Monday morning and we are off to Inverness, Xmas shopping, nightmare.
It has been a quick fortnight (and a bit) but enjoyable due to the unseasonal weather. Not what we expect at this time, but good to see and it makes for a shorter winter. But to-day as I sit here waiting for the ferry it has turned into normal service, grey, wet and windy. Just the best time for a few days away.
I guess we never tire of the view from behind the house, every sunset is different for sure and we have had many this week past. Every night was pretty good.
The two hinds I shot before Wallace arrived needed cutting up, Peter Umber the German guest who visited this summer showed me how ‘they’ boned out a front leg. It is great to learn something new. I used to just dice it.
Instead of a few kilo’s of stew and mince we now have a rolled roast (slow cook). I’m intrigued to see how it cooks but it should be pretty good if left alone for a few hours in the cooker. We will see.
Wallace arrived, weather fantastic. Same as October when he was over at the stags. The hinds were plentiful which made our job a lot easier ‘but’ they were much more wary than the stags so it was not all plain sailing. Hind shooting is a necessary evil, it is part of deer management and it is great to be out stalking for sure but there is always a tinge of regret when you do shoot them. However that is what we do and we end up with a managed forest/Island with a healthy population of very fine deer.
We had a look South because of the wind more than anything else and although the hind population is light it was good to find a couple for the larder. The stalk was late and it was dark when we got back but the night was beautiful, cool and crisp with no wind.
All too soon the ferry was on its way and the seven deer were on their way to Tarradale Game. Who is always pleased to see the quality carcases from the Isle of Rona.
The tide was dropping after the ferry left so I left the timber on the pontoon until it was full tide the next day. Many years ago I had a pallet of plasterboard to lift off the pontoon, it had been dropped by landing craft I think, it was a bad forecast so I had to get it inside. I pushed(I think) 50 double sheets up the gangway from this level on to the trailer then to Dry Harbour. And I wonder why I’m knackered nowadays!!
After getting tidied up and the larder clean, with good weather there was nothing inside grabbing my attention so I got onto the JCB and set about diverting the stream that had been running along the road. After a few massive boulders threatened to destroy the road I got it squared away and the ditch running. Good to do when it is dry. On the way back I thought I would get a bit of roadwork done and filled out a few potholes and peaty puddles.
The stone on Rona is so hard it is difficult to find fines but the small stuff we have does a reasonable job for a bit.
The weather continued and at last had a bit of enthusiasm to head into the bog to try anbd finish the sheep fence. The idea is to keep them in during certain periods and so far with what we have done it seems to be working.
Down to the shore to get the harbour sea-end underway and it was going very well until I dug up the sewer waste outfall pipe. Disaster! We tried to repair it by pushing it back in (Lorraine was involved much to her amusement) but that did not work. So more digging and a ‘Rona’repair later, the water was running. I finished up the first strainer and was very careful with the next one
I had one fencing job to do and that was to hang an old gate up at the sheep outrun. The strainers are not good but for a temporary job I mounted the gate on the best one, to make access a wee bit easier. Next year I might persuade Hugh to track back up there and push in some new strainers, we will see.
Nothing for it now but to clean the house and get ready for off. Back Thursday.