Life at the end of the road

June 29, 2011

Damsels, dragons and dolphins :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:27 pm

Well, what a week it’s been so far 🙂 a great day on the croft on Monday with much achieved, a cracking day yesterday at the school prize giving and a peach of a today today at work.

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My normal Tuesday routine of taking the Dude to school then going to visit my parents was abandoned in favour their coming to Raasay primary for the annual prize giving. I don’t know about other communities but our event is attended by more than parents and relatives. As with many of the schools special days throughout the year like the ‘Open day’, Christmas play, and sports day, this function is supported by many that don’t even have children or at least haven’t had any in the school for years. I can see myself making the journey down ‘Calum’s road’ in a Zimmer frame to get there 🙂

I still took the boy to school but the couple of hours in between that and returning for the prize giving was filled with a little ‘path work’ in the veg patch.

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Well it was after we’d collected the stones 🙂

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By 10:00am it was getting far too hot for our heavily pregnant sow Jamie Lea, so whilst we barrowed and laid the stones she went for a peaceful cool down.

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At least it was peaceful until Brambles five wains came and started jumping all over her 🙂

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Pigs really are delightful creatures 🙂 she took it all in her stride as if they were her own, indeed had she had milk she would have been quite happy to feed them. Unlike sheep who will reject other lambs even if they’ve lost their own, if you want to get a ewe to accept an orphan lamb you usually have to skin her dead one and tie it round the ‘foster lamb’ for a day or two until her milk gets through it. Though sometimes restraining the sheep and letting the lamb suckle for a day or so that way, then introducing a dog sometimes works as the protective instinct seems to kick in.

No problems that way with pigs, when we’ve had two sows farrow at the same time they’re quite happy to feed each others piglets, though you’d only let it happen if the litters were of similar size.

The best prize giving

Pretty soon it was time to head for the school and we soon joined what seemed like most of the island, in the fantastic new extension that opens out on to the lawn at Raasay primary. Before the actual prize giving we were all treated to some beautiful Gaelic singing by the school led by renowned Gaelic singer Anne Martin . Anne visits the school regularly to give the children lessons and you could tell by their enthusiasm that they really enjoyed them.


Here she is performing at the ‘Storr unfolding landscape event’ in 2005, an audio visual experience that I was fortunate enough to visit and one that I’ll never forget.

After three or four songs in Gaelic,one in English about Wally the wombat and a little heart warming speech about respect and ‘buddies’ that almost brought a tear to my eye she handed over to John Philip.  John is the Highland Councils ‘ranger’ and has done much work with the school over the years. He gave a short speech about all the hard work the children had done on the pond they were about to officially open then started handing out the many prizes.

There were lots and I can’t remember them all but the one that had me ‘choked up’ (and a few others) was the new one dedicated to Chrissie Nicolson. Chrissie passed away a couple of years ago aged, I think 92 and even though her son had left the school over forty years ago she still attended every event. This school just has that effect on you 🙂 As well as supporting the school at functions right up until her death she bequeathed some money in her will and I can’t think of a more fitting tribute.

After all the prizes, books and certificates were handed out the glass doors onto the lawn were thrown open and we all went outside for the official ‘pond opening’. The pond having been built by the children themselves under the guidance of John and with some financial assistance from the council. Wilma Duncan the headmistress, herself a former pupil gave another short speech and then renowned piper Iain Ruaridh Finlayson played the tune that he’d composed especially for the event.


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Pretty soon it was almost 15:30 and sadly I had to leave to start my ‘working week’ though that got off to a fine start with a display of bottlenose dolphins right in the harbour!!

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There was more, and I’ve not even touched on today, but it’s after 22:00 and time for bed. So I’ll just leave you as the proud parent with a picture of my sons cup,

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Raasay primary’s very own ‘Eco Warrior’ 🙂


  1. Congratulations to your Eco Warrior and to all the others at the school. You’re right – it’s a good school and it’s in places like Raasay you realise the truth of the saying that the school is the heart of a community. I always feel very sorry for small communities who have their school closed down – ‘to improve the quality of education for the children’ of course. Aye right!

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — June 29, 2011 @ 9:49 pm

    • Morning Anne ‘Aye right’ indeed, I’m with you 100% there 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 30, 2011 @ 5:11 am

  2. Superb dolphin pix mate!!!!

    By the way, the ribbon around your son’s pic says “2010”. Was the school using up last years supplies?

    Love the piggie reports, the vid a day or two ago had us both in stitches! 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — June 30, 2011 @ 1:16 am

  3. What a wonderful ceremony, and congrats to the Eco Warrior!
    Fabulous dolphin pics; that must be a thrill.

    Comment by Flora — June 30, 2011 @ 2:04 am

    • Hi Flora,

      It’s not an uncommon sight but never ceases to thrill, especially when they’re so close.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 30, 2011 @ 5:13 am

  4. Hi Paul

    What a lovely occasion – beats any that I’ve ever been to. A large pod of dolphins accompanied the ferry on our crossing earlier this month, showing off like anything and being there for nearly the whole way. It was indeed a thrill to see them so close.


    Comment by Sue — June 30, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    • Hi Sue,
      it was indeed a very special day, all the school events are good but this one was exceptional 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 30, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

  5. here’s to chrissie nicolson, wilma duncan, and the dolphins. such peacefulness of place. thank you.

    Comment by jeannette — July 1, 2011 @ 3:41 am

    • Well said Jeannette 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 2, 2011 @ 4:57 am

  6. Pure magic!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — July 19, 2011 @ 10:44 am

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