Listening to: Diamond Dogs (David Bowie)
Weather: A really beautiful evening, evening sunlight reflecting off the sea.
Pigwatch: nothing doing, patience is a virtue etc. . . the breeder now reckons he may have his dates wrong.
Drinking: Atlas Three Sisters Scottish Ale
It has been one of the wettest winters for years on Westray. This time last year the barley and the potatoes were planted, but 12 months later only a few fields have been ploughed.
Despite an upturn in the weather over the last couple of days, water has been lying around all over the place on the croft, a lot of it settling in Eric and Ernie's paddock/quagmire.
The arrival of my 17-year-old son last Friday means I have an extra pair of hands around the place, so we decided the lads needed a break from the mud - even if it is only for the last six weeks or so before they go to slaughter.
Shifting the fence involved a lot of floundering around in 2ft-deep, suspicious-smelling mud. Having rediscovered exactly how sticky mud can be and how hard it is to get your boots out of it after standing still in it for just a minute or two, we were presented with a rats' nest of wire to sort out. Several minutes of swearing and grumbling ensued, but we managed to salvage most of it and a new, improved, larger, grassier paddock was sorted out.
You think they'd have been eager as the proverbial beavers to get snuffling around in the grass, but the power of the fence is mighty, even when it's not there, it seems.
They stood in the mud, nervously sniffing the air where the fence had been. The Boy and I scattered a few bits of apple and broccoli about a yard ahead of their snouts to tempt them out, but they were having none of it. We thought about waiting to see how long it took for the porcine penny to drop, but life's short enough without spending time finding that all the 'pigs are as bright as dogs/dolphins/chimps/Paris Hilton' stuff is so much. . . err. . . hogwash.
The deal-breaker was, as usual, teatime and the trusty black bucket. I left their food in two or three piles and they were out of the mud and onto it before they realised what they had done. They didn't even have the good grace to look embarrassed.