The cows, at any rate, are enjoying the first new growth and are luxuriating in the spring sunlight. and rejoicing in the fact that they are all free from Bovine Viral Diarrhoea, which is being eradicated from the whole of Scotland. A forward-looking policy.
I am gathering resolve to have a go at cutting a few peats, though a recent heart episode and leaky heart valve may limit my activities to listening to the larks - if they've arrived and if they are audible . . .
Down in the Heatherwood hospital, surrounded by other elderly over-weight heart cases with strange London accents, my heart was lifted by the voice of a Scottish nurse from Luss - brilliant at her job. We reminisced about the bridge at the head of Glen Luss and she found out for me that it was built by William John in 1770 to celebrate the arrival of black-faced sheep in Scotland. William John carved a splendid ram's head on the bridge, so it is called The Tup Bridge. Of course not everyone welcomed the sheep - that was, in part, the start of the Clearances.
A good review of my 3 CDs has come out in the April issue of International Record Review, which is, well, heartening, but I have sadly had to cancel appearances at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and a concert to celebrate the bi-centenary of Nathaniel Gow. It would have been an honour to have taken part. I am also missing the celebration of the publication of a Festschrift for the great Gaelic scholar, John MacInnes. I contributed a chapter and would have loved to be there to raise a glass to him - but I am still intending to give a paper at the Celtic Revival Conference in Edinburgh at the start of next month and may yet get to Galway Early Music Festival for a gathering of all the crazy eccentric musicians who play bronze age horns, carnyx, trompa creda and who knows what not else. A unique opportunity to parade through the streets blowing my dord iseal (deep bronze age horn). Simon and Maria O'Dwyer, John Kenny, John Mescal, Barnaby Brown, and Peter Holmes - all the best of friends, all touched by that wonderful freedom which breaks through all the conformities and opens up new worlds.