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.



  1. Excellent!

    I’ve seen quite a few of these here on Lewis but never stopped to take pictures of them – I’ve often wondered what they were all about…

    Comment by Tony Giles — July 10, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  2. Enough to make a cat laugh! Such fun!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — July 10, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

    • I never actually saw a ‘scarecat’ KC but I bet there was one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2011 @ 5:19 am

  3. Nothing like that when I lives on Skye. Loved it.

    Comment by eileen scott — July 11, 2011 @ 2:41 pm

  4. my first contact with the isles was getting off the ferry at mull in 1971. there was a shepherd there, crooked staff, maybe 20 sheep, genius border collie, and my husband and i struck up a convo with him expecting him to speak like medieval norse. no, like all good scots he had been incredibly well educated and spent all his spare time listening to radio 4 and reading proust. that was a long time ago, and ever since i’ve thought of all the wonderfully witty incredibly civilized people up there on the crags we met. i can believe there were 50 scarecrows — the best i’ve ever seen, the funniest, the most creative and those last two — pretty realistic, i’d say.

    incredible post, thank you.

    Comment by jeannette — July 12, 2011 @ 1:35 am

  5. Confused say ” the wind on me wooley nuts, what a fine day it will be”

    Too funny , Paul

    Comment by Tony — July 12, 2011 @ 5:20 am

    • “Confused say ” the wind on me wooley nuts, what a fine day it will be”

      Too funny , Paul”

      🙂 🙂 🙂 and it was too Tony

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 12, 2011 @ 6:45 am

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