Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Winter is Here....

     This morning saw a light dusting of snow on top of the Clisham - the highest mountain in the Western Isles.  I would have taken a picture but my camera is packed away in my suitcase waiting for an early start tomorrow morning.  Scalpay Linen is going on tour again to the Land of the Rising Sun - this time hopefully to include some travel south and more visits to textile orientated venues.
     Apparently knitwear is a la mode this winter in Tokyo, so I have packed away some handspun and some needles (no, not in the hand luggage, though I am hoping to get away with a discreet crochet hook to while away the long haul).  Only fly in the ointment is that our friends from across the channel seem to be engaged in some sort of industrial action and the status of the airport in Paris is a bit iffy at the moment.
      So I am hoping there will be textiley photos in the blog over the next couple of weeks.  Blogging has taken a back seat just lately because things have been so hectic in the loomshed, but now its time to relax and do something different.......

Saturday, 9 October 2010

New Rams on the Block!

Monday was one of the highlights of the crofting year - Ram Sales at the Auction Mart in Stornoway.  This year it was held in the afternoon/evening.  There was a crowd of rams waiting to be sold, and a crowd of crofters hoping for good prices.

Before the sale proper started there was the best ram in the auction competition - ably judged by John Murdo, the grazier of the Shiant Isles. 

I did the bidding, as usual, and we ended the evening with three lads who travelled home with us in the back of the pickup.  It had been a long auction and we were famished so we dropped off at the Bangla Spice takeaway and restaurant in Church Street, Stornoway for curries.  I had a Rogan Josh, and O/H had a Korma.  It is a very nice place with good food and a comfortable ambience.  Unfortunately, having spent hours in the fragrant company of a bunch of rams, and having ram-handled ours into the pickup I think we did not represent the people of Harris in the sort of way we might have done otherwise, and there must have been gasps of relief and shots of air freshener following our departure.  Anyway, the service was superspeedy!

On arrival back in Scalpay I couldn't resist taking a photo of the new Cheviot ram when we opened the van door to let him out.  Just with the light of the torch, we felt a bit like sheep rustlers in the pitch dark, except we were bringing them in, not taking them out.

Next morning everyone was happy to come for some crunch and all have now settled down on the croft - busy building up condition and limbering up for their duties which start on the first Saturday in November.

When downloading the camera I came upon this cloud picture which we must have taken in error.  It is such a peaceful one, and shows a glimpse of blue sky, so is worth recording for posterity on the blog.  Having said that, today has been really gorgeous - end to end sun though a bit blowy latterly.

National Mod in Thurso starts tomorrow I believe.  Choirs from local schools will be competing, so we wish them all every success and hope they all have a great time.