Cows and cars

Ahh, amazing. Lewis Hamilton and his team have done really well in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (information via the currently beloved BBC…). His research team must have converted his car onto the new fangled ‘cabbage rocket fuel’. Did his spinach burgers make him like Pop-eye and he has miraculously been able to push his car over four and a half thousand miles to get it half way across the world?

See, Hamilton is taking on a fight to cut his carbon emissions (or in his words, ‘to be kinder to the world’). So I decided to watch and learn. So far, he has opened a restaurant and he has been maintaining his ‘ day job’ from what I can see. But he seems to have taken a great dislike to our cows, and all the other cows in the UK.

Meanwhile, on the croft, 8 of our 11 cows have never been off the croft and have never been on a plane. They don’t do laps of the field just for the sake of it, not do they need gold plated helmets. They have helped improve the fields so we now get wader birds. Their manure gives our soil nutrients to enable our fruits and vegetables to grow by enrich the soil. Do we use equipment to help work with the cows? Yes, but I don’t do laps of the field for the sake of it. There is a reason (and yes, you can always ask to find out). Can Hamilton start putting a seed sower or plough behind his car to help provide local veg for his restaurant?

So Hamilton, you keep going with saving the plant, one courgette fuelled lap of Formula One at a time. I’ll go back to looking after the livestock and land, one mince and tatties portion at a time.

So long Chunky


You have been with us since our adventure with sheep began. You saved your ‘bacon’ countless times by being a Sheep-sheep, helping countless other sheep through gates and other scary trials. You always came to the whistle whether I had a bucket or not. However, you have now grown old. If you were an NHS patient you would have been provided with dentures, knee replacements and needing routine pedicures. But the croft can be harsh, the winter is turning its wet, windy and cold hand towards us and this is no place for zimmers and denture pots.

Your carbon footprint has been tiny. Your hooves have been able to explore the whole croft. You have been able to sit amongst the trees under the hot sun, you have taken refuge in the field shelter when the weather has thrown it’s wrath. You have meandered through the green, green grass; and, you have trudged through bog but we’ll ignore that point (and we are working on drainage).

So we bid adios and we will see you in a different form in two weeks. May A & I Butchers return you with a full array of roasts so we can raise a toast to you.

In the still of the night

The twinkling stars, the silver moon, the heavy frost giving a white carpet, the occasional owl hooting. Ahh, the tranquility…Well, as long as you block the echoing bawl of one of our cows. And why? Well, the new hay shed was finally completed, hay was finally shifted out of the byre and in went bedding straw, water switched on and the hay feeder filled. The cows didn’t really think twice. That is, all bar one. A calf from this year. And with that, a spritely young thing that can prance across a large field with minimal effort. The mission was finally aborted and the decision was taken that he would stay out and we would try again in the morning. Did the mother seem to notice? No, she seemed to be enjoying her freedom, her spa like treatment and the new wine and dine menu offered in the byre with all the mod cons. That is, until about 10 o’clock at night and she decided she better let him know where she was. And not just him, and us, but the whole glen would have heard her! Aghh.

But that wasn’t all. Jonny decided he still didn’t want to follow the herd after a night of noise. Answer? The two of them have got the whole field by themselves.

We all need sleep!

Slow boat to China

No, I am not on a boat. No, I’m not headed to China. I am still here. I am still shifting cow and watching sheep. And shifting a Micro Crofter and watching a Mini Crofter. But other than that I sit about watching daytime TV and drink Champagne. No, wait. That should have said I watch wildlife and drink coffee (pretty hard to watch day time TV with no TV; also difficult to sip imaginary champagne).

However, things have been ticking over and in fact, a few changes. Including a new shed. That is correct. Another shed. But a fairly important one that the cows will get the benefit from. But, if you want to know about the new shed before the next post, feel free to pop out and bring wellies (i.e., lend a hand). What better time of year than now, the wind is sharp, the rain is cold, but you’ll enjoy your dinner at the end of the day.