Life at the end of the road

December 26, 2017

It’s the thought of ‘Corry’ :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:53 pm

Well it’s 20:00 just now on Christmas day and I’m wrapped up in my waterproofs sat in a freezing cold room drinking my mate’s Oakheart https://www.oakheart.com/ rum Sad smile

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Sad I know but I can’t bear the prospect of going home to Corry!!! I feckin hate the soaps, strictly, I’m a third rate celeb and just about every other friggin popular program on the TV. Unfortunately for me I seem to be in the minority on this and know that MiL and darling wife will be glued to this pish if I go back home before 21:00. Call me ‘elitist’ or snobbish if you want but I feckin hate that carp, give me some ‘Scandi Noir’ with subtitles any day Smile In fact give me anything with subtitles cos I’m deaf as a post Smile

Heavily redacted Smile

Boxing day now and the Oakheart certainly brought out the worst in me, hence the heavily redacted text. Well, I wound my way home on the quad last night and promptly fell asleep reading ‘The Most Formidable Thing’

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by William Jameson, just one of the ‘anorak’ like titles from my bookshelf of a gazillion sexy titles like ‘Axis Submarine Successes of WWII’

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Pure riveting stuff I can tell you Smile Sad I know but along with the ‘Dictionary of Disasters at Sea During the Age of Steam’

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this was my staple diet in the book department for years. Though in most honesty all these books have been in storage for years and have only recently made it into the house. Thankfully so, for in the last six months we’ve had severe Internet woes and it’s been great to wade through them once more. Probably thirty years or more since I poured over these titles in the quest of fresh shipwrecks to dive on and it’s been good to refresh my addled brain. Not that there are many shipwrecks around Raasay but come the summer who knows where the Dude and I will go. Perhaps go and visit my own 2500 ton cargo ship off Mull.

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after all, he will inherit it when I die Smile Smile Smile

Boxing Day

Today we only had the one sailing at 12:30 from Raasay and 13:00 from Sconser and it was a pure peach of a day.

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Fladda, Eilean Tighe, (House Island) and Loch a Sgurr all looked amazing as I headed south early to see my pals Bonzo and Peter.

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Bonzo was needing a walk and Peter wanted a lock fitting to his shed, so obliged both of them prior to heading to Hallaig for the first and only crossing. That’ll be the Hallaig at the pier and Ben Tianavaig behind the pines, birch  and beach trees of Raasay.

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We were not the only vessels working on Boxing Day Wester Ross Diving Services were out, as were a few of the Portree fleet.

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Me, I’d arranged with my son to go for a dip over by the old ferry slip at Suisnish, the tide would be ebbing and we could go in at the old slip and swim north.

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Worked a treat, we collected around 50 scallops ‘pectin maximus’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_scallop   and dozen or so queenies https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_scallop . The regular scallop or clam is well enough documented on here but his much smaller relative the queenie isn’t. That’s mainly cos we don’t see many of this more mobile and much sweeter cousin ‘up north’ and to be honest it’s not really a viable catch as far as diving goes. Having said that, if you can be bothered the queenies are much sweeter than your regular scallop.

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Sure, you can shuck them like your regular scallop

but it’s much easier to peel off the whole mantle, stomach and gonad with a knife. OK, so you loose the roe but at this time of year there’s not much in it anyway.

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December 25, 2017

The Christmas day dip :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:23 pm

Well, that’s it, 16:30 on Christmas day, a ‘Black Russian’ in my glass and the dinner warming in the oven. I say ‘warming’ cos the chook was cooked on Friday. That will be one of our own cockerels from ‘Donald the hen’ in Struan, the early preparation being so that wife and family could celebrate early with me Mam on the mainland, her being too ill to travel and me being busy at work. Sounds kinda harsh me being at work and all but if I’m no on the ferry it doesn’t sail Sad smile 

Whatever happened to the dark meat?

I dunno how we ended up eating turkey as a ‘traditional’ dish in the UK, it used to be goose or even chicken and pig seems to the preferred Christmas dish in Europe. Methinks it had something to do with paying for two world wars, but perhaps that’s just me being cynical and 50% Italian Smile Anyway, when the American bird has been our dish of choice it’s usually been a free range one from a local producer. However they’re becoming hard to find, I guess mainly cos if you do rear a turkey in a humane way it’s too expensive for most folk. Sure, the last one we bought was about £45 and my mate the ‘Wilk Maester’ from Arran paid £90 for his. Still, I can assure you it’s a gazillion times better than a supermarket bird.

Anyway, this year we killed our own, one of four we got from Donald and at 3.3kg it was more than enough for two Christmas dinners.

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Here’s the second dinner being picked off the bird and just look at all the dark meat from the legs and wings, whatever happened to the ‘dark meat’ eh. Sure most of us preferred the breast but that was only cos it used to be a little more succulent and tender than the legs. Nowadays it’s all the same bland and flavourless white meat no matter which bit of the chook you try.

Scallops with bacon, sausage meat and harissa

  Having lost our Internet on Christmas Eve the first thing I did this morning was head over to my mate’s at Torran to check out the weather and tide times. My mate has a satellite based system as opposed to our wireless one so you can at least be guaranteed that one of them will be working.

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My son is also tasked with painting the place so it was a chance to assess the job and whether he needed scaffolding, methinks some long handle rollers would do the trick Smile

Anyways, with a favourable forecast and high water at 10:56 I reckoned conditions would be perfect for the Dude and I to go out and catch the ‘starter’.

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I could also record the event for posterity on my Nikon Coolpix W300 waterproof camera. So my son and I got all kitted up, headed down to the old Arnish fish farm slip on the quads and ‘went for it’, the camera failed as soon as it got below the surface Sad smile That’ll be me straight on the phone to Jessop’s on the 27th. Still, whilst the ‘recording for posterity’ was a disaster the ‘diving for dinner’ was a complete success, Ross and I returned with a respectable bag of good sized clams.

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Sure, it was only a couple of dozen or so but they were monsters and you have to bear in mind we’ve ‘bashed’ this particular spot many times before.

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The larger ones were between 440 and 450g, almost 1lb in ‘old money’ and the meat weight was almost 100g per scallop!!!

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So, whilst I got on with shucking the clams in my pyjamas Ross got on with washing down the diving gear and filling the cylinders.

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PJ’s may not be the ‘sexiest’ bit of kit but they’re great under a dry suit Smile

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We had a few of the scallops as a starter along with the prawn cocktail. I cut off the roe first and cook it ‘hard’ in the dirty breakfast pan that’s already had sausage and bacon in it. Most people find the roe, coral, gonad or whatever they call it ‘too fishy’ so a good long blast in bacon fat sorts that out. Just remember to prick it like a sausage first or you’ll have exploding scallop roe in the kitchen Sad smile Then I added some finely chopped bacon and a small sausage chopped up, followed by s teaspoonful of harissa and the white muscle itself, which just gets a light frying. This was the served on top of the prawn cocktail, feckin awesome Smile

That was about it really, still the right side of 19:00 here at Sonas and methinks I’ll just hop on the quad and head to Torran to post it. The Queen is blethering away on TV and methinks it’ll be ‘Corry’ next, well, I feckin hate soaps so I’m ‘outta here’ Smile

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Merry Christmas all and thanks for the Oak heart rum Matey Smile

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