So it seems sometimes, we are ‘ running to stand still’. Yesterday (Monday) we were doing just that so that we could get a couple of days off. We needed a trip off for haircuts, banks, doctors, shopping and of course a visit to our grand daughter. It all added up to us having a frantic Monday after a busy weekend just to be ready for the ferry at 5.30pm.
It was very nice first thing though to have a coffee by the kitc hen window watching the Greylag Geese going about their business. Two appeared with three goslings a couple of weeks ago and now there are four families with 3, 6, 4 and I lost count of the last lot. I do not know where they are coming from but they are certainly on the increase. The mink does not seem to have an impact on them nor the other predators. Which is probably a good sign.
After the grey day Thursday we got a good day Friday and even better weekend, perfect weather and a good breeze to keep the midgies down. Andrew our ex PDG/Qinetic pilot on Rona had phoned during the week looking to take some pals up to Rona for the weekend. They were coming on Friday night and would like a Supper Club. So with no changeover on Saturday we agreed and set to cook up a Rona table. It was a wee bit of a trial looking out the window prepping but we are getting ahead of the game a bit and putting things together quicker and in advance. So a lot of the day was spent outside, thankfully.
The dinner was heading nicely to a 7.30pm start when we got a call. Andrew had come across one of the Badachro/Gairloch boats in trouble at Red point and kindly towed him back to where another could tow him into the harbour at Gairloch. That was going to mean a delay but with good warning we turned down the heat and had a beer. The boat in trouble was a big RIB with an inboard and the back up engine was a 7hp outboard. With a NW motion and breeze it was going nowhere so well done Andrew.
Potted crab is not to hard to make but that night it was delicious, we reckon the extra hour out of the fridge softened it enough to be just right. (Maybe it was the prep’ last week with Angus and John, who knows). That and the last bit of 2013 venison made up the menu, plus a rhubard sweet made from the ancient rhubarb in Dry Harbour. Steve and Angela our cottage guests had arrived around 6.30pm and found us in the middle of the cooking and would have been keen to join us I guess but they were not around when I called to see them in the afternoon, so they inadvertently saved themselves a sore head in the morning, I think!!
Saturday morning was very calm and clear, there were a few yachts in and another Grand Banks ‘Fyne Affair’ had arrived just after ‘Barron Kelvin’ had departed. I promised Andrew a fishing trip in the morning so once we had unloaded the weeks supplies and the new JCB tyre it was out on the boat for a couple of hours. We had a good fishing and saw the Sea Eagles but not a lot more. The motion was still there, one of Andrews pals, Natalie was looking a bit pale so we headed back in. Andrew headed off to Portree to get stores (more beer) and petrol because he had used more than intended when he was towing. They arrived back late afternoon and with the Saturday papers, excellent. We supplied the tea of prawns but declined to cook it but as the day got greyer we gave them a guided tour of the cottages then a movie up at the cabin. With the rain pouring down they settled down to a beer and possibly a sleep watching ‘In Bruges’
Next morning (Sunday) I had a full day in the larder with various carcases to deal with, mid morning the visitors were ready to head home and came up to say cheerio. They headed off just as the South wind was getting up and just in time, one hour later it was force 4 possibly 5 but they had a safe trip home and with lots of threats of coming back soon.
With the heat in the larder cutting room topping 25 degrees I abandoned the butchering and L had prepared lunch up at the cabin. Andrew had left some salad and beers so we had a leisurely hour and a half reading the papers, having lunch and a nice cool glass of wine. The fresh strawberries from the poly tunnel topping it all off.
All too soon it was back to the grind and before 5pm I got the wheel off the JCB and the bead split but much as I tried I could not get the old tyre off, maybe Hugh will come over to give direction, fingers crossed.
Been a busy weekend and all sorts are now appearing, 7 kayakers passed Monday, Drascombes, the first of the wee boats arrived Sunday night and as we left Big Harbour last night 7 yachts were in and 1 at the mouth of the harbour.
The topic of conversation is of course the referendum and it is quite surprising some of the views!!!!!!! But always good to see people are engaging with it.
So here we are in Strathpeffer ready to hit the shops, the sun is shining and at least we wont have to fight with the roadworks on the Kessock Bridge.