Listening to: Argus (Wishbone Ash)
Medicine: Tennents, coffee and toast
Quite impressed: by Manchester United, even though I had more fun in one weekend in Barcelona than in countless trips to Manchester. Gaudi or Lowry - you choose.
The sows are reaching the very final stages of their term and, although we are piglet-free at present, I'm sure the girls will oblige in the next few days.
I've become resigned to Nature taking its course exactly when it fancies, trying hard not to worry, but there's a snag. I'd kind of been relying on my neighbour Marcus being around for the farrowing.
Marcus is not only a fountain of agricultural knowledge, he's also one of the most helpful people I've ever met. His uncle used to own our croft and without his help things would have been very much more difficult for us.
He dropped by the other day and congratulated me on the condition of the sows - it's been a long time since a compliment meant so much. I have a feeling he's been looking forward to the farrowing. There aren't many pigs on Westray, so he maybe fancied a change from cattle and sheep.
But, having seen to his cows and sheep on Westray, he's off to the deserted island of Faray (the last islander left in 1947) for a month to see to a flock he has there.
So it looks like it's all down to me, which is a bit of a sobering thought. I'm reading my notes from the college and my books on pig-keeping over and over again. I've got a supply of clean towels, a couple of spare baby's bottles, condensed milk (in case the sow has trouble giving milk straight away), antiseptic spray. The heat lamps are ready, there's plenty of straw.
I will be at the birth with a book in one hand, mobile phone pressed to one ear, sweat dripping from my brow, convinced I am going to make the most terrible mess of it all. The sows have both been there, done that, so (in theory) it should all take care of itself.
How hard can it be?