Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We have a small host of yellow daffodils - and the're quite small too! (tête-à-tête)

glowering clouds belie the spring like air!

A Message from the Past: 29 February 1952

On another leap year, exactly 60 years ago, the 
Drumlee Presbyterian Church Quotation Calendar 
Thou, by whom the birds are fed,Give to me my daily bread;And Thy Holy Spirit Give,Without whom I cannot live.
submitted by Ian McLeod of Drumlee

Not how we might put it today; but it speaks to the universality of hope don't you think?

We found this Calendar in the House:

and this is a snapshot from the actual page for 29th February 1952:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Butterfly Metamorphosis

We're moving some of our buddleia bushes today, hoping to create more butterfly hotspots in the summer

Coincidently, there was a link to this amazing metamorphosis explanation form BBC nature on the butterfly conservation Facebook page:

Monday, February 27, 2012


Hard to pull myself away from a fantastic weekend with Kate & Eleanor, still, many happy memories!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


As always, Charlie comes (even more) to like when people come, I think he gets bored with the same old two of us. So you can imagine what a time he had on our tree planting day!

This Sunday we were given some beautiful pictures of him 
taken that day - many thanks Paul!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Snow on the mountains

My mother had a saying that ' as long as there's snow on the mountains, there's more snow to come!'
Fresh dusting of snow today
remnants of the snow in January taken last week

Friday, February 17, 2012

A day at the 'office'

Bit of a murky day today, so a spell in the Turnip house is welcome.

We are making orders, stock for the gallery and experimenting with felt hats, all great fun!

stage one of a sweater - the front

hills and parts of mountain - the view from the 'desk'!

Elaine making a felt hat

definitely a day for the fire

Thursday, February 16, 2012

ready for the windows

Final measurements were taken of the holes that we've made - so the windows are on their way (2-3 weeks) There will be great excitement that day!

the south east side - there will be 2 windows and a door here. You can see right through to the other side now

looking through the central arch

one of the original window openings

looking north west; three windows and a door here
through the central arch the other way

It's very scruffy outside, but now the structure is right, we can start to tidy things up:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Across the divide!

The main piece of heavy work was still to do this week: make a hole between the two cow sheds; to unite the space and make it so that you could walk from one side of the place to the other.

The big question how big? Well we all know, big IS beautiful, 

.... but in this case also brings pain!


Here's some pictures of what we thought might take a day, and in fact took three:

from small beginnings ......

the happy team!

we have a doorway at least

view from the other side

Monday, February 06, 2012


As dusk fell this evening Elaine noticed a fantastic starling murmuration down the valley

a cloud of starlings race past the full moon
in full flight - this is just part of it

it's hard to grasp the scale of it from a picture

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Let There be Light

Here's what we've been at on the other side of the Gallery:

At the end of day one we'd only managed to cut away the blockwork. We new this was going to be tough, but this was hard slog!

Still, we were getting there on day two
what a mess - still - omelettes it is!

By the time We'd finished -there was not a lot left!

this home made lintel was a monster

more than up to the task:  solid iron that nearly had us beat

think we'll stop now...
 The views both down to the Mournes and up to the Dromara Hills are even better than we'd thought 
still snowy


this corner will be filled with light

nearly ready for these - 2 doors and 6 windows - it's exciting!

Friday, February 03, 2012

High and Low

You never know what sights will greet you up here in Benraw

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Holy Moly!

Well, the time has come to bite the bullet, pick up the big beast and cut the holes for the windows in the gallery

The Beast

helpfully - and scarily it states that it spins at 4700 

needs more light
the plan is to cut holes for the door and two windows, to  make something like this:

the plan

We started with two cuts by the existing door, (terrible work!) and began to knock out the concrete blocks that make up the wall. As bits that we didn't want came crashing down round our feet, it became obvious that subtlety was not the answer.
So we took out the whole wall!
well, that's that sorted

How many holes are we meant to have?

the fireplace in all its glory

here's hoping for many sunny mornings like this

and this is the view