Becky Bridge: Mum and I went along the old road to Smerclete to to scrape lichen from the rocks by Loch Aisebhat – for dyeing wool. We used our fingers to remove it- a bit rough on the skin but easy enough as only the ‘ripe’ lichen is used – it is already ‘dead’ and lifting away from the rock naturally. Traditionally it was done using an old wooden spoon, but whatever the implement this has been done since at least as far back as the Iron Age.
Denise: With the usual Saturday ‘turnaround’ work done, I had a quick look at J’s fleeces, and I have to say I’m pretty impressed. it was lovely to be outside on a lovely sunny afternoon with all the fleeces spread out on the lawn. All of the fleeces are a good size, clean and with very little waste, but about five or six are so good that it would be a waste to send them away for mill-spinning; they are especially fine and soft and long-stapled, and certainly good enough for spinning by hand. So that’s them sorted into two piles for now: one third for our own hand-spinning (with most of the higher sales prices retained by us!); two-thirds to go away for mill-spinning. Well done J!
Jonathan: All those little finishing tasks are so time-consuming! Today we’ve fiddled around with notices, driven in a few nails into the cladding where they’d been overlooked, fitted all the guttering and downpipes on the front, dismantled all the temporary shop fittings from the house conservatory. Denise cleaned Carrick and did all the washing; I creosoted all the garden gates (ideal conditions: it’s been dry weather for a fortnight or so and timber just soaks up the oil!) ; we moved chicks up from the nursery pens to the kindergarten and cleaned out the nursery ready for the chicks currently under the lamp; I issued pre-qualification questionnaires to contractors for an engineering project in Barra, and in between found time to just sit with Molly who is getting so old and frail and increasingly enjoys having company; gone down to the beach together with Tilly just for the pleasure of it; and with the weather so warm and dry we’ve started watering the greenhouses on a daily basis – in fact I had to water on the croft this morning. Phew – exhausting!