Life at the end of the road

January 4, 2014

Talk Talk, aye right :-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:48 pm

A better day by far today and I reluctantly set off for Portree at just after 8:00am, having fed the pigs early and left the household slumbering peacefully. Even a quick dash into town eats a precious hole in the working day at this time of year but we were desperate low on sow rolls, weaner pellets, mixed grain, layers pellets, wild bird food and cat food. How on earth we’ve managed to acquire five cats when they’re all neutered is beyond me, especially as I don’t like the bird eating rascals. However we’ve not seen a mouse in years or a rat ever at number 3 so we tolerate each other and I really am quite fond of them. They’re all pretty wild and each one has its own favourite shed that it lives in, one has even been caught sleeping with the hens, though I’ve yet to capture that on camera.

They don’t have names, well apart from ‘mummy cat’, splodge, and ‘Val’s cat’, they’re not allowed (or even want to) come in the house and I generally shoot any toms that turn up at the house. There’s probably a law against that but when the stinking beggars steal all the food from the other cats, pish all over the hens bedding and spray my windows I tend to ‘see red’. It’s not like we’ve any neighbours, our nearest one is some seven or eight miles away, so if a fat tom turns up at the door and all our female cats have been dressed, then to my way of thinking someone has dumped it there. Some ‘cat lover’ has driven at least ten miles and dumped a fat healthy tom because ‘they’ can’t be bothered with dealing with it.

And before you set the SSPCA on me,  I ‘shot’ them with a water pistol or camera  Smile



Anyway, with an empty Land Rover and a fat ‘wee dug’



I set off to catch the 8:55 Hallaig to Skye. I cannot believe that folk are still moaning about this ferry, it’s larger so they don’t get left behind, quieter so they can use the phone, its got free WiFi and costs the same price. How can that be a bad thing, especially as it needs two extra crew Smile Sure it couldn’t berth on Raasay yesterday due to the wind but I doubt that the Loch Striven would have even sailed. This is a really good ship and a pleasure to work on, in fact, I’m actually missing not joining her on Tuesday, though I’m sure I’ll get over that once I’ve been working on her for thirteen days Smile 

After scrounging a bite to eat off the boys, getting the craic and trying to stop my ‘back to back’ feeding Molly I set off for Portree and Harbro, the local feed merchant.



All that and more went into the back of the ‘Old Girl’ and she barely even felt it, 20 sow rolls, 2 weaner pellets, 3 mixed grain, 3 layers pellets, 1 wild bird and 25kg of wood shavings.



A couple of hours later it was all safely stored in our rodent proof steel container on the croft under the watchful eye of wifey’s hens.

After the Dude and I had done that we went over to Torran on the quads to recover our oil drums then went for a drive over the hills to check the hydro turbine pipes.


Almost 16:00 and still light


not that light right enough as it was a ‘long exposure’ but certainly brighter than of late Smile That’s a pretty big ebb there


X and X rarely break surface. Good reefs for lobster they’re usually found with and echo sounder or careless propeller and not so easily seen.

Not always an advantage

Probably the thing that I dislike most after the TV is the phone and I’ve not actually been to bothered about the house one not working, or at least I wasn’t for the first week or so. It was actually quite a novelty not to have it cemented to the wife’s ear for hours on end. It was pure bliss not to have the offer of endless double glazing, solar panels, or gazillions of money from that car accident I had (you know the one I can’t remember having). However, it’s now been the best part of a month since we’ve been able to receive more than the occasional incoming call and outgoing ones are so noisy as to make conversation impossible. Fortunately we have the fastest and most reliable internet connection on Raasay so have not been totally isolated. Unfortunately we are with ‘Talk Talk’ the undisputed worst telephone and internet provider on the planet.

I didn’t choose this bunch of clowns and their Indian call centres, I was in fact with Toucan for years, an Irish company that employed real Irish people who you could actually speak to. No kidding, you could phone up, speak to Sean or Niamh with a problem and then phone them again the day after!!!!!! If they weren’t in Patrick or Aileen would pass the message on and they’d phone you back!!! Sadly, at some point this friendly minnow was gobbled up by the corporate conger eel of ‘Talk Talk’ and Sean became Mohammed. Not that I’ve a problem with either him Rajeev or Geeta but they can seldom understand a Lancashire accent and have little comprehension of rural island life.

A typical conversation would go like this, well it would after twenty minutes of trying to get past all the menus that don’t work because the line is faulty!! Mr Patel would say, “can you just put the phone down and I’ll phone you back”, I’d reply, “I’ve just told you we can’t get incoming calls”, to which Sanjeev would say “I’m sorry this line is very noisy”. Eventually after much shouting he’d say “I’ll phone you back on your mobile”, and this would be after me telling him there is no mobile reception, to which he would respond with great surprise from his air conditioned office in Mumbai “you have no mobile reception!!!”

Now this has not just happened to me, it has also happened to the hen lady too, you couldn’t make it up could you, some dude in a third world country is expressing surprise that I’ve no mobile phone reception, do you think he watches too many UK soaps??? Anyway I’ve reported the fault several times, as has the wife and we’ve been promised several engineers that have never arrived.

Steer clear of Talk Talk, they’re shite.    

It wouldn’t be so bad but we’ve sixteen piglets for sale and nobody can get a hold of me, well that and the fact that I can’t phone up the bank and pay any bills Smile

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