Life at the end of the road

December 9, 2011

Not a good time of year :-(

Filed under: daily doings, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:01 pm

Not even 19:30 and I’m nodding in front of the laptop craving my bed, though I’m determined to resist the temptation a little while longer at least. I was awake at 3:00am this morning and if I turn in now I’ll probably have a repeat performance tomorrow.

I couldn’t even blame the weather for keeping me awake for the storm had slipped away eastwards in the small hours,

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leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Trees down, roads closed, ferries cancelled and even people without power now, after 29 hours 😦 Not that we suffered any damage, and making our own power we’ve not had a power cut in six years 🙂 Come to think of it I’ve only been without power twice in twenty two, though on both occasions it was probably for a week 😦

After my 3:00am start and a couple of hours on here I did manage back to bed until 7:30 but hardly slept for worrying about the pig that is currently in my Land Rover, but more of that later. Despite the relatively clear sky and huge waxing gibbous moon dawn arrived late, but a tour of the croft in its half light revealed no damage. Well apart from an upturned feed trough and a few broken twigs.

I spent a couple of hours tidying the croft up in an attempt to make the place look more respectable and get rid of some of the cr4p that I’ve been hoarding for thirty years. My squirrel like ‘siege mentality’ has had me saving some pretty bizarre things over the years and I’ve decided ‘enough is enough’. I no longer need a set of new and boxed Volvo door mirrors circa 1975 or a life raft survival kit from the same era complete with ships biscuits and morphine substitute 🙂 The 1980 Ford Sierra clock was going in the bin along with wheels of a ‘manhole lifter’ and the 500lts of old engine oil I’ve been ‘saving for a rainy day’ got decanted from its 25lt plastic containers into three steel barrels.

I’ve not disposed of any in over twenty years, keeping it stored in plastic containers under cover, my intention being to make up a waste oil burner or even to run one of the Lister’s off it. However regulations on this kind of thing have (rightly) tightened up over the years, mainly on account of all the heavy metals and cr4p in it. So I’ve decided to dispose of it responsibly, which means taking it to Skye to be uplifted by a company that specializes in waste oil removal and getting a receipt 🙂

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The dry and breezy day meant it was perfect for cutting rushes for bedding so I got on with that until lunch time, after which we moved an ark.

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Apart from Rocky our Tamworth boar, all the pigs are ‘on the hill’, that is outwith the croft and Rocky will soon be joining them. However we needed to move a heavy insulated and floored ark from this swamp into the field next door for Jamie Lea first. On firm ground it’s pretty straight forward, but with access by vehicle impossible and approaching on foot risky it was quite tricky, not hard or even heavy, using fence posts as levers and plastic pipe as rollers, just tricky, or at least difficult to do without loosing a wellie 🙂

 

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Even trickier with a pig inside 🙂

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Anyway we eventually got it done and settled into a nice dry and solid part of a field that had been ‘fallow’ for six months.

And I can’t keep my eyes open any longer so I’ll tell you about the elusive pig the dead phones and the landslide tomorrow 🙂 probably at 4:00am 🙂

One million hits :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:07 am

Some time during the night whilst I was tossing and turning, unable to sleep someone visited here for the millionth time 🙂 OK, I know in the grand scale of things that’s no big deal but it’s not bad for a crusty old git that barely scraped through English at school 🙂 It’ll be four years at the end of the month that I’ve been at this carry on penning over 1100 posts that have been read around the globe by all and sundry. I’m pretty chuffed really, so a big thank you to all who visited 🙂

Where was I ?

Probably still in Bute awaiting a ferry, not the regular one from Rhubodach but the bigger MV Argyll or MV Bute from Rothesay. After the previous nights trip to Largs in the snow I was taking no chances on minor roads, anyway, I made it, eventually and here I am. Unusually there were no disasters on the croft whilst I was away, no pigs stuck in ditches, boars tangled in fences, pipes frozen or oil stoves out. All was in fact in order 🙂 the swineherd’s trip to Dingwall had passed without incident and the boys had done a fine job of removing years of old bottles and rubbish from in front of the old schoolhouse at Torran.

 

Farewell Shona

The first job was to collect feed from Harbro in Portree, we still had plenty but I did not want to get caught out with the weather, be it snow or gales and Christmas is just around the corner.

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It was a little short notice but I decided it would also be a good opportunity to take Shona back to  http://skyeharvest.co.uk/ . Dave and Sarah’s sow had been over for ‘service’ for just over a month, was now ‘covered’ and ready to go back home to Staffin.

She had in fact been served on the 13th November but as pigs come on heat every 21 days we kept her until another cycle was due just to make sure. The third week passed with no interest shown by Rocky and no sign of swollen vulva or strange behaviour from her so we reckoned ‘job done’.

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Thursday

A proper winter storm awoke me and it was with great reluctance that I set forth to meet it at daybreak. I had much to do outside, or it least out of the house and it was WILD 😦 Punctures and wheel bearings had to be dealt with, the Honda wouldn’t go, Rocky needed cleaning out and his bedding changing and things needed lashing down.

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A visit to Torran for the fortnightly battery check and a trip to the shore to check on the boats.

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The ‘wee dug’ was not impressed 😦

I had in fact quite a busy day, and once wrapped up in my oilskins enjoyed the day, but it was hardly ‘camera weather’ so you’ll have to take my word for it 🙂

An unusual dish

I may have ate well at the Victoria Hotel on Bute, but what wifey served me up for dinner was better than any steak 🙂

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Here it is just about to go under the grill for finishing off, basically it was just a cheesy pasta sauce with bacon through it for the base. The top was anchovies lying on a bed of sliced red pepper, awesome 🙂

Anyway, it’s 5:00am now and I’m going to try and get a couple of hours kip 🙂

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