Sunday, 28 October 2018

The clocks went back!

Try as we might there is no denying that the clocks officially went back this weekend and thus we descend into the darker nights and mornings and the colder temperatures. BUT it's OK, I have some tips to help you cope.


winter fruit and veg - Carrie Gault 2018
* Look after yourself my friend by eating healthily and boosting your immune system :) That means more fruit and veggies rich in vitamin C; maintaining a good zinc balance (found in spinach and legumes); eating iron rich foods such as red meat, lentils and leafy green vegetables.

 * More dairy products, eggs and fish will up the protein, Vitamin B12 and calcium in your system. Plus they are supposed to reduce tiredness :)

* And extra good news is that our winter vegetables (which maybe we have stored or still have in the ground) are starchy and fibrous (like cereals  - oats are a super food!) will make for incredible soups and roasts. Add lots of garlic and ginger and you will keep illness at bay. 

dressed warm with a cup of hot jo - Carrie Gault 2018
* Regular exercise inside the house with simple housework on top of exercise videos is fabulous - keep it up.
* but GET OUTSIDE and get your Vitamin D! Wear cosy clothes now, don't let fashion dictate - you need a coat that covers your kidneys, a bobble hat and scarf and please wear socks!

* Turn the dark days into bright sunshine-y ones at the flick of a switch. I love these so much, I use one in the living room everyday when it's slightly dark out there. They're cheaper than light boxes (which the NHS recommends, I must say - even half an hour with one is proven to lighten your mood) and they fit into everyday light fittings so you keep your lamps and shades the same.

socialising with coffee and cake - Carrie Gault 2018
* It's so super important and you won't end up a hermit. Socialising in any form is important but, truly, human face to face contact is best for your health.

little sleepy mini schnauzer - Carrie Gault 2018
* Keep to your routine, or develop one. Sleep is essential if you are going to battle any illness or even fight the urge to hide under a blanket and hibernate for a few months. Go to bed at the same time and get up at the same time during the week and you will feel better (look up 'good sleep hygiene' for more tips)

cosy hygge at home - Carrie Gault 2018

* OH bless us all and hip hip hooray for Hygge! if you don't know all there is to know about this you need to go research because it's the best thing I have ever done bar get a daylight simulation bulb.
This is all about the comfort in the evenings and weekends - blankets, fairy lights, candles, books, lounging around by the fire and feeling super relaxed and cosy - GO, get those candles and get started :)
* Look up 'Pรคntsdrunk' too it also comes from Finland and is the act of staying in due to the extreme cold, sitting by the fire and drinking with only your pants on, ahahaha.

love and hugs
Carrie x

Friday, 26 October 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (21)

The best of weeks this has not been.  I have simply blundered my way through day to day and somehow find myself here at Friday only slightly worse for wear; my throat and ears are sore, utterly exhausted and with eyes that are playing up big time (*shakes fist at double vision!* ). Still this is the 21st week in a row that I have kept this going and so....

Day 20 - lemon
The hiker man and arrow guiding the way along the Slรญ Cholmcille Way in Donegal. Perfect piercing colour in the sea fog.

Day 21 - lime
The colour of tiny ivy flowers is a pale lime

 Day 22 - gold
The table top in a very trendy bar lit by candlelight 

Day 23 - silver
Namastรฉ friends ๐Ÿ•‰

 Day 24 - two colours
A photo with just two colours in it; nature will provide. A brown leafy ground and a new green fern unfurling.

Day 25 - pattern
I love a good old geometric floral in happy colours.

Day 26 - bright
Something very different -an old rusty oil barrel found at the side of the road. 


So there we go for another week, oh boy I have lots to tell you about last weekend and then we have such plans for this weekend too. i hope i shall be able to write it all up :) 

Until the next time friends, look after yourselves and remember to 'Stand Up to Cancer' .
 With the right funding and more great scientists we can beat this together xxx

Your Carrie xx

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Making Sloe Gin

Remember that wonderful hike we did alongside most of the Newry canal from Newry to Scarva? The one where we picked all the sloes? Well this is the quick story of how we made them into Sloe Gin......

making sloe gin -

Ingredients per jar:
250 grams sloes
125 grams  sugar
500 ml gin

ingredients to make sloe gin -

1) We (and by that I mean Andrew as I was taking the pictures) picked out all the leaves and other detritus and gave the berries a darn good washing in cold running water.

washing the sloes -

2) Many recipes will advise that you freeze your berries to give them added sweetness (we have found this doesn't work for us) and of course everyone says you ought to prick them at each end to get the juices flowing.
BUT if your sloes were super ripe, like ours then we just gave the berries a light smooshing with a meat tenderiser and poured them into our jars.
Juices were flowing :)
sloes ready in the jars-

3) Weigh out the half the amount of sugar as there are sloes and add to each jar.
You could use sugar syrup here but we didn't feel it necessary as part of the fun is watching the granulates slowly melt as you toss and turn the mixture week after week. It doesn't taste any different and to our minds the syrup is simply added fuss and expense.

4) Pour your gin into the jars (about 500ml ) and very carefully seal the jars closed.

5)  Give the mixture a shake and place in a dark and cool cupboard. Returning to them every day for the first week to shake and get that sugar dissolved. Then every week after to get those sloes macerated and mixing .

the colour already, one week later:

Hugs and love (and eventually cheers!)

Friday, 19 October 2018

Daily photo challenge round-up (20)

You know I do do other things than just take a photograph a day, haha. I just never seem to get round to writing about it but I have all the photos and I will share - I'll share the Sloe Gin we made and the walk we took in the forest and the walk in the Mournes - good times.

For now, here are my Fat Mum Slim photo prompts for the past week...

Day 13 - natural
Can't get more natural than the circle of life...

Day 14 - baby pink

Rose petals, a felt heart, lace and beads.
(Not happy with this one but had to think of something for the prompt)

Day 15 - baby blue
The cutest softest little teddy

Day 15 - chocolate
What better to represent the colour chocolate than some chocolate ๐Ÿ˜„

Day 17 - light
The sunlight through a dandelion seed head, one of my favourite pics from a lovely weekend.

 Day 18 - dark
Beautiful autumnal sunsets make for great deep, dark shadows.

Day 19 - palette 
An untouched travel 'nude to night' make-up palette 

Thank you for visiting!
The next post will be more interesting ๐Ÿ˜€

Friday, 12 October 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (19)

You thought I'd forgot, eh? Well you'd be right but it's still Friday and though I am trying to watch TV, drink wine and relax it suddenly came to be that I forgot to do my round up. So as to stop all the crying and worrying that you may dear reader have gone though, I am doing it now.....

 Day 6 -purple

Verbena growing at the side of the path, self seeded from a nearby garden

Day 7 - Orange 

On hols back in the spring and we found a brilliant wee coffee shop right when the hiking was getting tiring ๐Ÿ˜„

 Day 8 - aqua (and a Toby)

After a good hour of mad zooms with his fave ball Toby and ball have a nap...

Day 9 - grey

Grey hares on a grey background; a favourite cushion in the house.

 Day 10 - White

I missed this prompt yesterday! So a pretty white boat and it's reflection.

Day 11 - black

As a puppy #itstoby was a very dark boy, almost black though now he is grey and white ๐Ÿถ

Day 12 -fave colour

Haven't had just one since I was tiny but I guess the sweet dark ruby of a Malbec and the colour green and wood are the top 3 ๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿท (may have already drunk some before photo could be taken)

With thanks as always to Fat Mum Slim 
Best wishes for the weekend, we have much rain to come tomorrow but hope to get stuff done anyway. Plus being back on the hiking wagon....Sunday looks like a short trek day :)

Love and hugs

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Newry Canal trail (Ulster Way)

I went on a hike friends! It happened, finally, on Saturday last and was 10 miles of glorious canal side dandering with Toby in tow. Andrew worked it all out and we drove to Scarva and left the car, got a bus to just outside Newry and started to walk back. If we had done it the 'proper' way we would have had 2 miles of walking through Newry's industrial estates and beside a duel carriage way before started, so stuff that!

My hip is still bad and sadly the new medication didn't take the pain away but at least it didn't get too much worse. I got my first blister in a while (the tow path was tarmac-ed and very unforgiving - even Toby hurt his wee ankle) and the good old pain in the shoulder right at the 10 mile mark like clockwork but...10 miles off the Ulster Way; a huge bag of sloes and beautiful weather = happy times.
Newry canal walk 1 - Carrie Gault 2018
A beautiful leafy walk to the canal from the bus stop
Newry canal walk 2 - Carrie Gault 2018
apples, rosehips and the official path
Newry canal walk 3 - Carrie Gault 2018
pretty perfect day for it!!
Newry canal walk 4 - Carrie Gault 2018
signs pointing in all directions and details of the old remains
Newry canal walk 5 - Carrie Gault 2018
my boys ; the pastoral views, a sculpture honouring the canal and all those who worked on it
Newry canal walk 6 - Carrie Gault 2018
dandelion; some of the many horses on the trail, sloes galore - they're ours all ours!

Newry canal walk 7 - Carrie Gault 2018
Never seen so many swans in the one walk but these three were the closest and oh so elegant

Newry canal walk 8 - Carrie Gault 2018
lunch stop at this lovely crumbling bridge with views into a sheep field and a slightly sleepy Toby behind me

Newry canal walk 9 - Carrie Gault 2018
Time for a break in Poyntzpass with it's lovely town sign; railway control box; old traditional pub and a Guinness

Newry canal walk 10 - Carrie Gault 2018
Then just a few more miles past more lovely woodland and this idyllic 'Lough Shark' (or 'Acton Lake'). Toby hurt his ankle so had to carried the last mile or so - he seemed to like it

So there we go, a good walk and I'm slowing getting myself back into hiking. We have a goal in mind for next year and plans are afoot but I'll not share that just yet ๐Ÿ˜‰. Into the Mournes this weekend....

Ecotherapy rocks!
Carrie x

Friday, 5 October 2018

Daily photo challenge round up (18)

The DIY project has begun; I have rediscovered the joy of cross stitch; I have a wonderful new book to read (concentration has been very poor recently and I'm managing to keep up with the photo a day challenge! Hurrah!

Plus, tomorrow I am meant to going on a hike and the autumn colours are fabulous this year :) No fear of winter has crept into my bones just yet and there is still just enough light to type by at 18:22 :)

This past week's photos are a mix of two months, October starting brought a brand new month of prompts from Fat Mum Slim, this time it's all colours and I don't know how I feel about it yet. But first there were two left over from September to share, feast your eyes........

Day 29 - grey

Part of the Berlin wall, painted grey and with a monotone flowery hand grenade pasted onto it. Love the extra scribbles too

Day 30 - pineapple

I haven't reached that part in the pattern but soon I'll be stitching a row of pineapples ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Day 1 - yellow

A dandelion in full bloom

Day 2 - pink

I tried to find something 'different' = pink sheep in a field not far from home!

 Day 3 - blue

A blue pillar with a reassuring little sign.

Day 4 - Green

'...the green green grass of home'. Love our countryside..

Day 5 - red

A bright shiny vibrant new post box ๐Ÿ˜Š

So weather you are gardening, allotmenting, crafting, hiking or none of the aforementioned > 
Hugs and love
Carrie x