Tuesday, 13:30 and I’m ‘live from the mess room
Blogging after work just aint going to happen, much as I’ve tried, by the time I get home it’s well after 20:00, some thirteen and a half hours after leaving it. Not that I’m complaining, work on Hallaig is a pleasure, unlike the constant noise and vibration of the Striven and her sisters. However, it is a long day and by the time I get home I’m pure wrecked, especially now with the extra sailing in the winter.
Even Sunday, the day when I thought I’d get a little ‘puter work done turned into a late one. It started fine enough with me up early and out doing the feeding and allowing wifey a wee lie in.
Then it was down the road in the ‘Old Girl’ in daylight for a change, stopping briefly to photograph my favourite ‘splash of colour’ at Holoman. This gorse bush at the side of the road here is quite often the brightest sight of a winter’s day. Often regarded as a nuisance I find gorse a breath of fresh air when all around is grey and brown, it’s a rare month indeed that you don’t see at least one yellow flower somewhere on a gorse bush.
The day was busy enough with much of the weekly maintenance and cleaning being done
along with a ‘boat drill’.
However the leisurely Sunday soon turned into a ‘late one’ not through work right enough but from moving house, or at least from moving out for a little while.
Moving the X Box
Our new neighbours and owners of ‘number three’ have kindly offered us a ‘stay of execution’ until the New Year. Anyway with the sale going through this week we’re moving house for a ‘wee while’ at least, and what a house it is Our good friends from ‘down sowf’ have offered, nay insisted that we move into the ‘Old Schoolhouse’ at Torran http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html and trust me the advert does not do it justice.
The once busy school with a roll of dozens of pupils has it’s place in crofting history and the lore of the north end of Raasay. In May 1883 it was where delegates from the Napier Commission http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/scotlandshistory/makingindustrialurban/napiercommission/index.asp met with the downtrodden local crofters.
A crofter is a person who occupies a smallholding. A cottar is a tenant who works on the croft/farm and lives in a farm cottage.
Up to 1880, the legacy of the Clearances for remaining crofters was: soil depleted by sheep grazing, land turned over to deer forests, and crofts lying empty because they were too small to provide a living. In late 1881, a band of crofters from the township of Braes on Skye demonstrated forcefully against increased rents and loss of pasture rights. Rents were withheld until rights were restored, resulting in eviction notices.
The Battle of the Braes (1882) involved barricades and demonstrations, and had to be curbed with troops and a gunboat. But nobody was shot, and the crofters had made their point.
In 1883 a Commission was set up under Lord Napier and took evidence of extreme hardship across the Highlands and Islands.
From the Napier Commission came the Crofters’ Holding Act of 1886. It established the Crofters’ Commission to guarantee fair rents, security of tenure and some compensation for land improvements. Called ‘the Magna Carta of Gaeldom’, it recognised at last the distinctive land tenure system of the crofting community.
Many areas in the 1890s were named as Congested Districts, with not enough resources even for subsistence living. It wasn’t until the Crofting Reform Act of 1976 that crofters could buy out their own crofts and manage them more effectively.
http://napier-skye.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/torran-raasay-22-may-1883-charles.html That gives you a flavour of the proceedings.
Calum himself, the great road and path builder of Arnish lived there for a while with his wife Lexy, the then Schoolteacher.
Just like on Scalpay
Anyway, it was after work on Sunday and in the pitch black that we started shifting stuff to the Schoolhouse in a move that took me back 25 years to my life on Scalpay http://www.isleofscalpay.com/ where there are no roads or streetlights either. In fact the quad that I was using to move the bedding didn’t even have working lights at the time. Luckily I managed to follow wifey, my son and X Box on the Yamaha without incident.
After the cosy little tin roof shack I’ve called home for 25 years it all seemed a little grand,
opting for two of the three downstairs bedrooms with their stunning views over Loch Arnish.
However, by the time my son had installed the X Box in ‘his’ room, we’d made the beds and I’d fixed the lights on the Honda it was a little late for blogging.
Up as usual at 5:45 I couldn’t help but think that when we move into the schoolhouse it’s gonna be 5:15 to allow for time to get along the half mile track. Not that it takes that long on a quad but you gotta allow for punctures and broken lights Don’t want to be late for work, or at least any later than I was on Monday, when I arrived there the lights were on.
The day wasn’t as nice as it had been been,
the ‘sailors warning’ red sky being almost true, with a little rain and blast of south wind later in the day.
Still, it was a fair enough day for the end of November with all the Portree fishing fleet out, making the most of the winter velvet crab fishery.
There are always more crabs/scallops/prawns under a ferry
Anyway, that’s it, almost time to sail once more.