My June in Pictures

My June in Pictures

In early June the world of leaf and blade and flowers explode and every sunset is different. 

John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent

A pictorial diary of my month, what a beauty it’s been.

Wild roses with heart shaped petals.

Champagne cream tea at a friend’s birthday party.

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Take That’s very own Wonderland.

The North Sea pretending to be the Mediterranean.

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Pond dipping with the overgrown puppy.

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The Summer Solstice.

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Our barn home taking shape.

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Writing romance with this view.

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My cup overfloweth

Rustic Guest Frances – Shopping in Røros

Rustic Guest Frances – Shopping in Røros

I stumbled across this lovely pictorial post whilst browsing over at Haynet and asked Frances if she would mind me sharing her enchanting pictures in the Farmhouse Kitchen.

Frances is a horsewoman and photographer who blogs about everything Shetland from her home there, including the Shetland ponies she rescues, the Icelandic ponies she breeds and her three pet sheep. Do visit her site, My Shetlandto see more of her fabulous photographs.

This post, originally shared on myshetland.co.uk, is about her visit to Røros in Norway. I think a glass of gløgg is in order… can I tempt you?


Shopping in Røros

So, yesterday, you know how I said we didn’t do crowds?  Well, today, we did do shopping – the people had mostly dispersed.

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The morning was spent wandering about the streets of Røros, looking at it all.

There were many stalls selling just about everything (I love this sort of thing).

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We sampled.

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I tried not to mind.

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We admired.

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(eeek – Moomin cardigans – just eeek!)

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In the various little alleyways off the streets were courtyards with folk who had come up with their sleighs and horses.

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Singing and story-telling.

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Oh, wow.  The atmosphere.  The décor.  The everything.  I soaked it all up.  Norwegian chic at its best.

Røros is not a large town (Wikipedia says 3,718 so half the size of Lerwick), but everyone had made an effort.

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What a beautiful place with amazing buildings …..

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…. and innovation.

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The horses, who had taken part in the Opening Ceremony, were mostly out of bounds and that was good. They deserved their rest but there were a few stabled in the courtyards dotted around who we could talk to.

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And so we wandered.

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Now was our opportunity to go into Røros church.

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A place of peace and tranquility.

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(and curtains too – I mean how beautiful is that?)

Yes, we did shop but mostly we browsed, tasted and chatted to the traders.

There was old and new to look at and want.  Oh yes, I wanted!

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(I even looked for a bell for Lambie – he needs a bell!)

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This is an old horse-drawn snow plough.

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I asked permission before I took this photo – a kind Sami lady in full traditional costume.

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Shopping in Røros is an experience and now I need to go back!


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Do visit Frances at her site, My Shetlandto experience more of her fabulous photographs.

 

Rustic Guest Mac Logan – How to Find Peace Without Really Looking

Rustic Guest Mac Logan – How to Find Peace Without Really Looking

Today, I’m happy to welcome my first rustic guest to the Farmhouse Kitchen.

mac-loganLet me introduce you to Mac Logan, an author from Scotland, who not only writes gritty, edge-of-your-seat thrillers (a Scottish Stieg Larsson!) but who is also lucky enough to live in the stunning and dramatic East Neuk of Fife.

Mac and I met on Twitter, and he’s been a great virtual friend and supporter of my rustic writing efforts, so I’m delighted to share Mac’s thoughts on rural life with you here.

I’ll put the kettle on, you sit back and enjoy.


 In every walk with nature one receives far more than one seeks. John Muir

Find peace?

What do you do if peace finds you? Can you help its search?

When I seek quotes about peace, mostly I find contrasting ideas, you know:

• the opposite of war – with countless homilies,

• an internal “good thing” that happens when you do “good” exercise, deeds, spiritual things, and so on,

• if you speak Scottish you’ll know sandwiches get a mention, (so what if the spelling’s wrong?)

Easy to Find?

What I seek is easy to find … but not in crowded places. It’s all around us, yet can lack the buzz and zip of a packed city. People miss it, yearn for it, yet seldom find it.

Strange thing, this “peace”.

Want an example?

Will a definition help our search?

peace [piːs] noun: freedom from disturbance; tranquillity.

Could this hint at both an inner and outer reality? It’s all over the place near where I live. You’ll find it too, anytime you drop by.

Bliss of peace

A hectic life with peaceful spaces may be as good as it gets these days, unless … Unless you live with and within the beauty of nature … like me, like Sam.

When Sam asked for a few words she rural headed her agenda. If you read her books, you’ll know why, even if there are city interludes and rolls in the hay. You know what they say up here: there’s nothing like the sleep of the just, but even better, the sleep of the just after. Talk about blissful peace.

I’m lucky enough to live in the country. North of the Border, true, and in the incomparable East Neuk of Fife.

Peace is all around

I made the Kilconquhar Loch video late May last year.

Rambling along a quiet lane I came to an incredibly green bank and sat on a dry stump. Warm air ruffled my hair like a lover’s caress. For a moment I slipped out of time.

Without really looking

Peace found me, I didn’t have to go looking. There, free from the noise and turmoil of modern life, stress oozed out of me as peace took its place.

Thinking back I smile and promise myself a wee dram when I finish this draft. I know peace will find me again in a soothing amber glow from a crystal glass.

Peace to you …


If you want to hear more from Mac, you’ll find him, his blog and more about his Angels’ Share series of books by clicking the image below. Mac also hangs out on Facebook and twitter, do follow him there.

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Rustic Guest in the Farmhouse Kitchen

Rustic Guest in the Farmhouse Kitchen

In the upcoming months, I’ll be hosting visitors in the rustic farmhouse kitchen and publishing posts which give a glimpse into my guests’ rural lives.

If you live, work, play or blog rural and you’d like to get involved, comment below or drop me a line and we’ll talk.

The guidelines are very simple:

  • Write a post of between 200 and 1000 words on a topic related to the countryside, your rural life or business
  • Include pictures if you want to (a picture of you is always nice)
  • Tell me something about yourself
  • Provide links to your blog, website or ‘buy’ site (if you have them) so readers can find out more

And that’s about it. Don’t be shy, I welcome approaches from all walks of rural life.

May blossom, cow parsley and a flowering horse-chestnut. Rustic romance in rural Essex

May blossom, cow parsley and a flowering horse-chestnut. Rustic romance in rural Essex

Lovely day for a walk. And the Farmer promised that the route he had planned would only take 40 minutes. I’m still running in the hip,  you see, and I was meant to be editing, but the sun was shining through the office window. No contest really…

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May is my absolute favourite month of the year (or it is this month, next month it might be June). Lush is the only word:

May blossom living up to its name, and cow parsley crowding the verges.

An hour and forty minutes (and several good climbs) later, when the hip had “had a good workout” (the Farmer’s words, not mine) we stumbled across (I was only stumbling a little bit) this little beauty…

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…right in the middle of nowhere. How’s that for rustic romance. I can always edit tomorrow, it will give me something to do until I’m able to walk again.