Actually this site is about the past, present and the future. We hope to add a bit of the history of our home but also record some of our lifestyle and how we progress (or not!) with our ambitions and hopes.
The original Post Office building was described as a Post Office on old maps dating back to at least 1871. The image below shows the property in the early 1900's. Needless to say there have been many changes over the years, including the addition of a large front porch and such luxuries as double glazing. The dormer windows were extended along the full length of the property and subsequently divided into two separate properites. An attached barn on the far end of the property (not visible as it extends backwards in an 'L' shape) was also converted to a cottage.
Anybody considering giving up their 9-5 job, selling up and moving away from the city to take on a six acre smallholding in Scotland, or anywhere else where six acres is considered essentially a garden, must think very carefully first. It is hard work. There are no paid holidays. The same chores, day in, day out.... Never any time to relax and take in the sun. Yes, there is sun in Scotland. The glare from the snow this winter meant I had to wear sun specs continously
Having a well earned kip on Glen Affric, our beautiful Clydesdale. I may have problems backing him when he is schooled for riding. He might think this is the correct riding position.......
But we wouldn't swap our lifestyle for anything, now!
We have a variety of interests & hobbies which keep us occupied almost constantly - one of them being to start this website & record life on a smallholding. We do keep horses & we are completely passionate about them. We also have a Border Collie, Dileas (Gallic meaning 'loyal' & pronounced 'gee lass') We had two Irish Wolfhounds called Polly ('Mysterious Sable Lass' according to her papers) and her brother, Rupert, (Pirrock the Destroyer) but they passed away a couple of years ago so we now have two standard poodles, Thornton & Esther, three working cocker spaniels, Peter, Molly and Bonnie, and Dorcas a collie cross.
We enjoy a variety of hobbies, including traditional folk music, though we do extend our repetoire to include almost any genre. Christine, having been at university in her early 30's and also having four boys from 35 down to 15 has ensured that she has been exposed to a great deal of music and is a devotee of the cheery Britpop & the 'Dark Side' of all era's which range from Goth to Punk Rock. Have to say, I remember when she was a teenager of just 15 she was heavily into Marc Bolan, & previously to that, George Harrison. However, her allegiance appears to have been faithful to the Cure since the early 90's. I spent many years being the invisible man, more commonly referred to as the sound engineer, with a few folk groups. I also liked helping out at the Hebridean Folk Festival when I was on the Isle of Lewis. Today we have a fairly substantial collection of instruments & sound equipment and when we have both the time and the space we will do some recording ourselves. I would like to be able to set up a sound proof recording studio and start a small business again for small local artists who simply want to lay down a few tracks but don't have their own equipment.
The one thing we both share is a love of music from the late 60's & 70's. One of our favourites is Tonto's Expanding Head Band (pre-Kraftwerk epic synthesised experimental genre possibly gives a clue but is not a concise explanation of their work!) And then there were such greats as Curved Air, etc.
Playing the appelachion dulcimer faster than the speed of sound & camera shutter speed!
Christine, having spent many years completing vast quantities of ink illustrations & tranferring some of this artwork to material for celtic knotwork & embroidery is now fully committed to her long term business of DreamDraigon Designs. She has received a number of commissions now, amongst other things, Victorian, Edwardian & Medieval style garments, handfasting and wedding gowns, prom gowns, etc, with an artistic twist. Each one is unique & completely handstitched or sewn using vintage Singer or Jones hand cranked or treadle machines. Most garments and accessories have
Because of her back problem and her diagnosis of ME/CFS two years ago she has to pace herself but uses her better moments to sew up accessories, including some quilted embroidered art bags, hand decorated vintage towel and linen sets with a theme. These have also proved popular.