Life at the end of the road

April 7, 2013

Happy anniversary :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:09 pm

A bit of a change in the weather today, much needed rain through the night dampened the heather so with a bit of luck it may prevent some of the pyromaniacs going berserk with matches. Muirburn may well be an old established method of land management but it needs doing responsibly and little of that has been in evidence of late. Barely a day has gone by without half a dozen uncontrolled blazes sweeping through fences, power lines and woodland.

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Here’s just a few from this weeks and I saw the charred hillside by Kirkton where some clown had let one go through the power lines. Sure it gets rid of the tick, kills the heather beetle, allows fresh growth, stops the heather getting ‘woody’ and becoming a serious fire hazard but there is a code.

  • Burning outwith the statutory burning season (unless under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage) [Hill Farming Act 1946, s23].
  • Burning at night, between 1 hour after sunset and 1 hour before sunrise [Hill Farming Act 1946, s25].
  • Leaving a fire unattended [Hill Farming Act 1946, s25].
  • Being unable to control a fire or having not made provision for its proper control [Hill Farming Act 1946, s25].
  • Causing damage to any woodland [Hill Farming Act 1946, s25].
  • Causing damage to neighbours’ property [Hill Farming Act 1946, s25].
  • Causing damage to a scheduled monument [Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, s2(2)a].
  • Failing to take fire safety measures in respect of harm caused by fire. Fire (Scotland) Act 2005, Part 3, s53 & s54.
  • Carrying out burning on a Site of Special Scientific Interest, without consent from Scottish Natural Heritage, if burning has been notified as an ‘Operation Requiring Consent’ [Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s19].
  • Intentional or reckless harassment of birds listed in Schedule A1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
  • Intentional or reckless damage to the natural features of a Site of Special Scientific Interest [Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, s19].
  • Intentionally or recklessly disturbing or destroying the nests, eggs or young of breeding birds [Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended), s1, Schedule 1 and Schedule A1].
  • Omitting to give the landowner, or occupiers of land within 1 km of the proposed muirburn site, written notice of your intention to burn during the coming muirburn season. Notice must be given after the end of the previous season and at least 7 days before burning. [Hill Farming Act 1946, s26].
  • Omitting to give further information, if requested, by the landowner or neighbouring occupiers (within 1 km) of the dates, location and approximate extent of intended muirburn, not later than the end of the day before burning.
  • Lighting a fire, or allowing a fire to spread, within 30 m of a road so as to damage the road or endanger traffic on it, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse [Roads (Scotland) Act 1984, s100(c)].
  • Creating smoke that is a nuisance to inhabitants of the neighbourhood [Clean Air Act 1993, s17, refers to an offence under the Public Health (Scotland) Act 1897].
  • Endangering anyone’s health or safety, including members of the public [Healthand Safety at Work etc. Act 1974, s2 and s3, Management of Health and Safety At Work Regulations 1999 S.I. 3242].

and there has been precious little of that followed Sad smile

Anyway it was a white Storr that greeted me this morning when I went to feed the pigs,



the rain had obviously fell as snow over there, no surprise really because it was Baltic. Obviously not actually as cold as previous mornings, for there was no ice on the pig troughs, but the gentle north breeze had a bitter edge to it that set the teeth chattering and the pigs grunting Smile For as I’d set out early to feed them they were all still in their bed, that will be three adults and 140kg of porkers in a house built for three. How on earth the seven of them all fit in the old stone hen house is beyond me and I really must try and get a picture. As I approached all I could hear was a commotion from inside before they all filed out one by one, I can only surmise that the smaller ones are sleeping on top of the larger pigs and there’s a bit of complaining going on Smile

Alone again

After I’d dealt with the herd I went to check on the hydro turbine, that had not worked for weeks due to the unseasonally  dry weather and was pleased to see an overflowing header tank, an indication that the ‘penstock’ or supply pipe is full.



Not a great deal of water but enough to give me .5 of an amp, which at 50v equates to 25w,


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I know it says millivolts on the Fluke but that equates to amps on the ‘Stream Engine’s’ transformer. Not much but that is 600wh per day or around one sixth of our daily electricity consumption, so better than a ‘poke in the eye with a sharp stick’.

With the wife, son and dog leaving me for a few days, and with the battery on the Nissan sounding a little dubious I went to get the details off it to order another.

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That done I put the jump leads in the boot and wrote instructions on the battery Smile

Sixty years!!!!

Then we had breakfast and all set off for the 10:00am ferry to join my parents in the celebration of their diamond wedding anniversary.



Tagging on at the end of the ‘mass exodus’ of Easter visitors to Raasay we headed for the mainland after disembarking at a chaotic Sconser.



We arrived at my parents sleepy little village to find that we were not alone in celebrating this special occasion, though I did feel that queenie had cheated a little. HM was crowned in the same year that my dashing father took his young bride, 1953.



However, Lizzie cheated and had her diamond jubilee last year, probably wanted to cash in on the Olympics and London 2012 Smile

I know, I can’t help being a little biased but they are a handsome couple hey, and he only came here by accident. My father hailed from a village not unlike Arnish in the 50s with no road. Recently demobbed from national service he went to the Italian version of the labour exchange to discover the job he wanted in Canada had gone. A weeks course in English and he was on a train destined for the coal mines of Lancashire and my mother!!!!

Provvedasco small

From the mountains of Liguria to the shores of Loch Duich, it’s funny where life takes you Smile

Sixty years on and it seemed like the whole village had turned out to share in their joy,


with such delights as sea trout, sherried chicken livers, smoked mackerel pate, venison, quiche of all descriptions and sweets for everyone.




Our good friend Heather, herself a former resident of Raasay had offered her ‘open house’ to accommodate the many guests, and friends had helped prepare the feast. Though special thanks must go to Tony and Liz of for that awesome salmon, sea trout and prawn platter.



Suffering from dementia my father remembers little


but he constantly informs everyone that my mother ‘is the best thing that’s ever happened to me’ Smile



Sadly, I had to leave this bonny part of Scotland around 15:00 to drive home and deal with the animals.



The ‘Harvest Anne’ was busy at work as I passed through Kyle,


pulling a pontoon into the pier there.


Eventually however I got back to Raasay,


spied ‘Green Van Man’, fed the pigs,


dealt with the eggs and then spent three hours writing this friggin blog Smile

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