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Category Archives: Seamus our Ginger Tabby Cat

East – West – Hame’s Best

Hame’s best for a good haddock anyway. Walked along the street with the good Lady Helen for a cappo this morning before she drove back to the Isle of Luing to take part in Drama rehearsal for the play which goes on next month and not only did our famous baker Campbell’s come up with a couple of my favourite baps – softies as the counter assistant called them – looking for all the world like a pale morning roll – softies – or safties as my mother would say in her never-lost Aberdeenshire country twang – have a lighter texture than the morning roll and have n’t gone stale by mid-afternoon when most of us working loons were looking for a simple piece to keep us going till tea-time.

Another favourite of mine is the haddock. With cod stocks reported to be running low the plentiful north sea caught haddock is back in fashion. When I lived in these parts before – vans from the Neuk o’ Fife or Arbroath harbours would call in on a once-weekly visit to the villages and sell their fresh catches.

Today to my surprise and probably because of the haddock having moved north due to Global Warming it was a fellow biker Wull with his van – all the way from the fishing village of Buckie on the Morayshire coast who stopped for an hour in the town-centre car park opposite the bakery! His fresh haddock looked good and having caught up with news of some of my old biking mates from that part of the country it wasn’t long before a couple of said haddock were nestling in my fridge and I knew what I was having for dinner.

Dipped in a beaten egg and coated with proper breadcrumbs – fried to golden perfection and served on the warmed plate with steamed broccoli and a sliced lightly toasted and buttered saftie – I had that for dinner tonight and it melted in the mouth. Tasted like sheer decadence – for not a lot of dosh. I think I’m going to like Wednesdays.

So – while the lady of the house is off on the Isle of Luing doing her Drama – Seamus keeps her seat cosy —

and Loki dozes quietly on the fireside rug —

Yes – peace reigns – but which of us do you think is going to have to wash the dishes?

 

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When the Woodshed is Bare

There was a time if I needed logs for the winter fire I would grab my chainsaw – jump in my pickup truck and hi-ho off to the forest to cut a load of ash – but that was then – this is now and that miserable pile in the corner will barely keep the wee wifie warm for another day.

Every sad soul in the country would appear to have a woodburner and it’s not so easy to find fuel for them. Ash for instance is in short supply in these parts but oak is obtainable if expensive as most of it comes by boat from Latvia. Being a tight sod I have plumped for larch as it  is plentiful and as it doesn’t cost the earth to kiln dry can be found at a fair price.

 

Time to hook up the trailer and go getsum.

Mmmm- looks good and feels ok — no point running with half a load.

If it was oak one bag would be enough but Larch is lightweight by comparison – the down side being it burns away more quickly.

Get in there!

Now that’s what I call a load! I had better transfer some of it to the Yeti estate car for safety.

The proof was in the pulling – she hauled it home to the Isle of Luing and up our rough old farm track to the house no problem at all.

M-mmm — that looks a bit healthier —

and ofcourse – there’s always the oil burner to fall back on if we do run out of logs.

But on a dreich day like today with high winds and driving rain the fire wins hands down every time.

With a nice warm tummy after spending a wild night outdoors – Seamus is more than happy —

and with Loki warming his backside in the glow – peace reigns in the givit household.

 

Honda CRF 250’s First Adventure

This is her first adventure off the island if we don’t count a day trip into town to measure up her worth on the open road – where – much to my relief – she did well enough for a 250cc dual purpose bike even at this early ‘running in’ stage.

The CRF has already proven her worth on our current ferry – the Grey Dog – which measures about one car in width and three in length. Cars drive on and reverse off when they reach t’other side – some with greater difficulty than others.

Having to wrestle my tall Tenere or the heavyweight Pan European round in their own length so that I could ride off the boat was in danger of giving me a hernia – something I didn’t want with my wedding coming off in two weeks time – Helen would not be amused!

No worries – the lightweight CRF 250 Rally can spin around on the ferry in it’s own length and be off down the road like a whippet after a hare while the car drivers are still looking for reverse gear.

Over a coffee and breakfast bun in town this morning I was able to catch up with news in the MCN of the TT races currently running on the Isle of Man before heading north over Connel Bridge —

I remember that bridge when it carried a single lane for motor transport and a railway line along side it. The single line to Fort William is no more leaving a single lane and a safe pavement for walkers.

This is what happens to the ‘safe’ walkers when they stray into the woods on the far side. They are de-bagged – their jeans stuffed with compost and flowers planted in them. I’ve heard a few stories about the strange habits of North Connel residents but never came across this one til today.

Best keep the wheels turning – I’m gone – to quieter places. Just up the road I found a natural water feature as the burn emerged from under the road —

No doubt all that rushing water will have the same effect on you as it did on me and it was quite a relief to find a deserted spot for a break on the dirt track by Loch Etive —

The hills in the distance are overlooking the wilderness of Rannoch Moor where I rode a 197cc Seeley Honda in trials during a previous life —

Fantastic views and the CRF does look tidy in this setting —

Not another soul around —

just hills – trees and more water tumbling down the rocky hillside as I head for Barcaldine —

Time for some wildlife to get in on the act – first off – some long-horned hieland coo’s —

Well worth another shot —-

Helen and I have been trying hard to find a cattery to take Seamus for a few days after our wedding but they are in short supply in this part of the world so when I spotted this sign on the side of a dirt road heading off into the forest I thought my luck was in —

Two cedars —

three gates —

and a stunning bunch of ponies —

later —

on the cracking cross country route – (I love you too honey) —

I pitched up at the best cattery cum kennels in the world set in the middle of the forest – only to find it completely booked for our dates.

No worries – we will sort something out for Seamus and Sid —

and in the meantime the wee Honda and I are getting on just fine 🙂