Thursday, 21 April 2011

Fleur: The Week of the Sheep Conference, and Pumpkin Meets the Locals.

Well it’s time for the next instalment on here, and this week it is my turn. I should start with an introduction – I’m Fleur, and I am engaged to Mark. And in my previous life I was a teacher. I should probably take this opportunity to say that Mark is the reason that Pumpkin and myself have decided to relocate to North Ronaldsay. For him to be able to legitimately go out birding all day is his idea of heaven, and so far he has been making the most of it!

Being the only ‘non birder’ in residence has made for an interesting time for me over the last 5 weeks. I’m fairly certain that birding is not a hobby that you can catch but even I find myself asking what certain birds are or scanning the sky for something ‘unusual’. Sadly, being as I know pretty much nothing about birds, the likelihood of me actually being able to identify a ‘rare’ bird is fairly slim, but I feel as though I should make the effort to join in!

While the boys are birding/ building and doing general manly things, I am employed with the task of feeding them (and the guests). This is no mean feat! Rick seems to have the most impressive appetite and douses everything with chilli sauce. I’m surprised he hasn’t taken to putting it in the mammoth portions of porridge that he has for breakfast!!

Myself and Pumpkin have spent some of our time exploring and meeting the neighbours. The seals on the west side have introduced themselves to us but can seem a little on the shy side. The Fulmars have met Pumpkin and we can safely say that they are not very impressed with her at all! We have also had a nasty little incident today where Pup almost got carried away by a Bonxy!!

We’ve had a fairly busy weekend at the Obs due to the sheep conference that was held on the island. The conference looked at combining knowledge and stories of local residents about North Ronaldsay sheep farming with information and experiences from our Norwegian guests. Workshops went on throughout the weekend from felting to a presentation that involved listening to voice and sound recordings of the local residents talking about the past. A good weekend was had by all really (even those who don’t know anything about sheep!) and it made a lovely change from bird-related issues!!

The boys have been busy around the Obs with readying the fences for the sheep punding that is going on this week, although the use of some of the tools caused some issues and tempers ended up frayed when the correct tension on the wire wasn’t achieved!

Rael has also been intent on using the tractor to plough the fields ready for the potato planting. Sadly, as I am writing this I have had news that this task hasn’t been going too smoothly. Firstly, the tractor has got stuck. Secondly, the rescue attempt using the Land Rover has er... also failed, with the Land Rover breaking down! I sure that all of this will please our resident perfectionist immensely!! The awful thing is he only has about 20 yards of field left to do!!

I have learnt quite quickly that in these matters it is best to observe from a distance and not comment!!

Other news this week is that Mark has been drafted into the Pantomime. Although he professed he doesn’t really want to do it he seems ridiculously excited about the prospect of his acting debut. He’s already talking about ad libbing and changing his 2 lines!! I’m not exactly sure what you can alter in 2 lines! The thing that worries me the most is I think he is more excited at being allowed to wear tights and a tiara than anything else.

Anyway, Pumpkin awaits her walk to see which other neighbours she can disturb! So long for now!!

1 comment:

  1. Did the tractor bog down in a previously unknown large bowl of porridge?