Jonathan: Just off the phone to ‘Animal Health’ in Inverness to report suspicion of notifiable disease. Duty vet agrees that it is likely that Tolsta Faolan has Scrapie. A specialist vet is being despatched, who’ll be on the ferry this evening and will arrive in Eriskay tomorrow morning. In the meantime, the croft is in Lockdown – no animals on or off the croft until further notice. More about this when the vet has given his diagnosis. Poor Faolan! – he did look pitiful this morning! And to think just four days ago there was nothing obvious amiss.
Tolsta Foalan at The Big Garden Croft, Isle of Eriskay
Jonathan: How does the saying go? Blood Will Out ? We exchanged our two sweet little darlings of ewe lambs for Tolsta Foalan – The Beast of Tolsta Moor, we call him! He was bred, born and raised in Tolsta, becoming ram-in-chief, lord of all he surveyed, which apparently was quite a lot. And then he got put in wee field in Eriskay, shared with the sheep equivalent of one spotty teenage boy and six others still in their shorts, dozens of pecky hens – not to mention a mob of cockerels forever at each others throats and who have the temerity to steal – from under his very nose – his morning ration – food being his one remaining pleasure in life. Those ewes he was promised? Each morning he’s been allowed to look at them, smell them, through the bars of the gate, but …
Well, a couple of days ago he was at last let out, swapping places with our home-bred Baghasdal. He was like an old-fashioned clockwork toy car: wind him up, and let him go! And go he did – with all the charm and grace of a the proverbial male bovine in a shop dedicated to the purveying of fine porcelain. Poor Baghasdal was distraught! But he’d get over it! Woudn’t he?
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Jonathan: A glorious day as autumn finally starts to give way to winter. A light dusting of snow yesterday (unusual for November) but today the Outer Hebrides has been the sunniest and mildest place in the UK. Wish you were here?