A Castle in the Sky

In March 2013, after years of talking about it we eventually sell up and move out of the city with our 2 year old, Gracie. We both grew up in the countryside and this is what we want for our daughter. So we swap a 2 bed flat in London for a small country pile on the west coast of Scotland that needs a lot of work. I've done a bit of interior design and my partner, Ed has a good knowledge of the outdoors – but we're on a tight budget and we've both got a lot to learn. It's a life time's project and this is a record of our adventure…


Cider delivery (Aug 10)

It’s been nearly a year since the ‘cider boys’ from the village harvested hundreds of apples from the orchard – and today we received delivery of our first crates of bottled gold.  It looks amazing and tastes divine.

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Rosehip and apple jelly (Nov 25)




We were heading out on Saturday but it was such a beautiful day that we took a detour via the walled garden to collect the last of the rose hips.

Ed’s since spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen putting my mum’s old jam pan to use.  It turns out that making jelly is quite a long process.   Results are good – tastes delicious on porridge (now tried and tested by Gracie and Ed),  is apparently very good with roast pork (says Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall) –  and it looks beautiful.

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Dung swap (Oct 17)

Half our apples are currently being turned into cider (see Apples apples everywhere… – Aug 31). The rest were too high for picking so we collect them by the bucket-load once they’ve fallen.

In the meantime Ed’s been coveting a large heap of horse dung in a neighbouring field.  Strange things happen when you have a garden…

I tracked down the owner and she’s very happy to do an exchange.  Apples go in – free fertiliser comes out. Done.