It was up early yesterday so that I could trundle slowly down a pothole filled road to catch the first ferry and get my son to school. I usually leave around 40 minutes early just to allow for distractions along the way, you never know what your going to see. A fine vista is guaranteed whatever the weather but it could be a sea eagle, nuclear sub, fine stag, grouse or anything. One thing about my daily commute, I’ve never tired of it, well apart from dodging the bomb craters. Well Monday I had to be even earlier for I’d Lachie’s trailer on the back of the Old Girl full of scrap and I didn’t want it rattling about in the back doing damage. Normally I just couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of taking old batteries to Inverness, the cost of the fuel would barely cover the trip. However I was going to collect the sills, lintels and mullions for the new house so it was a good opportunity to get rid of some carp off the croft and cover the cost of the diesel.
Lachie had also left me his pickup at Sconser to make the trip quicker and easier on the wallet, so after swapping vehicles at Sconser I set off in the Ford Ranger, barley feeling the ton or so behind.
Much as I love my Land Rover it’s not very practical once off Raasay and you really have to work at the gearbox if you’ve a trailer on the back. The Ford didn’t even seem to notice it and cruised very happily at 50mph with only the odd spell out of fifth gear for the really steep hills. The advantage of the time saved had me calling at my parents en route to acquire some cheese and tomatoes on toast and an extra battery for the scrappie
The day, true to the form of late was friggin miserable, also ‘true to form’ it brightened up just as soon as we cleared the Cluanie dam and wound our way down Glen Morriston. By the time the wee dug and I arrived at ‘Snecky’ it was like a summers day.
After ditching my load of batteries at the scrappie I attempted to cross town towards Dores and Inverness Precast http://www.invernessprecast.co.uk/ . A task that had me going around the town three times due to a road closure by the river Still I got there at 13:00 whereupon I discovered another good reason for ditching the Land Rover in favour of a Ranger, HiLux or LT200. There were three heavy pallets and only two would fit in the large trailer!!!
Well, I couldn’t have done that with the ‘Old Girl’
and even if I could she’d certainly have complained on the hills. Not the Ranger, even with the best part of a ton in the back and almost two behind she cruised effortlessly back to Skye. Not only that but it used well under £50 of diesel, about 30mpg, a 50% improvement over the Land Rover’s trip sowf.
Not so many craters
I managed to comfortably catch the 16:15 ferry but my plan to take the Landy back home had been thwarted by the unscheduled load in the boot. Reluctantly I took the Ranger, surprisingly the road had mysteriously lost some potholes.
I was staggered to find the bridge at the bottom of Glam Brae no longer a slalom course, the potholes had been repaired. Not only fixed but fixed properly, this was far too professional a job for the council thought I.
Right enough, a mile up the road they’d run out of tar, but something was most definitely wrong, these holes had been swept properly first!!
Swept and even had the water removed, or at least a drain cut into the side, definitely something amiss here thought I.
It may have been a far easier drive in the Ford than the Land Rover but I was still shattered and way out of my ‘comfort zone’ so after feeding the pigs and soaking in Radox I steered clear of the blog and went to bed early.
Another wet a miserable morning arrived and I unloaded the cargo, took it up to the house and then got back on with the chicken shed.
The direction and strength of the wind making work on the north east side quite pleasant and dry.
The chickens will be kept in the centre two sections with access to both the field outside the ‘picture window’
and a smaller area to the south east. This end will open for them to shelter in if they wish and the north western end will be the store for feed, bedding etc.
I was up there until 18:00 with the wee dug, forced home by hunger and the need to feed the pigs,
still, I was well impressed with what I’d achieved
The wife also solved the mystery of the ‘potholes’, the council had sent over a decent amount of tar and got a couple of local chaps to repair the roads!! Hallelujah I thought, a little common sense, it’s not rocket science is it. You don’t have to employ a management consultant to realize that sending one man over at great expense to do a couple of hours work is lunacy when there are people on the island that’ll do a full days work, do it better and do it cheaper. Of course it’s probably just a token gesture to appease the locals and get rid of the last few quid of this years budget, but hey, it’s a vast improvement on what it was and most welcome.
Speaking of the council, there’s me banging away in my shed at 10:00 this morning when I here’s a shout, I looks up and there’s this chap with a clipboard in a suit. Well not a suit but proper clothes and city shoes Well you could have knocked me down with a feather when he produced his ID as being an assessor for HRC’s council tax evaluation “ I can see I’m a little premature” says he looking at the new hoose OK, that’s not actually what he said but that was Angus’s drift as we conversed on many a subject for the next ten or fifteen minutes. Me glad of a break and he much interested in the north end of Raasay having read John Nicolson’s excellent book ‘I Remember’ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Remember-Memories-Raasay-Birlinn-Historical/dp/1841582220