Mr Crofter has a new vehicle to trash. When I say 'new' what i really mean is 'new to him' since the blimin thing was made in 1970 - older than the Great Man imself. It is, as the last one was , a Land Rover. A sort of green-welly version of the Massey Ferguson so loved hereabouts. Unlike the last one, this one works properly despite its age - or will do once the Crofter sorts the door that threatens to fall off and when he finds out how to use the plethora of gear levers that populate the otherwise spartan cab. But it has got a galvanised chassis which I am told 'is a good thing' up here in these salty climes. I'll take his word for it since the old non galvanised chassis rover and the one before that are not at all healthy in the chassis department.!
It's never dull down on the Croft. I'm wandering down the road - in the middle of the road, just because I can - and I hear the familiar crakin thud of sheeps head against sheeps head. Again and again. Although there's something different this time the rhythm strange. Arrhythmic perhaps. Junior sheeps is getting a right seeing to by the older fellas. They are all rams you see and the lady sheeps were put a little too close for ignoring at this time of year so the 'boys' thought it was Saturday night in Stornoway time. No sooner had two rams collided when the third one bashed in - often into random fallen bodies. I hate seeing this despite having seen it several times before. Mr Crofter ventured into the ring and had a few stern words to say, but they weren't listening. Couldn't care less what Mr Crofter had to say. So Junior was separated from the other two and put in another field. That calmed things down a bit. At least until the other two started at it later on. I came home
He got there - the Crofter that is - in the end, after doing this and that, and probably the something else as well. He stood there after backing Land-rover No.1 & 2 into the space with the help of young Angus so that the little black sheeps could get out of the trailer.
There's great feeling round the fank when the sun is shining and all are working together. Well, nearly all since I was snapping rather than helping. Other were talking looking, smoking, messing with quads and generaly enjoying themselves.
Warm air, probably the last of the year is washing round me as my booted feet dip into the soggy peat. Sheep concerned for their futures want to run this way and that - but can't. I smell the distinctive smell of Golden Virginia on the air intermingled with the acrid aroma of sheep dip. I look up into the blinding sun, see shapes, raise the camera and shoot.
The day dawned warm. Sun glances a light blow to Stac Poly and then streames through the soft white clouds with not a breath of wind. The faint sound of quads drifts through the village as sheep are gathered and taken in trailers, on foot or in the case of The Crofter - late - to the fank.
He got there in the end after a hassled morning sorting a couple of poorly beasts and dancing round his kitchen hand in hand with a mug of milky tea - builder's blend no less.
PigPig is in the pig-house after some very naughty exploits.
Dad Crofter had taken PigPig out onto the croft for a run while he cleared out the pig-pen. Job done he went in for a cup of tea. Mr Crofter imself was making teeth. Mr Crofter then heard a noise of squealing, grunting and asked Dad Crofter where PigPig was. Dad Crofter realised she was still on the crofter - or thought she was. Instead he found PigPig gorging herself on the contents of the poly-tunnel after finding herself in there after bursting through the plastic while trying to get back to her dear little 10. Gone are the squash plants, the tomatoes and what ever else was in there. And PigPig didn't want her tea either!
On the Isle of Lewis off the west coast of mainland Scotland lies a croft inhabited by an English off-comer. His Mum and Dad live nearby and help him run the croft. This is a photographic record of their lives as it unfolds.