Well, the heat has arrived here, not sure what it was on Raasay for my weather station died some months ago and I’ve never got around to replacing it but David at http://www.isleofskyeweather.org.uk/24elgol/
recorded 25 degrees plus at 14:00 so I guess we weren’t far behind. It certainly felt hot, too hot in fact with all the pigs spending the day inside their arks or under the shade of a tree. Our water supply seems to have dried up for the first time this year, which is unusual as May are June are normally the time for rationing. Not that I think it’ll come to that for we have 5000lts of storage and rain is forecast for Wednesday .
Another 12 months
Anyway, I left you in a layby somewhere on the A87 north of ‘Slig’ on Friday, just as my day was ‘going to 5h1t’, though that would hardly have seemed the case to any casual observer. Sat in the sunshine looking over the Cuillins on a Friday afternoon hardly seems stressful or strenuous but that is not where I should have been. I should at that time of day been tucking into my lunch on the MV Hebrides but banks of fog put paid to that and I couldn’t join in the afternoon as the ‘Old Girl’ was booked in for MOT at http://www.smorrison.co.uk/ . As is usual at this time of year I get in a ‘right state’ whenever the MOT is due, more so this year because eleven months of ‘training’ five days a week, much of it away from home have meant that the Land Rover’s usual TLC has not been a priority.
Fortunately one good thing about spending so much time walking in South Shields meant that the Old Girl had only covered 6000 miles since the last test and ‘flew through’. That was of course after I’d spent hours messing about with the dash warning lights, handbrake, number plate light and oil leaks.
Stunned that my twenty seven year old baby had passed her thirteenth MOT in a row I headed home via the Co op with a case of cider to celebrate
Getting as far as this layby just before Sconser when I realized that I hadn’t got enough fuel, actually I had plenty but had forgotten that I’d be leaving the Landy with wifey. Raasay has many facilities but fuel and alcohol are in short supply
Upon my return from Portree filling station I spotted some stranded sheep at the head of Loch Sligachan
I just wonder if the grass tastes better when the tide is in, for you never see them grazing here at low water!!!!
Armed with my MOT certificate and a full tank of diesel I headed north on what must have been the warmest day of the year here by far. This being a stretch of road past Bealach Ruadh where the road crosses from west to east, always good for spotting eagles. It has a Gaelic name that is something to do with ‘the men of Oscaig’ or is it rallying to the princes call, whatever it is, it has some unique (to Raasay) grasses growing in it.
Not actually getting home until 18:30, having to unload the Land Rover and then go out with my son and shoot some pigeons not a great deal else got done and an early night was had by all. All that is but the teenager of the house whom I heard creeping upstairs at around 3:00am!!!! Still, that didn’t stop me dragging him out of bed at 8:30 to take the quad and trailer over to Torran to ‘ship out’ some American’s from http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html the ‘Old Schoolhouse’ That he did with a smile and got well tipped too, one thing about the Americans, they expect good service and are happy to reward it. We seem to put up with carp, get ripped off, say nothing and fail to tip when we should.
Once they were away the pair of us went back, I dealt with their ‘bin bags’ and my son got on with cutting the grass.
This is the old ‘Mission House’ just by the schoolhouse at Torran,
the ‘hipped roof’ end being the church bit and the part with two chimneys the house. Obviously the congregation were kept warm by their faith whilst the minister and his servants needed a fire
Leaving the Dude to tackle the rushes, grass, burdock, thistles and bracken I went back home and headed up to the water storage tanks for the new house.
This being the main 3600lt tank some 30m higher and 200m away from the new house overlooking Loch Arnish. The tank is fed from a 1000lt settling tank which in turn is fed from a ‘secret well’,
I say ‘secret’ because no one seems to know anything about it and I came across it whilst searching for water some years ago. Lined with stones it’s obviously been used at one time and has never run dry even when my own supply has failed.
Anyway, that well feeds this grey fibre glass tank which I spent all morning emptying and cleaning out with bleach, once that is full it flows into the larger black one below. The plan being to construct a ‘slow sand filter ’http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slow_sand_filter in this one but first I had to make a lid to keep out leaves, debris and creatures.
The lid needed to be secure, waterproof, windproof and bug proof, fortunately I had just the thing
Though I have to say that the time that the Dude and I spent making this lid was of far more value than £12 for a sheet of OSB
Mind you it was a good deal heavier and stronger than a sheet of OSB, taking much effort, sweating and cursing to get it up the hill
and on to the tank.
Though I have to say that I’m well pleased with the result, all I have to do now is carry a ton of sand and pebbles up there
And whilst we’re on the subject of ferries and ferry traffic,
the new hybrid Raasay ferry MV Hallaig went to dry dock on Thursday under her own steam http://www.cmassets.co.uk/en/our-work/projects/current-projects/hybrid-ferries-project.html . Our new ferry being one step closer to arriving here after heading to the Garvel dry dock http://www.forth-group.co.uk/gc.html to have her ‘bum scraped’