...But first we begin with a bit of crochet...
...garish isn't it! The bright sunshine doesn't actually help, the colours are not really so bad in real life. It's what you get when you allow a 3 year old to help choose colours - for his blanket after all. If it were up to me I wouldn't have the yellow anywhere near it but it's his favourite colour. I did remove a hideously bright neon orange he quite fancied, I don't think he's noticed. It's my third BLanket In Progress (BLIP). I hope to finish the first BLIP within the next week and or so, so should have a tada for that soon...
On to the baking. I've done quite a lot recently (for a Rainbow coffee morning and the car boot sale) but haven't been organised enough (or tidy enough!) to photograph it. However, I hosted craft night this week and made...
Raspberry, blueberry and chocolate loaves (one to freeze),
and a key lime pie without the lime but with a little lemon and...
...served with macerated strawberries (which involves sugar, vinegar & black pepper, nice!)
Now to some bargain hunting. Just the local chartity shops after a visit to Lidl...
Brambly Hedge boxed set (39p), Simply Scandinavian book (99p), little wooden stool (slightly orangey pine, even for me, may be tarted up at some point, £3), various toys, crewel threads, candle holder (all 25p each). I also found a new shop stocking the yarn I often use for blankets (£1 per 100g).
OK, bike ride time. The first for a while. Off at about 8:30 on Saturday morning. A fine, clear, sunshiny day, I decide to head up the hill on the opposite side of the strath.
It's a long steep climb up this particular hill. I've never made it to the top yet without having to stop to catch my breath. Fortunately that's a good excuse to admire the view and take a few photos. The biggest mountain seen in the far distance is Ben Lomond.
Farm buildings and trees crest the hill.
Looking back. In the distance is a fine view of the mountains to the north, hard to capture well in a photograph though.
Little dumpy ponies.
The skylarks are singing in the vast sky.
I like the long tree shadows across the field.
Through the avenue, can't pass this without taking a photo.
I like the sheep wool caught on the fence, the black branches against blue sky, the beautiful line of trees.
Once the effort is made to get up here, the land is actually fairly flat. It's always so peaceful, hardly ever any cars. I'm passed by just one MAMIL* - one of the rude ones who doesn't say hello.
A back lamb with its Mum. The only lamb I see, the other ewes are still waiting.
Unfortunately one of the ewes is on the road. It's impossible to get past them on a bike, I'm hoping she finds her way back into the field soon.
Uh oh, three of her friends have now joined her and they're hot hoofing it down the road ahead of me. Just before they reach the corner they manage to squeeze their pregnant bellies through a gate back into the field. Phew!
Across from the corner is where the men are flying their model aeroplanes, just a couple of them are out so far this morning.
Lone tree, old cottage remains, reflective puddle, Ben Lomond in the distance.
Empty roads - cycling heaven for me. I love to cycle the back roads where there's little traffic and lots of beautiful country views all around. Other cyclists (mainly of the MAMIL variety) apparently don't - they're too worried about the poor surfaces of the country roads damaging their expensive bikes and consider there to be too many twists and turns and hills for them to maintain a constant fast pace. Each to his own, I don't mind as it keeps them away from me!
Here I am.
Cows down below.
A new photogenic fence post to look out for!
I'm at the point where I need to leave the high roads and descend to join another network of roads. There are several routes I can take, I thought I'd cycled them all, but realise I've never been down this particular road before.
Some clouds are starting to appear, they're of the fluffy, pretty variety.
I lean my bike against a gate and walk up a drit track lined with daffodils. Up ahead is an interesting old abandoned cottage or barn.
It's in a fantastic location with great 360 degree views.
Someone else has been here before me.
Heading back down the track to the road.
This particular road turns out to be my favourite route down. It offers unexpectedly good views of the northern hills (here's Ben Lomond again!)
Looking the other way to the south and the clouds are tremendous.
I'll add this photo to Project 365.
We're under the flight path to the airport.
Bike shot against the gorse.
Mmmm, lovely sweet coconut perfume.
A glimpse of the reservoir, then I decide to head home.
On a whim I take another road I've not been down before...
...and discover the biggest patch of blackthorn bushes I've ever seen. I know where to come to try and get sloes in the Autumn now!
I return home to find a little boy wearing odd socks. The ones with the orange toes are his favourite, he couldn't find the other half of the pair. One is better than none..
And to finish...
...another little bit of bargain hunting. There a monthly small car boot sale near us. I've currently got the booting bug so took the children along this morning. This is my haul, everything was £1 each. I've been looking out for wooden fruit (as you do!), stoneware jars, and bone handled knives (which is what are in the box) so I was pleased!
*MAMIL:- Middle Aged Man In Lycra