Life at the end of the road

March 20, 2009

The shirt’s off or bees, bats and a bar-B-Q

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:38 pm
If  Wednesday was a peach and Thursday was a fruit salad then today was a fruit salad with ice cream and I was up at 5:30 raring to go. The weather could still go seriously pear shaped and start snowing but today it felt more like summer than the first day of spring. The feeding went smoother than expected with each group of piglets in the correct place, after yesterdays glitch with one of the Tamworths joining the wee spotties for dinner I was expecting chaos but it never happened. The first job of the day was converting the trailer load of 5′ long tree trunks into firewood and bedding for the hens. Usually I lift the tree trunks out of the trailer and cut them with a tarpaulin underneath to catch the wood shavings so we can use them as bedding  for the hens. I know I could just sweep them off the floor but wifey does not like the small stones in with the bedding 😦 Today however I had one of my brainstorms, I could cut them in the trailer! That way all the wood shavings would stay put and I’d not be double handling the trunks, not only that I could sit down on the job
Don't try this at home

Don't try this at home

OK it probably is a little risky  using a chainsaw inside a tin box at 7:30 in the morning and would not go down well with the neighbours but it did work very well 🙂 actually my only neighbour is quite a way off  and she is VERY understanding 🙂

Far better than newspaper

Not a stray wood shaving in sight!

An hour or two had it converted into a huge pile of  logs which I split with my Tee shirt off !!!! and 5 bags of sawdust

A respectable pile

A respectable pile

Actually it took me untill 1:00pm with just a half hour break for 2nd breakfast, some phone calls and a little plonking away on the lap top. Taking another wee break after that to munch a cheese sandwich out on the lawn with my computer on my knee. I really am gobsmacked by all this technology, 20 years ago it took me 4 years to get a phone line in, computers  were the size of microwave ovens and I’d not even heard of the internet. My only connection to the outside world was the public phone 10 miles away or the marine band VHF radio that enabled me to talk to the fishing boats, raise the coast gaurd or MOD range in an emergency. Now I can sit in the garden wirelessly connected to a satellite dish at the back of the house spouting rubbish to the rest of the world and if that fails I can hang a dongle out of the bedroom window and do it via the GPRS phone mast at Staffin. Honestly when I first moved here I’d to drive 20 miles if I wanted to arrange somthing with a shellfish buyer in Broadford, now something happens like the fire at Raasay house and it’s round the world in minuets.

Nothing else would do!

It took me a while to stack the wood in the shed and clean up but I did it leisurely enjoying the sight of the first bees in the garden and the wee wee spotty piglets playing in front of the house. I also caught a glimpse of Braken’s 5 piglets not just out of the ark but scampering about in the sunny field, which is pretty good considering they’re only 6 days old! By the time I’d done that it was 4:30, a little early to feed but I wanted to repair my trailer on the car park at the end of the road. The wheel bearing collapsed last week when I was taking my bins down to the ferry for the bin men, I only got half way down the drive when the wheel almost fell off so I had to abandon it just at the end of our drive. So I set off with tools in the quad and two buckets of feed for the Tamworths and wee spotties if they turned up.

Can I help?

Can I help?

Sure enough after only a few mins the tammy’s turned up and started to help me by trying to eat the rags full of dirty grease I’d wiped off the stub axel and out of the hub. A minuet or two of there high pitched screaming and I gave up trying to work and fed them. This meant I had to go and find the 4 spotties and feed them or the 4 much larger tammys would go and nick their grub once they’d finished their own. Easier said than done, these 4 Tamworth x Gloscester Old Spot have really taken to the great outdoors wander for miles and being small are difficult to see in the heather. After a few minuets shouting I heard them long before they came charging towards me through the scrub birch and heather at the back of our croft. By now wife, child and his pal had arrived home with rolls for a barbecue as we had no charcoal I just split loads of wood into small sticks and we used that.

First barbie 2009!

First barbie 2009!

It’s not ideal and took an awful long while to get going, so much so that I left the 9 year old and 13 year old with an axe, matches and bottle of methylated spirit whilst I set off with a can of cider to finish mending the trailer 🙂 OK I was lying about the 9 year old and 13 year old but I did set off with a can of cider though!

It was an emergency!

It was an emergency!

Let me explain, the trailer bearings had worn the hub so they were loose in it and many years of desperation and bodging has taught me that a steel beer can cut into strips and wrapped around the bearing will provide an excellent and permanent repair. I have even used this method with great success on a worn Land Rover crankshaft pulley and normally I don’t have to drink anything I just look through the bins but today all I could find was cat food and tinned tomatoes! As far as the bats go I first saw them yesterday but forgot 🙂



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