Life at the end of the road

April 6, 2011

It just fell off :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, hydro, Land Rover, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:37 pm

I really am not going to be able to do the weeks ‘doings’ justice, it’s almost 22:00 and I need my bed 😦 Last time I was on here was Sunday, and whilst much has happened, a great deal of it has been dull and the rest of it involved rain, lots of rain, incessant rain, rain like I’ve not seen for years. Of course that’s not all bad because the hydro turbine has been doing overtime and the removal of the top grating worked, so it’s not blocked once since I did it.

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The mesh that normally sits on top of the header tank has done a fine job for over two years of keeping the finer filter inside the tank clear. However since I cleared the drain which fed it it was blocking four or five times a day. Figuring that the course top grate was preventing finer stuff from floating out of the tank due to the shear quantity of water cascading  over it, I removed it and it’s worked a treat. Of course I’ll have to replace it once the level drops but it seems unlikely for the next few days at least.


Well that was a bit of a wash out with little other achieved than buying some wallpaper so we’ll skip that 🙂


I was up bright and early ready to catch a couple of ‘spotties’ for Dave and Sarah at Dunmar bed and breakfast in Staffin they do lots home grown produce as well as the B&B and the weekly ‘farmers market’ in Portree.

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As the place was a total swamp and there were only four left I took no chances and made a pen up in my workshop to catch two. The last thing I wanted was to be doing was wallowing in mud before dashing for the ferry, pulling two out of a litter of eleven whilst they’ve got their noses buried in a trough is easy enough but as numbers shrink piglets get wiser and the operation trickier.

I dunno why I worry so much because the operation went smoothly enough and before long I had two of them in the crate and into the back of the ‘Old girl’.

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An hour later they were on the ferry on very rough and wet crossing to Skye


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Half an hour later they were in a trailer on the back of Dave’s ‘Old girl’ on the car park at Sconser,

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and whilst they were cosy enough on the way to their new home they weren’t half as lucky as this calf

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who got to accompany her new owner in the car 🙂 Yes really, that is a calf in the back of that car 🙂 It’s mother had died shortly after giving birth but the owner on Raasay had managed tom find a chap on Skye who’s cow had lost a calf so all ended happily.


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With my £70 for two piglets in the bank I drove onto my parents passing through Kyle on the way.

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No doubt because the weather was so bad the harbour was full of boats, the Harvest Anne, minus a propeller that she lost off Raasay 😦 on the outside, the Eilean a Maull next to her then the tug Duich Highlander and another one called Inge who I don’t know. The large boat being the ‘well boat’ Ronja Skye that services many of the local fish farms.

A spell of woodcutting and lunch at my parents was followed by my joining the Loch Striven to start the ‘week on’ at 15:00.

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And it looked like I was not the only one pi55ed off with the weather, this young cormorant on the Raasay slip didn’t look too impressed either 🙂


Today, the first full day, and early start was even wetter, if that’s possible 😦 The day may have been miserable but within a few hundred yards of the house I came across this in the middle of the road.


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No big deal, it’s just an antler and I’ve got plenty but it did make me smile for I’d seen the lopsided stag on the way home last night just a few yards from the spot and I knew he’d be nearby.


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Sure enough, a few hundred yards down the road there he was with his much more impressive pal


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so I stopped to take yet another picture of them. What I didn’t count on was him shedding his other antler as he ran off.

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You can just see the red spot on his crown

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and on the other antler that I lifted out of the heather 🙂

The day at work was wet, windy and busy, far windier than forecast and far busier than expected thanks to the arrival of five car loads of Jehovah’s Witnesses 🙂 I am not of any faith or religious persuasion but you really do have to admire these guys for their persistence.  Every year they make at least one trip to Raasay armed with deep commitment, a smile and of course armfuls of the ‘Watchtower’ 🙂

For as long as I can remember they’ve driven all the way up ‘Calum’s road’ to ‘spread the word’ as well as visiting every other household on Raasay. I don’t think that they’ve actually converted anyone in this bastion of Free Presbyterianism but they certainly deserve 10 out of 10 for effort 🙂


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That’s it really, I’m off to bed 🙂

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  1. wow, they get around. two nice hispanic ladies in sunglasses dropped off my copy of the watchtower yesterday.

    Comment by jeannette — April 7, 2011 @ 12:24 am

    • Hi Jeannette,

      I really do have a sneaking admiration for these people, anyone who can keep smiling whilst walking from door to door in a pishing gale of wind has definitely ‘seen the light’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 7, 2011 @ 5:14 am

  2. Great story on the antlers. I have not seen pictures of shed antlers while the shedding is occurring. Those antlers would certainly make the most beautiful knife handles.
    Thanks for taking the time to share…….
    It is crazy weather this year 100’F on April 1st and rain and wind on April 6th.

    Comment by Tony — April 7, 2011 @ 2:44 am

    • Good morning Arizona 🙂

      indeed Tony, a mate of mine has already made a couple of knifes for me and the boy. I’m just going to set off early now and look out for the ‘big fella’, I saw him last night still sprouting two 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 7, 2011 @ 5:17 am

  3. The antler looks good, as suggested, perfect for a good knife handle or two. Re the calf in car: we once moved a young gilt in the back of our then Volvo 264, from the Dorset coast to Brecon Beacons on a blisteringly hot day. The leather seats stood up to the mess and scampering fairly well. Our daughter, who is a Skye baby, from Connista, was also in the back; she was not greatly impressed, however.

    Comment by Iain — April 7, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    • Morning Iain,

      love the pig story but I once knew a guy who beat them all in the Volvo estate department. A certain farmer on Raasay used to regularly put sheep and calves in the back of his, as well as some in the trailer. He used to drive on the ferry so overloaded that he had a tow rope tied to the chassis and laid on the bonnet so the crew could pull him off at Sconser with their luggage tractor 🙂 Quite often he would get big round bales of straw delivered on to the pier at Sconser, he’d then drive his car down the slip until the roof rack was level with it and roll two on at a time 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2011 @ 9:17 am

      • Hi Paul, The native ingenuity of the crofter…..years of making do and lateral thought properly applied!

        Comment by Iain — April 10, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  4. If I was a Jehovah’s Witness and tired of knocking on every bl**dy door between Land’s End and John O’ Wotsits, I might like a nice remote farmhouse with a long drive now and again.

    Glad I’m not.

    Comment by Mick — April 8, 2011 @ 9:34 am

    • Hi Mick, the Jehovah’s I can handle it’s the double glazing salesmen I detest 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  5. In the lovely little bothy on Rona the coat hanger on the wall is a deer’s antler. Very useful!

    Comment by francesp — April 8, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    • Next time you’re up Frances I’ll give you one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2011 @ 9:20 am

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