dear diary :: good to be back

It is so good to be back by the sea and nothing lifts my spirits more – though a little less sea breeze and a slightly higher temperature would be better. It is sunny, bright (and breezy) but certainly very cold and as we look across Luce Bay we can see the snow topped hills in the background a reminder that although my calender is telling me it is May the weather has still to catch up.

I am having to choose my position in the garden very carefully – the seaside garden is a definite no no and the wood side, although more sheltered, is shaded by the trees at this time of year while the sun is still a bit low. So I am nestled into a cosy spot outside the little porch that leads into the kitchen. The giant Fatsia and privet hedge providing shelter from the wind on one side and the cottage itself on the other. It is not the worst part of the garden by any means there are places crying out for resuscitation after being ignored for more than a year….but one step at a time.

We had a visit from the ‘ratman’ this morning – during the lockdown they had taken up camp in our wood being fed nicely by the escalation of the takeaways and leftovers of food in the bins belonging to the pub next door (part of the legacy from the government initiative ‘eat out to help out’ scheme). I don’t think they had included the rat population in this – but they had a good feast nonetheless.

Afterwards I managed a couple of hours gardening while the leek and potato soup simmered away on the stove. After lunch we had a stroll to the village chatting with one or two of the locals at a safe distance and catching up on the news and generally just passing the time of day. It was obviously washing day. I always find it is an immensely satisfying sight for some reason to see washing on a line and blowing in the wind by the sea (no tumble driers needed up here) and I just had to have a few pictures.

We took the low road that runs by the shore back home to view the now famous artwork – the painted stones – which have grown in number over the past year and many more painted stones have been added to the collection, an obvious sign of what everyone has been doing during lockdown. I loved these simple little leaf paintings.

Tomorrow we have a visit from a local civil engineer who will hopefully make some suggestions for the repairs we need to have done to the burn; we lost a bit of the banking this winter when the willow tree fell over into the water taking part of the banking with it. The farmer next door removed the tree for us with his tractor and now we need to repair the hole before it erodes any more.

A lot of land was lost to the sea this year on the seabank below us but luckily this is not our responsibility and falls to the new owner of the caravan site. Presently, he has the civil engineers in with diggers and hefty looking Tonka toys making the banking good and laying armoured rock against it to hopefully stop further erosion. The power of the sea should never be underestimated.

Ah well my bed beckons….night everyone x

18 thoughts on “dear diary :: good to be back

  1. Your views are spectacular! I love the photos of your wash on the line billowing in the breezes! And the sweet rocks are precious! Thanks!

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    1. We do love it here – a bit of a backwater but the Covid has changed things now as there are far more tourists suddenly coming here – the caravan sites are full and spilling over into the laybys and picnic areas. The locals are not too happy other than the caravan site and pub next door to us who are doing a raoring trade.

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  2. Lovely photographs. I like to see washing dancing in the wind as well and I’ll be pegging my own out soon. Mark always says you should never underestimate the power of water, it’s a force to be reckoned with. When I see people’s houses flooded on TV and the damage caused, which I know you have first hand experience of, I can only agree. Have a wonderful break. xx

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    1. Thanks Suzanne – we were just unlucky with the flood – the lie of the land which caused the water from the burn coming down the hill to meet ours decided to take a new course across the farmers field, then across the main road cutting the village off completely and finally into our garden. The amount of water falling these days and all the hurricanes means it could all happen again, hopefully not.

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  3. The blue sky in your photographs does make the area look idyllic but I know only too well just how “different’ the weather can be.

    Sad to hear how many more visitors have “discovered” the area since the pandemic started. Sadly most of the caravans & campervans will bring very little to the local economy outside of campsite owners, I always try to spend as much as I can in the local area. Fingers crossed I don’t find that they have all “discovered” Ardwell 🤞🏻

    I hope your civil engineer can come up with some longterm solutions which you will feel able to trust, and that are affordable. xx

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    1. Hi Jayne – there was snow this morning in Dumfries and it is bitterly cold here today so I expect it will be quiet round about. Ardwell as have many places have had to put up a sign saying No Overnight Camping as the picnic area was choc a bloc with visitors in caravans and campervans and of course the subsequent rubbish – the locals are not too pleased at the moment being invaded and then left with a big cleanup – some of it not very nice like bottles of pee and crisp bags of human excrement! What depths will people sink to next? And to top it off this wind is blowing the rubbish around.
      The Civil engineer has just been – the cost as always will determine what we do!

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      1. Knowing there is (was?) a very nice toilet at Ardwell how can visitors leave the sort of things you describe? Utter bl**dy scumbags, the lot of them. I fear a backlash towards the majority of responsible van users, especially with the explosion of rental vehicles available, many of which will be taken out by people who have no idea and care even less.

        Lots of snow on all the hills I can see, and a raw cold damp that could quite easily turn to snow here . . .

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        1. Hi Lucinda – where did you spring from – I was just about to leave a message for you on your last post to check you all OK over there – so lovely to hear from you. I have been dibbing in and out recently on the blogging front and see I actually missed your racist post so will drop by and give that a good read when I make a cuppa – it looks really interesting. There is rubbish around the whole country here like you wouldn’t believe.

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          1. Helloooo!! I jump in and out of blogging – like you. Life, duties, tiredness take over. And work for me is still demanding of my time and energy. But I’m all good and relatively heathy.

            I’ve been reading quite a lot of books and wasting time looking through social media so I haven’t been reading the blogs I follow. Time to catch up on people’s worlds.

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  4. Lovely photos of the area. It’s a shame that people are such slobs. Hopefully, you can avoid them while you’re up there. Even here in northern Ca, campgrounds are full, and trying to get a reservation is nuts. I hope the engineering thing works out too. Your soup sounded lovely. We are in another way to early hot spell and really it’s scary with fire season right around the corner. All our roses and flowers are at least blooming 2 weeks earlier than normal. Global warming I guess. So many people are leaving California and I can understand, but for us, where would we go and afford it??

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  5. Glad you are back in your happy place…although I imagine you had to work hard to get through all that Mother Nature left for you…not to mention the messy folks in the neighborhood. 😦 Hope you will get some relaxation in between all the garden work. Best of luck making a decision based on your meeting with the civil engineer.

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  6. I’ve yet to catch up properly, but it’s lovely to see you back posting again. I’m so glad you’ve been able to return to the cottage and I hope any repairs required will be both straightforward and affordable.
    I know how much you enjoy your time there, so I’m looking forward to possibly seeing more of the local area in your posts 🙂 It sounds idyllic. X

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