On the Run-up to Christmas, on Patrice's Porch

Our last chat before Christmas, Patrice. Doesn't time fly!

1. What is your favourite way to have potatoes?

I love potatoes. I really, really love 'em. 

I love baby 'new' potatoes with butter melted over them. Yum. 

I love creamed potatoes: lots of melted butter and milk added, and even some cream cheese. Double yum.

And I love a variety of takes on dauphinoise potatoes. I love leek sautéed in butter and added to the dauphinoise, and then grated cheese sprinkled on top before baking. Triple yum.

Duke of York Reds and Whites

When we're having fresh mackerel straight from the sea, there is nothing quite like our own earlies. Boiled in their skins and tasting awesome!

Our own Roosters from the year before last

There's the world of difference between the taste of home grown tatties and bought ones. 

As I mentioned, I love potatoes!

2. Do you keep your house toasty warm or a bit cooler?

I love warmth in the house. Ohhhh yes, inside, I love to be toasty and warm. Since we got the stove, our kitchen area is absolutely toasty! I may have mentioned (once or twice) on the blog that I love our stove. It's a similar love to the love I feel for potatoes: it goes deep, folks. Really deep.

But because we spend so much of our day here in the kitchen area with the stove, the rest of the house can end up being neglected. It's normally when we go up in the evening to sit in the Family Room, or even when we head up to bed that we realize just how cold the rest of the house is!

3. What would you most like to see under the tree?

Hmmmm, I really don't know. Let me think....

Help me out, folks. I really don't know. We don't do much in the way of presents for ourselves - it's mostly for the kiddos - so I've not really spent much time thinking about a gift I'd like.

Oh well, go on then - give us trans-Atlantic plane tickets for next year. Yeah, that would be nice!

4. Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? This one may not translate to other countries. Just tell us something you want if you don't know what I'm talking about.

Nope. I haven't a clue what that is, so I shall ramble on about something else. Rambling, as you know, Patrice, comes rather naturally to me.

Last night as we went to bed, the winds here in Ness had reached 90mph. Okay, so it wasn't over 100mph like we had the other day, but our older kids were a bit concerned because they were heading off on the ferry early this morning. 

Bleugh! My stomach is churning at the mere thought of the Minch on a windy morning. Of course, their concern wasn't how rough the sea was going to be, but that the ferry may not sail. That would be a disaster (the meaning of the word 'disaster' changes depending on the stage of life one is at. Yep, that's a fact.) because they were meeting up with some friends from London who now live in the US of A, and were flying up from London for two days just to see them.

Well, the London/USA kids' grandparents also live in Inverness and I'm sure visiting with them was really their reason for coming so far north. Or maybe not.

Anyway, to cut a long story short - erm, excuse me, I heard that guffaw: I can cut stories short. I can, you know - they did get away, they did meet up with their friends, and they are having a great time. 

I assume. I'm having to assume because I haven't heard from them. And I take that as a good sign.

Anyway, because the older kids are away, the Wee Guy and I were home alone today. We took a complete day off: we sat in front of the stove, read books, and had cups of tea. It was bliss! It was also such fun to read for a while, then listen to Calum telling about what he'd read, and his story would lead us onto some related topic and we'd just a good blether whilst dunking our biscuits in our cuppa.

Bliss, I tell y'all.

5. Have you put up a Christmas tree this year?

We haven't actually. When we took down last year's tree, we decided it looked a bit robach. It had seen better days, so it got the heave-ho. But if you're planning to buy a new Christmas tree, do it in the January sales. Don't leave it until December, when your money has other priorities! 

*      *      * 

Patrice, I believe you're not going to be on your porch next week. I'm not sure why you'd miss a week ... ? Maybe the weather? I'm quite sure there's nothing too important on next week. 

Please say Hi to Wendell, and tell him we're all glad he's out of the horsepital (Patrice, I love it!).

See y'all in two weeks' time.

Oh, and have a great Christmas, y'all. 


  1. Oh those howling winds! Be thankful they don't come with snow! Ours do and we have freezing cold temps. We loved our visit to Scotland this summer!

    1. No, no snow or ice here, I'm afraid although everyone here would love it!! (for a little while anyway ;)

      Where were you in Scotland? Do you have relatives here, or did you just come for a sightseeing tour?

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for commenting ... please pop in often!
      Anne x

  2. Hope you are having a happy Christmas season Anne. Has your wind stopped? Have your children returned? Did they have a nice time? It has been varied temperatures here. We had an arctic cold front go through, then it got very warm. You never can be sure what kind of weather you're going to get around here. All the rest of our kids that are coming for the holiday got in tonight: We're feeling very happy about that. I love all of your potato ideas...all are on my favorites list too.
    Love and Blessings,

    1. I'm so glad you're having 'extra' family with you for Christmas. I hope you've had a wonderful day, and please give my love to them all (even though they will not know me! I feel I know them all!)

      Our kids got back safe and sound. It was a *rough* crossing, but they were none the worse after their trip - in fact, they were full of the joys of having spent time again with their friends.

      Have a lovely holiday with your loved ones, Pam
      A x

  3. Hello Anne! I'm having fun catching up on reading your blog (have had a busy fall, well, just life!)
    What winds! Wow! When you come to the Northwest - after those tickets appear under your tree! (um, well, under your biggest house plant?, or under your...hmmm) - we'll take ya'll to the Columbia River Gorge....they have winds there too, (not to that extreme!), but enough to attract lots of wind surfers! Though no one I know participates in that sport, it is fun to see! It is one of the most BEAUTIFUL places on earth!...and right in our back yard!...Definitely one of the stops on your visit here!
    Hope your wonderful family has a Merry Christmas!

    1. Keri, lovely to hear from you :) . I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas yourselves, and that your family is enjoying a wee bit of relaxation together.

      Say Hi to Sarah ... It's been a great year for us in so many ways, not least the time we had with SJ, Kaytra and Charae. What lovely memories we have of that time.

      It would seem that Santa didn't get my letter this year, as sadly, there were no tickets 'under the tree'. But how we'd love, one day, to visit you all right over there on the west coast.

      Blessings to you all,
      A x

  4. It took me a very long time to stop by for a visit. My computer has been down and I was trying to do the best I could with an iPad. It was just an exercise in frustration, since I'm not very technology oriented. If only Santa had given you tickets! I would love to meet you in person. Happy New Year!


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