I’m back only for a week right enough, and half of that will be at work, but I’m home at last Jeez it feels good, and what’s more it’s been a bonny day. Not that you’d believe it after what ‘mother nature’ threw at us yesterday, howling gales and pishing rain from the Clyde to Cape Wrath from what I can gather, with many ferry sailings cancelled and our school children sent home early. Well all of them apart from the Dude that is, for he stays at the hostel, what’s more I think he actually likes it Gosh, I bet I go away, come back in December and don’t recognize him, or at least his voice
Anyway, as you’ve probably noticed I’ve not been on here for a day or two as I’ve been escaping from a confined space Or to be more accurate, I’ve been on the first training course of many, this one was all about working in and getting out of ‘confined spaces’ safely. I’d like to tell you who ran the course but they seem to be having a bit of an ‘identity crisis’ at the moment, the paperwork said http://www.babcockinternational.com/ the uniforms said http://www.vtflagship.com/site/flagship/training-and-support-services and there was no sign on the building Every warehouse, office and potacabin on the industrial estate that was once the Chrysler factory had a dirty great sign proclaiming their corporate identity, every one that is bar the one I was looking for, that had a bit of A4 stuck to the window.
Which from the window of a Nissan Almera at 25 yards in the pishing rain might just as well not have been there Having said that it was the only fault in a well delivered days training, well that and the lunch of egg sandwich, crisps, Irn Bru, Tunnock’s caramel bar and token apple Seriously it was good course and the huge mock up of a ships interior with hatches, watertight doors, ladders and obstacles was excellent, especially once they turned the lights of and put some smoke in I do love dark confined spaces, comes from years of diving and grubbing around in shipwrecks
However, before all this I was on Raasay until catching the 12:15 ferry for Sconser and heading south.
A bonny morning it was too with all the showers passing us by with a rainbow in their wake.
I fed the pigs, wifey dealt with the hens and found a nest of twenty eggs in the barn!!!!!
The culprit strutting about very proudly after giving the customary ‘I’ve laid an egg’ call.
So after gleefully removing the real eggs we stuck an imitation one in the nest to encourage her not to seek alternative accommodation.
Just in case you’ve forgotten here’s the noise I said ‘gleefully removing’ because all but the last one of these eggs would be retained by ourselves as we don’t know how old they are. Wifey would of course ‘candle’ them to make sure they were OK but we’d not be putting them into the shop.
All too soon it was time for me to leave and I did so the sound of an Agatha Christie CD/novel ‘Cat amongst the pigeons’ which kept me amused all the way to Glasgow.
past the late Jimmy Saville’s house and some spectacular scenery.
I wasn’t in a rush so stopped at a favourite spot of mine that I discovered quite by accident some years ago. It’s a little oasis of native woodland and a flooded quarry near Glencoe. Driven past daily by thousands of motorists it’s a little haven greenery in an often drab and barren landscape.
I know the picture is carp but the sun was just way too bright
see what I mean about ‘oasis’
though I’m obviously not the first person to have found it
Thanks to Jim and John for putting a fine bench there and obviously maintaining it, or at least someone does.
That was it on the photo front heading south, after my course the day after I headed home,
or at least I did until I met these two stuck on Loch Lomondside, sadly an all too common occurrence in the summer. I’ve been in coach when this has happened and wifey too has been trapped behind two stuck vehicles. How on earth in this safety obsessed, risk averse, sue you ar5e off society the Scottish Office can be responsible for a trunk road, an artery in fact that is two narrow in many places for two vehicles to pass is beyond me. Fortunately I was only held up around five minutes as they juggled ‘to and fro’ but I’ve seen it go on for much longer.
The lush green of grass and purple of heather was certainly absent on the way north, the blue sky and cotton wool clouds replaced by grey cloud, grey mist, grey and grey torrents of water down the glens.
An early night at my parents followed by an early rise saw me on the 8:25 ferry and home an hour later, hectic though the previous days had been i wasted no time in getting ‘stuck in’.
The first task after finding the missing pigs was to remove some air from one of my penstock pipes. It’s never been an issue in the past but the pigs have been digging and rooting around the pipes, creating a high point where air could get trapped. easily sorted by drilling a small hole then plugging it with a stainless screw.
Well, it is easy once you actually find the pipe that is
It was whilst looking for blue pipe that I found a bounty of yellow mushrooms, chanterelles no less that had been absent this summer due to the drought. The recent deluges of late having brought on a ‘late flush’ of this annual delicacy.
They were however a little waterlogged and past their prime but certainly good enough for a casserole or drying.
Leaving them on the kitchen table so that all the ‘wee beasties’ could vacate them I got on with the mail box’.
As soon as the MCA http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/ condemned the fire hose box below the wheelhouse on the Loch Striven I started wracking my brain for a use for it. It wasn’t until last Saturday when I removed the soaking letters and parcels from our ‘US Mail’ box that I found one OK, I had to patch up a few holes and repair the catch but it’s a big improvement on the old one in both size and watertight integrity
The less said about what I did next the better, a simple trip to Loch Beag to see if the water level had risen with the recent rain turning into a bit of an epic
Still, at least the water level had come back up up after the long dry summer that had seen it and others at record lows.
Chanterelle and Manchego casserole
After doing a little work on the caravan my thought turned to dinner, wifey was on the post and both wind and hydro turbines were going great so i figured some kind of casserole was on the cards. A quick ‘Google’ turned up this http://chefclub.net/recipe/593-baked-chanterellea-s-parmesan.html and whilst I’d no cream, chervil, white wine or parmesan it did get me on the right track
A lot of chanterelles,
A lot of Manchego http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchego
2 red onions
3 rashers of smokey bacon
3 small courgettes
3 large cloves of garlic
It really was very simple, white wine would have been good and parmesan may have been better but it required no salt or water, the water from both the zucchini and shrooms being ample.
All I did was cut the bacon into strips, the onion into C’s, the shrooms as seen and the garlic plus courgettes in slices, built it up in layers, added a little freshly ground pepper and piled a whole heap of the grated sheep’s cheese on top of it.
Vegetarians could skip the pig and use some Marigold or veggie stock, just bung it in the oven for 40 mins at around 200, awesome
Anway, that’s it, I’m off to bed
so I’ll just leave you with the weather
which seems to have gone ‘pearshaped’ around 22:00 but I’m too tired to deal with it now.