Ode to Fiongall

I would like to take this moment to thank Fiongall for the past two years as he today stepped down from his role as head of our crofting steering group. He has headed the group with a canniness well above his peers and electric fencing. However, he has delegated his role to his Progeny, Hjaltland (aka, Lugs).
He headed to pastures new to become Chieftain of the Freezer Space. This new role is a promotional step for him as he works with the ‘Meat and Greet’ committee from 11th October. He will be back at the croft in his new role from that date so why not support him on his first day and come along that evening to meet up with him and get some quality, home grown Shetland beef? All meat will be packaged ready for your fridge or freezer.
(All puns intended, Drew will not take offence if you would prefer Fiongall, I’m sure she would have been proud of his achievements at such a young age…)

Blessing of the steer

Well my beloved Fionngal (inserted sarcasm still required), I have been looking forward to this since you broke through my electric fence in a nanosecond. You are now booked into the Dignitas of the cow world.
May the grass rise up to met your mouth. May the sun shine to give luscious grass. May the rain fall gently on your delicious rump and may the trailer welcome you with open doors. And then, we will meet again…
Gorge my dear boy, your days are numbered!



Crofting with the mini crofter



Dear Parenting Book,
I do like the aspect of routine that you cover in your book, I just have a few questions:
Morning naps for 6 month olds: if it takes me 27mins to brush cut one section (from the machine stored and put back away), do I really need to wake up mini crofter after 30mins or can I change/remove all bits of grass before hand and get a cuppa? Does it really affect him later on in the day if I delay it or would the bits of grass be beneficial as he enters the weaning stage? How much dirt/grass can they handle at this age?
If I get a call from the butcher to go pick up the meat in 10mins, but I’m 30 mins walk from home and 10min drive, am I better waking mini crofter up before I sprint home with him in the buggy or leave him asleep to bounce around until the change over into the pick up which will rudely awaken him? Can I let him sleep while I sort 7 boxes of beef? Will this affect his fweng-shee for ever more?
I looked through the FAQs at the back and the chapter with examples but didn’t really find anything that matches. Can the next addition have a chapter on routines for baby agriculturalists, I.e., seasons of the year and their affect, not just age of mini crofters?
Yours faithfully,
The Crofting Wifie

Adaptations and applications of nursery rhymes:

Hey! Diddle, diddle,
Oh pants, what a fiddle!
The bull’s jumping over the gate.
The little crofter was in awe to see such a sport,
While the heifer ran off with her new mate!
Nothing like a little nursery rhyme to sing to yourself while running around trying to stop a bull…


How to guide: sorting cows

1. When chasing cows, make sure it’s done during A & E’s least busy times. No point doing an ankle injury during peak times. You never know if you may need the service so plan your day wisely.

2. Have extra ice in the freezer from collecting lamb from the abattoir to apply to said ankle while you observe the damage.

3. Get mini crofter on standby to start bawling to stop you from running recklessly around a field after countless attempts.

4. Use all terrain buggy as a prop to get back to the house. Two for one, much more use than crutch/zimmer frame and you don’t have to carry anything, i.e., bawling baby.

5. Och your a nurse, it’ll just be a sprain, just get back out and do a few ‘wee’ things, like moving electric fence wires and hoeing.

6. Ensure the mini crofter knows that beef is really tasty, particularly when your the one to chase them and if you’re on the croft, the more feet the better for chasing…

Pheasant shoots

Dear Political leaders,

I realise there is current debate about fox hunting. Let me enlighten you to another vermin: pheasants and a need for a change in the law.

The current situation is that I can only shoot pheasants during their shooting season. Today, I have had five pheasants on this years potato patch. Last year we lost about 80% of our potato and turnip fields to pheasants. To help you understand the situation let me turn it slightly:

I propose that all crofters take up the hobby of rat catching. We will all travel to London, Edinburgh and other cities and ‘release’ baby rats. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll only release about 9,000 in one small section of London, say Westminster. We then will leave them to eat your food, gnaw through your property and make themselves to home. However, you must remember that you can not set traps or use rent-a-kill to deal with them unless it is ‘rat season’. My fellow crofters and I will then dress up in suits and what ever London fashion is and come to have a weekend of catching rats. Now, the weather may not be right or may not feel up to it so we may spend the day shopping or having cocktails. All in all, we’ll probably kill about 2,000. And, we’ll leave you with the rest because, hey, you had them anyway and they are a part of the city, never mind the fact that the ones we leave will breed and create more. Me? I’m off back to my hedgerow and not bothered that you now can’t do anything about them until the next season.

Like the sound of it? Didn’t think so, but we have to put up with estates doing the exact same thing with pheasants. Pests that eat our food, make a mess, and pass on diseases to our poultry.

Is it not the time to start applying sustainability and less catering for the few with the shooting hobby?

Yours faithfully,

The annoyed crofting wifie

As the crow flies



Note from Crofting Wifie to self:
Loo lids are manufactured by people who don’t realise you need to stand on them to take pot shots at the local jackdaw population stealing eggs from your chicken coop. They therefore don’t last very long after just a few attempts of getting the pests.

Tim, just another job to add to your to do list when you get home (putting on a new lid, unless you want some romantic bonding shooting jackdaws together).

The next time we design a house, can we put in those thin slots that they have in castles for shooting out of? This velux window malarkey is seriously affecting my pest control.