Thursday 30 June 2016

Our week on the Isle of Seil.

Last week we were due to go on holiday when the place we were suppose to be going to stay could no longer accommodate our dog and so we had to find alternative accommodation. As it was in Oban, a busy place with all the tourists at this time of year finding an alternative was difficult. But we managed to find a small cottage sixteen miles outside Oban, a small village called Ellenabeich on the Isle of Seil, a very small place with no mobile phone signal but amazing scenery.

Thought I would share my holiday with you in case you are ever looking for somewhere to stay.

 wikipedia tells us

Seil is one of the slate islands, and has been linked to the Scottish mainland since 1792 when the Clachan Bridge was built by engineer Robert Mylne. Also known as the "Bridge Over the Atlantic", the bridge is still used today and in early summer is covered in fairy foxgloves (Erinus alpinus).
Balvicar, in the centre of the island, is the main settlement with a flourishing fishing industry, the island shop, and a high percentage of houses that are occupied all year round. At the end of the road lies the former slate-mining village of Ellenabeich. This picturesque village is a conservation area with a high percentage of holiday cottages and is fully occupied only in the summer months. Parts of Ring of Bright Water were filmed here. The Ellenabeich Heritage Centre which opened in 2000, is run by the Scottish Slate Islands Trust. Located in a former slate quarry-worker's cottage, the centre has displays on life in the 19th century, slate quarrying and the local flora, fauna and geology.[6] Ferries sail from Ellenabeich to Easdale, and from Cuan on the island to Luing. The mother of Princess DianaFrances Shand Kydd, lived there until her death in 2004.

The Isle of Seil is connected to the main land by the Clachan Bridge

Clachan bridge
a car on the bridge

or more commonly known as the bridge over the Atlantic. It is a scary bridge to drive over as at the top as you go over the hump you can no longer see the road, only the sky is visible for a second.

the view from the bridge

From the middle of the bridge you can see as far as the Atlantic which flows inland under the bridge, hence the nick name.

Just over the bridge and othe Isle is the Tigh an Truish inn, it translates as "House of the Trousers" as during the Jacobite rising of 1745 the kilt was banned, so the islanders would change into trousers before crossing the bridge to the mainland. 

Tigh an Truish inn

There are two small shops at the bridge as well. The shops have no staff, both have an honesty bowl and a sign saying it is self service. 

a collage of the shops 

So as we were parked up in the car park at the bridge we decided to follow one of the sign posted walks and see the views. 

the view from the top of the hill

There is a cache available here, but only when the tide is out when the water is low enough to get to the island.

Loved the old boat that is lying grounded.

an old boat

and the views are just stunning. 

two yacht's on the horizon

So we moved further inland to see the church. I love old churches, sadly this one did not have a graveyard.

Internally the church is an attractive mix of grey stone, red carpet and a mid-toned wood, which extends to the panel in front of the gallery at the west end.
But what really sets Kilbrandon and Kilchattan Parish Church apart is its superb collection of five stained glass windows. These were the work of Dr Douglas Strachan and were presented to the church in 1938 in memory of the Marchioness of Breadalbane.
Each of the windows illustrates a scene from the Bible, mostly the New Testament, and mostly from around the Sea of Galilee, making them very appropriate for an island parish.

 The church has a key in the door and people are welcome to drop in any time they want.

Kilbrandon Church

I loved the stained glass windows.

the church windows

There is a dvd that you can watch and it gives you a good history of the Isle.

a tv with an informative dvd

This sign made me smile. 

and the view from the church was amazing.

the view from the church

We stayed in one of the larger villages. Ellenabeich. It has a Highland Arts Exhibition shop, a Seafari shop to book tours
  Daily departures from the conservation village of Easdale just south of Oban to the World's Third Largest Whirlpool, The Corryvreckan. Whales, dolphins, porpoise, otter, seals, eagles and deer regularly seen by our customers.Day tours to Iona, Staffa and the Puffin colony. Whale watching during June, July and August.

a view of Ellenabeich from Easdale 

A Slate Heritage Centre explains the history of the area. It shows how the Isle came to be due to the slate that makes up the islands.

a model of the inside of a cottage

a mock up of the quarry

The crane used to sit on a pier in between the two slate islands but the weather has made the pier unsafe and so this piece of history was brought ashore and refurbished and put on display.

the crane that loaded the boats 

 Lastly there is one pub, The Oyster Brewery Bar and Restaurant, which serves meals between 12 and 2pm and 6-8pm. This is about typical for the area where everything moves at a very slow pace of life. The pub was shut by about 9am every night we were there. The meals were lovely though it is recommended that you book a table as it is only a small pub. The pub offers free WiFi, well nearly free, they ask for a donation for the RNLI in return for the password.

The holiday was great. Very relaxing, plenty of time to read and sew and listen to audio books.

Going to do a separate post on the views from Ellenabeich and Easdale, they were stunning.

Running in Lavender

Tuesday 28 June 2016

Save Money on Your Purchases Anytime of Year

A person's happiness doesn't depend on how much money they have, but money can do a lot for some people. When asked, there is probably not a person who would say that they don't love to save. Even those who have money and are able to afford pretty much whatever they want enjoy not having to pay full price on the things they want and need. With there being so many people in the world looking to save a few bucks on their purchases, it is not surprising that retailers often offer discounts to shoppers. So, where can these deals be found? The answer is Groupon Coupons UK.

Groupon Coupons UK is a great resource for those who love shopping, but don't want to spend a lot of money. There is a wide variety of retailers featured on the site, so whether you are buying socks and shoes or getting a spa treatment, you don't have to go broke doing so. One of the best things about using this site, is that access is free and people can use it anytime they are shopping.

To access the coupons and discounts, the only thing shoppers have to do is go to the site, search their favourite merchants, like the Groupon Discount Code page for JD Sports, and view the list of available discounts. If they find one that will give them a great discount on the items they want, all they have to do is apply it to their order. It's simple, quick and takes very little work.

There are many people who have taken on shopping as a hobby. Shopping may be fun, but it is fairly easy for people to spend a lot of money that they don't really have, especially if they go to the store or shop online multiple times a week. Even if you aren't able to save on every purchase, you should at least save on some. The best way to do that is to use Groupon Coupons UK. With it being free, easy to use and there being a huge selection of retailers, you're sure to be pleased with the items you purchase and the amount you save.

Why not pop across and have a look how much you could save? Maybe you will find yourself some bargains for the up coming holiday season.

This is a sponsored post.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Project 366 weeks 24 and 25


A rather cute Spud in her Zebra babygro

Spud looking cute


A lot of Citroen Dolly cars and French speaking people down the beach today.

lots of cars


Going away on holiday on Thursday, lots of planning being done first. Mapping geocaches and places of interest. Hubby decided the alloys needed cleaning.

cleaning the alloys


We went to meet up with a friend to walk Lilly with her dogs, lets just say we were so close to diverting into the SSPCA on the way past to drop her back off. Change of plan for the holiday, now going on Friday to somewhere we will have no internet connection. Had to change plans so have downloaded some books and audio books as well as some tv episodes onto my kindle.

making sure we don't go without her. 


Took the twins to the park today and as mummy was busy we took Spud as well. We have to cross the main road in the village to get to the park, so the twins are attached to the pram by wrist straps. No chance for them to dash away. They know this happens and are quite happy to get attached.

on wrists straps and holding the pram


Off on holiday. Stopped at various places on the way. one place being Inverary Castle. Here is Lilly looking through the bridge at the sheep in the field. We were staying at Ellenabeich on the Isle of Seil 

Lilly at Inverary Castle. 


A glorious day. In the morning we went up the hills at the back. There is a cache up there as well as a phone signal if you climb high enough. DD2 and SIL came over for the afternoon  and we went across to Easdale Island,  home of the world stone skimming championships. Thought I would share a 360 degree view with you. I went up here for a cache, and got a phone signal as well.
Had a very nice lunch in the local pub.


We had some over night rain and the day started out dull and windy. Went to DD2 house for some lunch.  Daughter was showing me all her baby stuff. She has a lot of beautiful hand knitted items from a relative on SIL side. The furniture is built up and the room painted and re-carpeted all ready. Love the Moses basket, it was bought for SIL as a baby and was used for his sister as well as her children, Now the heirloom is awaiting the birth of Ziggy.

We went for a walk to Dunollie Castle and stopped at the lighthouse to pick up a cache.

DD2 with Lilly 


A wind and high tide made for some nice photos on our morning beach walk. I call it a beach but as it is part of the slate islands then it is slate not sand, but the dog loved rooting for crabs and sea lice, We then headed to the nearby village to buy a few bits in the shop and have a walk along the other side of the island.

crashing waves 


We decided today to leave Lilly at the cottage and go and do some sight seeing. We went to Carnasserie Castle  and then onto Kilmartin 
The village sits at the heart of Kilmartin Glen, and there are over eight hundred ancient monuments to be found within six miles of it. These include burial cairns, rock carvings, and standing stones, as well as the remains of the fortress at Dunadd. Kilmartin seems a surprisingly small place to be carrying such a weight of history.

The Nether Largie Standing Stones


Went into Oban to spend the day with DD2. We went down for lunch first leaving Lilly in her cage at daughters house and then we went and did a bit of shopping.  Could not resist this, and bought it for Ziggy after daughter promising me he/she would wear it as DD2 is not a lover of Pooh Bear. So far it is the only thing I have bought.

a babygro for Ziggy


Another glorious day, our last full day on the Isle and so we decided to go and explore some more of what it has to offer. Parked up and the Atlantic Bridge and took a sign posted walk. Then went and stopped off at an old church. I love old churches, sadly no graveyard at it.
Back home for some lunch and then off across to see the rest of Easdale. Easdale is a vehicle free Isle and is only accessible by boat, so we took over the wee boat. Tesco deliver as far as the ferry point, and the islanders come over the meet the van and get their shopping. When they get off the boat they unload onto the slip way and then use fetch their wheel barrow to carry the shopping the short distance home.

wheel barrows on Easdale 


Sadly the week is over. Have to say it has been nice. plenty of time to chill, done a fair amount of cross stitching on Ziggy's blanket, read a few books and listened to some audio books as well. I tapped into the wi-fi in the local shop a couple of times. The pub also have free wi-fi in return for a donation to the RNLI, and the church we visited had it available ( not that we used that). No phone signal unless you climbed up the hills and got in line with the mast on Mull. A nice place to visit but would not fancy the eight miles of single track roads with passing places every day, but a nice place to retire to.

The Isle has more snails than I have every seen before. The whole isle is built on and with slate. The cottages, the walls, the beaches are all slate, and they seem to live in all the gaps.  At night fall they seem to come out in their hundreds. I liked the colour of this one on the beach this morning.


Brought the grandchildren home a pressie each. Stopped here as we fancied the guided tour but they do not allow dogs on the tour and was far to warm to leave her in the car.

a wee souvenir 

Lots and lots of other pictures to edit and share at some point.

TheBoyandMe's 366 Linky

Saturday 11 June 2016

Project 366 week 23


It has been far far far to warm here all week for my liking, I mean come on 24 oC on the West Coast of Scotland for more than a week with no rain for more than three weeks is just not acceptable. So most of the evenings this week we have been taking the dog for a walk 9pm ish. Has given some nice sunsets, not that we have much to line them up with here.


Hubby was not feeling well so Lilly and I went for a walk by ourselves when we dropped Bob at gymnastics, I say a walk, it was a stroll trying to keep in the shade as much as possible, was still to warm for a walk but needed to do something with the hour. Knew we would not get a walk later as I was babysitting the twins and Bob while DD1 went to pick up Fifi.


As hubby was still feeling ill I got the joy of the early morning swim session with Granddaughter. So Fifi, Lilly and I went and we walked on the beach while she was swimming, at least at 6am it was cooler.


Still having dog issues with Lilly. She gets very very stressed out when she is out on her lead and is a nightmare woofing and yipping and behaving like a wild animal. She is even worse when she does not even see the dog but it has been suggested to us that maybe she has been attacked on the lead and is nervous when she does not see the dog. But she seems not bad with the neighbours dogs through the fence either side, so we let the two of them in the same garden to see what would happen. Look they are amazing together and played away for about fifteen mins with no problem at all. Gives us hope that she will be able to be worked with as we have still had thoughts of handing her back she is that much of a nightmare.


Still far too hot but I took the twins across to the park for a while to get them out. Much too hot for Spud to be out so daughter been stuck in with them. Dinky spent half the time walking up the slide and sliding down but refuses to go up the steps to slide down. I got them chasing their shadows on the way home to see if they could catch them.


Hubby did the swim run this morning, so while he was away I did a workout. Was still 21 oC in the living room at 6.30 am so I had the fan on. I liked this wee message at the end of the work out.


Made a peanut butter and dried fruit cake the other day, and am taking some to work to eat in my break. Recipe is here if you want a look,

Thursday 9 June 2016

Peanut butter and dried fruit cake.

I saw a recipe for a Sugar and Dairy free date nectar and banana cake on Mummy Mishap's blog  on a linky that I felt I had to try. But when I got to the cupboard I realised I did not have any nectar syrup left. I looked for agave but none of it either, so having put myself in the mood to bake I decided on golden syrup instead. So having rooted round the cupboard to see what else I could pop in it I came up with dried fruit and linseed.

Peanut butter and dried fruit cake

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10 to 12


  • 250g baking golden syrup
  • 225g peanut butter
  • 2 small over ripe bananas chopped
  • 200g mixed fruit, I used dried prunes, apricots and currants
  • 25g linseeds
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 300g self-raising flour


  1. Measure golden syrup and peanut butter into a pan
  2. Heat gently until melted and stir to combine
  3. Add chopped banana, dried fruit and linseed and stir to combine
  4. Cool for ten minutes and then gently break up fruit with a stick blender
  5. Add eggs and flour and put into greased baking tin
  6. Cook for approx 30 mins at 150 oC ( I used my halogen oven)
  7. Cool on a baking tray and then cut into squares

place peanut butter and golden syrup in pan to melt

weigh out the mixed dried fruit of your choice

add dried fruit and banana and leave to cool 

Had you wanted you could have cut up the dried fruit and mashed the banana first rather than blitzing

blitz a wee bit to break up the fruit

A square tin would have been better but the ones I have do not fit in my halogen oven. 

in the tins ready to be cooked 

Quick and easy with minimal mixing. 

cooked and very tasty

I am linking this up to share it with others to

Link up your recipe of the week

and as it just oddments from the cupboards also linking it to where you can also get inspiration from others. Cheryls Kitchen clear out linky

Tuesday 7 June 2016

Grandchild Number six is just as special.

Gosh the numbers of grandchildren is going up rapidly at the moment, the twins born in 2013, one in 2014, one already this year and another due before the Autumn. But each and every one of them is loved for being the unique people they are.  When the first two were born they lived a few hundred miles away so I did not see much of them, now of course they have moved closer and I see five of them pretty much every day. I feel privileged to be such a big part of the lives of my daughter's five and to see them grow and change.

Dinky, Fifi with Spud, Minky and Bob 

When the first grandchild came along every minute of her wee life was photographed and videoed with a lot of stuff shared on the internet. With her being ten weeks early she was naturally behind in a lot of her milestones but that was never really an issue, we were just grateful she was alive to reach the milestones at whatever stage she reached them.

Spud ( as she is called on the blog) came into the world on March 2nd this year. She landed as a fifth child in the family, and life for her will always be noisy and  hectic and she will never get a minutes peace and quiet but she will be smothered with love and will never know any different.

Fifi and Spud with Bob's arm 

The older two children got to meet her along with the other grandparents when she was only a few hours old, and then they went back up every day until mum  came home.

The twins at just turned two did not get to meet their baby sister until she came home, was going to cause too much trauma all round to take them up and then have to bring them away from their mum. Have to say they are both great with her and Dinky loves to cuddle her and talk to her, she even reads books to her.

Dinky with Spud the day she came home. 

She has a great bond with the older two children in particular. Fifi at nearly fourteen is a great help and often has the task of keeping an eye on her while mum goes for a shower. Or keeping an eye on her while mum cooks the tea. The twins at only two themselves can be rather boisterous and may well harm her unintentionally by falling on her while she is in her bouncy chair, or just being a bit over enthusiastic when give her a kiss or a cuddle.

Fifi being a smart Alex and keeping an eye on Spud

the oldest and youngest interacting 

But Bob is her favourite. Bob is NOISY and has no idea how to talk without yelling and as he is home educated he has been around the whole time my daughter was pregnant with her. She got use to hearing his dulcet tones while in the womb. So Spud responds better to him and he tends to get more smiles and more babbling than anybody else in the family.

Bob and Spud

Now I know we can all be a bit over protective with our first child, but time you get further down the line to child five then you tend to relax a bit more. My daughter runs the local toddler group and so Spud has been going along since before she was born, When she is there she is cuddles by one person or another the whole time she is there. Even the other toddlers like to have a hold of her.

The other drawback of being so far down the line is less pictures and video is taken as there is always somebody else needing seen too or something else needing done, Spud is a content baby who is happy to sit in her bouncy chair or her swing and watch the world going by. usually with Bob and Minky at a hundred and ten miles an hour. I have to admit I don't interact with her as much as I did with the twins as they tend to be more active and therefore I play/read/talk to them and poor Spud just exists in the background. Last night I babysat while DD1 went to pick up Fifi so when she got back I got some time to interact with Spud and she was smiling and babbling away quite the thing.

While I may well not be Supergran and share her all over the internet I still love her as much as the others, and as she becomes older and more mobile I am sure we will all have lots of adventures, with plenty of sharing in years to come.

This is my entry into the Tots100/WaterWipes Baby Milestones challenge.