Friday, 27 July 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (8)

Another week in photos, I swear time is playing tricks on me; each time Friday comes around I can't believe it yet when I look back at what's been going on over the week it feels so far away! 
We are almost into another month 😲

Day 21 - faceless selfie 
Walking the final part of the Moyle section of the Ulster Way 😄 Convex mirror makes me look even shorter and rounder!

 Day 22 - inspiration
May this small part of our harvest from the allotment today give you inspiration to grow your own 😉

 Day 23 - patterns
My origami papers, such bright and happy colours and patterns.

 Day 24 - animal
Toby's bestest and longest stuffed animal friend, the wee cow. Still a favourite ❤

 Day 25 - stranger
The stranger in my new book is an elderly man with a kind heart, in the worst of circumstances.

Day 26 - macro
Cloves of garlic, half a bulb, up close and personal.

Day 27 -celebrate 

We have a birthday in the family today! This is just a mock up, the real gift will be bigger and more 6 yr old friendly! 🛍👑🎁🎀🎊🎈🎉

Love and hugs and kisses and birthday cheer. Have a great weekend
Carrie xxx

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

A good allotment visit

It may well be obvious, to the eagle eyed, that I took my photographs and conducted my review of the Moleskine Garden Journal at the allotment last weekend. Well, there is more to that story - I actually had a good time whilst I was there - that is something that needs to be celebrated so in case you haven't champagne at hand, join me in a warm beverage and let's toast to 24a and ecotherapy.

I weeded the paths around the shed and the main one down the middle of the plot. TWO large plastic trugs worth. It's not like I haven't been doing this regularly but they blooming well grow back as soon as my back is turned. Finally, I also put the broken and rotten twigs from a couple of years ago into the field edging - the insects will love them AND I won't be tripping on them all the time anymore.

Good news -
* Andrew harvested the garlic

* Andrew planted out the leeks (and my sunflowers, not shown here)

* I harvested two buckets of potatoes and boy it truly was like treasure hunting. The used compost went under the apple trees as a mulch, the ground there is baked hard and even cracked as wide as my fist in places.

* The courgettes and squashes are looking good and the sweetcorn flowers have formed

Bad news -
* Bloody Pheasants have been having the time of their lives in our plot! Oh the poor broad beans are in a terrible state, as are the mangetout and the apples. We need to employ someone to live in the shed and scare them away every day - cheeky, rude birds - grrr

* The continued lack of rain and the strong burning sun has wizened the blueberries and turned many of the leaves brown :(

* The sun was too strong to bare and we had to leave earlier than I would have liked....BUT I felt good. Payback would happen later but let's not go there.

Hugs and love to you

Monday, 23 July 2018

Moleskine Gardening Journal - Review with photos

Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal front cover - Carrie Gault 2018

I LOVE Moleskine notebooks, I own lots and they are filled with notes, reviews, holiday diaries and mementos. I just think they are one of the best notebooks out there, full stop. I am a self confessed stationery freak and boy I love me a sturdy, quality paper (acid free paper that doesn't bleed through) hardback book for my very important jottings. When I was asked to review the Passions Gardening Journal, I said YES in a heartbeat. 

Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal  front cover (embossing) - Carrie Gault 2018

It has a beautiful hard cover, understated but lovely to the touch especially with all the embossed gardening inspired artwork. (so nice to run your hands over).  

* The 13 x 21 cm size is great and the inside the lay out is very impressive and intuitive:  

* 5 themed sections to add your notes to, including Garden Log, Design, Plant, Tools Visits.***

Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal  internal layout - Carrie Gault 2018

* 5 tabbed sections to personalise with design grids, plant care records, hardness zones and plant/pot information.
Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal ribbon bookmarks and stickers - Carrie Gault 2018

* There are over 240 pages, 200 stickers for highlighting points of special interest and a fabulous expandable inner pocket to keep labels and such in close proximity for when you require them again.

Moleskine Passions Gardening Journal internal pocket - Carrie Gault 2018

 This seems great for those who are disciplined/ or want to become disciplined at making important notes of all things gardening, there is so much scope and extra tabs you can use for whatever you want. I know, at times, it may be quicker and easier to just look something up online but on many an occasion it's great to have a tailored journal of your journey all there in the one place.


We can't wait to get using ours and already I have desires to add photos of all the best crops we got this year despise the extreme weather conditions (see below) . I want to note down the seed producer and prices, the hard landscaping we did and have somewhere to draw out the layout of the plot, as it changes slowly every year. I have my favourite pens at the ready... I'll let you know what it's really like after using it for a few months...

NB: I was not paid for this review, though I was given a free copy of the journal for myself. All views are my own and are genuine. This journal can be purchased for around £13 online but look around and you may find a bargain 😊

Hugs and love

P.S. It would work great in tandem with Lia Leendertz's The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide to 2018 (which I know is going to be out re-imagined for 2019!)

Friday, 20 July 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (7)

I'm still barely holding on, I can't believe that I am so poorly these past days and yesterday I slept pretty much ALL day but still I feel exhausted. I'm not the computer much so I apologise to my blog followers - I truly appreciate your lovely comments and I'm sorry I haven't been keeping up with your own fabulous blog posts. Soon all will be rectified xx

Here are this week's completed photo challenge prompts ~

a stubborn optimist 1 - Carrie Gault 2018

Day 14 - eyes

The eyes of a lion look down upon you as you enter The Argory house. He's quite scary!

a stubborn optimist  2 - Carrie Gault 2018

Day 15 - shadow 

Yesterday saw no sunshine only cloud but today we celebrate little moments of sun and thus, shadow. Hurrah!

a stubborn optimist 3 - Carrie Gault 2018
 Day 16 - a good habit
(from your dog) - live in the moment

a stubborn optimist  4 - Carrie Gault 2018
 Day 17 - technology 
From the little gas lighter for my incense sticks (to be used later) and Andrew's ear buds to my camera (e mount) laptop and the coffee machine. I love technology!

a stubborn optimist 5  Carrie Gault 2018
 Day 18 - shoes
I could have got all the shoes out but right now I am loving my simple, comfy rocket dogs.

a stubborn optimist  6 - Carrie Gault 2018
 Day 19 - what I want
I want ALL the mini rolls - yum

a stubborn optimist  7 - Carrie Gault 2018
Day 20 - what's in my bag
Well these things though often I just have my phone and not my camera as well. However the phone was taking this photo 😉

Hugs and big love
I really hope to get back into proper blogging soon, I have lovely photos of the wonderful walks we did in Co. Fermanagh last week (which wrecked me) and I have the brand new Moleskine Garden Journal here to review (it's fabulous!)

My Toby (20th July) - Carrie Gault 2018
Enjoy your weekend sweet friends
Carrie xx

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

'Payback' after some good days

Last week I was blessed with a couple of good days! OK, they weren't all laughter and loving life but they were good and I felt something akin to contentment. We went back to Fermanagh again to finish that section of the Ulster Way; camping and hiking ('Thru Hiking').

our wee tent in Fermanagh - photo by A. Gault 2018

I have lots to tell you about it and many photos - it was a true adventure and now the whole of Co. Fermanagh has been marked as 'done' on our map :)

BUT since then I have been a wreck, a shadow of a person, barely able to walk or talk, make decisions or think straight for longer than 10 mins at a time. PAYBACK. Payback is something I face every time I have a good time; it's like karma, like I'm paying for the privilege by redressing the balance again and get back to my 'normal' miserable self. Though to make sure I've learnt from the mistake of darning to be happy, the payback is long, hard and at times very frightening.

There's a good article about Payback here from Psychology Today, in relation to any chronic illness.

I have so much I would like to do but here I am fighting another day and trying to just get through - boy does time move slowly in these periods.

I'll be back as soon as I can; I guess I'm stubborn like that 😉
Carrie x

Friday, 13 July 2018

Daily Photo Challenge round up (6)

This has been a whirlwind of a week and I can't quite believe I'm at the other side of it, in one piece and relatively sane. I'm really appreciating this daily photo challenge now for helping me place what happened as each day whizzes past in a blur...

I have much to tell you about this week past and our mad 3 day hike back in Fermanagh again but I'm only just recovering and need to get my head round it all, 😊 haha...

Day 7 - looking forward to....
Our big hike trip Monday - Wednesday. Getting stuff sorted out - eek!

Day 8 - routine
Everyday I take time to read a little and have a nap in the afternoon. Have done for 20+ years!
(yes, still reading Anna Karenina - going to take a half way break)

Day 9 - I love...
my hubby and I going on adventures!

Day 10 - happy memory
I reckon this will be a happy memory for the future; Andrew getting water from Lough Namanfin for us to filter. What a place 😊

Day 11 - anything blue

My trusty Nalgene water bottle that goes on EVERY hike. I love this thing!

Day 12 - Sunset
A couple of nights ago this was the beautiful sunset from our campsite.

Day 13 - can't live without...
This little rascal who always needs a darn good brushing but who lives his life to its fullest expression and gives excellent cuddles.

Hugs and love - enjoy your weekend
Carrie x

Monday, 9 July 2018

A quick trip to the allotment and 1st harvest!

Even though the heat was unbearable and we were sweating our butts off, we spent a good 40 mins at the allotment on Sunday. We were the ONLY people there, that should have told us something, plus in the end Toby was far too warm as well- so homeward bound we were...

our plot - Carrie Gault 2018
 The plot was a dried out weedy mess but we love it and though we'd give it our best go....

courgette flower - Carrie Gault 2018
 Lots of courgette flowers appearing now - hurrah and though now photographed here, our sweetcorn is looking strong and healthy.

A few garlic cloves - Carrie Gault 2018
These were just a few early garlic cloves we lifted, they were small but later we found them to be so delicious

Our first potato harvest - Carrie Gault 2018
 Our first planter pot of potatoes was harvested and we were really, pleaseantly surprised. With all this crazy heatwave action and no rain, we thought they would be tiny and disappointing but no, they were small and utterly tasty. Most went to Mamma G, as you are reading this I am hiking again in  Fermanagh ;)

The wasps' nest in the bird box by the the shed door - Carrie Gault 2018
Oh my! We have wasps nesting in my remaining bird box. They didn't bother us at all and are of course goo for the plants but it was disturbing to hear later that other people had taken theirs and burnt them to death - why?
I think we all need to rethink our relationship with the wasp - education is key.

the plot when we left - Carrie Gault 2018
A wheelbarrow full of weeds later, with the front half of the right hand bed really for leeks to be planted later in the week. Really, considering Toby getting sickly and we needing a cold shower as soon as we got home - we did good!

harvest trug!! - Carrie Gault 2018
A harvest trug :)
Garlic, broad beans, potatoes and rainbow chard - yumm!

Hugs galore!

Friday, 6 July 2018

Daily Photo Challenge (5) July

Continuing on with the Friday Photo Challenge from June, I had to make up some prompts for this month as I couldn't find a good one to follow. I mixed and matched some from Pinterest and am still enjoying looking out for something that fits each day :)

So follows the first week of July...

Day 1 - selfie
On the hammock, sunnies on and a beetroot and apple lolly 😊

 Day 2 - what you wore

Leggings on for a good day on the yoga mat. So happened my toe nails toned in well 🤗😁
 Day 3 - the sky

What a day, yet again not a cloud to be seen. It's so blue out there it hurts my eyes!
 Day 4 - something red

Any excuse to have a nice glass of red wine 😊

Day 5 - after dark
Out by the mossy water feature snails by candlelight...

(this one is quite embarrassing as I just went with the moment and forgot all photo basics, such as a tripod and better lighting than a few tea lights on a super dark night, but it is what it is) 

Day 6 Obsession

Oh, it's a strong word but here are a few things I guess I'm obsessed with. Plus Chocolate 🍫

There we have it. I am looking forward to this week coming as Andrew is off and we are going on a long hike over 3 days and then spending valuable time at the allotment so the photos ought to be quite different and exciting.

Hugs and love - best wishes for a great weekend
Carrie x