I’m not one for the TV and loathe newspapers, I listen to the news seven days out of fourteen on my way to work, which is more than enough to keep me up to speed on world events. Life I find is a little like ‘The Archer’s’, it’s been running for years, yet you can just pick it up again after a lengthy absence and things are just the same. Eddie Grundy will still be trying to work a wide move, people in woolly hats and rainbow coloured sweaters will protesting against something, Whitehall and Washington will be hounding the latest ‘bogeyman’ and if it’s winter the country will have ground to halt at the first sign of snow 🙂
Today however I did make an effort and switched the radio on whilst I was cutting wood, OK, I only caught wee sound bites in-between bursts of noise from my chainsaw but it seems we’ve got off lightly here with the weather. In fact here at the north end we seem to have fared better than the rest of Raasay, for at least we have running water unlike everyone who is ‘fortunate’ enough to be on a public supply. I received a phone call early this morning from an employee of Scottish Water who informed me that the water was off in the village. Now most people would think that that would be of no concern to one who was 10 miles away on a private supply but this individual had surmised (correctly as it happened) that school would be off and a twenty mile pointless journey in the snow might not be on the top of my ‘to do’ list. Of course the school would phone us anyway but by that time we’d normally be half way there, as it happened one of the teachers did phone before our normal leaving time and I’m eternally grateful to both ladies concerned for their thoughtfulness.
I never got around to posting last night because I was frazzled and cold, frazzled because of trip to the dentist in Kyle with wifey and cold because our house was boodly freezing. Had not the previous two trips to the dentist not been cancelled through gales wifey would have skipped this one but it’s hard enough to get an appointment as it is so we loaded up and went. Of course the appointment was at such a time that it meant we’d be out all day, hence the lack of heat and it wasn’t worth driving up and down the road twice so we waited for my son to finish school before returning home.
No fresh snow had fallen during the day but it was still beyond the capabilities of the snow plough and wifey’s Daihatsu 4X4 to get through.
I know it’s not that deep but this is on the level, there’s quite a few 1 in 4s between our house and the south end.
I had phoned the council during the day to explain that I’d be ‘abandoning’ my wife and child without transport for a week and they said they’d put us on ‘the list’. Which to be honest was the best I could hope for, from what I heard today on the radio they were hard pressed and I know from many years of living here that the local contractor really does try his best to keep the road open. I did offer to leave wifey the ‘Old Girl’ and head to dry dock in her wee Daihatsu but she declined, preferring to ‘stay put’, which to be honest was a relief because she can’t see over the bonnet 🙂 Not only that but grasping the intricacies of using ‘low ratio’, centre and rear locking differentials was just another thing for her to worry about.
Normally I’d have set off for Bute today (Tuesday) in time to join the Loch Striven at ardmaleishboatbuilding.co.uk on Wednesday but my employer had kindly allowed me to turn in late on the understanding that I’d stay on an extra day. The hope being that it would thaw or the gritter would get through soon, though that now looks unlikely, still it would give me a little more time to get better prepared for what looks like a lengthy ‘siege’ 🙂
When I said we were cold last night, I’m talking going to bed with woolly socks and a jumper on cold, so it was with a little surprise that I awoke to a relatively warm house thanks to our wood burning stove being in throughout the night.
So as wife and child were likely to be in the house for the foreseeable future we ( the wee dug and I ) endeavoured to cut as much extra wood as possible. Quite why our 6 week pregnant Jack Russell prefers being out in the cold with me when she could be tucked up next to a hot stove is beyond me, and I don’t even like dogs 🙂
As well as stocking up the wood shed I gave the Land Rover a ‘once over’ in preparation for it’s big trip tomorrow.
Tightening up the alternator and power steering belts, filling the washer bottle with fluid, checking the lights and of course making sure the door locks and car alarm work, the last two not normally being required on Raasay 🙂 I then turned my attention to the ‘back up plan’ the quad, topping it up with fuel just in case wife and chid needed to ‘escape’ 🙂
After eating a late lunch we fed the pigs early and I drove down the slippery road yet again to take wifey to her Egyptian dance class at the village hall, a journey which was actually assisted by a light covering of fresh snow over the two icy furrows that I’d made over the previous few days.
The snow plough had made another valiant attempt to clear the road but had to give up and reverse back at Glame. The village was still without water but at least Scottish water had sent over a lorry full of bottled stuff which was eagerly unloaded by thirsty locals 🙂
And that’s it now I must go and pack my bags, phone charger, camera charger, toothbrush etc, etc, ready for tomorrow’s trip 😦