Author Archives: Frances


Today is not my best day.  My back is hurting badly and so I am not going to write much but I took these photos yesterday of my darling sheep and I think they are rather nice.

I love how they look with all their wool in amongst the beautiful wild flowers around our croft.  If you could stand next to them, you would get a huge whiff of the surrounding clover (as well as a faint one of pee, if you are next to Lambie – he can’t help it).







Bert and Lambie

Bert and Ster


Bert and Ster




Anyway, I apologise for the short blog. I have taken a painkiller and am swiftly losing the will. Tomorrow is another day and it will surely be better.

My Strange World

I started the dog walk thinking we would drive to the beach and have a change of scene, but when Monster said he wanted to come too, I realised we should walk in the fields (as he is not his best in the car – ever the back seat driver).

So we all set off across the Ancients’ (big horses) field with the intention of checking the far gate to see if it was still shut.

And I felt sorry for Monster. He is not invisible and Kolka is always intrigued by him.

Monster turned tail and left in disgust.  You can really feel it, can’t you?  The total disgust.

I was going to leave Monster to go home on his own but in the end I walked back and called him away from his Nemesis.  And all was going well, but a friend arrived with her dog, so all bets were off and Monster went home and we went on with the dog-walk, just without him.

After the walk, I made myself a well-deserved cup of coffee, and went to sit outside but I changed my mind, and decided we needed a family photo.

And like all family photos, it was never easy.

Ted, Ted, look at me…..

No.  No, Ted at me and Pepper, look at me!

Still, Pepper, at me!  (good boy Ted).  Monster, a bit more enthusiasm, please.

Bingo!  Sort of.  Monster, had gone to sleep and so I gave up.

I booted the dogs off the garden seat and sat down next to Monster.

My view.

And then it started to drizzle so I went inside.

Anyone got a fishing rod and a little red pointy hat?  Asking for a friend.

19p Celery

As we were in town on Saturday evening (for a lovely meal out – what a treat), we had to pop into Tesco’s for a few essentials beforehand. I found that celery had been priced down to 19p a plant, which is a total bargain.

I scooped up about 10 packets, telling OH this was a bargain and the Minions love a celery treat.

This afternoon, after making another two sheep, I went inside and cut each plant in half, filled a carrier bag, went outside and shouted……

The rest of the ponies had arrived and were already looking hopeful.

Once I had everyone, I threw around a good pile of celery stalks to munch on.

Even Fivla, who struggles a bit with eating quickly, happily tucked in.

And the sound of munching was very definitely worth everything.  The ponies do love their celery treat, especially 19p bargain celery.  And now I am wishing I had bought more.

Rain and Flowers

It rained all morning but cleared up a bit later this afternoon.  OH was doing a ten minute DIY job that ended up taking all day, so I was kind and offered to take the dogs out for him (when he’s home, it is his job).

We went over to my five acre field, Clothie, which is full of flowers and very long grass (over knee height).  It is empty of my animals and I use it mostly in winter as it has lots of old buildings that offer excellent shelter against the harsh weather.

The dogs and I wandered about – the dogs were bouncing over the long grass trying to see where they were, and used up lots of energy.

Wild Thyme (Thymus polytrichus)

Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis)

Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris)

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

Ragged-robin (Silene flos-cyculi)

Cotton-grass (Eriophorum angustifolium)

There is so much grass now but in a few months, I will be back to worrying how will we manage as it will have vanished away to nothing.  The growing months in Shetland are short.  We try and make the most of them and the lovely long days.

Meanwhile, back in my shed, my little sheep collection is growing again.  I have lots of new wool so that means new colours too.  Excellent fun.

A Happy Family

Completing my morning breakfast feeding chores, I turned around to see this little group together.  It took my by surprise.

When I laughed out loud, they looked at me like this was their family life and what was I making such a fuss about.

Honestly, Mum, this is perfectly normal!

Maybe I should start a business selling potential album cover art to up and coming (and possibly naive) musicians.

(This was particularly sweet – when Pepper started washing ‘Ster’s face.)

I could make a fortune.  Surely they would be a success.  A re-release for Abba’s latest oeuvre on vinyl, which is apparently making a comeback.

And this is the final photo I took of these three before I put all the sheep into their field for the day and Pepper came back into the house with me.

Luckily the rest of the family hadn’t turned up to see this strange display of behaviour.   Probably just as well.