A Lot Has Happened Since You last Looked……..

A Lot Has Happened Since You last Looked……..well that is what Facebook keep telling me. Rona has been just like that, in fact I’m going to do a few posts and post one a day for the next few days, we will see. In the meantime I guess the last week was all about the weather and Hugh. The weather first, well it did reach 30 degrees down here round the Lodge, the grass is burnt, the ditches are dry and the yachts have been pouring in (rather than rain at this time of year).

Hugh has started the road into the site and we have got on incredibly well.

Day 1

Day 1

Hugh has had a wee issue with one of his tendons!!!!! Hence the crutch!!

Day 1 Good Progress.

Day 1 Good Progress.

All was going very well, the last couple of visits here Hugh has had no problems and has had clear runs. So it was good to see him progress and the rock to break up quickly.

Some re-inforcing for The Road

Some reinforcing for The Road

I lent a hand and got some old metal creels plus old fencing into the sub base, a great place to put it.

Going Well.

Going Well.

First day and Hugh was romping ahead.

Day 2 at the corner

Day 2 at the corner

Although this photo is from days ahead this is where Hugh reached on day 1, then disaster. A stone chip came through the window and the glass did not stop it. The windscreen shattered. Pecking with a breaker without the glass is quite a noisy job and we could not just get a windscreen quickly. Although one did turn up, in Bristol. Next, it was the quick hitch. It makes for a quick changeover of the buckets and with Hugh’s leg in plaster, pretty essential.

The Bent Hooks

The Bent Hooks

That was the first time.

The Damage

The Damage(second time around)

We set to and stripped the hitch, welded the hooks and put it all back together. It was getting worn but there is no knowing when these things will happen.

Joint Effort

Joint Effort

With a little ingenuity we got it set up and for the next 4 hours it worked fine. Lunch time Hugh arrived down the road and this time it had totally disintegrated, time to find a new one. Hugh found one in Inverness which was quickly despatched to Skye. In the meantime it was back to changing buckets the old way.

Deep Peat

Deep Peat

We thought we would need to bring in loads of stone from the rapidly disappearing quarry on the road to Dry Harbour, rotten rock is a premium on  Rona. But Hugh had managed to break up quite a bit of big rocks for the sub base then found a seam of rotten rock to go on top. That made the job a bit easier despite the breakdowns.

Almost at the Site

Almost at the Site

So all in all a good week. Good progress and great dry warm weather. We heard it was in the thirties this last week and for sure on two occasions it was too hot for work.

Sun Shelter

Sun Shelter

Even the ewes were taking what cool shelter they could.

Taking The Long Road Back

Taking The Long Road Back

Hugh had broken through at the top corner but the hole he made taking the peat out was so deep he decided to come back on the roundabout route. Very scenic.

2/3 metres of peat

2/3 metres of peat

We were very fortunate that we had no rain. If this lot had rain on it we would have had a slurry lake, very difficult to handle.

Disaster

Disaster

Everything happens in threes they say! So here hopefully is the last of three stoppages. Just onto the site the machine threw a track, always a pleasure for the driver. But after a lot of coming and going, huffing and puffing Hugh got it on. Which was just as well as the engineer was coming the next day to check on levels and locations.

Fencing, Hugh Style.

Fencing, Hugh Style.

Whilst we were waiting for the boat to come with the engineer we got the fencing started up at the top gate, we have some pines up there the deer are fond of. So to get them away we are putting up a deer fence around just over an acre. In ten years time we will dismantle it and do the same again elsewhere. But as the trees are fertilized, the grass around them is pretty green and sweet. A magnet for the deer and for afters they have a nibble at our pines.

Easy Peasy

Easy Peasy

The ferry duly arrived, the sun was shining and the engineer got going.

Triangulation

Triangulation

First of all we had to identify just exactly where the house was going.

Deep Peat Two

Deep Peat Two

Then four  + pits were dug to find foundation level, in this case we found another hole of lovely dry black ground. It is right next to an old Black House Ruin. So we guessed this flat bit was worked at one time. We will have quite a supply for the poly tunnel when it eventually goes up.

Up on the Upper Level

Up on the Upper Level

Finally Hugh got up onto the shelf where the finished floor level is (about) and scraped the rock. All was positive and withing half an hour they were all away, Hugh too, but he will be back next week (we hope).

More tomorrow of the the normal day to day stuff during this time……………

 

 

 

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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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