Well that brief calm spell they were talking about tomorrow seems to have vanished
and it looks like we’re in for a right good blow on Christmas eve. Anyway, here at the north end Christmas is sorted, there will be no power cuts at 3 South Arnish, I’ve got my parents over early and the turkey is in the kitchen. Not only that but several gallons of ‘Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo’ arrived in the back of the wee Toyota Aygo along with the presents and a 12lb turkey from Brian Green of Portnalong.
Now £30 might seem a lot of money for a turkey when you can pick one up from Tesco’s for half that but we are talking ‘chalk and cheese’ here, or at least I hope we are. We always try and get a locally reared bird and have never been disappointed yet. I dunno how many times I’ve heard folk say they get sick of turkey at Christmas but we never do, after the inevitable dinner there are the sandwiches, then there is the turkey curry, the turkey ham and mushroom pie and of course the turkey stock in the freezer for all manner of delights later on in the New Year.
After reappraising the weather forecast this morning I decided to go into work and let my ‘back to back’ away early, I know he’d do the same for me and there’s no guarantee that anything will be sailing tomorrow. I’m sure the Hallaig will be at some point but I didnae want to be hanging around for hours waiting for the ‘weather window’, better just to ‘call it a day’ and have done with it.
That would not be until 15:30 though, so first I had much to do at home, feed the pigs, clean out the oil stove and then try and fix ‘Crapzilla’. The ‘Chinese junk’ had died last night as soon as it hit a puddle of water, not a great quality in an ‘off road’ vehicle. So, after getting it good and warm this morning I took off the seat and its plastic covers
and left it running whilst I gently sprayed water over it. Sure enough, as soon as a drop of water touched the HT lead and spark plug, it stopped.
Now I know that throwing water over a spark plug is not your regular kind of workshop test but you have to bear in mind that Quadzilla’s spark plug is right behind the front RH wheel and it is an ‘off road’ vehicle. If the crappy rubber insulation cannot cope with water then why put the friggin thing where it will get wet????
A few bits of plastic and an old bit of guttering bolted to the frame made a suitable deflector and Quadzilla got a good testing in several puddles without stopping
I have to laugh at Ellie and her piglets, since last Friday 13th I’ve been throwing them out on the hill every morning and they’ve gone off on a wee adventure.
Then, around 13:00 they all come tramping back in a little herd and go to bed in the barn for a wee sleep, regular as clockwork. A couple of hours later they’re all screaming to be fed prior to another charge about then bed for the night.
I also did a bit of work up at the new house, mainly lashing stuff down and putting blocks on top of the scaffolding boards in anticipation of the weather.
Got ready for shifting some heating oil over to the http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html and welcomed my parents who had arrived a day early on my instructions.
After all that was done I headed down the road to let my mate away, whereupon I heard a load of tosh that could only have been spouted by the likes of the Sun, Star or some ‘titty paper’. The Hallaig had apparently broken down on Sunday and the Portree lifeboat had had to be launched to bring the minister over. You could not make this pish up, first off the minister had arrived on Saturday night and secondly the Hallaig had sailed all day Sunday on batteries and on schedule. I’d had a text to say as much last night from a mate in Portree but this tosh was being spouted by folk on Raasay who should have known better. Then there was the phone call to the ‘West Highland Free Press’ that the Hallaig was drifting helplessly in the Raasay Narrows on Friday evening!!!! The good ship Hallaig was in fact holding her own in 60knt winds that would have kept a Loch Class ferry firmly tied up to Scotland. OK, prudence had us return to Raasay rather than risk a landing at Sconser but she sailed again at 20:30 and brought all the school children home.
The Hallaig is a good, fast, quiet and comfortable ship, sure there have been a few teething problems but get a grip peeps.
An old friend
Still, it was good to receive this picture of our trusty old ‘Striven’ from zak355 tied up at Rothesay on Bute. Fresh out of ‘dry dock’ at Ardmaliesh http://www.ardmaleishboatbuilding.co.uk/ she too has extra ropes out, just as well judging by the howling gale I can here through the double glazing and meter thick stone walls!! The freshly painted ‘Loch class’ will be taking up her new station in Oban shortly as she takes over the Lismore http://www.isleoflismore.com/ route from the Eigg.
I’m sure they’ll grow to love her just as I did
Anyway, it’s 6:00am now and I’d better load up the chainsaw and head for work, I’ve a feeling there are going to be trees down this morning and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the island had no power.