A full Programme

Last week we had Hugh fitting the new Inverters, so far so good but I’m away today and have to pick up a new battery for the power storage. We found one of the cells was a dud, so Of to Glasgow to pick one up but the real reason for going away is to get an appointment in at the Nuffield Hospital, ENT. More later.

Battery String

Battery String

I found a company through Bill Steele, ‘Capitol Batteries’ at Cumbernauld so a visit to them on Thursday  should sort the battery problems. Back to Saturday last week and a beautiful day dawned (yet again). Seems this East wind suits us and we are getting a pretty good spell, dryish but cold.

Torridon Morning

Torridon Morning

I went over to Dry Harbour got the visitors baggage and took them over for the stand in ferry, MV Stardust. Iain was early since there were no visitors coming. It was relatively calm but a bit of a swell.

Early Departure

Early Departure

I went back over to Dry Harbour to sort things out and close down the cottages, an hour later I was back at Rona Lodge for a cuppa and a reads of last weeks papers. Just as I was finishing the WHFpress the phone rang. Here was Dereck, he had a fortnight booked in Escape and had missed the ferry. We had no note of it on the wall/Outlook calendar so with me doing it I didn’t realise there was someone coming. He had miss timed his journey time, had failed to get a signal to tell us he would be late so everyone was blissfully unaware that he was coming. With L away it had to be to-day!!!! He said hje had a sinking feeling when he arrived at the end of the harbour and there was no boat. So Iain was pressed back into service but at least I got Saturdays P&J.

The Missing travellers

The Missing travellers

That was the day completely turned on its head so I had to make a quick turn around at Escape, so much rushing around later I took their baggage over and around 5 o’clock all that was left to do was watch the rugby. Iain took over an extra couple of bags of cement so Sunday’s plan was a bit of concreting to finish the genny shed (at last). The day dawned yet again bright and surprisingly warm.

Finished at Last

Finished at Last

By lunch time I had it completed and moved onto seed trays. It will be a while before we sow anything but it was good to fill the trays and stop the polystyrene boxes flying about. I had an audience most of the time, Julie was expecting food as usual.

Seed Trays

Seed Trays

With a view to going away mid week there was lots to do and Monday’s plan was laid out but on waking up I felt the house was really cold, it had turned to rain (on the concrete) and then heavy frost during the late afternoon , evening. So I had to cover the concrete quickly. A check of the central heating boiler found that it was dead, turned out I had run out of fuel, again. Kenny is coming with fuel but timing, tides and weather has scuppered the plans so far and time does march on. The fuel has been on the mainland delivered for there possibly four weeks. I did have a 50 gallon drum though and loaded that up and pumped it into our tank. That was after I found that the electric pump was seized, more stress. With Kenny coming I took the fuel stuff down to the shore to join the bags of plastic I hope to take off on Wednesday (to-day). I said it before but it is just incredible after all these years that the plastic debris just seems to increase not decrease. A lot of it fishing stuff but equally a lot of it just plain food wrappers. Not really good enough and such a shame that it ends up in these remote places and beaches up and down the West Coast.

Rubbish and Fuel

Rubbish and Fuel

I had taken the door off of Seascape to paint it and was keen to put it back (painted). Starsky Paints Portree had guessed my colour correctly , now I have a port and starboard set of doors at Dry Harbour.

Starboard

Starboard

The best way on Rona to paint doors is to take them off and put them inside in the warm. So with two coats to go on it was imperative to get a coat on Monday. Last thing I separated the sheep and put the lambing ewes in the field. They didn’t like that but I am giving them an extra feed just before the lambing starts.

Sorting Sheep

Sorting Sheep

Yesterday was again a blur, the gangway feet are shot with rust and wind damage this past month, so a few measurements and pictures for Caley Steel in Inverness should result in a new stronger system. The environment is pretty tough on everything, it creeps into the sheds, the tools, the machinery and me! There is no point in fighting it, the air is very damaging to the metal. The gangway and pontoon have stood up well but ten years of weather is starting to take its toll.

Sore Feet

Sore Feet

I had to go over to Dry Harbour to fit the Seascape door and let Derek know I was away and give him a VHF radio (just in case). it was bitterly cold even although the sun was out, I met them on the road, we didn’t hang about because the NE wind was cutting.

Port and Starboard

Port and Starboard

We were talking about how cold it was but out of the wind in the sun it was really warm, very strange. Back to the house to find a family group of deer on the garden grass. These 6 deer float about the forest around Rona Lodge, they do not come down often but the older ones have had some sheep pencils in the past, so occasionally they arrive looking for a feed. I don’t know why they don’t come more often but maybe they just fancy a change of diet. The tagged hind and some of the others give one particular hind in the group a real hard time continually kicking, biting and butting her. They have done this since she was a wee calf, very strange behaviour but they are quite mean. You can see her coat is very untidy with the bites and there are always lots of tufts of hair about when they have been.

Hind Abuse

Hind Abuse

I took the pictures out of our kitchen window and had a grandstand view of them all. They finished off the handful of nuts I gave them and strangely enough the tagged hind started grooming the ‘abused’ hind.

Grooming

Grooming

Nothing much more for it this morning but to phone Dan and get ready for off.

 

 

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About Bill Cowie

I've been living on the island since April 2002, alone for the first 5 years, my partner L joined me in 2007. We manage the Island for a Danish family who bought the Island in the early 90's. Their hopes for the Island are to make it self sufficient supporting its inhabitants and that is where we come in. We look after the stock, 3 holiday cottages, machinery, boat and of course the visitors. It is pretty challenging but it is a beautiful place to live and work, we love it and strangely enough we love it even more in the depths of winter when all is quiet apart from the gales and rain. We do a bit of fishing, stock work, stalking deer and loads of other stuff. We have good support from lots of people whom we have met over the years and have become involved in the Island. Too many to mention here but keep an eye on the blog, they'll be there for sure in the future.
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