Four swans fly downriver over peat dark water. Occasional pale sun illuminates thin game crops without warmth. There is no wind. I leave this morning with the cattle wandering the Apron heads down. I felt a twinge of guilt at such slim pickings as they must have finished their silage to forage for the remnants of the summer grass. I return at lunch, pick up JCB keys, loose the Nog and head for the hardstanding. The feeder is now surrounded by the animals – every one of them with their heads through the bars apart from Holly and the wee stott standing head to head like some strange octoped. I open the gate feeling like a visitor to a local pub where the conversation dies at a stranger’s entrance. They have plenty to eat – but are doing it as if to a signal. Billy wanders round to present his flank. I scratch abstractedly along the sides of his spine – careful not to get caught against the metal if he chooses to lean. There are things I don’t understand: more to learn.
The radio featured Dougie Maclean’s ‘Caledonia’ earlier today, part of the current Independance/separation obsession. I sang it in the car on my way home two years ago. the day before losing half my roof to the worst wind in fifty years. It is a day of signs and portents: the usual small dramas.This is where I live.