After weeks of looking after the ‘Applenet’ system with great telephone support I thought I had left the electrics behind (it is now working perfectly after Calum’s intervention). But no, we are going to sort out damp and the stove in the lounge so the co-axial cable needs moved.
Of course you need the telly on Rona!! After much cursing I managed in the end, quite easily to get the cable across. However the wiring ‘really’ needs attention. After 22 years and various DIY sparkies having a go, I was not liking what I was seeing and neither will Calum when he has look next. Jobs like that are no problem on a bad day but the weather dried up and the past few days have been pretty good.
Although the sun was struggling to get out at the beginning of last week it was dry enough for the machinery to get going and I got some of the pot holes filled in. Every winter the road behind the house washes down by the house (a lot of it ends up in the house) and every winter we put more stone on the path. The nature of the stone we have means that it is hard and does not bind well, and there is not a lot you can do about it. After a bit of roadwork I fancied a bit of forestry so decided to do a thinning in front of the Lodge. The birches are a great source of firewood but they can get a bit dense and need freeing up to allow the rest of the trees to grow. So that was the idea but on picking up the saw I found my thumb had got old and seized up, so I only managed a couple of hours before I could not hold the saw, wear and tear, maybe!
Late in the dry day I got L to come and hold a board against the torn plastic on the polytunnel, hopefully we can keep it together for a little bit longer. We will get a new plastic and are planning a new polytunnel too but that will be when Hugh arrives with his diggers then he can give the area we like a quick scrape.
It had been a busy week despite both of us taking back another cold/flu to Rona from Inverness. That was not all we took back. We had had an email from Stuart saying Erik was ready. So on our Inverness trip we had to go up to Strathconon to pick up the now mounted ‘Erik’.
I’m not a great lover of ‘Trophies’ and although Erik is one, the reason we got him mounted was because of his place in the deer re-introduction on Rona. Long after we’ve gone, Erik will still be here. We no longer see him on our winter trips out at the mouth of the harbour or for that matter any of his companions, they are keeping a very low profile. But deer management necessitates.
He is now looking down on us when we are up in the cabin and I guess he will generate lots of discussion when visitors come. One other highlight of our trip was a stop in Beauly at Campbells, it was 30 years since I last went through the doors but it seemed nothing had changed. The same staff, the same shelves, fantastic to still find these shops around the Highlands.
We got a lovely jacket in the sale but heard that the shop had been sold and the staff (owners) were finally hanging up their scissors, after many years of good service. well worth a visit before it changes hands.
Back on Rona, these colds just seem to floor us nowadays and this one just seems to be a continuation on the ones we caught way back in November, thank goodness for Night Nurse. As the week progressed I got better L got worse but by the end of the week there was a promise of very settled weather so we organised a ferry for Saturday and started to prepare lists for Kevin and Pam, the cold forgotten. I headed over to Dry Harbour for the ladder (Kevin was taking the fixings over for the replacement onduline sheet on the bunkhouse)and when I got to Dry Harbour here was one of our missing sheep stranded on a rock with the tide, but next day it had come ashore and was wandering about looking pretty wild.
Later that day from the top of the hill the skies had cleared and there was a promise of a better day and weekend.
By the time I got down to the House the colour had really started with a very warm sunset.
When the light finally went out the temperature plummeted and it was a very frosty night. Friday morning all the sheep were around the house first thing, it had been a very cold night. After I fed them we started spring cleaning in earnest. L was stripping the Lounge and I started on the sheds and boat stuff. After lying mouldering in the corner it was no surprise to find the boxes of boat stuff, the cables, remotes, and engines needed a major clean, degrease and lubrication , with lots more work to come. The creel hauler as usual was a ‘lump’ of rust, no wonder the harsh environment but a good machine made locally on Raasay, I am told it is one of the early ones of this model.
I took the head apart and put the discs (Pans) away with Kevin on Saturday to see if they were worth skimming. With a bit of sun it certainly puts you in the mood for the new year ahead.
Saturday promised to be a stunning day and we were not disappointed. It was Valentines day and the Tup was obviously in the mood!!
He was surrounded by his girls on the grass in front of the house, there is not much feeding for them so they hang about looking for sheep feed, any chance and they are in the shed raiding the bags. We had the boat coming at 12.30, with mail, rubbish, empty fuel cans and recycling to get together there was no time to ‘observe’ the sheep so head down and we got going. The morning passed very quickly and MV Aspire soon came into view.
They had had a lovely sunny sail up and we got unloaded quickly as lunch was getting prepared up at the Lodge. By the time we got there the sun was at its best and we decided to eat out, we had a very nice lunch with a beer in the sun, almost summer like and everyone in good form. We had a look up at the cinema to see how Erik looked in his new home and then a wander up to the proposed new house site. All to soon the boat left and we enjoyed another Rona sunset. Saturday night is movie night and last night we watched the ‘Shining’ just the movie for winter on Rona!!!!
Sunday, a good gale is blowing outside and it is pretty cold too, the fire is on and it will soon be lunch. Just a day for reading the papers and ‘maybe’ some computer work. This morning’s sunrise was beautiful but we were too late for photos, however when I went to feed the sheep there was a beautiful light so I took a run up to the top of the road to see what the view was like this morning, I was not disappointed.