Life at the end of the road

October 30, 2008

Raising the ‘Golden Emblem’

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:14 pm

Well it’s been a pure peach of a day here, starting off with a good hard frost and then bucket  loads of sunshine. I went out feeding in the gloom just before dawn as I’d lots to do before I set off for the 9:00am ferry which only served to confuse the pigs more as they were just getting used to the GMT ( UTC ) time. Still a pig is always happy to be fed and they all looked lovely in the frost

Rory and Ruby's first frost

Rory and Ruby's first frost

Though some of the pigs on the hill obviously mistook the gritter for the quad and came charging round to the car park to be fed!

Gritter 'n' pigs

Gritter 'n' pigs

After watching a huge stag on the horizon silhouetted against the brightening eastern sky and listening to another bellowing with two hinds on his tail the gritter man  headed south and I fed the pigs.

Pigs 'n' gritter!

Pigs 'n' gritter

The day was far too good to be messing around in Portree any longer than necessary so I abandoned any thoughts of the 9:00am ferry and headed down to the ‘Golden Emblem’. Despite the fact that most visits to the ‘Emblem’ are accompanied by alcohol ( if your not careful ) it is not a pub but a boat and today seemed the perfect day to level her up. Louis boat has been lying on her port side for years now and getting her on an even keel would make life much easier for his restoration project.

Leveling her up
She’s got plenty of anchors and stakes out that are set in the beach and on the shore so the first job was to loosen the ones on the port side a little and put a ‘Tirfor’ winch on that side, not to pull but to let out gently. Next I placed the ‘Old girl’ and her ‘Warn 9500XP’ winch on the beach amidships of the ‘Emblem’ and a few meters away. The winch wire was paid out and made fast on a thick plank spread across 4 of the ribs on the port side and laid over a steel plate and plank on the starboard gunnel. Eventually after placing some large chocks in front of the wheels we started to pull on the electric Land Rover winch and pay out on the ‘Tirfor’

winching the 'Golden Emblem'

winching the 'Golden Emblem'

Despite the substantial chocks in front of the ‘Old Girl’ she was almost climbing over them under the strain so Louis reversed his car onto the beach and tied her to the back of the ‘Old Girl’ as an anchor and little at a time we raised her up square using a spirit level on the deck. We actually pulled her a little too far so when the tension came off the winch she’d rest upright and by good fortune that’s just what she did, sitting nicely on some chocks we’d made up. The plan being to make up some legs for her but for now I had to abandon ship and race to Portree for yet more pig food and some wood to finish ‘pig proofing’ my nieghbours chalet so she could get a decent nights sleep!

A pretty good start

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:59 am

It’s looking like a good week ahead according to the GB Wind which is good because we’re putting the 5 spotty pigs away on Monday and so far it looks promising. I’m still a day behind as it’s now Thursday and I’ve still not caught up with myself but I managed to make a severe dent in my list of jobs for the week yesterday. First off as usual was the feeding which apart from the 9 pigs that came charging out from under my nieghbour and potential ex friends chalet was straight forward enough. With all the wee rascals fed and after my first breakfast I started the labourious task of taking heating oil to Torran. I say started actually I started this long and involved process 3 weeks ago. You guys that live in civilization just don’t know how luck you are, you pick up the phone, choose from any one of a dozen suppliers all competing with each other, order your oil and bang it’s there in your tank. Me I phone the depot in Portree who if I’m lucky give me a date sometime in the near future when they may be coming to Raasay. I double the time they give me and if I’m going to need oil before then I have to get it myself which is really complicated involving a trailer, signs, informing the Cal Mac office at Uig and filling in a ‘dangerous goods certificate’ . Anyway assuming they are coming to Raasay I take my 200lt barrels down to the ferry terminal and leave them to be filled. Now if they were reliable I could leave them down there in the trailer to be filled and just pick them up in the trailer but soon as they never come when they say and I use my trailer regularly it’s out of the question. So once filled I take the trailer back down and roll them in. 4 on end if they’re going in my tank or 3 on the side if they’re going to Torran, if for me I just pump them straight into my tank off the trailer if for the ‘Torran Schoolhouse’ I transfer them to a small quad trailer one at a time lash them down well with the ubiquitous ratchet straps I’m so fond of and take them over one at a time before transferring the contents to their tank. Whilst waiting for the contents to discharge I checked over the solar panels and ‘Harris hydro’ turbine both of which were performing admirably. Whilst up in the woods checking the water inlet I came across a fine cluster of hedgehog mushrooms which I plucked for breakfast number two. Whilst on my trips back and forth to Torran I came across 4 of the 5 spotty pigs that are going away on Monday so took the chance to lead them away from the others and back into a secure paddock on the croft. As they’d not long since been fed they were not full of their usual enthusiasm for food so kept getting distracted along the way, however after a wee while I had them locked in a small field next to Ginger and Shona so they got on with noising each other up through the fence and I got on with frying up my hedgehogs in butter.

Helping with the wood

Helping with the wood

Once full of mushrooms I did a last trip to Torran with some wood then set about pig proofing the chalet which took me well into the dark so after bending a few nails because I couldn’t see and running out of wood I called it a day, having successfully got the last spotty pig in with the other 4 and avoided doing my VAT return I felt quite pleased with myself.

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