Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Island diary -- or, the less romantic parts of life on a remote island

4.00 a.m. Hear ba-ing and think, even in my sleep, that it’s not on the road but in my garden.

4.02 run to door (can’t look out window because they are all blacked out with my “panels” – more on those another time) – yes, sheep in garden. Run out.

4.03 sheep (single, one semi-grown lamb) leaps over fence – later in day, someone (staying on hill on opposite side of village, about half a mile away!) says . when topic of sheep-chasing comes up, “I saw you outside in your pajamas this morning and wondered what you were doing.”

4.04 – 5.30 or so – go back to bed, try to get back to sleep but mind is racing with gardening and other plans. Today is the day Roy is going to fill in the holes he has dug around my hut (so it won’t blow away), and finally, I can really plant my garden. Plus he has promised me timber for the raised beds (boards are hideously expensive and hard to get here) and someone else has promised to help me make them.....but of what use is any of that if the sheep break in and get it all?

5.30 – decide to hang fishing nets over all the places where the stone wall is broken....in the one place I have done this, it has worked. So I cut the net I have, manage to make it stretch over other gaps:

8.30? – go in for tea, morning pages, begin planning garden

9.00—people deliver their children to school. I see friend, run out,

“Sorry to waylay you – but do you have any rylock [very good wire fencing, keeps rabbit, sheep out of garden] I could buy?”
He doesn’t – needs it all for HIS garden. Own lambs ate entire mint crop. Smiles delightedly as he says how much he is looking forward to eating said lamb.
“With mint sauce!” I add.
“The bit he didn’t get.”
We look at my stone wall, more of which falls down each day,  he shakes head.
“You’ll never keep them out.”
Sheep are owned by sole crofter on island, who prides himself and them on being aggressive – just HOW aggressive they are constant topic of conversation. Friend and I discuss it, difficulties.
He suggests dry wall mender, I say he has already promised to do it, but –
 “He didn’t commit to when,” friend finishes for me. I say I don’t like to nag, he gets that, but says I don’t want to be overlooked, either. Suggests I say something like,
“Am I moving up your list?”


Virginia Allyn said...

I love this, Libby. Please keep writing about your island adventures.

Libby Koponen said...

Thank you, Virginia! As long as one person loves what I write, it feels worthwhile -- so thank you very much for commenting!

www.juliadenos.com said...

I have to chime in too and say to please keep writing about your island, Libby! Your pieces are little vacations, and love "meeting" your neighborhood. Good luck with the garden!