We had been away for a fortnight, first two weeks of November, but since we have returned the weather has been unbelievably kind and the days have just run away from us. There has been little rain although the ground is very wet, but the rain we have had has been through the night drying nicely during the day. I lie in bed thinking I’ll get my paperwork up to date to-day as the rain hammers off the Velux window, then by ten o’clock it stops, the sun comes out and I feel guilty sitting here by the lap top. So, I must go and I’ll finish this tonight when it is dark.
Tomorrow +1: One hour before we left for our fortnights holiday this yacht sailed into the bay, we had prepared for our relief cover but the last thing we expected was a yacht, especially with the forecast.
As it happened the yacht left, the weather stayed calm, Ali and Clive made a huge effort and got here on the Friday instead of the planned Saturday, which then meant a late drive to Perth but no worries we were on holiday.
You can skip the 13 photos, yes 13 but it was one of our best holidays. On a canal boat, in Wiltshire on the Kennet and Avon canal. After Prunella Scales, Timothy Wests programme it sounded a good plan.
After a couple of days driving we arrived midday Sunday so no point in taking off into the dark. We hung about until 10 am Monday then headed into the unknown. Cold, frosty, sunshine best of all calm!!
The most interesting people you meet on a canal. Maintenance mostly funded by members and charitable trusts, canals have opened up again and provide excellent visitor attractions. But the work goes on. This looks fun.
Of course we woke to the news…………………………….
We visited Devizes and parked up only to be chased by several grey headed people shouting from their balconies, seemed the place we chose was in front of their retirement homes looked like a good mooring place. Not allowed, which made me realise just how the ‘Yachties’ feel or Kayakers when I tell them to ‘move on’!!!!! Must remember that next year!!
All in all a great week with lots of cake.
Got up in the morning to find the local jobsworth putting up parking signs, we thought we had done something wrong but it was for the car park not us, for once.
The night before (after the run in with the retirees) we were invited to raft up to Fi and Rossi’s lovely barge, very friendly couple on their way to Evesham. They were very welcoming and a breath of fresh air. They are live aboards and are home schooling their kids on their travels, good luck to them. We enjoyed meeting them very much. Rossi is threatening to take his barge to Rona………………
If it were a photography holiday then there would be no end of opportunity.
Wildlife galore but all to soon it was back up the road and we arrived in Edinburgh. First thing was a visit to the Scottish Malt Whisky Society, I always wanted to visit and am now a member. Although the amount of whisky I have drunk in my life they should have given me free membership.
On the bus to Leith we had a long conversation with a young student, I think she was Romanian/definitely East European, on her way to protest outside the American Embassy. Things are happening all over the world like the ‘North Dakota Pipeline’ and we don’t know about it over here unless we are tuned to World News or?. This is a very serious issue but click on the link for more.
Now this is whisky heaven
What I love about Edinburgh is the architecture, just wandering about looking up is a favourite pastime but not good bumping into people!!!!
Saturday morning we woke up and were down the pier sharp, the Lighthouse Board had an engineer on board who was going up to switch back on the Light which had gone out. We were back sharp and had a couple of hours with Clive and Ali until MV Aspire returned from the North.
The trip home to Rona on the ferry was very nice with snow on all the hills, however when we got back to the Lodge the ceiling had been soaked yet again by the cistern upstairs which leaked for the second time this year, a pest of a thing as some previous plumber had blocked the overflow. Of course my fault for not fixing it in the spring.
Once Clive and Ali got away and we unpacked, we sorted out two weeks washing and all the holiday stuff you need to deal with , there was nothing for it but to head up to the cabin for ‘Strictly’ great!!
My job was to attend the fire outside it was such a calm night and very nice to sit out with a glass and reflect on the last two weeks.
Next day over to Dry Harbour, work to do but the views and the weather quite superb, what a day to return to Rona.
And so it continued, here’s the view of the Clisham on Harris with snow falling.
Next day we woke, checked out the window to see funny looking fog/smoke on the water. Seems the fishfarm was having a bonfire.
We put the ewes to the Tup before we left but were keen to get him off, the grass is not so plentiful so we are feeding, just a little. Of course who turns up the minute sheep feed is on offer but Julie, with a very fine calf too.
She is very quick to chase the ewes so it makes for a longer feed standing sentry until the sheep have most of it.
The Applenet broadband has been a bit poor before we left but I thought it was ok. However on our return it was out, so on the Sunday I had a toodle up to the mast where I found the Nano was pointing to Gairloch but that was not the main problem.
I went back up after shifting the Nano and finding it still not working. This time I re-booted the whole system and that seemed to work. Always good to go up there and take in the view.
On the Friday before we came back the power had an outage too. Clive got it going on the end of the phone as we enjoyed a drink in the ‘Plough Hotel’ Alnwick. But there was an issue, it took until Monday to see a wire had come off the solenoid right in at the back of it, dark, oily and not very apparent. Now fixed and a job for a wet winter day, replace the wires.
The weather continued, much to our amazement. It has been quite a few years since we have seen this at this time regularly.
The light is so good, if i did not have such a long list of work then I would spend my time just taking photos, so much to see.
So much to take in.
And you never get tired of it.
Back to reality, I took the new ATV/bike out for a run and went to the top gate, turned it round, pointed it for home and stepped off leaving it running. I heard a noise a few seconds later and here was the bike running down the road. The handbrake had come off and with the cold the engine the fuel injection had run harder, sending it headlong into the ditch.
Luckily we got away with it, no damage.
Next job was one to look forward to, I had to empty the compost loo recently installed into the bunkhouse. I left it by the sea to wash it out, why waste my time when the sea can do it.
The sunny weather has got the hens, sheep and deer out and about. So much wildlife on the go, even that dry that the hens can get a dust bath.
Julie is quick to come down to the feed but her calf does not know the score yet. Julie is at least 16 years old and still able to produce very fine looking calves, maybe it is because of the sheep feed she steals.
We had to finish the drainage at the back of the house quickly due to Autumn rain but it was so dry the wet patches were showing so I took advantage of the weather to remedy that problem.
Lots to do on our return, even shifting furniture. We inherited two new settees but they were taking up room in the garage so we shifted one of them over to Escape where the two seater ‘brown’ leather settee was wrecked.
The work goes on but there is always a picture, Julie comes down at night to check the troughs, just in case there is a cob lurking under it.
Part of the drainage problems was the ditch we dug with Hugh’s digger for the water and power to the new house, it has now sunk and the footprint is ideal for a water retention/mud. So it may not be pretty but I ran down some quarry material to try and dry it up. We will get it level next year when Hugh returns with his tracked digger.
Last Saturday, MV Aspire was away so Dan stood too. Mr Tup was past his sell by date so he had to go. He was showing an unhealthy interest in his daughters. First thing , we caught him then took him down to the pontoon on receiving MV Stardust’s ETA.
We got him on no problem and I heard he went up the pontoon in Portree just like a dog on a lead. He was probably glad to be home after his Rona years!!
Later in the day it was back to the loo down at the bothy, but, it was taking shape.
If I had, had more time before we left on holiday I would have done it properly but losing time I had to cut corners knowing I was going to get trouble. So, nothing lost just get on with it and hopefully it will work now. The biggest problem is that it is below tide level.
As the weather remains dry, wet patches still appear and as this last week progressed we got a chance to get away from the desk and get these damp bits done. To-day there was lots of paperwork then a bit of wood work.
Stags Head Boxes
I am putting together timber to make a packing case to send Stags antlers, shot on Rona this year to Denmark.
After lunch it was over to Dry Harbour to sort out the Escape cottage for our guests tomorrow, plus sort the Chinese hat cover. Not my best job. The sheep must have been hungry, they ran after us right up to the gate, so I gave in and gave them a wee feed.
I really hate this nowadays, must get some scaffold!!
Tonight, Friday it is very cold, damp and the ground is a bit messy. Fingers crossed for a few good dry days. To-day it was a lot more paperwork, then a bit of woodwork.
We have just discovered your blog and it brings back the wonderful memories we have from last year (May 29) when we visited Rona on our yacht Suzalah. The venison steaks we bought from you were excellent. We drank a toast to Rona and your good health with a fine bottle of claret! And hope one day to return to your idyllic island.
Best wishes and bisous,
Richard and Jacqueline