Monday, 5 November 2007
Still cant believe it but it happened. Had a day off work today so decided to have a few hours pike fishing. First of the day was this pristine female pike of 20lbs 2oz. Thats 2 20's in 2 weeks. This one was followed by anther 12 fish weighing between 2 and 14lbs. All fish carefully landed, unhooked and returned.
Tried a method I have'nt used for quite a long time called wobbling. This is essentially making a dead fish look like a sick or dieing fish. You set the bait on a wire trace with a wee bit of lead, cast it out and twitch it back ever so slowly. Deadly!!
Started painting the exterior of the cottage at the weekend. It will need 2 coats. Next visit I,ll put before and after pics.
Monday, 22 October 2007
I was fishing at the weekend at a wee loch near Glasgow with a good friend and mentor Ricky Macintyre. Ricky has an inovative style of fishing that involves more than simply chucking out baits or dragging a couple of lures aimlessly around.
This specimen weighed in at 23lbs 4 oz and was fooled by a red herring fished in such a manner that it must have looked like an injured or sick prey fish.
She, I know she was a she because for one thing males do'nt grow this size, and also because I was covered in caviar.
This big lass was carefully returned and swam off with no problems.
I find it a wee bit difficult to smile for the camera because I,m never happy till the fish is safely returned.
That night when I got home I had to celebrate alone because Sandra was working. Scoffed a litre of cheap and cheerful French Country Red from Spar then hit the sack
. When Sandra came into the bedroom on the Sunday morning and woke me she said I was smiling in my sleep.
Must have been dreaming about my "affair" the previous day ;-)
Monday, 8 October 2007
Thursday, 6 September 2007
The job involves painting, gardening, archive sorting, general maintenance and houskeeping.
I,ve got man flu or maybe just a summer cold, so probably will stay home this weekend. Cant phone in sick I,ve only been there for two weeks.
Was supposed to be going fishing to Loch Arkaig Saturday with mates but no point if I,m feeling like a pile of pigeon droppings.
On a lighter note.
We have a great crop of courgettes one of which seems to be turning into a marrow of some kind. The carrots will have to come out soon before they start bolting. Millions of runner beans, some over a foot long, and piles of peas. There are 18 leeks of various sizes and lots of spring onions. Its been a great season with no major problems or disease.
Thursday, 23 August 2007
Summer has finally started with temps of 23-25 the last few days. The combine harvesters are out in force making hay while the sun shines and the crops are dry. Unfortunately this brings out the corn lice, not quite as bad as midges or mosquito's but nasty just the same.
I,m not going to use pots in the greenhouse next year. I,m going to get a bricklayer to build me three troughs in there with concrete block. Over the winter I,ll try hotbedding with cowdung at the base and compost/earth above. I believe you can grow pineapples etc in this way. Had a delay starting my new job at Halliburtons but finally got a start date of 28th August.
The job title is Facilities Mainainence Helper. This involves assisting tradesmen, painting, general housekeeping and unblocking shithouses. Dirty job at times but someone has to do it.
Going fishing with a buddy this weekend to Loch Oich. This is the time of year when the big pike and trout are on the prowl looking to fatten themselves up for the winter spawning.
I,ll report back.
Saturday, 11 August 2007
Calabresse, sweetcorn and runner beans.
leeks and swedes
Please ignore the dates on pic as I cant be bothered adjusting time/date etc.
Mulching is the way to go. All my grass cuttings go in between the vegetables. This feeds the plant, the worms, and holds back the weeds. Compost as you go.
Dont think the sweetcorn will come to much as it went in late but you ever know, might get one of those Indian summers.
Wednesday, 8 August 2007
We are now harvesting and freezing vegetables every other day. They taste much better than shop bought but there is a lot of work involved. Well worth the effort.
Monday, 16 July 2007
What a difference in just five weeks or so. Everything seems to be just bursting out of the ground. This is probably because it has rained almost every day for about 6 weeks.
Must buy one of those chest freezers. Its all going to be ready to harvest soon. Happy enough with frozen veg knowing that its organic. Theres a field of peas not far from the cottage and I,m going to pay it a clandestine visit just shortly.
Josh and Ollie were at Glasgow Airport terminal with Mum and Dad when those sick racist bastards tried to blow the place up. Yes, I did say racist. Muslims are the worst racists in the world. They hate us because we are white, because we are not Muslim, because we are infidels apparently. Racists!!
Luckily none of them were injured. They eventually flew to Turkey on the following Tuesday, and got home on Saturday night. We,ll see them tonight when we visit.
Tuesday, 12 June 2007
What the hell happened to global warming?
Its the middle of June and really, summer has'nt started yet.
Its wet, windy and cold outside about 8c.
Still, the veggies are coming on strong.
I have turnips, onions, shallots, and Swiss Chard etc all bursting out of the ground. Might make some soup tomorrow to warm us up.
Thinking about building a henhouse and buying some point of lay chickens. We never buy anything other than free range anyway so might as well get em for free.
This is Olliver, our youngest grandson, he's just six months old. Is'nt he just as cute as a button?
He stayed wth us at the weekend along with his big bro Josh (Jock) we call him.
Jock and I went fishing the local pond but I spent most of the afternoon sorting out his tangles.
Nive to have them, just as nice to send them home lol
I,m off to sit by the fire and watch a movie. Its "The Sheltering Sky" with John Malkovitch and Debra Winger. Its a wee bit arty farty but I'm in that kind of a mood. Might have a glass or 3-4 of Cote du Rhone.
Saturday, 9 June 2007
This is the Pont Du Gard in Provence. The initial bridge must have been very well built because through the centuries they built another two on top of it. The Romans of course, those dudes knew how to build.
The ribbon of steel which forms the highway in the sky is 270m (885ft) above the river, but the central pillar is 343m (1125ft) high. [quote] from the offical website.
We also visited Italy staying a night in Torino and 3 nights in Arenzano just north of Gerona. I had the same dinner every night. Pizza Capricciosa, side salad and several bottles of Moretti beer. Italian men tend to spend a couple of hours over a beer and were quite shocked at me having one every 15 minutes or so :-0
If this doesnt do the trick I,ll have to kill him, chicks or no chicks.
Friday, 8 June 2007
Monday, 4 June 2007
The central heating in the cottage is run on kerosene. This is a very expensive fuel, 2 hrs in the morning and 3 in the evening worked out at about £50 a week to run.
We only use it for showers and hot water now that we have our woodburning stove. The cottage is located at the top of a beech forest hence the name " Beech Cottage" and the landlord owns this land as well. He has given me permission to tidy up any fallen branches of which there are plenty. I have a wee Husqvarna 136 chainsaw and a trailer and spend a lot of my spare time proccessing beech logs for the stove. The stove, used properly heats the whole house. Sometimes, even in winter we have to open a window because its too hot. The house is built of engineering brick and the area behind the stove stores the heat for many hours after the fire has gone out.
I had to build a log store to stack and dry the logs for winter. Wood can be so wet that water splashes in your face when you put the axe through it. Wood will burn wet but messes up the chimney so it has to be swept more often, it also has to "cook" on the fire before it generates any heat. This can take up to 20 minutes, so its better if the wood is dried.
Hardwood is best for a stove as it burns longer, but if I come across some dry softwood I keep it by for the spring/autumn when we only need a small fire for an hour or two in the evening. Firewood is measured in cords. A cord of wood is a pile of tightly stacked logs measuring 8 ft x 4ft x 4ft. We used 2.5 cords last winter so I intend to have at least 3 cords stacked by the end of June. It has to be in by then to give it sufficient time to dry as its last in first out. Get the picture?
If you have a stove and are not sure how it works, put in a lighted firelighter, some kindling, some logs with the vents open. Once it has established itself, shut the vents. Every two hours or so add a couple of logs, it will keep your whole house warm.
At the moment we are hardly using the stove as the heat through the windows keeps the living room at a comfortable temperature until early evening. Most evenings I start a fire at about 7pm, and load it up when we go to bed at say, 11pm. The room is still warm when we get up.