Life at the end of the road

March 24, 2022

Pretty vacant :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:40 am

Almost 7:30 now, must have rained during the night and it’s pretty grey outdoors. I managed to crawl out of bed at 6:00 but haven’t achieved much as I’ve been wandering about like a half shut knife with a cup of black coffee in my hand going horse shouting at Bonzo and Molly as they get distracted by all the good sniffs about the shed. The big attraction being drops of congealed blood in the stones of my drive and four sides of pork hanging in my lean to.


Yesterday’s annual ‘pig fest’ getting started with Gavin and I getting everything set up.

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First thing being to get the 100litre cast iron boiler in position and lit. You need LOTS of hot water when de-hairing a rare breed pig. When this thing gets lit it takes around an hour to get the first 100Litres up to temp. The water needs to be about 80 degrees to melt the fat in the follicles, any hotter and you risk cooking the pig in the bath. However what we’ve found is that if the pig is kept out of the bath so it doesn’t lie in any water you can use boiling water without risk of cooking. The hair comes of easier, you just have to be careful when pouring the water not to scald anyone Winking smile

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After doing Spotty we moved the bath out into the sunshine Smile

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The hardest part is actually collecting the blood for black pudding making but this year we actually managed to collect a record amount. The secret is to collect it in a big bowl whilst stirring it like crazy with a whisk to stop it clotting. Not an easy task but a digger helps Smile

Having actually started at 13:00 we finally had Spotty, Marmalade and Jiffy in six sides and hanging by 18:00. Then it was dinner involving liver, kidneys and lots of wine along at the Schoolhouse. I seem to remember driving home on the quad and managing to brush my teeth before collapsing into bed. Consequently I’m a little ‘vague’ this morning.

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Still, at least my garden is coming to life, which is more than can be said for me. However I will no attempt to walk along to Torran with Bonzo, Molly and Gavin to collect the Mule and take the four remaining sides over and chop em up.

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These three random pictures being hawthorn on the croft next door which I swear wasn’t green on Monday. The NLV Pole Star and 100m of 90mm black pipe that Donald on the Mary M towed up from the Raasay ferry terminal for me Winking smile Thanks Donald.


  1. Have you ever tried blow torch and karcher to remove pig hair?
    Funny old world loved the meat and the butchery but always hated the killing.
    Good job mate look forward to seeing the end products.

    Comment by todthedog — March 24, 2022 @ 8:54 am

    • Aye Tod, used to use the blow torch for finishing off but a bit smelly and not so good for the hairy pigs. Not so keen on the killing myself. Always use the .243 these days had a few unpleasant experiences with the .22. Sure it makes a bit of a mess of the head but it’s 100% certain of a clean kill.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 24, 2022 @ 9:05 am

  2. Funny how many times I’ve read the pigs being done by you folks… Still feel this is much better for them than when I’ve wondered through the modern pig farms. Crazy places with no proper life at all.

    Interesting your Hawthorn is a few days ahead of ours. Guess you’ve got some milder temps overnight.

    Comment by Matt — March 24, 2022 @ 10:05 am

  3. Great post. Do you mind me asking where you sourced that (almost) 22-gallon boiler? And do you think it would be possible to just stick an old-fashioned calor gas ring in the bottom?

    Comment by Malcolm Wood — March 24, 2022 @ 12:26 pm

    • Hi Malcolm, the boiler came from Germany and I didn’t know it was coming, was a bit of a surprise I can tell you :-O Methinks a gas ring would be very slow as we use coal and get it really glowing underneath. Once tried two gas rings under a cast iron bath and that was pretty hopeless 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 24, 2022 @ 5:47 pm

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