Life at the end of the road

October 25, 2021

The return of ‘The office’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

When I got up this morning around 6:00AM the good ship Hallaig had just departed Oban’s North pier, less than 11 hours later and she’s back alongside the Raasay pier from where she departed over a month ago. If she wasn’t ‘back on service’ today (which I doubt) she’ll be plying her home route tomorrow and I for one will be glad to have her back. At least now I’ll be able to set off for the ferry half an hour before sailing and still be pretty certain of getting on. With the poor old MV Loch Tarbert it was far from a certainty so important appointments off the island meant me leaving Arnish an hour before sailing to be guaranteed getting on the ferry. 

The first perambulation with Bonzo was just a short walk through the woods and back up the Torran track to home. I’d not planned staying out long as it was pishing down so never took a mushroom bag. They were getting quite thin on the ground in the area I was heading anyway. So, I was most surprised to find a nice little clump of hedgehogs almost as soon as I cut into the birch wood.

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Not only are hedgehogs delicious but they remain firm even in the pishing rain, appear late in the season and are fairly ‘idiot proof’ as regards identification. The tiny ‘spines’ on their underside which give them their being as far as I know (amongst UK mushrooms) unique. Luckily I had a rag in my pocket that I turned into a bag and with my parcel in hand wandered deeper into the wood.

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I had a sow once that chose to have a litter of 13 piglets up here in February one year! There was snow on the ground yet she’d made a nest in a little hollow atop this cliff. Sure it was a nice view but a long way from home for me to feed her! I ended up cutting some branches and trees down so I could the quad up there carrying food and water her Smile

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Continuing down through the trees following deer tracks I manged to loose Bonzo, nothing fresh with that but I heard some muffled yelping and found him in amongst the rocks trying to extricate some creature form within.

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I dunno what it was but it was in that hole and I left him to it figuring he’d get fed up eventually, sure enough, he somehow managed to arrive home before me Smile

Once back inside my toasty house and after sharing my muesli with Bonzo, Molly being stuck in the back of the car refusing to come out. I went back out to make a few adjustments to my diff lock selector which had stuck in the locked position. Unusually I managed to achieve this simply and with no drama, so with the morning brightening up I went over the hill to Tarbert and beyond with my ever bouncy Bonzo.

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The houses on Fladda and Holm Island off Skye taken from near ‘the Hill of the Hind’ above Tarbert.

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Some suicidal sheep that must have wandered north across the cattle grid at Brochel.

It used to be a jam jar

Lunch consisting of the last two rashers of home cured bacon was followed by trip to Torran to weigh up a task I was planning for day or so later this week.

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It involves some large pieces of timber to make a frame that needs bolted into a concrete pad and Scotland. For carrying the 4m plus timbers along the track I’d need to make up a frame for the Mule. The drilling and bonding into the founds would need resin and various threaded bar and tools all of which I needed to gather together in readiness for a weather window. With that done I took the quad up to Pipers Rock and beyond for no other reason than, I felt like it and the views are amazing, well they were when I left the Torran Schoolhouse Smile

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By the time I got up there it wasn’t so nice Sad smile

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The Pipers rock is that buttress on the left, the centre pick is taken from the T junction where the path to Fladda splits off from the path to Kyle Rona and Umachan. The well is just before the junction and some kind soul has replaced the jam jar with a proper cup complete with string Smile The water tastes divine, far better than mine and light years ahead of the stuff you get out of a regular tap Smile If you ever happen to be in the area the well which certainly has a name is about 200m before the junction to Fladda on your right about 25m off the path.

Once back home I set about making a frame for the back of the Mule so we’d be able to carry the timber on the roof.

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A few bits of timber cut to length and an old repurposed and shortened Discover ladder rack did the trick.

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That was it really, fed the pigs then came in and fed myself venison and mushrooms cooked in white wine and garlic.

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October 23, 2021

And I thought it was all over!

Filed under: daily doings, food, Land Rover — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:21 pm

It’s been a breezy kinda damp day but not half as bad as expected. Not that you would have guessed it by the fine mild morning that beckoned me outside around 7:30. I’d already decided to go out early before the rain arrived, move the Land Rover into the shed, feed the pigs and walk Bonzo, he’s not overly keen on rain either Smile

The sky that I saw to the east  showing a hint of what lay ahead within its reddish hue so rather than our usual walks towards the west we headed north east.

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The sky brightening quickly and the deer watching us with interest.

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There were plenty more in the wood, probably being chased by a wee brown bouncy dog cos that was the last I saw of Bonzo the ’self walking dog’. I used to get distraught when he disappeared on me but he always comes back home. I dare not let him off the lead anywhere else cos he chases anything and everything but here at Arnish there are no sheep, the pigs can look after themselves, the rabbits fair game and its his and Molly’s patch anyway Smile 

Having pretty much given up on the ‘shrooms I hadn’t brought a bag with me so was really taken aback when I stumbled on a chanterelle mine just east of my old house.

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Not only where there plenty of them but many were young, fresh and firm so made a mental note to return with a bag before heading deeper into the wood.

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Disturbing more deer and an early woodcock on the way, also came across the first fly agaric mushroom I’ve seen this year.

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Once at the far side of the valley I picked up the road and headed home being confident that Bonzo would be there before me. Sure enough he arrived at the same time as me, no doubt ready for his muesli Smile 

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Once we’d eaten we returned to the ‘mushroom mine’ to collect lunch, dinner  and probably breakfast too.

It’s the simple things that are the hardest

Sure enough by the time I’d gotten back with the chanterelles it was not only pishing down but blowing half a gale. Well it was probably a full gale at sea but Arnish is pretty well sheltered from that direction so we don’t feel it the same. Perfect shed weather, which was where I headed to fix my diff lock indicator light.

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I fitted a new switch and tested it before refitting the transfer box, the switch simply makes a connection to earth when you select the centre differential lock. So, it should have been a simple matter of connecting the wire off the switch to the black and blue one on the wiring loom and that should have been it. Not a chance, having wasted a couple of hours on it yesterday I attacked it with new vigour today. To cut a very long story short the printed circuit on the dash light assembly had failed Sad smile

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I tried without success to solder it but eventually gave up and fitted a different type of bulb holder in an used lamp and wired that up to the switch. Sounds simple enough but it took me all day.

Land Rover diff lock static test - Road test part 2 - The Fine Art of Land  Rover Maintenance - YouTube

Now instead of the correct light illuminating the 24V one lights up, but at least I know the diff lock is in so it’ll do for now, I managed to find a second hand panel on eBlag.

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Had some chanterelles with home cured bacon for lunch

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and added a whole heap of them to a pasta sauce I made last night having it for dinner with spaghetti and I’m pure stuffed.

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