Saturday, 14 January 2012

A good man.

The entire glen is in shock and mourning the loss of one of our own, the neighbouring tenant farmer.

A horrid accident occurred on Wednesday night and we woke up early on Thursday to the sad news.

Our neighbour was a lovely man, one of the farmers who quietly helped when my husband had his heart attack last spring.

The saddest thing I saw was when the other farmers met here to talk of their shock, how to help, memories of starting primary school, anecdotes, sentences begun but which were not finished...
Of huge men who have taken many knocks in life, openly crying.

Despite the presence of police and other emergency services, other neighbours asked if they could pass the cordons in order to feed the livestock and collies.
That broke our hearts.

Our neighbour had recently and romantically married his sweetheart in a secret and quiet ceremony. None of us knew but word soon gets out and we were all delighted for our friend and his new wife.

Farewell to a good man, good friend and neighbour. We will miss your cheery wave and big hearty laugh. We will miss your wonderful singing and lively wit, your amazing knowledge of cattle and your friendship.
You were like a brother to my husband.

Our love goes to your family. x

Friday, 13 January 2012


My friend's little eight year old girl has been bravely fighting Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and needs a bone marrow transplant.

We ask that people sign up to the Anthony Nolan Trust, especially men between 18 and 30. Someone may be a match for Aillidh.

The Farmer and I are too old at over 50 although the stem cells from our son's birth cord were donated only four years ago. Please look at the Anthony Nolan website to see how you can help.

Aillidh is beautiful, smart and has a wonderful sense of humour.

Her illness came out of the blue yet can be helped.

God bless the child and help her to get better. God bless her parents, siblings and grandparents. Give them all strength.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Strange light

Yesterday, we woke up to no power; the storm had brought down many trees onto the powerlines and we were one of thousands of homes without electricity.

The Farmer rigged up the inverter and we could choose which electrical gadget should go on.

The children wanted the television on, I wanted a heater and The Farmer wanted coffee so we democratically decided to go out instead. It was pretty raw and cold yesterday so we all muffled up well. Rosie looked lovely in her new hat and scarf, our little boy could hardly move in his duffle and jumpers and I looked like a bag lady. The Farmer vanished into the big shed for the day.

The children and I had a good day out - sort of a busman's holiday as we went to one of those farms with a cafe, small pigs and overpriced Emma Bridgewater pottery. I worried as the children went dangerously close to the pottery, immune to sensation with all the layers of clothing on.

We went outside to fuss over the pigs but it was absolutely freezing so we returned home by the back roads.

A tree had fallen on the road and a team of men with powersaws were busy clearing it up. The driver of the car in front of me was an old friend I had not seen for years so hugs and news were had.

When we got home, the power was still off so we rootled about in the dark for things to eat. I set a huge fire but this house is cold at the best of times so we made nests from blankets and quilts in a futile attempt to keep warm.

Rosie spotted the strange light on the hill first. I thought it was a planet until it moved.

The neighbourly thing to have done was to muffle up, gather all the children together, climb the hill in pitch darkness and see if anyone was lost.
The common sense thought was that this was madness, we would fall in bogs, get lost and end up on the freezing hill all night.

I wonder if it was the shepherd although the light was right at the steep edge of the hill. I am going to phone him today and find out if it was him. It is too steep for a vehicle and the light was too big for a torch plus it did not waver like a torch would.

The light was static for about 10 minutes then vanished.

The double thingy is my hand shaking, partly from cold and partly as I had to expose the shutter for 7 seconds but it is an odd light.
It never appeared again all evening but the electricity did a little later on.

I would love to know what was on the hill last night.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Welcome 2012!

Happy New Year to you all!

2012 has been gentle in it's infancy so far and touch wood.

The weather was not gentle, far from it...a few more garden renovations, limbs moved from the places they were dumped by the last gale, Nature changed her mind and decided the limbs would look better over there with an added swing and a few plant pots....

The Farmer and our eldest son are out with the chainsaw cutting some of the limbs up. We all complained bitterly when some 'logs' were hastily brought in during the storm, chucked on the fire, went up in a huge blaze and then the smell hit. An old telegraph post had been chopped up and the smell of creosote cleared the room. It lingered and refused to leave.

We could not open the windows because of the gale so took to sitting in the kitchen (where the fumes from the ancient oily Rayburn were only slightly less evil).

We have been slobs this year, so far.

Toys for small boys are being played with by small boys, painting by numbers painted carefully by Rosie, old copies of the Scottish Farmer read happily by the Farmer and I am attempting circular knitting for the first time. Badly.

We had a lovely First Foot from the neighbouring farmer.
The entire family was so chuffed to have a visitor that we plied him with food and drink, listened to all his stories - who had been born, married and died (I had no idea who half the poor deceased were as he called them by their farm names as is common here), new calves and the struggle to bring them into the world, gossip then after his system was 'well oiled', some cracking jokes which made me blush then shoo the children out of the room for a few minutes!

Pledges were made between The Two Farmers to go to the market together more often and possibly one or two local social events (bowling - sorry but it does not float my boat).

This is that time of year when you really have no idea what day it is, nor do you care. The children have melted back into the home 'routine', school and nursery forgotten, sleep times longer, eating when hungry and playing when they want.

It is wonderfully peaceful.

I was chuffed and shocked to find that I had lost 2 1/2 kilos over Christmas, despite initial piggery. I still have no appetite at all but no doubt it will come back with bells on.

Scotland seems to be slowly wakening up after her wild shehannigans over the festive season and is taking her time to get back to normal.

I'm ok with that, right now.