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

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

Saturday, 12 June 2010

5th December 2007

The happy farmer is delighted; the sheep are sheltering from the wild weather. Tucked up beside the hedgerow he planted a few years back. All huddled together, squashed along the very edges of the field. Every season we see the huge benefits of the hedge as it provides a new habitat and shelter for a haven of wildlife. The various bushes spring to life in the summer months, as blossom unfolds, and are laden with berries in the autumn months. It was an experiment, one which was doomed to fail by many a passing local farmer, but today the hedge continues to thrive, now well established, it has completely transformed the journey along the single track road leading to the farmhouse.

The gamekeepers were up visiting at the weekend, an assortment of Wellington boots greeted me at the door, the happy farmer’s old rubber efforts looking decidedly sad amongst the classy makes belonging to the gamekeepers. In the farmhouse kitchen a serious competition was under way and the happy throng were busy slugging away at the happy farmer’s flagon. The gamekeepers’ own flasks and bottles were placed on the kitchen table, corks removed. The beady eyed gamekeeper’s bottle was winning the competition, closely followed by the first class gamekeeper’s and the happy farmer’s home made brews. It was a very tough decision, one which demanded quite a few more slugs of sloe gin from each bottle just to make sure of the correct choice, until many sloe gins later the flavours all seemed to merge together and it was decided that they all tasted rather magnificent as the wee miniature tasting glasses were duly filled for the umpteenth time. I sense another of those ‘annual occasions’ emerging as they regaled tales from the countryside, swapping recipes along the way, such is the vast array of knowledge of the keepers. Of course today it was many hours and by the end I did have a bit of a job making sense of the knowledge they were imparting, but when one arrived with the most delicious home made pork and mutton burgers the following night I was beginning to look forward to more sloe gin. Here's hoping the Jura ferryman and the first class gamekeeper call by and help us to fill our freezer with their bountiful supplies of sloes.
Until next time....


jane said...

Hi Posie - sounds like a good time was had by all - that sloe gin is very moorish but can result in rather a bad head the following day! but well worth it

Elizabethd said...

How lovely to 'see' you again, and to read more about the gorgeous island that I remember so well.

Sloe gin...! We used to pick the most enormous sloes in Cornwall and make them into sloe gin, nothing quite like it after a shoot on a cold day!

Calico Kate said...

Love the colour of Sloe Gin, prefer it with some tonic added though - heathen that I am!

Posie, when you're next across do stop by. You are so close! Sort of!!

bayou said...

Hello to the North!
Are you on one of the Hebridean Islands which came recently on BBC2? I watched every episode and was totally enchanted by that landscape. So where are the sheep then and how many are there of what breed? Looking forward to reading more, lovely blog.

Posie Rosie said...

Lovely to hear from you all. Bayou, we have black face and cross sheep.