jarrett moffatt

One more from the Scotland blog archives.

Thirteen years later and this schedule doesn't look that bad to me.


Jarrett’s Day: An Outline. Saturday, January 19, 2008

0830- Wake up. Go to bathroom, brush teeth; morning breath is the worst. Take retainer out; don’t leave it in the bathroom- that’s just gross. Why do you even wear a retainer? You put it in for a month straight, and then you don’t touch it for six. Consistency is key.

0835-0850- After three attempts to dial-up, access Internet to check e-mail. No new messages.

0850-0900- Put clothes on. Have a bowl of bran, drizzled with honey, and two pieces of toast- only toast if time is limited. Juice is optional, but welcomed.

0900-0905- Get food ready for deer and horses. Four buckets of food for the horses plus half a bail of hay. One bag of beet pellets for deer across the river, 3/4th a bag for stags closest to the lodge.

0905-0935- Walk mostly uphill and through mud with a 25KG bag on your left shoulder; you try to put it on your right shoulder, but it feels awkward. Once on the other side of the river, open bag of ‘SupaBeet’ and begin making 50-70 piles of pellets. Make sure pellets are properly spaced, or deer will fight like preschoolers. Walk back to lodge across uneven surfaces. Be careful not to roll ankle, or end up waist-deep in mud. Don’t try and walk across river- you aren’t Jesus, and you’ll end up wet. Two prior attempts should have taught you that.

0935-1015- Grunt work, including checking mousetraps. Depending on day, garbage bins may need to be taken up to the road- be sure to grumble all the way up the driveway.

1015-1045- Coffee. This includes fruitcake, and occasionally shortbread. More than one cup of coffee is a nice treat. Make sure not to say anything that will incriminate you- like ‘Oh, your dog’s been shitting in its kennel while you’ve been gone.’ ‘That only happens if it’s not taken out enough.’ ‘Oh, um, weird…’

1045-1230- Major tasks for the day. These range greatly, from doing yard work to watching deer being cut-up to walking dogs. Walking dogs isn’t interesting, but it requires the least amount of effort. Anything that involves water is depressing.

1230-1330- Lunch. Usually involves soup and toasted sandwiches. It’s rare for there to be leftovers, as you rarely cook. You’d like to, but frozen food keeps well and it’s so much easier to make. You somehow think a multivitamin balances it all out, but you’re being naïve. Try to have a ten-twenty minute nap, only to be woken by Andrew accusing you of ‘wanking.’ You deny these allegations.

1330-1600- More tasks. The weather has either gotten better or worse- it rarely stays the same. Apologize for sucking at every assignment, and try to get through rest of the day without creating more work for others. This is rare, but when it happens, it feels really good.

1600-1630- Horses require a full bail of hay. If they are hungry, they will run at you, and buck. This scares the shit out of you, so you throw the bail down and run like a baby. You quickly cut the bail strings, throw the hay down in four piles, and get the hell away from the horses.

1630-1800- Have a cup of coffee; sit in room until at least six. You may have eaten already, but you’re probably watching an episode of something, or you are taking a quick nap. Around 1730 you realize another day is over and you haven’t doing anything productive, and this destroys a small part of your soul. Put another ‘X’ on your ‘Chevy Nation’ calendar you took out of Rolling Stone; only forty-two more days left! You read the quote they have from Sean Paul for January, and wonder if it is necessary:

I wear sneakers all over the place. I get a reaction from people. They’re like ‘those are crazy!’- Sean Paul

1800-0000- Waste the night away- you earned it! You can’t go out, so read a magazine, watch that Arrested Development episode for the eighth time, or sleep some more! You want to write about your day, but you realize you can just copy and paste notes from the previous day, so you don’t. You spend some time on the Internet, but get very little done, because the thing’s so goddamn slow. You think you remember the Internet being faster in your previous life of technological pampering, but decide you must be mistaken. If you are lonely, you might buy something from Amazon to cheer you up.

0000- Take one tablet of Nytol. You have trouble sleeping because you know you’ve wasted an entire day, and spend most of the night thinking of ways to reclaim it. But you can’t, so you might as well dope yourself up and get to bed. Sleep tight- you get to do it again tomorrow!


I found my old blog posts from my time in Scotland. I was 21 and took a year off after university to work outdoors on an estate in the Highlands and then travel eastern Europe and Scandinavia. It was neat.

It's interesting to look back on earlier stuff I've written; there are things I'd do differently for sure— a few more edits, for better or worse— but I still see myself in there.



February 4th.

We took a sheep hostage. There’s a sheep farmer on the other side of the mountain, and one managed to make it over here. I ran after it and wedged it into the side of a small hill, but I didn’t grab it. (I’ve never handled sheep before.) I yelled to Andrew that I was near it, to which he replied, “But do you have it?” I told him I didn’t; I was just looking at it. “Well, grab it man!”

I didn’t grab it. I just kind of hovered around it. Andrew ended up grabbing the sheep by one of its horns (well, it only had one left) and it ripped off, and blood started pouring out – there was lots of blood. We carried it to the side of the road, and I held on to it while Andrew got the Land Rover. It tried to take a run for it, but I managed to hold it down.

Now it’s walking aimlessly around our stable. It has some hay, but that’s about it. I’m sure it will get picked up tomorrow. Oh, and I named it Mutton. Mutton the Sheep. Mutton’s wool is covered in blood now. And blue dye: it kind of looks like the French flag.


We walked the horses to the hill. The horses take the dead deer off the hill, as some of them can very far from the road. We must have walked two miles, maybe more. It felt like ten, but I’m a poor judge of distance.

I walked Sandy. He’s nicer than Delilah; she’s scary. She was using my back to scratch her nose today until she decided that she’d rather bite me. Game over.


The water from the river is tasty. It’s so cold and pure that it doesn’t even matter I had to drink it on my stomach.

February 5th

The sheep has been returned. Well, the owner showed up with whiskey on his breath, so hopefully the sheep made it home.

February 6th

We brought the horses home. Sandy was very happy; he doesn’t like it over there. He was leading me the whole way home. I liked his enthusiasm, so I ran for a bit with him. But then I realized I had no idea how to stop a running horse.

February 8th

It’s quite a thing to watch a female Jack Russell Terrier hump the side of a female Labrador. She just gives it and gives it, and the Lab just takes it; the last time the terrier was in heat, the Lab was humping her. I also watched the male Lab attempt to hump the Jack Russell for about ten minutes; it’s not physically possible. Even if he did get on top of her, it’d be like trying to fit a broomstick into a pencil sharpener. Ack.


We’ve been dragging lots of deer off the hill. We even cracked the skull open on one and I held half of its brain in my hand; it was still warm. I also got to saw a rib cage open.

Andrew shot a fox yesterday right in the neck, which left a nasty exit wound. I’m hoping to take the tail home; it’ll just get thrown out otherwise.


The author (right) and his brother meeting Santa Claus. Date unknown, but there's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sweatpants so probably 1990 or something.


What's Creating Today?

“I saw this during a semi-mild psychedelic trip of psilocybin. The important part of the vision was connecting the water below and the sky above in a balanced vertical display. Both the water and sky carried their own heavy level of visual intricacy. Layers of reflections, motion and dark depth in the water and layers of light, clouds, air in the sky. Connecting the two were all of the creation in between, earth, plants, life as we know it. The spirits watch down over all, separate from the physical but always curious about the worldly happenings. Slowly churning into the Infinite spiral.”

Nathan Giordano, artist

(You should check out the artist's shop, too.)


One of the best music videos I've seen in awhile.

Without the surrealism it's just a kid going through his normal day; punch it up with weird shit and you've got a fun concept.

Plus, the song is killer.


“Located in a limestone plateau of the Ardèche River in southern France, the property contains the earliest-known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating back as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000–32,000 BP), making it an exceptional testimony of prehistoric art. The cave was closed off by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years BP and remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, which helped to keep it in pristine condition. Over 1,000 images have so far been inventoried on its walls, combining a variety of anthropomorphic and animal motifs. Of exceptional aesthetic quality, they demonstrate a range of techniques including the skilful use of shading, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement. They include several dangerous animal species difficult to observe at that time, such as mammoth, bear, cave lion, rhino, bison and auroch, as well as 4,000 inventoried remains of prehistoric fauna and a variety of human footprints.”

Source: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1426/


“Next to Paul’s head was a clear plastic stick, flat and about a foot long, with a pen attached to the end of it. His father crafted a stick like this when Paul was a child, and he has been using versions of it since. He clamps the end of the stick in his mouth and manipulates the pen to write, type and push buttons on the phone; he used it to sign the hospital’s waiver allowing him to talk to me, although he bristled at having to sign anything at all to tell me his own story. “That is the most ridiculous thing,” he grumbled. Paul’s teeth are flattened and worn from years of using the stick. Though his body inside the lung is scarcely larger than it was when he was a child and his muscles atrophied, his neck measures 18 inches around and his jaw muscles bulge.”

— Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, “The man in the iron lung,” The Guardian May 26, 2020


Living is easy with eyes closed Misunderstanding all you see It's getting hard to be someone But it all works out It doesn't matter much to me


“But these days, the rules that encourage empathy are being broken. More than ever, humans are urban, isolated, and anonymous to each other. We meet irregularly, often in online spaces that privilege outrage and leave cruelty unpunished. We are increasingly tribal, and sometimes view outsiders not as human beings but as symbols of ideas and groups we fear and hate. And when we learn about tragedy, it’s often as an abstraction. We might hear about thousands of people affected by a disaster or civil war, but think of them only as faceless statistics, without any way to access their emotions.”

— Jamil Zaki, “In a Divided World, We Need to Choose Empathy,” Greater Good Magazine, May 29, 2019