Life at the end of the road

December 14, 2008

Things could be much worse

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

On the whole it has not been a good week off. The bout of  ‘man flu’ left me with a severe lack of enthusiasm and I’ve not really achieved a great deal since returning from the Loch Striven’s annual re fit on Bute. The weather has been pretty grim and apart mundane pig related tasks like feeding and changing bedding not much has been done on the croft. Things went decidedly downhill on Saturday when wife’s car broke down in Broadford, suddenly loosing power and running on 3 cylinders. After eventually getting it back to the ‘end of the road’ on Saturday evening a quick look under the bonnet and a change of spark plugs left it still running like a bag of nails. Still we’d been invited to dinner at http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html the old schoolhouse where two of our pigs were being converted into joints, hams, chorizo’s, salami’s, brawn and pate so a civilised evening of oysters, roast pork and red wine would help us forget transport worries for a little while at least. We usually walk down the half mile rough track when going to dinner there and the ‘responsible adult’ that is our 9 year old boy leads us home with a torch. However he was at the panto in Inverness so we took the quad blatantly ignoring all the warning signs that festoon it’s bodywork like, NO PASSENGERS, NO ALCOHOL, and ALLWAYS WEAR A CRASH HELMET! still we arrived safely had a wonderful meal and returned in one piece before midnight.

Rassay! pork

It was whilst heading over to Skye to rescue the wee car and get more feed for the animals that I was informed that our pork was for sale in the newly re opened butchers shop in Portree only they’d spelt Raasay wrong! http://www.lochalshbutchers.com/ George Macrae of Lochalsh butchers recently purchased and refurbished the run down butchers shop on Wentworth street in Portree to add to his chain of three quality retail outlets in Kyle, Broadford and Mallaig. George first came across our pork a couple of years ago when Munro’s of Dingwall accidentally delivered a pig that was destined for http://www.housebytheloch.co.uk/ to his shop in Kyle and he was so impressed by the quality of our product that he asked Tony from the 4 star star restaurant if I would contact him as “it’s the nicest piece of pork I’ve seen in years” ! it was a while before we could spare any but he’s since been a regular customer so if you fancy a nice piece of Raasay pork as a Christmas treat or anything else for that matter it’s well worth a visit to one of his shops. We went for a meal recently to celebrate my dads 80th birthday at ‘Grants at Criagellachie’ or the House by the loch as it’s sometimes known and it was awesome!

The invisible restraunt

Liz and Tony

Liz and Tony

Tony was our first customer 3 years ago but this is the first time I’ve actually met him or visited their intimate establishment on the shores of Loch Duich. Liz and Tony’s cozy little establishment has been a victim of lunatic jobsworth planning officials that insisted it not be visible outwith the original dimensions of the house. They had wanted an extra meter in width and a few more inches height which would have given them an extra table or two and some more revenue but someone in their wisdom decided that this would be a blot on the landscape. This in no way affects the customer experiance but it’s a shame that small bussinessis like this that are so vital to the rural economy are not given more encouragement by the powers that be. It goes without saying that I had the Raasay pork turinne as a starter which was of course delicious but the entire menu of localy sourced produce was of the same high quality and we all had a most wonderful evening.

Speaking of lunatic council officials

I know it’s very much in vogue to knock your local council but I have to say that bizzare planning decisions asside ‘Highland Region’ is pretty good considering the raft of ‘Health and Safety’ cr4p they’re constrained with and our obsession with the ‘compensation culture’ where most councils spend more money compenating people that trip over cracks in pavements than actually repairing them! I mean if I trip over a rock or a tree root it’s because I’m not looking where I’m going and I curse myself for being dozy but not Joe public, he looks around for someone to blame! the world has gone mad. Anyway whatever your views on climate change are you can’t deny that being more energy efficient and recycling is a good thing but sometimes you do wonder. Consider this, my wife child and I along with one neighbour live at the end of that marvel of engineering that is ‘Calum’s road’, we are 10 miles from anywhere and it was a fight to get 3 dustbins. For years I happily took my own cr4p 9 miles down the road and dumped it in the Raasay landfill, that was untill some plonker decided it made more sense to close the local tip, bring over a bin wagon every week and cart the stuff off to another landfill hundreds of miles away in Caithness! talk about carbon footprint. Anyway I had to threaten the council with dumping my rubbish at the roadside before they would agree to giving us a dustbin and fortnightly collection, I actually still take my bins down just to save them driving up but I was just trying to make a point. So when then council decided to introduce I kerbside recycling scheme I was quite pleased so imagine my surprise when I arrived home the other day to see

The seven dwarfs!

The seven dwarfs!

seven! bins at the end of the road. Bear in mind that I’ve been trying to get just 1 bin placed in the car park at the end of ‘Calum’s road’ for years and been told it’s not possible because it would blow away or it’s a different department or it wouldn’t get used or the wheels would sieze up! I mean how much rubbish can 4 people recycle in a month? needless to say the seven bins were spread over a couple of hundred squre meters the day after the first gale! Still I’ve now dragged 4 of them up to the house and we’re busy trying to fill them with all the stuff in the attached leaflet.

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