So much for posting last night (Monday) don’t even think I came close to it after the hectic day. Having said that it went like clockwork right from the 6:00am start, and that was after a long busy and fruitful Sunday on the croft. Again, an early start to make the most of my brief time at home after a week on the ‘high seas’ Actually it’s a miracle I got anything done at all after the heavy session on Friday night with my mate at the schoolhouse and several bottles of red wine putting the world to rights.
Still I did, arising early on Saturday to feed the pigs then go and do a spot of quarrying at Tarbert with the dog.
The ‘hen lady’ was needing a load of hardcore for a path into one of her hen enclosures so the ‘wee dug’ and I obliged with a trailer load to add to the many buckets of stone she’d lifted by hand.
Once the load was deposited and levelled we set about ‘hen proofing’ the veg patch, which, despite being able to deter, deer, pigs, rabbits and sheep cannot prevent the hens from getting in. It would actually have been much easier just to close the gate and make that ‘hen proof’
but they really like grubbing about in here for some reason. It’s an area we reserve for weaning piglets as it’s well away from the other sow paddocks and very secure so it gets little use and is well manured.
The first thing to do was raise up the fence posts so that we could attach the netting to the original fence.
Then it was simply a matter of rolling out the plastic netting, which as you can see is that stuff that sprouts up around road works the length and breadth of the nation.
The important thing is to fasten it with wooden battens rather than piercing the mesh with nails or staples, screwed battens spread the load, grip firmly and don’t tear the stuff. This enables you to get it nice and tight so as not to flap in the wind and hence wear through.
That took me nicely up to lunch time whereupon the Dude and I got ready to go and catch the 15:00 ferry from Raasay, one which doesn’t actually exist !!!!!! Ah well the real one sails at 15:30 so we were in plenty of time for that and arrived at my parents house just in time for dinner It’s been far too long since I spent some time there so I made use of the late Saturday ferry to go and visit them with my boy.
Of course by the time I got back to Arnish it was after ten, dark and I just had to share a glass or two of wine with darling wife, after all she’d missed out on the trip to the schoolhouse on Friday night Still, it was only a small glass and the beautiful morning that greeted me on the Sabbath had me out of bed at ‘cock crow’, not that we have one anymore, we ate them all
Finishing the fence being the first job followed by a session of cutting rushes for bedding and cleaning out the pigs.
These three taking over the trailer and steadfastly refusing to let the other four in, I’d brought them up from Oscaig on Friday to get them used to our four pigs. As they’d be sharing the same trailer, I was wanting them to do all the customary ‘tearing chunks out of each other’ prior to tagging them. Pigs confined in any small field will generally have a go at each other until they’ve established a ‘pecking order’ so I wanted them to do it in the small field by the barn rather than fighting in the trailer on the way to the abattoir.
Sure enough they had a wee scrap on Sunday morning then settled down into two little gangs, with these three in the trailer and the other four in a clump of rushes. As soon as they’d finished all their ‘argy bargy’ we tagged them all in the ear, something that is now required by law. In the past a temporary paint mark was all that was required to move pigs for slaughter.
One unforeseen problem with putting all the pigs into this field was the swallows that arrived during Sunday afternoon. It was only after one had flown into the house that I realized that I’d shut the barn door to prevent the pigs getting in, unfortunately it would also stop the swallows gaining entry to the nest they’d built last year. For the first time in twenty three years I’ve had a pair of swallows successfully rear chicks in one of my sheds and I’d forgotten to leave the door open for them when they came back.
When this one flew in through our front door I reckon he was trying to tell me something
After knocking himself out by flying into the window wifey caught him and let him go, after which I opened the door into the barn and tied it back
Well, as I said at the beginning it all went like clockwork, boy off to school and pigs off to Munro’s http://www.munrodingwall.co.uk/ one hundred and ten miles away from Arnish thanks to EU lunacy We could have even caught the 15:00 ferry had we wanted to but decided to go and collect our new door for the house from Skye Express in Portree http://skyeexpress.com/ . The door that we’d bought from Russell Timber of Glasgow http://www.russelltimbertech.co.uk/index.php had just arrived and having an empty trailer on the back seemed fortuitous as it would save lifting it on the roof rack http://www.russelltimbertech.co.uk/qte8CountryClassics.php . That will be it in the picture with the three small windows, though we’ll be skipping the letterbox and ‘spy hole’, last thing I want is a hole in a well insulated and draught free door, the postie will be living in the house anyway
So that was it on the ‘home front’, this morning it was 6:00am again to leave home at 7:15 after feeding a lonely Rocky the boar out on the hill. Rocky I’m sure will be missing his four ‘followers’ now, even though they spent less and less time together they would always turn up for feeding at the same time.
As usual a beautiful commute down to the ferry then on to Uig and the MV Hebrides,
no not that one I dunno who that is heading towards Rubh Hunish at the north eastern tip of Skye.
It’s not often you seen proper sign writing on a truck these days but this Iveco of Gilmour Brothers proves that there are some ‘signwriters’ still about. I can’t remember the name of the chap that used to ‘signwrite’ commercials for us when I worked at ‘White brothers’ a Toyota dealer in Accrington but he sure was skilful.
The last sailing from Uig had an unusual cargo though,
no less than NINE Harley Davidson motorcycles.