A Lucky Escape……

It has been the best week of weather this year, The Salmen Family arrived a week ago yesterday as our final wedding guests left and they have enjoyed wall to wall sunshine for most of the week. However, the winter weather returned and Friday was pretty windy with promises of gale force winds/hail/sleet yesterday and the possibility of getting stuck. Which is not a bad thing but the reality is that your travel plans are an unknown, food is running out and in reality it would be better to get away as planned.

Winter Returns

Winter Returns

So it was with a sigh of relief to hear the wind drop during the night and to see the sea calm when first light arrived around 6am. I don’t know if Kevin our ferry skipper appreciated the call at 6.30am to say ‘ no wind’ but he was ‘sleepily’ aware that the noise outside had stopped. They quickly got MV Aspire away and were heading to Rona for a 9.15am pick up. The next issue was to get the Salmen’s up and ready. Half an hour later I was at the cottages and some sleepy heads appeared, just as this weather front (above) went through. It was blowing over there and I don’t think they were quite believing me that the ferry was coming. The promise of a taxi took the pressure off and both the boys had a turn at driving the bike.

With a Little Help For The Slower Ones

With a Little Help For The Slower Ones

Suffice to say, the did a great job working together as a family team and were all done and dusted by 9.15 on the boat and away by 9.30am. A lucky escape…….

And They Are Off!!

And They Are Off!!

It was beautiful between the showers but when the showers came through it was really miserable and the lambs in the field were looking cold and wet so the decision was made to let them out around the house and forest so that they could get a bit of shelter. We had had quite a week with the sheep, the grass is very slow, they call it ‘The Hungry Gap’ and for the sheep that is for sure.

Big Excitement, Sheep Feed!!

Big Excitement, Sheep Feed!!

On Saturday three bags of sheep feed arrived and last years hungry twins pounced on it as soon as I stopped.

We have a fence up around the Lodge which keeps the sheep in (mostly) but any chance and they are off to Dry Harbour, so it was no surprise last Wednesday to get the text from the cottages saying they had a flock of sheep in the garden.

Captured

Captured

With the help of our visitors we had them captured and back in the field within the hour. I had initially jumped into the jeep to head over to DH to capture the sheep and take them back, but ‘someone’ had left the ignition on and the battery was completely flat, another job to add to the list. As it happened I jump started the battery when I got back and got the jeep running, I let it run for 20 minutes then went to switch it off only to find that the automatic locks had come on and I was locked out with the engine running. A quick call to Hugh our digger driver and ex motor mechanic for advice  and we set about breaking in. All his suggestions failed until we realised we could get a pole through the back window (catches broken by the sheep we transported last time the sheep escaped to DH!) and we could press down the electric windows, hey presto we were in.

Locked Out

Locked Out

Back to the weeks work and with the weather it was better to catch up on outside work, namely these fences for the sheep and a new fank.

A Proper Fank Now

A Proper Fank Now

We had been using mobile gates since the cattle days but the sheep have been known to jump out and once they start they don’t stop. With the sheep getting to the numbers we want it was good weather to get this job done.

A Little Help From My Friends

A Little Help From My Friends

The lambs were loving the warm days during the week and these two (our first) are now really big and strong. What a difference the sun makes to them.

Looking For Mum

Looking For Mum

We had the lambs with their mothers in the park but the shelter is limited and the grass is slow to come. But it was good to be able to keep an eye on them.

Supplementary feeding

Supplementary feeding

Which was the problem with the Tup, I left the gate open the morning after we had captured him and his friends at DH and in a flash he was back at the cottages, so we had to go through the same procedure and trap him again, don’t know why L is rewarding him!! Saves him raiding what is left of our polytunnel I suppose.

It had been an exceptionally busy week at the start with the yacht visitors but we also had an unexpected visit from the new search and rescue helicopter on a training excercise on Monday.

Having a Look For A Landing Pad

Having a Look For A Landing Pad

We see the helicopter quite a lot passing overhead, fortunately we have not had to use it but it is great to have it based so close, I guess if we have a problem we could be in a hospital quicker than if we lived in the middle of Inverness.

Hovering Away From The Stock and Sheds

Hovering Away From The Stock and Sheds

The crew were training and always looking for safe places to land, but around our house there are too many buildings and stock. There is always the danger of blowing up debris into the blades I guess and it is a dangerous job the pilots do going into locations unknown. This time they hovered off and just had a good look. A few pictures later they were off to Portree. Excitement over.

Portree Bound

Portree Bound

Yesterday, Saturday after the dust (or should I say hail) settled we got our cottages shut down, stores away and the new timber for the latest batch of ‘Rona Fishing Boxes’ started. I have a few to make for orders and presents, so wet days are taken care of for the foreseeable future.

Rona Fish Box Production

Rona Fish Box Production

And finally, all week we were trying to stay inside to write thank you cards for our many wedding presents which we really appreciate. However with the sun shining it is easy to stay outside and even as I write the sun has come out and it is really warm through the window. With the chance of the ferry not getting over we thought we would do them Saturday but of course that did not happen (or at least it did happen) so fist week we must do that. Amongst our lovely cards and wishes we had two beautiful hand drawn and painted cards. This one from Ian and Margo Bennet, drawn by their daughter Lynn.

Just About Says it All

Just About Says it All

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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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