Hav­ing fun be­yond the croft

Country Smallholding - - Donald’s diary -

I have tried to have a quiet spell in the mid­dle of sum­mer, as I know that things are go­ing to be very busy over the next few months. I will be work­ing at the Scot­tish Na­tional Sheep Dog Tri­als and also at the In­ter­na­tional Sheep Dog Tri­als, near Glas­gow and in North­ern Ire­land re­spec­tively, as well as pre­par­ing for lamb sales, de­liv­er­ing meat and also un­der­tak­ing more pig work. I am due an­other lit­ter of piglets im­mi­nently, so hope­fully they will be fin­ished for the Christ­mas mar­ket. Pigs aren’t al­ways the eas­i­est an­i­mals to han­dle, but I am lucky in that I al­ways have some as­sis­tance.

It is also im­por­tant to try and get away from the croft. I can of­ten spend a day with­out see­ing many other folk, so it is good to get out and about and switch off. I have been lucky in that foot­ball has been that re­lease for me for the past 20 years and my team, Ness FC, is fi­nally start­ing to do well. I have been the goal­keeper since 2001, but I have re­cently handed the reins over to a young lad. I still play around a third of the games and also as­sist the man­ager, so I am very much in­volved. We play sum­mer foot­ball be­cause the weather isn’t suit­able dur­ing the win­ter and we are ap­proach­ing the end of our sea­son just now. We are still in with a chance of win­ning our league, but I was de­lighted to get my hands on the Jock Stein Cup ear­lier this sum­mer. That makes it all worth­while.

I have also tried to get away a wee bit more this sum­mer. I headed to Belfast re­cently for a week­end, which was much needed. It is not easy get­ting away when there are live­stock to look after, but I’m lucky in that my fa­ther cov­ers for me when I’m on my trav­els. We have to plan any trips well in ad­vance as he likes his jaunts away too, so we al­ways have to make sure that one of us is around. The moral of this story is to make sure that you al­ways have some­one to cover for you on those much needed breaks.

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