Ace of spades

Crofting is one of my current day jobs (thankfully, and hence why I stopped lambing although it doesn’t mean I don’t work at night, I just cover it if needed). Anyway, besides the day job, I have other interests. Yes, I like my cows but I don’t cow whisper all the time. The brushcutter and I get on well. The flail mower, the garden, the mole traps, are all things I enjoy doing. And they tend to get the priority. They give a huge satisfaction in seeing your work. But I also have ‘inside’ interests. Spinning, knitting, cross stitch, oh, … Continue reading Ace of spades

Ian Sparkles and the flambé.

Although we have plenty of home sourced meat, we do get venison from time to time. As neither of us have the ticket needed to sell it, we get to enjoy all the benefits or pass some on to family and friends as gifts. It also ties us over if we are between stock available in the freezer. And over time, we have developed a few recipes we enjoy with venison. So one recent evening was no exception. With many thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Meat cookbook, there is a particular flambé recipe we enjoy. That’s all fine until the flambé’s … Continue reading Ian Sparkles and the flambé.

Old Blind Dogs

Gus, our Patterdale terrier is not old. But he is a dog and he is going blind. He is in fact not yet two. The diagnosis by the Ophthalmology Vet was not unexpected but still not something I expected to be hearing about our wee dug (that is not a typo before anyone asks). In canine terms he is smarter then most dogs I have come across. He is not a drool-boy or a moocher, nor is he one to roll around in dead things too much. So he can be pleasent to have around (as long as he doesn’t … Continue reading Old Blind Dogs

Stayin’ alive

Lockdown restrictions have changed again. So I can go to a pub but I can’t have two friends (from separate households) come into my home? I can mix with some but not others. Hmm, ok. Or maybe I just haven’t read the new rules properly to understand them. But I’m not the only one with communication issues though. The bees are currently getting fed sugar syrup at the moment (I keep wanting to call it sugar soap, something entirely different but rolls of the tongue easier). And they are drinking it (syrup, not the soap) like there is no tomorrow. … Continue reading Stayin’ alive

The Final Countdown

Harry, Theo and Alan’s opportunities to perform their version of Shawshank Redemption are limited. In fact, if they manage to escape now they really will need to be added to the team in Hollywood’s Ocean’s 11. Yes, after the trio escaped on their first day, they were named after escapology artists: Harry Houdini, Theodore Hardeen, and Alan Alan. Harry was the ginger ninja who nearly became folklore by heading for the hills. Runty MacRuntface, who was no where like a runt now. Thankfully bucket training became a very useful tool. But they have now got to a stage where they … Continue reading The Final Countdown

Beautiful Noise

Neil Diamond sings about the beautiful noise: “Goin’ on everywhereLike the clickety-clackOf a train on a trackIt’s got rhythm to spare” I have no idea when he wrote that but it could be adapted to the clickety-clack of zoom meetings in the current world situation. Maybe not what we had envisioned for 2020 but suddenly for those of us remote, we can attend meetings without having to clock up time and emission miles. One laptop, an ironing board (so I can sit on a comfy seat rather than a desk), and some internet connection. The clickity-clack of the train is … Continue reading Beautiful Noise

The End of the Line

The Travelling Wilbury’s were probably not singing about electric fencing. Nor, guessing by their picture when I googled them, did they have the same problem as I do with predictive text. Both electric fencing and predictive text have the ability to cause a pent up feeling that you really are, at the end of the line. But its this song that came to mind (well, the one line, have no idea what the rest of the lyrics are or what the song is actually about) when dealing with both issue (fencing and predictive text; being able to memorise more than … Continue reading The End of the Line

On the air

So the email went like this: “I work on the Mornings programme on BBC Radio Scotland. On Monday the 27th July we’re going to be speaking to Donald Macsween about his new series of An Lot and I would like to widen this out a little and have a bit of a look at modern crofting. Ideally we’d like to speak to a female crofter who is relatively new to it. Could you recommend anyone like that who we could possibly speak to?” So that’s when I come in. My response? Aye, that’s fine, but bear in mind I have … Continue reading On the air

On the road again.

During lockdown, the bicycle and Thule chariot were in frequent use. But for this adventure, I needed the livestock trailer and although I’ve improved my cycling fitness, I am not in the iron lady category. As Radio 2 hit speakers, I heard the road traffic report. Incidentally, they were all down south. So as I came across a hold up on the A95 into Aviemore I was tempted to ring them up. Yep, there were a small herd of cattle frolicking along, enjoying the gorse bushes while traffic come to a complete halt in both directions. On my left was … Continue reading On the road again.