CORN STOOKS, MUIR OF AIRD, BENBECULA
Some parts of the Islands continue to farm traditionally, especially in the Southern Isles. These corn stooks, an alternative to combining, sit in fields near Balivanich. I think they will be used for Winter cattle feed and they also have the advantage of providing shelter and homes for little furry things.
The weather has been dire for much of this last week, but I've enjoyed being on holiday and myself and visiting friend have achieved quite a lot in beween watching reruns of Morse and Miss Marple on daytime television. Bookcases have been built, blinds fitted and the utility room floor painted. I guess we could have been more productive, but step by step, the house is coming together and feeling less like a campsite. The recent drop in temperature has provided a good opportunity to test the oil central heating and solid fuel stove for long periods and both seem to be working well.
With a secure, office based job, it's easy to forget that life is much harder for some people here. Earlier this week, a shellfish trawler sank off the East coast of Lewis, but fortunately, the crew of three managed to get into a liferaft before the boat went down. A rescue operation by the Coastguard and Lifeboat got under way, but the fishermen were picked up by another fishing boat, which happened to be in the area and arrived at the scene before the rescue services. This could easily have been a disaster and incidents like this occur not infrequently, but tend not to be reported widely outside of the North of Scotland.