Wednesday, 24 February 2010


"I'm out"
"Oie! Where have you bin?"
The great escape.
This is what happens when one's attention is turned to something else. The day The Vet arrived to do the deed on the bull's nose, this sheeps - a ram actually - decided to leg it from the croft and seek out pastures new in Donald the Fish's veg patch. Seems like this ram is becoming a 'jumper' - which often means its days are numbered. Donald the fish happened to attending his veg at the time and was mighty startled at the black/brown horned apparition. " I thought it was the devil 'imself" Donald gasped, barely recovered from his fright. It wasn't. It was the ram who duly was re-captured and moved back onto the croft.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010


Pig and Piggy. Now, one of them - I'm not sure which - but one of them has had the pleasure of a boy-pig for the last few days. The other - I'm not sure which but it is The Other One - is feeling a bit miserable all on her lonesome.

Friday, 12 February 2010


YeeHa Mhath,
She say yea!!! Yea. Hyacinth, Tinga and CJ have had their blood results back and I'm told their cholesterol levels are just right and their blood pressures are ok too - or something like that. Whatever it was Ms Vet of Tromsø or somewhere says they are happy and healthy and that's great news. Mr Crofter was grinning from ear to ear and that was great to see too.YeeHa.

Apologies for the interesting snap of the Coows but I put it in the developer last night - homoeopathic dilutions for 2 hours - which usually works a treat - then promptly forgot about it when a chum arrived for a cup of green tea and a chat. Took it out of the developer this morning, fixed them and they were fine [ish] Printable anyway :-)

Thursday, 11 February 2010


Never ever mess with an ex-biker's woman

Biker Crofter and Biker Crofter's Moll at the ditching [by the sea]

Mr Crofter on The Beast.

Just to let you all know since I'm sure you have not been sleeping too well worrying about him, CJ is doing fine resplendent with his new ring.

Today the sun shone again and the ditches needed sorting so out came the digger contraption - an interesting machine that Mr Crofter propels around the croft like a spider. Does the job though and Mr Crofter enjoys himself moving piles of wet dirt this way and that. The idea is too dry out one part of the croft that seems to have a spring feeding in. Word has it that there used to be a pond there and my guess is that Wobbler and his web-footed feathered friends wishes there was one there now. Mr Crofter does not wish there was one there now since Hyacinth sinks up to her, her...... up to her underparts in the mire that is there now.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


A shot in the dark
Local interest in CJ's plight and the contents of the Vets bag.

Part Deux mhath,

The round-up completed, the Vet primed and ready to go, I moved in for the snapping. Only, I just watched a little bit as my stomach can't really take operations - and CJ's ring turned out to be going through his nose!

Since CJ was trying to take out the crush with his energetic exertions - luckily not directed at me - it was time for the cow-whisperer to get to work. The Vet calmly walked up to a raging CJ, looked him straight in the eye, whispered a few calming words in his flapping ears and then promptly popped round the back and gave him a jab of something strong up his rear end. Ah Ha! That calmed him somewhat. In no time the vet had secured CJ's head given him a local in his nose and then...... then I walked away.

Apparently, it was done, the ring securely secured in the security of Cj's nose, The Crofter happy as Larry the Lamb [google it!] and Tinga and Hyacinth wondering what all the fuss was about. Soon they were find out as the brave vet dealt with their blood tests [blood pressure - look at their tongues - that sort of thing] in no time and they were allowed back out onto the prairie - oh, sorry onto the croft.

However, CJ by this time had sunk to his knees seemingly oblivious to his newly acquired token of affection in his nose, sleeping it all off in the bottom of the crush. Mr Crofter tried to get him to his senses with a kindly but wary prod and a shaking feed bucket but CJ was having none of it. For 30 mins or so he laid there head gently resting on the crush wall. Then Ms Vet, having re-cured her lungs encouraged CJ with a good talking to and a quick nudge; CJ all of a sudden realising that Hyacinth and Tinga were on their way back up the croft without him, got to his feet and staggered unsteadily away like a late night reveller out of the Clachan bar [Or any other bar for that matter].

Oh joy of joys, the ordeal was over and we could all pack up, go home, have a nice cup of camomile and fall asleep in front of t'fire.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


"Come on Hyacinth [please]"
The Vet, having fun, and very calm

YeeeHa mhath,
Ok, so today was a bit of a disappointment. I'd got all excited at the prospect at what was to come. Donned my best spangley waistcoat and topped the lot with my genuine Mexican sombrero. The lady waiting for the bus to town was somewhat surprised to see my headgear but I held my head high and continued down to The Round up and North Toslta Rodeo at The Croft.

I had in mind the films of years past - you know the type when Murdo-John Wayne rides across the wastelands behind thousands of cattle kicking up the dust as they bring them home to the ranch lassos whirling and stirrups stirring - or whatever they do. It wasn't quite like that I found. Mr Crofter, full of energy for the day ahead, shook a bucket of feed in the newly created cattle compound and eventually, after a bit of cajoling, Hyacinth, Tinga and CJ made their slow way across the mud in the gate from the byre to the 'corral'. The gate was quickly shut behind them and a little silage was given to them for a treat.

It was all because the Vet was coming to do a few tests - blood pressure, cholesterol and the like - and give a ring to CJ the bull. I know its nearly Valentines day but I really felt this was going too far. Soon the Vet arrived, not on a shining white stallion, leathers worn from years of hard riding to the farther reaches of the island but, in a white van and clad in the very best Fisherman's Coop style against the winter weather. "Howdee partner" the vet didn't say - disappointingly, as she took out a cheroot, drew heavily on the smoke and surveyed the scene. "It's a mighty fine croft you have here Sir" the vet also didn't say - but should have since Mr Crofter would have loved that.

Anyway, work had to be done so the cattle were encouraged into the crush by Mr Crofter, keen to impress the young vet. "Come on Hyacinth" came the manly motivation. Hyacinth obligingly trotted into the crush bringing a wide grin to the face of Mr Crofter at his expertise.

Then all of sudden I was surprised to hear Mr Crofter say "bother" once or twice. I swung round to see Hyacinth happily munching the grass outside of the crush having trotted straight through - the door not having been set properly. I must admit to having been rather stunned at this as Mr Crofter is on the North Tolsta Grazings committee and everything you know and, is pretty expert at things muddy and legged in the main. Especially guinea pigs - which I admit are rather easier to handle, don't have horns and at worst are going only to give your little toe a nasty suck.

So Hyacinth, luckily having the appetite of four columns of the British Army was able to be tempted back into the corral for another go by expert proffering of the feed bucket. In the meantime, CJ had made his way up the path to the crush and was busily trying to demolish the thing since the gate of the crush, having now been properly set, had closed in as it should do and trapped the poor fellow by the horns. The young Vet leant back, sucking at her tobacco [which I might add is NOT a good thing] smiling to herself - no doubt wondering if she should say the weather was too bad, Hector wanted her back to scratch the ears of some pooch or something. "Shall we proceed?" the vet enquired. We all stood back to let the expert in to within an arms reach of the bucking CJ and the crush.

It's a long story so I'll finish in the morn.

BTW; there's some more info and snaps on Bad Dude Biker Crofter here.

Saturday, 6 February 2010


Ah. Mr Crofter is good at multi-tasking. Here seen snatching some breakfast while checking out the seed catalogues.

Friday, 5 February 2010


Rowlston Duo

We were moving some gravel. I say 'we' but in fact it was Biker Crofter and Mum Crofter who were actually doing the work; digging the stuff out of the pile with what I was reliably informed was a 'continental shovel'. I was suitably impressed. Impressed enough to snap the shovel in use and include myself in the 'doing'. Not sure why the continentals use shovels shaped like this; one can only assume its part of their culture. Unlike the culture here which seems to use any shaped shovel - as long as its rusty.

The gravel had to be moved from here [gesturing vaguely to my left] to there [somewhere near The Crush]. Note the capitals - The Crush. Eh? Its a thing to hold a cow thing in while they - the crofter or vet or both do unspeakable things to them - like give them an injection or in the case of Tinga - put a ring through his nose. I don't like seeing such things but since Tinga tried to head-butt me [albeit with a metal bar between us] I've not been able to look the beast in the eye without sending a shiver down my spine. Tinga can have a blimin ring! He is a bit punky anyway.

While 'we' were doing this work, the next door neighbour appeared which was lovely since Donald - for that is his name [like the other 150 or so Donalds in the village] hasn't been too well and I don't get to see him much. I'm not sure why he is called Donald - although he probably isn't called that but Dòmhnall [the Gaelic] - I'm not sure why we call Donald, Donald when Donald with the ducks is called 'Curls - or Don Curleone' and Donald who looks after the Highland Cows is called 'Clocks' and 'Donald four tractors' has four tractors as it happens. It must make sense to someone.
Anyway, Donald the fish as I shall call him, used to be a fisherman I believe and is the source of many a tale . [I remember him telling me how they used to put the flat fish - plaice etc - onto the sand on the beach so that it would be easier to pull the boat up since flat fish were not so popular in these parts. Eh?]. Or I might have dreamt that bit.
Donald was looking to find out what was going on; the gravel being moved here and there [gestures vaguely again], The Crush and the reason for it all [Vet, bull, ring etc]. [Perhaps that should be; Ring, Vet, bull - else the front seats to the 'show' next Tuesday when the vet arrives might fill up too quickly on the account of the idea that Hector the Vet might be taking part in a bull-fight. Perish the thought!].

Snaps above;
*Top; the Rowlston Duo. a job specific wheelbarrow / silage bale mover design pionered by the Crofter. Here you see the removable barrow bit having fallen off the wheel part avec gravel.

*Middle. Donald the fish talks to Roger Rabbit - or is it Biker Crofter? Hard to tell.

*Bottom. Donald Fish

Monday, 1 February 2010


This is Wobbler - the duck.
Wobbler has been on the croft with Mr Crofter since he got here a few years ago. As it happens, Wobbler has a dodgy leg and wobbles around the place keeping everyone in order. You may not have seen him in the snaps recently much since Wobbler is white. Mostly white - unless he has sat in the mud - or worse. In which case, Crofter takes him indoors, gives Wobbler a bath then lets him sleep it off in the feed room overnight. We like Wobbler.