Denise: Such sad news here this morning. Minty – the youngest of our cats – was hit by a car this morning at the junction just by the corner of the garden. She brought us so much happiness and feel so upset that such a beautiful little cat – at scarcely 8 months old still a kitten at heart – with such a warm loving personality can be taken away so suddenly. And to think that less than two hours ago she was frolicking in the snow. We will miss her dreadfully, especially her poor brother Tom has never known a day without her to play with or annoy or cuddle up with. We’ve buried Minty in the garden in a little nest of the very straw she was born in in the old duck-house back in April: I never did get round to cleaning it out! It will be a long day to get through, but we have a few distractions. Tilly is to go back to the vet this morning to have her stitches out, and no doubt we’ll do something else with the long trip there and back. Tilly is a lovely dog, but so strong, both physically and in will – so different to a gentle, soft-mannered cat. We may still have six cats, but we feel the loss of Minty just the same as if we had only two.
Denise: Here’s part of my firs Eriskay Gansey knitting project. You can see the band that goes across the chest: In Eriskay knitting the patterns above and below this line are completely different. The arms are different again, but I haven’t started them yet. This first gansey is meant to be for Jonathan, but at the moment I’m doubtful it will be big enough. Someone asked me if I would knit one for them: well I’m just learning myself, so I might well get quicker, but at my current rate I’d have to charge £400 to £600 (according to size) just for the labour to make it worthwhile, plus £50-£70 for the wool! This is by far the most intricate traditional style of gansey I’ve ever tried. Last Monday was supposed to be the last evening class, but we’ve all got so much more yet to do, and so much to learn, that the lessons have been extended until Christmas.
Jonathan: The weather changed during the night, with rain carried in from the south-west on a mild wind having mostly melted the snow, but falling on frozen blacktop had resulted in black ice. The coldest it’s been in the past week has been -4degC a couple of mornings ago, but for the most part its just hovered between 0 and +4 – ie just cold enough to stop the little snow we had from melting. Compared to the mainland Scotland and north east England it has been positively balmy here! By the time I’d fed the hens and geese and sheep the rain had cleared and it was a fine morning with a light breeze. This cow – munching grass by the roadside near the croft – seemed quite happy!