Life at the end of the road

September 2, 2011

Wallsend :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:21 pm

It’s well after 22:00 so there’s little chance of much ‘pro’s’ tonight, I’ve just finished a smoked salmon dinner, two glasses of well earned wine and I’m ready for bed 🙂

It was back to the dry stone walling course for wifey, myself and six others today on a morning that was in sharp contrast to the sunshine of September the first.

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I took the Dude to the ferry for school whilst wifey fed the pigs, killing the intervening hour before Hector Nicolson arrived by taking the ‘wee dug’ for a walk by the old pier. The day did not look very promising as I gazed over to Sconser, but that didn’t distract from my enthusiasm for it.

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There were a few showers but we hardly seemed to notice them, as under Hector’s guidance we got on with our task. This is the body of the wall finished and the first ‘cope stone’ going on

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the cope stones being the ones on the top, as if you hadn’t already figured that out 🙂

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At all times we were working to lines stretched between the two sections of wall and the cope was no exception,

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and under Hectors guidance we started at the top of the hill. The logic behind this being that if each stone is placed in such a way as it supports itself it is less likely to fall like a stack of dominos if one is knocked out by a deer or some such.

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That’s it, the final stones going in 🙂

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and just look at that section of wall, to say that we were all proud of it would be something of an understatement 🙂 I know that everyone of us will pass this section of wall for years to come and think “we did that” 🙂 Hopefully it will be the first of many, as we plan to get a group going and tackle some of Raasay’s many other damaged walls 🙂

Having the wall finished around 14:00 we did some minor repairs elsewhere before cleaning up and calling it a day. Acquiring some literature off Hector from the Dry stone walling association  http://www.dswa.org.uk/ before he left. Setting off home with the ‘wee dug’ I got distracted by some mushrooms

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and ‘lucky white heather’

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Arriving home around 17:00 I started work on the intake filter for my hydro turbine

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using an old cold water tank, some cut up fish cage floats and some stainless steel mesh.

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The filter was barely one third finished before hunger drove my in around 20:00, after which I kept my promise to the swineherd of making dinner.

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A paupers affair of wild salmon and wild mushrooms, you can tell it’s wild by that lovely sharp tail, the farmed offering is much more rounded.

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The fish even came with it’s own lice 🙂 I should know the name of these parasites http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmon_louse for I worked in the industry for long enough and they were a real problem, but as you well know ‘I’ve a memory like a hen’. Much is made of the lice, rounded fins, stocking densities and industrial fishing required to support this industry by environmental groups, incomers and the Tory press. The same people will then quite happily eat Danish bacon, Hungarian turkeys and battery farmed chicken products. Me I’m not a fan of any intensive farming methods but at least this one provides full time employment in a fragile economy and I can assure you that these fish have a far better life than most pigs and hens that end up in Tesco’s.

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I hot smoked the salmon in oak chips with nothing more than a dab of butter a drop of lemon juice and a twist of salt and pepper.

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Deeeelish 🙂

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