term ‘Weight off my Shoulders’ meant and felt like.

Of course, I am so very sorry that some guests beyond July have had to be cancelled and how disappointing and annoying that will be. Some things are just beyond my control, am not Wonder Woman and Airbnb was something which has to give.

Is it permanent? Who knows.

Perhaps wasn’t meant to do photo shoot for friend, as me back went mid morning! Ow!

This weekend sees my begin the count down of hosting guests.

And tomorrow evening will begin to see in a new week and some precious time spent with my best friend.

Onwards, Upwards, One Step and One Day at a Time

Karen x

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Woodpecker Feather

 

I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden …

Monday – Barclay was at his Spa Day today and returned pm looking & smelling lovely, shame it doesn’t last long.

Some nice visitors and a surprise visit from Scotland For All. Good chat and I await to see if TWSG warrants a mention with them.

Tuesday am, Windy and cool again. The gallery signs ended up staying down as they constantly blew down!
Straw & Hay just refused to be swept up this morning.

Was in a miserable mood this morning, which was no good for me or the animals and because it affects them, that made me more miserable.

Pet Lamb managed to seize the opportunity and get into the house, so him and Barclay ran amok and our Dutch guests continued to have breakfast and seemed oblivious to it all. I had warned them it was a mad house!

We had (Please note I said HAD), a lovely climbing Rose on the Kitchen wall. Pet Lamb had been having the odd nibble, but nothing too damaging, but, along came McKenzie and he decided he was partial to it as well. Thing was, his nibbles lot bigger than Pet Lambs! Then, today an eating competition of said Rose began between them, which resulted in McKenzie getting the very last flower from it!
We are now just left with bare wall & few twigs!

Lovely visit from a friend this afternoon, who spoilt me with a bouquet of stunning Peonies and some delicious local Strawberries. Felt very blessed.

Wednesday, I do believe Pet Lamb has gone off Parsnip!! Was doing Grocery Shop, so ordered him some Kale. McKenzie on the other hand, was very keen for Parsnip.

Thursday am, stepped out with Morning Coffee to destruction! Gates half knocked over, wooden stag planter was knocked over and beheaded and a chewed up wicker bird feeder (Sorry Dawn)

Sky engineer came this afternoon. Barclay went crazy! Pet Lamb chased him out of the paddock & McKenzie left a fresh pile of manure near his van, then Bruce decided to go for a full spur attack! This all happened within about 10min and I’m sure he thought he was visiting the Beverly Hillbillies or something!

The longest day, but I was in bed by 8pm.
Our recent guests had suggested I look into Mindfulness, they thought it would be beneficial for me.
I mentioned this in a Facebook post and got great support & advice about it.

Friday morning, woken by the Farmer and the Poodle!

The Poodle has found the pony muck and began to eat it!
The tame sheep was butting the doors wanting to be in the house. I gave him some kale to pacify him, he just came back for more!
Car wouldn’t start.
Everything was in absolute chaos.
I text Alistair two say about car and that I was so done in, then went to beat the hell out of some butter & sugar, which would result in a sunken Lemon cake!
Then, I heard a “Good Morning” echo through the hoose.
Alistair had actually driven back up to Tulloch to see to the car and see that I was okay.
Now love shows itself in many forms and this was one of those forms.
Was cross with Alistair for making the journey, but yet was so happy to see him.
I was stood in what looked like a bomb site, whilst emptying Kitchen Bin, bag had split over the floor, baking ingredients everywhere, I spilt me coffee and had me arm stuck in fleece pocket instead of sleeve.
Alistair was laughing and just laughed & laughed.
It was a priceless moment and his wee surprise visit made my day.

As did the dozen or so bikers who would shortly follow to visit TWSG … AND … they thought the Lemon Cake was delicious!

Found a poor dead Blue tit fledgling on the lawn this morning.

I hadn’t told Alistair, but McKenzie likes to play with the hosepipe and there has been a couple of rips appear in it. Today whilst hosing the yard, the almighty of bangs. The hosepipe had exploded! I do not know who got the biggest fright, sheep, pony or me! But do know that I was the one who was soaked! Said hosepipe is now in several bits.
This is a mad house!

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Loch McBasil

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Seat in Tulloch Meadow

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Feeling blessed with my beautiful peonies

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Before…

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…After Sheep & Pony attack!

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McKenzie got the last flower!

Half a year gone ….

And you are gone.

Over half way through June.
The year is going by far too quickly.

We have two lots of House Martins nesting, on a night in bed you can hear them chattering, tis lovely.
Swallows diving in and out of the stable, but nae as many as last season.

It has been hot, can you believe way too hot, then Thursday Storm Hector paid us a wee visit and yesterday was torrential downpour, the yard was about flooded!

And we now have a Pony living at Tulloch! Two mugs broken and a Garden Parasol demolished this last week! And as I’m sat typing this, Alistair reckons he’s messed up the Sky dish too!
He is a proper Thelwell character!
Am hoping that all the animals will get on together (Eventually)

I can’t say I’ve had time to enjoy this Spring. Work is nonstop and that is why I have now blocked off Airbnb and am taking no more bookings. Still too soon to say if I am finishing it forever, but certainly come August I am done for now.
Exhausted and really struggling to cope, never mind not getting any Photography done and I need to be and WANT to be.
And The Wee Scottish Gallery is coming into its own, yet lots more to do there too.
Just work, work, work, hence behind on this journal too, it HAS to change.
On a positive note, oh boy, the sleep, the Gravity Blanket is awesome!

And talking of Photography, am (Can you believe), looking at trying something other than Nikon!
I think I have decided to trade in one of the McNikons!!
More on that if/when etc

Mum came up for flying visit this weekend, waved her off again this morning, far too short.
But, your ashes are now with me Father and I do so hope that you can hear me talking to you.

I want to wish you Happy Fathers Day Dad and to tell you that I miss you every day, as does Mum.

There is a huge void in our life’s, which try as we might, it will never be filled.

Life is changing again but more on that on a future post.
Just want to talk to you again
Karen x

Basil Fawlty …

Saturday 5th May and another beautiful day break, alas, short lived.

Good Gallery day and the new Galley in the Gallery was launched.

Come 3pm, it was between now and 6pm that tonight’s guests were due to check in. Just before 6pm, Phone rang, due guests …. “Would 7 or later be okay, we’d like to do more sightseeing”! I am ashamed to say that I turned into Basil Fawlty within a split second! And the French girl soon felt my wrath down the phone! We were meant to be going out tonight to the Kirky Bar for Gary’s official opening night. When they arrived, they also wanted to use the kitchen and wanted to checkout before 7am. Basil Fawlty part two came on!

I have been contemplating finishing Airbnb, well, am certainly cutting down bookings and on a whole, we have been blessed with guests, but ones like these really do make me question it and as I said in my review of them, a hotel would have been a better option for them. By the girls own admission, she just hadn’t read the house manual or my welcome message.

Sunday 6th May – What a cold dull one! Then after mid afternoon, the skies cleared and the sun burst. It almost became too warm! Time for a glass of Prosecco (Or two) and to soak up some free vitamin D. Stunning sunset, even our Russian guests took a walk down the glen to view it.

Monday 5th May – Woke at 12.30am, paddled round the house, eventually returning to bed, only then to be rudely woken by the Poodle!

Disappointed to see the sunshine had gone, was colder again and then there was a downpour! Typical Bank Holiday and reckoned it would be a quiet gallery day. Come lunch, out came the sun and what a beautiful afternoon and I was (Pleased to say), wrong about a quiet gallery day, help was needed! Also pleased to say, that the Tulloch menagerie behaved themselves with visitors today.

No idea what’s up with 4G, lack of it is driving me mad!

First Wasp of the season today.

The Galley

The Galley in the Gallery

Chickens Enjoying the Sunshine

Tulloch Sunset

May the 4th be with you …

3rd May – What a beautiful start to the day, blue skies, sun, birds singing and heard my first Cuckoo of the season.

By 7am, grey skies and cold! And it stayed like that for much of the day.

Friday 4th May – Change Over, Ironing, Bread Made, Grocery Shop and The Wee Scottish Gallery Facebook Page all done by 9am! And what another beautiful start to the day.

10am – yep – grey cloud!

Another nonstop day, but more about that in next entry.

In the meantime, please go Like the new Facebook Page … Wee Scottish Gallery

8.30pm and time for tea and then the gravity blanket will soon be calling Zzzzzx

Spring Lambs …

What a manic couple of weeks! And way behind with my journal. It has been nonstop busy! But … the joyous news is … that I have been sleeping! The Gravity Blanket seems to be doing its stuff. I have still woken during the nights, but managed to pretty much fall right back to sleep again. I am nae very good at explaining things, but the gravity blanket is the most amazing feeling. I have my fathers legs , now those of you who know , will know that this is not necessarily a good thing, yet this weighted blanket makes them feel so light and I’ve had no aches during the night from them.

18th April – Saw my first Lambs of the Spring.

Lost me phone in the evening. I’d left it in the Fridge! I know, well, don’t know, so please don’t ask.

Haven’t had a Brambling in the garden this winter, but this morning (Sunday), heard a noise and there was one in the Cherry Tree above the feeders.

Woke in discomfort, this was due to the Poodle & the nest he had made out of me Gravity Blanket. Told him I would look at getting a kennel for him today!!!

Trying to integrate Barclay and others, McQuack nae impressed and puffs himself out at Barclay! Also, think Barclay fancies the Tame Sheep!

Tuesday 24th April 7.30pm – The first Swallow has arrived, but a summer it doesn’t make!

Wednesday 25th The Tame Sheep has it in for McQuack and chased him down the glen!

Thursday 26th April – 4.31am, woke to Bruce cock a doodle doing! Wtf!

6.30am Bruce’s song was replaced by that of a Song Thrush, beautiful

Saturday 28th April – Beautiful but frosty and a covering of fresh snow on the hills.

Alistair in earlier tonight, so we headed off to the pub for tea.

Sunday 29th April – Cool start but beautiful & it soon warmed up.

Visitor sat out with Coffee enjoying the sunshine, when McDuck appeared off her nest and without warning, pretty much beat the hell out of Bruce the Cockerel! She soon had him literally pinned to the grass and was showing no mercy! I had to intervene with a stick, then Bruce turned on me! The visitor just sat drinking his coffee taking it all in!

1st May – Seriously, where is this year going to?!! May Gosling, but still no sign of Ducklings yet, surely can’t be long now? Though Muscovy do take 35 days.

2nd May – Another manic day and just as manic tomorrow. All will be revealed (Hopefully) at the weekend. It was a downpour last night and the river was in full flow this morning.

Looking out onto more new born lambs as I type this.

All in in all, it’s been a stressful couple of of weeks and the Tulloch menagerie are still running amok.

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McDucks Downy Nest

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Alistair & McQuack