Well if I thought it was cold yesterday morning when I arose it was ‘Baltic’ today, a quick look at the thermometer in the kitchen confirmed that I was not coming down with ‘man flu’ and a quick feel of the stove confirmed that it had gone out. The trudge outside in my pyjamas for fuel informed me it was snowing and that awesome full moon of late lit up the croft like 7:30 and not the 5:30 that it was. The fire was soon re lit and a pot of coffee simmering on top ready to kick start the new day. I was in an exceptionally good mood 🙂
10 years on
Had I won the lottery or had it been a Tuesday I could not have been in a better mood, I was in a good mood because I had last night, just before going to bed received an email from the organizers of Rockness informing me that the mighty Leftfield were getting back together after a 10 year break to play a gig on my doorstep.
Now I appreciate that the the vast majority of my readers have probably never heard of the electronic pioneers Paul Daley and Neil Barnes or probably even like their unique banging techno, afro, dub beats but me I’m great fan. I only saw them the once at T in the park 2000 and it is a memory I will take to my grave. The huge dark interior of the massive ‘Slam tent’, full, but not bursting, with a few lights and speakers everywhere. Behind the ‘band’ a huge screen with samurai warrior in full armour.
Once the band came on they held a deep base groove for about two minutes, it was so loud the ground shook and your organs vibrated, replaced by an even longer and louder drum roll that led into ‘Dub Gusett’ we all went wild. They played a similar set at ‘Homelands’ the same year which you can download here http://www.nialler9.com/2007/05/29/leftfield-live-homelands-2000-full-set/ if you know how to. Me I’m computer illiterate but my good mate Willy Eyre has just stuck it on an SD card for me and I’m listening to it as we speak (so to speak) 🙂
Anyway back on Raasay 🙂 I left for work a little earlier than usual due to the white stuff and skipped my usual listening of choice on Saturday morning, ‘Farming today’ on Radio 4 in favour of Leftfields first album ‘Leftism’, it was already in the CD magazine anyway 🙂
Stopping briefly by ‘Storab’s grave’ to gaze at Portree and the moon through the old sycamore tree at Hector’s croft. I’ve no idea who Hector was but Storab was a Viking prince who is buried near here under a mound of stones or so the story goes.
Reproduced with the kind permission of Ordnance Survey Great Britain
He also inspired, or at least his story inspired fellow Accringtonian sir Harrison Birtwhistle http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrison_Birtwistle to compose ‘Duets for Storab’ during his 10 year stay on Raasay. https://www.hdtracks.com/index.php?file=catalogdetail&valbum_code=680125104625 Not exactly Leftfield but beautiful none the less and if you scroll halfway down the page and check out the Nash ensembles take on it you’ll hear what I mean.
A short Saturday
Arriving for work just as the snow plough was leaving the council yard ready to tackle the virgin snow on the Arnish road i awaited the rest of the crew of the good ship Loch Striven. The north wind was still cold but had eased, the cloud was thinning and it promised to be a good day. The rest of the crew did not share my excitement about the Leftfield reunion ( I wonder why ) but we were all pretty chuffed that the late ferry had not been booked 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, i don’t mind doing the late ferry if someone’s going to be on it but it is nice to get home early 🙂
The day itself was pretty quiet, in fact pretty dead would have been more accurate, apart from the bin lorry, a couple of shoppers and a few harbour workers not a great deal happened on the traffic front.
The lack of customers and big tides though did give us a good opportunity to survey the damage on the slipway at Sconser.
It also gave our hard working purser a chance to clear stones off the Raasay slip
whilst I took the pictures 🙂
We also used the spare time and good weather to good effect by going on a wee jolly in the ship to check out the new harbour works. Actually the tide was so low that we could not back into the berth so we went to see how Balfour Beatty were getting on with the new one.
Whoops that’s the old one 🙂
The yellow line is where they are just now and the red line is where it was on the 23rd of October, as you can see it’s almost there 🙂
And here is our new 15m wide slipway with two rather large diggers working away on it.
That was about it really, after work I trudged north in the Old Girl and enjoyed a hot bath followed by pastrami baked potatoes a Greek salad and the first glass of wine in almost a week 🙂 It’s 22:30 now Africa shox has just blasted forth from the speakers on my laptop ( which really fail to do it justice ) and I’m now off to my bed 🙂
Somewhere out there in the crowd is the swineherd and I 🙂