Last week seemed a particularly long one for both HunterGatherer (who'd been flat out mending grain dryers by day and doing soil sampling by night) and Yours Truly (who'd spent so many hours at the copywriting coalface that her eyes were glazing over).
So it was that by Friday evening at 8pm, when HG returned from his latest soil sampling mission, we decided to eschew the delights of home cooking and instead treat ourselves to supper out in the fleshpots of Kinross. And as we hadn't yet tried The Boathouse Loch Leven, but had heard good reports from neighbours A and F up the road (whence cameth Ivan the tup lamb last weekend), we decided to make tracks for the said establishment which, as its name might suggest, is located on the shores of Loch Leven.
Suffice to say, it proved a sound decision. A few hours later we returned home, having assured the lovely staff that we'd "be back again". Quite how soon we would be back not even we could have guessed, but when DD2, up from London for a flying weekend to visit her BF in Edinburgh, popped in unexpectedly on Sunday afternoon to collect her winter coats (even London is getting chillier, apparently), suddenly I recalled one of the staff at The Boathouse mentioning they'd just launched afternoon teas and that their chef had been a pâtisserie chef at Gleneagles in a former life.
Ten minutes later, we were all down at The Boathouse, gazing out over a moody Loch Leven and ordering afternoon tea. With mini-quiches, dainty crustless sandwiches, cream scones and gorgeous light-as-a-feather cakes adorning the towering "afternoon tea" stand, the fare more than matched our expectations. Better still, DD2 also ordered a pizza (traditional Italian...) to take out so she had something to sustain her as she sped swiftly southwards on the train that evening.
All in all, we had a foodie-fantastic weekend, though I suspect HunterGatherer and I had better not step on the scales for a few days until he's walked round a few more fields and I've run round Loch Leven a few times!
If you'd like to whet your appetite for a visit to The Boathouse, here's a photographic taste of what's on offer...
The restaurant area at The Boathouse is – oxymoronic as it may sound – simultaneously spacious and cosy, and the staff were both efficient and friendly. We'll certainly be back (again...).
After a hectic weekend getting this year's lambs tagged and ready for today's market in Stirling, it's back to quasi-normality this morning.
But amidst the drama of the departure of 20 lambs, one ewe, plus Mungo the tup* (who is now too closely bred to our ewe lambs for us to use him any longer), it would be remiss of me not to mention the arrival of a new face at The Sparrowholding: Ivan the tup lamb. Ivan is on loan for this breeding season from our kind neighbours F and A, who have a slightly larger smallholding (if that's not an oxymoron!) just up the road from us, and who are also the proud owners of a flock of Shetland sheep.
As Ivan is still just a youngster, this will be his first time covering ewes, so we have no way of knowing whether he "works" – not to go into too much detail for the more sensitive among you, though I'm sure you'll get the drift! He seems a dear wee fellow (so far anyway...), and as he needed someone to keep him company for the next few weeks before he joins his soon-to-be-harem, we reckoned that Pickle the Pet Lamb was the sheep for the job.
After a brief scurry around the newly created mini-paddock in our garden, the two lads seem to have settled down overnight, so fingers crossed that they'll become good friends in time. Meanwhile, here are a few photos of the new arrival, including one with his new sparring partner, the inimitable Pickle!
Welcome to Square Sparrow’s new blog home where you’ll find photos, anecdotes and snippets about food, family and Scottish country life.
It’s only taken me five months to summon the words, the energy and the time to compose a long-overdue post, and this one doubles as a welcome – a welcome to the Square Sparrow blog’s lovely new home here on WordPress.
Copious lashings of gratitude are due to web guru Andy at Interphase Design for all his hard work (on the site) and patience (with me!). I really hope you enjoy the new look and the ensuing tales from The Sparrowholding.
Life has been ridiculously busy over the past few months, which is the only excuse that I can tender for my dearth of posts this year. As any of you who follow the Square Sparrow Facebook page will be aware, however, April saw a new addition to our little menagerie in the shape of Pickle the Pet Lamb.
This woolly bundle of joy was rejected by his mum from the moment he plonked unceremoniously onto the grass, and his arrival heralded a few weeks of sleepless nights as we attempted to “play mum”.
Lark-like HunterGatherer did the dawn feeds and owl-like Yours Truly was responsible for the late night shift, often feeding by torchlight in the rain and even, on occasion, sleet!
Still, our initially feeble wee friend has now grown into an energetic, lovable, woolly rogue whose presence brightens our every day. Even though we weaned him a couple of weeks ago, his resonant voice booms out across the paddock any time he sees (or even hears) humanoids approaching the fence – no doubt he fondly imagines we might still be bearing a bottle!
If you missed the photos on Facebook, here’s a wee reminder of his progress over the past twelve weeks…