Yesterday Steve set a record, with 17 German motorcyclists all arriving at once – he’d thought the group of 13 the previous day had been the largest group of bikers we’d had…You’re all welcome…
Sunday afternoon was spent scrambling in and out of gullies and taking photos, but this included a trip to a lochan looking for a very rare plant that grows only in a couple of locations on Skye. I got a photo but of the wrong plant (this is bogbean) so I should have found this site much earlier – I’m giving you a link as it’s excellent.Will be back looking for the pipewort in a month or two…but in the meantime, cut and paste this address into your browser if you are looking to identify something you’ve seen.http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/index.htm
Flaked out in this hot weather, Genji would like to remind our visitors that DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS so please, take advantage of the fact that we will always welcome canine visitors and bring yours in rather than leaving them in the heat.…or sit outside on our newly repainted tables and soak up the view.Also, the ticks are out and about and voracious, so please take a minute or two and treat your dog with a tick preparation before coming up on holiday or drop into the vets in Portree and get something suitable here.….
Cashmere and mohair in these three of Kirstie’s handwoven scarves makes them almost sinfully luxurious!
Haven’t edited this photo yet.…but just to indicate where we were staying…Wednesday night’s cold stars were fabulous.…
We’ve been a little quiet but we’ve been having a few days down south – St Abb’s in fact – and exploring the Borders.
From my maternal grandfather’s First World War memoirs (which I hope to get finalised for publication shortly.….He enlisted in 1/1Northamptonshire Yeomanry on 11 November 1911.“The battle of Neuve Chappelle took place in April 1915 and our gun team was sent in the line with a detachment of the 2nd Lincolns.Our post was just on the left of a breastwork erected across a road known as the “Street of Hell” and it lived up to its name while we were there.When the attack started, we could not advance as the 20th Inf. Bde on our left, had been held up by barbed wire and machine gun fire.As a consequence we did not move forward, and the advance took place from the other side of the road I have just mentioned. The Grenadier Guards were here and I saw one of their Corporals win the VC, but he did not live to know he had won it, being killed two days later.As far as we ourselves were concerned, on the first day it was just like being at a shooting gallery at a fairground, and as safe as the Bank of England.The next day, however, Jerry gave us our “iron rations”, we never lost a man but our regiment further down the line had about 50% casualties.If I remember rightly, the press at the time laid great stress on the 37000 odd rounds fired by artillery, but Tommy Atkins only got his 1s/2d a day plus board and lodgings, apart from a few pats on the back so to speak, from “the Arm Chair warriors” at home. Still at that time the Army mainly consisted of professional soldiers, who having taken the King’s shilling went into it with their eyes open, and took for granted what was happening.We had more than one spell in this part of the line, and three things remain clear in my mind, although they may seem trivial to the reader of this narrative. The first was as follows.On the first occasion I went in the line, we got to our portion of the line about 11pm and took over from the outgoing unit.After morning stand to we got breakfast on the go, and I was detailed to take our Officer’s breakfast along to his dugout. (Bacon, fried bread and a mug of tea).Before I had got a dozen yards my feet slipped in the mud and I went flat on my back and put the breakfast slap bang on the bottom of the trench.Knowing that all the bacon had gone, I went back and cleaned the mud off as best I could, filled up the mug again out of the dixie and started off again.This time I arrived safely, and in handing it over, I casually mentioned a sniper had knocked the dust off the top of the trench onto the breakfast.He swallowed both breakfast and my story.The second was this:We used to have home made braziers in the front line at this date, some may doubt this, but it was so, and you must remember that this was a comparatively new war, and we had not yet become so highly educated in mass destruction as we were later on.Well, to resume, our rations used to be brought up in sand-bags, we had two, one with rations, and the other with coke.One night, a rather “windy” ration carrier crawled up to the back of our trench, on his tummy, and hoarsely whispered if this was Sergt Johnson’s gun team.On answering yes, a sandbag was dropped into the trench, and without any further remark, the “Mr. Windy” disappeared.When it was light, we opened our sand bag and found – coke (he’d lost the most important one).I had frequently heard the expression “You go and chew coke”, but never thought I should live to be expected to do it.Still we cadged some rations further along the line and so we managed to survive, and I’ll wager his ears burned at our remarks about him.This was the third:As you have just read, we used to have fires in the front line. Well to be of any use, fires require fuel, and as there were no coal dealers in our vicinity, we used to scrounge for wood. My pal and I had marked down for attention, a fairly large trunk of a tree, knocked down by our artillery, so before dawn, we got two large axes and went to it. It lay about 100 yards behind our trench, so we cut it into convenient pieces and threw them down into the trench to be dealt with later.We got warmed to our task, after a cold night, and quite forgot time and place.The job was nearly completed, and we were taking some more wood to the trench.Just as we had thrown it in, we heard a yell from the Jerry line (about 80 yards away), we looked up, and saw 3 Jerries, who had been doing the same thing. They waved to us, and we waved back to them, then both lots jumped into our respective trenches, and a few casual shots were fired by each side as much as to say ”Now that’s over, and we’ll start the war again”.We never came into this part of the line again and so ended our sojourn in the La Bassee sector.”
****************************************************************************Dedicated to The Old Contemptibles, gone but not forgotten, and to the men and horses of 1⁄1 Northamptonshire Yeomanry.In memory of 145049 Cecil George Harris (1894−1972)
Pte then L/Cpl Northamptonshire Yeomanry
Lt 17th Bn Tank Corpsand his brothers-in-law15559 Pte.Walter Swann (1888−1915)
7th Northants Regiment
Died Loos 27 September 1915
Loos Memorialand701 Cpl. Leslie William Swann (1891−1917)
16th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Birmingham Pals)
Died Polderhoek Château 9 October 1917
Tyne Cot Memorial
Dye the fabric, photograph it, play with the image – oh my, how much fun can you have?