Life at the end of the road

October 30, 2008

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.

October 29, 2008

And now the real work begins!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:13 am

Due in no small part to all this ‘messing around with clocks’ a late night with a Frenchman and another late night plying my nieghbour with cider, Morgans spiced rum and venison, in an attempt to gain her favour after some of our pigs took up residence under her chalet, I’ve been a day behind with all my posts. Tuesday arrived with a bit of a bang in so much as I opened our north westerly facing door to an icy blast and a flurry of snow. It was still an hour before I usually set off for work so I ran down to the ‘Old girl’ my 1986 Land Rover and switched on the ‘Eberspacher’ diesel cab heater. These are often fitted in the cabs of lorries, boats and the like. It’s like having a small jet engine in your cab that blasts out hot air, it runs off the fuel from the tank normally but I’ve got a separate tank for it so I can use red diesel instead. Even if I leave it running all week it only uses a couple of gallons if turned down low and the pleasure of climbing into a warm ice free vehicle when all around is frost and snow has to be done to be appreciated. Though we only had one frost here last year so it’s a couple of years since I’ve left it running for days on end. Anyway eventually I set off down ‘Calum’s road’ which did have a light dusting of snow here and there where it had been driven by the chill wind. Taking the low road past the hotel I stopped in the growing light to look at the harbour works.

Harbour works 28/10/08

Harbour works 28/10/08

The day was again very busy with a couple of extra runs to clear traffic so no time for any visits to the ‘Golden Emblem’, Willy Eyre or the harbour as I was finishing off my weeks paperwork and getting ready for my relief.

Serene

Serene

The ‘Serene’ was back on her mooring at Sconser after having had a paint and varnish job and she was looking splendid. This large wooden creel boat was built locally by Alan Edmondson of Broadford and is the first large wooden boat built on Skye for many a year. And that was about it my relief arrived, I went home and had an early night in preparation for the weeks labours.

1 deliver 800lts kerosene to

http://www.unique-cottages.co.uk/cottages/westcoast/skye/raasay_schoolhouse which half a mile down a track from here.

2 make my nieghbours chalet pig proof.

3 do the dreaded VAT return and get my books ready for the accountant

4 separate the 5 ‘spotty’ pigs from the herd on the hill and take them on a trip to Dingwall 😦

5 help Louis get the ‘Golden Emblem’ sitting on an even keel

Plus a hundred and one other things that will crop up along the way, so now I’d better stop plonking away on here and get stuck in!

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