With the winter storms raging the farmhouse kitchen has become a haven as drivers bringing supplies onto the island have been stranded overnight. The wild weather forcing cancellations on the ferries and ad hoc sailing times, as the crew have had to take any available opportunity of a break in the squalls to get supplies across the high seas.
As you can imagine, it has been bitterly cold, with dog walks involving a good pelting from balls of hail cascading from the skies, bad timing on my part.
The Happy Farmer has been in his element then. Once animals have been fed, and everything checked, the kettle is on. Old Hoot would refer to times such as these as ‘A day for the sawdust’. Hoot was part of the fixtures and fittings at Persabus when I first came to the farm. He worked alongside the Happy Farmer, helping him out with gathering the sheep, and cows, dosing and dipping and clipping, building fences and swinging gates.
In the evening, with the stranded assembled ‘gang’ around the kitchen table, a hearty big trough of shepherd’s pie came bubbling out of the Aga to feed one and all, that and a big bowl of the Happy Farmer’s winter soup. Good enough to ‘put hairs on your chest’ apparently. A knife and fork were all that was needed to chop through the huge hunks of vegetables. The winter months are a time for catching up, hunkering down and enjoying cosy fireside nights.
Even the horses have been enjoying the shelter of their stables.
Inside the cottages, fires have been lit, providing a toasty refuge at the end of the day.
The island may be windswept, but it is always beautiful.
Until next time…