Saturday evening now aboard the good ship Hallaig and it’s been a pure peach of a day, almost like summer!
OK, there was a little rain this morning but that brought with it a fine rainbow over Loch Sligachan so we’ll not complain too much. Unlike yesterday which was pure PISH, yup, the ‘summer of 15’ will go down in the annals as ‘the great summer of pish’, it’s been pish and pished down for much of it. Since June there have only been a handful of days that it’s not rained, seriously, nearly every single 24 hour period has produced at least some precipitation. I was chauffeured back from a sunny Inverness on Wednesday to find pockets of snow on sheltered north facing hollows on the peaks of the ‘Five sisters of Kintail’. Now an ‘old salt’ in Ratagan said he’d lived there all his life and never seen snow on the Five Sisters in July, let alone August!
The journey from Hell
Saturday seems to have come around very quickly because I didn’t actually return to work until Wednesday night rather than the usual Tuesday. This would be on account of a visit to Raigmore to get my eye checked, and what a nightmare that turned into. First off there was an accident on the A82 just north of Invermorriston so we quickly made an ‘about turn’ and headed for Fort Augustus and the little used road that goes up the opposite shore of Loch Ness. Around half way down that road following three cars who’d had the same idea we came to a road block!!
A police escort for two large wind turbine blades set us back a further 20 minutes on our 30 minute detour. After that it was all the local hauliers who’d got wind of the RTA on the main road via their CB radios. A selection of lorries carrying timber, Portakabins, oil, kit houses and just about everything else you could imagine was the next delay. Then of course the council were patching the pot holes and causing further mayhem. We then made the mistake of driving through, or should I say ‘trying to drive through’ the town centre which was also full of road works and left us immobile through three traffic light changes. I finally arrived at the eye clinic at 13:28, a full six hours after leaving home and only two minutes before my appointment. The doctor saw me an hour later and I left the hospital at 15:15, my stressed wife finally getting me back to Sconser three hours later after 100 miles of foreigners in hire cars and numpties in campervans. It was not a good day
Prior to all that the last couple of days of the ‘fortnight off’ had been spent painting and oiling around the house and generally getting everything ready for work.
Despite the rubbish weather though there were some long awaited signs of summer
a gift of the long awaited and unusually plentiful chanterelles for one.
The equally long awaited but not so plentiful mackerel for another,
these accompanied me to work where I demolished them. The mushrooms fried in lots of butter and the fish ‘nuked’ in the Sun, to my mind the only thing it’s fit for.
I’m not a huge fan of the humble microwave but one thing it does excel at is cooking fish and by far the best way is rolled in a newspaper. These mackerel where split the traditional Raasay way down the spine but it makes no difference, just roll up your fish in the daily comic, dampen it under the tap and give it a minute a side in the oven. When you remove your fish the skin will stick to the paper and you can just pull the entire bone out with the tail, pure deelish!
Sadly I’d eaten the fish and ‘shrooms before being given this epic lettuce from the new neighbours at ‘number 3’, the first of many I hope
My son and I also removed the 24 old forklift cells from ‘Number 3’, these will become a backup supply at Sonas. I wouldn’t advise anyone to do the same, backup battery banks are generally like backup outboard motors, they seldom work when you need them Still, I’ve recently acquired an Outback GVFX 3048 inverter/charger and plan to link it up to these when I’ve excess power. It’s hardly efficient and certainly doesn’t make financial sense but this particular set up will have cost me very little money.
We also gave ‘wee dug’ a treatment for the ‘wee beasties’ she catches from the hens as they can (and have) cause dermatitis on her paws. Sure the ‘Spot On’ that normally use for ticks and fleas does work but costs a fortune and is a mighty powerful chemical. This is diatomite powder that we use on the hens for red mite so we thought we’d give that a go, it’s natural, cheap as chips and contains no chemicals. Not only that, it gives her a nice red tinge
The last shift
The first day back at work on what will be my last shift before a months holiday started with a traffic jam, well not quite but I did encounter another vehicle at 6:30am. Normally the only other things I meet on my 11 mile commute are sheep, cows, rabbits, deer and the snow plough. However, on Wednesday I encountered a pickup a drone and two gents making a promotional video for our new distillery http://rbdistillers.com/raasay/
Apparently they have some amazing footage and I can’t wait to see it,
not only that but one of Hookies machines had appeared on site ready to do some ‘exploratory digging’.
I have to say that there is great excitement on the island about this project which is going to give the island a most welcome economic boost.
So that’s it really, the ferry has been pretty busy, the weather alternating between pure miserable and pure brilliant, my eye is are better but I’ve now acquired a splinter in my finger.
OK, you cannae see the lump of wood but it’s certainly making my index finger warm
That will be the one good day when some silage was actually cut, not much right enough but it is a start. The barge is the Sara Maatje VII belonging to Acta Marine, loaded with hydrogen peroxide for the local fish farm.