Life at the end of the road

October 31, 2010

Spitting feathers

Filed under: animals, daily doings, listers, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:20 am

I really do hate all this messing about with clocks, I’ve a great biological alarm clock that negates the use of an alarm. In fact, until I started work on the ferry I never used one and it’s only the fear of being late for work that has me setting one on my phone just in case. It is seldom required 🙂 Anyway I was awake at a far saner 6:30 this morning, which my computer has just informed me is actually 5:30 according to GMT so I should have an extra hour in bed, aye that’ll be right, somebody should tell that to the pigs 🙂

So it’s now Halloween, or it least it is everywhere except for on Raasay 🙂 We had it early so as not to interfere with the Sabbath, rarely does any event actually get celebrated on time here, between weather and the church events like Hogmanay and Halloween can be a day or two early and bonfire night can happen as late as January 🙂 Still it does not seem to bother those who matter, the children still enjoy it and go out safely in all weathers to just about every household at the south end to be showered with sweeties, peanuts and apples by a generous populous.

Here however I was trying for hours to get my new Panasonic FZ38 to download a video I’d shot yesterday onto my Fujitsu Amilo 3438g laptop. Never mind downloading it, it would not even see it on the SD card or even the camera’s internal memory. I hate all this modern technology, you don’t even get a friggin instruction book with the camera nowadays you get a friggin disc, fat lot of use that is in the glove box of the car when you quickly need to look something up. Not only that but the DVD drive on this computer does not work and when I did try it on my clockwork IBM the writing on the screen was so small that I couldn’t read it 😦 I know I can enlarge it but there’s 200 friggin pages and all I wanted to do was to try and change the recording format to something that (perhaps) my friggin computer could read. Four friggin hours of my life wasted on here when I could have been telling you all about our brilliant day 🙂 And what’s more I’m still no wiser and the excellent video of a piglet following two quads up to the ‘Pipers rock’ is still stuck on the card 😦


 graph 311010

It was actually not a bad day here, there were a few heavy showers but we missed most of them,

weather 311010

wifey took the boy to Portree to play football on the all weather pitch at the high school, a ‘knockout’ that was cancelled before the holidays due to the weather and I stayed at home. Not on my own but with a couple of his pals that much prefer ‘action packed’ life on the croft to chasing a ball about 🙂

All tanked up

The first thing we did was take down all the dustbins from the north end to the ferry to save the bin lorry a twenty mile trip. I know I pay my council tax but if I can arrange my day so that it saves them driving a 15ton truck up an already pot holed road I do. And yesterday I was taking my trailer down anyway to collect one and a half oil tanks 🙂


301010 002

A full complete and unused one that I’d been given and was going to use as a water tank and half of one that I’d loaned to a friend as a pig ark 🙂

Once back home and with the sun shinning we set off for to check out the renewable energy system there and give the Lister ST2 back up generator a good hours run. As the house is powered by solar panels and a hydro turbine the generator seldom starts so it’s good to run it up regularly just to keep it’s batteries charged.

301010 005 301010 006

All this we did with a little grunting pig following us about, Bee had chased the quads the half mile or so from our house to the school 🙂

301010 004

She also chased us a further half mile up to the Pipers rock as we towed some water pipe up there.

301010 009

Halfway up the track we came to a rock fall that must have happened since we were last up in August,

301010 010

it must have been quite spectacular as several hundred tons of lewisian gniess came crashing down from this cliff above Torran taking with it a few stunted birch trees.

301010 013

We continued climbing to our destination high above Loch Arnish,

301010 014

all of us !!!!!! Wee Bee trotted merrily behind grunting like, well, a pig 🙂

301010 015

With the water pipe deposited we climbed back down and went along to my friends house a little nearer to Fladda to collect a water tank that I’d been given. OK it had a few holes in it but nothing that a bit of fibre glass could not sort, we strapped it down with plenty of ratchet straps so as to to put any more holes in it and much to my surprise we managed to squeeze through the gate without removing it 🙂


301010 021

There was much more but I’d better go and feed the pigs now so I’ll just leave you with this visitor in our garden,

301010 025

he wasn’t in great condition, probably from all the sh***ing and bellowing he’d been doing of late but he was handsome enough for all that 🙂


  1. Like you,I don’t need an alarm clock:but set my fone because of the time change last night–fat load of good!!!No problem waking up etc! ca’t get into b****y car!!
    I don’t have a “key” but a b****y magnetic card,,but ,no doubt,because of torrential rain etc(on red alert) cannot get into car,far less drive the 35kms to work—and they call magnetic cards progress in the automobile industry??? (no smileys can show my rage this a.m)

    Comment by frogsaint — October 31, 2010 @ 7:27 am

    • Morning Taddoe,

      the thing I REALLY hate is these friggin cars that lock themselves, what right as the car got to make that decision ???? The hassle that this particular bit of ‘progress’ has caused in terms of smashed windows and long car journeys to get another set of keys is beyond belief. Not everyone on the planet lives in an area where cars must be locked and for many people it is safer to leave the keys in the friggin car than lose them in a peat bog or at sea. Same with this car alarm carry on the number of ferry crossings that I’ve had to endure with alarms on the car deck screaming away, you can’t steal a car on a ferry 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2010 @ 6:12 am

  2. Neither watch nor mobile phone here. But somehow I manage to get the boys out the door just before the school bus arrives. Oh, and get them to rugby with a few minutes to spare. Other than that, time seems to adapt itself to me quite nicely.

    Comment by Stonehead — October 31, 2010 @ 7:46 am

    • Good morning Stoney,

      ahh the joys of not being a slave to the clock, you lucky devil 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2010 @ 6:14 am

  3. … piglet & quads video
    is this the first video taken?
    maybe HD/size problem with laptop?
    A cheap Hama cardreader would avoid cable/transfer software.
    What size DS card?
    Worried about comment about not seeing it on the cam! Finger trouble? Try a few tests to see if you’ve pressed buttons ok 😦
    Maybe experiment with vid quality – may be set higher than necessary?

    Comment by jim_y_bruce — October 31, 2010 @ 9:33 am

    • Hi JYB,

      I took a video of HMS Astute diving two weeks ago whilst on the way to my parents, once there I uploaded it to on her laptop and was well pleased with the result. Once home I went to download the pics and vid onto mine and the vid had vanished so I just thought that I’d erased it off the SD card at my parents house. The piglet and quad video was the only one I’ve taken since, it is on the 2Gb SD card as I can play it via the camera but my computer just wont recognize it. If I look in properties it shows the space taken up on the card but nothing else. The HMS Astute video was taken in the default HD mode but I’ve reduced it to minimum with no effect 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 31, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

      • oh yes think you mentioned that on the sub report
        Looks like other people have experienced this too.
        Just some thoughts …
        Fujitsu Amilo 3438g spec shows … Media Drive: 4-in-1 card reader with SD support.
        Are you transferring via usb cable or pulling out card and placing in card reader?
        Do your jpgs show ok? – would indicate video format unrecognised rather than a connection problem.
        What Op System have you? Up to date with Service Packs?
        If not recognising video format you might download something like CCCP (Combined Community Codec Pack) to give support for all video formats

        Comment by jim_y_bruce — October 31, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

      • Hi JYB,

        tried both lead and card but no joy, from what I can gather from forays around the net it is, like you suggest a codec problem but it’s way over my head. I did try your CCCP link but even that does not seem to support AVCHD or whatever it is that Panasonic use 😦 I’m using XP with service pack three ( I think ) and as far as I know it’s all up to date.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2010 @ 6:22 am

      • Hi Raymond, Jim, all,

        sorted, well almost, I’ve managed to configure the camera to record in a format that my computer can read, motionJPEG as opposed to AVCHD. The quality isn’t as good but I’ve not given up on the AVCHD yet. It’s just a little over my head and requires more time 🙂

        Thanks, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2010 @ 5:54 am

      • Ffdshow may be the codec solution

        These codecs relate to *playing* videos.
        Why would XP not even *list* it?
        Is your maw’s l’top newer than yours? Windows7?
        Happy sleuthing!

        Comment by jim_y_bruce — November 1, 2010 @ 8:57 am

      • PS
        just checking if you’re using Win Explorer to examine SD card?
        If videos listed you could copy files to hard disk.

        1 web headline …
        “AVCHD video: The hardware is willing, but the software is weak”

        Here’s a possible helpfull link …

        This is the price of being at the forefront of technology 😉

        Comment by jim_y_bruce — November 1, 2010 @ 9:17 am

      • What I hate about modern instruction manuals, that is if you get one now is that when you open the box and you find this thick manual of 60 pages only two are in English because all the rest are taken up with the same two pages translated into 30 other languages. Then I hate the use of acronyms without a glossary. You look them up on the internet and you find that what you thought what you thought had something to do with computers is in fact a society for the prevention sexually transmitted diseases. Then last but not least those two words that turn me off and is guaranteed, to get my blood boiling”””” INTUITIVE INTERFACE”””” Aaarhh.

        Comment by Yorkshire Miner — November 1, 2010 @ 9:31 am

      • Morning Dave,

        I’m with you all the way, or at least I would be if I actually read instruction manuals 🙂 with me it’s always a last resort 🙂 the friggin CD was the last straw though. 219 pages in PDF format, good job it was only in English 🙂 How the f are you supposed to quickly look something up on that ??? I got this camera over a DSLR because it would fit in a large pocket, now I discover I have to carry a laptop around with me to read the bdooly instructions 😦 The world has gone mad. Ah well, back to the ‘customer interface’ tomorrow 🙂

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2010 @ 6:11 am

  4. I think you’ll end up keeping Bee forever mate. 🙂

    Comment by lloyd — October 31, 2010 @ 11:59 pm

    • Good morning Lloyd,

      I’ve a feeling that even a hardened carnivore like me may be struggling with Bee 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2010 @ 5:59 am

  5. i love it that your merry men don’t require the presence of your son to come and work/explore with you.
    second, how is bee going to fatten if she’s running miles and miles after you every day? she’s a whole lot smarter than she looks! give her tum a skritch for us.

    Comment by jeannette — November 1, 2010 @ 12:21 am

  6. Fortunate timing that you weren’t there at the moment of rock fall!
    My proven solution is to get some kid to help you with the video probs. Sorted.
    What a stunning stag. Yesterday morning there was a 4-or6-point buck in my yard in my wee toon! I’ve seen a couple does but never a buck. He fled when I appeared with my camera.
    Is Molly grunting yet? or Bee barking?

    Comment by Flora — November 2, 2010 @ 1:44 am

    • Good morning Flora,

      Molly and Bee seem to be getting on fine but no strange noises yet 🙂 The old mission house does occasionally get occupied during the summer but the ‘habitable’ part is the church end which is full of pews and has no running water or fire place. The ‘house’ end on the left is completely gutted for renovation and has been that way for 20 years and more.

      Cheers, paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2010 @ 6:17 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: