Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2008

An expensive day out

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:24 pm

Had a wee lie in today helped along by a glass or two  of red wine and a bottle of Polish beer we had last night to celebrate the the end of my week at work. Mrs C and I can always find something to celebrate, it’s not that I don’t like my job it’s just that I like working round the croft more. The first job after the feeding being the VAT return ( a quarterly tax return if your registered for ‘value added tax’ ). Now I hate all forms of paperwork and the VAT return is no exception, the only saving grace being that since I finished doing sub contract diving work a few years ago I’m now usually in pocket after my few hours labour. Today however my calculations put me £31.11p in debt to HM customs and excise so I was not a happy chappie as I was hoping they might owe me some. Still the odious task was done so I made a mental note to buy a bottle of red wine to celebrate.

Call me excentric

With that out of the way it was time to get out in the sunshine and unload my rocks from the trailer. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these rocks so for now I’m just dumping them in a heap which I call my rock garden.

When I’ve collected my trailer load of rocks I usually drive past Ron and his wall and we compare stones but now his ‘Great wall’ is finished I don’t Know who else to share my enthusiasm with. ‘Grumpy digger driver’ who has moved more rock on Raasay than any man alive or even dead come to that is  singularly unimpressed with my love of all things stony. If I had a digger like his I could REALLY get some serious rocks. Mrs C hired me a digger for a week as my 50th birthday pressie a few years ago and I never got out of it for the whole week ( well apart from to let her  the Dude and his cousin have a go ). I have to say it’s the best present I’ve ever had ( though some of my mums have been close xxxx )

Off to Skye

After unloading the trailer of it’s precious cargo I set about removing all the cr4p that had accumulated in the back over the Land Rover over the last week as I was going to get feed for the pigs and hens.

The hens had of course to inspect it though one of them tried to get out through the window several times and must have a very sore beak.

I managed to make the lunchtime ferry and even managed to fill up the ‘Old girl’ with diesel despite all the panic buying of late. I could not tell you how much it was for a liter because I rarely look, the truck needs fuel, the station I use is small and independent and life’s too short to spend it driving round or queuing for anything least of all a few p per liter. You want to save money then drive less, drive slower or buy a smaller car because the price of oil is only going one way. It cost me £80 to fill up this week two weeks ago it was £75. Having slaked the ‘old girls’ thirst I went for a ton of feed for the pigs, that was now £299 as opposed to £275 a month ago. That’s life, I’m not complaining as everyone’s in the same boat, the worlds gone mad in the rush for ‘biofuels’, poor harvests, lack of water, too much water or whatever. It’s not the price increases that p*ss me off ,that’s inevitable it’s all this ‘ well according to the retail price index inflation is only 2.5%’ well I’m sorry but the fact that furniture, computer games, cheap TVs and clothing is keeping the RPI low whilst everything you actually NEED to live is going through the roof does not impress me at all. So in preparation for the $200 barrel of oil I went to look for a smaller car for darling wife. There’s nothing wrong with mrs Cs old Audi estate well apart from the fact she hates it, it’s diesel so not that thirsty and the few pence a mile we save is going to take along time to recoup the extra money on the purchase of another car but that’s human nature for you.

HMS Grimsby

Whilst on the way to look at said wee car saw her berthed in Kyle alongside the railway pier.

A Sandown class mine countermeasures vessel of 600tons and 52.5m long and if you want more check the link

Looked at the car, took pics for mrs C and got home on  the 5:30 ferry and soon as I’ve only put 4 pics in so far I’ll squeeze one in of the new arrivals taken whilst mum was having breakfast.

That one with the black ear and tail is a real cutie, these 11 are Jamie Lea’s first litter and she’s pure wrecked from feeding them all. As they were born within an hour of Shona’s 7 I suppose we might have been able to put 1 or 2 on her but I never thought at the time. Still she’s getting extra rations, lots of attention and we’ll wean them as soon as possible then give her a rest for a month or so to build up her strength. If I sound like I know what I’m talking about don’t be fooled if you want proper pig husbandry go to

April 29, 2008

The ‘great wall’ is finished

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:27 pm

Of course I was up earlier than usual today to see how the new arrivals were doing and of course they were just fine, though I had to have several goes at counting Jamie Lea’s 11. It’s always a worry for the first couple of days because although the wee darlings are very tough they can be easily squashed by mum. If we had mains electricity I’d be tempted to use heat lamps and a creep so that the piglets would not snuggle up to mum the same and risk being squashed but we haven’t so I can’t. You can click on the image to enlarge it. I promised myself I was not going to post any pig pics today as I’d so many others of Ron’s wall but I couldn’t resist just a wee one. You know those parents that think everyone is interested and shares the same enthusiasm about their offspring as they do and the dog owners who think their mangy slobbering mutt is the bees knees ( I know I’ve done it ) well at the moment that’s how mrs C and I feel about our 18 little sausages. It will pass as the feed bill begins to soar and I start thinking of them as pork chops but for now they are our ‘wee darlings’ and I could watch them for hours.

Anchors aweigh

After my spell of piglet watching I set off down ‘Calum’s road’ for work to the usual sights and sounds of a spring morning on Raasay. A group of 3 young hinds at Screapadale in their paler summer coats then 3 large stags at Glam one of which looked decidedly lopsided with only one antler though I’m not sure if It’s the same stag who’s antler I picked up a week or so ago. Once at work it was quite steady and as well as finishing off the weekly and monthly maintinance I got a little painting done. The two ‘men from Mull’ who were covering for the regular crews holidays gave the anchors a good testing.

Then once the ferry was tied up and shut down for lunch I went off and checked on how Ron was getting on at the ‘Wall for the Hall’

This was it at lunch just needing it’s coping stones, is that straight or what!

Here’s Ron wondering what he’s going to do once the wall is finished.

And here it is with long evening shadows at 7:15pm finished and I suspect Ron is having a wee celebration somewhere.

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