Can’t resist posting this picture of my family and I taking a break from cutting peat on the Chayne in 1988. I’m the one with the absurdly blond hair having a banana peeled for me. You can make out the peat haggs behind us, and these are the same haggs which yielded this year’s cut, part of which is currently glowing in the stove and warming my wife downstairs as I type this.
Cutting peat was something of a ritual for me, although I never really understood what we were doing or why we bothered. As far as I was concerned, a trip up the hill meant the possibility of playing with collie puppies in the farmyard and tattie scones from the shepherd’s wife, and long, boring trips onto the moss were just the inevitable cost of what could otherwise have been a thoroughly enjoyable day.
Incidentally, the figure in the far right of the picture is an airedale terrier named Guinness – she was the family mascot throughout the late 80s and early 90s.