Life at the end of the road

June 8, 2008

The tank is empty!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:09 pm

June already, OK I know it’s been June for a week but it didn’t actually hit until yesterday when the late ferry hit me like a truck, metaphorically that is. For those not familiar there’s a late sailing on Saturday on the ferry in June, July and August and yesterday being the first Saturday was the first sailing and it kind of snook up on me. As the ferry doesn’t leave Sconser until 9:30 pm it means I don’t get home until going up for 11:00 which is far to late for plonking on here and I didn’t really feel like it anyway. It was a very busy day with all the mourners for John ‘Brisco’ Macleod who died suddenly last week, he was buried yesterday on his croft next to his son who died 5 years ago in a tragic accident at sea and to be honest I couldn’t think of much else. Especially as many of the faces and colleagues from my fish farming days that came over I’d not seen since that last funeral 5 years ago.

The ‘beetle man’ cometh

With late ferry it meant that my mate could get from York to Raasay in the one day on public transport. Richard has been coming to Arnish since the 70s (long before me) and for the last 10 years has been cataloging the beetles of Raasay, he’s up around the 670 mark at the moment and will be staying here for a couple of weeks to try and add some more. As there over 1100 recorded in the Hebrides as a whole he’s still a fair way to go. He’s very meticulous with all his traps and nets, in fact some may say obsessive but no worse than me with my Land Rover!

More on crows

With Richard and his rucksacks loaded into the Land Rover we headed north around 10:00 once the ferry was all tied up. About 3 miles from home a sea eagle took off just in front of us, when I say just in front I’m talking feet and not yards. Now to see one of these birds flying a few hundred yards away is magnificent but to see one lift it’s bulk effortlessly off the ground with an almost 7′ wingspan is a sight indeed. This bird had been feasting on a lamb that had been hit by a car at the side of the road and didn’t move until we were almost on top off it and whilst that was awesome the sight of two crows attacking it was quite funny. You have to admire the crow for its audacity, the eagle must be 4 or 5 times larger with talons that could tear it apart but these two wouldn’t leave it alone! Upon my arrival home I was also informed that there’d been a dead crow in one of the pig arcs, dunno if it was one I’d shot or one that the pigs had caught but it’s not the first time I’ve found a dead crow in the pigs fields.

My favourite day

Sunday at last a nice easy day with just the two sailings and a bit of ‘pig time’ I had my usual wee lie in bed before doing the feeding and not having seen the wee darlings since Tuesday I couldn’t believe how much they’d grown. I was also a bit concerned to see about 20 piglets all trying to suckle off one pig! So I went to work and left the OH to sort it out. The much younger and smaller Tamworths had been making regular forays into the ‘Old spots’ field and vice versa and up until now it had caused no problems as they all seemed to get on fine but I figured that Jamie Lea had enough with her own 11 without trying to feed Bramble’s 11. I had in mind just to patch up the hole where the piglets were getting through, but OH reckoned it was time to wean both Jamie Lea’s and Shona’s piglets so I left her to it as I figured she knew more about breast feeding than me.

As it was quiet down at the new harbour site I went for a quick nosey before work

This is the steel container stacked 2 or 3 high then filled with rock, the two rows are tied together with steel bars then infilled with even more rock between them.

This is the causway out to it built by Hooky, Popeye, Twiggy and Ronnie and that thing in the foreground is a serious anchor.

And whilst this just looks like another pile of rock it is in fact a most expertly dug trench for the rock armour to sit in. The 4 ‘Happy blasters’ from ‘Crushrock’ did this on Wednesday evening and once all that rubble is removed it will look just lovely!

The drought

Whilst I was working hard on the ferry OH had sorted the pigs which was good and used up all the water which was bad. Well she hadn’t personally used up all the water but she had turned on the tap and nothing had come out. There’s always been a problem here with water but I thought I’d sorted it with bigger tanks and a different supply as it’s a few years now since we ran out and whilst we’ve had hardly any rain now for a couple of months I’ve checked the tanks regularly and they’ve always been full. However extra guests and the drying up of the garden supply must have put extra pressure on the house supply and today it failed.

So until we get some rain we’re all going to be a bit smelly!!

Weaners for sale

After work, dinner, and checking on the water I went to check out the piglets

Who all seemed to be getting on just fine without their mothers, these wee beauties are a Tamworth X Old spot and should produce first class, tasty pork and are available now @ £30 each

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