Life at the end of the road

June 1, 2013

Back from the brink :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings, food, pigs — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:47 pm

Well hardly the brink but I was pretty sick that’s for sure, a busy hot and eventful Thursday culminating for me in a dose of some two day fever that’s been doing the rounds. Not that I knew that at the time, busy as I was removing the air from the bags of several hundred sausages. No when I caught the lurgee I thought it was a full two week bout ahead of me and sorely pished off was I. Well I was in between bouts of shivering, aching and running to the loo, I was not a happy bunny. No siree, two whole weeks of hard earned holidays ahead of me and I’m at deaths door within an hour of setting forth over the threshold with five boxes of pig parts and gazillions of sausages, that all need dealing with.

The day itself started off pretty grey in Lochmaddy but with the promise of heat to evaporate the mists that shrouded North Uist.

   014 015

   016  017

There was never really any doubt about the day really for this is what it looked like on Thursday night around 22:00 as I went for a wander around Lochmaddy.


Half an hour or so later it was even better,


and not long afterwards I was tucked in my bunk for the last time Smile

Anyway, after leaving the good ship Hebrides on Thursday afternoon in Uig and collecting ten boxes of pig parts from George at Portree butchers on Wentworth street  I headed for Sconser. Once on Raasay, and with over half of my cargo delivered I headed home with the unenviable task of dealing with one and a half pigs.


Hardly an onerous task for the rewards at the end are great indeed, but it had been a long and stressful day and one and a half of those boxes is full of sausages all joined together Sad smile I must have been feeling ill by now for I wasn’t hungry and after around the twentieth bag of nine sausages I caved in, departing to my bed a shivering wreck still wearing my fleece. This left wifey all on her own to bag, label and sort ‘pig 2 and half of pig 3’ of which she made a fine job. However the smell of ‘pig three’s’ head boiling away later on that evening did nothing to help my ailment Smile

Sadly that was me for two whole days with nothing more than two tins of soup and I missed the event of the summer. There are no festivals for us this year on account of house building but we were much looking forward to Brathain’s (John William Gillies’s) 60th birthday bash in the village hall. Still I’m sure it passed off just fine without us, in fact I bet it was still going on when I awoke this morning at 4:30.



Right enough I was back in my bed ten minutes later after two more Paracetomol and a glass of water but by 8:00am I was ‘fighting fit’ and even managed some fresh Raasay sausages Smile Far far better than tins of soup Smile

May is out

Not only is the month of May by with but the mayflower is at last out,


only one this morning but by the time we came in for dinner there were a whole lot more.

Ne’r cast a clout till may is out, refers to the flower and not the month, well today they both happened together, at Arnish at least. Mind you the first thing I did was put on my oilskins and climb onto the roof with the power washer to remove loose paint and pigeon carp.


Well that was after I’d blasted another one of the flying rats out of the sky, feeding hens is expensive enough without feeding half of Skye’s pigeons as well.

A couple of hours of that was enough, and with the sun now high in the sky the Dude and I got on with cutting rushes for bedding.



That done we went up to the new house site to collect a converted oil tank, converted into a pig house that is.



This 1590lt Balmoral oil tank is one of many that developed cracks due to faulty plastic, not so good for oil but great for keeping pigs in, with a little modification that is. Actually cut in half around the waist they’re good enough for four weaners but this one is for Ellie and ten wains so has been widened.


It’s amazing what you can do with old corrugated iron and pallets.


Not the prettiest of structures but it’s been well tested, having housed two full sized sows and a boar in the past, don’t ask me how, but that’s pigs for you, they just love company.

038 039

Anyway, as soon as it was in position in the field in front of the house we filled it with bedding and then screwed the roof back on, all the while watched by Ellie and her eight boars and four gilts, imagine that, eight boys and two girls !!!

033 034

For the life in me I can’t understand why most people prefer gilts, indeed some breeders charge extra, boars are far less trouble, grow quicker and are a heck of a lot quieter on the whole. There seems to be much hogwash with regards to ‘boar taint’ which may well be an issue in intensive pork but we’ve never experienced it and I’m dead against castrating anything.

So in mind of my two day absence and lack of photographs here’s a few of George Rankine’s,



Heb Princess

the ‘Hebridean Princess at 19:00 last night, probably heading for Brathain’s party Smile



always good for a laugh

 Puff 2

a puffin full of fish trying to fly Smile

Peace boat (1)

The ‘Peace Boat’ somewhere off Waternish point on Thursday.

Create a free website or blog at