Life at the end of the road

April 2, 2009

Breaking wind!

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:06 pm

A very busy and satisfying day with wall to wall sunshine and a good stiff breeze from the south that kept the wind turbine’s busy. The first job after uploading some photo’s on to the blogg just in case it went pearshaped tonight was to feed the animals. Today however I’d planned to keep the sheep out of the hens food once and for all.

That'll show you!

That'll show you!

They were not impressed! funnily enough niether were the hens, I showed them the way in through the gap I’d left between the fence and the hurdles, they had a feed left through the gap then spent all afternoon trying to get back in, still I’m sure they’ll work it out eventually. Just like the piglets who seem to have worked out how to get along with each other despite the huge difference in size.

A bit of a mixture!

A bit of a mixture!

Putting up a wind break

With everyone fed and Shona skipping about enjoying her new freedom in the sun I set about putting up a wind break for our fruit trees. We have a veg garden that is rabbit and deer proof next to a small field that is just deer proof. We occaisionally put piglets in so I’ve fenced around the trees to stop them digging up the trees and today I was putting up a wind break to protect them from the southerly and north westerly winds that catch this bit of our valley.

Netting and battens

Netting and battens

Being a deer fence it already had the height so I rolled it out whilst wifey stapled it to the fence posts. This however is only to hold it in position temporarily, once it’s in position I went round and screwed battens the full height of the netting and more to each post thus trapping the netting firmly and stopping fraying.

All done

All done

It would take a normal person about 2 hours to do this but true to form I spent most of the day on it, rounding the day off with an abortive effort at fitting a new front wheel bearing to wifey’s Astra. There are two types fitted to the Diesel Astra of this vintage and I cannily got both. It didn’t do me much good though because some clown had fitted a petrol Astra suspension leg to the nearside which has a different wheel bearing so now my wife has two dead cars 😦  Still it’s not the weekend yet so I can get the right one tomorrow and it is cheaper 🙂 However the day was so nice and my wind break so pretty that I didn’t even care.

Sunset 2/4/09

Sunset 2/4/09

So I just went and watched the sun go down

Beware pigs on the loose!

Beware pigs on the loose!

with my pigs until we had to move for the traffic!

I’ll try again later!

Filed under: boats, daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:05 am

It’s 6:30am now the cockerels are crowing and I’ve decided which one will be the next Sunday dinner! This last week one of the remaining two has turned into a real bully. He’s had a go at my boy, giving him a right bruise on the leg, almost pecked the wife and won’t let the other cockerel anywhere near the food or other hens, what a guy. I’d pull his neck today but my boy’s away and I’m sure he’ll take great pleasure in sinking his teeth into one of the cockerels legs when he gets home 🙂

Anyway this should be yesterdays effort but I lost patience with my dodgy satellite connection and the Vodafone GPRS, mobile is far too slow up here for posting serious pictures. Apparently it’s fine if you can get onto a 3G transmitter and achieve broadband speeds but our nearest 3G mast is Inverness, 100 miles away and there’s no prospect of it arriving on Skye in the foreseeable future so I’m going to post yesterdays pictures now whilst my satellite dish is in a good mood 🙂

Raasay engineer at work 1/4/09

Raasay engineer at work 31/3/09

OK that should have been in yesterdays post but like I said things were slow!

Anyway that’s me back in after a hard days graft on the croft and glued to my laptop in the kitchen, I spoke to Avanti who twiddled some knobs in London and drowned me in a flood of words I didn’t understand but whatever they did seems to have got me back up to speed so here goes with yesterdays effort.

Wednesday 1st April

An early start was called for as we had a dentist appointment in Kyle at 9:4o and it was the Land Rover that was taking us so there would be no rushing anywhere! The day was a pure beauty and after a quick check up and all clear from the dentist we carried on down the shores of Loch Alsh and on to Glen Shiel. Stopping briefly just outside Kyle to take some boaty pictures, firstly of a nice Mitchel Mk1 rigged out for clam diving

Sabre II BRD628

Sabre II BRD628

‘Island Divers’ of Kyle hard at work ‘hand picking’ scallops in Loch Alsh. Then a snap of the former RMAS Warden now renamed SD Warden alongside the navy pier with the tug SD Kyle of Lochalsh in the foreground.

SD Warden

SD Warden

After a bite to eat and depositing my boy with ‘Nonno and Nonna’ we headed back the way we’d come down the shores of loch Duich until I spotted these wild goats just before Inverinate.

Wild mountain goats Glensheil

Wild mountain goats Glensheil

The lead goat having the strangest pair of handle bars I’ve ever seen, I kept goats myself for a while and was quite fond of them, Rosie and Hazel the two Saanen goats were great milkers but were just two tying. Many’s the night in winter when I landed my catch in Portree but had to return home in the dark to Raasay whereas a sane person would have stayed put. It’s hard for many people to grasp the total lack of any man made light but that what it’s like when you leave Portree  harbour and turn North to Raasay, Rona or Fladda. There’s not a single pin point of light or glow from a town or village to be seen and it was on nights like this usually with a breeze of wind that I had to head back to Arnish to milk the goats. When I was looking into the feasibility of keeping goats everyone said to me “whatever you do, do not get a billy goat because they stink” and after catching a whiff of these guys I now know just exactly what they mean, even at 50 yards you could smell them and it wasn’t pleasant!

Next stop was Portree for feed and more fencing materials from Harbro the feed merchant, followed by the customary mad dash to catch a ferry. It does not matter which ferry you decide to catch it’s always a rush! anyway we’d decided to go for the 15:00 as it would give me chance to get a few things done before dinner  as in my book spending a day driving round Scotland for dental appointments and sow rolls does not constitue having done anything 🙂 well apart from seeing some beautiful scenary and my parents 🙂 Once back at the ‘end of the road’ we were confronted by 8 squealing pigs  so rather than try to negotiate the drive and gate with 8 porkers charging round my wheels I fed them on the car park with some of the half ton we had in the back and I have to say I’m surprised how well they are getting on together.

Happy 'free range' piglets

Happy 'free range' piglets

The next job was to feed the rest of  the herd

Bramble 'two legs'

Poor old Bramble our ‘circus pig’ is always last to be fed and she’s so patient! given half the chance she’d be over that fence. There used to be a strand of  barbed wire where that top board is and she was almost over it on more than one occasion so I removed it for fear of her hurting herself.

Weaning  Shona’s wains

When I fed everyone this morning I noticed that Shona had had enough of her 11 piglets, they were stealing her food, she was looking knackered and was needing a rest. They’re just over 6 weeks old but are a good size and weaning them was just a simple mater of turning the gate the right way round whilst they were feeding out of their troughs and mum was in the field.

Wains weaned!

Wains weaned!

With the gate upside down they’ve got a much larger area to play and they can feed without mum stealing their food as they can get through the bars and she can’t. Now with the gate the right way up they’re stuck on the outside and she can get some peace. Next job was to fix them up with a house courtesy of yet another faulty Balmoral oil tank, dragging the tank round upside down I decided to fill it with bedding whilst it was upside down as this would stop the piglets charging off with it.

Upside down house

Upside down house

or so I thought. No sooner had I put the first armful in than they were in checking it out, though when I threw in the second armful it was hilarious watching them trying to all run out of that small door whilst skidding on the frictionless plastic 🙂

Right way up house!

Right way up house!

Pretty soon it was filled and they were in checking it out and that was about it, well apart from finishing off my fence around the fruit trees 🙂

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.