Changing Times

We are living in uncertain times. Our tiny island community has so far remained free from the virus that is sweeping the globe, but our thoughts have been with all of those affected and the devastating effects it is having on so many lives.
At Persabus thankfully the animals are oblivious to the goings on around the world. With the daily breakfast queues at various gates around the farm, and the ever so waggy tails of the dogs, our cats sprawled out cosily in various sunshine spots in the farmhouse, we are provided in these tiny moments with a very welcome distraction.
Quiet pools in the burns and deep puddles in the ditches are brimming with frog spawn out on the hill. Then there’s the arrival of new-born lambs skipping about in the fields. Hamish the tup appears to have managed more than just a little frolicking around those ladies in the autumn. He seems to have enjoyed himself quite a bit before the Happy Farmer managed to confine him to the barracks of the sheep fank. Aside from the set of twins born the other weekend, the fruits of his labours now appear to be popping out on a daily basis, several weeks before the usual planned lambing season on the farm. With Hamish being a Hebridean tup his offspring are instantly recognisable, little black, spider like lambs, bounding along behind their mothers. Thankfully the weather has calmed and with some bursts of sunshine the lambs so far appear strong and healthy.
It has been a bittersweet time. At the weekend the Happy Farmer was at the funeral of Duncan McGillivray in Port Charlotte. Duncan was a key part of the Bruichladdich Distillery family, and latterly the Manager, helping to grow and develop the character of the Distillery. He was part of its history and its future, helping to bring it to fruition from its previously moth balled state. A lovely, friendly, kind-hearted gentle man with a fabulous sense of humour. An immensely popular public character, and more importantly a husband, father and grandfather. One of Islay’s best. He was well respected and much loved. At the funeral, the church and surroundings were bursting with people who had turned out to remember this lovely man and pay their respects. The long, solid line of cars parked the length of the road from the village of Port Charlotte nearly all the way to the next village of Bruichladdich, were testament to Duncan’s popularity. At the end of the day one car remained, a solitary sight, for many more hours. Which has led to many islanders wondering did the Happy Farmer really spend so long at the church? For those who have enquired the Happy Farmer has remarked that he now has incredibly sore knees. We did finally collect the car and return it home late on Sunday. The Happy Farmer did make it home on Saturday, but then got way laid until the very late small hours as he took it upon himself to pay a visit to another local character along the road. To all intents and purpose, it was to be just a short visit, but raising a glass to Duncan led to a few more glasses being raised. I am sure Duncan would have approved.
Until next time…

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