Life at the end of the road

November 30, 2009

Red at both ends!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:57 pm

I was a little surprised and disappointed this morning to hear lashing rain on the bedroom window at 5:00am. Surprised because I’d awoken earlier to a starry sky above my head and Orion’s head, shoulders and belt starring down at me through the ‘Velux’ window. Disappointed because http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ promised a good fine day and I had to catch some piglets in the dark and wet before heading over to Skye on the 8:55 ferry.

I need not have worried, for by the time I set off out to feed the herd and chase the two Tamworth girls that we’d donated to the school coffee day the stars were out again, though Orion had vanished over the hills to the south. The two girls had been won in a silent auction by a friend from Skye and as we were going there anyway I’d offered  to deliver them. Not only that but I’d lent him an ark so he would not have to build one, not because I’m incredibly generous but because the sooner they were gone the sooner we could stop feeding them 🙂

The piglets were caught very easily by throwing some feed into a crate laid on its side, then once  they were in, the crate was tipped up the right way and the lid put on. Crate and piglets deposited in the back of the Land Rover it was then a mad dash for the ferry, still eating my toast and drinking my coffee on the way south. The journey being hampered by fresh slushy snow at Glam and a few daft ewes who were trying to get through the fence to the rams on the other side 🙂

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Still we managed to catch the relief boat Loch Linnhe just as the sun was coming up and arrived on a rather snowy Skye around 9:15.

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The new owners were at work but had left a nicely set up enclosure for the two girls in a potato patch and they wasted no time in getting acquainted with their new surroundings.

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After which they tucked into a second breakfast

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and we left them to it.

Loading up the Land Rover with feed at Harbro then driving back to Sconser for the 13:10 ferry to Raasay

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passing the rather white ‘black Cuilins’ on the way.

Once on Raasay we chased a selection of rainbows northwards to Arnish and home

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my favourite being this one by the castle at Brochel

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Arriving back home around 14:30 and without much daylight left I got on with the task of trying to make our eccentric house function properly for the 9 nights that I’d be away. Living at the end of the road is not for the feint hearted or ‘un mechanically minded’ so with this in mind I checked all the things that the swineherd knows little about. The battery electrolyte, the fuel situation in both oil stove and back up generators, the water supply to the house, settings on the inverter and of course I gave the ‘old girl’ a final once over before the trip south tomorrow.

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All this I did as the rocks to the north got redder and the almost full moon rose over Calum Macleod’s house.

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Land Rover checked, pigs fed, house functioning smoothly and daylight gone it was time to pack my bag, have a bath and open a bottle of wine 🙂

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November 29, 2009

Catching up

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:26 pm

Only a few lines and a couple of pictures tonight, it’s 21:00 and I’m off to bed shortly after a very busy day. The extra three bananas on the Loch Striven and the school coffee day have really shortened my ‘week off’ in fact having to join the Loch Striven on Wednesday ‘doon the water’ means that I’m going to have to leave on Tuesday which has only left me two days on the croft. In reality it’s only one because tomorrow we’re off to Portree for feed so that will be the day stuffed!

So today it was a major dose of cleaning out the pigs, pigs may be clean compared to other animals in that they do not soil there house but they don’t wipe their feet and the recent rain and resulting mud had made quite a mess which took me a good part of the day to deal with. The day being over at this latitude some time after 16:00 when the light fails 😦

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I tackled the worst shelter first, which of course belonged to the guy of our herd, Ginger and whilst he was at the moment sharing his stone ruin with two girls they’d let it get in a bit of a state.

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However once I’d removed all the dirty bedding and mud Ginger got in the spirit of things and lent a hand or should I say snout.

Next I tackled Brambles insulated ark, evicting both her and her seven piglets into the next field to make life easier.

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They certainly enjoyed their new found freedom and charged about like a small shoal of ginger fish until I’d finished and let them back in.

That was about it really, I went along to my mates to check out his solar panels, battery bank and hydro turbine, a few friends came to visit and I’m now going to bed 🙂

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