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

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

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Farmyard antics...

It has reached that lovely time of year when the days seem endless, you go to bed in broad daylight and get woken by the sun’s rays, to broad daylight.

I got woken this morning by the Black Labrador from down the road, yodelling outside my window. I looked out to see what all the commotion was about. The lab was announcing his presence to Spog, the tabby cat, who took not the slightest bit of notice, as he lay sprawled out on the bench in the sunshine, waiting for ‘opening’ hours at the farmhouse.
This whole episode warned me then that Ruby is in season. The lab was up for a social call, but when Ruby was refusing to entertain, well she would have, but the fencing around her kennel prevented anything further than some serious flirting, he took to yodelling outside my window, and although broad daylight, it was actually 4.00am.
Charlie hen arrived a little later on with her new family. She has been patiently sitting on her nest for weeks now, barely venturing off it, but this morning, eggs hatched, she was at the front door, proud as punch. The happy farmer fed the brood and then scooped them up into a safe box in the shed, away from the cats, dogs and other predators that may be lurking.
The farm is positively buzzing in the sunshine. We have a scout troop camping in the field, French guests camping at the pottery and the bed and breakfast suite and cottages are full. It is whisky festival time on the island. The happy farmer is positively beaming with all of the socializing he has to do, out of duty you understand.

Polo Bear, the pet lamb, has been joined by Sugar Lump the Second, both are now thriving. Although Polo Bear did have a touch of joint illness so has been on a course of daily injections administered by the happy farmer as he does his rounds, in between his whisky duties.
Muffin, the cheeky pony, is in barracks with a mild touch of laminitis, usually if he sees the happy farmer coming anywhere near, he happily gives him the fingers, or should I say hoof, as he gallops off in the opposite direction. This week however he is the happy farmer’s best friend, obligingly lifting his hooves to be picked out; butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth.

Eldest is home for the summer, and has landed a dream job at Bruichladdich distillery doing distillery tours and whisky tasting sessions, she is in her element and the job comes with good perks too.

The pottery has been filled with visitors from all around the globe, and my days have been spent having some weird and wonderful discussions, in between being an octopus, serving sandwiches and cakes, selling pottery and taking pottery painting classes.

It is very hectic, very entertaining and very rewarding.

Until next time….

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

A good few miles away on the clock...

The happy farmer’s sister was over visiting on a working break, for a wee spot of partying, I mean painting and maintenance, to the cottage she owns down the road. She breezed in off the afternoon plane, having sent her cousin, who she had enlisted to join her for a relaxing break, involving non-stop painting with a tad of partying thrown in, on the very long car and ferry route. Her cousin and the car were needed to deliver the necessary sweets and cakes, variety of bottles, not forgetting the huge tubs of paint, that always accompany the happy farmer’s sister on such visits.

Those two girls spent their days painting away, even surprising themselves with the amount they managed to get done in the short space of time they had, especially as my sister in law is nearly sixty, as she always reminds us, even though sixty is a good few miles on the clock away.

The evenings were spent around the farmhouse kitchen table eating hearty meals and catching up with us all.
The happy farmer was getting increasingly frustrated as the demands of the lambing rounds were preventing him from giving his sister a much needed hand, until eventually on their final day he did manage to pop down for an hour or so of painting. Armed with a ladder he was determined to reach the parts no other painter had gone before. He gaily climbed some steps and lent the ladder against the back door, proceeded to climb up and start painting, gallon tin of paint in hand, when the back door suddenly burst open, allowing the ladder to fall in the way and slip down the concrete steps at the same time, transporting the happy farmer flat on his face on the ground, tin of paint still in hand and unspoiled  His sister and cousin spent the first seconds alarmed and concerned, before creasing into helpless bundles of laughter at the happy farmer’s misfortune. Luckily he escaped relatively unscathed, apart from the huge concrete burns on his arms and knees, nothing a good dram couldn't sort out later on! The happy farmer’s big achievement that he was immensely proud of was the fact that not a drop of paint was spilled during his free fall, a skill he puts down to years of acrobatic training in various bars involving various bar stools and varying amounts of alcohol….
Until next time……