Sunday, February 17, 2013

A trip to my favourite place...

When I celebrated my birthday just a little over a week ago, I told Chris that I wanted a day out for my present. It had been a while since we had taken the road north, up to my favourite spot - Castle Ardvreck on Loch Assynt. This place has been so special to me since the first time I saw it - there is something so spiritual about the place. It saddens me that I am no longer able to clamber over the little rises and falls across the little spit of land to the place where the castle stands. I love the loch itself, with its little islands of weathered trees. I love the hills that surround the loch - barren and almost otherworldly. It is just an incredible place. So, I don't think this post really needs too many words. It is all about the images. I took these photos with my camera, so not nearly as beautiful as Chris' photos might be. These places really have to be seen in person to truly appreciate them.

I love this view of Cul Beag, Stac Pollaidh and Cul More. The landscape
is so desolate, but there is a magic there I can't begin to describe.

A snow-covered Canisp
Some of the tree islands of Loch Assynt.

A place that fills my heart. Castle Ardrvreck - I can't begin to describe what
 it is or why it is that this place speaks to me to deeply, but it does. I love this place.
When we lived in the States, I would spend hours looking at photographs
 of this place and wish with all my being to be there again.

This boat was sitting in Loch Kanaird which
 comes inland from Ardmair Bay. I loved the boat
against the backdrop of the snow-capped hills.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I've been so busy...

I am so sorry I have neglected this poor little blog for so long. Christmas was a busy time and January, while a time of a sort of hibernation, was busier still. I spent the month creating, editing, designing, photographing and preparing for the relaunch of Ailleas Designs and the launch of The Selkie's Haunt - my new bronze and copper jewellery art website. It was a lot of hard work, but I am sure it will prove worth all the time and effort. Both sites went live on 1 February and the reception has been lovely. I am looking forward to creating more and photographing my pieces as they finish. The joy of creating never gets old. I have many stockists lined up for the 2013 season as well, so that makes me very happy.

We had the fun of Catherine and her mum and dad here for Christmas. It was very exciting and I loved seeing Christmas through the eyes of a three-year old. She had a good time and I miss her when she isn't here. I hope it won't be too much longer until we see them again. There are potential plans to go down to Edinburgh next month to see friends from the States. If that happens, we will most definitely see them again as we will all meet up (the friends are Catherine's godmother and her wife).  I hope it does happen. It will be good to see Kelly and meet Mattie for the first time.

Catherine with the beautiful stocking made for her
by my dear friend Helen Peat
Other than work, it has been fairly uneventful. The weather has been misty and wet for most of the time and we have had some snow - but not here on the shores of the loch. The hills wear a mantle of white and it is lovely and makes the hills even more beautiful, if that is, indeed, possible. The higher ground also boasts some snow, but we have been able to get around without any real danger. We had several nights of very high winds, but, even then, it wasn't nearly as bad as anticipated. We have yet to have a moment here where we aren't happy, even in the midst of winter.

View of An Teallach from the Fain

As the days get longer, we think about all the activities that are before us. We have our first real market of the season on 16 March in Gairloch. We are really looking forward to that. It will be Chris' first market in I don't know how long and it will be the first market for The Selkie's Haunt. Fingers crossed it goes well.

My addiction to crochet continues as well. I love it - I find it so relaxing and it centres me, if that makes any sense. I am making more scarves and hats than I could ever wear, so I am hoping to sell some next autumn when the weather starts to turn. I have also had the fun of appearing on the local radio station for an interview and there may be a possibility of my doing a 13-week programme. I am working on the pilot now and we will see what happens. I must say, I've always fancied the idea of being on radio. I know it will be a great deal of fun.

So, I am keeping myself as busy as I can. I am sorry to report that my arthritis continues to worsen. I anticipate, at this point, that a wheelchair will be a necessity within the next 24 months. The pain is quite unbearable at times, but I just let it wash over me as best I can. Living as we do now, in this beautiful place and surrounded by the lovely friends we have made, I can put up with almost anything.