Denise: Jonathan has spent most of today completing a new page for sales of hatching eggs. Until now we’ve sold through ebay, but with fees averaging 12% we’ve set up this page to split the saving between buyer and seller.
Jonathan: Just off the phone with Animal Health, Inverness. Results from the government laboratory report that Tolsta Faolan was not suffering from Scrapie. That’s a huge relief for the authorities, no doubt. I’m not sure what it means for us. Had it been Scrapie, the source of the problem would have been unequivocal – the breeder. However as it is the result simply poses more questions – ones that can’t easily be answered. The tests showed that that Tolsta Faolan had Encephilitis caused by Listeriosis.That’s damage to the brain caused by bacteria which live in the soil or in infected feed: the most common source is contaminated silage. We don’t use silage, and the hay I’d been feeding Faolan and the wedders is just as it should be – dry, sweet and clean. And the sheep nuts also are in perfect condition. Incubation period is usually three weeks, so he must have been infected during early December, certainly after he came to Eriskay. It could have come from the soil, if he was ingesting soil along with grass – certainly the grass was by then short, though there’s no exposed soil. And what does it signify that the wedders have not contracted the disease? It’s difficult to know where this came from and how to respond, other than to redouble the ongoing effort to continually improve knowledge and skills of stockmanship. At least I don’t need to worry about the money: the government compensation should be adequate. But had he simply died from this, without the government vet seeing a justification for euthanasia, I would have got nothing at all.
Jonathan: With all the heavy lifting and carrying – boxes, more boxes and yet even more cardboard boxes, and then of course there was all the furniture, it seemed likely my watch would get snagged against a doorframe, so I took it off and put it safely aside. That was 5th December 2002 – the day we moved in to An Gàrradh Mòr. And I never put that watch on again – until today, more than thirteen years later. Like so many others, back then, I was finding that a mobile phone was not just for emergencies or for work or when away from home, but for any time, any day. And with a mobile phone always in the hand or at least in the pocket, what need was there for a watch? But what goes around comes around, and now wrists are once again adorned with watches – of one sort or another. For some it’s a question of fashion, for others a justification to get out grandad’s gold watch and do more than just look at it and see if it still works, and for others it’s a question of simple practicality. It’s true that as phones have got smarter they’ve also got bigger, more expensive and more susceptible to theft or damage … and so less attractive as timepieces. But though that may be true for many, my reasons for reverting to watch-wearing is much simpler: I no longer need – or want – a mobile phone. Not that I’m a technophobe or something – certainly not! Though long a first-adopter in matters technological, I’ve never been altogether comfortable with the intrusiveness of a mobile phone, and if it wasn’t for the fact that, as a self-employed professional in construction a mobile phone was absolutely essential (and even by 2003 that was mainly for connecting my laptop to the internet wherever I happened to be), I’d gladly have gone without. So, now, retired from construction work, and with mobile reception here in Uist being patchy, intermittent and slow, when my latest smartphone started boot-looping (a fatal disorder resulting from a faulty bios update), I simply let the contract expire and … now I am at last MPAD-free. [Mobile Phone Anxiety Disorder. Okay – I made that up!]