Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Posie's Blog. Tales of island life on a hebridean hill farm

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Running up That Hill....No Problem....

The weather cleared at last, the clippers worked like mad and got the fleeces off those girls in the nick of time before we left for a holiday. The happy farmer was extremely pleased. They finished about 10.30pm, and as we had an early start to catch the morning ferry I left a pot of chilli and a pot of curry bubbling away on the stove and left them to it. The happy farmer was left in charge and made it up the stairs at some unearthly hour!

We have lovely guests from Germany staying in one of the cottages at the moment. One of the ladies arrived over at the farm house yesterday; apparently they want to come on a run with me tomorrow.

‘Running…with me?’ I nearly had a canary on the spot! These lovely people are fit and athletic looking, they have run half marathons, and take off for a run each day down the track.

‘Yes, we want to run with you, through the fields and up the hill. Would that be all right? We would enjoy it, and you know the routes, you would help us to avoid the pot holes.’

She suggested 8.00am, but I opted for the 10.30 am slot instead. I did try to explain that mine was more of a ‘walk- run’, she smiled sweetly.

‘10.30am Friday then?’ and she was gone.

Now going for a run with me is a bit of an adventure, it is more like going on a ‘bear hunt’. First there is the knee deep, sometimes waist height long ‘swishy’ grass; the crops don’t get cut for silage until after 1st August. There are the streams to cross, I just splash through, never mind the consequences. The barbed wire fences to clamber over, inevitably my trousers get snagged, and untangling the material from the barbs is a skilled process, especially if one leg is dangling high in the air. Finally there is the hill to climb. I only run up the easy bits, across the grass, chewed to stubble by the resident sheep, through the reeds, and then across the various bogs that present themselves as ankle deep, squelching, thick, oozing mud which fills the trainers every time. Eventually reduced to a red, heaving blob I scramble up the steep bit to the trig point, which is what makes it all worth it. There you can usually find a refreshing breeze, more of a howling gale in the winter, which at times is impossible to stand up against. I always wait a while, watching as Bunty steers the Jura ferry across the Sound, a few yachts tacking their way against the wind, the local bus and bin lorries making their way to the villages, they look like they exist in a matchbox world from up there.

As we sat in the sunshine in the cottage garden enjoying a dram with our German guests they gingerly enquired as to why I always run with a large stick in my hand. I smiled as I told them it is to provide protection from the cows, which have been known to trample fences to chase me and the dogs, the tupps, who often come running, and in days gone by from the cheeky pony Tuppence, who used to delight in galloping after me, nipping at my arm as he ran alongside. Tuppence sensing my fear took delight in terrorising me as I made my way out the hill. Oh and there was the night when I nearly got trampled by a herd of stampeding deer as they fled down off the hill away from the dogs chasing barking behind them.

Until next time….


Crystal Jigsaw said...

Sounds very adventurous to me! You must be extremely fit, it's really hard to run through long grass, a bit running in the sand dunes. Not that I run, I'm just assuming! Glad the shearing got done. We're just in the middle of silage here but the crops are far from being ready. I think this bad weather has put things back a bit, fingers crossed for some light winds and sunshine. J keeps looking anxiously at the combine, sadness in his eyes! He loves this time of year.

Crystal xx


Good lord I would be dead before the first barbe wire fence!

Suffolkmum said...

Sounds absolutely knackering to me! I'm with Un Peu - I'd expire!! Hope your holiday was good, nice to see you back.