Some places we've been and some places we're going.

Crossbost

Getting dressed here ready to face the day takes a lot of effort! My layers for this weather are, a vest, long sleeved Tshirt or skivvy, jumper, tights, Jeans, thick socks then a Polar Fleece lined, wind proof, rain proof jacket. Although I often leave the house, wherever it is, without a hat I never seem to get far before that goes on then a bit later the hood comes up to stop the wind knifing it’s way to my neck and ears. The houses are always nice and warm so a few layers come off when we come inside.

There is a VERY HEAVILY pregnant sheep just outside the kitchen window and we’ve even seen her belly contracting so we’re expecting to see twins soon.

We went to Keose and had some catchup time with Alex’s cousin, Mary and her family. Lots of memories were shared but the one none of them had any trouble remembering was the time their Uncle Iain took ten of them in their glad rags in his small open fishing boat with a 1.5 hp Seagull motor across Loch Erisort from Keose to Cromore to visit relatives. Two of the boys had to sit in the bow to try and balance the boat as the back was sitting VERY low in the water. Coming back Uncle Iain decided it was probably wiser to put all the kids out when they’d crossed over the loch so they could walk home across the Moor but the waves must have subsided a bit because he changed his mind. They were all grateful when they reached land safely.

Just up the street from our B and B in Crossbost is an old structure being used to store various farm stuff. We’ve been told the old building was the home eventually built by Alex & Lena’s maternal great great grandfather. In 1843 he and his family were evicted from their croft at Lemreway when the landlord decided he had a better use for their land. John (Iain) MacMillan and his family spent the first winter sheltered under the upturned boat they had used to sail from Lemreway. The landlord allocated them this croft in lieu of their original croft, other crofters accepted passages to Canada and the US. Obviously the croft they had at Lemreway would have been much better agricultural land. Crofts consisted of a strip of land and the right to share common grazing land. The strips of land were used for subsistence crops eg potatoes and animal fodder. Each crofter would have eventually kept a dairy cow, hens and sheep. They supplemented their food supply by fishing in the lochs. Crofts in other areas eg Mark’s at Betty Hill were much larger. I read another explanation of a croft somewhere in the last couple of days, “A croft is a parcel of land entirely surrounded by regulations.”

About 7:00 tonight I took a photo from the front of the house, showing the sun shining on a house just across the road and on the loch. It’s now 8:45 and we just saw the sheep come racing down the hill to the little shed followed by BIG gusts of wind and rain. Hail is now piling up on the front windows. The sunshine is gone!

We intend going into Stornoway tomorrow to try and access the Internet at the Library. There is no McDonald’s in Lewis. (Have just checked this fact but when I asked to clarify I was told, “There are LOTS of MacDonalds in Lewis, our granny was a MacDonald!” He wasn’t teasing this time, just not on the same wavelength!

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