Saturday, 28 June 2008

Busy week down on the farm

It hasn't all been wet and windy. Thursday was a beautiful day and all was quiet until about coffee time. Then came a thundering of hooves, the theme from Rawhide echoed in the background, and the garden was full of ewes and lambs - and Mary and Helen on the quad bikes (and sometimes off and just waving their arms). Many attempts were made to avoid the inevitable by diversions behind the vegetable patch and back up the drive behind Roz's car, but Mary and Helen were too fast for them and they were soon penned up down at the sheds. And an hour or so later back they came - free of their heavy, oily, mucky fleeces at last. So for the rest of the day they baa-ed, and they baa-ed. It's the only way to find your mum when she's changed out of all recognition and doesn't even smell the same. You know that silly ice-breaker game when you're given an animal name and you have to shut your eyes and make the appropriate noise till you find all the others with the same name? Well....

Meanwhile, tractors and trucks charged round the fields and up and down the lane, cutting the silage and piling up the bales beside the Bruichladdich bonds. It really wasn't a sensible time to go for a run, but Roz and I did anyway. I was a bit worried about the corncrakes, but actually little islands of growth have been left somewhere in each field, so I'm hoping they're OK

We had another visitor this afternoon. The lambs were giving him a hard time and he seemed very keen to take refuge in our house, but I think Mum must have come and collected him because he'd disappeared by teatime.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Wet & Windy Week

Looks like the long dry spell is over - rather wet and very windy all week this week with more to come. This has meant the loss of two competitive rounds of golf, but I discovered on coming back from holiday (also a bit wet & windy) that I'd won the last competition, the Guy Quaich, whatever that is, so my first trophy, and my handicap has been cut to 11.

We managed four Munros on our hols, including the two most northerly ones, (piccy shows Ben Hope, the most northerly, with typical clouds on the top, taken from our hostel bedroom) not that we saw anything from the very tops of them. However we stayed at Tongue youth hostel, which is excellent - as can be seen from the picture of our room/suite.

Back at home the house painting is now complete as can be seen from the "before, during and after photos). I am still trying to get a hold of the fencing man, which is the last major bit of the project and will allow us to get the grass seed down. The vegetables are coming on - lots of "enviromesh" now in play to keep the wind, rabbits and slugs away. Highlight of the week was the performance by Fred McAulay at the Bruichladdich Village Hall, which was packed out ( I think it holds 140 officially). At least the rain has meant some catching up with some internal jobs, like updating this blog.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Islay Mod - and still no rain

Yes – still dry and sunny, and our friends with a croft above Port Charlotte, with their private water supply, are getting desperate. The pig consumes a couple of gallons a day, and there’s nothing to spare for watering. And since the tourists are all outside enjoying the sunshine, their art business isn’t attracting many visitors either.

Scott and I have just had a post-dinner stroll down across the fields to the shore – a bit midgy but OK if you’re smothered in Avon Skin-so-Soft, which I was. We walked back up the hill admiring our gleaming white house, which you can now see clearly from the other side of Lochindaal. Eddie was up a ladder painting the barge boards while we were having lunch. Knowing the bad fall he had a few years ago, and bearing in mind the distance between the top of the ladder and our patio slates, I didn’t really enjoy my lunch much!

Yesterday was Islay Mod day. If I’d been working all week I might have resented a stunning June day spent indoors in Islay High School, wearing a kilt and tights (and one or two other items too!). But since I wasn’t, I didn’t, and really enjoyed it, sitting in on the 5-9 year-olds and the adults own-choice competitions in the morning before the choral competition in the afternoon. Before we moved I talked about joining Coisir Ghaidhlig Ile in time to be at the National Mod in October. Couldn’t quite believe that, less than 8 weeks from arriving on the island, I was on the stage with CGI, competing against the Glasgow Islay Choir. We didn’t win of course, but it was extremely close, and given that they have the whole of Glasgow to recruit from and don’t even compete in the same section at the National Mod, we were delighted. Scott came along to support us, and since we were running late, got most of the junior choir competitions too. The prize-winners all performed at the evening concert, and were brilliant, from the P2s upwards.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Drought coming to an end?

After a very hot & dry start to the week, Wednesday afternoon saw some significant rain (not enough), followed by more on Thursday night. But still not enough. Bronwen has come back from the big city, so I'm blaming her for the rain starting.

Fairly quiet, normal week, - some golf, some good, some bad, talk from a local on his time in charge of cruise ships in the far east. Phil & Tony came for a meal so that we could sort out the bridge club scoring on our computer and I've ordered some enviromesh protection for the garden. The house is almost painted, despite Eddie taking a small tumble off a ladder.

As we are away on holiday next week, Roz looking after my dad while we're away, there will be a gap before any more blogging.