Just as most people are starting to get well and truly sick of their Christmas turkey, we’ve just started ours OK, it went into the oven last night for three and a half hours when the batteries were fizzing but it got ‘browned’ today and we had it for lunch A late lunch, like the late turkey but a proper feast indeed, enjoyed by the whole family in our first proper get together at Arnish over the festive season.
My dad’s not so good away from home, my mum doesn’t like driving at night and to be quite honest I don’t blame her the Raasay roads are a f*****g ( I know, I know I’m swearing again but if you can find a better adjective please let me know and I’ll use it) disgrace.
As cartoonist and ex clam diver ‘Chris’ illustrates so accurately in this weeks cartoon from the West Highland Free Press http://www.whfp.com/ . This beautiful island has many assets, but probably its most widely known, is the world renowned ‘Calum’s road’ the subject of song, book, play and film, yet along with the rest of Raasay’s roads it’s deteriorating into a 4×4 only track. Millions has been spent on giving us a long overdue harbour, renovating Raasay House and building us a new hybrid ferry yet the basic right of member of the public to get from A to B without wrecking their car, falling off their bike or motor cycle is overlooked. ‘Come to Raasay’, loose your spoiler, break a spring, get a puncture or rip the sump off your car, skid on the gravel and wreck your bike, it is criminal. Within the last twelve months at least three cars have holed their sumps, one has lost its sump guard, at least two have broken springs and the roadside is littered with plastic spoilers.
I’ve been away from home since September and have been staggered by the attrition of our roads, accelerated in no small part by the construction of yet another water treatment plant. A pointless exercise that has involved the transport of thousands of tons of concrete, plant and traffic onto the already crumbling single track.
The last time my parents visited they nearly took the bottom out of their wee Toyota Aygo, and it’s one of the reasons why we see so little of them at Arnish. Today however I said that I’d go and pick them up from the ferry so that they could join us for a late Christmas lunch.
So after feeding everyone doing one more load of rock in the half light of dawn, putting the cotechino on the stove and repairing wifey’s ‘air bag light’ (more of that later) I set off early to collect them, early so that I could photograph some of the potholes.
Of course after the torrential rain of yesterday all the worst ones are full of water
and it became pretty obvious that if I were to take pictures of even a quarter of them I’d not make the 17:30 ferry let alone the 11:30
Now, at this point I’m still less then 2 miles from home on an 11 mile drive
Luckily the weather turned really wet and miserable so I’ll spare you the agony and boredom of the rest of the journey.
Well, I will once I’ve posted these last few, but bear in mind that I’ve still 8 or 9 miles to drive.
The wife’s Nissan Almera is due for an MOT, as soon as the weather improves I’m going to service it and you can bet there’ll be some worn out ball joints. One thing for sure it won’t fail on the ‘air bag warning light’
Nissan Almera air bag light flashing
I hate new cars and all this electronic carp that means a trip to the dealer and a days wage just to reset some stupid indicator on the dash, so when the silly red ‘air bag’ light on the dash started flashing I despaired. Normally I would have just taken the bulb out but this Nissan SVE has a pointless TV type screen also that FLASHES in big serious letters ‘DANGER’ air bag fault So I does what anyone would do in this situation and consulted the internet.
Do not believe everything you read
As you do, I types into Google ‘nissan almera air bag light flashing’ and also ‘resetting nissan almera air bag warning light’ and this is what appeared.
Not very encouraging
but this at least pointed me in the right direction,
sure enough that brown connector was loose, but of course the light now needed resetting, and according to Otis that was impossible without a trip to Inverness.
John Paul the ‘Nissan master tech’ was full of carp too, for I discovered this little nugget of information off Molly (now there’s synchronicity at work ) http://www.mollystropicalplants.com/2012/07/25/resetting-a-nissan-almera-airbag-warning-light/
How to reset a Nissan Almera air bag warning light
Thanks Molly, it worked a treat
Back home with mum, dad and their two dogs around 12:30 meant that the cotechino had been boiling for two and a half hours and was just about ready.
That will be them on the right, made by my very good friend from the two Tamworth’s that went to Dingwall recently http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotechino A traditional Italian dish it is usually served with lentils on New Years eve, kind of like a salami that you cook. I’d planned to serve it with scallops but on mums advice we had it with mostarda http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mostarda
again a traditional Italian concoction, this time of glazed fruit and mustard !!!!! I know, I know it sounds revolting but it was truly delicious and we had the scallops separately just before the roast turkey
Feeling truly stuffed, and knowing that if I stopped moving I’d fall asleep I took my dad out for a walk, leaving the ladies to clear up the mess and do the washing up
The eighty four year old and I wondered down the Torran path before taking the steep path up to the long empty township of North Arnish.
The ‘old man’ never ceasing to amaze me with his agility and stamina, it’s a fair trek up to North Arnish and it’s all uphill
We took an ‘overland’ route after that to visit friends at Torran, and of course scrounge a coffee for the trip home Sadly, not long after returning to Arnish it was time to once more ‘bump’ down the road and take them back to the ferry