Upcoming Events

  1. Belleisle fright night

    October 28 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  2. Traditional medicine and herbs used in the time of Robert Burns

    November 6 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Rosie’s Stories

view of old town Granada

Malaga, in search of winter sun 2

Malaga's bus station is the size of Buchanan Street's in Glasgow and as busy. Their cakes are bus station quality: look nicer than than they taste. The café con lêche however was welcome and my bus departed on time. People seemed to just materialise 10 minutes before departure time and the driver prised open the luggage area as late as he could after checking tickets were correct. I had bought mine online from bus company ALSA in advance to get a choice of ticket price and bus pace, slow, speedy and medium all having different prices. They can be bought ...
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orange tree and church

Malaga: in search of winter sun 1

I am gazing out of a Boeing 737 window, punctuated with ice crystals, gazing over the clouds which the sun is highlighting, aware from the sun’s angle that setting point will soon be reached. Yes we are literally flying into the sunset. I feel such a sense of gratitude that this is even possible: that I have been given the time, technology, wherewithal and confidence to venture across the world into another land, another language, and witness other traditions. I think of my timid mother, shocked that I would consider going away alone and that I could feel safe doing ...
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Happy New year one and all

Mum has gone mad. Its way past her bed-time, Jimi cat has been telling her to get upstairs for ages and she is prancing round my kitchen doing something she calls a Kylie. I think thats what she said. It seems to involve a lot of twirling and twisting and if she doesn't do herself or me an injury, she will fall over the basket-making materials she has forgotten are still scattered on the floor since kitten Spots helped her with her craft session. Mum says its traditional in Scotland to see the New Year in with a dance and ...
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Sunrise salutations

At this time of peak darkness as we move towards the Winter solstice, I came cross this poem I had written about dark times and moving to working with the light. Some years ago, as part of attuning myself to the natural world I did daily sun meditations, greeting the sunrise for 6 months. That's not too hard in winter, apart from the cold feet- yes it must be done bare footed on the earth, and its an extremely early rise in summer. Still, waking before the birds and hearing the dawn chorus changing is, once one gets over the ...
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rhythm, rhyme and reason

I love to write. It drives me mad at times: my dyslexia gets in the way and the letters muddle furiously, words interchange and confuse me. Yesterday I was through Glasgow Central station and read 'Changing toilets, inaccessible places' No, it wasn't mean to be read like that, my brain was running away with words again but it has sparked the start of a poem or story-we will see where it goes. Letting words loose to run free then gathering them back into some form of communication is quite a game for me. For the last three years I have ...
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a splutter of sparrows

Speugs You fall like clouds for you are many, you rise like dustbowls offered to the wind. Dawn fills with your eager chatty clatter, bringing to the world your scores of weans. They beg with open mouths and shimmering wingtips, shadow their fathers to a source of seed. And as the feeder swings the fever’s growing, the hunger for the love and for your needs. You show us how to nurture little children, to celebrate their necessary greed. Rosie Mapplebeck July 2016, in appreciation of the house sparrows reaching maturity in the ivy on my house wall. You are one ...
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wine bottle and fruit

Cordial intentions

Whatever anyone says about this season, it has been exceptionally good (in our garden anyway) for raspberries. Canes drape over our beehives, lurk under apple trees, pop out from shrubs and thickets and the fruit is so good. Towards the end of the season, when raspberry beetle affects the quality of the fruit for dessert use, it is still excellent for jam, wine and cordials. Assuming your freezer is full and you would like to try some other way to preserve fruit, here is my favourite, adapted from a french recipe: Raspberry and mint cordial Ingredients: 1kg of fresh raspberries 1 bottle ...
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An affection for Hiort

I was fortunate enough to make a trip out to the distant islands of the St. Kilda group this month, 80km west of the Outer Hebrides. Its long been a goal for me. It felt like a gentle homecoming, even if the sea was not so gentle! To sail with the winds, meet the seabirds in their true element, watch dolphins dance the crests of the waves and smell the gannetry in all its guano glory was truly astonishing. My mind was full before we ever toured the stacs and met the breeding birds. The flora on Hirta, the inhabited ...
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On acts of love

Its hard to get out of the rut that politics and national emotions polarise.Yet some things matter more: the smile of a child, the purr of a companion cat, the sweet scent of mock orange blossom mingling with roses. The taste of this year's first raspberries is not devalued by a bank or investor. New laid eggs are just as rich and wholesome. A house is worth the value of one house in its shelter, convenience and ability to open doors to neighbours and friends. Looking through my journal i came across the notes for the following poem: An act ...
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Hope is working – towards wellness

In Weston, our little home hideaway, we have a strong interest in mental wellness and sharing skills to allow others to become more themselves if they will allow it. Alan was teaching his WRAP courses (wellness recovery action plan) and asked me to write a response in the same way as he asks his groups, on the subject of hope. The following words are from a song that resulted and he used it this week with a group. It seemed to strike a chord and they asked me to share it. In this creative spirit he and I complement each ...
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In full bloom

In full bloom My year begins again in Bluebell wood the foreground, thickly pollen-fogged fills topaz hued and emerald bright while humming bees sing canopies above, lifting improbably fat queen torsos to sycamore’s sweetness while thrush and blackbird lilt and warblers babble news The first midges of summer dip down to taste the stationary ones Mossy coated oaks leaf up to match that tint beeches wave and flatten palms reach out to catch the evening light and I recall another bluebell wood full of sensual scents, scilla's lust your lips and mine drowning in sensation hidden by young leaves, swimming ...
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Burn’s night singing

Tonight its Burns supper night (again)-that time of year here in Ayrshire, birthplace of the Bard. A vegan one this time, so looking forward to the food. Actually, I was just at the Alloway Burns Club supper in the same venue so I know the food will be good. How will the Toast to the Lassies speech be used? Time will tell. Saturday's was by Alloway church's minister Neil McNaught who was very funny. I sing with their wee choir- we do it for love not talent, though we do have Bruce Kennedy's lovely tones to help us. He sings ...
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Tiddler’s plum cake and a lemony leek soup

Winter days give me more time in the kitchen and reason to create calorific treats to heat us when we are working outside in the cold. So here is a sweet treat and a different kind of soup to try. Tiddler's plum cake This is an all-in-one lazy cake so you can spend more time fussing your cat. Thats very important, says tiddler, remember your priorities. Everything is mixed and cooked in the one heat-proof bowl In a large Pyrex-type bowl place: 4 ounce margarine or butter 2 eggs One ripe banana 4 oz soft brown sugar 3 oz sultanas 1 ...
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Post Christmas recipes and a wet nature walk

Like many I am feeling heavy after the Christmas fare, despite not eating a Christmas day dinner! There has been a long season of entertainment all with excess calories so I thought I would cook a winter hearty food and then go for a stroll to walk excess calories away. Out into the rain then and sludging through mud down to Bluebell Wood with the dogs. No-one about, oh the joy of winter walks. At first sight, all is quiet in the wild wood. Leaves have finally been ripped from branches by high winds, leaving the tree frames for us to delight in their ...
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Rosie on Acoustic Bliss

Rosie appears at 58.52 Date Thu, Oct 29 2015 10:00 PM GMT — Fri, Oct 30 2015 1:00 AM GMT Link to Event http://livestream.com/accounts/4041145/events/4446783 About Paul Creighton has the Singer Songwriter Session this week, we get a wee bit ghoulish in the run up to All Souls Day & Samhain AND we "Share the Ayr" with new event TAMFEST (this Sat in Ayr) - Paul Creighton has made music and the practise & teaching of Peace Studies his lifetime's work. He regularly takes his music the USA, has been a significant figure in the Common Ground movement & was given ...
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Tsimba-vaati

On the first day, when the world was new, the stars glittered and smiled. The maker looked and said ‘the stars are beautiful but the world needs more light’. So he sent his winged star messenger down to Earth. He winged star-beast roared a mighty, thunderous roar of brightness And he breathed his hot breath into the sky. The stars began to dim and the Sun began to shine And all the earth was in beauty and light. The messenger said: ‘remember: this is how my new home should be. If a time should come, when that should no longer ...
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Tasty Valentine’s hearts and roses

Thats another Valentine's day past and now my life will be worth living again because She received her red rose, now plonked proudly on the kitchen table for us all to get prickles from. Honestly, as if you could eat roses? Oh, humans use them to flavour food? Well they just would. Now if he had brought her a platter of prawns or a side of salmon I could understand the celebration. She says its a miracle in itself since Dad is autistic and doesn't really get the romance thing at all. I think it helped that his granddaughter was here to ...
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burns cottage ayrshire

Burns Night reds and blues

The Aga and myself have spent most of our lives in a land called Ayrshire or Land o' Burns. This, title, I am told, is not so much because of all the scorch marks made on neglected washing left on Agas, nor roast potatoes left for 3 days too long to wails from Mum when she remembered, but to the birth hereabouts some 256 years ago of an iconic poet called Robert Burnt, sorry, Burns. From what I see from my elevated position on the dragon's hearth, this individual is responsible for the excessive consumption of some pretty weird fare ...
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Babylon’s burning or oh to live in a normal household

Mums still on her "eat the freezer" post-Christmas clear-out. She seems to think that she needs to declutter everywhere and the food stores are to be "turned over" She is pretty good at finding bargains and freezing them so the big cold store is always full of weird stuff. By that I mean Not Duck and Not Haddock. Those are my idea of good stores. The summer before last, friends and keen fishermen kept turning up at the door proffering their catches. Unfortunately for me, no haddocks and not a duck in sight. Instead there were strange creatures which clacked ...
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pan of fruit cooking

Over-ripe fruit and flaccid veg

My Mum says she hates waste. Of course I am the chief offender as far as she is concerned. I try and tell her I am just maintaining my trim figure. And the stinky house dogs love having my scraps as gravy anyhow so where is the waste? She was on one of her bandwagon rants again, this time on the stuff left over after New Year. I hadn't like to mention the strong fruity whiff emanating from the big table as the bananas became blackened. Dad says he likes black bananas so I thought he would have polished them ...
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Washing days and creaky joints

Mum says Mondays used to be washing days when she was wee, but that was in the olden days before machines did the work and at least 100 kitty generations ago. Now any day can be a washing day. I am very happy about this as it means a steady supply of damp cloths to sit on. Oh, I know, cats don't sit on wet things, but these are not so much wet as steamy, because Mum hates ironing and Mum has Old Smokey Joe the Aga. Agas have hotplates with lids. When the lids are down they are hot ...
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cooked apples

Jellies, butters, foster cats and sticky messes

Aaargh, Not only did my Mum commandeer the Aga for Hours yesterday, she went and exploded apple puree all over the kitchen table, chairs and even ceiling! She said it was an accident, the scales top slipped and the weighing pan tipped over. So how come it spread quite so far? I think she is inventing some new sport. Or trying to turn me into a vegetarian by adding fruit to my dishes. Either way it was a failure and Dad had a laugh as she scrubbed the splodge off her new infra-red room heater. Now that I do approve ...
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Staff of life, story-bikes and Andy

Mum was a bit sad this week. It seems humans worry about all sorts of things they can't change including other human's health. Instead of calling the vet she chewed her nails and typed on her word machine, face booking, as she calls it. The face she was worried about is indeed a very attractive and kind-looking one. Seemingly her friend Andy, who i haven't met, has died and we didn't know he was ill. I saw her wearing what she calls guilt as well as sadness. I could see she was down so i suggested she cook something in ...
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cat on aga and baking

The Hearth Dragon and the Tiddler

You have probably worked out by now that I am named the Tiddler by my adopted household. I am sure its because of my daintiness: I keep my weight to under 3kg, I'm a petite puss. It has been mooted that I have the name because I have had a problem directing my pee pee to acceptable locations, but I tell you all urine marking has been entirely intentional and necessary to maintain my dominant household status. And I like to pee standing up. Its my old joints, right? Its not my fault they didn't neuter me till age 16 ...
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cat on aga and baking

New Year bargains, the chestnut tart

Mum likes picking up bargains. I think its so she can spend lots more of her cash on my tasty teas. I am a pretty picky eater these days. After the festive season she says luxury foods like canned chestnuts and fresh nuts can be bought for a snip. If you are lucky enough to live near fruiting sweet chestnut trees, use double the weight and slit the shells, boil, shell, mince, spend a week digging the bits out of your claws and know why Mum uses the canned variety. Mum was looking at old cookery books for ideas and ...
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gluten free crumpets

Christmas crumpet and tasty tarts

Some persons say cats and stove tops don't mix. Such Bodies of little discernment miss out on learning our Kitty recipes. Being an Aga stove-loving cat, i am in the perfect position most days to learn masses of delicious recipes. I thought I would share some of them with you. My Mum loves crumpets, she says they are some sort of giant chew you stick in front of flames and burn. Funny things humans. Now she has had to give up having wheat on her dinner plate and she isn't allowed these things. Its winter and she was becoming sad, ...
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About Tiddler

My name is Tiddler and I am a small and very distinguished elderly cat who loves snoozing on Mum's Aga and consequently views a lot of cooking. Mum is a storyteller who also loves baking. She has a classy boarding cattery and thinks she knows a lot about cats. Luckily I am here to tell you how it really is.  She doesn't even know about our dragon! ...
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