The man, the pigs, the blog, the island

“For some 46-year-olds, a mid-life crisis involves a sports car, a 20-year-old girlfriend and a sudden interest in hair gel. For me it was giving up sports writing in the West Midlands and becoming a sort-of pig farmer on the Orkney island of Westray (just off the north coast of Scotland). Here I’m looking after pigs, chickens and my sanity.”

That was what I said about four years ago when I started writing a blog and we’re still here. We’ve had to make the odd compromise along the way, and I still haven’t got things right, but this is home and we’re happy.

Westray is one of Orkney’s North Isles, stuck on the top left-hand side if you look at a map of the county.  The population of the island is around 580. The main industries are farming, fishing and (during the summer months) tourism. There’s a school for children aged 5-16, two hotels, three shops. . . and a pig farm. It’s a bloody lovely place and well worth the long journey to visit it.

The blog started over at and old posts are still there if you’d like to read them.


2 Responses to The man, the pigs, the blog, the island

  1. Tim says:

    Thinking of moving to Orkney (sanday) from shropshire myself with my wife and two children is it easy to transport livestock to kirkwall?? where is the nearest marke? do you sell your products on westray or the mainland? any advice would be so helpful sorry for all the questions but I’m sure you were the same but I feel if we dont do it now we never will


  2. Hi Tim, you might like to visit for some inspiration if you’re still considering a move. You can ask questions at and there’s always for all other information. Good luck!

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