Life at the end of the road

June 11, 2008

A bath at last

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:13 pm

Well it was actually last night when I finally managed to save up enough water for a couple of inches in the bottom of the bath and have a much needed scrub. Today it was the dentist in Kyle so I didn’t want to go there stinking of diesel and pigs! This being Wednesday is the start of my week off and priority has to be to get enough water to get the washing machine going. For the past few days we’ve been surviving from containers that I’ve been filling from the hose pipe 11 miles away at the pier. I’ve been bringing up around 60lts a day and most of it’s been going down the toilet! I’m sure there has to be a better way of getting rid of jobbies than chasing them down a pipe with 7lts of filtered and chlorinated water though this is the first time in history that treated water has ever flushed a jobbie or anything else at Arnish so that in itself is something of an event worth recording. Hope no one from the envioronmental health is reading this as I’ve probably been breaking some EC directive on unchlorinated jobbies for the past 19 years. Anyway enough of that, the bath was marvelous and whilst in it I came up with a plan for transporting water.

A sea of pink

So it was up early this morning and my turn to feed the pigs before we headed off on the 8:00am ferry for dentist in Kyle and feed from Portree, all of which went like clockwork and we even had time to stop at the head of loch Sligachan to admire this sea of pink.

The whole shore just above the high water mark was a carpet of ‘sea pinks’ which I think are a type of carnation, bear in mind I know nothing about botany but these beautiful wee flowers seem to survive in the saltiest and driest of places often clinging onto what seems like solid rock just out of reach of the sea. OK I know it’s not a great pic but I was well impressed never having seen the like of it before. Having caught the lunchtime ferry and got home with our 30 bags of feed I set about my water carrying plan.

This involved a plastic fish cage float some drain pipe fittings and a tap. The float we’d found on the shore last week and my original plan was to use it as an enclosure for my hydro turbine but as it’s water tight, will hold 600+ lts and will just fit in my trailer nicely it seemed like the ideal tank to supply the washing machine until we have some rain. All I needed to do was cut a hole in the top and stick screw top lid in made from a ‘Marley’ drain fitting ( that I’d found on the shore ) and fit a tap to the bottom so I could connect a hose pipe to it.

Donald Eyre’s barn

With that done I headed up to North Arnish to have a look at my neighbours supply which had dried up a few days before ours. North Arnish must have been abandoned in the 60s and it’s easy to see why if you ever visit it. It sits high up on the solid rock above loch Arnish where it catches all the weather and with no road everything had to be carried up the hill from the shore may feet below. The views, especially the sunsets from there do take some beating though and my favourite place to watch the sun go down at this time of year is through the door of Donald Eyre’s barn. I don’t know when Donald built this barn with it’s beautiful stonework and long gone curved iron roof but it must have been a sight to behold. Sadly the wooden lintel over the door collapsed over the winter and so did allot of the masonry.

Many is the time I’ve gazed through this doorway on a summers evening and watched the sun set over the Storr.

But I’ll be surprised if there’s still a doorway by next summer as the lintel at the front looks ready to go soon. I dunno how old Donald is and I’ve not seen him for a few years as he’s in Portree now but I’ll never forget the time he stayed in my caravan for a week whilst he did some stone work for my neighbour. He must have been in his late 60s then yet he could still pick a 50kg bag of cement up toss it on his shoulder and walk 1/4 of a mile without stopping. When he came and asked me if he could borrow this bag of cement i was busy trying to push a Rayburn up a ramp into a trailer with 2 strong fish farmers and we were getting nowhere, Donald who was twice our age did it on his own!

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