Woke up this morning to a winter wonderland outside, the snow was fairly thick and went right down to the waterside which is unusual here.
So although we managed to get the new lean-to finished the other day we now have the issue of the heavy snow covering the roof and stretching the plastic so the morning starts with clearing this. I am a little short to use my hands, like James does, to hit the plastic from the inside and so I covered a broom with some carpet underlay and pushed that up against the roof. Proper workout! I was exhausted after that.
I was desperate to get out and take some photos of the village covered in snow so I headed off to get my camera and start shooting while the sun was still hidden behind the mountains. It was magical, the peaceful little village of Plockton on a quiet Sunday morning.
Back at Rudha Mor I brought in some wood then headed off around the path to check all was ok and to take some more photos. There were already several different prints on the path in the snow but I didn’t pass a soul as I walked around.
Back in the house and time to start a bit of decorating to get us all in the Christmas spirit!
Having finished the outer structure of the lean-to I began to build the shelf inside where we will start growing a variety of plants to be planted out along the walk and in the house garden. The initial plan was the there would only be plants on the shelf as the base of the structure would be covered in wood but I found several old glass windows which I fitted so that we can have some larger plants on the floor where they can still get light. I have also repaired the lock on the door that will be used to access the lean-to and used the leftover carpet underlay stapled to wood the lower section as insulation, soon I will able to start growing next seasons plants.
The winds started picking up yesterday and as it was getting dark I came back to the barn to lock up and found that the roof of our new lean-to was already loose and flapping in the wind. Unfortunately there was not much I could do but hope that overnight the damage wouldn’t be too bad. When I came in to the house I checked the anemometer and the winds were already reaching the mid 40’s. It was not an easy night of sleep as the weather howled outside. When I woke I checked the wind speed and it had reached 54mph and since things didn’t seem to be calming I reset it and between 6-9am it hit 64mph!!
As I was watching the morning news and weather they said that the wind direction was changing and so I went outside to see the damage. Amazingly it was not that bad, the plastic was loose but still attached at the back edge and not ripped. All the windows were intact and the garage was not in shelter as the wind blew from the NW. I ran in to wake Cat and I think she thought it was really bad the way I rolled in but I was just excited that it wasn’t that bad!
With Cat up, her belly full of banana blueberry muffins and coffee, we headed out to get started or repairs. We thought we only had about an hour before the winds would come back around to be hitting us hard so we thought we would just cover it with a tarp but that wasn’t really working and the weather seemed to be easing a little so we decided we needed to do a full repair. It didn’t take too long and we had the roof on and started to finish it of so that the whole structure would be sealed and fair much better.
The storm is not over. By 3:30 we had secured everything by the barn and garage so we headed out on the path to check and see if there were any major trees down or anything along the walk that could be a hazard. All was well and since we had our saws with us we did a little rhododendron removal.
Saw that some of the gorse was in flower which was a nice burst of yellow in the wintery landscape. Snow is expected tonight and over the next few days so we have got plenty of wood in to keep us cosy!
This week mum and I went out to do a little maintenance on the path edges by the arboretum viewpoint and decided to cut some red dogwood and honeysuckle for making wreaths.
Mum used to make wreaths all the time and I had never made one so was very excited to give it a go. The honeysuckle which is growing like mad all over the place was easy to harvest and work with. I started working with it and made a good strong ring then added a few strips of the red dogwood for a little colour.
I then added few pieces of dried Eryngium which has a lovely blueish purple colour to it which looks great against the browns and red of the wreath. I also found some dried lavender and quail feathers from a recent bird that we ate.A wee bit of ribbon and two of my cinnamon ornaments and my wreath was complete!
The other decorations we have been making are cinnamon ornaments. It was a Martha Stewart project from a few years ago that I really enjoyed so we decided to give it a go again. It is pretty simple, you mix cinnamon, craft glue and applesauce to make dough then roll it out and cut shapes using cookie cutters or templates made from card. We made a variety of shapes from the more obvious christmas themed things like trees, stars, wreaths, ornaments, gingerbread men and snowmen to robins and highland cows. The best bit is decorating them with glitter, you can make them as detailed as you like or just add a little sparkle but I tend to go for lots of detail cause it is sooooo much fun!