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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last days of Summer

The heather is blooming now, turning the hillsides into a haze of purple. It's a lovely sight, but a sure sign that Autumn is on the horizon.

The school holidays are over again, although we enjoyed the very last evening on our favourite beach.

We also managed to pick some of the brambles growing down by the shore, before the birds finished them off - so we have some tiny jars of blackberry jelly!

We've been eating fresh salad from the polytunnel every day...

... and the tomatoes are beginning to ripen. Slowly, mind you, but still, it's more than I had expected.

The vegetable garden has been pretty much neglected this year - I lost two lots of seedlings while we were on the mainland for John's hospital treatments, and the raised beds have become choked with weeds. Ah well - nothing else for it but to begin again - slowly - one spadeful at a time. I am pleased to have been able to put a few crops in the ground, at least - and there is always another season...

I've been developing a herb plot near the house, and I am pleased with how it is turning out. The hens also like to hang out under the trees here, so some protection is needed from foraging chooks.

In other news - we have sold the cattle. It was a hard decision, as they have been such a  well-loved part of our lives here. But looking ahead, realistically, it is unlikely John will be able to get back to active crofting, and looking after them involves a lot of work - particularly in the Winter. With a heavy heart, I put them up for sale, and within the week a deal was done. Happily, they are going to be part of a new Dexter herd in another part of Scotland, where the grass is lush and the Winters are kinder.

 The sheep too, will be going for sale next month. Another hard decision, but better for us and for them at this time. It is not what we planned at all, but this is where we are right now.

So - our focus is on the cancer treatment - the next cycle of chemotherapy is in a few days time. We don't know what the eventual outcome will be, and whether livestock will feature again in our lives, but - its not a bad place to be while we wait... xx


  1. Thinking of you all with love and prayers x

  2. From Margie in Toronto - you have had an awful lot of tough decisions to make lately and I so admire the way you and your husband have handled all of them. It must have been a terrible wrench to have to let the cattle and sheep go but you have done the best for them and for your family at this particular time and I hope you take comfort in that. Your photos are so beautiful and I hope your lovely home continues to be an inspiration and a retreat at this difficult time. I hope things go well for the next round of treatments and that you know how many people are thinking of you.

  3. What a very beautiful and poignant post. You are a truly talented photographer. We harvested the first of our Sutherland kale yesterday - quite delicious. If you end up short of seeds for next year, let me know. x

  4. Wishing you well for the weeks ahead. A poignant post from your beautiful part of the world.

  5. A beautiful post. What hard and brave decisions and tasks you have been faced with. Thinking of you all.

  6. I've been out of the loop for the past three months with a big move - South Dakota to Puerto Rico. I just caught up with your blog and am so sorry to hear about John and the changes that you need to make. I imagine it is hard to say goodbye, but there must be some relief in taking a few things off of your plate right now. I'll be praying for your family.

  7. Hard decisions made, but surely the right ones for this time. My thoughts and prayers are continuing for you and yours.

    God bless.

  8. Some tough decisions but right for you and for them. Praying for you and your family.

  9. How beautiful, thanks for posting. I am so ready for autumn, I have my new packs of tights ready to be opened on 1st September, a new tweed jacket and plenty of stews and soup recipes I am busting to try.

    It must have been a hard decision to make to sell the livestock, but so glad you will have more time to devote to healing instead.

  10. always with love dear one. I think of you often and hope you find peace in your beautiful surroundings through the tough times and tough decisions. X

  11. I know these were not easy decisions.....You and your family pass through my thoughts each day. I pray that you are taking care of yourself.

  12. I think of you daily and am so thankful for the update.

    I'm so sorry about the animals, but maybe a day in the future you can get more. Life is always changing and I know there are bright days ahead for you! Hugs to all.

  13. Thinking of you and sending strength for your next round of chemo xxx

  14. So much energy goes into healing. I'm sorry that so much of your life has to change in the meantime. Beautiful photos as usual, can you plant all year round in the greenhouse tent? We had a gardener in our community garden who grew through one mild Ontario winter, he did peas and arugula... he was quite successful. Lois from Hamilton

  15. Sending loving wishes and you all as you walk this pathway. xxx

  16. Never commented before but felt a strong urge to tell you that I have had cancer and endured surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy but I am 4 years on from that very bleak place.
    You have to do whatever you need to to get through. Wishing you the strength you need to get through. With love.x

  17. praying for you dear-you've made hard decisions but you never know, you might be building up another herd or two in the years to come. I think freeing up time to focus on John's health is where the focus is and that is a very very good thing :)

  18. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Slow journey, tough decisions but one day at a time for now. Be well.

  19. It sounds like you have made decisions that are ultimately positive ones. The challenges of illness force one to prioritise and see things differently. It seems very autumnal here down in the Central Belt too. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers too. Look after yourself too, Jacqui. xox

  20. Jacqui, I was very caught up in the beauty of the photographs of this post. As I read your accompanying text and thought a bit about those words were actually saying, the images of the photographs became even more beautiful.

    You and yours have made some wisely considered decisions. You are able to concentrate more now on what needs concentration.

    Please know that you all are still held in my prayers. A new season beckons and we shall embrace it.


  21. There must have been a lot of soul searching before you made some very difficult decisions regarding the animals, but ultimately a sense of relief for you all so that you can now concentrate on John's treatment.
    Wishing him strength during this next cycle of chemotherapy.

  22. Difficult journey - may God continue to bless you as he has done already in Christ. Beauty can be so painful at times. x

  23. I hope you can gather some strength and solace from the beautiful land you live in. Thank you for all the beautiful pictures-regretting my stay on Uist was so short this time. Will have to come back soon! xo


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