It was a beautiful day in Westray today, even allowing for that Orkney rarity, a hard frost. The sun shone and what snow showers there were passed to the south-west and east.
Molly the sow, now painfully thin after feeding 13 piglets for eight weeks, was more than relieved to be moved to her own pen. I kept an eye on the little ones for much of the afternoon, but they seemed unfazed by the sudden departure of their mum/milk ration.
Molly will now have a few weeks of rest and food, then, once she's back to fighting weight we'll see if The Boss has a window in his diary and the whole thing starts again. It seems like a hard life for the old girl, but she thrives when she is in-pig and a sow at the top of her game should be able to produce two litters a year.
Away from the pigshed Sally and I enjoyed tea and cake on the patio, watching the sunshine shimmer on the sea between Westray and Rousay, chatting about the extension we will get built this year, working out who the occasional passers-by were before admitting it was a bit chilly and seeking the warmth of the kitchen.
Later I went through one of my favourite annual rituals. Unlike previous years where I've spent hours poring over catalogues, we put a list together and did the whole thing on line, Sal persuading me to try some new ones (bok choi) and some that haven't worked for the last couple of years (parsnips).
She'd obviously been doing some research as my Wolverhampton-born-and-bred wife had left in the Google search box 'how to grow yam'. She wonders why I laugh.