Greetings, and a Happy New Year! My blogging game was rather sporadic at the end of last year due to us flitting north to Caithness, followed by holiday and then all the preparations for Christmas and New Year. By the time the holiday was upon us, I was pretty tired and a lot of my two week break from work was either spent snoozing on the sofa in front of festive films or getting to know the good dog-walking routes in and around the county.
We spent the whole two weeks in Caithness without travelling anywhere. Obviously we missed seeing family and friends but as both sets of parents had spent some time with us in November and I made a little trip down to Essex in December, it was nice to be really chilled and not have to make any travel plans over Christmas!
As we’re settling in, lots of people are asking us how we are finding the weather – to which we have definitely noticed that the wind is the main difference – when it is blowing, you definitely can’t miss it! I invested in some waterproof trousers which are also insulated… a genius purchase if I do say so myself, because I am toasty when I take the dog for a walk! We’ve seen some stunning sunrises and sunsets too thanks to the big skies which are a infamous feature of the county. We have managed to explore some lovely places already up here, even in the extremely short winter days. One of our favourite places is Reiss – ten minutes by car is an awesomely long and sandy beach with dunes to walk through if the tide is high.
Thanks to Instagram I’m also following other local accounts which post other places which have been added on the “To Explore” list in 2018.
Another couple of places we’ve whetted are appetites for are Thurso, (this picture below was taken at the harbour on a walk from the town towards Scrabster) and of course the infamous John O’Groats where we will do the coastal walk to see the sea stacks at Duncansby. I haven’t taken my camera out and about so am definitely out of practice and hope to get back into improving my photography.
Also at John O’Groats is the fabulous Stacks cafe, this is one of our go-to places as it’s funky and does great food. One of our favourites to hang out with a book in front of the woodburner, on a day off!
We’re still to try out Wick’s restaurants (there aren’t many but we’ve been told that we shouldn’t miss the Italian or the French places in town) but we have been to Mackays for afternoon tea on my birthday (on the shortest street in the world!) and we do plan to head back there for a meal. The fillings of the sandwiches were generous and more interesting that plain cheee and ham, and there was an amazing array of cakes and patisseries including a tiramisu made with local Stroma liqeur. The only disappointment were the scones whcih were too small and so quite hard, I would have sacrificed one or two of the cakes for a larger fluffy fruit scone – but then I am a bit of a purist when it comes to a good fruit scone! The pot of tea accompanying the cake stand was huge and I must have had at least 4 cups to wash my birthday treat down with!
Inside the house we got all our boxes unpacked quite quickly, and I even had time to do the first stage of upcycling this sideboard. I bought this from a charity shop for £5, took off the mirror, and replaced the exoisting handles with two sets of pineapple themed handles from Tk Maxx.
I am still pondering what else to do with the sideboard – I know that I definitely want to paint the legs gold to brighten it up a bit, but I’m not sure what to do with the wooden frame – it’s quite shiny wood so it would be a major project to strip it and repaint!
I’m also looking into doing more needle felting and perhaps trying to make needle-felted jewellery, as this has been on my list of things to do for ages, maybe 2018 is the year!
In terms of the blog, I’ll be looking to post more often and hope to do a rename/rebrand this year, but i’m having a distinct lack of inspiration at the moment for a new name. More thinking is definitely required, but I’m hopeful that this is me back in the blogging game!
What do you hope that 2018 will bring you?