Tuesday, 31 August 2010


The Crofter. Posing
The soon to be ex-chickens

I haven't been down to The Croft today - apart from an early morning visit to park the Tolsta Community Shop van. It seems there was to be a few murders today and I hate being around when that happens- especially when its some lovely looking cockerels as seen above.
I shot these on the old Brownie with some equally old Vericolor film. Who needs to use the Hassie?

Friday, 27 August 2010


Well, a while back The Crofter had a visitation from Mr Robert Stuart, purveyor of moving images, distiller of life onto the screen who made some little movies of the The Crofter. See below for one from his website

If you have a fast connection you should be able to see it. If you live in North Tolsta you'll have to wait a while till it loads! Worth the time tho.

Thanks Mr Stuart - hope you are keeping well.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010


Lily-Grace and her family
Is this a smile or a grimace?
Bertha makes her new home with a little bit of help.

Yay, Bertha and Pig-Pig are in their new housey. Big smiles all round. I mean, the sows are in their new home but as yet no piglettes. Ah well.

On arrival at The Croft I find there are visitors. A few names I forget and Lily-Grace sporting a lovely pink coat and a wonderful sheep-apron. I mean, how trendy can you be on the Isle of Lewis?? The visitors are here on holiday I believe but Mr Visitor was in his wellies helping Dad Crofter finish the pig-homes. Mr Crofter was watching. Mum Crofter was directing affairs. Lily-Grace looked on.

Soon the home, at least the first of a terrace of homes was finished and Bertha and Pig-Pig could move in. No sooner than the thought was ...... was thought, than Mr Crofter was filling the home with lovely new straw. Bertha would be pleased.

Before the move could be accomplished, Maclaren and Doris had to be enticed out of the byre into the top field. No easy task when Maclaren isn't cooperating - and he wasn't. The Crofter did a little dance around the byre, knocked over a fence, stepped in something smelly and eventually Maclaren was out in the fresh air. In a trice, the connecting fence to Bertha's and Pig-Pig's temporary quarters was down and another dance ensued. Dad Crofter soon had the better of Pig-Pig who was shepherded to the new quarters where she promptly declared hers by pooing. Bertha was another matter.

To know why Bertha was being so awkward, one has to know a little of the back-story. The porkers were at one time this year in a section of the croft down the bottom. Only, what with all the rain, it got so muddy they were in danger of disappearing altogether. I suggest Mi-Lord, that Bertha remembered this location and thought that was where she was heading.
It took Dad Crofter and 'imself The Crofter an age to get Bertha out of the byre. She squealed and grunted, ran this way and that then had a little play with Maclaran who had come back in to see what all the fuss was about. I must admit, I had a hard time suppressing my mirth - at least until it started raining and I was stuck holding a gate.
Eventually, Bertha went in her little housey with Pig-Pig and soon they were making a nest in the straw. We all breathed a sigh of relief and I went home.

Sunday, 22 August 2010


Sunday dawned and the sun was trying to show its face through the clouds. It was still and the little blighters - midges - were out with biting vengeance. I'd been away for a few days serving penance for being employed by a mainland company and having to visit their offices. A visit to The Crofter was in order. Maybe drag him out for a little stroll to the beach where, hopefully, the midges might be avoiding.

It appears that little had changed. A few things rearranged by the blow a couple of days earlier, the pigs new home more of a reality than it was when I left. I perused the scene, waved to The Crofter through his window and waited for him to appear at the door. He did. The news was not good. No piglets. As it happens, this didn't surprise me after the false calls of previous weeks. Maybe Maclaren is firing blanks! Anyway, The Crofter was rather busy - I suspect footy was due on the television soon, so after a quick chat, Eve and I tootled off to the beach on our own

Sunday, 15 August 2010


The last phase of the process of the 'rolling of the grass' is the wrapping. Here overseen by Hector and his tractor working with Mum Crofter and Crofter imself. It's all action in North Tolsta!

Saturday, 14 August 2010


"My other tractor is a Lamborgini" :-) Murdo urges his tractor up the croft.

Murdo, Dad Crofter and Murdo
Grass rolling - or something very like that!

The boys were playing with their toys today. Thought there was a lot of roaring up and down the road this morning, black smoke filling the morning air, gannets coughing in the diesel fumes as old tractors rushed well, perhaps rushed is a tad over the top but at least moved up and down the road a lot.
On investigation I find Mr Crofter in charge of a Big Affair - the wrapping of the grass bales. Murdo and Murdo were cutting and rolling and loading with Dad Crofter in a croft up t'road then Murdo - no, not that one, the other one - drove the load down to The Croft where Hector, Mum crofter and Mr Crofter imself were wrapping the things in clingfilm. Or something. Apparently its for the coows. Seeing the coows are not my best pals - although I am rather partial to Spartacus and Diogenes, at least until their horns grow anyway - all this work I find to be rather tiresome. I snapped the action and went home tired.

Thursday, 12 August 2010


"What to do? It's decision time"
Making no decisions at all

The wrinkled iron had not arrived. Or, there was some on the island but not at a suitable price. Or length. It was raining on and off. The pig-pens were not getting built but Maclaren and Doris didn't really care. Neither did piggy and ..... and the other one who were sleeping soundly after a fine breakfast.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010


"Have I told you about that fish I caught?"
The Crofter resorts to herding the rather more compliant Turk.
Mum Crofter directs affairs
Back from the bottom of Donald Four-tractors croft.
The coows have moved. Well, moved eventually - after a right old palaver. Tinga, Hyacinth, [stroppy]-CJ, Spartacus and Diogenes all tramped up The Crofter's croft from the bottom enthused by The Crofter's feed bucket - the modern day sheep/cow dog - and pursued at a respectful distance by Dad Crofter. Dad Crofter is not CJ's best buddy it seems so room is given.

In through the little gate they trailed with only to glance into their winter quarters where the lazy Piggies are temporarily housed, onto the 'lawn' where they did a quick dance - just to fed-up the brave crofter. [the only Englishman of the Tolsta Grazings committee AND chairman of the Tolsta shop committee - eh? Have I told you that? ]. With a bit deft waving of buckets, crooks and my frantic waving of arms like a over-excited puffin to let CJ know I was not Dad Crofter, the coows eventually went through into Donald four-tractors croft and immediately espied a nice pile of silage bales. Only, these bales don't belong to The Crofter so, more frantic arm/crook/bucket waving and shouting keep these beasts moving right on down to where they belong - down the bottom of the croft!

Flippin heck, these Shetland Coows are a right stroppy bunch - maybe that's why this lot have been exiled!

Saturday, 7 August 2010


"Oh, goodness, what have I done!!!"
Turk, checking it all out.
The wall, without the wall

The Crofter has been playing with his toys again! No doubt waiting for piggy to sprout has bored him. The garden wall has gone. We arrived for a brief visitation having strolled down from our residence to find sheep fences tied cross the 'drive'. Turk was enjoying the extra few metres of space . We climbed over to find The Crofter and Dad Crofter supping tea admiring their work - sans wall. "Its so we can get the digger in" I was informed. " But the digger got stuck down the croft because of the wet, soft ground so we took the land-rover down to pull it out. That got stuck too so the digger was next down and pulled the whole lot out" - no doubt in the cloud of black smoke I experienced when they stared it up.

The digger man [Dad] is digging the ground so another, yet another piggy house can be built to house the non-existent piglettes I expect. Meanwhile, the pigs are sleeping off their breakfast in the cow-byre, sunning their over-large builder-like bottoms in the sun.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Thursday, 5 August 2010


She's quick
...but not quick enough.

'been raining apparently. It does seem a tad soggy underfoot since I arrived back from my penance in England. The croft has somewhat liquified and Maclaren and the tother piggies have been made a new temp home in the coow byre to stop them sinking underground. Meanwhile the coows are complaining at the bottom of the croft - but since CJ The Bull is back home I'm rather pleased they are down there and I am up here.
There's no piglettes - obviously. To be honest I think Maclaren is a fraud. A bully and a fraudster. There, I've said it. And I've nothing to add - except for these two images from the barbering session before I left the island. And I'm so glad to be back I must say!