After a manic July, August started just the same. After the last post on the 7th we thought it would be a bit easier but life just notched up a gear, this morning was typical (sadly) of the surprises Rona throws at you every day.
Got a call this morning from the holiday cottage visitors, they had seen this young stag with a ‘bucket’ on its head! I was quickly on the scene but sadly there was no answer but to put the deer down, on closer inspection it had a whelk trap tub stuck firmly on its head, I had to cut the box to release it. Clearly emaciated the carcasse was left out for the Eagles which is all the poor animal was fit for (unlike the JMT who left out 86 Good Carcasses on the hill last July?). The white bucket blown up on the shore acting like a mini green house had some sweet grass growing in it I suspect. Every reason for people to be more careful with their rubbish. Very sad start to the day.
The poor animal was pretty weak, taking the odd stumble.
I had to cut the drum off its head, there was no way we could have freed it, a sad start to the day.
Moving on: Back to the rest of this months events, I’ll keep it brief in an attempt to catch up, where was I!!
The storm on the seventh of August fairly gave the trees a fright, they now have a distinct brown tinge.
Quite a gale for August bursting some of the ropes but thankfully the main rope held.
This is winter stuff, very unusual in August.
Ian our joiner had to have a quick departure as a family issue arose, no chance of a ferry due to the gale so a call to Qinetic and the ok was given for a space for him on the helo’, it was very kind of them to accommodate us in an emergency.
I got back to Big Harbour to find some sheep had escaped and were outside the gate, thankfully I got them in but had to walk the fence to see if there was a hole but no, I suspect a gate was left open? That was a long day.
Oliver who was visiting expressed an interest to stalk deer, we went out and walked, and walked finally spotting a young stag. We stalked it but came onto this Royal stag who stood up out of the middle of a bush just below where our stag was, Stags 1 Us 0. It has been a good summer for stalking the deer, the Black Back gulls have not nested and they are not giving out their alarm calls, so it makes it much easier to find and see the deer.
Later in the day I went to Dry Harbour to see the visitors and look at a repair job, the Isuzu had just been put back together by ace mechanic Steve, who loves a Rona project and really enjoyed putting the bits and pieces back after I stripped a heater plug, but nothing is that simple here. At Dry Harbour after looking at the job I went back to the jeep to find I had a puncture. No problem but the jack was at Big Harbour, it was a long walk in the rain to go and get it. When I got back I found that the wheel would not come off so I ran it loose, that worked and a few hours later I got home, soaked and knackered.
It kept raining and then it rained more, so much that the new drains were well tested, that got me to shorten this pipe as the water was running round it. Three days of wind and rain followed, not the best summer week.
Back to Dry Harbour to the job I was looking at (oilskins on) and Oliver held the ladder whilst I re-fitted the chimney hat that the ‘gale’ had blown off (again usually winter work).
On my return to Rona Lodge I had to get a bit of timber from the sheep shed and found it had flooded, the inside drain had backed up, yet more shovel work.
Bad as it was for us, it was a difficult week for the visitors but they were quite stoic, another of our cottage visitors Euan, had a wee fishing trip out in the Bay, his dog was not impressed. The landing craft was coming so we squeezed in an hour and a half at sea, we caught a few bits a pieces and the one and only mackerel so far this year.
The Spanish John arrived and it was all go, Hugh had business elsewhere and had organised Jamie Milligan, the Skipper to deal with the plant, he took charge of the digger, it went well apart from the concrete blocks.
Nothing for it but to hand ball, great, just what I needed at the end of another long day. Next day was much the same grey, damp, summer!!! The sort out continued on Friday, much the same as the previous day, I was still full on putting the landing craft delivery to its various homes.
That night Friday the 12th we were enjoying our dinner when this yachtie walked past the door with one of the fishing buoys that are lying about, when asked what she was doing with it she told me that she had found it and was taking it away, when asked where she found it and what she wanted it for, the reply was that she was removing this rubbish that I did not need.
Turns out she was Dutch, remind me to help myself to whatever is lying about next time I’m in Holland!!! What on Earth she wanted a fishing buoy for is beyond me and what on earth she thought that she could just help herself? I don’t get it, can anyone explain that one.
The weekend improved, weather got better but I had to do a stock check on the venison and found we had 9 silversides, 4 haunches and four shanks. The steaks were going well, nice and easy for the visitors but the joints are slow, anyone for some roasts?
At last it dried up and we got the stones laid at the back door, clean feet at last.
It has been a nightmare for years dragging the mud into the house in the wet weather from the back door,which is often, I’m afraid.
Lots to do and more haste less speed. The cottages were needing firewood and that was priority, I loaded a tub of logs onto the tractor with the JCB then watched it slowly roll into the ditch!! Doh
Nothing for it but to get the tractor back onto the road and head home for cup of tea, on the wall by the back door this dragon fly was taking in the sun, loads about this year, the weather must be suiting them.
As it happened it was a beautiful sunset that night of the 15th, tomorrow was an early start and the forecast was for a calm start, so it was nice to get the chance to have a seat behind the Lodge and take in the view..
It was a lovely run early to Portree. Our joiner was shouting for material so a quick dash to Rembrandt, Jewsons and MacGregors was necessary.
Passing the Old Man of Storr, it is one of the best places to see it from is the sea, no traffic jams out there.
The Head soon came into view I’m always amazed to see the sheep up high below the cliffs.
As usual I passed several fishing boats heading out, The Green Isle heading up to Rona for sure. Portree was ok for an hour or two then the mad tourist traffic started so it was time to escape, I had to pick up two visitors from Arinish and as it was a lovely day I was looking forward to meeting The Galloways who were all the way from New Zealand making a trip back to where their forefathers came from.
On the way out of Arinish I spotted this rock which looked all the world like a bears head? Back to Rona in good time Calum and Ian were working away. All was going well, I just settled down when we had a call Calum had had a fall, he needed to go to Portree, quick!!
Turned out to be a torn hamstring, very painful but could have been worse.
Back to Rona for the second time then off to Arinish with the Galloways, Phew, What a day. At least it was sunny. But the wind had risen and at the end of a lovely calm day I had quite a bouncy trip down to Raasay where I had a struggle to drop my passengers off, then much the same on the way back.
Next morning after a few days of sun as expected we had Fog and it stayed with us all day. I was over at Dry Harbour and called in to see the visitors, they had been very busy. The weather had been great and they were having a very inventive time.
After the previous weeks rain it had been a good dry week and the promise of more to come. Saturday last the morning started very bright with the views crystal clear on all sides.
The changeover is always the better of a sunny calm day, just a few midgies to contend with.
It was a great day last Saturday, again full on. I had not been out fishing much so at 6pm I decided to get an hour with the rod and see if there was a fish in the Sound of Raasay.
I picked up one of my Yachting friends Colin off Yacht Fulmar as crew and headed out to the mouth of the harbour, we foul hooked a Pollock and caught quite a few cuddies but no Makerel. The 8 creels at the mouth were quite productive with some good crabs and a lobster so we were quite happy and just about to finish when this yacht appeared approaching the Harbour.
Their sail dropped, the engine started and the motored into Big Harbour. As they passed there was quite a smell of diesel coming down wind onto our boat. I was a bit concerned that the yacht owner had a problem, perhaps a leak? So I went alongside to tell them.
As it happened they were not happy at me ‘accusing’ them of leaking diesel!! So much for trying to help. Oh well upwards and onwards.That was the last few weeks, they have just gone by so quick. This week to come and I started to write this blog last weekend and here I am on Friday trying to finish it before heading up to the larder to do a bit of butchering.
Roll on the winter, I say!!
Never a dull moment on Rona !! Peeping toms and thieves ( people who help themselves without asking permission) are also a fact of life in Arnish. NOTE: ARNISH ( been that since the Norsemen, maybe even before).
Hope things are not so manic now. Pity about the deer tho…. .must make a Rona trip someday. J.
So sorry to read about the poor stag. What a mad blog, was exhausted just reading it! Really looking forward to November and seeing all the changes. Dont do anything daft or wear yourself out!