Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Day 37 - I never knew spit could travel so far and at such a pace!

Wednesday 6th February

I think I probably fall in love far too easily. But to all the people I love....move over! I have a brand new love. I have no idea what his name is as yet but let's just call him Henry for now. Granted Henry could do with a bath and I suspect he has things crawling all over him but it is the eyes. Those eyes are just too beautiful to exist. I always look at the eyes but I am sorry there is simply no competition. I met Henry today on a gloriously sunny day high on a hillside and I was told not to look into those eyes. I am not very good at doing what I am told so I did look into his eyes and he looked right back. In a gliding moment he was by myside placing his head into my shoulder. That was it. The world stopped and there was no room for anyone else in that moment. Henry and I were in love and that was that.

The day started with sunshine and much reduced winds and the island shone so brightly that it dazzled. It is clearly the reward for putting up with those shocking winds and on days like this there is such calm. Beyond nature's song sheet the silence is one of the things I love about Arran. It has to be one of the most peaceful places in the world. I can't imagine anyone rushed about this morning and I am quite sure there were lots of 'stop and stare' moments.

Morning tea in hand I crept out of the house to sit on a tree stump. I am not totally sure that was the best idea I have ever had but there I sat. Gazing towards the sea I contemplated my day. Before many minutes had passed I can not tell you what I was thinking. All thinking was gone. I have been fortunate enough to learn meditation and now the skill just visits me without warning and I am lost. It is, however, the most refreshing experience as when I am found again I feel re-energised. I dread to think where my mind took me but I suspect I will never know.

Home school was completely fascinating. The boys and I are truly gripped by the Richard III story unfolding and the science behind the identification. Watching a video made by the team from the university of Leicester we were struck by a moment when one of them was taking out a tooth. The hope was to extract DNA but suddenly one of the boys said 'she is taking out the tooth of Richard III'. I think in the science of it all that was a little lost but not to us. We spent an hour or so getting to grips with the science behind the find and then took a short break to re-fuel. We have a continuum drawn with a tyrant king on one side and a fair-minded king on the other. As we interrogate the evidence we keep updating where we think the real King Richard III sits on that continuum. It is a relatively finely based argument and I am not sure we would ever draw a final conclusion. That said, we took a punt. The boys had to decide for themseleves, on balance of evidence, what sort of man Richard III was. They then constructed a narrative at the point where he is getting dressed in his armour ready for the Battle of Bosworth Field. We know he met his death there but at this point in the narrative he did not. Nevertheless, he must have been contemplating that possibility so that was our starting point. As each piece of armour was placed on him a different aspect of his life came under the microscope. From his early memories of losing his father to his most recent death of his beloved wife and child. I have not yet read the narratives as the boys have not finished them, but I wait in real anticipation.

School ended against the clock for a change as we normally stop when we have had enough for the day. Today was different as we had a very important meeting in the diary. Off we went to our meeting suitably kitted out in wellies. If we ignore the three huge dogs that look like small ponies the real foci of the meeting looked up as we approached. Immediately they trampled towards us eager to see what we had brought. Resisting the tempatation to offer tea and cake (which is a great doubleday custom) we offered up a bucket full of animal feed. Not just any animal feed. Food for alpacas. We were instructed not to look in their eyes because it unsettles them. I ignored that instruction and the rest is written in the stars.

Let us meet Henry...


Now let us meet his friends....


It must have been completely obvious to you all that my new love is an alpaca. Is he not adorable? Look at those eyes!

The boys and I had our first proper introduction to both the boys and girls today and it will be the boys who are coming to Hazelbank. Just think, I will see Henry every day. To be fair they were all lovely but boy do they know how to spit. I have never witnessed spit travel so far or at such a pace. I am way too old to be dodging spit but I am quite sure none of them would dare spit at me.

The boys will be joining us for fresh grazing to give their home fields a rest and a chance to recover. Of course, I may not ever give them back. On my return from this historic meeting I drove from one end of the village to the other. In many ways I could have been in any village. The postman was about his duties, deliveries were being unloaded at the village shops and people were going about their business. But it is not just any village as a sideways glance reveals the most glorious beach I have ever seen and I never tire of it.


Shoving the dogs in the back of the car (because they are all completely rubbish on the lead) I took them to a quiet part of the beach. I wish you could all have been there with me because photographs just don't do it justice.


The two collies are only interested to bringing back the stick and assume the position...


My naughty labrador is only interested in digging holes...


And I decided today was the day when I would put my feet in the water...


Don't shout at me for not taking my wellies off. Have you been bare foot in the sea off the west coast in February? Well then!

A couple of other quick photos that I love....


and...


So, all in all a memorable day on our little island and I am now off to practice my spitting technique because the very first time one of those alpacas spits at me I am spitting right back.

Until tomorrow. xx

Picture is of Max getting ready to feed tha alpacas and doing what he is told and not looking at them!