Evil Genius(es)

Yesterday evening was peaceful and beautiful.

All was calm until we put Storm and Waffle into their field for the night.

And then there were mad Minions galloping around.

Storm decided he was an Arab stallion in a previous life.

Then Lilja saw them.  Having spent the winter sort of together – in adjacent fields – she was thrilled and galloped enthusiastically over to say hello.

Meanwhile Taktur was galloping up and down his fence yelling his head off in fury at the thought of Waffle being near his ladies (and daughter). All he could see was the hint of an irritating Shetland pony but he knew they were there and that was enough for his incandescent rage.

Luckily Lilja was not very impressed with the boys and quickly galloped back to her Icelandic family leaving everyone to finally settle down and eat peacefully for the night.

This morning, I came out to a scene of devastation.

All the water buckets were over (thank you Waffle – there is a stream in the field too so they had not been without water) and Storm was playing with one of the sheep’s bowls trying to convince me he would like his breakfast now.  So they got nothing but loaded up again and taken to the farrier, feet done and returned to their field where everyone greeted them like long lost friends.

Don’t get me wrong, I love having the Minions home and there was a very small moment while I saw them prancing about like idiots that I wished they lived here all the time, but it is anything but peaceful and I was rather relieved they went back!  All is very calm now.

Bloody children but I luffs ❤️ them




A Few Things

Monster is fine, thank you for asking.  He has his own seat at table now.  His table manners are pretty good.

Waffle and Storm are home for the night.  Our farrier is very busy up until he goes away on holiday so I am bringing the “Mountains” to Mohammed, so to speak.  Waffle needs an emergency hoof trim.  He is developing cracks which is not good and they need to be stopped quickly before they become anything more major.  Storm is along for the ride but if the farrier thought he would give him a quick trim, I am not going to say no.

Meanwhile, necessity is the mother of invention and this is my new improved fleece drying method.  My net curtain newly purchased for my wet-felting career strung up with elastic bands over the Rayburn (poor man’s Aga).  The wool is drying very nicely.  Next the storage problem away from moths.

For things horse, Brá is beginning to bag up (I noticed this yesterday) and today her nipples are pointing inwards.  Everything is changing. Her pelvis is relaxed.

And Hetja?  Well today it’s anyone’s guess.

She is fatter on her left side.  A noticeable bulge.

But nothing much on the bewb front, so possibly a few weeks’ away.  Taktur was in with his ladies for six weeks so maybe there is a six week gap.

So it is hopefully all systems go very soon, even if it is only Brá.  Oooh, exciting.


Washing Lambie’s Fleece

Last year, I kept Lambie’s fleece for a number of reasons – I didn’t want to part with it, no one had asked for it, and my friend, Karen, had offered to show me how to wash it so I could perhaps use it for my felting.  Imagine a whole little flock of real Lambie’s!  How divine would that be.

We decamped to the stable and pooled our equipment.  Karen had a very nifty little boiler (very jealous) and I had my single electric ring and my “head-boiling” pot.

Karen spread the fleece out on the hay bales, looked at it and showed me which bits were worth washing and, more importantly, why.

Because Lambie is a flekkit sheep (black and white), his coat is of varying quality according to the colour. He is also double-coated, which is not a Good Thing.

This is the lovely wool from around his neck.

He has a nice little curl too.

And the terrible “carpet quality” hair which is very tough and might be good for something.  Pony’s manes…..?

Karen pointed out the lanolin bits and sorted what to keep and what to chuck.

We divided the fleece into workable pieces.

Three buckets at the ready with cold water in the bottom.

Very hot water added to the cold and 5 elephants of Fairy Liquid (count up to 5 elephants as you squeeze the bottle).  Then swirl but don’t make bubbles to mix it all in.

Next gently dunk the piece of fleece.

And wait for 15-20 minutes watching the water turn a lovely shade of brown/grey.

(Her Maj in attendance – always there)

Then, gently squeezing, lift out the fleece and put it into the next bucket of slightly cooler clean water.  You don’t wait long.

And then quickly into the third bucket of again slightly less hot clean water, not agitating the wool, but letting it rinse and soak by itself.

Then gently squeeze out some of the drips, picking out any visible detritus still remaining like hay wisps.

We hung ours on a drying rack.

We did this process again and again with each piece of fleece until we had washed most of it. There is a bit left for me to do later.

Covered with towels to prevent Mr and Mrs Wren from participating.

I brought in the first two pieces that had finished dripping to lie them on a towel on the warm Rayburn.

Lambie, for once, was clean, smelled nice and would be useful!

And yes, he came in to supervise.

So that’s what I did this morning.  When the wool is dry, I will learn how to “open up the fibres”.  I am enjoying this very much.  So interesting.






Lerwick from the Top

Another trip to The Big L (or Lerwick as it is known).  Lots to do but at one stage I found myself having to wait in the van for a while.  I had parked on the top of the hill (Hillhead).  Not somewhere I normally am and I thought “why not get out, go for a walk and photograph some of the sights I don’t usually see”.

Lerwick means “bay of clay” but, as well as houses and shops on the shoreline, there is also a big hill behind where most of the residential houses were built.

So here is our local library situated in St. Ringan’s Church which was sold to the Council for a £1 in the 1980’s and rennovated for use in 2002. It is a superb library and we don’t have library fines – they were abolished!

The town hall was built in 1884 and is home to the town council meetings and various do’s.

They have particularly good lanterns that stand either side of the front door.

Across the road is the War Memorial erected to commemorate the residents of Shetland who were killed or missing in World War I and World War II.

A little further down are the County Buildings where the Procurator Fiscal presides over the Sheriff Court.

And this is my most favourite building in Lerwick – The Garrison Theatre – a tiny community theatre that is like something out of the Muppets complete with red plush fold-up chairs in rows.  Sadly no box for Statler and Waldorf but even so it is always a treat to go and see any show here.

There are various lanes that lead down between the houses to the main street.

It was a good wander. I even met a friend, sadly not Tommy, but a chattie cattie, nonetheless.







So, in my opinion and many other folk, we think Hetja is pregnant.

These opinions sometimes have percentages of chance attached to them.  For instance, one person thinks Hetja is 80% pregnant.  Last week, I would’ve agreed.  A few days ago, I was beginning to get my head around the fact that we would probably only see one foal this year.  But this week Hetja’s entire body shape changed.  My photos really don’t capture her pregnancy belly but really it has all dropped a bit and she is much much wider.

And now I look at these pictures I took today and think Hetja looks very unpregnant again.  Maybe it is just the camera angle.

Floss thinks Hetja is one of those women who wore their size 8 jeans all through pregnancy, possibly never knowing only to have a slight stomach ache in Tesco’s and then giving birth in the loos to a perfectly normal sized baby.

It is also difficult because Brá is most definitely pregnant at us.

There is no trying to hide her foal.  Hopefully it won’t be too long now.  Brá is beginning to change shape too. Her bottom has gone sort of saggy-pointy.

And we all know who is to blame for all of this.  Mostly because Taktur never stops shouting to the mares who do their best to ignore him.

Time will tell.