A sad thing

Choir Boys by Mabel Royds (woodcut) (National Galleries of Scotland)

Choir Boys by Mabel Royds (woodcut) (National Galleries of Scotland)

A sad thing happened this week. A calf from the neighbouring farm got out on to the main road. When I say calf, don’t imagine a gangly little creature, think of something not far off the size of a two-seater sofa. It was also black, which meant that the van driver who drove into it probably only saw a pair of startled eyes in the growing dusk before he knew what was happening. Somehow the calf had got round to the sharp bend outside our farm so it was the farm manager and one of the cattlemen from our farm who went to the rescue. They coaxed the poor thing to the side of the road where it was eventually put down by the emergency vet. Incredibly the van driver was fine, although the van looked like it had been in a fight with a boulder. It could have been much, much worse. In spite of the industrial scale of farming these days I’ve known one of the cattlemen here to ball his eyes out over the death of one of his cows so there was a very sombre atmosphere over the farm afterwards. Little Owl was beside herself – aren’t calves taught to stop, look and listen? No, sadly not.

On a lighter note, this morning Big Dreamer went up to the top of the farm with our next door neighbour to cut down a Christmas tree for us. We then had a merry old time listening to carols and decorating it. In honour of the occasion I’ve put up a woodcut called Choir Boys by Mabel Royds with this post. Her line work is incredible and it makes me feel very festive. She also taught at Edinburgh College of Art. I wonder if she ever used any of the printing presses I used?!

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