Jonathan: Last day at work today. I bought some eatable goodies to share with close colleagues, and we went out for lunch at The Cork. Feelings all mixed up. Of course I never wanted to have to come here in the first place, last summer; but aside from the frustrating lack of work, it’s worked out well. I shall miss Welwyn GC, St Albans and Hertford. I shall miss the familiarity of Tesco at Hatfield. I shall miss the leaves on the trees – I shall miss the trees! I shall even miss the familar landmarks along the A414, the … Continue reading →
Jonathan: I’ve now got the final day booked at the campsite, so no need now to camp out on the streets of Welwyn Garden City. And someone must have cancelled even without the unpleasant weather I prayed for! (Only joking – who would be so mean as to pray for bad weather?). On the other hand I’ve really got to use up all those tins of beans and soup and stuff I’ve bought at times over the past year, but have never actually got round to eating.
Denise: Today, the postie came with bags of Jonathan’s bits!! Three big bags (feed bags I posted to him last week) that he posted on Saturday afternoon (how’s that for service!) with everything from a feather pillow to a carving knife, bicycle spares to a Mary Webb novel, and kitchen paper towels to tinned mackerel! There’s another bag somewhere on route, and he now tells me there’ll be another three or four sent later this week. And then am bodach himself on Sunday.
One more week to go of work -well, the charade that currently goes under the name of ‘work’.Continue reading →
Well it’s almost a full year since I sent it off for spinning, but at long last the wool skeins have now arrived! All the wool is worsted spun from selected first clips, and very dark and lustrous. Most is DK weight, some we ordered as Aran weight. About half of the DK will go to pay for Hebridean lambs we bought last year. We really could do with either more sheep or access to more wool to buy! ‘Trouble up’ mill’ meant they didn’t start our wool until a month or more ago, by which time we were actually … Continue reading →
We’ve talked it over many times – each time coming to a firm conclusion the opposite or at least diffent to the last time. But now we are definitely and finally decided. More or less as soon as Jonathan is home for good in a week or so’s time, he’ll start work on a new studio/shop for the Hebridean Woolshed. The scandinavian log-style garden cabin we put up (it cost us about £1250 all told!) back in 2003 as a general-purpose garden shop really just isn’t up to the job: not big enough, no enough protection from the weather, from … Continue reading →
Jonathan: Last summer – before starting work here in England – I worked with a small team of volunteers doing a very detailed survey of the huge Hallan cemetery near Daliburgh. With the help of Sandy (chief instigator of the project) I surveyed the position of all graves – with headstones and without – together with boundary walls, roads, buildings etc. That formed the framework of a database of all the graves and their occupants going back many generations. Believe it or not, this information was until now stored mostly in the heads of successive sextons. That reflects the importance … Continue reading →
Early in my week at home in Uist recently I was supposed to be taking the five Hebridean wedders/wethers to the abbatoir near Lochmaddy. The day before Denise and I agreed that the young ram lamb would have to go too, as we had no means to manage him properly. I got everything ready the day before to transport them early in the morning. Morning came and Denise and I went over to the croft to drive the sheep into the fold and extract the sheep we’d be taking off. The sheep had other ideas! It became apparent that during … Continue reading →
Back at the blogging keyboard for the first time for at least a fortnight. A week at home – scarcely time to think let alone distil those thoughts; then back at work in England and increasingly an environment that denies me the very things that inspire me … But now various threads are coming together, a sense of direction is restored, and here I am … And I think it’s been much the same for Denise, too.
Denise: I’ve now got more details on the wool yarn and needles required for the Eriskay knitting. Needles are very fine – 2 25 and made of rosewood at £18 a pair; and the yarn is an extremely fine multi-ply. However this is an important investment in a potentially high-value new area of work, and it is good to be learning something new.
Today I sold our motorhome.Continue reading →
Denise had a visit from the Comhairle’s (council’s) environmental health officer – a complaint about the geese again. They’ve been ‘camping’ overnight outside someones gate and leaving a bit of a mess! Strictly the geese are doing what they are entitled to do, but it doesn’t make for good neighbourly relations. I’ve been on the phone to the council and to my neighbour about this, and we’ve agreed that he should show ‘calculated aggression’ towards the geese to make them feel it is not a nice place to be (not something I can do myself – the geese would never … Continue reading →