Sunday, September 25, 2011

Plum Jam

Been a bit disappointed by the fruit on the plum tree this year. It could be down to a very windy day early in the year when a large branch broke off the tree. Didn't loose much fruit but it must have weakened the tree.

But there's still enough plums to make a few pies and crumbles, and of course plum jam for our guests.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lemon & Lime Marmalade

Lemon & Lime Marmalade
We serve our own home made jams and orange marmalade at breakfast, but wanted to try something new. So yesterday I made up a batch of Lemon & Lime Marmalade. I'm not a great fan of marmalade but this I really like, its's got the citrus zing of the lemons and limes without the intense aftertaste you get with oranges. 
If you're visiting Pottery House soon and it's not out at breakfast be sure to ask Glen if you'd like to try some.

Red Squirrel In The Garden

The red squirrels have been busy here recently, stocking up for winter. They collect the nuts from the feeders we have in the trees and bury them all over the place, out in the woods as well as in the lawn.

Do they know something we don't about the coming winter? :-)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Inverness Highland Games

For the first time, we went to the Inverness Highland Games on Saturday. It was a beautiful day and we thoroughly enjoyed it.










Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bats In The Pottery

Yesterday evening Glen was watching TV when suddenly something flew over his head. It was a bat in the lounge, don't know how long it's been in the house, must have come in through the patio doors when we had them open one evening. It took us ages to catch it. When we put it outside it was pouring with rain, so we left it to roost under the patio door in the dry. It's still there this morning.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Beautiful Day Out at Burghead and Lossiemouth

Was a beautiful day here today, so as we had the afternoon free we packed the car and headed off to the beach.

We stopped at Burghead first, the sea was so blue. Although the onshore breeze was a bit chilly it made for some great waves crashing in on the rocks.

















Then we went on to Lossiemouth. Had a lovely lunch in the Harbour Lights Cafe, had a walk and a sleep on the beach, and then Glen went off to D&I Tropicals which he says is the best tropical fish shop in the whole of Scotland.







Monday, July 04, 2011

Red Squirrels Are Back, hurray!!

We've not seen any red squirrels from Pottery House in months. So we were delighted this morning to look out of the kitchen window and see one on the feeder just outside the garden.

He was there for quite a while, logn enough for our guests at breakfast to see him.

He had his feed of nuts and then left, hopefully he'll be back again tomorrow.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Grim Discovery

Glen was round the back of the wood shed yesterday trimming some of the shrubs when he noticed that one of the bird boxes on the trees was crooked. So he climbed up to straighted it out when he made a grim discovery.

It appears another animal, probably a woodpecker, has broken into the box to steal the babies inside. We've heard of woodpeckers getting in by enlarging the hole at the front but never through the side.


Sad to find this, this bird box will definately need to be re-built with thougher materials next year.


Friday, July 01, 2011

John o'Groats

Had an afternoon free yesterday, so headed out to John o'Groats as we'd never been there.

It's a long old drive from Pottery House so probably not one we'd recommend for our guests, but the sea views and cliffs are spectacular once we reached there.

Firstly we visited Duncansby Head and saw the Stacks Of Duncansby. I loves the cliff views and the sea, Glen loved all the wildlife, especially all the sea birds. There were also loads of seals, as the tide was on it's way out they were all getting out of the water onto the rocks to sun themselves.



















We then went along to the coast to Thurso and stopped at Dunnet Head, it's the most northerly point on the British mainland. It was a beautiful day and the views are amazing, but the best part again was all the seabirds on the cliffs. We've had several failed attempts to get to The Isle Of May to see the puffins, so we were delighted to see them on the cliffs and flying back and forth from the sea.

Amazing day.

Dunnet Head

Puffins 


















There are a few more photos on our Flickr Sets.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dandelion

Went for a walk along the Loch side the other afternoon, took this photo.

I'm rather pleased with it.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Chickens


We have a couple of compost heaps on the outside of our fence. The chickens love to have a rummage through when we let them out in he afternoons.

Caught this one on top of the compost heap, eyeing up the vegetables in the garden and thinking about jumping the fence.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Is This The Ugliest Flower In Our Garden

We have loads of different flowers in our garden at Pottery House, many are grown for use in the house, on the breakfast tables, in the hall and in the guest bedrooms.

However, probably the strangest looking flower (and I think it can be classed as a flower) is that of the Gunnera, in the bog garden behind the pond.

It's about 2" high, spikey and dark red, and lasts for months.

I'm not so sure if visitors to our B&B would be quite so impressed to find this in a vase in their bedroom, though.



Friday, May 20, 2011

Lunch At The Dores Inn


We had lunch with friends at the Dores Inn yesterday.

Had a great laugh with friends and the food was fabulous as always. We were surprised how busy they where for a Thursday, too.

Don't forget if you're coming to stayat Pottery House B&B we recommend you book a table at the Dores Inn as it fills up very quickly in the evenings, especially at weekends, holidays and during the summer months. There's a sample menu on the Pottery House web site and more information about booking a table in your confirmation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Deeside and Balmoral

Haven't been out to Deeside before, about a 2 hour drive from here.

Some beautiful scenery on the way through Boat Of Garten, Tomintoul and on to Braemar. We can see why the snow gates on the A939 Tomintoul road are closed so often during the winter (we hear it on the radio traffic reports). It's a really windy, steep and in places open and high road.

We stopped at the old Lecht Mine, you can find out about the mine on the Glenlivet Estate website.






























We then went on to Balmoral, really interesting to find out the history of the place. Can see why Queen Victoria fell in love with it, it's a beautiful location.

It's a shame it's only open to the public between April and July as we get asked about it a great deal by visitors.
















Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chickens Roam Free


We've had our new hens for about 6 weeks now, so it's time to let them out into the wild.

The first time we opened the door at the bottom of their run out into the forest they were very unsure. It was only when we threw a hand-full of grain outside their door that they went out to investigate their new found freedoms.

After a couple of days they are quick to go outside as soon as their door is opened and they love to forriage out in the grass.

Don't worry though, as soon as it starts to get dark they head home back to their coop.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Glen Finnan and the Glen Finnan Viaduct (Harry Pottery Viaduct)

It was another beautiful day here in the Highlands yesterday so we took advantage and went out for a run to Arisaig. Our first stop was the Commando Memorial, it looked stunning in the bright Spring sunshine, and so did the surrounding mountains.



































We also stopped off at Glenfinnan, never seen it looking so stunning.






























Glen Finnan Viaduct, also known as the Harry Pottery Viaduct

Monday, May 02, 2011

Fires In The Highlands

We went out for the day to Glen Finnan and Arisaig. On the way back along Loch Eil we noticed smoke rising up from the hills on the other side of the water. We stopped to see what it was and where sorry to see that the woods and heather where alight.

When we arrived home we discovered on the BBC News pages that several wildfires had been reported across Scotland.

It's very eerie to see for real.















Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flower Pouches

I'm not a great one for garden gizmos as most fail to live up to expectations, but one I would recommend is Flower Pouches.

You can pick them up on Ebay for a couple of pounds, buy a tray of bizzy lizzies in B&Q for a similar amount, plant them out, hang them up and they'll flower until the first frosts. Just rememebr to water them, daily in warm weather, and feed them once a week.

I've just planted mine and put them at the front of the house. At the moment they look like this.....
























I know you can see lots of the plastic bag, but if you feed and water as above within a few weeks they'll look like this (photo from last summer).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wood Anemone

The wild flowers are always at their best at this time in the Spring, and this year is no different. At the present the wood anemone are particularly stunning, with their ice white flowers with yellow centres covering the verges, hill sides woodlands and even the Pottery House wild meadow.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

New Hens At Pottery House

We were away for 6 weeks in February and March, and as our existing 8 hens were coming to the end of their laying we decided to retire them off. We found a lady on the Black Isle that takes in ex-battery hens and she was more than happy to add our 8 to her flock.

It's been strange being without hens since December, but this week we went to collect 10 new hens. There are 4 blue bells, 3 Black Rocks and 3 white ones (which we're not sure of the breed).

We collected them on Tuesday, but today was the first day we let them out of their coop. 7 have been out most of the day, the other 3 are a little more shy.

We had two eggs yesterday, and 3 today, but the eggs are quite small at the moment. They are young hens after-all.