Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Welcome Home!

I'm not sure what to say.... We (myself & wife Hollie) have been 'officially retired' from FIBO for nearly a week now, following a month-long handover period to the new Warden & Administrator, David & Susannah Parnaby. However we are still working hard to make the start of the new era as smooth as possible so are still doing several hours a day for FIBO. For example, we spent most of yesterday making a list of amendments/photos for the FIBO website and the evening choosing Rebecca Nason canvases for the guest rooms. We would like to produce a farewell Newsletter and of course I have the 2009/2010 FIBO Report to complete. Hollie is also still helping Susannah out with bookings, accounts etc. So we have not severed our FIBO ties yet!! Its quite a hard thing to do, to hand over your baby to somebody else. Its been a pretty steep learning curve for David & Susannah and until the rest of the staff arrive (only the two AWs are here at present) and the season gets underway proper they will not really have a true indication of the job, but at least we know we have done/are doing our very best to help them with the transition. I hope they are looking forward to the challenge and am sure they will find their feet and do well.
So, FIBO aside I am desperately trying to find time to get the croft ready for lambing - first ones are due this weekend. A couple of promiscuous ewes have already lambed elsewhere on the isle!! Baaaad Sheep!
We only have 18 ewes in lamb (10 Cheviot crosses and 8 Shetland) and all are looking nice and round, getting fatter on ewe nuts. I only have one bale of silage leftI have been trying to decide how to move things around so that ewes are in a convenient place for lambing and the year-olds have enough grazing and Munter (our extra-friendly Texel Ram) doesn't feel left out! Before I can do this however I have a couple of fences to complete! I thought I had it all planned out when Iain Stout dropped by today and came up with an absolute Masterplan. "Why not put the first nine ewes to lamb in the wee park next to the house. You can then keep an eye on them at night from your bedroom window!!?" Genius!!! So that's tomorrow's priority - Fencing and then moving sheep.

Lubo, one of the best arrivals at Burkle! June 2009

Burkle house became a whole lot busier and noisier today! All the kids came home, following either a week away in Edinburgh/Glasgow looking at University accommodation (Lachlan) or two weeks away with Grandma & Grandad in Kent/Norway. Lachlan has finally decided he wants to go to Edinburgh Vet School (the fact that his girlfriend and best friend are going there may perhaps have something to do with it!?). The younger ones were keen to show us their photos and videos of them ski-ing/snowboarding and it would appear they had a great holiday. Lubo (the dog) was ultra-excited to see them all!! And Raven had to run over and greet the ponies. Fyn didn't seem that keen to go and kiss the chickens! Hmmm! Wonder why?

Bird News: Well, spring is definitely here (the grass has suddenly turned green in the past week) and it is definitely a bit warmer (even double figures some days!). Wheatears, Bonxies, Chiffchaffs, Dunnocks and Goldcrests are just some of the species that have been added to the yearlist in the past couple of weeks. Rather than just repeat what is already on the FIBO website just use this link to keep up to date

Brown-headed Cowbird, the rarest bird on the garden list to date! May 2009

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