Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Back to School

Well, the summer holidays are over now and it’s back to the usual routine of getting the kids (and Anne) ready for school and nursery. This is actually welcome news for me as it gives me a little more time during the day where I can work on something with out interruption from the kids (or Anne!). Anne has only been given 2 days a week in school this year but over the summer has successfully managed to secure consultancy work delivering teacher training to schools in Scotland. She spent weeks developing her presentation and delivered it for the first time last week to 50 teachers at a school in Edinburgh. She already has about a dozen more dates booked before xmas so its looking very promising. Although this means she will be away a few nights a month it will mean she has less workload and more time at home than before.

Because of the wet summer we were quite late in getting our sheep sheared however we finally got there at the beginning of August. With all the lambs ear tagged and more independent from their mothers we sold 5 ewes and 10 lambs as a starter flock to a couple down near Carloway. This brings our numbers back down to a more manageable flock size of 25.

In our last blog we mentioned our new enterprise - breeding African Pygmy Hedgehogs. We had a mixed week last week with one of the older hogs dying. We agreed to take her on along with the breeding hogs as she was kept as a pet by the previous owner as she had cataracts in both eyes and was barely able to see. It’s a real shame as she was so easy to handle. However on a brighter point we heard our first squeaks coming from the nest of one of the hogs we have mated so we should have a few baby hogs for sale if all goes well over the next month or so. We’re itching to check in the nest but to disturb them at this stage may result in the mum eating her babies. Here’s a photo of my DIY hog house.... more photos to follow when the hoglets are out and about in a couple of weeks.

Not much news on the alpaca front although we bumped into a couple of distant relatives up at Eoropie the other week. Peter and his 2 lovely llamas have moved to the Ness area and now run a llama trekking business - We had a long natter about everything camelid and wish Peter every success with the trekking.

The girls coming for their evening feed
After many weeks spent stacking, bagging and collecting this year’s peat I finally brought down the last load today and this time I didn’t sink the 4x4 in the moor like last year! ( Here is what 500 bags of peat looks like. I just need to clear out the garage to get it all in now!


  1. Wow...sounds like you have been very busy...The Hebs are looking well..I like your hedgehog house..and look forward to seeing the babies !!......and well for the bags of peat...will they all fit in the garage....and then where do you put the stuff...out of the garage !!......Jayne

  2. Hi Iain, good to read your blog - camalids are obviously catching on in the Western Isles! We had a visit from a couple of tourists from the Isles who have seen your alpacas apparently. It might be easier to build a garage over the 500 bags of peat by the way! Take care. Shirley & Robbie