Friday, 31 December 2010


Another [snowy] 2010 day with The Crofter his Dad and Lucy the Land-Rover.

To all those who read this little blog and to all those who don't, have a wonderfully Happy New Year. And may 2011 be fruitful, peaceful and bring you much contentment. And less snow please!

Best wishes from The Crofter -Paul, The Crofter's Dad - David, the Crofter's Mum - Sue and not forgetting Turks who seemed to be in at least half of the pictures this year!

Thursday, 30 December 2010


It's all mud down at The Croft. And muck. Yes, muck and mud and everyone is happy. Turk is showing off as usual. Little piggies are playing out while their sty is being cleaned. Preparations are afoot for New year celebrations and the like.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010


Gosh, that looks cold!
Why is this white?
Please can we come back inside?

Now at the last the snow has gone and all the animals are mighty pleased about it. Less so The Crofter who now has to deal with the sludge and mud. Such is the life of the North Tolsta Crofter at the end of 2010.

Sunday, 26 December 2010


Mr and Mrs VERY Happy Turk.
Mr Happy
Mrs Busy
Mr Grumpy
Christmas Day 2010.

Eh? Down at The Croft Mr Crofter was taking his on pantomime persona of Mr Grumpy and hid in the pig sty as he gave his girls and boys their morning feed. Then Mr Happy came along and the day looked better. Mrs Busy was really busy so soon we were on our way down to the beach. Bad idea!!

Anyway, it seemed Mr Grumpy became Mr Happy too later in the day you'll be pleased to hear :-)

Friday, 24 December 2010


The Crofter, cooking up a storm
The Crofters' dad, watering the snow !!!
The Crofters' mum, checking to see if The Crofter is in the paper [he wasn't]

You see, it's Christmas Eve and the snow still lies crisp and now uneven, frozen as it was again last night after a mild thaw yesterday. So I slide down the road to The Croft to pass my good tidings of the day to come but bumping into my good friend Clocks on the way. Exchanging best wishes I leave Clocks to his stroll to the Village Community Shop of which, of course you know, Mr Crofter is the chairman of the board - or something like that. Entering the house out of the bright sunshine that bounces off the glistening snow, I find Sue Crofter - aka Mum - reading the Stornoway Gazette. It only takes 5 mins or so - unless you take in the court proceedings [which I do as it happens]. Still, it what you do up here. Unless of course your doing something odd in the 'garden'. I say 'garden' but its covered in snow - which is just as well since the pigs come out when Mr Crofter is cleaning out their houses and have churned up the lawn so it looks like the Somme - under the snow. Out there Mr Crofter seems to be watering the snow. I check his eyes and they seem clear enough, there's no tell-tale dribble from the side of his mouth which might suggest insanity so I look around again and then see the duck pondette - which, now having had its ice block removed is being filled with liquid water.
Meanwhile Mr Crofter is somewhere. He was in the kitchen lurking over the Stanley with a suggestion of culinary expertise - but that was a sham as I notice he was just warming his hands.
I really don't blame him since it is Christmas Eve [did I mention that?] and there sh.., sorry muck to be shovelled from the byre to the muck heap and the stys to the muck heap. It's hard work and Mr Crofter and his pater get down to it creating a right old smell. I retreat to go home and meditate.

Mr Crofter and his wonderful family wish all their readers a very Happy Christmas. And so do I :-)

Thursday, 23 December 2010


Yes, yes, I went to The Croft this morning. Well, it was almost morning anyway. I'd been out working last night, off onto the other side of the island at night in less than ideal conditions. Then I didn't sleep so well. You know what it is; the job you've just done earlier in the night runs through your mind and when you eventually drop off to sleep you are awoken by a ghastly diaphanous apparition hovering over your minds eye in a particularly menacing way which, when you realise you've just been dreaming your pulse is racing and the likelihood of regaining sleep is about as unlikely as the council deciding to actually switch off the terribly wasteful street lights that light up the island like a Christmas tree.
Okay it was 11.30 am ish. With the emphasis on 'ish'. Mr Crofter was having a mug of builders' tea to prepare him for the journey to our small capital in t'land-rover to pick up some hay - assuming there is any to buy. The animals had been fed and watered, the teeth made and posted while the sun was shining. I took a snap, had a whinge and came home. As I do.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010



No, I haven't been down t'Croft today. The sun was shining brightly this morning, the snow lie round about and I took off over the peats where none had trod in the pristine landscape. I have never had such a wonderful walk near the village. I sang - albeit tunelessly - In the bleak mid-winter and the dog -Ghriet - who was accompanying me on this trek looked at me with pity. I didn't care. Winter solstice had passed, the days are getting shorter, the low sun was on my back and there was no wind.
The ground glistened in the soft sunlight and we strode along the old peat track past the water-tower, alongside the loch through the gate and down towards our peat bank. Over the top we went sometimes breaking through the crisp crust of frozen snow and came back along the other loch towards the village fank and hence back home. What a wonderful stroll and we never saw a soul.
The Crofter didn't come for a walk. No doubt he was wrestling with frozen water troughs and truculent piggies. As he was the other day. Again.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


Eve awaits action at the Croft in her Glastonbury Carnival hat
The Crofter's dad strolls in the sunshine
The Crofter's dad starts work - the Crofter is nowhere to be seen!

Gosh the day dawned bright. But keen as mustard - the proper Colman's type and everything - Eve and I leapt out of bed dressed quickly and shot and slid down the road to The Croft. Twas mighty quiet there. Turks - a few of the remaining turks that is - were keeping in the warm of their housey. Piggies were still sleeping and cows were quiet too. No sign of The Crofter either - but since he'd been out for an iron-bru or two with a pal the night before that wasn't too much of a surprise. Flush with bright sunshine and early-morning energy, Eve and I burst into tuneless song with a few verses of carols we knew.
Still no sign of The Crofter.
So we stood and waited until The Crofter's dad strolled purposefully down t'road to The Croft, clad in his yellow wellies and Roger-rabbit hat.
Then all of a sudden The Crofter was there trying to look like he'd been up for hours and whinging about the racket!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Thursday, 16 December 2010


Friday on the croft may well look like this; minus some turkeys that is :-(
There's a whole day's work ahead.

The snow went and now cometh again. The Crofter called in earlier to roast his toes in front of our fire then reversed all the way back [200 mtrs!] to his croft in the snow using the old [actually, newer Land-Rover]. As you do.
As I look out of the window the snow lies around about all crisp and uneven. No doubt the sheeps will be asleep but chilly as the wind howls.

For those Leicafile forum-ites, this was 20ish mins in 1:50 Rodinal semi agitating in-between me washing a vandyke print, warming my toes and drinking camomile tea. Classic movie copy-film in a nice camera - sharp as you like. As I like anyway.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


Not a good time for the young pigs
The coow gets some hay from The Crofter.
Last days
I really quite hate this time of year down at the Croft as it seems that creatures great and small are reaching their live-by date. First it was the sheeps, then CJ the bull and now the Turks and pigs are enjoying their last few days - at least I hope they are enjoying them. I know, I know, if it wasn't for the eating of them they wouldn't be there! In all honesty I think I'd prefer the animals not to be there rather than cutting their little lives so short so the meat is tender - or whatever it is supposed to be.

At least the coows [the ones that are left] have a nice byre to sleep in on new hay.

Friday, 3 December 2010


I haven't been down to see the Crofter today since I'm still getting over seeing CJ in bits. There's a mighty lot of meat in a bull I can tell you and it reeks like a butchers down there now - once you get over the smell of the piggy sty that is.

I'm a vegi and not about to change that whatever people say . It's compassion for the animals , the ethics, and the lack of global sustainability with raising animals for food that informs my choice.