Life at the end of the road

July 10, 2011

Tattie bogle :-)

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:24 pm

What do Amy Winehouse, John Travolta, Rambo and a Dalek all have in common, well if you can be bothered to wade through all this you’ll find out 🙂 Yesterday was a ‘full on’ day to say the least and if I can remember the half of what we did it will be a miracle.

Seven arrived and five away

Saturday arrived pretty early even by my standards, for Jamie Lee was at last producing milk by the evening feed and had been scraping away furiously at the floor of her ark for hours. The hard timber floor and curve of the roof making a din that was clearly audible 25 yards away at the house. A sure sign that her long overdue farrowing was imminent. Sure enough at 5:30am when I went to check on her, there they were,

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four gilts and three boars suckling away for all they were worth. Not as big a litter as we’d hoped and a search of the ark revealed two dead 😦 A large one still born and a small one that looked like it had been squashed, something that sows do quite often but not usually Jamie Lee.

Next task after feeding was to get Bramble’s litter into the trailer and let them settle for a wee while before worming them.

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Five syringes being prepared with .5ml of ‘Panomec’ an injectable broad spectrum Ivermectin based wormer.


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Our CLH trailer is ideal for this as the roof is held on with just three quick release catches. This means it can easily be detached and the piglets will quite happily go into its light confines, once inside and settled I can get in and jag them whilst wifey passes me the syringes and the Dude sprays them.

We’re practiced at the operation and all went smoothly enabling us to set of almost an hour before the 9:55 sailing. It’s only a 30min drive in a car the road is in such a state that I wanted to drive nice and slowly so as not to bounce the wee darlings about in the back.

The ‘Tattie bogle’ scarecrow trail

They we’re all going to Portnalong on Skye so I phoned the customers up once on the ferry and said we’d be there in forty minutes. What I hadn’t counted on was all the distractions on the way.

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The first one being ‘Rambo’ just a few hundred yards from the Carbost road end, and just check out his woolly nuts 🙂 🙂

I had seen the flyer,


I’d even herd of a ‘tattie bogle’

“A tattie-bogle (whiles cried a tattie-boodie or craw-bogle) is a device, tradeetionally a human figure dressed in auld claes, or mannequin, that is uised tae discourage birds sic as craws frae disturbin craps.[1] No anerly dae craws eat the recently cast seed, but they gaither nichtly an aw, stairtin wi groups o a hauf dizzen that then jyn thegither tae form a group o 20 tae 30 an so on till the flock is raither lairge an noisy. It is thair prattick tae return tae the ae place ilka nicht.”

my ‘back to back’ a native of these parts had even warned me. What I wasn’t prepared for was the shear number and quality of these creations that lined the road.

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When I say ‘line the road’ that’s not strictly true, for they were up telegraph poles, in bushes, abseiling down cliffs and sitting on benches, they were everywhere 🙂

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and doing everything.

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There were monsters

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and pirates.

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🙂 🙂 🙂 what can I say, we nearly fell about laughing.

Eventually we did arrive at our first port of call just before the slipway at Portnalong

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where our first customer was busy cutting grass, something that he’s very good at 🙂

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Of course I had to go and check out the boats there, especially ‘The May’ which my good friend and ‘back to back’ had salved and spent years rebuilding.

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Rescued after years on the seabed my mate took a twist out of her keel and completely rebuilt her, a labour of love if ever I’ve seen one.

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Of course it wasn’t long before we came across another scarecrow, it’s good to see the local business community were in on the act 🙂

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Not to mention the TA 🙂

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and the Portnalong Mafia 🙂

We had a brief rest from bogle spotting and a fine lunch with our next customer before heading very slowly home.

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We stopped for a while to collect some empties for the wife’s garden off Amy Winehouse but the size of that joint in her mouth made us rush off for fear of failing a drug test 🙂

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The local clam diver had taken a day off work to get her autograph but she was too wrecked to give it 🙂

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This dude gave us a tune whilst we called at his house for duck eggs

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and this one sold us some hens eggs for £1.25 per half dozen 🙂

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A little further down the road from this lassie we bumped into John Travolta and Olivia Newton John

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whom Molly seemed very interested in 🙂

Seeing Amy had reminded me to get some wine from the shop at Carbost

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where it was good to that the local post office

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and clinic had entered into the spirit of things 🙂

The most realistic ones by far however were these two

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🙂 🙂 🙂 Bet they didn’t realize they’d be world famous when one chirped up “aren’t you going to take a photo of us old scarecrows” well that was before the other chipped in “don’t take a picture because we’re wanted by the police”, sorry chaps, the games up 🙂

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And this was only a small selection of the ones we could stop and photograph, the last I herd was from the WHFP on Thursday which said there were around fifty, but even as we drove by more were going up. I missed the climber on the cliff and the welder, and Lord knows how many more, you really have to take a drive down there and check them out. There’s also a BYOB celidh at the Minginsh community hall as part of the festivities.

You can vote for the best one but you need a flyer and have to drop it in at the hall, the winner gets a cash prize and all profits go to local charities. For me it was a toss up between Amy and ‘windy boy’ but then I didn’t see them all.


Ten in a row :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:00 am

Well, it’s 6:30am on a fine Sabbath morn here at the north end and I feel that I’ve just got to scribble a few lines before I make a start. The last time i posted was Thursday and so much has happened that if I don’t write it down I’ll forget. To be honest, my memory is so bad that if I didn’t take pictures I’d recall little of past events.

I had a good nights sleep after an adventurous day with the boys on Thursday despite Friday being the dreaded MOT day. Anyway, I was up early(ish) left wifey to feed the herd and headed south on a fine summers morn to catch the first ferry for my 9:30 appointment at S. Morrison motors on the Portree industrial estate.

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The sea was calm, the sky blue and my early departure from Arnish had me stopping a few times to soak it all up. I don’t recall the Gaelic name for this reef just south of Oskaig but it translates as ‘the long rock’, is a fine place for scallops on the western edge and a good place to keep a boat on the inside. Indeed there has been more than one permanent mooring there over the years.

The gateway to the Cuilin’s

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Not having to be at Morrison’s until 9:30 I dawdled along the A87 and stopped at Sligachan to admire this dry stone wall there. Recently completed under the supervision of Sconser’s expert ‘waller’ Hector Nicolson, I think that much of the work was done by youth’s from the John Muir Trust

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Hector, who’s ancestors I think came from Raasay is running a short course on Raasay in September to which wifey and I are going. There are places still available and if anyone is interested contact Donnie Oliphant.

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That truly is beautiful stone 🙂


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Here’s the Sligachan hotel, the stopping place for many climbers and celebrities to make their base for sojourns up Skye’s premier mountain range. Their visitors book over the past hundred years or so was recently put on display and included the notorious occultist and climber of some repute  Aleistair Crowley


It’s also the start point for the Glamaig hill race which is held tomorrow (well yesterday actually 🙂 )

“Another notable event in Sligachan’s history was the ascent of Glamaig by a visiting Gurkha soldier. Glamaig is the closest hill to the Hotel and is 2537 feet (775 m) high. In 1899, a Gurkha by the name of Thapa ran barefoot, from the Sligachan Hotel to the top of Glamaig, and back again, in 75 minutes. On being told of this feat, MacLeod of MacLeod, the landowner, refused to believe it, so the luckless Thapa was asked to perform once more. This time he completed the task in just 55 minutes. This time remained the official record until the 1980’s. A race is now held each year in July and the record now stands at 44 minutes, 41 seconds, set by Mark Rigby in 1997.” from their website

The tenth straight pass

After that it was onto the dreaded MOT, which of course the ‘Old Girl’ passed with distinction and praise from the tester 🙂

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It also gave me chance to have a good look under her without lying on my back 🙂


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Having a little time to kill I went down to the harbour to do the tourist thing and get a bag of chips from Dan’s chippy

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Dan has his fingers in many pies 🙂

A new addition since I was last here was this fine piper that was going down great with the tourists 🙂

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Home for just after 16:00 I wasted no time in taking the boys out in the boat to check on the creels we’d laid yesterday.

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There was little in them other than velvets and a small conger but that’s to be expected on the first outing, they need to get ‘the smell of the sea’.

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Chopping the conger up for bait we found a mackerel and a wrasse in its stomach, they’re not great bait but it was pretty much all we had 😦

How can it possibly rain !!!!!

Once back home it started to rain,

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only on the west coast of Scotland could it possibly rain with a sky like this, I could not believe it, it only lasted a few minutes and almost halted the barbeque lighting, but where did it come from ?

Linhai 300 quad, saga

Whilst the barby was smouldering down awaiting the addition of Eddy’s ribs I had a quick look at my mates heap of cr4p from China. The Linhai 300 ‘Quadzilla is reportedly made by Suzuki, don’t believe a word of it. This pile of rubbish has given him no end of grief since he bought it new a couple of years ago.

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It may look the part but it’s falling apart and rusting by the minute, the clutch failed spectacularly at 241 miles, the ignition switch fell apart last year, the battery failed and it’s now running like a bag of nails at only 600 miles.


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The poor starting and huge ‘flat spot’ suggested the carburettor diaphragm but before checking that I removed the fuel pump as it was easier to access.


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It’s probably only had 15 gallons of fuel through it and already its perished 😦

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What a piece of 5h1t, anyway, I had a go at making a new one out of a bit of old inner tube,


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as the old saying goes, ‘the operation was a complete success but the patient died’ 🙂 The thing was still running rough so the carb diaphragm is probably goosed as well 😦

Anyway it’s time I did some work now so I’ll finish off later.

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