Since 1981, reindeer and in particular, the Cairngorm reindeer have taken up a very large portion of my daily life and I have not regretted one bit of it. Along side raising family, earning a living from our reindeer herd and in more recent years branching out into hill farming, reindeer have been for me a daily source of huge enjoyment, sometimes despair and always physical labour, a life I wouldn’t swap for anything.
The early days of rushing around ‘doing it all myself’ are luckily over and I am blessed with a band dedicated fellow reindeer herders to share the work load, caring for the reindeer, finding strays and welcoming visitors to the centre. Some people think I have ‘retired to the farm’! Well I can assure you it is a very ‘active retirement’ if I have.
Then last October I became a Granny, a stage in my life I always hoped would happen and luckily for me it has. Hamish, now 8 months old, is no doubt giving his parents the run around but for me he is just delightful and any interaction with the reindeer gives me even more pleasure. Just recently Emily and Hamish came to help me feed the animals on the farm. Young Hamish was the star of the show, mingling with the young bull reindeer as they got their breakfast and even got a shot of riding Boris and ‘surfing’ on Paintpot as both of them happily ate out of the feed bag. History has been repeated and no doubt there will be many more déjà vu’s for me as Hamish enjoys growing up among a herd of very special reindeer.