on changing a tyre and a few other 7 things

the cobalt, gun-metal nuts keeping the wheel on are the shape and size of the rain as we take them off to take the wheel of the car off, it being requisite to changing a car tyre in rain (as a subsection to this, what to do in a long hot summer with a hosepipe ban and a slow puncture?)

this morning i had to remove a headless little mouse and an unidentified-death dead rat from the front of the house, offerings from tink the cat, which pippa dog and the little man took deep interest in. the will required to put the rat on a shovel and then into a plastic bag and then into a bin to be cremated was not expected. getting the rat on the shovel, even though it did not move, required a rock to shuffle the animal onto the spade’s blade. the headless mouse left some entrails on the spade, possibly a duodenum, which i had to remove with the broken end of a garden cane.

the smell of spring on eigg reminds me of holidays to scotland when i was a child.

the sting of a nettle leaves fingertips numb even 12 hours after picking them and after two hours of typing. if you like pins and needles, it is the warp speed of that. nettle soup, however, tastes delicious.

the amount of bracken roots on a once-tendered-then-left-for-twenty-year bit of ground is eight pounds per metre square.

‘swarfega’ does not sound like what it is.

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on the ethics of splashing an already-soaked sheep

it is raining, which is has done a lot of this winter, and i am driving towards the cattle grid by the entrance to the woods which is right near the scene of the rosehip incident. there is a sort of furrowed grey, in a perhaps little cerebral-coloured number, nibbling at what could be bog stitchwort, lady’s smock, smooth hawksbeard or one of a creeping forget-me-not, water forget-me-not, lesser forget-me-not or changing forget-me-not, but is probably nothing more than marram grass. there is a puddle next to the as-yet unidentified foliage.

it is raining and i am dry and the sheep is wet. there is a puddle by the sheep, in as much of a bundle as it is.

the sheep is totally sodden. i am even warm and the car is in-line to spread the puddle boundingly from the road. it is raining.

there is no guiding force towards the puddle. if i had not seen the sheep the car would have run through the puddle anyway. the sheep will not always be in that position and what brought it to this position at this precise moment is akin to what brought me to my position at this precise moment is what brought the puddle into its position.

no sheep looks the same but i could probably never tell this sheep from any other sheep that i have seen. other than that it has no horns.

i want to write that i miss the puddle and the sheep continues its nibbling, unaware that it has just missed something happening that it cannot comprehend could happen and would not remember happening.

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the day after a ceilidh

the day after a ceilidh

a tree has has got bemused

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the day after a ceilidh

the day after a ceilidh

the woods are closed

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the day after a ceilidh

the day after a ceilidh

the boats are going nowhere

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the day after a ceilidh

the day after a ceilidh

the roads are empty

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on seeing a calmac steamer do a 360 degree turn when no boat came-in today

the boat did not come in today with gusts of up to 40 knots (bar all the pretty minging stuff that was falling from the sky). makes you remember you live on an island when you get cut-off occasionally, however minorly that may be. 


in the interim of storms such as the above. and, below, an extreme close-up, for fans of Wayne and Garth:


i managed to prune the broom that had been destroying by virtue of its very weight the self-same fence that you can see the post of in the image above. for the record, the broom is not all currently completely pruned. 

so imagine my surprise when, during a break in the soddening of the earth and while sawing a particularly thick-stemmed trunk of broom i stop for a breather and watch as a calmac steamer performs what looks like an emergency hand-propeller turn just off of kildonnan. there are no cameras that i know of or can get access-to that have an aperture long-enough to capture said manoeuvre. but i found it nourishing to consider that even ferry skippers are learners at some stage. 

and with this realisation came this:


which is the reverse view of the photo of the the storm icumin in, only after i had seen the boat perform its mendneck turn (a giant, jaundiced fingertip was not just above the roof of the barn as I took this).

i did manage to catch the boat though steaming-off to bring more happiness to unsuspecting broom cutters all across the coastline of the highland.


in calmac’s service status for tomorrow: ‘sailings between mallaig – small isles (rum, muck & eigg) are likely to be disrupted or cancelled at short notice on saturday the 8th of march due to high winds and swell conditions.’ i may not be able sleep with anticipation.

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found gates, by ‘who locked the sheep out’

found gates, by who locked the sheep out

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from a walk in the wicked witch wood passing the pool of sad broken sticks

‘look at that. i look in my jumper,’ my son says.



‘what do you see?’ i ask.

‘a spider,’ he says.

and no wonder, given that we are hunting the wicked witch in the forest of carefully-close twigs and have just ventured beyond the pool of sad broken sticks that have fallen before their time. which is to say nothing of the green and red dragons and the blackberry monster.

there is more to this island than just not-the-mainland.

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meanwhile, what’s that happening on eigg?

in the shop to get the milk that i forgot to pick up the yesterday. i speak with ben, even though i really need to just get the milk and get back. he has an air compressor under his arm. ‘what’s that under your arm?’ i ask him. ‘It’s an air compressor’ he says. ‘And you’re holding onions also,’ i ask. ‘i also have onions,’ he confirms. ‘onions and an air compressor’.

in nepali:

पसलमा म कल टिपेर बिर्से कि दूध प्राप्त गर्न। वास्तवमा म सिर्फ दूध मिल र फिर्ता प्राप्त गर्न आवश्यकता तापनि, बेन कुरा। उहाँले आफ्नो काखीमा एक हावा कंप्रेसर छ। ‘आफ्नो काखीमा कि के?’ म उसलाई सोध्न। ‘यो एक हावा कंप्रेसर छ’ उनी भन्छन्। ‘अनि तपाईं पनि प्याज धारण गरिरहनु,’ म सोध्न। ‘म पनि प्याज छ,’ उनले पुष्टि गर्छ। ‘प्याज र एक हावा कंप्रेसर’।

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