Year End on The Rock

Here we are in the first week of 2023 and another year is taking off. The news is that we are yet again looking for a couple to join us on Rona to help with the running of the Island. More of that later after a resume of what was happening in November/December.

It was holiday time but before we were able to get off there were a few jobs to get off the list.

Here we have the new processing room beside the existing larder, previously a storage shed. We made it bigger and hopefully by next season (July ’23) we will be in there with plenty room and storage to keep processing our quality Rona Venison .

Dan (Stardust Boat Trips) was on the phone, he needed our mixer for his latest project. So a trip to Portree was on the cards, it was heavy though and took a wee bit more time, to get to Portree, hopefully we will get it back on this Spring’s Landing Craft.

Slow Boat To Portree
Quick Lift Off Portree Harbour

Looking forward to getting our mixer back, there is work to do.

Applenet Woes

The biggest issue these past few weeks has been the Internet, It simply has gone AWOL. I’m not much of an internet engineer but fortunately we have help. But this one beat me because the issue was on Rona. Not a breakdown elsewhere.

Good Connection

I was able to sort out all the ‘stuff’ at our end apart from the main connection and on hindsight I should have gone there, to the start of the problem.

The Office View

So I took a toodle up to the mast on my return from holiday, the weather was fine (another reason for not going up there before then) and in seconds I had found the issue.


A bit of a wiring nightmare and I see the problem, water in the cable, lots of it being forced into the switch which was now knackered. So back to Applenet and a new one arrived, all well now and my excuse for not doing the blog last month.

Yet another big order for Rona Venison

Before we went away we had yet anothyer bombshell, our helpers that came to Rona last year in June handed in their notice, so here we go again. Nothing to do about that before Christmas but we are now recruiting (New Job on Rona).

The other bombshell was the letter from Environmental Health telling us that our Licence to Sell Game(Venison) had expired. Now for the last decade (and longer) we have had a licence. Our EH officer Stephen Cox was on the ball and we were always informed before the renewal date, but it seems not this time. He had left. I was less than impressed by their reply suffice to say we were stuffed. Before Christmas we could not sell our product. We probably lost £1500/2000 of sales and after I raised the issue I did get the verbal go ahead from EH but to date no licence renewal has arrived, So, we are not prepared to sell any venison until we do.

The boxes above were sold/ordered before we got our letter so we felt able to sell these, thankfully it made some space in our freezers (also, especially after giving away as much this festive season).

A bit of a downer as we went on holiday but we quickly forgot about it and had a real good time. Until we caught the Mother of all colds. But here is a gallery of our travels and doings. I’m not going to bore you but we went to Torrisdon/Shieldaig first. Then further afield.

We thought it was stuffed.

We saw this stag heading up to Shieldaig, it did not move even after we reversed and pulled up near it, sadly it has got used to Tourists feeding it all sorts, it is an old boy for sure and I wonded how long it will survive.

Here’s the rest of the hols’, Inverness to Shieldaig back to Inverness, my Grand Daughter at the panto. Peter Pan, she is on the stage, we loved that. Onto Edinburgh the Botanic Gardens were pretty special. Therafter to Stobo where we did not get the benefit of our lovely stay as we were full of the flu (plague)by this time. We did not test positive but it had all the signs of Covid. It was the pits, so much so we came home a day earlier than planned but Stobo, we will be back. The highlight, bumping into one of our cottage guests at lunch on the second day, so nice to see Fiona Watson.

The pictures above are a bit mixed but you will get the drift. The picture above taken at 9pm at night with the iphone, it was so bright with the full moon. Torridon in all its glory.

Lifting the Fish Farm Barge

As we passed the fish farm outside Portree on our way off we saw the barge that had been brought in lifting the sunken barge. What cost and what effect on the environment??

At Last, The First Valet in 7 Years

It was great to have some time on our hands, so much so we actually got the car cleaned, costly but really fine to drive in a clean car. Love it. Looks like new.

Managing to Miss Christmas

So here we are after Christmas looking to the New Year, some of the Turkeys did not make it but these are for breeding I hear (not ours) but the one we had was tasty.

Happy new Year and all the best for 2023.

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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1 Response to Year End on The Rock

  1. Wishing you both a happy and healthy new year and hope that you find replacement helpers quickly.
    A great blog catch up, thank you Bill and good to hear your news. Pleased that had a holiday. Liked the photos as usual and what a cracker of a pic of the stag by the notice board.

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