Leading up to the end of the year it is always a rush, a finality to it by getting all the jobs done in time for Christmas. This year end has been no different in that way but completely different in others. I see it was the 7th of December I had the last post, we will rectify that right now.
It has been weeks of grey again but when the sun has made an appearance all the grey fades away.
Mike and Lorraine were over staying in the Lodge with us for a week earlier this month and it was good to get a hand with Mr Tup the first job to do, he had been busy with the ewes. He was most upset to be caught, bundled into the trailer/boat and off to Portree, especially in mid chase!!!
Called into see Erlet and John in Fladda on our way back, they had been in isolation there returning home when Lockdown was lifted but were back up as soon as it was possible for them.
We were back in time to catch the tide and quickly unloaded the boat, Mike on banksman duties.
The firewood stock was diminishing so a bit of a fill up took a full day and chopping for a few hours of the next, the store was almost full after this lot. We managed a few more jobs but their visit was over too soon.
That night Mike and Lorraine were up for Christmas dinner, second for us of the season.
Next morning, early after arranging another fuel pick up at Portree we took off, the weather forecast was bad for the week-end so we elected to take our guests home. It was a peaceful trip, grey but the clouds everywhere were pretty special.
It was a perfect day and good run back to Rona. Winter days like this I would rather spend on Rona doing something, probably stalking but you cannot be in two places at once, especially single handed.
But it is equally as pleasant having a boat trip so no complaints.
Ok having the boat trip but nearly forgetting to catch the tide just before dark is not on. It was late when I remembered that I had to unload the boat and the tide was around the tractor/JCB tyres. No worries though and all unloaded with no problems.
Since August I have been monitoring the power at our end of the Island. I was aware of an oil leak on the generator, the alternator seemed to be acting up but just could not put my finger on it.
I checked out this and that, unfortunately it was not apparent when we were ultra busy on the conversion of the two small cottages into one. Otherwise Calum could have dealt with it but with phones and emails (for advice) I set to work.
First thing to do was to get the old generator going. Myself and good pal Brian put the new alternator onto the old generator engine in the first two weeks of November, Calum wired it up in December. I finished it off and ran it up for 6 then 8 hours, powering the larder at that time with two hinds chilling in it. It ran well so now I had a back up plan.
Working at the genny shed it was poor weather so I was surprised when I stepped outside to phone to find the sun bursting through after a particularly wet afternoon.
In the week before Christmas with the generator now ready to replace the main one it was no problem to head off to Portree for blood tests and shopping, the weather was good but looking at the forecast we thought better to ask Ewen and Janice to take us over and back. Much more pleasant that the Alu’ boat (and safer for Lorraine!!).
It is not easy to see here but the sky that morning and Clouds were amazing, a good relaxing day, dashing about Portree.
The weather next day was nothing like the forecast, it did blow a ‘Hooley’ at 3pm precisely just after we got back and MV Seaflower got most of the way to Portree. I’m noticing that there has been occasions this year (and in the past) when out of nowhere a great wind arrives invariably with heavy showers, not necessarily from the direction the Met office say, quite worrying if out with a load heading to Rona say. So it is important that we study forecasts for Rona trips, the Voe Alu’ boat is good but we could do with a more comfortable boat for Rona, I’m looking!!!