The Diary has been feeling very useful over the last couple of days having been given the onerous task of feeding Betsy, Hughie being away 'enjoying' the rugby at Hampden Park or, more probably, the insides of various Edinburgh hostelries. Betsy's a pleasure to feed, very grateful both for the food and a few minutes' conversation.
But Betsy isn't alone in her field any more. She has a circle of female friends who come to visit her and share her meal, though they're much shier than Betsy herself.
With the occasional sunny intervals developing between the clouds we decided to take the first walk in the hills since returning from holiday. This is usually a fairly painful process, but the pain became considerable when, having parked in one of our usual places on the Sanna road, our little i10 became hopelessly stuck. It didn't dig itself in to the mud, it simply could not get a grip on the surface of wet grass.
Usually, if one waits a few minutes, someone comes along but, this being Sunday, no-one did. There's no mobile (cellphone) signal at this point on the road, so we set off for our walk, finally coming in to range of the Glengorm mast at the top of Creag an Airgid in the middle of a very sharp hail shower. A plea for help to Rachael and Ben produced a promise that they'd meet us back at the car at midday.
Walking in the hills to the east of the Sanna road at this time of year is a little like traversing a moonscape. Other than the few hardy plants that continue to grow through winter, like the heathers, there's hardly a living thing: we saw no birds, insects or reptiles, and the only mammals which we stumbled upon were three young stags grazing in a shallow glen.
As we returned to the car along the precipitous north side of Creag an Airgid, the sun came out, lighting the crofting township of Achnaha and the ridge beyond it, which includes the high point of Meall Sanna.
The Diary, being a pessimist, drives everywhere with a tow rope and jump leads, and it was the work of moments to fit the tow and have the car hauled back onto the road. It'll take a little longer to get over the irritation at becoming stuck and the ignominy of having to be pulled out. The i10 is a great little car but it is not an all-terrain vehicle.