Just after 18:00 and the Christmas dinner is just finished, a little later than is traditional in this household but I had to work today, something I’ve not done in 57 years. Not that it bothered me, or the rest of the crew, for the whole island was depending on us for their sprouts and yesterdays papers Personally I hate the friggin things (sprouts and papers) but wifey had promised to make them edible by cremating them in the oven with butter and bacon. To be honest even the papers would have been edible covered in butter and wrapped in bacon
The weather yesterday had been atrocious to say the least, and Raasay had been left without mail, papers and worst of all sprouts for the Christmas dinners. Sure I’ve seen worse storms but I really can’t remember when and two people I spoke to today commented that they’d NEVER seen the glass so low. My skippers barometer went off the scale and a friend who’d had the same one for 51 years said it had never dropped so low EVER. I dunno what they recorded but http://www.carbostweather.co.uk/Staffin/staffinweather.htm clocked 939 millibar, which is the lowest I’ve heard of.
Anyway, I crept out of the house this morning just after 7:00am to get down to Hallaig for 8:00am and sail for 9:00am. CalMac don’t usually sail on Christmas day, but after yesterdays disruption both ourselves and the Hebrides had made the decision to put some kind of service on. Of course nothing in life is guaranteed and the ‘weather window’ afforded us by http://www.xcweather.co.uk/ seemed to be slipping away every time I checked the forecast. However upon driving south to work I was encouraged by the clear sky and the sparkling lights of Portree as I rounded the Bealach Ruadh on the west side of Raasay. Not long afterwards the lights Sconser, Braes and even Oskaig came into view and I figured that I would at least be able to ‘fire up’ Hallaig without drama. Not only that but the wind seemed to be abating by the minute and by 8:15 Hallaig was ‘alive’ and we all settled down to a cup of tea prior to sailing.
With only one car and passenger on board it was hardly a profitable crossing but we had two cars awaiting us at Sconser
and of course a van load of sprouts and groceries
With only the one sailing scheduled we did it in ‘battery only’ mode
the 19lts of fuel being what I used just to warm up the generators at ‘start up’.
With the sprouts on Raasay we tied up for the day and I headed for the shop to buy some
The Raasay Community Store open on Christmas day!!!!!
and just look at all that drink
Word had obviously got around for the shop was absolutely mobbed and I got to thinking that it was probably a great way to see everyone together on Christmas day
With my parsnips and sprouts on board I headed home
to get stopped by a tree Luckily I had packed my chainsaw for such an event and soon had it moved.
Eventually, after a detour past Brochel castle I got home to my family and presents
And with 40,000 properties still without power we flashed up both electric ovens to cook our dinner with the wind and rain Why anyone would wish to be shackled to the grid and the ‘big six’ is beyond me http://www.greenshifters.co.uk/for_sale/1394_3_4_Bed_Croft_House_with_Land_Available no standing charge and around ten minutes without power in twenty years