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.

Eagle and pidgeons

Our newly planted fields has been getting visitors. Four legged bandits looting the place under the cover of darkness. Picking on young, self defenceless seedlings. They are not part of any union to represent them, can’t afford a lawyer, so they are under stress. Not only that, word has been spreading among the pigeon population and gangs have been congregating in the area during the evenings. Now, I’m not about to invest both money and hard labour into a field for the benefit of our small herd and lose it to pigeons and deer. But they know what they are … Continue reading Eagle and pidgeons

When a plan comes together.

But there was no plan. Just a simple ‘nip down to the shed and get back up to sort tea’ type of plan. And just to get the dog doing as much with me as possible, I’ll let him run down without the lead (Gus, a patterdale terrier if that gives anyone an idea of the story about to unfold). Got to the shed in time to be greeted by the entire herd at the nearest gate. They had seen me coming and they were bawling. Not soft, gentle moos. They were making their presence know and demanding action. As … Continue reading When a plan comes together.

Just gin and share it.

Maybe it would have been better if I had just done the original saying and just grinned and beared it. But back at the start of the year, one of my goals was to make my own gin (by infusion with a neutral spirit I hasten to add before I have HMRC tapping at my door wondering why I don’t have the proper license; I’m not bootlegging it before anyone asks). The moon may shine but this is no moonshine. It’s just a chance to experiment with what is used to make gin, to see what flavours come through, what … Continue reading Just gin and share it.

A stone’s throw away.

So the far side was recently ploughed. The far side (not the comic), is also referred to as the rough field. The hint is in the name. But what’s in a name? For it is less so now. OK, it’s not a lush green meadow with oddles of new grass, wild flowers and pretty butterflies dancing in the sunlight. But, it was a field of thick, deep rushes; old, open drains, buried fences, and a rough, and muddy road going through it. Initially, the flail mower was taken to it. And repeated repeatedly as the reeds lost their strength and … Continue reading A stone’s throw away.