“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ....Oscar Wilde

Friday, 24 January 2014

Grow Your Blog Party 2014...and a GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to the Grow Your Blog Party!
For those of you that haven't heard about the brain child of Vicki over at 2 Bags Full she's offered to host a party for over 500 people. Now I call that generous and incredibly brave. 
If you click onto the logo below it will take you into all the other party people and their blogs, but hopefully you'll not go before staying awhile. 
Now anyone that knows me will understand what a huge task this post has been for me to create...I have difficulty being brief or to the point at the best of times and that's one of the reasons why my blogs name has 'Natter' in it! 
I love to natter...about everything!
Basically, I've been described as someone being able to talk even under water and I know that's true. 
Yes, I'm aware that even this opening paragraph is in serious jeopardy of running away with me. So with that in mind I'll move swiftly on...
Firstly, though I thought I should give a brief idea of what makes me tick...I'll give only give you a few things to keep it brief...I'm not over thinking these either...they're not in any particular order, I'm writing them as they come into my head. 
Yep I'm that dizzy...and blonde! hehe
I adore my family and friends (plus our dog obviously...I live with my hubby, son and soon my daughter will be moving back home too plus our pooch Muffin)
I love drawing/art - I seriously want to devote more time to this (My Etsy shop needs to reopen) Gardening, but like to involve others when the going gets tough
Drinking copious amounts of tea and virtually never refuse a cuppa
Blogging big time of course! 
Reading and books (I've been devouring them ever since I first started to read)
Cooking and baking (sharing recipes and getting used to using my Aga once again)
Wildlife and Nature 
Photography, I'm just about to purchase a new camera...how exciting is that?

I started blogging a few years back when living in Melbourne and my daughter who was living in Edinburgh Scotland, at the time suggested it might be good to have a diary in the form of a blog to record daily life on our travels. 
At that time I'd never even heard the word 'blog' or what it meant.
Well, it was a shaky start and I'm not sure I've improved as much as I would have wished but it's certainly something I love to do and can't imagine not doing. I have posts pop into my head randomly and I'm constantly taking photos of everything in my day and thinking how they would be added into a post or tweet. Yep...I'm an avid Twitter user too. 
Blogging has changed my life and opened doors that I never thought possible. It's also brought new friendships from all over the globe. It really never ceases to amaze me just how powerful and wide stretching it can be.

Here I am doing one of the things I love to do...drawing whilst having my trusty assistant nearby to help with all of the major decisions. 
You can see she's riveted! 
That's Muffin by the way . 
(She's a mini Shih Tzu but there's nothing mini about this poochs attitude. She also known as Muffy, Muffty, Mufftypup, McMuffy after our last move, to name but a few
Although she looks cute and puppylike...don't be fooled...she's just celebrated her 10th Birthday ...and she certainly knows how to work the system or more precisely us! 

We have finally given up the expatriate life after 24 years of travelling and living abroad. We've had lots of adventures and certainly seen life along the way! 
Some a little too close and personal for my liking, but you have to take the good with the bad. Embracing it all.
So we've returned home...but I've never been sure where home was when asked this reasonable question. Over the years I decided that 'home' was wherever our nest happened to be at the time and we were all together. You have to adapt to this concept in order to have some consistency to your life when you're away.
But we packed our expatriate bag for the last time and flew off...but to where I hear you ask? Well here's a clue where we've landed.... 

Hehe isn't he stunning...a Highland Cow! 
(Not sure if you can call a 'he' a cow but maybe that's the thought for the day?) 
Did you guess right? 
Yes, we are in Scotland...in Aberdeenshire to be more precise. 
We moved away from a house here and rented it out whilst we travelled but we're back to stay. 
If you'd like to see the landscape and join Muffy and I on one of our daily walks then click HERE
I'm not sure this is it...the final destination and we'll stay, but for now we've no plans to move for a while. But I've learnt to never say never! 
It's surreal to be here once again but I'm loving settling back in. 
There are major renovations on the 'to-do list' and I've mentioned them in previous posts. Two bathrooms are just about finished except for a little bling to be added. There is decking being crafted right before my eyes as I type here and next week we are replacing all the windows and doors in the house. 
Keep your fingers crossed that snow doesn't arrive!
If you like the TV programme 'Grand Designs' with Kevin McCloud then come and visit here regularly because it's all happening. I wouldn't be surprised if Kevin walked up our driveway any day now. 
But there are peaceful parts of the property...
Here's a view of the side garden and one of my main bird feeding stations. 

(obviously this photo was taken in the summer months...
it doesn't look like this at the moment) 
It's amazing just how many birds have started to regularly visit us now there's a five star restaurant opened up. I just love to see the birds and can seriously lose hours watching their antics and acrobatics. We used to have pheasants visit when we last lived here, but I've yet to see one in the garden since we returned, but I'm hopeful that the word will spread..."they're back, come on down"!
Here's a few photos that I snapped over the summer. 
There are so many things to capture on camera.
Since we've been back in Scotland, we've been lucky enough to share in a fairy tale wedding at a castle...click HERE if you'd like to take a peek and there's lots of plans ready for exploring the area once spring arrives. There's so much happening here, history, architecture and fantastic scenery to name but a few...so it's going to be tough deciding what to post but I'm sure I'll manage. 
I hope that you'll join me because it just won't be the same without you. 
(The city of Aberdeen and around and about)
But there's also lots to share still about our travels and no doubt they'll make an entrance too at various stages. 
We've lived in hot places, cold places and everything in between.

(In order from left to right...Qatar, Canada and Melbourne) 
Melbourne was our last port of call and I miss it terribly. I made so many wonderful friends (Little Wandering Wren is taking part in the GYB Party...so why not nip over to say 'Hi'. She'd love to see you plus you'll be able get a warm too because it's summer there at the moment).
We had a fantastic time in Melbourne and have fantastic memories and at one stage we very nearly stayed. It was a very close call.
Melbourne has been voted the best city in the world on numerous occasions and rightly so.

Before Melbourne we were in the Middle East and I seriously thought we were heading home from there but instead of turning left on takeoff to come back to the UK we turned right to Australia!
What a fantastic time we had whilst there and I couldn't possibly pick a previous post for you to see because there's just too much choice. I think it might be better if you'd like to see any details by heading into my sidebar to browse. 
Muffy was actually born in Qatar and we couldn't leave her behind so she made the journey...and Australian quarantine. 
Now here's the link but be assured no animal was hurt in the making of this post...click HERE 
It's way back in the early days of blogging for me so please be forgiving if you look back. 

Can you imagine what might go through her little brain? 
"What are they thinking? I'm from the desert and then they take me off to Australia which turns out to have winters and quarantine"! 
Not content with that they then decide to cool me down even further and take me to Scotland! It's really a good job that I have friends and connections out there that send me beautifully knitted jumpers in Aran that have made my life at least bearable!" 
I am very selective in my choice of location for snoozing...it's normally near the wood burner or Aga

If you're still with me at this stage I'm thinking you need a reward. I'm going to have a giveaway and if you leave a comment below then you will be entered into the draw. I did this at last years party and there's no show without 'Punch' so Muffy had to do the draw. 
If you want to see how we did it then click Sticky Draw Prize Draw
I think we'll do something similar this year but at the moment I'm not sure what I'll be giving away. But I know 'Hamish' will be in there...plus a few bits and pieces like the book marks from a craft market in Melbourne. 
I would like to include something that I've created too but at the moment it's looking unlikely, but as I said 'never say never eh'? You never know?
Here's just a snippet of some of my art...the first was my personal mandala and was so much fun to include lots of things relevant and special to me. 
I was thrilled to open my Etsy shop last year, but I decided to close it just before I moved from Melbourne. I'm hoping that I will be able to re-open it again soon.  
For our last big adventure last year we went to New Zealand...both the North Island and the South Island with a few thrills along the way. 
If you want to see these posts they are in my sidebar (October 2012)

We plan to explore Europe now that we are over this way...so as they say...watch this space! 
Before I go I want to share a recipe with you and it's quite relevant with it being Australia Day on Sunday plus this is one of my hubbies favourite recipes. I know I should perhaps have tipped my cap or should I say Tam O'Shanter (tartan hat...if I had one) to it being 'Burns Night' on Saturday night (25th January) but I haven't got to grips with haggis yet...but no doubt I will. Maybe that'll be for next years party? 
I would have liked to have a new recipe for my regular visitors because they've seen this one before but the days just keep running away with me and I don't accomplish half of what I'd like to before my energy runs out and it's time for bed! If only I didn't have to sleep?
If you like the look of this yummy lemon tart then click on Australia Day Classic Lemon Tart
The recipe is enclosed in that post and it's one of my most popular posts.
I promise I'll have a new recipe soon...my Aga needs to get busy! 
Phew...well I think it's time for another cuppa in my favourite Denby mug.

(There are obviously other brands available than the one shown here...hehe...in fact there's a whole plethora of flavours and other brands out there...all waiting to be tasted  ~ how perfect is that) 
I'll just thank you for popping into my place and taking the time to browse. If you manage to leave a comment to show that you've been here all the better (or if you decide to follow...I always find I do a little clap and dance when I see a new follower) you'll be entered into my giveaway and will feature in a future post when Muffy does her party piece! Plus I always try to answer everyone that leaves a comment. 
Just one more thank you...and that's to Vicki for hosting this incredible event. I can't imagine just how much time and effect has gone into organising it.
Vicki is a very special person...just pop over to see her wonderful blog to get to know more.
I'm away now to put on my glad rags, lippy and dancing shoes to party the weekend away!
Have fun whatever you have planned...enjoy! https://secure.quebles.com/content/hotmail/emoticons/1511763.gif


  1. I've been a happy follower for some time now...your lemon tart...oh my....I love lemon every way you prepare it! But my favorite picture you've posted above is the Camel! Silly I know..but Camels have been chasing me daily for over a year now...I never know when or where but they cross my path daily! I think I may have a future as an owner of a very large herd of camels! :)

    1. Hi there...well I must start by saying thank you so much for supporting and following my blog ;D
      That photograph of the camel is one of my favourites too.
      I have a few with myself and hubby with them but I think the herdsman is by far the better. I wasn't sure if he would object to me taking it at first but when I made gestures of what I wanted to do...he just beamed :D
      Have fun at the party...enjoy!
      Oops nearly forgot to say...you're in the draw and they'll be a few things that will be a secret if you win so keep your fingers crossed.

  2. Now that's what I call a post Nessie so much to look at, fantastic photos, a beautiful garden and topped off with a luscious lemon tart, my kind of blog. Not been around myself for a few months and joined in with WOYWW thus week for the first time since September so I think I beat you on that one. Lovely to catch up and admire your art work. Hope all the renovation work goes well.

    1. Hehe...I'm glad you liked it Ann,
      It did take quite a time to do and I trawled through over 3,000 photos (and that's just the digital one's)
      One day I'll revisit the old photographs but I warn you you'll have to have a packed lunch before you start because I know I'll get carried away.
      As you've read I haven't had much time for artwork but I do plan to organise that over the coming months.
      It's great to see you once again and I'll certainly be popping you into the draw ;D
      Enjoy your weekend and see you again soon

  3. Hi Neesie,

    What a delight to find a WOYWW-er at Grow Your Blog! Art, books, animals - we are kindred spirits for sure!

    I will follow you through Twitter and Pinterest, and would love if you could stop by and help grow my blog as well!

    Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!

    Create With Joy

    1. Hehe...it is a small world isn't it? ;D
      We certainly like the same things by the sound of it.
      I've hit the follow button after visiting your blog, so hopefully you'll see that because you appear to be a no-reply blog.
      I'll also add you into my giveaway draw...so keep your fingers crossed
      Enjoy the party!

  4. Hooray, Hooray! You do a little dance when you get a new Follower, I do a Highland Jig when I get here in a timely fashion...
    Neesie, you know you are my role model for a great blog, but this post has put you in the Superbowl League (finals in New York this weekend...in case you were wondering - what?!)
    There is so much in this post from all the countries you have been, your amazing art work, your photography is always superb, the adorable McMufty, that yummy lemon tart... I could go on and on...
    I can't wait to see what the year brings you and following the fun through your blog.
    Have a lovely weekend
    Wren x

    1. Nice moves Wren...but really wearing the kilt was unnecessary especially in the true Scots fashion :O
      Now hush about my blog because you'll be able to feel the heat from my blushes all the way over there!
      I'm just so happy that we are firm bloggy mates and I think we'll have a fantastic 2014.
      Enjoy your party weekend and thank you so much for that lovely kind shout out on your party post!

  5. I had to laugh, your mug is mom's favorite kind of pottery too, she's been collecting Denby for years!! McMuff is looking so darn cute in that jumper by the way, my friend. Hugs! (Oh, and GOOD JOB on the post!!)

    1. Hi Jenn,
      Well you Mum has fine taste then if she has the same fav mug as me ;D
      I love it because of it's shape, it helps to keep it hot...I like my tea molten!
      McMuff is cute because of that special jumper! It's just perfect and she's VERY ATTATCHED TO IT! ^..^
      It's a good job that a wonderfully kind friend knitted a beautiful new red one so that I can at least wash one whilst she wears the other without her being all nakey, shaky and cold! ;D
      Thanks for your lovely comment and I'll make sure that you'll be in the 'Giveaway'

  6. Neesie, that's not so much a blogpost as an autobiography! You are one multi-talented person. How do you manage to cram so much in? Beautiful photos too. Must have taken you ages to choose which ones to use. If that Lemon Tart is typical of the food you eat, I wish you would publish a few more recipes.

    1. I just can't help myself can I Mark? I did warn that I can go on a wee bit ;D
      If I knew the answer to your question as to how I cram so much into my day, I'd be thrilled because seriously it's a mystery to me. Also the mystery is that I can keep going from before sunrise...say 6am and keep going all day until about 8.30pm when I collapse, but still not manage to do all that I'd like to do.
      Other than giving up sleep I just can't squeeze any more into my days. I'm wondering how I'm going to manage that veg plot when I start?
      As to the photos...yes it was quite a task. The football was on the TV so it was an ideal opportunity to trawl through over 3,000 photos.
      In the end my eyes just glazed over!
      Yep the Lemon Tart is typical...everyone loves food in this house. I tend only to bake the recipes thankfully and not eat them, otherwise I'd be needing to widen the new doors about to go in next week!
      I hope to post more recipes as I get to grips with the Aga once again.
      Thanks for your fantastic support over the last year or so. I'm thrilled to see you in my inbox and therefore I'd love for you to have a chance at the 'giveaway'...so you're in! :D
      Enjoy the weekend! (are you doing the Great British Garden Birdwatch this weekend? I am and will no doubt post about it later)

  7. I just love your sketch and painting of the tree. We had the opportunity to visit Scotland once and I fell in love with it. Your pictures are fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Renee for your very kind comment.
      I really enjoyed drawing and painting the tree. Trees are very special to me ;D
      Scotland is special and I'm happy to hear that you fell in love during your visit.
      It was my pleasure to share my post with you and I'll pop you into the 'giveaway' draw so Good Luck because there could be some artwork included with Hamish etc!
      Enjoy your weekend and thanks for popping by :D

  8. Ooh, what camera are you getting?
    If you have time this weekend consider joining in with the rspb big garden birdwatch...
    Lovely to so many Muftypup pics :)

    1. Funny you should say that Laura, but that's just what I did...I sat for an hour (still... which is very unusual for me) and counted all of my feather friends in the garden.
      The weather was atrocious but I still got a reasonable count. There were 11 different species.
      Oh I could have hundreds of Muftypup photos because I believe that she might be the most photographed pooch on the planet! ^..^
      At the moment I'm still doing research for the camera, but they're narrowing down now...I've only been thinking about this for about three years!
      Do you have any recommendations?
      Anyway...must dash because I'm late joining the party and I'd like a quite natter to everyone who has popped in here ;D
      Enjoy the party!

  9. Gorgeous post Nessie.. I've been a follower for sometime as I love your posts and photos...Muffin looks fabulous in her knitted coat.. I must agree with Renee that tree you created is amazing...love it...Hugs May x x x

    1. Morning May,
      I know you're a brilliant supportive and regular visitor to my place and of course McMuffy's favourite Aunty and for that reason you'll certainly be added into the giveaway draw!
      I favour trees and like that drawing too, which as you know is unusual for me!
      I'll have to see if I can design another one soon.

      We're soggy and wet here today, but with the fire roaring we're managing to keep cosy. I hope you are too.
      Happy Monday and I'll see you again soon

  10. Wonderful reading your post today, Nessie. I want to read more about Qatar, since I love 'heat'. ;) Holy furry cow! (really!) and now all the doors and windows?! Well, you should be right snug and weather tight and warm after all that. Looking forward to participating in (vicariously, of course) all the new adventures with you and Ms McMuffy. Warm FL hugs.

    1. Well the decking overlooking the back field is almost done...just the sealing of it, if only it would stop raining and then after the windows and doors, there's talks going on at the moment with an architect for a sun room!
      I KNOW...I can hope can't I?
      We're also looking into what could be done with the 'folly' as we call it...which is one of the old barns. So basically this particular episode of 'Grand Design' will be ongoing for some time to come.
      Plus all of the usual bits and pieces...Ms McMuffy's adventures, visits to crafty places and castles, and generally getting out and about once spring comes to call.

      As a thank you for all of your lovely comments (some hilarious) over the last year or so I'd love for you to adopt 'Hamish' the tartan teddy, so I'll make sure your name is in the draw. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.
      Thanks again for calling...enjoy your week :D

  11. Hi, I'm Linda from craftygardener.ca and I found your site from the Grow Your Blog event. Such a wonderful lists of blogs to visit, thank goodness it's a snowy day and I've got lots of time. You certainly have lived in many fascinating places. Scotland is on our list of places to visit this year. My husband's ancestors all come from Inverness. I'm originally from England, and now living in Canada. I'd love to be entered into your give away. Hope you will stop by my site and enter my give away too. It has been nice browsing through your blog.

    1. Well hello Linda...it's so nice to meet you ;D
      Inverness isn't too far from here and I'm English and often stay over in Canada, so we have a lot in common.
      We had a great summer (since we returned from Australia) and a reasonably mild winter so far so hopefully the weather would behave for your trip here if you manage it.
      Don't worry your name will be entered into the give away draw...so keep good luck!
      I'm late joining in the party but hope to pop in to say 'hi' to as many party goers as I can...so see you soon :D
      Have fun and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Lovely to meet you through Grow Your Blog.What a great post,super photos which reminded me of many happy holidays in Aberdeenshire - thank you. Your zentangles are wonderful. I've really enjoyed visiting and will be back soon. Julesx

    1. Hi there Jules,
      Great to meet you too. I'm late joining in the party after celebrating my own birthday but I plan to get busy today.
      I'm so happy to hear that you liked the post and my artwork. It's also good to hear that you've had happy experiences in Aberdeenshire.
      Obviously the weather must have behaved!
      Enjoy the party and I'll nip across to visit you soon.
      I'll also add you into the draw as a thank you for your visit and lovely comment ;D

  13. Hi neesie wow I think that is the longest post I have ever read (I did get to the end ... Impressed?)
    You certainly have had an interesting life it's no wonder you have a lot to say... But I have to say it is never boring so keep on nattering. Going to have to try the lemon tart, I love anything lemony.
    Enjoy the party

    1. I'm incredibly impressed that you persevered and read the whole post Janet, and for that I'll make sure your name is in the 'Giveaway'! ;D
      Bless you for being so forgiving to my nattering. It's something I've perfected over many years! hehe
      The lemon tart is pretty amazing so I hope you do try it. I'd love to hear what you think of it if you do indulge.
      Don't forget there's no calories involved if you stand on one leg when you're making it! ;$
      Enjoy your week too...whatever you get up to. I'm having a quiet day today after celebrating my own birthday from Thursday onwards through the weekend...it'll be nice to finally sit still! My age must be catching me up? (NEVER)

      Thanks also for visiting and leaving such lovely comments over the last year or so. I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing your smiley avatar :D

  14. I've been a follower of your blog for a while. Your pix are always beautiful. I also LOVE the beautiful Zentangle Tree! Gorgeous. I love to paint trees - watercolor & acrylic. I need to get busy & paint today!
    Keep on sharing. We all enjoy.
    Grandma Nanc

    1. Phew Grandma Nanc I nearly missed you there.
      I don't publish or even read Anonymous comments but your's just caught my eye so here you are! ;D
      Thank you so much for the lovely things you say...I really appreciate it.
      It's great to know that what I natter about is enjoyed...I keep telling my hubby but he doesn't believe it!!! Ha!
      I intend to keep sharing so hopefully you'll keep enjoying it.
      Have a fun and enjoyable week.
      Happy painting too :D

  15. i love getting to see you travels. many of the places i would love to see one day i hope. thanks, for sharing with us. hi there. i'm Beth from E. Lizard Breath Speaks - so nice to meet you through the Grow Your Blog get together/party. ( :

    1. Hello Beth...it's great to see you and share my travel pics or at least a small amount of them with you ;D
      Thanks for popping by and I'll put your name into my giveaway.
      Enjoy the party and I'll stop by soon to see what you're up to.
      Have a great week!

  16. Hello,

    Nice to meet you.:)
    I would like to participate in your giveaway.



    1. Hello Bernadett,
      It's nice to meet you too ;D
      I'll be adding your name into the draw...thanks for stopping by
      Enjoy the party!

  17. Lovely, lovely post! How could anyone not come back to visit.
    500 blogs!! Overwhelming, but I might have to at least peek. ;)

    1. Aww bless you Rita...I know you're a regular visitor and leave lovely comments all the time, which I'm so grateful for and as a thank you I'll make sure that your name goes into the hat (or whatever) for the giveaway! ;D
      I haven't started visiting the party people yet as the weekend was busy enjoying my own birthday but I'm recovering today and sitting sit...so will spend the time online!
      I hope you have fun taking a peek! hehe

  18. Hello Neesie, I am so happy to have found you through the party. Looks like you live in a gorgeous place-and I just love your little dog-your art is beautiful. I love surprises so please enter me in your giveaway.
    Please stop by me too-I will be a new follower as I so enjoyed your post Kathy

    1. Hehe Okey Dokey Kathy...you're in! ;D
      Thank you for stopping by and all the lovely things you say...it's great to get such positive feedback AND I did my little dance when I saw that you've decided to follow me.
      I'm late starting visiting for the party but I'm spending today trying to catch up.
      Good Luck with the draw...see you soon :D

  19. I am having fun finding new bloggers to follow...love sewing and quilting. Greetings from Oklahoma, USA. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

    1. Hello DebraKay,
      Isn't this fun...nipping around the globe meeting lots of new people who love to blog.
      Thanks for stopping by and I'll add your name into the draw.
      Good luck and have fun with the party.
      I've had a busy weekend but I'm able to start visiting later today ;D

  20. Hi Neesie
    Great to meet you - you've visited some fantastic places!!
    My youngest son is a Hamish!!
    I'm a new follower.

    1. It's great to meet you too Gill,
      We certainly have been to many interesting places over the years...not only to live but to holiday too ;D
      Well now I think you'll certainly have to be in the giveaway draw...because Hamish would love to meet your son! hehe
      Thank you so much for following me...I'm flattered and although I've not really started joining in with the GYB party yet, I plan to start visiting later today.
      It's been a birthday weekend here, so I was already involved in a party!
      Phew...it's all go :D
      Have a great time and enjoy meeting all the party bloggers out there.

  21. Always love your posts, have done for years. Excellent to see you back with the drawings. I can't wait to get back to blogging but still settling my parents into the retirement home, maybe next week.
    Will write soon, promise.
    Luv Von

    1. Hi there Von,
      I've been thinking about you but just haven't managed to write an email, so it's lovely to see you here ;D
      You've certainly had a crazy time since I left Melbourne...I hope your parents settle in soon and enjoy their new home. It's always such a delicate time.
      Don't worry about writing to me until you feel you've time to spare. I'm missing you but know what a crazy time life throws at us at times.
      Just take care and I'll enter you into the giveaway as my little thank you for your gorgeous comments, support and friendship since we started this blogging journey.
      Take care and try to relax for at least a little time now and again.
      Hugs to you xoxo

  22. I am enjoying checking out all the blogs on this hop and finding new friends...love your handsome highland cow! My dream is to one day come to Scotland for a month...your artwork is very lovely and I will be back again...thank you for such a wonderful giveaway.

    1. Hello Wendy...it's great to meet you and thank you for your lovely comment ;D
      I'll certainly add you into the 'giveaway' so hopefully a little of Scotland will come to visit you...keep your fingers crossed!
      I love to draw and paint but sadly there's been little time for that recently, but I plan to change that soon.
      Have fun with the party and I'll see you at your place soon :D

  23. Too many blogs, so little time. I love your creations, so I am a new follower.

    1. Hehe...I know what you mean Emily ;D
      I've hardly started to visit yet with having a birthday weekend. What a social whirl!
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment plus deciding to follow.
      I've done my little dance which thankfully no-one witnessed.
      I'm off to party now...have fun :D

  24. Neesie you have to live in what must be one of my favorite places i wish i lived!!! So nice to meet you. I hope you'll pop over for a visit! Hugs! deb

    1. Hi there Deb,
      It's nice to meet you too ;D
      It is kind of special here, so I can relate to it being one of your favourite places to live.
      I hope to start visiting later this afternoon...so see you then!
      Enjoy the GYB party :D

  25. Thought about you today when they showed snow up in your part of Scotland and wondered if you would have snow photos to show. Your lovely garden will look wonderful in the snow. Well, I'm up in the night not sleeping, so your newsy post here has kept me entertained for quite a while.
    I'll go and have a look at 2 Bags Full now. Goodnight.

    1. Ahh that's so sweet that you thought about me and if I was snowed in ;D
      'They' do keep saying that snow is on the way, but it doesn't seem to arrive. I'm not sure if I'm disappointed or not? You can be sure if it does come, I'll be out there capturing it all. I might even have a new camera to play with too.
      Anyway Jez, what are you doing up and not sleeping? I'd have thought by the time you got through my post you'd be ready for a snooze at least!
      Thanks so much for thinking of me (I'm flattered) and also to stop and leave a lovely comment. I'll be popping your name into the giveaway, so good luck and who knows I may be sending Hamish and a few surprises your way!

  26. Hello Neesie
    Thanks for visiting my GYB post, at least I hope you made it there after stopping for my weekly tea gathering. :-) You have had a whirlwind life of travels and I'm going to enjoy perusing your blog. Your drawings are awesome and I love the tree trunk.
    I'm a new follower and I'll leave you with warm winter greetings from Ontario, Canada.

    1. Well hello once again Judith,
      It's great to see you here...thanks for popping over, leaving a lovely comment and for deciding to follow my natterings ;D
      I hope you enjoy your visit here. I adore spending time in Canada, so your posts will keep me updated even if it is vicariously!
      Enjoy the party :D

  27. Hi Neesie! Thanks so much for visiting today (or maybe it is tomorrow where you are?) -- anyway, I love your blog and you have so many talents. Love your drawing -- gorgeous. Oh, and your little pup is adorable. My mom and dad had a shih tzu named Fergie (after Sarah Ferguson.) My dad adored that dog!

    Now happily following you and look forward to more visits. xo

    1. Today...tomorrow...or yesterday? It gets very confusing Nancy, especially when you're talking one minute to someone in the States to then nip over to Australia, so I'll just say 'good morning' and keep to my own time zone...it's easier ;D
      Thanks so much for your lovely comment and for deciding to follow me. I'm thrilled and will add your name into my giveaway. It's still a bit of a mystery, as I haven't decided what to include along with Hamish and the bookmarks.
      McMuffy features quite a lot in my posts because basically she's a diva. I like the name 'Fergie'. The shih tzu breed are such cute bundles of fluff and they certainly do steal your heart! ^..^
      Enjoy the party and I look forward to see you again soon

  28. Hello Neesie, I have just decided I like your natters! I love blogs that cover a variety of topics but still within my interests. Looking forward to visiting you again and again.
    Cath @ Bits 'n Bobs

    1. Hehe, I'm so happy to hear that Cath...my hubby would disagree but then he has been listening to me for nearly 38 years! (I started VERY early) ;D
      I don't think my posts are predicable because I never know what I'm going to write until I sit at the computer!
      I'm like a butterfly...I flit very easily!
      I look forward to seeing you again and again and maybe they'll be a giveaway package coming your way if you're lucky. Keep your fingers crossed because your name is going into the draw.
      Chat again or should I say natter again soon :D
      Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

  29. Hi Neesie I am visiting via the GYB party. I am so glad I found your blog. I have had such joy reading about you and yours and seeing your art. Sounds like you have a wonderful family and your are so creative. I am a new follower and am looking forward to sharing ideas in the future.

    1. Well Hello CatieAn,
      It's lovely to meet you too ;D
      I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit from the party and decided you'll like to follow. (happy dance) I'll add you into the draw for the giveaway...so good luck!
      I'm hoping to draw something today to include into the giveaway but we're in the process of having all the windows replaced today so there's lots to distract me.
      I also won't be moving far from the wood burner because we've just had one snow flurry and everyone seems to think it's okay to leave doors WIDE OPEN!!!

      Enjoy the party and I'll look forward to seeing you again soon :D

  30. Busy busy girl! Especially enjoyed all your great photos.

    1. Hello Sarah and Dan...it's so nice to meet you and read your lovely comment.
      Thank you for stopping by. Just to let you know I've added your name into the giveaway draw so good luck to you.
      Have a great weekend ;D

  31. Hello Neesie, so happy to meet another globetrotting chatterbox! I know exactly what you mean about not knowing where "home" was to "return" to as that's my case too. If you'd like to pop over to my entry into this fabby party you'll find out more. I met your Melbourne friend Little Wandering Wren a few days ago here which was great and now I've found you. I can't wait to read more. BTW your drawings look incrediblae. You must do more!

    1. Hello Phoebe,
      It sounds like we have lots in common and it's great to hear you've already met Little Wandering Wren...she's a hoot isn't she. Well maybe that's the wrong bird sound but you get the gist! ;D
      I'll certainly pop over to your place to see what's happening in your corner of the world. I'll also put your name into my draw for the giveaway.
      See you soon...in the meantime enjoy the party!

  32. Hey Neesie, oh your photography is stunning! I am in love with that cow image, too much fun. Your artwork is fabulous and you've made me hungry. It has been lovely getting to know you.


    1. Hey Caroline how's things? ;D
      I have plans in my head to actually draw/paint a highland coo (cow) but at the moment it's still in my head. Hopefully it'll come into the light one day soon.
      Thank you for your lovely comment and it's great to meet you too.
      I'll put your name into my draw for the 'giveaway' and who knows...a little of my artwork might pop through your door if you win!
      Have a great week and hugs to you too :D

  33. love the furbaby and did recognize the Highland breed, a neighbor has that breed. Morocco is just about my favorite place on earth and would love to visiting again. now, visiting via Vicki's GYBP and enjoying your blog and post and, especially, your beautiful photos.

    1. Hello Sandra,
      Thanks for visiting my place from the party...its great fun isn't it? ;D
      It's fantastic to have a global party.
      Enjoy and thanks for popping over. Your name is going into the 'giveaway' draw.
      Good luck and have a great week!

  34. Hi Neesie,

    Your story is interesting. I love your photographs and sharing the places you've been and the process of settling back in your home. I love the cow - he seems to be a friendly chap. By now I'm hoping they are done putting in your windows and no more plants were harmed. We can't plant here until after Mother's Day. I'm hoping to start some holleyhocks inside and transplant them this year.

    I love watching birds too. I took some photos of a woodpecker visiting one of my feeders this weekend. I don't know the names of the birds so perhaps I need to get a bird book.

    Did you know that I adopted a dog named Muffin? She's a poodle and came with some medical issues. Turns out she has severe allergies so I've started the shots process last week. I can tell she's already feeling better. Like your Muffin, she's a doll and cuddly. Must be something to do with the name!

    Thanks for visiting me. I'm planning to join WOYWW this week!


    1. Hello Kay...great to see you,
      It's so difficult to decide what to include into the GYB party post.
      I've got lots of stories and tales but it would turn into a book never mind a post if I included too many.

      Nope we haven't finished the windows only three replaced at the moment so 33 to go!
      But I noticed that the other border has been trampled too. Oh well, I'll just have to sort it once the boots have departed.
      I've got lots to do in the garden and planting once the weather improves a little.
      A bird book is a great idea Kay....I've got one for the UK and one when we were in Australia.

      Hey...how's Muffin doing? Isn't that amazing news. I hope that your Muffin gives you as much love, affection and pleasure as our little bundle of joy has ^..^
      Poor thing having allergies though...it's normally the other way around. She's a very lucky pooch because I can tell you're already smitten with her and she'll be receiving the best of everything!
      Just watch yourself though because mine can play me like a fiddle!

      I would love to join in this week with WOYWW but I've nothing in the pipeline yet and it's already on it's way to Tuesday so it's looking unlikely.
      Thanks for popping over.
      Have fun this weekend and good luck for WOYWW.
      Hugs to you too ;D

    2. Oops forgot to say I'll pop your name into the giveaway draw! Good Luck :D

  35. Hi Neesie, it was good to catch up on your life a bit since I last visited. Oh my, what a big move back to beautiful Scotland. It sounds like you will really miss Australia. Do you still have that gorgeous log home in Canada? It was nice to see Muffy... So cute ( like a mini version of my Lhasa Apso, Barkley :-)). Great post! Take care,

    1. Hi Maggie,
      I do miss Australia but then we have so much here that I love not to mention family...12,000 miles is a long way even with modern day life and the internet to help to stay in touch...it's not quite the same as a hug or regularly seeing everyone you love.
      Yes we still have that gorgeous log home...and plan to keep it for a long time to come. It's just perfect!
      Muffy says 'hello' to Barkley ^..^
      Thanks for stopping by and your name is in the draw so I may be back to give you some good news soon...fingers crossed.
      Have a great week ahead ;D

  36. Love your blog! As a fellow traveler I really enjoyed your pics of places I hope to visit. So very nice to meet you at the party! I'll be following! ~Terri

    1. Hello follower Terri (hehe) ;D
      Thank you so much for visiting and leaving a lovely comment plus pressing the follow button. I get so excited when visitors come to call.
      Your name is in the draw so keep your fingers crossed that I'll be coming back to you with good news!
      In the meantime have a great nice and a fantastic week ahead.

  37. Hello. I live in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Nice to meet you. Your photos are fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hello Judy...sorry to take so long in replying to your comment.
      It's been a little crazy around here but hopefully things will settle down soon.
      I adore Canada and we nip across often although I've never been to Newfoundland.
      Thanks for visiting and your name will be in the draw which I'll hopefully be completing tomorrow.
      Have a great week :D

  38. Hello Neesi, just visiting your part of the world from the NSW Central Coast via the GYB party. Your photography puts mine to shame! I have really enjoyed seeing all the things you have put up.

    1. Hello Dasha,
      How are things in your part of the world on this fine day? ;D
      I do enjoy taking photographs and take at least a handful each day. Thanks for your lovely compliment.
      I'm busy getting ready to draw the winning name so who knows I may be coming back to you soon if your name is picked by Miss McMuffy ^..^
      Have a great week and have fun no matter what you get up to.

  39. I love Muffy in her fancy black party hat. She looks like a real 1940s lady. Hamish is just too cute. Hope your hand is better soon.

    1. Well Boo I'm brushing Miss McMuffy ready for the grand sticky paw prize draw so who knows if you're lucky Hamish maybe heading your way soon.
      I'm managing to type with two hands now thanks, which makes a huge difference and is so much quicker.
      Hopefully see you soon xoxo

  40. Hi Neesie! How did I miss this then? Thank you for the heads up about the giveaway - it was fascinating reading the potted history of all your adventures. And isn't this cool, Kay, a few comments above this one is one of the loveliest ladies you could wish to meet. We had a fabulous time when we met up in New Mexico in 2012 - and tears were shed when we had to come back home :(

    Now, remember - you can lift a glass of wine but no washing dishes!!

    Hugs to you and Muffy


    1. Hi Di,
      Apologies for being so late replying to your lovely comment. I'm now officially in loopy land...things are seriously crazy here.
      Anyway, I will be posting about the giveaway soon...maybe even later today ;D
      I had difficulty editing my potted past to make the post a reasonable length...and not a War and Peace entry. Plus choosing from over 3,000 photos proved a challenge too.
      Kay is lovely and we've been in touch with each other for some time now. She even won one of my giveaways. Muffy picked her name on her sticky paw sock.
      I remember reading all about your fantastic New Mexico trip. It's amazing how our blogs strike up great friendships.
      I took your advice over the glass of wine and I'm happy to report it's working a treat. I've delegated the washing of dishes and most of the household chores ;D
      I'm thinking this wrist and ribs could take longer than six months to heal if I play my cards right. hehe
      Hugs backatch Di...I'll visit as soon as I can.

  41. Oh, such lovely photos - your have led a very eventful life. How wonderful to get to see so much of the world up close. Thank you for sharing. I have subscribed to your RSS feed.

  42. Wow, what an exciting, globe trotting life you have lead! Sounds so wonderful and an opportunity to see so much of our world. Muffin is more global than I am! What fun pictures! I am a tea drinker and collect teapots and tea cups and all things tea!

  43. I hope you're having fun at the GYB party! I've been so busy this year that I'm slow in making my way around. Haven't seen as much growth this year either. Maybe lots of us are busy. What a fun post! So many great photos. I can't stop looking at that plate full of yummies! It looks SOOOO delicious! Have fun at the party! :-)


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