Life at the end of the road

February 15, 2011

Pheasantly surprised :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, food, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:19 pm

Tuesday night at last, the ‘week on’ is over and I am at last sat down with a nice glass of a fine six year old Chianti 🙂 Yesterday of course was Valentine’s day so I forwent the posting carry on in favour of a nice romantic dinner with wifey on account of the boy being down in the village at a pals. Of course the intimate smoked haddock and mushrooms in a white sauce that I served up would not have gone down half as well had it not been for my good friend ‘Bonk’ or Calum Don as he is more widely known. For it was himself (as usual) that helped me out of the brown stuff when I forgot to get a card and present 😦

As he travels most days on the ferry it’s him who I turn to in an emergency when a bunch of flowers or bottle of wine is needed at short notice. So it was much appreciated when he picked just the right card and chocolates for my darling wife, in fact he always picks just the right card, wine, flowers or chocolates, I’m beginning to wonder if something’s afoot 🙂


From what I remember Monday was actually a nice enough day and it was on the whole dry but it was one of those days where washing does not dry and moisture just seem to lie where the previous days rain deposited it. In short it was not very conducive to external paintwork.

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Though the heat from the big Volvo TAMD 121Cs and Perkins 4.4TGM generators dried the funnel casing enough to get a coat of gloss on before I went downstairs for a sleep.

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I mean before I went down to the engine room to undercoat the deckhead above the ventilator trunking 🙂

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I didn’t see a great deal of the day, being as I was consumed by a desire to get as much undercoat on the shell plating and waste oil tank as possible but I did come up regularly for air 🙂 Usually to coincide with the landings at Sconser and Raasay.

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The Cygnus Cyclone 26 Mhairi Bhan was busy lifting creels for velvet crab on one of the occasions that I lifted my head above the parapet 🙂 I fished for these angry wee crabs myself for a few years and it probably gave rise to the few grey hairs on my head 🙂 The wee devils were always found in the most treacherous of locations in amongst the rocks, quite often I’d be working in just a few feet of water with the engine going astern to hold me off the shore. Unlike this chap I rarely had the luxury of a crewman and trying to keep the rope out of the propeller whilst simultaneously emptying and baiting a creel would make interesting reading on a ‘risk assessment’ form 🙂

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That’s my old boat on the right just before I sold her 😦


Apart from skinning a pheasant down in the engine room that was about it really for Monday, I’d given up on the plucking carry on Saturday. Up until a few days ago the last pheasant I’d eaten was one that I struck with a Triumph GT6 in about 1977.


That’s not mine by the way but mine was identical, well apart from the steering wheel being on the right hand side that is 🙂

Anyway I don’t remember dealing with the roadkill but I do remember eating it in a pasta sauce and it was delicious so it was probably skinned. Plucking does have the advantage of being able to roast the bird without it drying out but after the casseroled one that we had on Sunday I reckoned  that it wasn’t worth the extra effort. Figuring that turning the bird inside out in the mess room was a bad idea, as we were still finding feathers from Saturday, and also suspecting that it may not go down too well on the car deck I chose the out of sight out of mind option. This had the advantage of being windless and could also hoover up the stray feathers with ‘Charles’ the bilge hoover 🙂


Now if you ever need a vacuum cleaner that will suck up anything from jobbies out of the sewage tank to SAE 150 gear oil from the bilge then Charles is your man. Forget all the cr4p from China that has a brand name on it like DeWalt, this dude will suck up anything 12 hours a day, lumps of rust, water, paint, and now even pheasant feathers 🙂

Sorry got sidetracked there, where was I ???? Tuesday, well yes Tuesday was a bit of a surprise really because not only was there fresh snow on the road at Glame but I met the snow plough on my way to work!!!

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A bit different to yesterday hey 🙂

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The clam diving boat Atlantia was back again working the ground south of the new pier.

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The fish farm landing craft Lady Gael was busy doing fish farm stuff 🙂

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And as soon as my relief arrived and the hand over was done I set off home with my newly acquired empty barrels and a couple of fresh 19Kg gas cylinders from the Raasay engineer though the business has recently been sold to Simon. I do not know Simon’s surname but I do know that he’s been married twenty years yesterday ( Valentines day 🙂 ) you old romantic Simon 🙂

Collecting my boy and his pal on the way home we drove up by way of the forestry

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where another good friend who regularly pulls me out of the brown stuff (though not in matters of the heart) was busy making a road and turning place.

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Being a good mate he gave me the traditional ‘Highland greeting’ for which he is famed 🙂

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As you can see he is definitely not a ‘Grumpy digger driver’ 🙂

Weaning Jamie Lee’s wains

Once home I did the feeding and weaned Jamie Lee’s four piglets off her, a simple matter of turning the gate on her field the right way around whilst they were busy feeding in the trough.

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Once they’d realized that they couldn’t get back in with her they moved into the shelter of an old Balmoral oil tank that I’d converted to a pig ark. OK, they don’t look too impressed at the moment but they’ll be quite happy in a day or so and mum will be glad to see the back of them 🙂

That done and with light fading I went in for a superb dinner of casseroled pheasants done with bacon and juniper berries, you know it’s good when both the children and pensioners ask for more 🙂

It was something like this with the juniper berries and bacon added 🙂

After dinner and a fight,

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it was time for the fortnightly worming,

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and wee Millie has gone up from 850g to 1100g, as for Haggis he’s now well over 2Kg.


  1. thanks for another good read,before going off to work.Late hubby and i got hitched,like your friend simon,on valentine’s day 1975–still seems like yesterday:: The piglets have grown well, as have the pups–they look so cute–I’d almost take another dog on when mine goes but with my working hours and the thought of “training them” puts me off.looking forward to your next post

    Comment by frogsaint — February 16, 2011 @ 6:07 am

    • Sat here with three terriers chewing my slippers and legs Carol I’d almost give you another dog 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 16, 2011 @ 7:06 am

  2. The OH hit a pheasant on her way back from the in-laws on Monday. I asked her where it was. She said it was little too tenderised, having gone under both offside wheels of the Land Rover. I really must teach her to aim better. 😀

    It’s absolutely bucketing down rain here this morning. We’re going from mud to worse. I might need a boat myself—even though we’re above the 220m contour!

    Comment by Stonehead — February 16, 2011 @ 7:08 am

    • Morning Stoney,

      no rain forecast here until Saturday and then only a little, pigs and rain just don’t mix hey 🙂

      Cheers Paul on the 50m contour 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 17, 2011 @ 6:17 am

  3. Hi, Paul

    I love the pic of the Atlantia, the new pier and the trees etc beyond – oh to be there! The forestry clearance is having a big impact – I wonder what it will look like when we’re over there in June.

    Love little Haggis – hope she has a good home lined up.



    Comment by Sue — February 16, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    • Many apologies to Haggis – he is of course a fella!

      Comment by Sue — February 16, 2011 @ 7:52 pm

    • Morning Sue,

      I think you’ll notice a big difference in June, That’s just the access that Mr MacKay is doing, JST are taking out 30,000 tons or there abouts, just hope someone re plants.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 17, 2011 @ 6:20 am

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