On Patrice's Porch, with a Couple of Detours

Good day, Patrice. We are having some lovely weather here right now. It really does feel like summer, and everyone seems to smile more. 

The Wee Guy and I went over to town today, and spent some time in the Castle Grounds. He loves it there, and normally leads some army through the forested areas, and waits to ambush the enemy. Today at one stage, he was fighting with a bow and arrow, so I said (thinking he was a Native American), 'Cowboys?'

'What?', he replied, with that look that made me realize I was way off the mark. 'I'm the Duke boys'.

Oh, give me strength.

Normal service was, however, resumed later when he informed me he was fighting the Romans: charging down the beach to prevent them from coming ashore.

I had taken a wee lunch with me, and we had a lovely time eating our snack at Cuddy Point, watching the ferry leaving Stornoway.

Even though it was our warmest day this year, and even though I was eating far away from my kitchen, there were two things that were still necessary:

Hot tea (supplied in the flask), and a china mug.

No, these are not preferences. These are necessities

Here was my guide: another necessity, because at this time we were heading for deep jungle.

I'll post more of the photos from the Castle Grounds tomorrow. For now, Patrice, I think we'll get on with our porch chat ...

1. When it comes to vegetables, which do you use more often - canned, frozen, or fresh?

At times, I use frozen brocolli or cauliflower, but no other frozen veg. I've never used canned veg, I don't think... Oh, hang on - yes, I do! I use tinned peas! Most of our vegetables, though, are fresh. Of course the best of veg are the ones that have come out of The Plot.

Oh, the difference in taste!

2. Do you sew?

Nope. I did make some of the curtains for this house, and for the home we had in Glasgow, but apart from that, sewing buttons onto clothes that have lost them is about my limit.

3. Do you have a common fear, such as the fear of heights, spiders, snakes, small spaces, flying, etc?

Erm, yes, I do. My fear is none of the above. It's an animal that some people choose even to have as a pet. HOW CAN THEY????

I just can't understand why anyone .... bleugh! I must move onto the next question, Patrice.

4. Is there anything you recommend for cutting your grocery bill?

Oh, well, I'm not sure about the costings, but I have one thing to say: Grow your own vegetables! Without a doubt, that is a fabulous way to:

a) eat more healthily
b) eat the tastiest food you've ever had
c) cut your costs. A bit. I think. Maybe.

Yes, it is a lot of work, but the benefits are immense. As most of you know, I had never grown anything green in my whole life until we began growing our own veg about four years ago. I was sure everything would die - after all, every house plant that had ever dared cross the threshold of my home had paid the ultimate price. But growing stuff outside is a different kettle of fish altogether. 

And once you taste home-grown carrots, you'll never want to go back to store-bought ones. We eat many store bought carrots - at best, our crop will last only part of the year - but having had our own, the shop bought ones are so incredibly bland and tasteless ...

Did you even ask about my veg, Patrice? Oh, I remember - you asked about cutting the grocery bill. Well, to be honest, I've never really found a way of cutting that very much. I think you Americans would be shocked to know what we spend, on average, each week on our groceries. It really is expensive to live here! But having our own veg has given me endless supplies of thick vegetable soups over our winter.

That is priceless.

5. Tell me something that made you happy over the past week?

You know, Patrice, I could probably give a long list here, but I'll stick to one thing.

On Saturday, seeing the potatoes being planted made me happy.

The Wee Guy took my bucket and began planting.

It looks as though he's the only one working!

See the tatties lying in their row. This furrow will be covered in soil as the tractor moves down making the next furrow.

Almost there. Seeing ploughed ground always makes me smile.

Have a great week, Patrice! And thank you once again for hosting us ladies on your porch for our weekly chat.


  1. The farmers markets are starting to get busy here so I'm looking forward to lots of fresh veggies. Our grocery bill is crazy too. And the prices keep going up and up.

  2. I love to have veggies from our garden. I'm not sure what the thing folks have as a pet that scares you is, unless you mean cats. ??? I enjoyed seeing your trip to the castle. The wee guy must have had fun. The woods look lovely. I'm always happy to hear when children play with imagination. Too many children are programmed for our commercial society and I think imaginative play is important.My oldest is having a wonderful time. She is sharing lots of photos,and mama wishes she could be there too.

  3. Ah..your castle visit looks/sounds like so much fun! My little boys would join right in the playing! Our weapons cache is growing as the weather is improving here! New bows and arrows must be made...a sling shot...and some kind of sword that I don't remember the name of...german...zweihander...all made out of fallen branches. I think the critters 'round here are quite safe, however,the 'perception' of victory runs high!
    Enjoy that lovely weather! (It's finally arrived here as well!)

  4. Oh you make me laugh when you talk about that thing you are afraid of, Since my Grand mothers were of Scottish decent, and they all felt the same way about that thing you are afraid of, I get it. :)
    Your garden area is wonderful and so are those castle grounds. I love all of the trees.
    I am so glad you are getting a taste of summer. The skies look so blue.
    Have a wonderful day.


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