Midges Eh? Who invented them? Someone who is an arthropodologist [probably] and a nasty one at that. The little beasts are prone to make life a misery and The Crofter family are no exception. Here we see Dad Crofter [most likely] modelling the latest anti-midge fashion item.
On a related note, I asked a chum who used to be in the SAS [some sort of Army based boy scouts] about whether they really did use Avon Skin so soft as reported in various places. "No" he said firmly, I used and still use ********* . So there you are!
The Crofter smears a little cow muck behind his ears - possibly!
The Crofter has had a lot on his mind lately what with this and that although, not much of the other. Committee things have been busy but the animals don't seem to care.
The 1961 mechanically sound Massey
Murdo's Massey Ferguson still lays where it broke down waiting for a 'bit' to make it work again.
The Crofter's veg crop is doing just fine at the moment although I'm not sure it will pass EU regs ! Yes, it is a cucumber.
The Crofter's machine
The Crofter's tractor is working and it was doing fine service mowing the grass in the next doors croft while his coows shouted at us next door. I broke a rule and mucked in to give the beasts some cut grass in the hope that the coows would shut up and not bring on the tinnitus. They did. For a little while anyway.
The Crofter's [exiled] Shetland Coows wondering why the tractor is actually working
The Crofter and the village weighing thing
The young sheeps are getting bigger every day so The Crofter borrowed the village weighing stocks to see if the sheeps were big enough to send to market. I whispered in the sheeps ears to stop eating so much to save their little lives. It will come to no good..
The Crofter is keeping busy. Whilst the weather has gone a tad damp and the nights are drawing in, at least The Crofter has the silage all sorted and Murdo [no, the other one] has got his 'mechanically sound' 1961 Massy Ferguson Tractor going again after it stopped not to go again for a while after Murdo told me how good and reliable it was. Apparently it was the water pump - or something.
The Crofter looking to see if the Land-rover still has an engine.
Donald four tractors mowing the 'lawn' on the next croft.
Donald-Four-Tractors has been featuring from time to time and I found him mowing the croft next door for some reason. He's a happy chappie and helped me bring our peats home - and Roy of the Moors' peats too.
Donald Four Tractors
Dad Crofter and a quandary
Whilst Donald has four tractors [ or perhaps more currently ] and Murdo [no, the other one] has two, The Crofter has only the one - rather like Hector. Only the Crofter's machine is a tad temperamental and Dad has had to do the bad cop, good cop ruse on it to get it going. But I can now inform you that, at the time of writing it is going - yay!
I could hear the racket from my darkroom. Rattle, tattle rattle tattle it went on. Sounded like the rioters had arrived in North Tolsta on a phalanx of tractors. But no, it was Hector Murdo, Murdo & Co playing at twirling the silage for The Crofter's coows in the winter.
I found two old Massey Fergusons chuntering away on the plot next to The Croft with a couple of interesting looking machines behind them. The silage bales, all rolled and netted were them wrapped expertly by some contraption that twirled and twisted till the stuff was encased in blue plastic. Sadly, the days of oblong bales wrapped in bailer twine seem to have disappeared in this neck of the woods. [although there are few trees here either!].
Murdo [No, the other one] arrives from his sick-bed in his 1961 Massey Ferguson
The Crofter dances with a silage bale as two MF look on
Rolling your own
Hector wondering what's for tea
Murdo tickles the silage bale into submission
North Tolsta men and Yorkshire Crofter :-)
Yes, we know it's not your best tractor.
Hector's tropical hat gets an outing. And how lovely it looks too.
Hector, looking like he was just back from his plantation in the tropics was operating the twirling machine, Murdo was moving stuff from here to there while The Crofter supervised and moved stuff from there to over there. Oh, and along comes Murdo [no, the other one!] from his sick-bed with his ancient Massey - " It's a 1961 model and mechanically sound" I was told but by the look of the bodywork, it's a virtual wreck. At least I knew he wasn't talking about himself as he has a bad back at the moment and can only grimace a smile from his seat. Still, it's only Murdo's [No, the other one] second or maybe third best tractor so I'm told. Giving Donald Four Tractors a run for his money no doubt.
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The pigs are in the coow byre - at least most of them are. They lay around awaiting The Crofter coming with their feed and can hardly drag themselves onto their legs to go over to the trough to eat. Such lazy beasts. Meanwhile, the young Dutch/Butch is leaping round the pig hutches and its estate like a greyhound. He's been kept away from Maclaren to stop he being attacked - as if Maclaren could be bothered!
The silage has been bagged and piled high in an available piece of land. Piled high so the mice won't nibble at all the plastic coverings and make it rot. One roll of silage sits away from the others and I'm informed "it stinks" as there's the remains of a rabbit in it that got caught up in the machine. Sad eh?.
It's hot work on a warm day and The Crofter takes a rest in the rear loading pod of the YangtzeMaotsetunSon tractorthat has, as it happens, wheezed its way into a suitable place. Tis working now I'm told, but for how long?
The silage is cut by the Men of the village who sell it to The Crofter. The Crofter earns his crust making false teeth. How else would he pay for the silage?? Now, today it's raining.
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.