Highland cattle, Timber building, Uncategorized, Uvie Farm

Do we really prefer the rain?

Doom and gloom, wind and rain, forecast for the weekend – and we’re on the roof! The day starts quiet enough – though there’s a bank of heavy cloud skirting the north of the farm, and the wind is southerly so I leave without my raingear. Long banks of cloud are driving purposefully across the sky- marauding squadrons trimmed with occasional patches of crimson. The three old girls by the shed need feeding with care: Flora and Moira first and then I can ensure that Morag gets the bucket laced with cod-liver oil for her rheumatics. By the time I’ve finished with the calves, Flora has her head down in Moira’s bucket, Moira in Morag’s and Morag in Flora’s.
Ach well -the best laid schemes of mice and men gang aft a-gley.
Down to the Pottery to await the roofer. Andrew appears at lunchtime and in spite of persistant rain sets to cheerfully. The worst of the gale is shielded by the monument crag rising from the roadside to the south but it is still blowing hard and driving damp through our clothing. Andrew is a sailor, and at times is spreadeagled along the ridge like an old time mariner reefing topsails. It is a race against dark but we keep working through the rain and by dark the ridge is watertight. I am standing on the roofing ladder supplying Andrew with tools and lead. From this vantage I watch the strath – car headlights lighting up the murk as though inside a cave, the monument to a forgotten laird presiding yet from the crag above, the lower wooded slopes of Creag Dubh leading up to vanish in cloud and the ridges fading into the distance as they lead downriver towards Cairngorm.
‘It’s a great landscape whatever the weather, eh Andrew?’
and he, game as ever-
‘Wouldn’t have it any different.’
Returning in the dark I light the sheds. Holly and Alice have invaded the half concreted for my new workshop – leaving signatures in dung on the pristine floor. The other shed is empty – the three old cows have ignored the chance of shelter preferring to lie out in the rain.
Sometimes I think Highlanders make it hard on themselves.

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