Author Archives: Frances

Camera Wars

These past few months, I have been thinking about whether to sell my iPhone and get a better one.

My photos are my blog, I tell myself.  The drivellings are just extra.

And since I bought my iPhone (13 pro), there is now a much better one out there (15 pro).

But do I actually need it?

That is the question.

Is my iPhone camera good enough for the photos I take?

(obviously asking Lambie yielded little response – at the time, he was in a mood)

Later, a friend popped over for a cuppa and he has an iPhone 15 pro, and also takes excellent photos so we did a compare and contrast scenario.  We both took the same photo and then looked at it.

Not that I have his photos, but basically the outcome was that his had more colour saturation, which he said was not a true representation of the actual scene.

Obviously Lambie had to be in the picture.  It’s his job along with his Winning Smile.

And all things my camera can do, my friend’s could too.

There really was very little difference in both iPhone cameras so now I am not sure except that I do love new shiny Appley things very much.

Duck Nurseries

Despite our best efforts, and believe me, we tried, three Mrs Ducks are sitting on nests.  This was not the plan.  Previously, we just took the eggs away and everyone conveniently forgot about little ducklings, never mentioning them ever again.  This method of contraception worked very well.

But this year, we were caught out.

Ducky #1

This little lady is sitting in a favourite nesting spot – behind the boards in the big shed.

She would nip inside when anyone was filling up water buckets, build a nest and lay an egg.  The slightest opening of the door, and she was in.  OH even taped up the gap so she couldn’t get back in but I was forced to take it down as she was desperate to get back to her eggs.  I think she was born here last year.  Dammit.

Ducky #2 and 3

And under the feed shed (container) is another spot, although a dreadful one.  There are two ducks under there sitting determinedly on separate nests. I shall now worry about their safety as this is prime murdering polecat territory.  Hopefully it is too early for them to appear and I shall set some traps nearby too but I am not optimistic.

So OH and I spent the morning putting together three duck houses with attached nurseries.


To be honest, we will have more than enough ducks and I am going to have to toughen up and  find homes for most of them as we are already full with 12 Muscovy Ducks and 9 hens.  If we go over 20 in number, that’s too many but they are so tame and nice to have around.

The Ancient Ones

Haakon, is now officially 30 years old.  I have always loved his eyes.

Iacs, or Bibble, was on the rampage for the contents of my pocketses.

The frilly (forelock) remains silly.

These two – Haakon and Iacs – are cousins.  They have been together for 20+ years and are the best of friends.  Interestingly, when Haakon arrived with me he was 3 years old.  I was told about his cousin, Iacs, but didn’t buy him.  Then, some years later, my business partner and I decided to start a riding school, and so we went to see Iacs and bought him.  Despite many years absence, both Haakon and Iacs instantly recognised each other, walked over and started to groom each other, like this.  They have always been friends. I also secretly think only Haakon understands Iacs while Iacs will do anything to keep Haakon going.


And then Kolka joined the herd.  She has formed a bond with Haakon and they get on fairly well.

A bit like an old married couple.

It’s not the same relationship, like Haakon and Iacs, but it works.

Kolka is not a huge fan of Iacs.  She puts up with him and they argue after eating their buckets.  Huge shouting matches along with some reversing.

Still, Kolka has fitted in well and is actually a valuable member of the team. She makes the Old Men walk, find food, exercise and even think.  Without her, they would just stand by the gate and wait ……. and wait……. and wait………


Now the cruise ships have returned to Shetland for the summer months, I am back trying to make two felted sheep a day for the Lerwick shop, Jamieson’s Knitwear.  I hate an empty field so I want to always have stock ready to take to town, if requested.  All the bags of sheep I made over winter have quickly been sold, which is good.  Sheep = money = feed bills paid.

So I am in my shed all afternoon and later after supper, stabbing away trying very hard not to be distracted by anyone or anything.

It’s not easy.


Monster did his very best to get my full attention and, for a while, I gave it to him, hoping he would soon settle, which eventually he did.  Phew. I could now get on with my creations.

And I worked around Monster.  He was not helpful.

I tried very hard not to be distracted by his very photogenic self.

Isn’t he gorgeous, though?

And he took up a lot of space.

When wool meets fur!

I had no access to my iPad either, which was probably a good thing as I am very easily distracted in a oooh-look-a-squirrel sort of way.

Meanwhile, the dogs were good and left me alone but they have bribery.

Groatie Buckies

I had to take both dogs to the vet this morning for a check-up (do you know, you can’t get basic wormer, etc anymore if they haven’t seen the dog/cat in a while?) and I was also worried about Pepper. She rolled off the chaise longue in my shed a few days back and then walked funny for a while.  Anyway, both Pepper and Ted behaved appallingly, just like two wildly over-excited terriers.  I was ashamed.

Afterwards, wanting some calm time, I took them to the beach for a walk.  It was possibly me that needed the calm time.  You should’ve seen P&T – chaos.

The beach was deserted and we all walked up and down enjoying the instant peace.


This is a beach where occasionally I find a groatie buckie – the Shetland name for the Northern cowrie shell (Trivia arctica – I could not love that name more)

My method is to pick a tideline with small debris, look down, give up, stop looking and then have a conversation with the sea with my request and bingo, I found two!

I was very pleased.

The downside of groatie buckie searching is that I can spend the entire dog walk with my head looking at the ground, which is not ideal as small dogs can take advantage of this and leave the scene.

Anyway, I was on the case and, having had my request fulfilled by the sea, I pocketed my two groatie buckie and gave up my search, concentrating fully now on the dogs.

This was a perfect way to spend some time after the tortuous visit to the vet, created entirely by my two dogs. Ted even bit me when I picked him up to sit on the examining table.  A new low!  And that’s why we don’t go to the vet very often.