Friday we went to Mallaig to collect Stuart’s eldest off the train. It seemed the easiest route for him to take – coming from Wigan – especially as trying to book bus tickets to coincide with the train, is an absolute nightmare. So we drove to Armadale and after killing the best part of an hour walking around the beautiful gardens of Clan Donald in the glorious sunshine, we joined the foot passengers with our two intrepid dogs to sail on the MV Hallaig which is presently covering for the usual ferry that sails between Skye and the mainland while it is being fixed.
It was a lovely trip, a tad chilly sitting on the top but but the sun was shining and I really didn’t want to sit inside. Lila wasn’t too chuffed with the juddering movement of the boat as it crossed the water, so after 20 minutes of fidgeting it out, she decided the best, most comfortable place to sit was my lap. Vizslas like to be comfortable and have a view of goings on around them, so it seemed the most logical place in her mind. Never mind, after a few wet Lila kisses she was happily settled for the rest of the journey, the fact that my legs went numb was neither here nor there and she certainly wasn’t concerned.
We went for a walk at Mallaig as we had quite a long wait for the train. We’d had to travel on an earlier sailing you see, due to exceptionally low tides. Walking up over the back of Mallaig along a well maintained path, we ended up in a ‘secret glen’ so quiet and calm – and very warm – that took us eventually to Loch Neibhis with Knoydart on the opposite shore. It also afforded us views of Mallaig Harbour, with MV Hallaig and MV Loch Nibheis (Nevis) both in port.
Today however, is another day. Stuart and son went pootling off to look for fossils up the east coast of Skye, whilst I attacked the garden. I had Fuchsias to plant – all twelve of them – to make a hedge in front of my veg bed and protect it from the strong westerlies we get – it will be great once it is established – in fact it will be even better when I manage to get hold of some Rugosa Roses to bulk it up – but that’s another mission to add to the many I have on my list. I also had a bank to strim and seedlings to transplant so I stayed at home and gradually worked my way through a percentage of my self imposed goals for the day.
If I don’t stick at one thing I tend not to get too tired – must have something to do with using different muscles – well that’s my theory anyway. So I strimmed the bank as far as the shelter belt and planted the fuchsias six at a time. I must admit to actually getting bored when I have a long “TO DO’ list – it has to be psychological – so when my attention is flagging I go and do something else on the list – in my head the list then seems shorter somehow – although it’s not really, not until each item is properly crossed off.
I find it quite hard to be brutal about seedlings. They’ve spent weeks growing and then you just choose the best ones to transplant. But it has to be done otherwise we won’t have any brussells sprouts come winter. I remember being sent up the garden with a colander to pick sprouts when I was a girl. You don’t pick them until the frost has gone off them but they are sweeter for all that. A quick twist and there you have them beautiful, minnie cabbages all sweet and gorgeous. I do realise this will not appeal to everyone, but I love sprouts. I am actually looking forward to doing that this year – although Stuart can’t quite get to grips with my enthusiasm for growing and picking my own, I am aware it has a lot to do with what you are brought up with and growing our own veg was a big part of growing up for me.
At the end of this busy Easter Saturday we have been serenaded by the Tawny Owl. The most wonderful warbling sound answered by another call redolent of a Great Tit only deeper. One Owl was flying around warbling – although we couldn’t see it – it flew over the house several times as its mate answered it from across the nearby field. It was the most amazing sound I have ever heard. It never ceases to amaze me that the older I get the more I learn about wildlife and here on Skye is the perfect forum for such amazing experiences. What a wonderful way to end a busy day in Glen Drynoch! Good Night!