It’s a bit late, for XCWeather http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ said it would be here at 19:00, but we’ll not hold that against them, because on the whole they’re pretty good. Anyway, just as the wife went out to shut in the chooks at 20:45 it started, the much needed rain arrived at last. Of course when I say ‘shut in’ I don’t mean in their housing but in their enclosure, a secure area of some 40m x 40m adjacent to the hen houses. This in itself, according to the regulations laid down by DEFRA or whoever it is, should be plenty large enough for our 32 hens but ours have the whole of the croft to wander about on. We only started shutting them in their pen to stop them ‘laying out’ and on the whole it’s worked. There are only two now that ‘lay out’ and they lay in the same place every day, inside our byre, two eggs inside a bag of wood shavings almost every day. Try as I might, I just cannot keep these two in their pen and out of my garden, I’ve clipped their wings, put chicken wire all round the garden and plugged up every hole I can see, all to no avail. Every morning when I look out of the house, there they are scratching away under the bird table and generally making a mess of the lawn.
An eventful week
So, as you’ve probably gathered I’m back home now after my first week on the ‘Heb’ as she’s affectionately known. A good week of virtually no wind or rain but with a few extra sailings due to the odd mechanical hitch. All of which served to make the week ‘fly by’ and had me heading back to Raasay before I realized what day it was. Having a cabin with no windows in and working six hour shifts can certainly confuse the old body clock, especially so soon after the clock altering malarkey from GMT to BST
Luckily I had a sign to stick on my cabin door
Not sure what day this was, Thursday probably, anyway it’s the ‘well boat’ Ronja Commander lying off Harris, perhaps awaiting a rendezvous at a fish farm, or maybe taking on board some of the Minch’s clean seawater.
This is the German navy supply ship ‘Frankfurt am Main’ again on Thursday with a destroyer a couple of miles ahead and astern, obviously part of some exercise.
I hurried home on a fine Friday morning to try and catch up on some of the work about the croft before the rain came, It wasn’t due until Saturday night right enough but I’d a feeling that once it started it wouldn’t stop
The waiting room was beginning to take shape at Sconser, though the ‘ten weeks until it’s finished’ that someone told me six weeks ago now seemed a little optimistic.
And I really hope that they do have the good sense to fit a roller shutter door to that beautiful shed, or at least some serious doors with proper ‘Sconser proof’ hinges.
The MV Loch Striven was not the only vessel at Sconser as I waited patiently,
Peter Urquhart’s ‘Brigadoon’ was also in Loch Sligachan http://www.portree-boat-trips.co.uk/ . Many is the trip I’ve had to Rona in this boat when I was a fish farm diver, off to the Dubh Camas (Black Bay) and ‘Rona Salmon’s’ farm there. Happy days in the ‘potakabin’ there with the likes of Balfour, Wiz, Christie, Tommy and others who would always oblige with a hearty breakfast Aye, if I ever write a book the Rona fish farm will get a whole chapter
Home at last
I dunno how many times I’ve started a paragraph with those words but to me ‘there’s just no place like home’ or at least this little corner of Raasay that I love. I think that’s why I’m so fond of Tarbert in Harris, it reminds me of here, well that and the 3g phone signal
Me, well I was ‘over the moon’ to arrive at Arnish, but the black puddle of oil and trail up the road suggested yet another holed sump for some poor holiday maker This will be the fourth or fifth person in less than two years to rue the day they visited ‘Calum’s road’ and leave on a breakdown truck. Apparently it was some poor soul in a Peugeot that left the contents of his sump on the car park, I hope he sues the friggin council.
First thing I did was unload the hen and pig feed before dragging the boy out of bed and repairing some punctures.
The worst kind of punctures are those slow ones caused by leaks around the wheel rim and I’d two of them that have been driving me nuts for months. I’ve taken the tyres off, cleaned up the rims, re sealed them only to see them go flat once more the following day. In the end I gave up and fitted two tubes, after which we gave them a good testing by heading over to the two lochs at Brochel.
Sorry, it’s 23:00 now and I’m ‘flagging’ will finish this off tomorrow, perhaps