I arrived at South Stack on a dull, wet and windy late Friday afternoon in December and was welcomed by the team here and shown my accommodation, which I have to say is absolutely brilliant, perched up on the cliffs with sea views. It’s a good place to enjoy the wind too, which is part and parcel of the experience here. Rain isn’t unknown either and so acclimatising to and exploring the island at the week-end was challenging, but with Holyhead just down the road local services are very convenient (with the help of a car).

My first week was probably not very typical but maybe no week here is. My main task was to dismember pallets for the making of Christmas trees in preparation for the following week-end’s Christmas craft fair, which gave me a good chance to marvel at the number of different ways a pallet can be nailed together! I soon got a nice little production line going for the making of the Christmas trees for Becky and from what I hear her idea was very popular with the children who decorated them at the Fair, with many taken home.

However the highlight of the week had to be rounding up, checking and worming the Hebridean sheep which are the nicest sheep I’ve ever worked with. They seemed much more placid than other breeds I remember. I hadn’t seen one have a go at a sheep dog before either. Not so placid with attitude perhaps!

A little bit of fencing with Denise and one of the regular volunteers, Bill, finished the week. We had a particularly recalcitrant strainer post, or at least it’s hole, which was now full of watery sludge and with no really firm ground around the hole to pack the post in against. We reluctantly resorted to cementing it in. Will it work? Part two of this drama continues next week.

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