The days roll by and here we are a month after our last post. Suns out and it is very hard to sit here blogging when there is work to do in the good weather. (that was last week!! big change to-day Sunday) To-day Sunday the 19th of Feb’ I think one month on from the last blog, a lot has happened!!
The Star Of The Settled Weather
Mainly great sunny days 10 straight with only one cloudy day but tonight it is normal winter service, pouring from the heavens and wind, lots of it. This was so long ago, Dan was out with the Department Officer to check up on some path work, what a day Friday the 20th January.
Even Time to Clean The Windows.
That afternoon, I even got time to scrape the salt off the windows.
Feels Like Spring
It was so good that the jobs where we need the weather to warm up were two months ahead of schedule, even thinking about getting MV Rona ready.
Grey stalking day
I had hinds to get for our cull figures and that was a bit of a misty day but it was better than hot sun which would have felt bizarre at this time of year.
Away out on the West side I came across this antler, no sign of the owner but he’ll be hidden somewhere close, it was dropped two years ago I guess by the chewing, but I’m pretty sure the owner still lives there, very low key.
Coming back that day the wobbly wheel became disconnected.
Bog Strip Down
I have to admit this is a common problem, the terrain knocks a lot out of the equipment
Here’s the progress on the firewood store, I’m slowly, very slowly getting the log pile to the shore. Anyone want a job? Apply here?
I think that is one of Rona’s fortes, one day a forester next a plumber. Anyone applying for a job needs to be multi-skilled!!!
Butchering on a Sunny Day!!!!!
Maybe they could be a butcher? Or an electrician, stalker, boatman, fisherman, tech guy?? etc etc. I did get 1 hind and had to butcher it, always a good day working away listening to the radio.
Burger Making on another Sunny Day
Next day it was the burgers, one more hind to get but time has run out, it would have been good to get some more as we are getting to peak population with the red deer here. Next year for sure after this March’s deer count we will deal with it. We look forward to it.
Jumping from butchering to roadworks, the dry weather sows a seed in the head, it is dry what can I do? Of course the boggy road up to the North. All set to go and what did I do, missed the clutch and rolled into a hole. Much cursing later and I was out, no drama.
Needing a Helping Hand
No RAC or AA here, just a bit of ingenuity.
The 15 Year Old Problem
Back to the track, it is a mess for sure and even with the dry spell it did not help as the water that makes this a particularly nasty piece to pass was coming up in the middle of the road. BUT I got it sorted after bogging the tractor here a couple of times, wet peat has no foundation.
Back to the forest, prompt. Kenny announced that he was coming and if I wanted he could deliver some fuel plus creels for the summer, excellent and tow the logs off.
Kenny and James arrived exactly on time, the IBC’s he promised were turfed off plus the fuel then it was operation lumberjack.
James, his crew was keen to get involved and between us we got three logs towed over to the beach. Once they were clear of the seaweed they were easy to tow with the small dinghy. That has inspired me to get the old sailing dinghy seaworthy for the rest of the big logs. Shouldn’t be a problem!!!!!!!!!!
Kenny was ‘ginger’ about getting too close to the shore, Rona has many hidden surprises!!
But we soon got them over and it was up to the house for the soup, Cullen Skink of course.
Stacked and Drying
Next day Monday I pulled them off the beach and hung the four logs out to dry a bit awaiting the log splitter.
Then the Applenet broke down. So, off up on the bike and had a look around only to find that the TOUGHswith, which is like a glorified router was rusty, seems my cable I supplied as a replacement for the Applnet outside cable had leaked, just like the previous one . I could not find a hole but it was a household cable so probably permeable? I have been waiting for a replacement cable for some time but now the Toughswitch was knackered, so that required a visit and there was not much more I could do. Hey, the view was good though.
Yet Another Breakdown
Since I was in the mood for repairs and maintenance I set about the bikes, tractor and quads. All requiring oil and filters plus the usual. Maybe overdue but now a system is in place, winter months are the time for annual the servicing plan. It gives me time to get ahead. Any mechanics out there looking for a job?
Kenny kindly took over some prawns, it was so good to have them over two days, such a refreshing change to the diet, very welcome they were too and last night after receiving a bag of fish from Skye Fish, ‘Breuchie’ we had Bouillabaisse using the prawn shells for stock, been a while since we had it but just great.
Early Anti Fouling
Last year it was April before Ali and Clive painted MV Rona, I did it in no time as it was warm sunny in Feb’ this year, quite unbelievable (also that reminded me of Leicesters performance this year!!!!!!!!!)
Change of Use
Much as it annoyed me to work inside on sunny days, needs must and it was not the worst job. Ian our joiner wants to stay in the cabin when we start the new house. So I’m fitting out a ‘rustic’ kitchen for him. No Magnet Kitchens Here!!
Clearing up After the Hens
Never ending the work on Rona, the drain at the back of the shed had blocked up as the hens had been scraping the bracken and ground into it, seems to be a regular problem nowadays, must stop feeding them there.
A week last Thursday Hugh our power guru arrived with his wife Jytte, he was over to assess our present power system and to look to the future with the new house.
It was a stunning night when they arrived and as I was going up and down the gangway I was being watched by a seal but after 5 minutes I realised it was an otter. I got my camera out as he/she was 3 metres away only for the otter to dive, ah well!!!!
Hugh had a good day darting about Rona, pressing buttons on the inverters and equalising the batteries, I took him up to the Applenet mast for a look but it is not his field, unfortunately.
Checking Out The Electrics
It is beyond me how all this works but there’s the catch, you don’t need to know you just need to be able to get it going. No problem, give me the spares!
I’m sure Hugh and his wife had a good visit, the weather was very kind but they stay on Scoraig so they know all about the West Coast weather.
Saturday morning MV Aspire was back and took our guests away. Another full on sunny winters day ahead of us, quite full it was too, a block splitter and scaffold had arrived the Thursday before so I got ready for a shot of that.
Another glorious Saturday last, long may it continue. By the way we spotted 5 I think kayakers paddling past, first of the year, I was intrigued why the went up with the wind on the west side then down on the East side into the increasing gale!!! Maybe they didn’t, I never saw them again.
But before the log splitting it was back to the cabin to put on another coat of yacht varnish.
The road was coming on but I bogged the tractor, shouldn’t have trundled over there on a Sunday. However after a long trek back for the JCB I got the tractor out and flattened the road with the digger bucket, I do believe it had dried a bit. But it is so wet this picture is looking down at a spring pouring out right in the middle of the road, I’ll fix it tomorrow though.
At last I got to play with my new toy, the log splitter from MacGregors on a deal, a very good deal, it went through the logs like butter but first I had to build a platform off the ground as the rain gets in sometimes, seasoning requires a dry shed!
The New Log Splitter
With the sun still shining and the JCB as my saw bench I quickly blocked the logs and for the rest of the day the two of us split and stacked logs.
My Saw Bench
I enjoy the forest work very much and have a plan for our forest across the bay, there is much old wood there to come out, nothing to be felled except the birch. There is much windblow. But with much hardwood there it is time to get ahead of the game.
Works a Treat
It was a wonderful day and very satisfying working with wood.
All Set Up
The stack is getting bigger but it has a way to go, I thought four big trees would be more but………
And There’s Next Seasons Firewood
We have much more to come so watch this space. Thursday morning we got a surprise, just getting ready for a day’s paperwork and the email came in the Applenet engineer was coming to fix the broadband.
We had a run up, replaced the bits, switched it on but could not connect due to a small technical detail, requiring a trip back to Applecross to fix it.
The boys headed off and I’m sure we will get the system up and running , Ali the skipper was glad to get out onto the water and it is always a good discussion when he comes, sorting the world out, our style!! Applecross Life. Worth a look for sure, some pole dancing days I see!!!!!! Next time lift the creels on route to Rona, squatties would be good!!!!!!
Since Ali and Sean were here (and during their visit) we have had three Sea Eagles in the bay, they look like juveniles? Through the ‘scope, shakily we could see two on the rock, they look lost, I think the parents are away making a nest somewhere but not on Rona.
With a plan to use the old Wayfarer to pull the logs out I’m considering some repairs on it, I found the P40 so look out!!!
Saturday Pam and Kevin were out with fuel, another welcome 900litres of red. But Flat Freya had to visit too and she made it up to Rona Lodge, where she goes next is anyone’s guess? Flat Freya is Pam’s grand daughters project in school to see how far the ‘doll’ will travel. She sent a postcard so lets hope the kids enjoy her travels.
Saturday was tidy up and fuel away, IBC ashore in the time honoured way. Mail to sort and then bits and pieces pre rain and wind.To-day Sunday the 19th, nothing for it but in the house, paperwork, sorting out the mundane.
On our walk we spotted this escapee and for once our plan worked and the sheep on the outside went straight through the gate and joined its mates. An exhausting month.