A recipe for Dubbin

Dubbin : leather food for boots etc, and DRUMS !!! :)

One of the disadvantages of living out in the sticks is that when and idea or urge pops into your head and you need to purchase something to complete it, you need to be patient.

I have learnt well since coming to Orkney, the art of patience, whether that be waiting upon a delivery from the mainland from an Internet order, or waiting for a trip to town.
It's not that it is far to town, only about 17 miles I think, it's getting there. Although we do have a car, I am reluctant for us to pop in at the weekend just for a few bits. Often I will go in during the week, but as I don't drive I need to rely on our buses which are not exactly frequent, and a quick trip to town can be a full day wasted.
So whats this got to do with dubbin? Well a little while ago some of us started a little drumming evening, and although I have got a small hand drum, it sounds crap. A friend suggested using dubbin on it, which is used on leather, fab.

Well the problem is, I didn't go to town last week, I am not going this week, which means waiting till next week. toooo loooong!

I had a bit of a browse on tinternet to find out if you could make it. turns out it is made from tallow, beeswax and fish or mink oil. Found a website where they make their own and got the recipe, tweaked it a bit and Bob's your uncle, got it made, Go Mel !!
so here is the recipe:

30g lard
15g beeswax
5g fish oil (eg cod liver oil capsules, squeezed into mix)

gently melt together lard and beeswax
add fish oil, I used 10 large cod liver oil capsules as I was guessing.
melt this into the mix too. pour into a jar and done :)

A funny sort of week

It's been a funny sleepy sort of week here at the cottage, neither me nor John have been sleeping well, but in the day I am so sleepy, yet in the night the same waking up over and over. I am sure it has something to do with the solar activity we have been having the past week or so. Speaking of which we were fortunate to see the aurora borealis on Sunday night, a first for both of us, although they are a regular sight on Orkney due to us being so far north. Up hear they are called "the Merry Dancers" isn't that a lovely name.

Even the weather has been more changeable than usual. Last night we were sitting huddled in front of the fire listening to the gales lashing the hail against the windows, yet today I have been pottering in the garden, pulling up dead growth, sun beaming down and not a breeze.

Don't think I will bother with one of those "daily outfits" on here, my attire usually consists of leggings/jeans and wellies. In fact both pairs of wellies now need replacing as they are both split. Not surprising as they are worn, in the garden, for letting out chooks, fetching,the post, going to town, walking round tescos lol.
You know you live in the country when you see people walking round tescos in boiler suits and wellies, or parking their tractors up outside the local shop and no one bats an eye.

I have been itching to get out there in the garden since Christmas. Earlier in the week I was making a seed box from and old shoe box and making monthly dividers for it, and spent 2 hours working out a new rotation system for the veggy plot. Yes there is very little you can do outside in Orkney during the winter :)

Last night we celebrated Burns night with our fist Haggis of the year. We love haggis in this house, and being in Scotland they sell them all year round rather than just in January like in England. Burns night is on the 25th of January every year and celebrates the birthday of Scotland's famous poet Robert Burns, with celebrations all over Scotland paying tribute with meals of Haggis with Neeps & Tatties (clapshot), yumm.


Well it's been a busy couple of weeks but now I am back home and cracking on with plans.
All seeds have now been ordered, both for the flower beds and the veggie plot, although I did forget to buy the garlic (oops), good job we had a bumper crop last year so I will attempt to grow from last years' harvest. Also because we have such a short growing season being so far north that a heated propagator is on the way. I will have chilli success !

Also have a look at this fab Niddynoddy! My wonderfully fab talented hubby is not afraid to try his hand at anything, and when a few months ago I told him I needed one for my spun yarns, and told him how much they cost, he had a look and proclaimed "I can make one of those" So off he went with a bit of old broom handle, came back in a while later with this, yeay !!

This is gonna get plenty of use as I have lots of fleece, including loads of North Ronaldsay our local rare breed sheep, ready to be spun up and put in my son to open Etsy store. Part of my financial plans to bring a few more pennies into the pot.

When I am not planting, digging, spinning, decorating or building, you are likely to find me meditating or dancing around the garden heeehee :)

new year new plans

Well another year, and a chance for fresh starts and fresh ideas for everyone.
Personally by the second of December i was already welcoming in the new year with plans for the cottage and the garden, as well as spiritual and personal plans for the year.
Already earth has been dug, and seeds are being ordered, we have grander ideas for our veg production this year, and perhaps even apple trees, not an easy task in our windy coastal climate, but I do have a cunning plan (feel free to insert Baldric accent with that last statement).

This is the year we also aim to get the roof done on the barns and hopefully move the kitchen into one of them and out of the leaky cold lean-to we are using at present, we can but hope there wont be another Christmas dinner cooked in freezing temperatures.

I have made a few promises to myself this year, a few health based, a few spiritual.

So here is to a fab year !!


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