Life at the end of the road

June 28, 2008

Yellow mushrooms, AWOL sheep and brown water

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:32 pm

It was even more of the west coast summer weather this morning and it was only the thought of chanterelles for breakfast that gave me any kind of enthusiasm for the day. The whole familly had been looking forward to the trip to     http://www.ukcottage.com/highlands/craig-highland.htm today to collect the Soay sheep that we’d swapped for weaners but we received a phone call last night saying that some tourist had left a gate open and said sheep were now AWOL somewhere between Plockton and Achmore! so the trip had to be postponed until they could be found and retrieved. As we were combining this trip with the delivery of 4 weaners which had now ( for the time being ) become 2 the economics of taking the trailer over on the ferry were looking dubiuos. Instead I opted for my custom built piglet carrier or should I say fish cage float, this 3′ x 4′ plastic float with it’s childs cot as a lid just fits nicely into the back of the old girl and will comfortably hold 4 8 week old piglets if you can stand the smell! Now normally when preforming the operation of removing piglets I do it at feeding time and usually the night before, putting them into a small pen made of pallets for the night and transfering them to the Land rover in the morning. This time for various reasons and against my better judgement we did at at around 11:00am, long after breakfast and decided just to catch them and put them straight into the box in the back of the Landy. Catching them would not be a problem as these wee darlings are very friendly so it was just a case of getting the ‘old girl as close to the piglets as possible, OH caught them passed them over fence to me and I put them in the box in the  back of ‘old girl’ and the Dude closed the lid.

What we hadn’t taken into account was ‘Bramble’ one of our Tamworths who heard the squealing from one of the herd and came charging over to protect it, even though this was not one of her own she thundered over and gave ‘two legs’ a good bite on the calf!

I’m not sure weather I was more impressed by her protectivness or more annoyed at myself for not distracting her with feed, anyway as soon as the two boys were in the box together they stopped squealing and Bramble settled down. An hour or so later they were over on Skye and in the back of a pick up destined for a new life at Staffin.

Within a few moments their tails were tight and curly ( a good sign ) and they were rooting in the deep hay bedding ( another good sign ) so we swapped paperwork and money and went back to Raasay minus 2 pigs!

The afternoon being spent moving and cutting firewood followed by an hour or so splitting it with my new 3kg splitting maul. I’ve lived here and burnt wood for 19 years and have in that period split hundreds of tons of wood with an axe, it’s only now when I’ve finally purchased the right tool for the job that I realize how stupid I’ve been! still you live and learn and at least it kept me fit! With all the sweating and piglet moving it was refreshing to get into a nice bath of brown peaty water. As our private supply has only just started to produce water again after a 3 week rest it’s even murkier than usual especially after the sparkly chlorinated stuff that I’ve been ‘stealing’ from the pier in my home made bowser. In fact a wee person that’s been staying with us refused to get in the bath today as it was all ‘yukky’ though he did so eventually.

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