Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Helen has been toiling mightily of late on her new website, and now it’s up. I don’t think I knew that she was going to teach a mosaic course on Pelion in September. It sounds good. The link is as before – see the sidebar.

We’ve had another tough day here.

I’ve done a bit more Polliwog knitting, and should reach the exciting next section tomorrow. You have been promised a photograph and I am aware that I haven't produced one yet.

Kate Davies has a new blog post up, with wonderful pictures of things people have knitted from her “Inspired by Islay” book. How does anyone have the time? I was overjoyed to learn that a new collection and new yarns are on the way. I had been a bit afraid that the book she is working on, about her stroke – which promises to be extremely interesting – had taken over from knitting for the time being.

Total Irrelevance

I don’t always get to Mass these days, unless Helen is here and free to come and manage things in Drummond Place. She did, last Sunday, and it was all about the Good Shepherd.

And what I thought about was the day I was walking towards the village and found myself behind a shepherd (Bob Forsyth, I think, who is now buried one space down from my grandson Oliver in the new cemetery along the Bumpy Road). In front of him were a flock of sheep, and at the head of that procession, a dog.

When the leading sheep reached the point just before the new cemetery where there is a wee burn and a track, Mr Forsyth (still from behind) told the dog what to do with a sharp whistle and, probably, for all I can remember, a single syllable of instruction.

The dog translated that into language that sheep could understand – “We’re going to turn right here, and go through that gate.” And they all did, without agitation, and Mr Forsyth and the dog followed and closed the gate.

I suspect they didn’t have sheepdogs in the Middle East in biblical times. I don’t see how this anecdote could be turned into a parable – the dog would have to become a bishop, perhaps? But it is for me a very happy memory.


  1. Jean, is that the cemetery as you go by the church in Kirkmichael? Kath and I went by that one as we walked through the village. I can still picture that exact moment and place. I remember thinking about you as we went through the village that morning, heading out for the next part of the Cateran Trail.

  2. Actually they did have sheepdogs in biblical times - at least by New Testament times. Before that it was more likely to be the neighbours of the Jewish people who had them but by the time of Christ they were in use to guard sheep and herd them.

  3. What a lovely image for a good shepherd.