Monday, March 11, 2013

Our Facebook Page

I posted some pictures of today's weather's events to our Facebook page.  You can check it out at

If you like it, then please 'like' us!

I Wasn't Finished!

We had a crazy blizzard of a day and also had a changeover to do so I didn't get a chance to finish talking about my planting plan - boring to some and sometimes to myself but at this moment in time it is seeming increasing cool.

So yes, we've got courgettes (two varieties) and all the wonderful herbs.  I was thinking that tomatoes would be fab but I always have trouble growing them because I can never find a warm enough spot for them...nothing like a home grown tomato so may be I'll give them one more try this year before I give

Runner beans are another contender to go in the plot and I cannot forget the trusty potato!  These are brilliant because you bury them and when you are about to dig them up, it's like hunting for buried never know how many there will be and then all of a sudden you've dug up a handful of these little beauties and you put them in your basket and you make them in to something wonderful.

Next topic of conversation is Scottish Food and what you should not be missing out on when you get here!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Planting for Spring

With the week of good weather that we had, I was so ready to start our Spring planting!
Planted the dahlias bulbs out...I hope these do well because I LOVE dahlias and they look so fantastic in a simple vase or arrangement - doesn't this look gorgeous?

Transplanted the peonies!  I've been meaning to so this for years!  The peonies have, until now, been located in a terrible spot, on an incline and they are always wonky looking but they are a lovely fuschia colour and they go so well with the bright orange of the poppies that we also have growing in the garden.  I hope that they will now look like this...

And then they will look like this!

Broke my back digging up on the beds which is meant to look like this...

It's meant to be a wildflower plot and I think if we refrain from weeding (I suppose that it will look like a bunch of weeds for a while ) it will look resplendent by July and August.

I've also planted out the Lily of the Valley because the bulbs were starting to grow in their packaging.  Aren't these lovely?

But the weather has gotten cold again and I've put the cloches on the Lily of the Valley and I've had to refrain from spreading our wildflower seeds and propagating the other seeds which I am so desperate to get out!  But I've got the seed packages and have been dreaming about the 'harvest'.

We're definitely planting courgettes (zucchini) - these are so easy and they are so tasty when you grow them in the garden.

We've got lots of herbs planned - basil, thyme oregano, sage, coriander and may be some dill (thinking about some delicious dill with smoked salmon).  We're trying these one in pots this year because Willie, our gardener, always ends up yanking these out!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snowy Stirling

I've waited and waited and finally we've gotten more snow!  Maybe it's because I'm from California, the land of perpetually moderate weather, that I love the snow.  I love the cold, I love the inconvenience  and it's always great to go on a dog walk when there's snow because the dogs all go crazy.  We had a lovely snowy week at the beginning of December so I was hoping for a white Christmas this year but we had another abnormally warm December which was a bit disappointing.  

Anyway, we've got some snow now and we're expecting a bit more at the end of the week!  All I can hope for now id that it gets really  really cold so there will be some ice skating on the Lake of Mentieth!

Snowman in the garden

Oscar at the quarry

A very snowy quarry walk

Stirling Castle blurry with snow

Saturday, January 19, 2013

My 6 Year Anniversary

Of course we're looking tan, we're in Nice in the picture!

I moved to Stirling in January 2007 and it's 6 years down the line.  It's been a hard adjustment, I miss my friends and family and funnily enough, thought that this would somehow get better but it doesn't and there are times when I miss my sister so much that I'm just bereft.  It's difficult coming in as the 'new guy' in your late thirties.  You have no history with anyone, no stories to share that anyone will 'get' and you sit around and listen to the countless stories that everyone else share with each other - normally really funny stories which are great but you never know who the people are or where the places are and, well, you understand what I mean.  

That said, David's friends have all taken me under their wings and include me as one of their own and you couldn't ask for better people. 

The reason I'm writing this little blip this morning is because last week when I was walking into town, I ran into some friends who were on their way back from the farmer's market and then immediately when I left them I saw a little puppy that needed some petting and when I looked up it was one of my former work colleagues at the University and, as we were having a chat, the nurse from my doctor's surgery walked by and then as I finished my final stretch into town, I ran into the lady who works at Sainsburys who I always chat with.  It was the first time that I've felt that I was part of the Stirling Community and it was amazing.  I've always referred to America as my home and it always will be but now it's really quite nice to actually feel that I've got a new one here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A New Year...

A new addition to your arrival this year...we welcome you with cupcakes!

Boy, have I been remiss about blogging but I am very good about our Facebook page so make sure to visit us HERE in order to see what we're up to.

We've had a busy Christmas and New Year.  On the lead up to Christmas we were really busy updating the looks brilliant!  We've painted and decorated, we've bought new linens, we've moved furniture and got new furniture as well and it has come together so well.  The thing with a house like Newholme is that you want it somewhat modern but not so much that it takes away from the heritage of the house and I think we have a nice combination of old and new here.  You take a look yourself by checking out our pictures on our website gallery.

The biggest news for Newholme this year is that David and I will be building a house next door.  This is great for us but is presenting a few challenges.  Don't get the wrong impression, Newholme still sits on about 3/4 acre and when I say next door I actually mean about 20-25 meters away from the house - but one mentions the word 'construction' and people can lose interest rather quickly.  The weekend lets, which run up until June, won't be bothered as there's no construction on the weekends but during our high season we only rent out the house on a weekly basis - oh dear.  We have decided to compensate in the form of a discount and you can check this out on our rates page.  We will be keeping everybody updated through the blog and Facebook, so stay tuned for updates!

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Festive Season

It's the day after Thanksgiving and, yes, I realise that I'm in Scotland but I will never be giving up my expat Thanksgivings.  Thanksgiving is my favourite holiday...all about food without the stress of having to buy the perfect presents for everyone. Needless to say, I've got a full belly and am thinking about everybody back home in California.

When I was still back in California, Thanksgiving marked the kick-off of the festive season and when we were younger, the day after Thanksgiving was not spent shopping but rather we all piled into our pick-up truck, drove an hour to a Christmas tree farm and chopped down our Christmas tree.  I loved this because I love the festive season.  But you should see the looks I get from folks over here - it's like I'm on the crazy train when I mention Christmas decorating and trimmings.  Is the end of November really too early to start the holidays?  Aside from the shopping, I love Christmas time - people are generally in a better mood, you make time to get together with friends, and the joy flows a little bit more this time of year so why not stretch it out a bit and start a tad early?

We have guests that will be arriving for Christmas and I can't wait to decorate Newholme.  It's a big beautiful spaces with so many mantles crying out to be adorned with greenery and bobbles.  The drawing room is the perfect spot for the Christmas tree with plenty of space to open pressies while drinking coffee and hot chocolate with a fire rumbling in the back.  I'll be posing plenty of pictures so stay tuned and until then have a lovely festive season!