Monday, 26 April 2010


Just chatting with The Crofter and in waltzes 'Em'. Old she may be. Friendly she certainly is. Turk comes in to see what's going on then struts out in a huff.
We chat on.


Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Nigella fighting Dad Crofter

Twinkletoes and Kylie filling up!

Twinkletoes and Kylie are doing OK since you ask - or were about to ask. Caroline is now suckling mum all on her own in the nursery although Nigella is still not sure whether she is going to bother. Being somewhat tiny, Nigella is more content to just sit around, traipse through the pen bars to play with Twinkletoes or just take a small sup out of the bottle. Obviously a Hebridean!

Clocks called in this morning to see how the little ones are doing and Beinn passed by too. For a while, just until he got tickled under his chin - then wandered off.

With four lamblettes in the nursery its a family affair to feed them. That's in between sorting the ground for the veg, pricking out the seedlings, feeding the rest of the 3001 beasts on the ranch and making teeth.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


"Is this alive still?"
Turk look-seeing
Coming from that end. To this one.

Dirt from that end to this. For the fruit plants which have gone from that end to this. Better aspect at this end - or something. Soon to be fenced to stop the chickens eating the fruit or the coows trampling the lot down or the pigs wallowing over them. At this end.

Turk is not to be left out of the fun and comes along for a look-see. Plants in pots - or raised beds so I'm told. Not quite runrigs but getting there - at this end.

16 lamblettes as of today. Twinkletoes and Kylie just fine.
Weather; Overcast and ashy

Tuesday, 13 April 2010


When young Twinkletoes and her sister Kylie were born, their mum - Lady Porteuse Mere wasn't very well. The Crofter, being the soft-hearted man he is, gave in to an ear-bashing from Mum Crofter and let her bottle feed the little-uns. Now Mum sheeps is doing well and Twinkletoes and Kylie are dancing round the place creating havoc in the pen provided for them and Lady P-M.
I had the great pleasure of feeding Kylie although she didn't take too kindly to my technique and made a mess on me troos as a prize!

13 lambletts as of 3pm.
weather; sunny and briskish

Friday, 9 April 2010


Eight little critters running around croft last time I looked. And No, I have no photos.
Oh hang on, I have one from yesterday. There, see the top one; that's Tiny and Tim wobbling after mater.
Mr Crofter is tired. And so is Dad crofter. I think a cup of tea is in order :-)

Thursday, 8 April 2010


En Plein Air

Miss Piggy is back home and hopefully expecting - although I am told that the dad is a most ugly creature so The Crofters are hoping the new little piglets take after Miss Piggy. Pig is not happy. I might add here; one does have to distinguish between Miss Piggy and Pig. Pig is the other one.

Juniors Spartacus and Dodgyknees are doing just fine too. Spartacus has at last found the right things to suckle on, mum Hyacinth feeling relief from all that milk in her udders too. The juniors are quite keen to get out and have a look around but when the sun is shining there's bound to be snow lurking over the headland.

Lambs have not started blinking in the sunlight yet. A trip down the croft to have a look for myself is in order today. Hopefully, The Crofter's knee will be happier since it was a tad sore after our little stroll down the coast from Ness the other day.

Later; three lambs decided to arrive by the time I ventured down the croft this morning. Tiny, Tim and Tulip were tippy-toeing around the croft. All doing fine.

Friday, 2 April 2010


Junior Spartacus II and The Crofter [on the left]
A job well done
Dad Crofter holds Hyacinth in place
Junior Spartacus III has been playing up a bit. The problem can be summarised like this; Mum has short legs. Spartacus has long legs. Hence Spartacus has been having trouble finding Mum's teats - which is a pity since she is full with milk. So The Crofter had to climb in, lasso mum, wrestle Spartacus into position, dodging mum's back end while she ungraciously poos and wees and generally creates havoc. I can report it was a successful operation.

Apologies. It seems like I got carried away with yesterday's report. Too much sunshine perhaps. It gets to me like that - blinded with happiness or something. Anyway, to correct matters, to put things back into perspective and dispel any misconceptions, I can tell you that I got it wrong. There is no Tolsta Guinea. Its Rowlston Guinea. So there.

Thursday, 1 April 2010


Over the last few months, The Crofter and family have been quietly working away at a new product which could see its debut at the new North Tolsta Community shop in the near future. Utilising the fast and prolific breeding of the Guinea Pigs, Mr Crofter, in conjunction with the University of Doncaster working with Cornell University, New York has developed a unique and minute milking device which has allowed North Tolsta’s grazing committee man to create a delightful new cheese.

“We did have some difficulties developing the milking equipment” The Crofter told me. “But the Uni bods got in on the job and soon had it sorted”.

Tolsta Guinea” as the new cheese will be called is hoped to form part of a new ‘Excellence’ range in the North Tolsta Community shop once larger scale production has been established. To this end, The Crofter has applied for a grant to buy another croft in the village to establish a large scale guinea pig farm and build a specialist dairy using the new technology. This should bring new employment as well as a new product tot he village in the long-term.

The cheese, packaged in delightful small round wooden boxes with the “Peat me” logo on the side is an unusual texture rather like camembert with a subtle but distinctive flavour.

Unfortunately, I have not been allowed to photograph the new product at the moment but will bring it to you as soon as I can.

North Tolsta shop’s new ‘Excellence’ range is hoped to include both the new cheese and The Crofter’s superb Cavy Scratchings.