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Sunday 17 August 2008

The demise of Clara Cluck

Another sad day today as dear Clara Cluck, one of my favourite brown hens, passed away during the night. She’d been a bit “off colour” over the last few days, not her usual ebullient self so I suspected her days were numbered. She was quite an old hen and had provided lots of lovely eggs over the years. I shall miss her as she was quite a character and always there ready to grab any juicy worms or grubs as I dug in the garden. But she had a good life, living completely “free range” scratching about wherever she wished and with a nice cosy hen house to sleep in at night. The other hens showed a complete lack of concern at her demise today, more interested in the scraps I had for their breakfast! Heartless things!

I’m still missing dear old Fitzi-cat. I keep thinking I hear him about the house, a soft foot-fall on the stairs, a snore coming from the other room. I like to think his spirit is still around the house. In the summer he slept in various favoured places around the house, but in the winter always snuggled up on the bed and kept my feet warm, so I shall miss him then. Though sometimes my feet would go numb – he was quite a hefty cat weighing about 9 kilos!

I remember when I first moved to Graemsay I lived in a caravan in the old garden while the house was being renovated. This was fine in the summer, but during the winter gales was a little alarming at night. I’d lie in bed watching the walls of the caravan flex! On many a wild night Fitzi would crawl under the duvet with me and we’d huddle together hearing the wind screaming like a banshee around us, amid the sound of crockery crashing off shelves!

Neighbours had always offered us refuge when gales were forecast, and one night I decided to take up the offer of a slightly more solid residence for the night. My neighbours were rather surprised to see me turning up at midnight with Fitzi-cat under my arm. Well I could hardly leave him to take his chances in the caravan on his own! Thankfully they covered their surprise well and made us both welcome. Both Fitz and I were very glad to move into permanent substantial accommodation eventually!

This week has been a busy week for me though as I had a painter over to do some work on the exterior of the windows and doors. As the house is a “listed” building (listed as of historic interest with Historic Scotland) there are restrictions on what materials can be used on the house, so we had to have wooden windows put in during renovations rather than plastic surround windows. That’s fine except as the house is so exposed to the wind and salt spray, the paint takes quite a battering and needs a lot of maintenance. Added to that workmen are never particularly keen to come over and work on Graemsay, particularly for outside work. Partly due to the possibility of being stuck here if the weather changes without being able to get on with the work. From my point of view it’s also a little worrying as of course even if they can’t work I have to pay for their time here! Anyway thankfully the weather held this week and the painter, Dave, did a great job of all the windows and the house is looking bright and fresh again. He’s definitely one to recommend and I’ll get him back again when they need redoing.

Hazy day today with a bit of a breeze, but at least it’s still dry. Think I’ll go for a breath of fresh air now.


  1. I'm so sorry, Sian - losing two good friends in such a short time.

    I know you're glad to be getting routine maintenance done, though.

  2. Thanks Mary Z. She was a real character and I shall miss dear Clara.

  3. Sian, I have followed your blogs in recent months. Your tales of trips to the vet with Fitzi have been both amusing and moving. He was a beautiful cat and, yes, you have happy memories. His spirit will be free but I'm sure will also stay with you. And now Clara..... They will both have known how muche they were loved.

  4. Thanks Jo. Losing pets is the hardest part, but I have lots of happy memories of both of them.