Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A wee New Year Giveaway



Life has been pretty hectic here in these first days of the New Year - feeling a bit like the flock of starlings that live in the few trees we have on the croft - fluttering around madly from one thing to another.




Of course a lot of our time has been taken up with this little lady! She is just so cute and such fun that it is hard to tear ourselves away. But I am not going to say too much about her right now, as I am planning to do a post at the end of each month as we go through the Crofting year.




And we have had a couple of days of feeling not very well too - just enough to stay off school and snuggle on the sofa. Yes - that is the ripple and yes - it is still not completed!  But at least it is now long enough to cover his toes, and, what better for a poorly boy, than to cuddle under a soft cosy handmade blanket - even if it is only half-finished?



Now - despite my neglect of this space over the last few months, I have still managed to clock up 500 posts! I think that calls for a wee celebration, don't you? Sorry it is only a herbal tea there on the table (Pukka nightime blend - very nice), Alongside my latest (secret) crochet project, is a pile of lovely vintage paperbacks. These are a series of semi-autobiographical novels about an English woman moving to a Hebridean island in the 1940s/50s. I remember my parents having these books when I was small, and I thought the titles were most peculiar. The Sea for breakfast? The Hills is lonely?
But then I read them as a young teenager, and immediately wanted to be a crofter!  I admit they are a bit patronising in that "middle class person goes to live with the natives and pokes fun at them sort of way"  but only mildly. They are funny stories of a way of life that has been sadly lost to us. I was in our local and wonderful charity shop a few weeks ago, and just in was this lovely set of old copies, with the covers I remember from my childhood. If course I just had to have them, and thought at the time it would be a lovely giveaway idea.
So, I am, indeed, giving away this set of 5 vintage books by Lilian Beckwith* If you would like a chance to win this set, please just leave a comment below and I will draw a name on 25th January. Just the thing to escape to on these long Winter nights ahead - or long Summer beach days, depending where you might be. And you never know what might happen - maybe I'll bump into you at the sheep dipping :-)

*I am giving away the set as one,rather than splitting them up, because I think you need to read them in chronological order.
Titles are: The Hills is Lonely; The Sea for Breakfast; The Loud Halo: A Rope in Case; Beautiful, Just.`

eta - please don't post anonymously - let us know who you are! I am happy to post worldwide.

73 comments:

  1. I really enjoy your blog. Pictures are lovely. Would love to read the books

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    1. Hi Anon - really need to know who you are :-)

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    2. Just came across your blog. Really enjoying it. Would love to win the books, hope this is my lucky day!

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  2. Hi, I'm re reading my way through some of my favourite 'pioneer books' just now. ''The Long Winter is with me now. And I know I would love these, to take their place soon. A book giveaway is just beautiful, Jo. ( one of your newest followers) xx

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  3. Interesting sounding books. I think my mother used to have one or two of them in her bookshelf, but I've not read any of them. I'd love to read them.

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  4. Maybe if I win them they will be as magical for me as they were for you and I too will end up being a crofter....I can dream either way. Thank you for the opportunity to dream.

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  5. I have just moved from the city to a small community, accessible only by boat or 'plane. I'm slowly learning the quirks of this enchanting place. Occasionally it can be frustrating. At those times a good laugh would be just the thing.

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  6. Oh, I would love them please if you would add me to the list. I didn't know you were receiving comments, as I thought you were having a rest from them for a while.

    I am still doing my ripple blanket and swearing when I discover that the beginning of the previous row I have omitted to do an increase in one of the stitches. Grr, unravel again! It's looking good though, your colours are very similar to mine.

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  7. I now know why I thought you weren't doing comments - I have been reading your blog via my email, as I have notifications delivered and I can't see anywhere to add them! Hmm, what I've been missing reading everyone's remarks and not adding mine.

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  8. I love visiting your blog :0)
    Thanks for the chance to win these books!
    They would be a great read through the winter.

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  9. I would love to read these books. My great grandfather left Scotland for Canada in the 1880s. I know very little about his life and his wife's before they left Scotland, so I identify with your comment, "So much has been lost to us." So much has! If only past generations knew how much we'd need their knowledge and experience (well, some past generations did I suppose--just not mine). I realize these books are more contemporary than that, but I would enjoy them nonetheless. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  10. Oh, I would so love to win these.. She is the reason I fell in love with the Hebrideans although from afar.. Thank you..

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  11. I remember the title The Hills is Lonely. I wonder if it was a Reader's Digest condensed book way back when? I would dearly love to own that set! Sbsford(at)gmail(dot)com, otherwise known as Suze

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  12. I remember the title The Hills is Lonely. I wonder if it was a Reader's Digest condensed book way back when? I would dearly love to own that set! Sbsford(at)gmail(dot)com, otherwise known as Suze

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  13. Congratulations on your blog posts.
    Please don't enter my name as I won your last giveaway [and I am still enjoying the hand cream...it's heaven], but I wanted to say Hi and send
    James well wishes. I know he must feel better just from being under his mama made blanket! :)

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  14. I hope James is feeling better soon!

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  15. Would love to win. I'm in the U.S., however. Hope that's not a problem.

    Sweetiesuzy@aol.com

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  16. oh I'd love to win these, I think they sound fantastic! would truly brighten up my burns night (for which I have nothing planned this year) much love x x

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  17. Oh I would love to read these, though I fear it could be dangerous when just buying a house in a town! Lol. Thank you for the giveaway Jacqui xx

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  18. Oh poor James... I hope he will get better.
    And these books look very interesting. I would love to read them:) Thank you for such generous giveaway!

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  19. I, too, have those same old books - knocking on now. They seemed always to be around my parent's home when I was young. And, I did read them. Agree she was a tad patronising at times, but her love of the place and the life and culture clearly shines through. I don't need another set, thanks. Nice to catch up again; isn't Hope growing nicely?

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  20. They look to be just the thing to lift my spirits and maybe share with Ben too.

    san x

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  21. Hope James gets better very soon... seems to be a whole lot of illness about at them moment... all of my family have been struck down with various chest problems during Christmas and beyond, in fact its my turn now as I have a chest infection which has clean knocked me off my feet... so the books would be a lovely get well cheer up... lol!!!
    Jane xxx

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  22. These sound like my kind of books. The nearest we ever got to living rural was when we had our beloved allotment, we tended it every day but sadly age crept up on us and we had to give up. With the books I could kind of relive the rural life again, that would be nice.
    Just found your blog and look forward to reading lots of posts this year.
    Briony
    x

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  23. Best get-well wishes to James. Always open to new books :)

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  24. Don't enter my name, as my Mum has all the books (and lovely they are too), but I just wanted to say what a lovely, generous giveaway this is, and get well soon to little man. Your ripple blanket is gorgeous and is bound to help him recover more quickly. :) xxx

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  25. When I grow up I want to be a crofter too! At least raise chickens somewhere where I can't hear my neighbours breathing. Maybe when I'm 51. Lois from Canada!

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  26. Those books sound wonderful! I don't suppose there is a chance my library might have them but I'm going to check.....

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  27. What a fun giveaway! I think because of your post, I'm going thrifting today and see what I can find :) Love your little lady who looks so soft and that blanket sounds long enough to me!!!

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  28. Want to post/comment but dip out of the giveaway - have so many books to read at the moment both paper and kindle. The look interesting though so what a lovely offer to one of your blog friends.

    What a tease seeing a new secret project, looks lovely whatever it is. Mama made blankets are perfect for poorly snuggles, as are days off school! Hope he's feeling better soon x

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  29. Ahhha...the blanket is a veritable throw at this point. You have made much progress! Lovely books; I do so love those thrifty finds.

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  30. Oh jacqui, it would be like Christmas come again. I'm going to cross every finger in hopes to win. I LOVE vintage books and these stories would take me to a place I've never been ( yet). And even more than fantasy, books like these, true accounts, allow one to dream and imagine a different life, so brilliant!. Please enter my name in your drawing, thank you!
    Get well James, although staying home cuddled under mama made blanket sounds pretty nice :)

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  31. I really enjoy your blog! I hope I'm lucky, and win the books-thank you for the lovely giveaway! x

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  32. I would be beyond thrilled to hold and read these books that would transport me to a time, place, and way of life I have only dreamed of.

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  33. Hello Jacqui,
    There is something about the title "the sea for breakfast" that is really satisfying and evocative, all the while not really knowing what it means. It would be a lovely, lovely thing to receive these from you, should I be so fortunate.

    But what you share here will continue to be enough, more than enough. And thank you so much for your recent comment at my caregiving blog...your words meant alot to me. I am doing ok these days, getting used to the world without my mom in it.

    Love,

    Lesley

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  34. Oh Jacqui, I so remember these books too, I used to cycle as a teenager 4 miles to the nearest library to get the next one....happy days!!!

    Blanket looks gorgeous and just what a small boy needs.
    Love K x

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  35. Janine Todd

    Those covers took me right back to my childhood too.My Auntie had a set and she let me borrow them.My fave story was how the villagers were spending ages in the new phone box. Turns out they were pretending to talk into the receiver whilst admiring their reflection in the mirror.No one had a phone or a mirror!Changed days.I remembered that wee story and it made me chuckle.
    What a wonderful giveaway.

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  36. Hi Jacqui, Well done on your 500 posts - what an achievement!

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  37. What a great giveaway : ) I'd love to win this as much as I'd love to live back in Scotland - the land where my son was born (such wonderful memories : )

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  38. Hi Jacqui, how interesting, and what a strange and lovely parallel.

    I too have always had this strong compulsion to live in the Hebrides and make an annual pilgrimage whenever I can to Skye, my soul place. I too discovered these books some years ago and was captivated, even though as you say they are a bit twee and a little patronising - they paint such an amazing picture of the people and life on the islands. I found the one that I read - The Loud Halo - in a little second hand bookshop in a dusty village in Sussex, but I'd love to have the set.


    You are so lucky to have turned this yearning into reality. I read your posts as they come in and am very envious that you've managed to make the transition so successfully. In my case, my partner doesn't share the dream and so it's unlikely to happen:-) but the annual short breaks and wistful reads of your blog keep me dreaming.

    Luffy ( Luffymoogan.wordpress.com - for some reason blogger is not accepting my openID)

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  39. Hi - love the chance to read this book set - they sound delightful..
    The colors of your blanket that you are doing - love it!! I enjoy your blog.. I'll be back..
    Hugs

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  40. Hi, there are so many bugs around this time of year.(I'd like to be snuggled under your half finished blanket right now, it is cold!)
    What a lovely giveaway, they sound wonderful reads.
    Much love to you.x

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  41. These books sound like perfect Winter reading! Please count me in; I would love them. Looking forward to reading more about Hope too.

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  42. Congratulations Jacqui on 500 posts! Wow, that is awesome. These books look so sweet and this Brit in the US would love to read them. Thank-you for having a wonderful give-away.
    Angie.

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  43. Hi,
    My name is Lorraine and I live on the east coast of England ....you are living my dream a croft on the Isle of Lewis...maybe oneday!!!!
    I would love to be considered for the wonderful giveaway.

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  44. congratulations on 500 posts! that is super. I am excited about the opportunity to win Lillian Beckwith's books. I have always wanted to read her books. thanks for your generous give-away. Alison

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  45. Happy 500. I'm glad you're here. The books look like they weave a wonderful story.

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  46. Read a couple of these books, really enjoyed them, as you say, scenes from a way of life now sadly gone. Haven't seen them for a long time, despite trawling the local charity shops.

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  47. I would love to be considered for those wonderful books, I have read one of hers, and I can imagine the Hebrides just as it was then. They would be perfect at the moment, as I am flat on my back again in bed all day with a severe back injury. Looking forward to hearing more stories on your beautiful calve. Julie (South Uist)

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  48. I pop over here every now and then from Soulemama, I really admire your photography, but I've never left a comment (at least I don't think I have :)...But this seems like a perfect place to start! Count me in for the giveaway, please! Thanks!

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  49. I would love to read these books - perfect for a winter evening!

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  50. i love old covers on books.....you really shouldnt give these away, they are part of your past. maybe whoever wins them could read them and then post them back to you.......get well soon, im just getting over pleurisy, this winter has been a bad one, everyone i know is unwell....healing thoughts all round xx

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    1. Hi Lina :)
      Don't worry - my Dad still has the original books. These ones had just been handed into the thrift shop in Stornoway one day when I popped in. xx

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  51. These books sound wonderful - would love to read them. Hope you feel better soon.

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  52. They sound wonderful! Would love to read them with the kids!

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  53. How generous! And these are new to me, I'd love to read them as read alouds with my kids :)

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  54. Yes please x
    Karen S
    twannywun at hotmail dot com

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  55. They look fantastic. I remember reading a similar kind of thing about Wales - A Hovel in the Hills and A Kitchen in the Hills - when I was a teenager. Would love to read these too.

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  56. So thankful for your blog. With the passing of my Scottish father this Christmas, the ties to the old country are disappearing. I too remember winters of oxtail, mince, rice pudding, stovies, finnan haddie, homemade toffee for a treat on a cold winter's night. My spinning wheel sits by the fire and I run my sheep with a border collie on this sounthern Ontario farm, as my dad did many years ago. Love, love, love your blog. Pam

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  57. Greetings from Sweden! I am a knitter and dream of going to the Outer Hebrides one day. I love visiting through your blog, seeing your beautiful photos. I was so glad to that you decided to keep on blogging and congratulations to 500 posts! Hope you feel better soon.

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  58. These look wonderful, though they will surely make my yearning to visit the Hebrides even stronger! Thanks so much for offering to share them.
    (I hope you and your family are feeling better now.)

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  59. Lately I've been reading books about Scotland, perhaps it is the Scotch I'm drinking or the hebredian wool I am spinning? I don't know why, but I am simply fascinated! Right now I'm reading the rather sad 'On the Crofters' Trail' by David Craig. Before, 'Tempestuous Eden' by Ursula Venables. I'd love to read the books you mentioned.

    Many thanks for you lovely blogs, I enjoy reading it!

    Best wishes,

    Nicole

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  60. The books look intriguing. I would love to read them. I will have to see if they are available here in Canada.

    Hope you are feeling better by now.
    Myra

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  61. Sorry to read you're laid low with the lurgy, hope you're all on the mend. Thank you for this lovely giveaway.
    Barbara x

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  62. I am so delighted to have found your blog. I have several of the Lillian Beckwith books and have enjoyed them so much. I hope whoever wins them will find them as interesting as I did.

    I hope you are all well again soon. There has been so much flu in the U.S. as well

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  63. I hope that nasty flu flies away very soon, looking at the weather forecast you have warmer sunnier weather than us ~ we are still deep in snow!

    All the very best to you all, I have read one or two of the Lilian Beckwith books ~ I love to read about the Hebrides, past and present, many thanks for your blog.

    Pippa

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  64. Oh, they look like lovely books. I love discovering older literature too, which is sadly so often overlooked these days.
    And we are struggling with flu here as well, so wishing you all a speedy recovery.
    Fiona

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  65. Hi Jacqui, is 'A spade amongst the rushes' (think that was it)in the series? I stumbled accross it in a charity shop too and I must admit it was what got me a bit infatuated with crofting, and probably led me to this book. Didn't realise there were others - will check them out.

    I have neglected my blog lately and also lost touch with my 'favorites' - am looking forward to catching up with your posts. Hope you feel better soon.

    Bonnie

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  66. Congratulations on 500 posts!
    Hope you are all feeling better.
    Looking forward to the next 500 posts :)

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  67. Oh My! Be still my heart!
    I wantto be a crofter!
    I am smitten with the Hebrides!
    Take me away!

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  68. Recently retired, at present well snow covered in rural Northumberland. Springer spaniel loves the snow but chickens are very sick of it. Love reading and plenty of time on my hands.......michelleblane@yahoo.co.uk

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