Life at the end of the road

November 26, 2008

Two ferries!!

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:51 pm

loch-striven-023

That’s ma boys poster 🙂

Well it’s been a very active day but I don’t seem to have got much done. My first task after the usual chores was to go and shoot dinner so I hitched a lift down ‘Calum’s road’ with the school taxi. Or should I asy I jumped in the back of the wifes car and got her to drop me off a mile or so down the road in the hope that I’d bag a rabbit or two on the way back.

The real 'Calum's road'

The real 'Calum's Road'

On my way home I took the route down the only bit of the original road that Calum built, for some reason the council chose another route here when they tarred the original. That’s it marked in black and it’s still as firm as it was 30 years ago despite being somewhat overgrown. The drains are still clear and water was rushing down them. Despite seeing several deer, woodcock and grouse I’d not yet spotted a single bunny. Crossing the road and heading north I came accross what must have been a shelter at one time.

Ancient shelter?

Ancient shelter?

With a deep natural recess under the rock and the remains of a wall in front who knows who shetered here in past millenia. Once over the crest of the next hill I’d a fine view of the abomination that was ‘Rainy’s wall’ Rainy or was it Rainey ( my memory is worse than my spelling! ) being one of Raasays most brutal land lords.

Rainy's wall and Calum's road

Rainy's wall and Calum's road

He built this wall to keep his peasants off the more fertile ground to the south and Shelagh Taylor sums him up nicely in a recent comment on the blog :-

“George Rainy was a piece of work. There is a story that once he had some poeple up here hunting deer. They killed a nice stag and asked what they should do with the carcass as it was not going to be eaten. Rainy informed them that it would be buried. The hunters asked if they could give it to the people of the island and Rainy told them no. One of the hunters felt badly because he knew the islanders were going hungry that he and a few others went out late in the night (Saturday) and dug up the carcass. They then took it up to the north end (by that time Sunday) and knocked on the door of a crofter. The crofter said that they could leave it outside as it was the Sabbath and it could not cross his threshold on that day. George Rainy was responsible for the removal of so many people from here. During one of the biggest clearances and transportation to Canada, it is said that the people in Skye could hear the crying and wailing of the people leaving their home here.”

Thank’s Shelagh

Despite it’s 150 years it’s still in remarkable shape though for some reason the first few hundred meters from the road is done in a completely different style.

Rainy's wall, part 1

Rainy's wall, part 1

Built along the lines of ‘Ron’s wall’ near the village hall with a wide base, through stones and infill.

https://lifeattheendoftheroad.files.wordpress.com/2008/04/041508-004-small.jpg

The wall runs from north west to south east accross Raasay’s narrowest point, Tairbert or Tarbert.

Rainy's wall

Rainy's wall route

So for the first time in the almost 20 years that I’ve lived here I walked almost it’s entire length, after the first hundred yards or so it completely changes style into the bare minimum of a wall.

Rainy's 'Holy' wall!

Rainy's holy wall!

Quite why this should be is beyond me, though I suspect it’s something to do with the fact that it’s impossible to climb over such a wall when built in this manner. How on earth these ‘dry stane dykers’ of old managed to balance these rocks is beyond me! I had to walk almost as far as the eastern shore before I could cross and climb up the ‘Sithean Mor’ ( fairy hill ) and then drop down to our home without seeing a single rabbit! As the wife says ” if we’d to depend on you for food we’d starve” ! So without firing a sigle shot I landed home and had a bacon sandwich, spending the rest of the day moving pallets, wiring up extra lights and of course having a spot of lunch before going down to pick up the boy from school. Normally I’d have left that to the ‘taxi’ that is my wife but the ‘Loch Striven’ was due to be replaced by the ‘Loch Linnhe’ and being really sad I wanted to get a picture!

8 pointed stag

8 pointed stag

Though as usual I got distracted along the way by this fine young chap and it’s a real shame that tree was behind him.

Ferry swap!

Ferry swap!

Still I made it in time to see the ‘Loch Linnhe’ arrive at around 15:15 to replace the ‘Loch Striven’ that would be heading south to the Clyde for her annual refit.

Only 3 days to go

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:10 pm

I have to confess to being a little fuzzy this morning thanks in no small part to a box of ‘Mission Peak’ a tasty little Argentinian red. I’ve been off drink for a few days but after Monday’s major achievement I felt a celebration was in order and being as I didn’t have any energy left to unload the mountain of shopping from the back of the Land Rover after our trip then we tucked into it yesterday. Actually we had to open it as it’s an essential ingredient in the ‘butternut squash casserole’ we had for dinner last night, so whilst it was opened it seemed a shame not to have a glass or two 🙂

Tuesday 25th November

Anyway the day got off to a fine if not grey start with the usual bout of feeding taking slightly less time and costing a little less money. We will now only be feeding 38kg per day instead of 46kg, that’s £10.64 as opposed to £12.88! and with 3 more going on Monday and 2 the week after then we might even have some money for Christmas 🙂 After feeding it was unloading the several wheelbarrow loads of shopping out of the back of the Land Rover and putting it away. Since I left the hustle and bustle of city life in 1985 a wheelbarrow has always been an essential bit of after shopping kit. Indeed I’ve had several wheelbarrows as Christmas presents ( how sad is that! ) ‘Life at the end of the road’ isn’t as hard as it was at my last home on Scalpay, at least here you can drive to within a few yards of the house. On Scalpay with no ferry it was unload the car on Skye, transfer to wee boat, cross the sea, transfer to wheelbarrow then push up beach to house which was a long way if the tide was out! So with the shopping away it was onto my first project which was fitting a new ammeter and volt meter to my hydro turbine, having burnt them out a couple of weeks ago by wiring them up incorrectly!

Hydro meters

Hydro meters

This is my panel that monitors what’s happening with my 200w Navitron hydro turbine. The top one is the 48v battery bank DC voltage, below that is the frequency which should be around 50hz, then it’s AC voltage beneath and as you can see at 271 it’s a little high, lastly on the right is the amperage going into the battery bank from the small charger. It’s only 1.731 amps but over 24 hours that’s 2kwh per day or 757 a year and your average household uses around 4000. We are well below that at around 3000 so you can see it’s a fair chunk of your daily usage. If I could get the whole 200w into my battery bank then that wee turbine would supply half our needs!

After that and a spot of wood cutting it was the school run as wifey was away for the day

A368 RMAS Warden

A368 RMAS Warden

Though I did get distracted by the Royal Maritime Auxilary Service Warden that was doing some lifting at Brochel. What she was lifting I don’t know but these ships were built for laying moorings and the like.

Warden moorings tender

Displacement: 900 tons full load Dimensions: 160 x 34.5 x 11.5 feet Propulsion: 2 diesels, 2 shafts, 3,800 bhp, 15 knots Crew: 15 Used to tend moorings for test range markers. Number Name Year Homeport Notes A368 Warden 1989 Milford Haven

And I know  the picture’s not great but you should have seen the ‘Scotch mist’!

Portree from Glam

Portree from Glam

Though it looked a better day in Portree

Dosing Sheep at Glam 25/11/08

Dosing Sheep at Glam 25/11/08

With plenty of activity in the sheep fank at Glam where they were busy dosing the sheep and treating them with ‘Spot On’ I think! Once at school I was treated to a look at some more of the posters made up by the pupils for Saturday’s big event.

Raasay Primary Posters

Raasay Primary Posters

Though I was starting to panic a little at the thought of assisting with the cooking!

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