Alex’s Farm: On Space, Time and Going Places

Here is an interesting and somewhat unusual article from a blog I follow called History Links Dornoch, which details the local history of Dornoch, Scotland. I’ve never reblogged anything from this blog before, but I was intrigued by this local “travelogue” approach of examining historic farms in the Dornoch area, with roots stretching back 200 years or more. I became interested in Dornoch because it was the home of a man named George Mackenzie, whose bizarre treatise on weather written in 1817 is a key part of my academic research. I featured Mackenzie’s Dornoch-area farm in a post a long time ago. It’s worth delving into the history of the area, and this blog does it well. Take a look!

historylinksdornoch

They watched me, keeking through the living room window, as my bike skimmed from Pittentrail towards the A9 junction at the Mound. I was racing the light. Too easy in early summer, intoxicated by the evening daytime, to forget the gloaming. And to forget the invisibility of an unexpected cyclist. All evening Janet had plied me with biscuits to wash down the tea as I noted down what Alex patiently explained of the annual tasks of a sheepman. Half-understood notes I found weeks later, scrumpled in my fluorescent pink cycling jacket, when I had returned from the conference in Kentucky. Anxiety at my inadequate knowledge of practical farming had been ameliorated by discovering most speakers at the Agricultural History Society were fine historians but few could have overwintered a cow any more successfully than myself. So in June, at ten o’clock at night, Alex and Janet checked out the window…

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