Jonathan: Handsome is as Handsome does, and he’s really done quite well, with 18 lambs born this spring from his 11 ewes (thanks to dreadful weather, three didn’t survive more than a few days). Officially he’s An Garradh Mor – Acarsaid, we just call him Handsome, and his 11 ewes clearly think he is just that! But we’ve got another good ram showing promise, so we’d decided some months ago to offer him for sale, and today was delivery day! All went well until he was let out of the trailer into a temporary enclosure in the garden ground of the new owner’s house, in Eochdar at the very north end of South Uist. Handsome hadn’t much experience of that particular kind of electric fence, so had no fear of it, and simply stepped straight through between the lines! His excuse: the garden needed a bit of weeding, and here he is tucking into some very juicy docks!
Jonathan: When Betty – Denise’s Mum – came to stay with us, back in 2013, we’d just finished renovating part of the house which included her bedroom, and everything in her room was bought new for her. Now she’s moved into residential care, we need the room back for guests, and I assure you the room needed something of a makeover. Principal change was a new bed, mattress and bedding, so after a thorough spring-clean of the room, we assembled the new bed and set it up with lovely new bedding. No sooner had we done so than someone moved in! A certain someone who thinks the whole world revolves around her: Princess Pickle no less! Here she is making herself at home in ‘pole position’ on the new bed: she did exactly the same trick two years ago when we’d finally got the room ready for Betty! Then Tom came into see what Denise and I were chuckling at.
Jonathan: Inspiration so often comes unannounced, from where it’s least expected! Comparisons are most helpful when most parameters are in common, just a few contrast. Like many islanders, we’re fascinated by life on other islands: how lives that are similarly constrained may yet be so different. The greater the similarities, the more unexpected – the more challenging – the differences. The more informative – the more inspiring! Compare: Eilean Siar v Faeroes ; Scarp v Sark ; Lewis & Harris, Scotland v Chiloe, Chile. Continue reading →