Bùth Lisa: Tiger Textiles

If you ever take a drive through Ness, you will always notice our blue skies. Like in the photo here, they are always perfectly cloudless and blue.


But you may notice this cute little shop in the village of Habost.

Bùth Lisa is now a studio and shop for two local artists.

Here is Tiger Textile's side of the shop,

and here you can see Alison working in her 'corner'.

She has so many beautiful and unique items. Don't you love these cushions?

Original Harris Tweed, with some lyrics from a Gaelic song embroidered on it. 

And did you notice the picture on the bottom-left of the photo?

Here's a close-up

Pencil on tea-stained wood.

Alison took this from an old photo, and I simply love it.

"Muinntir Thàboist as a' mhòine".
Habost folk in the peats.

Her grandfather is in this picture. That makes it extra special for her.

She has a number of pencil drawings on wood which have been taken from old photos.

This one here reminded me so much of my own Grampa. Although he didn't have a pipe, the rest of this bodach in the picture could just be him: the cap, the pullover, and the speal. Yes, this evokes great memories.

Tiger Textiles: the name comes from her family 'nickname'. Her great-grandfather was nicknamed Tiger, her grandfather was Alastair an Tiger, who is in the pencil drawing we saw earlier. 

Here's a photo of her grandfather, pinned to Alison's noticeboard. 

It's good to remember.

The photo in the far left corner of the noticeboard opens up a whole other story.

This wee shop in which Alison now works was originally opened by the lady in this photo. She was a Canadian called Lisa, who married a man from Ness and came to live in this village. She began importing Canadian candy and selling it here in this shop. Her son grew the business, and especially developed a butcher's business, which was handed down to his son and which is still with us in Cross Stores.

This building lay empty for decades, and it's so lovely that Alison, whose family are still neighbours of the original shop owners, is now using it in this way. You can read about Alison here.

Here's Lisa, in the shop as it was.

I would recommend, if you're driving by, call in and see Tiger Textile's lovely display of goods. There are greeting cards, wedding stationary and brooches as well as the cushions, and pictures you see on the wall. Many of her paintings and drawings are commissions, but she is building up more and more of a stock of ready-to-purchase goods. 

I'll leave you with more photos of some of the goods she has available.

Soooo pretty


Sunset at Swainbost Beach

Yesterday evening, just as the sun was setting, I decided to jump in the car and head to Swainbost machair to take some photos. See, although I now live in the village of the Builder's birth, Swainbost is where I was born, where I was raised, and the beach is the beach on which I played as a child, had picnics, ran over rocks, and generally gave my mother countless heart attacks. That, I believe, is what childhood is for.

Isn't it?

And so to Swainbost beach at the end of a perfect October day.

Looking South towards Dell,

with the last glimpse of the sun as it sets.

I wish I was able to 'show' you the sounds,

which were as wonderful as the colours you see.

The images did to my eyes,

what the sounds did to my ears.

I saw beauty.

I heard music.

An then it was Time to say Goodbye (can any of you read that and not hear Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman?)

The moon, with some lovely cloud

Looking North, towards the Butt and the Eoropie houses

At this point, I got into the car to head home. I still had to finish making the dinner, so I realized I'd better scoot home quickly. Not that I've ever been known to:

1. rush
2. be late
3. drive quickly.

Lest any of you be under any misapprehensions. 

And then the following happened.

My front wheel decided the best place to go would be into a rabbit hole, which had been dug by a mutant rabbit which was actually the size of a small dog. It went. It stayed. It stuck.

No phone. Nobody around. No choice but to walk. Initially, I headed off with my camera still in the car, but like any good blogger, I went back to retrieve it. That's what bloggers do, isn't it ...

I head across the machair towards Habost machair. You may be able to see the wee car in this photo.

This is the boundary between the villages. This is where the chief of the village may decide not to allow you to cross. He can, at a whim, capture you and present you as an offering to the Great Chief. You may never see your family again. 

Or maybe that's just something I read a long, long time ago about a far, far away place.

I could have walked the extra hundred yards or so and crossed the bridge. But I was wearing my trusty wellies, and a hundred yards is a lot when it is unnecessary, and when you have wee Size 3s. So river-crossing it was.

Some of the cattle, grazing on Habost machair

And home.

Well, not quite. I don't mean this is where I live. One day I will, but in terms of my walk home, the cemetery told me I was almost there.

I could easily walk this walk every day of life if we had this weather every day of life.

As it happens, we don't. So don't be holding your breath for the next one...


His Loss, Her Gain

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints" Psalm 116:15

A very close friend lost his Grandmother last night. She hadn't been well for some time, and her death was 'expected'. She was elderly; she'd been widowed some years back; and she was ill. I suppose all these factors in any person's death make the world outside - myself included - look on and say, 'Oh well, it's not a tragic death like others we hear about'. 

In this lady's case, it wasn't tragic at all. In fact, her transition from this world to the next was, for her, glorious. She loved her Lord, and was looking forward to being with Him in a closer and more glorious sense than she was able to be whilst here on earth. Yesterday, I heard a man say of Enoch, who 'walked with God' (Genesis 5:24), that when he was taken, his location changed but his company did not. You see, Enoch 'walked with God' whilst here on earth. God was his Companion. His Friend. The Treasure of his soul. And so, being taken from this world, Enoch simply changed location - God was still his Companion, his Friend, and the Treasure of his soul. The great difference was that all these blessings were being enjoyed so much more fully.

And so it is with our friend's Grandmother. Her companion here in this world was her Lord. He was her Friend and the Treasure of her soul. And now, although her location has changed, her company has not. She is with her Saviour.

She has known for many years that to be with Christ is far better. Now, she can see this more fully than ever before. Who would grudge her what she is now experiencing.

But, whilst she enjoys all the wonder of being with Christ, which is far better, a beloved family mourns. A family have lost their mother; and our friend has lost his dear grandmother. The fact that our friend loves His Lord doesn't mean he doesn't grieve for the grandmother he loved and has now lost. Grieving for a loved one is not the same as complaining at God's providence. 

Not at all. God made us to love, and to mourn when we lose those whom we love. Our prayers today are filled with praise for this woman's life; praise for the fact that she was able to profess her Saviour's name for many years; praise for the fact that this same Saviour who saved her, has saved me and many others I know and love. But my prayers are also that God would continue to uphold our friend. That He would bless him in his soul with such an outpouring of His blessing that his mourning would be turned to rejoicing. That He would be his strength and his companion in the days, weeks and months that lie ahead. Our friend spent time with his grandmother every single day - for that, he will be glad as long as he lives. But for now, there will be many, many times where he will miss her so much that the will ache with the pain. 

The lady who passed away had a wonderful death, if there can be such a thing. She died in her own home, surrounded by her family, a family who had cared for her and nursed her through the past months, weeks, and days. What a blessing to be able to care for your parents in this way. Their care of their mother mirrored, I am sure, what our Lord desired when He said, 'Honour thy father and thy mother'. They honoured and loved her until the end. And now they have precious memories which will sustain them many times in the years ahead. 

The relationship between a person and a grandparent can be so unspeakably precious. I was only nine years old when I lost my grandfather and I still have times when I ache with how much I miss him. Our dear friend had many more years with his grandmother than I had with my grandfather. He will be able to treasure so many memories, recall so much advice, remember so many conversations. 

Every single one of these will be precious. But more precious than any of them - to the lady who has passed away, and to our friend who mourns - is Christ Jesus, who saved them both. 

In John 17, we read that our Lord prayed, "Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am that they may behold my glory."

Yesterday, this prayer of Christ's was answered for this one of His people. 


Two Tray-bake Recipes

Before we re-visit London, here are a couple of easy recipes. Two no-bake-traybake-type-things, though neither need a tray.

The first one has been in a hand written recipe book I've had for years. They're simply called Truffles, though they aren't proper truffles. No more explaining. Here's the recipe.

(The quantities may be halved.)

1 large tin condensed milk
4 oz marg
24-26 crushed digestives
4 tablespoons coconut, and extra coconut to coat
2 tablespoons Drinking Chocolate

Melt condensed milk and butter slowly.

Meanwhile, mix crushed Digestives, Drinking chocolate and coconut in a large bowl.

Have little petit four paper cases ready on a tray.

Pour melted mixture into dry ingredients and mix.

Roll into small balls and coat in coconut.

When you fill the tray, you will find you have enough left in the bowl for one more truffle - which is eaten whilst still warm, and for the Wee Guy to enjoy scraping.

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Canadian Roll

If any Canadian wished to enlighten me as to why this is called Canadian Roll, I'd be delighted.

This recipe is from the first of the Free Church cookbooks. I always double the amounts, but this is it as it's given:

13 Digestives, crushed
13 cherries, chopped
13 Marshmallows, chopped
Small tin Condensed milk

As I said, I doubled the recipe, so I'm using a large tin of Condensed milk. Mix all these ingredients and bring them together.

You are going to be rolling the mixture into a sausage shape, and I've found this the easiest way. I pour some coconut onto foil, and ...

roll the mixture into a sausage shape on the foil.

I then store it like this. I often cover this in Cling Film and freeze it. Otherwise, I keep it wrapped up like this until just before serving.

(except for the couple of slices I slice off while it's yet not set.... just to test it, you understand.)


A Trip to London: Part II.

Before I show some photos from my latest trip to London, I just want to check whether my blog readers are as shallow as the Homeschool on the Croft Facebook readers. I posted this photo the other day whilst in Inverness, with the caption:

Waiting for an appointment ... Me an' my book

Would you credit the responses? Here are some of them:

It's the lovely rings I noticed!

I noticed the ring too! lol Mine is *very* similar with sapphire in middle and 3 diamonds on either side - just smaller stones! :)

I have a ruby as my engagement stone. I love it and get so many compliments on it.

You can tell where our priorities are! I love you engagement ring too! (but I do know that Thomas J. is the famous "Stonewall" Jackson)

I'm so glad I have a different class of Blog readers. I do, don't I?

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After our day in Inverness, Katie and I flew to London for a whistle-stop visit. We saw friends, saw Buckingham Palace, went on the London Eye (and so saw all of London from the air). And then we visited the Tower of London.

Having spent 45 years never visiting London, I have now been a London tourist twice within the space of four months. I could seriously get used to this level of frequency. I could also become a Tour Adviser ...

We thought of taking the Boris Bikes around London,

but decided on the Original Bus Tour once again.

Advice #1 - if you're visiting London, the Bus Tour is a definite Must Do. The Yellow Route with this company always has a live guide (rather than the recordings listened to through headphones). You must go for the live guide tour. These guides can be mines of information, and not only are they hugely knowledgeable, but can be very, very funny too. 

Of all the bus guides we had last week, the fellow in this photo was the best. 

Katie and I also went to the Tower of London this time. 

This was our Beefeater guide. He was great! Informative (not with any great historical detail, but good all the same); great fun; and hilariously patriotic! 

He'd served in the Marines for twenty-two years.

Ahem ... in the BRITISH ROYAL Marines. Get it right.

Parts of the Tower of London complex have been there since William the Conqueror's day: this photo is of the White Tower, built in the 11th Century. 

That is a long, long time. So much history. So many lives lived here. So many lives ended here. 

This is where Queen Anne Boleyn lost her head. And Lady Jane Grey.

Sad, sad times.

Tower Bridge is so lovely.

We also went on The Eye.

Thirty-two capsules, representing the thirty-two buroughs of London. Each capsule holds around twenty-five people - the capsules are much larger than I'd expected, and though I didn't count the number of folks in our pod, there were probably between twenty and twenty-five. Even with that, we didn't feel crowded at all.

This was taken when we were fairly near the top. The Palace of Westminster is on the right, with the clock and Big Ben, with Westminster Abbey just behind that.

I'm glad we did this. If I ever get the opportunity to take the trip at night, I probably will. London is lovely at night.

I don't want to bore y'all with too many London photos - again! But I will write at least one other post showing some more photos of our capital.

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