The boys are back in town.

The Micro Crofter’s arrival coincided with the byre getting mucked out. Aromatic whaffs slowly drifted down the glen as the cooler, winter air inhibited some of the more pungent smells that have been laying dormant under a blanket of fresh straw. Never mind, as the muck matures, the heap soon flattens out to provide well rotted manure; a high value substance for the polytunnel, raised beds, orchard and veg garden.

It was soon after this that we hit a hiatus with croft work. A typical Friday but the Micro Crofter at two weeks old was doing a good impersonation of a grunting pig. And as evening fell, his breathing appeared to be making him work. And that doesn’t look good to a nurse. We may believe in working hard but we do give exceptions to some, such as newborns. So, the Crofter rang NHS 24. Lo and behold, they wanted to check on a two week old with breathing difficulties. And with that it was deemed that the Micro would go in to town with the Crofter and leave me at home with the Mini Crofter.

Their trip to town didn’t just become a late night. After being seen by an out of hours GP, they were admitted to the children’s ward to monitor the Micro overnight. And this is when you realise how much difference there is between animal health and the NHS. While payment is made just to call a vet out, pound coins magically slip from your grasp the longer the vet is on your turf. Then add the cost of medication if required. The NHS shows the other side and it was a weekend like this that make you want to ensure all involved get the thanks. The staff and service at Raigmore Hospital was top notch.

From being a nurse, it can often seem that all you hear about regarding your place of work is what’s wrong, failures and inadequacy. However, the media may like to pull out the muck and spread it around. But the understanding of it is rarely touched upon. Sometimes issues raised can be useful, but other times it seems it does more damage than what the journalists and complainers realise. The background to the issue is rarely raised. It is as if people complain about our muck heap without having any understanding as to why it smells and how it came about. It may stink but we ensure the cows have fresh bedding by regularly putting in a bale of straw. Yes, they may be inside in a byre but I’m tucked up in our house more in winter.

So, to NHS Highland, thank you to all the staff and the service you provided the Micro. To all walkers passing by, take a good, deep breath of the the muck heap, and as you smell the ‘fresh air’ remember the NHS, for all its issues, we can still be thankful.

We’re going to…America?

No, we’re not. But Neil Diamond’s song is a corker for belting out if you change ‘America’ to ‘abattoir’. Yep, have three sheep in your trailer, a two week old in the back, driving along, singing along. Music is apparently good for babies. You then can go to your next song from the Lion King that also is a great abattoir song. Yes son, let me introduce to you the Circle of Life thing from an early age (which, may I remind some of you is Disney/Elton John, the land of princesses and less of the real life).

Due to a Micro Crofter affecting our Crofting team management system, the sheep have been getting more of a ‘re-wilding’ approach. More being left to their own devices rather than me sitting with them for their daily time of mediation. However, our freezer was slowly indicating a need. In they came for an inspection; two older ones were specifically chosen. You want to make sure they have had the good life, but you get them before they have age related problems so that both you and them can enjoy each other.

And if I can pelt out ‘We’re going to the abattoir…today!’, what other songs can I change?

Get the party started.

The last post up was a wee while ago. Not much has really happened, other than the Micro Crofter finally joined the party last month, several days after the last post. So there’s my excuse for a pregnant pause in posts.

Lousy if you want excuses, no ‘the dog hit the control/alt/delete buttons on my computer and forced WordPress to quit’ or ‘the gale force winds caused a power surge so lost 16 unpublished posts that I had spent hours composing’. No, just an arrival of an 3kg plus bundle and suddenly I become a ‘sit on bum wifie powered by coffee’. Before I get uproar that I am implying I am being lazy, I am (being lazy). But when you’re not getting your full sleep quote, you can tell me what you like, I’m not superwoman, but even she needs her sleeping . I also learned the last time. Don’t chase cows, stack wood, or do normal jobs for several months. The baby may be out, the mind may be eager but the body has had some slight adjustments that need realigned. So, this time, I am taking it easier. Honest.

So the Mirco’s arrival may just be small change on the croft, one major change for his parents. It was late by medical standards, really late by his mother’s requests and therefore, with that lateness, caused numerous telephone exchanges between the Crofter and his colleagues (who, I am indebted to, they gave him a couple more weeks at home!). So if any of you are reading this, thanks guys. Appreciate that. The idea of sole managing a Mini, a Micro, a bunch of cattle and some sheep was a wee bit overwhelming (less the cattle and sheep, more the Mini and the Micro).

It has now been four weeks since then and the Micro can tell you what he’s done (well, tagged along for). We’ll maybe just leave that confession until after tomorrow once the Health Visitor has slowly crept down the road.