Having fun beyond the croft
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.