We’re Off Again!

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.

Calm Evening

Calm Evening

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.

Peter Umber!!

Peter Umber!!

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.

Now A Roast

Now A Roast

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.

The Stalker's Back

The Stalker’s Back

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.

Late Stalk South

Late Stalk South

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.

A Busy Week

A Busy Week

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!!

Somebody has to do it

Somebody has to do it

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.

Roadworks

Roadworks

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.

Pot Hole Repairs

Pot Hole Repairs

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.

At Last the Sheep Fence gets going again.

At Last the Sheep Fence gets going again.

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 Don't Need This!!

I Don’t Need This!!

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.

And Finally

And Finally

Nothing for it now but to clean the house and get ready for off. Back Thursday.

 

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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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