Life at the end of the road

April 28, 2008

A full football team

Filed under: daily doings, How I, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:01 pm

Well if you read the last post you’ll know that Jamie Lea is about to drop her litter any time and when I left for work at 6:30 she looked imminent. Though we’ve been saying that for almost a month, Ginger spent the best part of a day mounting her and we counted 115 days from the deed and that was over 3 weeks ago so despite his heroic efforts she mustn’t have taken. So the next time she would have been on heat would have been 3 weeks later making her due round about now. We had seen Shona on heat around then and were expecting her to farrow any day but as yet she’d not been exhibiting any of the usual pre farrowing behaviour or symptoms, like making a nest or filling of the teats. So I set off down ‘Callum’s road’ for work just awaiting the phone call from mrs C. The first thing I came across was these two fine wee chaps who temporarily lost mum and were thinking they could get milk from the big white Land Rover.

I got out and ushered them in the general direction of mum who was more interested in the mineral block than her offspring. It strikes me that the worst mothers always produce the best lambs, well that’s what I found in my brief spell of sheep keeping though as I keep saying I’m no expert (on anything). The reason being that they’re so good at foraging they tend to put dinner before parental responsibility, anyway once she’d seen the big scary ‘two legs’ she called them and they went so all was fine.

It was a pretty busy morning and two of the weaners we’d supplied to a friend in January were in a trailer on their trip to the abattoir. I know it’s sad but these two boys had had a fine if not short life grubbing about in the gorse bushes near the sea at Oscaig. I’d been been to see these two chaps a few times and knew they’d had been happy and even in the trailer on the ferry they seemed quite settled and pleased to have a wee pet.

Mrs C phoned when the ferry was half way to Sconser to tell me that we’d got 7 lovely piglets, from the wrong pig!!!!! She went to feed everyone and Shona had farrowed during the night. I’d been so convinced that Jamie Lea was going to farrow that I’d never even bothered to check her. I immediately ran round the ferry like a headless chicken telling all and sundry of our latest arrivals. For the next couple of hours mrs C kept phoning in with progress reports and every time the phone rang I felt queezy thinking she’s squashed one or ones died or there’s another stuck inside mum. However all went well and Jamie Lea fired out 11!!!! piglets around lunch time. I say fired because mrs C went to check on her regularly at hourly intervals, one time there were none and the next time there was a full football team!! which with Shona’s 7 made 18 piglets!

The puncture saga

Whilst darling wife was busy with our extended herd of pigs I was busy (in my lunch break) dealing with punctures and had developed an even better way of removing the tyre from the rim. In the past I’ve just driven over the tyre and squashed it off the bead but this can take several attempts as the rim keeps lifting. This time I screwed an old spare wheel bracket to the wood on the pier so that the rim did not move and got the tyre off with the first pass.

I’d already removed 1 nail and 1 screw from this tyre but when I got the tyre off the rim there was a pallet nail inside it. That’s 4 punctures in 3 wheels in 3 weeks and were it not for my good friend who drives diggers and is not grumpy anymore I would be well and truly up sh*t creek without a paddle ( cheers matey ).

The unexpected arrival of heavy showers put paid to any rock collecting but I did manage a look at Ron’s wall for the hall.

Which may well be finished tommorow and once the days toil was finished on the ferry I rushed home to see Jamie Lea’s football team.

And Shona’s magnificent 7!

And mrs C and I had a wee glass of wine to celebrate.

They can’t be far away!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:05 am

Up earlier than usual today despite the fact that it’s Sunday and I don’t have to weave my way down ‘Calum’s road’ until after 8:30, as the ferry doesn’t sail until 10:00. I had a bit of work to do on the infernal laptop, I was dying to go and feed the pigs as I’d not seen them since Tuesday and once all this was done I’d promised the Dude and his pal that I’d take them out on the quad before I went to work. I was wanting to give my mates hydro turbine a run for the day as it had been idle for a while so it seemed like a good way of keeping them happy. To be honest the Dude would just as soon walk but his pal is of the ‘X box’ generation and prefers to exercise his thumbs and I didn’t have time for a mile walk before work so it was off on the trusty old Honda fourtrax to turn on the tap. I really feel like I’ve lost an arm or a leg if I’m without a quad as I work mine pretty hard, the terrain here is not really suited to tractor ( other than a small 4wd one ) with it’s combination of steep rocky slopes and flat boggy ground. The light quad on the other hand copes easily with it and is capable of moving surprisingly heavy loads. My first Suzuki moved 12 telegraph poles 1/2 a mile, 2 at a time with one strapped on each side for balance, it also carried a 4 cylinder marine diesel engine and gearbox the same distance down the rough track to the shore. I’ve had most makes over the last 18years but the Honda is by far the best, before I got it it had done more work than most tractors, been in the sea and struck by lightning!!! yet it still functions reliably.

It was a bonny day so passed quickly at work and was a perfect day for launching the DOTI boat and having a wee jaunt.

My good ‘pal’ Steven was up from Mull as relief seaman purser so we went down the coast a little way and had a look at ‘Toms castle’ which I forgot to photograph so will mean nothing to most readers!

In the background there is Donald Macleods house and engineering workshop which is for sale at a snip.

Apart from Mrs C phoning to tell me that Jamie Lea our long overdue ‘Gloucester old spot’ had started to produce milk then that was about it for the day. My ‘Mulleach’ friend ( I can’t speak or spell in gaelic ) came to dinner and that’s why I’m writing this at 5:30 am, and now I’m off to check for piglets!

And Jamie Lea is still hanging on to her football team of piglets! here she is at 6:30, belly nearly touching the ground and teats full of milk, the suspense is killing me, anyway gotta go to work now.

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