Life at the end of the road

July 23, 2012

Like part of the family

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:15 pm

No, not the 26 year old Land Rover that I’ve had for eleven years that just passed its MOT today but Bracken and Bramble, our two oldest sows.

It’s 22:30 now, time to put the hens to bed and me too, but I’ll just scribble a few lines down, for it is a very significant event. We got our two Tamworth sows as gilts around five years ago from Appin north of Oban. Prior to that we’d just bought weaners and fattened them, initially for ourselves and then for paying customers so breeding was the next logical step. We bought six weaners and kept the best two, not the purest bred or even strongest but the best natured, something that has stood us in good stead.

I never really wanted to keep Bramble, who with her white flash and turned up nose obviously had a good bit of some other breed in her, but the swineherd insisted. Her instinct proved to be good for she was a prolific sow and great mother, too good in fact, for she was extremely protective of both her and other sows piglets. She had a go at me once or twice when I was loading up weaners for transport even though they weren’t hers. Bramble was also the only sow that I’d never get between her and her piglets, you could just tell by looking her in the eye that this mother was not to be trifled with.

The girls have been having smaller litters this last couple of times and it’s time we were getting some fresh blood into our herd. Also this major training for the new hybrid ferry means I’ll probably not be around much for the next few months, so the last thing I wanted to saddle wifey with was two expectant sows in late September, early October. It’s not just dealing with the possible complications but the whole getting, storing and shifting feed malarky, especially now she has hens to deal with 🙂


So, I’ll try and get it all down before I fall asleep 🙂 First job after the feeding was over to Portree for the MOT,

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which, of course we passed. Hardly surprising really considering the time and money that I spend on her. However it has now become a bit of an obsession, having never failed one in eleven years 🙂 It was whilst at having my MOT done that I spotted this MkII Ford Escort rally car belonging to Duncan Black of Eyre Plant.

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Having ‘cut my first teeth’ on these very cars in the late seventies I was a little surprised to see such a fine example being used for motor sport.

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I even had a brand new one of these in 1980, MVR 200W if I remember rightly, a red estate, though I’d hardly have considered it a ‘classic’ 🙂

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This beast however with its twin 40 DCOE Webbers

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special rear axle, brakes and numerous modifications


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was a serious bit of kit indeed 🙂

The Landy having been given a ‘clean bill of health’ I headed for home and the 13:00 ferry to meet the chap who was going to relieve me of some sows.

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But, it’s after midnight now and I need my bed, so I’ll finish this off later 🙂

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Probably with a tear in my eye 😦


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  1. Sad to see the old girls moving on. No doubt, it’ll be back to normal again following the training sessions etc. I saw an old Anglia a few weeks ago being raced at Bressuire vintage car rally. Never thought of the humble Anglia as a ‘vintage’ motor of any kind. They could be a prize pain to start in winter! But this one also had a lovely pair of Weber downdrafts. Made it sound most unangliaish!

    Comment by yractual — July 24, 2012 @ 7:05 am

    • Ahh Walter, the trusty old Ford Anglia with corroded inner wings and a death rattle from the three bearing crank, how I loved them 🙂 Gosh I really can’t remember seeing one for years 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 25, 2012 @ 8:18 pm

      • Hi Paul, Yes, I’d forgotten the corroded inner wings – and remember those suspension struts? – a prize pain! Hope the weather is still with you – here we had about 35 today. Too hot for anything! Iain!!

        Comment by yractual — July 25, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

      • Aye Iain, not just the inner wings but the sills and rear spring hangers too. Yup, the old ‘MacPherson strut’ and its leaky shocker, broken spring and worn top mount, happy days hey 🙂 Wish I had a pound for every one of those I’d changed and every one that had popped through the inner wing of a Ford 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 25, 2012 @ 8:36 pm

  2. Huury up and tell us the rest of the story Paul, I’m on the edge of my seat now…..

    Comment by Tigger — July 24, 2012 @ 7:06 am

    • How did I do Tigger 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 25, 2012 @ 8:19 pm

  3. The down side of keeping sows, after all the production and minding, away in a trailer.
    When they are kept in small, free range units they are like members of the family. 180 OHI
    was my new MK11 in 1980 very posh at the time. The €900 corolla i have for two years has
    given better service and a lot more left, i hope.

    Comment by mi — July 24, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    • Aye Mi they certainly don’t make them like they used to (thank God) when I was a lad ALL the ten year old cars were in the scrap yards, nowadays you buy a thirteen year old Audi and it’s still got the original exhaust on it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 25, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

  4. First car I had was a 1966 Ford anglia 1179cc, I think, the deluxe! Great wee car and I was delighted to see another just like it at a Steam Show two years ago, and even more chuffed to see it was pulling an old Thomson Miniglen!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — July 24, 2012 @ 11:58 am

    • A Ford Anglia and a Miniglen, what a combination Graham, well so long as the field is not so slippy 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 25, 2012 @ 8:23 pm

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