Despite the fact that it’s been raining from the moment I set off out of the house to feed the herd this morning I’m in great spirits. Whilst it has been wet all day it didn’t start with any kind of attitude until the lat afternoon, and anyway most of my day was spent travelling about Skye in the car so I didn’t get that wet.
The plan had been to perhaps get the boat launched during the mornings high tide, then catch the 10:55 ferry for a spot of shopping in Portree. Then it was onto an appointment with Catriona Purll of http://www.skyetherapists.co.uk/ to get my back ‘tweaked’. My back has been just fine since she sorted it over a year ago after only two sessions, several visits to the doctors had proved useless, well apart from the Diazepam that left me chilled, relaxed and on a different planet 🙂 It didn’t cure the problem but at least it stopped me fidgeting and eased the pain. Still it was hardly a long term solution and was doing nothing to get at the root cause that had evaded conventional medicine.
Through careful lifting and not having to move half as many 200lt barrels of diesel thanks to my fuel bowser the old back has been just peachy. The last couple of weeks however I’ve been getting a wee twinge from the region of the sciatic nerve so I thought it was time for a yearly service 🙂
As the day was pretty wet and miserable we decided to catch the earlier ferry and have a run into Dunvegan for ammunition. Three weeks off work might give me chance to get some rabbits in the freezer and dispatch a few more pigeons so I might as well go when the weather’s cr4p and I’ve got wifey’s wee car.
It also gave us chance to call in at the Dunvegan country market for some fresh produce, from amongst others, our friend and fellow pig keeper Dave Bulmer of Skye Harvest in Staffin http://skyeharvest.co.uk/
As well as food there were plenty of local crafts on offer and the community hall was quite busy.
Leaving there with bags full of broccoli, cauliflower, eggs and some fine courgette plants we called for a bite to eat at the Dunvegan bakery just up the road http://www.dunveganbakery.com/. With 140 years of continuous baking behind them this tiny bakery on the main road is Skye’s oldest and a fine place for a bacon sandwich or bowl of home made soup. They also have a fine collection of old ship photographs and newspaper cuttings relating to the evacuation of Soay, a small island off Skye http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soay,_Skye
Amongst the photos are a couple of crackers of the first world war E class submarines E49 and E52 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_E_class_submarine at the Muirtown lochs in Inverness.
E52 survived the war to be sold for scrap in 1921 but E49 was sunk by a mine laid by UC76 in March 1917 with the loss of all hands. Based in Balta Sound Shetland she went down just after leaving harbour for a patrol and lies there to this day in 30m of crystal clear water http://shetlopedia.com/HMS/M_E49
I’ve never dived on her but my dear departed friend ‘Grumpy Pete’ did in 1987 and was probably one of the first to do so since the initial salvage survey in 1917.
After crossing a damp and misty Skye we arrived in Portree in plenty of time for my appointment with Catriona at the Arms Centre http://www.mstherapycentres.org.uk/centre_skye.htm where she does consultations once a week on Wednesday. The centre was I think built specially to house the hyperbaric chamber for MS sufferers
“HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY
Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is NOT a cure for Multiple Sclerosis – but it does seem effective in the longer term in helping the condition to stabilise in many people.In addition it often succeeds in obtaining an improvement in bladder control and a reduction in fatigue symptoms. The initial treatment consists of breathing oxygen through a mask for one hour per day over a maximum of 20 days. This takes place in a large pressurised chamber that allows up to eight people to be treated simultaneously. This is followed up by "Top up" sessions which may vary from once a week to once monthly. All sessions are individually monitored.”
but also hosts a few other clinics now
“Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
I waited patiently for a few minutes next to the recompression chamber to be called into the consulting room next door. The last time I was in one of those I was suffering a bend http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decompression_sickness and in great pain. It was around 1993 and I’d arrived at the one in Kishorn by helicopter delirious after an incident near the Sgeir Cnapach off Oscaig. It was the third 30m plus dive for scallops of the day and probably the eighteenth of the week. Whilst my computer said I was fine, calculating decompression times is not an exact science as all people are different. Every dive carries with it a risk, the more you do and the deeper you go the higher the risk 😦
I have done many things in my life, I’ve been as high as a kite and as low as a snakes willy, I have picked death up and stared him straight between the eyes at 60m under the sea. But to be put in one of those in excruciating pain, be ‘pressed’ down to 18m on pure oxygen and have all pain instantly disappear is almost worth getting a bent for :-)
Sorry, got distracted there in my memories 🙂 for me that bend was a life changing moment, had I surfaced one minute earlier I may not have got it, had I stayed down one minute longer the bubble may have lodged in my neck or spine leaving me brain damaged or paralysed. I can honestly say that I have looked at life very differently since that incident 🙂
Anyway Catriona worked her magic and I came out with a spring in my step, I’ll probably feel like I’ve been hit by a truck tomorrow but that’s the way it goes 🙂
We arrived home just after16:00 and I took bait out of the freezer and went down to the shore in the pishing rain to prepare the boat for launching. I had planned to go out but the deluge and low tide disheartened me so I left the boat and went to squeeze a few more watts out of my hydro turbine by altering the nozzles. The rain may not be good for work or play but it’s great for charging the batteries 🙂