Life at the end of the road

October 2, 2018

Aching all over :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:44 am

7:00am and that’s me just out of bed after almost 11 hours in it and I’m as ‘stiff as a board’. Still, three cups of tea, feed the animals, walk the dugs and have me breakfast then I’ll be ‘ready for action’. I was pure wrecked last night after a hard days road building, much of it in the pishing rain. The rain was forecast right enough and in truth the cast was actually worse than what pertained. In fact for most of the day it was no bad at all.

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My morning walk over the hill to feed the pigs had me encountering four hinds and in the distance atop Ravens Crag a couple of stags. I dunno the Gaelic name for that hill but it’s bound to have one. I have called it Raven’s crag for many years now due the large black cawing inhabitants that once frequented it. Dunno what happened to them cos I’ve no heard them in 10 years. I know the pictures are carp but I only had me wee Nikon.

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I kept bumping into this chap, a fine young stag who seemed to have been following me about this last couple of days. In truth he’ll be sniffing the tempting scent of those girls but is too young to know what it actually means, a bit like teenage angst I guess Smile

More road building

The carp forecast had decided me to get on with some road building or to be more precise ‘a pig damage reduction strategy’. With the possibility of piglets on the way and the requirement to bring the sows onto the croft to farrow I wanted to make a drain ‘pig proof’.

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This would mean piping a good length of existing drain and widening the track up to the 3.2kw wind turbine. It would mean a lot of quarried materiel and a lot of levelling by hand Sad smile Normally you would do it between tips with the digger but Calum would be twenty minutes away in the quarry so it was down to me with a mattock and tarmac rake.

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It was slow but satisfying work and the resultant ‘pig proof’ drain got well tested as the incessant rain arrived late afternoon.

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Along with the rain but not put off by the slightest by it came Mike and Margie Hird from California. Timing was perfect as the wife had just arrived home after her early shift and I was soaked to the skin needing tea and cake. Mike, a Yorkshire expat  being pleased to see Yorkshire Tea being served up. Darling wife and I being pleased to see the fine bottle of Chianti left in their wake Smile

After the brief and welcome distraction I togged up again and crawled under the dumper to fix the exhaust again!!

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The thing keeps breaking at the flexible section, so after what is now my third repair I decided to get rid of it and go for a ‘sports exhaust’ and ear defenders. The joys of not having neighbours nearby to complain Smile

Anyway, that’s it, tis getting light now, time to feed the animals, walk the dogs then bash on with a few more loads. Last night I was in bed whacked before 20:30. Tonight I’ll have not long been in by then for I’ll be back on the Hallaig this afternoon getting ready for dry dock.

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October 1, 2018

Just like the ‘burbs :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Well that’s September by with so if you’re reading this today it’ll be October Smile cos it’s Sunday night now and I’m heading for bed after a rather unusual day. It’s all part of my impending retirement plan and new regime of taking it easy, part of which is relaxing on the Sabbath. OK, perhaps relaxing is too strong a word, more like ‘not being quite so manic’. With me wife being a proper ‘wage slave’ now and having a regular full time job for 5 days a week we don’t see quite so much of each other Sad smile So I thought I should start behaving like a proper husband and start doing something other than pig or hen related stuff with her Smile The distiller in the family is on ‘earlies’ this week so I figured it was about time for some ‘quality time’ together. She does after all put up with all my eccentric activities with only token complaints. Anyone else would have divorced me long ago Smile

Monday 1st October

Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits, that’s it October is here, we’re due in dry dock a week today and darling wife left for work almost an hour ago. Tis ‘black is pitch’ or ‘black as t’ fire back’ as they’d say in Lancashire and I’ll try and pick up where I left off last night with three cans of cider in me. As I was saying, it wasn’t a regular kind of day here ‘on the croft’ yesterday, in fact apart from feeding the animals,

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it  was rather unusual. Sure I got up as normal, if not a little later then took the dogs out for a walk. This time heading round to the neighbours with some eggs

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and admiring the firs signs of autumn, a golden rowan tree being one of many. Saturday’s bellowing stag being another and the squadrons of geese heading east one more. The equinoctial gales have been filling up the batteries and I guess pretty soon they’ll be banging on about ‘leaves on the line’!! What on earth is that all about? They never had ‘leaves on the line’ when I was a lad, sure they say they loose traction or grip cos of them but why? they never used to, or at least they never used to advertise it so much, is it because :-

1 We are now so ‘risk averse’ that it’s deemed unsafe.

2 The trees are so protected it’s now impossible to cut them down.

3 It’s actually all the feckin Japanese knotweed that now thrives along the railway embankments cos the rail companies or Railtrack will do FA about it.

4 The rail companies do not get penalised financially for being late due to ‘leaves on the line’ so they use it as an excuse. 

Not that it’ll bother me right enough but I’ve changed a lifetime habit of listening to Radio 4 into one of Radio 2 so I get regular updates now on this and the state of the M25 Smile To be honest, I still prefer R4 but can’t here it so well now unless I’ve got me ‘twin hearing aids in’ and I seldom wear those at home. And no, it’s not so I can’t here the wife nagging, it’s cos they keep falling out when I’m putting on and off various other ‘aids’ like welding mask, hats, ear defenders, goggles etc, etc. Anyway, as I’m usually on my own most of the time there seems little point.

Back on track

Anyway, enough of ‘leaves on the line’, where was I,

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oh yes, doing what normal people do in the suburbs on Sunday, washing the cars (and the digger Smile ). Then around midday dressed in smart (for me) clothes I took my darling wife out for lunch in her freshly cleaned car. Raasay House https://www.raasay-house.co.uk/ are doing a Sunday roast dinner from 14:00 for just £11.00 and having sampled one before knew ho good it was likely to be. The early set off was to enable me to take Bonzo a good walk before hand and retrieve my glasses from his owner. I’d left my best pair at Peter’s last week and whilst I’ve plenty of spares most of them have only one leg or are so scratched that I can’t see out of them.

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After returning Bonzo we drove up to the imposing Georgian mansion and headed for a lovely warm dining room. The one on the bottom right, now called Glamaig but 19 years ago, before the fire and renovation, the room was known as ‘the wooden lounge’ and it’s where we got married Smile

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There’s a choice of three meals in the £11.00 menu, today it was roast beef, pork belly or the vegetarian option. We both opted for the beef,having previously had both pork belly and venison on another occasion. Most of the meals were made with local ingredients, though I’m not sure about the cow, certainly the venison and pork were. Anyway, it was absolutely delicious, in lovely surroundings and served by friendly staff.

 

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Local artist Fiona Stones work adding to the relaxed ambiance of the affair Smile

After that we headed home, the day was getting better and I could still manage a few jobs before it got dark if I was quick Smile

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Aspen at Tarbert,

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the rustling tree as it’s known in Gaelic, the aspen makes a lovely ‘rattle’ in the breeze as the leaves die off.

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Sur enough, once home, I got changed and repaired the dumper’s old inner tube

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fed the animals,

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whilst being watched by a group of hinds and then did a bit more painting of me shed floor. Now it’s 7:30, fully light and time to do some work.

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