Tis’ The Season of Gales, Holidays and Birthdays

6th of November to-day and the stormy season is well underway. It is the time of year for it for sure and we are lucky to have had so many good days up until the last week in October when the weather started to become unsettled. We returned home yesterday after a weeks break away in the Borders to celebrate my 60th birthday. Ali and Clive our last minute caretakers were there to meet us, (‘not’) delighted to be going home.

Happy To Be Have Been Here

Happy To Be Have Been Here

It was an interesting week  and totally unexpected for them to be here. The weather when they arrived was looking dry but becoming windy and we had to get away Friday. Our cottage guests though were not so lucky when it became windy on Saturday morning and our ferry did not sail. They did however enjoy three extra (free) days on Rona until Dan ‘Stardust 2’ was able to get out. Although windy over the weekend the weather was not so bad,  Ali and Clive finished the list of jobs even painting outside. They reported a yacht ‘Straad’ in for a couple of nights but it/he/the crew did not venture ashore. Otherwise dead quiet.

Missed Call

Missed Call

Before we left we had gone over to see our cottage guests on Thursday afternoon, Alex and Rona. They were in the Seascape cottage but I missed them, Friday morning it was calm when I called again and they were happy to wait until Saturday. It is always a difficult decision for guests to make to go away early, in case the weather is bad. I guess the weeks weather they had had made them reluctant to come with us on the Friday.

Late Home Eilean Tighe

Late Home Eilean Tighe

I had been out in the evenings checking up on stags, the sunsets that week were pretty good but it was getting cool.

Cold Night Ahead

Cold Night Ahead

It had been my birthday on Monday 26th, weather brilliant a very nice day and holidays looming, what is not to enjoy. The bottle of Fleurie that Brian had brought over was very smooth, best buy in Tescos!!!! Made it even better. Highly recommended.

Best Buy

Best Buy

I had asked Kenny (Shieldaig) where it came from as it had come over when they had visited us earlier in the month, he did not know but I was delighted to find it in the Galashiels  Tesco when we were there for stores.

The birthday cake

The birthday cake

Lorraine made a toffee apple birthday cake, so much for the diet. Just to make my day, a late visit from Yacht Pax, a surprise so late but the sailor did not venture ashore, possibly heading to a yard somewhere and catching the weather. Maybe he did not have a birthday present for me……….

Pax

Pax

Most of that week before we left we were tidying up, getting jobs sorted out for our reliefs coming. Getting the firewood pile up to date.

Getting Jobs Organised.

Getting Jobs Organised.

There is always a need for firewood and despite Rona’s barren look it does have ample trees to feed the fires.

Friday we took off  and stayed in Strathpeffer.  Saturday we traveled to Edinburgh, stopped there for one night and picked up our Danish guests. I think every time we visit Edinburgh we get a very nice sunset. It is not only Rona and the West Coast that get them for sure. It was a completely different story in Edinburgh, it was Saturday and very busy with lots of people on the streets. A complete contrast to 24 hours earlier on Rona.

Edinburgh Sunset

Edinburgh Sunset

Sunday morning we left Edinburgh and headed South but not before calling at our friend Angus’ farm, Mungoswells on the outskirts. Angus has diversified into flour and malting and we like his flour, with many mouths to feed we had an idea to bake a few loaves.

Aikwood Tower

Aikwood Tower

The only mistake we made was driving out past Easter Road, I did not know that Rangers were there playing Hibs’ on the day so traffic was pretty slow. After getting clear of the city we had a wonderful drive down to Aikwood Tower, former home of David Steele MP and now a really superb destination. The party was underway.

The Weather was Stunning

The Weather was Stunning

Lots of walks, visits to ‘Tesco’ of course and Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott.

The Walk To The Pub

The Walk To The Pub

Trying to work off some of the food (and drink) we were out for walks, the Manager of Aikwood Tower Roddy, told us it was a mile along the road to the pub, after three miles we gave up, thirsty!! Must remember when guests get here to tell them the correct info’.

The House Party.

The House Party.

We had lots of fun, lots of food and good crack as they say, very relaxing and thoroughly recommended as a destination. We must up our game here at Rona.

Our First Double Selfie!!

Our First Double Selfie!!

I’m not responsible for the photo above, the wine is!! All too soon we were heading up the road. The good weather had gone and we drove through fog on route to the chiropractor in Inverness, I had a frozen shoulder and needed it to be defrosted. Don’t know how it happened but it was pretty sore.

The New Forth Road Bridge

The New Forth Road Bridge Through the Fog

Back to Portree, we arrived at the  Tongadale late, Portree seemed quiet. However first thing in the morning the dining room was full of ‘workies’. Seems that there are lots on engineering works around Skye at the moment. We were away at the back of 8am and quickly over to Rona. Ali and Clive were away then it was back to normal. We tidied up then had a look around. Our caretakers did a sterling job and we are well up to date now.

Gardeners World

Gardeners World

All the jobs even the poly tunnel were finished, must get some plastic. So to-day Friday it is good not to have to do much outside and with plenty emails, blogs and web stuff to do, the shoulder is getting a rest but next week it is stalking, something to look forward to.

Finally, last night after a walk to Dry Harbour and a look around I checked the genny shed. I do not check it every day, maybe once a week. But I was glad I did. One of the return pipes was leaking diesel. It has happened before, with us away the genny was hardly running and I can only think that the pipe in question had dried out when it got cold, then cracked. It had not been leaking long for sure, perhaps only that day so it was fortunate to catch it. There I was, good clothes on, sorting a leaky diesel pipe, a very quick return to the coal face of Rona.

Normal Service Has Resumed

Normal Service Has Resumed

Got round to putting fighting stags on the Red Deer Page.  ‘Eric’s Last Stand’

The Younger Stag Is Getting The Better of Eric

The Younger Stag Is Getting The Better of Eric

 

 

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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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