J > The long cold and cloudy – and wet – spring, this year, resulted in much of nature being ‘behind’ by up to three weeks, maybe near to a month. That includes sheep shedding their old fleeces, and starting to grown new fleeces. It’s been my practice, in recent years, to shear sheep individually, typically one per day over the course of a month, starting in early June (or even late May – in a good year) with the boys and those girls that haven’t carried and nursed lambs ; and ending in early July with the the mums, especially the oldest girls. This year, shearing has been about three weeks late …Continue reading →
D > I designed and knitted this Eriskay gansey in the autumn of 2011. The gansey includes a number of authentic Eriskay patterns, including : Starfish ; Harbour Steps ; Fish-Nets ; Tree of Life ; Heart in the Home ; Fish-Tails and at each side there’s columns of Pennants. I made it for myself. Alas, it proved to be slightly too small for me, and so I have hardly worn it, and it’s been washed just two or three times. Very reluctantly, I’ve decided to sell it.Continue reading →
J & D > Spare a thought – a prayer, if you will – for our dear boy Thomas. He’s been missing for about eight weeks, now. We’ve spent countless hours searching for him, setting cat-sized cage traps, but with no luck so far. For now, it being high summer, he’ll probably be enjoying living wild. But come the autumn, from the first big storms and into the winter, Uist is too wet, windy and exposed for cats. Here, feral cats have very short, very hard lives. We have, for now, given up pro-active searching, because there have not been any sightings for a month. But there’s hope yet!Continue reading →
J & D > Amy (our motorhome) has been brought ‘home’ from storage in The Boatshed. We’re getting her ready to be put officially back on the road – ie tested, insured, taxed. In anticipation of which we have bought tickets for our first journey away together since late 2019 (when we took the ferry to the nearby nearby island of Barra, for a few days). And, having tickets, we will travel to …Continue reading →
J > This lovely tomato is the first from our greenhouses in 2021! Due to the long cold wet spring, that’s about three weeks later than ‘usual’. We’ve started harvesting beetroot, too : whether raw and grated or boiled and sliced, they’re incomparably fresh, tasty and sweet! This year, the bounty of the walled garden is especially poignant – because it will be our last.Continue reading →
In recent weeks, when Tilly and I go for our early morning walk, there’s been a pack of young stags hanging out at the foot of Coire a Bheinn, close to the hill gate.
They don’t seem much concerned by our presence : the path we follow is carpeted with short grass, we walk in silence, and the stags are perhaps even somewhat accustomed to us. Generally they stay put, but may move a little further away.
On one occasion, though, a couple of stags decided that, having hunkered down amongst the vegetation, they were invisible : but I knew they were there from their antlers turning and nodding above the bracken!
J&D > A few days ago we parted with all our remaining chickens – three Buff Orpington hens : they’ve started a new life in retirement with Tracy, in Benbecula. We’ll now be buying our eggs – and we’ll get them from those with small flocks who look after their birds well ; and indeed we’ve already bought our first box of eggs since 2005, from Catriona Walker. Here’s a retrospective of our two main flocks, over the years.Continue reading →
D > Despite the gloriously sunny and mild late Spring weather, visitors to the island, being not acclimatised to island conditions, come to our wee shop dressed as for the depths of winter! The lambswool twill scarves, that I weave by hand on our Glamårka floor loom, seem to sell themselves, and as I can’t weave more hours in the day, the scarves are in short supply.Continue reading →
Denise > It’s late May, but it still feels like early May – thanks to powerful cold winds from melting glaciers in Greenland. Everything natural is at least 3 weeks behind. Nonetheless, during the past few days, we’ve been getting a good spell of warming sunshine – and that has encouraged plants to throw out new branches, leaves, and even flowers. At this time of year – or, rather, that time of year (ie in a normal early May) wild flowers are, predominantly yellow. We were over at the croft, a couple of days ago, planting half a dozen oak trees, and everything was yellow. Or green. Except …Continue reading →
Posting to this blog has lost momentum. Until the purchase of our house in Wales is completed, we daren’t allow ourselves much freedom to make plans for our new lives there. Similarly, until both our remaining properties here are sold, we have to work hard and keeping things going here, just in case things don’t work out as well as planned. We really can’t afford to let ourselves get stuck in limbo-land. So, for now, we’re just getting on with the mucking out and making good – whether for the benefit of us or those who follow.Continue reading →