Thursday, 17 January 2013

Temperature drops and rises

The bull is out in the little field opposite the Cattle Shed.  I loved the way he went to the furthest corner and sat as if he was looking at the view.  (He is the black spot in the distance.)  He will be going off to market next week and we are looking for a new bull now.  Farmer has been sitting by the fire of an evening looking up other breeds to see if we might slightly change what we have to sell - he is keen on the traditional Beef Shorthorn, or White Shorthorn. It is an exhausting armchair journey, looking it all up and then coming back to the thought that the Aberdeen Angus suit us very well.  

We have had this bull for a good few years, and he has a fantastic temperament as well as throwing easy calving calves - small when born but who gain strength quickly.  This is the latest - ever - that we have kept the cows outside.  It has saved us having to buy in another month's supply of straw (sorry Tom) and they have not been making a mess on the ground.  Another delicate balance comes into play as the one of our favourite moths (Six Spot Burnet Moth) likes to sun itself in the cattle hoof marks left behind by the cows, but Farmer doesn't want to poach the ground. 

I am not a big fan of the new Blogger site.  For some reason the only way I can upload my photographs is to upload them into a picasa web album first and then move them across from there to the blog.  They land in an order of their own, and usually I then move them around to try and make better sense of them.  But the order below is quite a good reflection on the week.  Lots of snatches of weather and light in between the building projects!

In and out of the Storage Container to check on what paint we have to use up before ordering anew.  Ecospaint Dark Ice is going in Studio kitchen!

Sky high clouds, taken on a dash down to Duill to see how that is going.

Alan painting the Studio sitting room, first coat of Ecospaint Bengt.  And with paint on the wall, it begins to resemble a room again - the old doorway has disappeared and created a good relaxing sitting room...waiting for the stove to be fitted now.  

Another mad storm passes over towards Calgary. The hoggs have been in the field between the farmhouse and Shian and Duill for a few days. The Zwarties (the brown ones) are good at getting out..

Cavelo Nero catching the sun.  This Italian kale is a mainstay over the winter. 

Shian's kitchen wall is crying out for a window I reckon, but not this winter. I have been banned from thinking up any further projects. Enough is enough Farmer says.  Shian has a new cooker which looks very smart and is the right size this time. The one that was too small has gone down to Middle.  Nothing is wasted!

We are enjoying seeing the Hare every day as he runs through the farm yard.  What a privilege. 

The weather has been getting colder - we have had a few of those days when you get a bit of everything - including snow and hail.  And some good winds!  The Kingspan turbine is still out-performing its neighbour - by a staggering 50%, and we have had some hopeful news from Kingspan and then from our installer, Border Hydro, that we can have a new chip fitted which, with updated settings, will increase the performance from the Proven.  

The heating is back on in Studio now.  Radiators had been taken off to allow for the wall insulation to be added in the sitting room and bedroom.  All warm and cosy now.

I was very happy on Monday when the bathroom arrived for Duill - and all the pipework for Neil the plumber.  We only have a few weeks until it is booked!  Neil the builder is busy putting wall insulation in the frame on the outside walls before Neil the plumber arrives..  

The new Velux window in Studio gallery bedroom shows in this top right corner of this picture. 

The 'Bengt' sitting room walls.

Coco - and no I'm afraid she wasn't just sitting there obediently on her own. (Her lead was hooked round a fence post.)  We are going to a dog training class in Dervaig which is great, very helpful.  It is just the in between class training which is lacking, as I find it very difficult to apply myself so she is on a lead all the time.

Regular readers of the blog may remember that Moira, the wonderful dog trainer, came here last summer and did some training with us when Coco was very young!  Her programme of dog training classes will be held here from Easter onwards, and they are going to start doing Dog Agility too. 

For any of our guests who bring their own dog on holiday with them, there is an opportunity to have a 1:1 class with Moira here at Treshnish - if you want some training advice or to try out some agility.   We will link her website once she has it up and running.  Quite alot of her work is doing 1:1 sessions around the island.  And to think she moved to Mull to retire!

Moss covered dyke near the farmhouse. 

 Studio main bedroom - Ecospaint Savannah. It is lighter than this photograph shows.

Farmer has been continuing with sorting out the sheep.  The Zwartie hoggs are now on their own and roaming looking for ways to escape between the Stack Yard outside Shieling and Studio and the big field Shian and Duill sit in.

I have started Blipping!  I THINK if you follow the link you will get to my site.  Some of the photos I Blip you will probably see on the blog too.

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