Life at the end of the road

About

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I moved to the end of ‘Calums road’ in 1989, at that time my nearest nieghbour was 8 miles away, I had no phone (and little prospect of getting one for years) no electricity (and NO prospect of getting it) and the postman only delivered once a week. However I’d just come from the island of Scalpay where I’d lived and worked as a scallop farm manager for 4 years. Now that was REMOTE, no phone, no ferry, no electricity, no roads and if i wanted mail i had to go and get it from the post office on Skye! So moving to Raasay with it’s own ferry and a road right to my door seemed like a step in the right direction. Arnish the little township i moved to had been empty for a year or so, Calum, who built the magnificent road had died the previous year and his widow had moved to the south end and the elderly man that lived in my house had gone into care. At the time i had no money as I’d spent it all buying the house and 7.5 acre croft so i made ends meet by doing a bit of fishing and clam diving, lived very much off the land and sea as food was plentiful and grew quite a bit of my own. This was all when being green wasn’t quite so fashionable and i suppose at that time i had the carbon footprint of 3 chinamen but life has a way of sweeping you along.

Within a couple of years i had a big thirsty fishing boat because my wee one was too small to work all year round. I had a big generator to keep all my bait freezers going, the goats had gone cos i couldn’t always make it home to milk them due to the weather. I’d stopped making my own hay because i could by one bale for the price of one lobster or a few clams! so in a few years I’d gone from being greener than green to having a carbon footprint the size of you average Texan.

However old age and a career move (not to mention a lovely wife and boy) have meant that of late we have been leading a much more sustainable lifestyle. I turned the ‘Conqueror’ my beautiful 24′ fishing boat which I’d salved from 18m of water and spent almost 2 years rebuilding into an extension on the house.
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We invested around £15k in a wind turbine, which might seem excessive but in 18 years my fuel consumption had gone from a mere barrel a year to run my trusty single cylinder lister SR1 3kw genny twice a week to do my washing to a wopping 100lts a week between our 7kw and 12kw lister twins. What with the freezers, washing machine going every day and a tumble drier we were fairly contributing to global warming and weather it’s true or not the oil bills were scary. Despite these horrendous fuel bills, all the hassel of moving barrels etc, etc we still only had mains leccy around 6 hours a day, the rest of our needs being supplied by a small ‘Rutland’ 12 v turbine and battery bank. The turbine as pretty much reveloutionised our lives, we now have 24 hour power 365 days a week and our surplus goes into heating. We have a big range cooker with 3 electric ovens and a grill, a tumble drier, and a toaster. I draw the line at an iron and we don’t have an electric kettle but we have all the rest of the stuff from China that everyone else does. The diesel genny will automatically start if the battery bank gets low but it rarely starts in the winter and even with the summer calm spells we still burn only around 100 to 200lts a year.

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So anyone who says wind power don’t work is wrong, our turbine is only 2.5kw and has preformed faultlessly for over 2 years, unlike most other turbines it’s a downwind one, this means it continues to produce it’s full output even in storm force winds when other types either turn out of the wind or put a brake on. I’m sure there are plenty of wind turbines that don’t work because they are poorly sited, poorly made or in a place where there is no wind but our Proven is the dogs b*******s.

THE CAREER MOVE

As with most things in my life there was no plan it just happened. Whilst living here I’ve done many things but most of them have revolved around the sea, fishing, fish farming, sub contract diving but my favourite and longest method of paying the mortgage was diving for scallops with my skipper and good friend ‘Willy Eyre’. We would set off every day apart from sunday, weather permitting and go off in search of clams. Willy didn’t dive he couldn’t even swim but ha had a great nose for scallops, I’d been diving for scallops for years before i met Willy but i quickly learn’t to trust his ‘nose’ and in the end left all executive decisions to him! I would just put my kit on and go where he told me. For the last 18 months of my clam diving career we had an extra crew member. The dude, Ross my then 18month old son came out with us most days as the OH got the job of ‘postie’ on Raasay, so nappy changing got added on to the list of daily chores on the mv ‘Conqueror’ . In retrospect it was probably quite irresponsible but ‘needs must’ and he learned to count (scallops) at a very early age, climb ladders and he’s got great sea legs!

The arrival of said son the passing of 40 and approach of 50 made me think about less risky employment but jobs suitable for someone living where we do are few and far between. After a particularly close shave with the grim reaper i took a job as a marine engineer in Portree and i hated it, the traveling nearly killed me, i had only been doing it for a few weeks when the job as motorman on the ferry came up. Imagine my delight when i got it, week on week off, holidays and a pension ( i still have to pinch myself every morning to make sure i’m not dreaming!)

PINKY AND PORKY ARRIVE

The extra time round the croft enabled us to spend more time in the garden and start e veggie patch, we’d had ducks for years but got some chickens. We always ate plenty of things i’d caught, shot or swapped, deer,sheep, rabbit and of course plenty of fish. I’d always fancied keeping pigs but they do require allot of commitment, it’s not like we have anyone nearby to feed them if we go away. After much deliberation, a meeting with HFWhitingstall who was staying at the nearby ‘old schoolhouse’ and a chance meeting with a man who had some Gloucester old spot weaners for sale we decided to go for it and bought two fine10 week old GOS boars

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They very quickly became part of the family and we were sad to see them go but we got Buster, Spot, Muffin and Daisy 4 more old spot weaners to ease the pain and we’ve never looked back. At the moment we have an assortment of GOS and tamworth pigs and weaners totaling 23 (i think)

215 Comments »

  1. Your mum sent me the link,enjoyed reading about your life.What does OH stand for ?

    Comment by Pauline Cherrington — December 29, 2007 @ 12:11 pm

  2. Hi Pauline the OH is the other half, my darling wife who puts up with most of my eccentricities!

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

  3. Hi Paul,

    Long time no speak. Great to see your site and good to hear that you are still living the goodlife.
    Its amazing how quickly time flies by. Our kids are 17 next month and currently applying for driving licences!
    We are still in Orkney – did up a town house in Stromness. I kind of commute between here and Anglesey – desperately trying to spend more time north and less time south but need to earn a crust.
    Got a little boat and do some fishing and a bit if diving. Still close to Graham and Janice – they come up to Orkney each year to chill.

    Hope things are well with you and plaes pass on our best regards to your mom and pop. If you feel like an island break!! you’re welcome to come and stay.

    All the best for the New Year

    Justin
    Gill
    Izzy and Dani

    Comment by JustinWhitford — December 30, 2007 @ 10:24 pm

  4. Great to hear from you Justin. Still do a wee bit of diving myself but purely for pleasure these days. We just have one of those 10′ pioner plastic jobbies now and me and the dude do a bit of lobster fishing in the summer. We’re pretty much tied up here with the animals these days but the offer’s there for you guys too. I’ll forward my details.

    lol p+B+R

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2007 @ 9:11 am

  5. Hi Paul,

    I’ve updated your entry to the map in naturalhomes.org. Wish you a prosperous and happy New Year.

    Oliver

    Comment by Oliver — January 1, 2008 @ 2:21 pm

  6. Hi

    Read Calums Road last year and drove up from Lancashire (Mar ’08) to see the road for myself. What an achievement!

    Met your 2 pigs foraging under the turbine and saw your house (I presume you are the house to the right at the cross roads). Not till I got back home did I find your web site.

    I came across to Raasay with a great friend from Dunvegan. When we saw your turbine he explained that he would love to generate his own electricity on his farm in Dunvegan. We should have called in for a chat! Maybe call in next year.

    We possibly met you (Sat afternoon) as 2 quads sped past us at the bottom of the left hand fork where the culvert under the road was blocked causing water to flow over the surface. Anyway 3:30am and time for some sleep after driving 450 miles back home.

    Great web site. Keep up the blogs
    Regards, Roger

    Comment by Roger — March 12, 2008 @ 4:07 am

  7. Blue BMW ? cheers Roger. Call in next time

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2008 @ 6:25 am

  8. Hi Paul

    Correct, blue beamer! Good job I wasn’t casing the joint! Mind you if you still work on the ferry, I wouldn’t have got too far – hehe!

    Yes, next time we’ll pop in cos Robert was very interested in your wind turbines. You say on your site that there are probably better turbines to be had than your current ones. Can you recommend any or point us to a site that may be helpful

    On Monday I looked back from the Portree-Staffin road towards Raasay and saw a white house on the northern island. Would that have been the white house visible from the blocked culvert or am I miles out?

    Cheers
    Roger

    Comment by Roger — March 12, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  9. Hi Roger,

    for this latitude you can’t beat the proven as it’s tough as old boots and keeps on producing power in storm force winds. Check out http://www.scoraigwind.com/ for other types as far as my Rutland 12v goes I think the ‘Samray wren’ or ‘Ampair hawk’ are far better machines. If you are into tinkering and don’t live in a stormy spot then worth checking out http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/ very cheap machines from China with a good enthusiastic following but not of the ‘fit and forget’ type

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2008 @ 9:43 pm

  10. What’s the situation regarding surplus power. I see that you store yours in batteries but can you push surplus power into the grid and use it to offset any power you use when the wind subsides? In other words buy and sell to the national grid

    I’ve no doubt this will need some fancy (expensive) switching equipment but I don’t know the legalities of this

    Cheers
    Roger

    Comment by Roger — March 13, 2008 @ 6:50 am

  11. We’re 8 miles from the grid so our surplus goes into heating.

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2008 @ 5:12 pm

  12. Well, well, I remember this face. Was it your idea or that of computer fanatic Willy, to put up a News website of Raasay? Anyway, good idea guys!

    Hi Paul,

    can’t believe it. When we met last time you had not even a computer, as far as I remember. And now – online! And you appear to have the second wind turbine on Raasay after John’s. Wonder what Arnish will look like in a few years? (And if Willy’s LED engineering will play a roll?)

    Jörg

    Comment by Jörg — March 27, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

  13. Hi Jorg,

    Came up with this all on my own but it’s painfully slow on dial up @ 31.2kbps

    Johns wind turbines the 6th on Raasay to my knowledge, Calum himself had the first in the 60s, there was one at Fearns for a while in the 80s There was one here when I moved in though it didn’t work and I’ve since put up 3 though one died several years ago. And yes I’m looking forward to leaps in LED technology.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 28, 2008 @ 1:06 pm

  14. Hi Paul,

    I visited you with Hugh from Scoraig back in Nov or Dec 2005.If I remember correctly, Hugh was there to tick off the installation of the Proven. Great to find your blog by accident and see that you’re doing well, admire the pigs and have a laugh at the road signs. I’m gardener and groundsman at a place called Wiston Lodge near Lanark, been here for 1.5 years now and having a great time although I miss the highlands and islands. Was on Raasay for the day in summer 2006 visiting Sadie at the walled garden behind the House, was wanting to volunteer there but that didn’t come off. Will pop in to see you next time – all the best!

    Comment by Pete — March 29, 2008 @ 9:41 pm

  15. Glad to hear your news Pete, stay in touch. I’ll fwd you my email.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 29, 2008 @ 10:52 pm

  16. Hey Paul, I absolutely adore your site. Its a wonderful heart string pulling link to beloved R. Sadly missed easter but hopefully up in july. Well….what about all your flat tyres!! I had a set of bfg all terrains on the old landcruiser. Great on the road, not bad off it and they lasted 50k miles. BUT had more flats on that set than all others put together since. Sharpobjectabsorbingcompound?? I am a little suspicious that you have discovered 4 extra days in the week to get your myriad tasks completed.Impressive energy output. All the best Leo

    Comment by leo zinovieff — May 6, 2008 @ 8:37 pm

  17. Easter just don’t seem right without the house of Zin occupied and I hope your lad is ok.

    Cheers P

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 6, 2008 @ 9:38 pm

  18. Hi Paul

    Have you seen these before?

    http://www.speakerfactory.net/TURBINES/INNOVATIONS/BLUE/PAGES/BLUE.html

    Roger

    Comment by Roger Longworth — May 14, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  19. Hi Roger,

    not seen that one before, thanks for the link. Probably be good here in the summer.

    Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 14, 2008 @ 8:26 pm

  20. Heeeyyy! How you three doing way up there north of north? I don’t really need to ask – I can read it all! This is a fantastic blog, Paul – really easy to read and full of interesting boffiny stuff. Was speaking to Lyn the other day and she told me to look you up. Miss that crazy island, but all going well here on other side of the world. Love to Barbara.

    Love Kyla x

    Comment by Kyla — May 28, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  21. Hi Paul,

    Not sure If you will remember me but I was one of those many geologists who have come up your way…I was the bloke with the long hair…it would have been 2001 when I was doing my project, I knocked on your door and you invited me in for a beer! great! You threw a party with Gail from the youth hostel, we built ‘a dunny’ and you took me out to Rona one day too.

    Glad to hear your doing well – I still visit the North end of Raasay quite a bit even though I now live in London, I still dream of living in one of the other houses around torran/arnish! I was up last summer and saw the pig signs…genius… almost knocked on the door but thought it might be someone else living there. Fantastic to read about an area of the world important to me, great site. Next time – I’ll knock on that door!

    Cheers

    Mike

    Comment by Mike Rumsey — August 22, 2008 @ 1:36 pm

  22. Hi Mike,

    Good to hear from you, alas the ‘dunny’ is no more I built a road there and it had to go.

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 22, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  23. I was up there 30 odd years ago, just wandering around and camping. If I remember Fladda is a small island just off the coast you had to wait until the tide went out before you could scramble across. I think there were 3 or four houses there and a lake in the middle and magnificent view over too Portree. Are you the guy from the Tamworth red pig breeders blog who has those Tamworth reds gorgeous pork. I wish we could get it here in Holland.

    Comment by yorkshire Miner — September 8, 2008 @ 10:45 pm

  24. Morning Yorkshire miner and your right on all counts. We do sell our pork as whole or half pigs though never advertised on http://www.tamworthbreedersclub.co.uk/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl despite being a member for a couple of years.

    PS what are you mining in Holland? :-)

    Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 9, 2008 @ 5:25 am

  25. Hello, Me and my Lil’ boy (nearly 4 ) are on Raasay on the 31st to look at a couple of houses and thought I’d send you a message to say “Hello!” We’ve sold good ol’ Ruby the VW campervan to some lovely engineers on Hayling Island and somehow though this ‘credit crunch crisis are still trying to move to Raasay. Anyhow, we’ll be staying with some friends on Skye but if I see you I’ll love to say Hi.

    Comment by Jade — October 21, 2008 @ 10:09 pm

  26. Morning Jade,

    sorry to hear that Ruby has gone but when your on Raasay pop up and see our Ruby. She’s 8 weeks old, grunts allot and is a pure sweetie :-)

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 22, 2008 @ 5:11 am

  27. We’d love to!

    Comment by Jade — October 22, 2008 @ 3:37 pm

  28. Hi Matey…we have not met ( saw you on the ferry the other day (Saturday) and put two and two together. I was up by your place earlier in the week and was very impressed with the new work on the water supply and all the other developments that were there since my last visit.
    In case you are wondering it was me and my family that put the gate at the top of the Fladda path ( the over the top not round the side) back on its hinges..it had come off…hope we did the right thing…did not want any escapees etc sorry if not :) ( it might not actually be your gate I guess)

    Anyway

    Great blog mate and really enjoy it..

    ps dunno if you saw the rainbow that centered on Fladda at about 4 ish on Thursday just before that horrible small hail storm….it lit up the larger house like a flood light as the storm approached.

    Comment by andy bleaden — November 3, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  29. Cheers for sorting the gate Andy, I didn’t see that particular one but I’ve seen similar ones bridging the narrows between Fladda and Raasay and they were spectacular.

    Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 4, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  30. Hello Paul

    Just flicking through the TV channels last night I came across a rerun of the ‘River Cottage – Gone Fishing’programme in which you played a starring role! It brought back great memories of staying in the school house at Torran that summer with brother-in-law Barry, my sister Rona and their family just a couple of weeks after Hugh FW had been there making the programme. The scallops and ‘spoots’ dishes looked marvellous!

    Cheers
    Callum

    Comment by yestosh — November 24, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  31. Hi I have been following your blog ever since I had a google alert come up for your boat the Pioner Maxi.
    I have one too and also think that they are brilliant.
    You have inspired me to start a blog as I have looked in eah day since findng your and figured maybe people may find my life down here on the Isles of Scilly interesting..
    Cheers George.

    Comment by George Kershaw — January 8, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

    • Hi George,

      I’ve lots of fond memories of diving many of the wrecks around the Scillies during the 1970s and would be sure to visit your blog from time to time. Those Pioner’s are some piece of kit. The first time one crossed my path was about 15 years ago when the fish farm I worked at was given one as a replacement for a fiberglass boat. When it arrived we all laughed, 4 years later after it had been dragged up and down a rocky beach 4 times a day 7 days a week, lost and recovered several times, carried 6 people and a dog on more than one occasion we all held it in the deepest respect.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 8, 2009 @ 11:53 pm

  32. Found your blog when searching for info on the Raasay House fire, we have travelled that way many atimes when my Grandpa – David Stewart takes us out on the island tour! With my then boyfriend now husband driving a stick shift on the wrong side of the vehicle – we are from Canada down roads that look like trails compared to what we are used to. We have loved every minute of our trips and love the views. Its nice to see your photos!

    Comment by Karlin — January 23, 2009 @ 4:44 am

  33. Paul,

    Just seen the bit about your blog in the Times…that’s another couple of hours of my life gone reading through all of the back posts! I will add a link to you blog on my site as I think your stuff will be of interest to my readers. Would you care to do the same?

    http://lifeboatsscrapbook.blogspot.com/

    All the best

    John

    Comment by John Gilmour — April 13, 2009 @ 10:50 am

  34. Dear Paul,

    Very interested to hear of your site via yesterday’s Times. I’m editorial director of Quiller Publishing and wondered if you’ve ever thought of writing a book? My tel 01333 360214 and email john@beaton.org.uk

    I’m based in Fife (although the company’s in Shropshire).

    best wishes John

    Comment by John Beaton — April 14, 2009 @ 3:55 pm

    • Hi John,

      One day I will, honest :-)

      Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 14, 2009 @ 10:48 pm

  35. Hi Paul,
    What a terrific blog. Just love it! First thing I read every morning !!
    We came up to see Calum’s road on a family holiday in the early 80’s and had a wonderful picnic; I’d seen a BBC b/w programme on Calum way back in the late 60’s or early 70’s and knew one day I would get there. My wife and I are coming back on a nostalgia trip to Skye next week and Calum’s road and climbing the Quiraing are on the must-do list. Hope to spot you.
    By the way did you think about a weekly news column in your local paper ? George Mackay Brown used to do that on Orkney. He was famous too!
    Greetings,
    Mike B

    Comment by mike bassett — April 18, 2009 @ 5:15 am

    • Hi Mike,

      Glad you enjoy the blog, but spending any more time at a keyboard is not an option, I’ve already turned down the offer of a book, not that I wouldn’t like to do it, just that I’ve not got the time. Keep an eye out for me on the ferry, I’ll be the one with latex gloves on his feet :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2009 @ 1:42 pm

  36. Thanks, Paul. I will look out for you. Our blue Polo may match your blue gloves ! Definitely feel a photo coming on! Is parking allowed down at the end of your road or too many tourists? We’re NOT black baggers !
    See you.
    Mike B

    Comment by mike bassett — April 19, 2009 @ 4:27 am

    • Morning Mike,

      Plenty of parking at the north end, well there is if you can get by the scrap cars :-( which incidentally have nothing to do with me. All my cr4p is on the other side of the road, water pipe, telegraph poles and fish farm tubing. I really must tidy up now we’re getting famous :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 20, 2009 @ 5:51 am

  37. Dear Mr Camilli,
    This is Mathures Paul, Assistant Features Editor of The Statesman (www.thestatesman.net), India’s oldest English newspaper. I accidentally stumbled across your fascinating blog and that made me find more about you. We want to carry an article on your blog. I had a few questions and would be grateful if you answer them.
    1) First, how do you connect to the Internet from the island?
    2) In 1989 you had no phone or electricity. How did you come across the idea of blogging and what prompted you to start Life At the End of the Road?
    3) About the wind turbine you are using… During strong winds, how do you manage?
    4) How important has blogging become a part of life?
    Warm regards,
    Mathures Paul
    Assistant Features Editor
    The Statesman
    Office: (091)-(033)-2212 7070 (till 76)
    Fax: (091)-(033)-2212 6181

    Comment by Mathures Paul — April 20, 2009 @ 4:41 am

    • Good Morning in India :-)

      Hi Mathures, I have to dash right now but I will be in touch and answer all your questions. I would indeed be flattered if I knew I was being read in the worlds largest Democracy :-)

      Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 20, 2009 @ 5:44 am

      • Dear Mr Camilli,
        This is Mathures Paul, Assistant Features Editor of The Statesman (www.thestatesman.net), India’s oldest English newspaper. I wrote to you a few weeks back with a few queries… Would be grateful if you find some time to answer them. For your reference, here are my questions once again…
        1) First, how do you connect to the Internet from the island?
        2) In 1989 you had no phone or electricity. How did you come across the idea of blogging and what prompted you to start Life At the End of the Road?
        3) About the wind turbine you are using… During strong winds, how do you manage?
        4) How important has blogging become a part of life?
        Warm regards,
        Mathures Paul
        Assistant Features Editor
        The Statesman
        Office: (091)-(033)-2212 7070 (till 76)
        Fax: (091)-(033)-2212 6181

        Comment by Mathures Paul — August 5, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

      • Hi Mathures,

        I did email you at the time but it must have got lost in cyberspace :-)

        Hi Mathures,

        I am indeed honoured to think that my blogg may be of interest to your readers in India. In answer to your message

        Dear Mr Camilli,
        This is Mathures Paul, Assistant Features Editor of The Statesman (www.thestatesman.net), India’s oldest English newspaper. I accidentally stumbled across your fascinating blog and that made me find more about you. We want to carry an article on your blog. I had a few questions and would be grateful if you answer them.
        1) First, how do you connect to the Internet from the island?
        2) In 1989 you had no phone or electricity. How did you come across the idea of blogging and what prompted you to start Life At the End of the Road?
        3) About the wind turbine you are using… During strong winds, how do you manage?
        4) How important has blogging become a part of life?

        1 My present internet connection is via satellite with http://www.avantiplc.com/for_home.htm this was a big improvement on the poor dial up connection we had. We are unable to get broadband via the phone line due to our distance from the telephone exchange which is 10 miles! The rest of Raasay has a pretty good phone and broadband service via undersea cable to the mainland.

        2 Whilst I am a totally disorganized person normally I have allways had to keep records for my jobs as a diver, scallop farm manager, fish farm manager and now motorman on the ferry. When I moved here in 1989 I started keeping a diary of my new life as a crofter/fisherman and it just grew from there really. Whilst I have diaries going back to then and diving log books going back to 1978 I have seldom read them, doing the blogg has made me dig some of them out just to see what I was doing all those years ago and it often surprises me! I started the blogg in December 2007 because I’d forgot to buy a new diary!

        3 The http://www.provenenergy.co.uk/ wind turbine produces its full output even in a storm as it’s ‘downwind’ design causes the blades to fold inwards. If we do not have enough wind then a generator automatically starts up but that only happens in the summer. We also have a solar panel and small water turbine which provide low voltage DC power so we can actually manage quite easily even without the diesel generator.

        4 Sadly the blogg is taking up far more time than the diary ever used to but I’m really pleased that so many people read it regularly.

        Hope this helps,

        Kind regards, Paul

        I’ve also re sent it to your email address.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 6, 2009 @ 6:16 am

  38. Dear Paul,
    I hope you remember me? I was the American who worked with you on Scalpay (living in the Bothy) in the fall/winter of 1988–more than 20 years ago! I was aware you had moved to Raasay and only recently found your blog. It’s wonderful to see pictures (you look just the same) and know that you are all thriving. Brings back so many memories–I can practically hear your voice. I am in the US now and would love to catch up with you after all these years. I can be contacted at this email. Looking forward to hearing from you when you have a chance!

    Cheers,
    Mike Foster

    Comment by Mike Foster — May 1, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    • Hi Mike,
      how could I forget you and John Johnson from Wisconsin!

      email on the way :-), Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2009 @ 10:09 pm

  39. heyaul i have sorted them old man of storr pics for you. there a bit big to send so il try get a mem stick to put them on. neil

    Comment by neil w — May 2, 2009 @ 11:14 pm

  40. sorry about my bad spelling

    Comment by neil w — May 2, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  41. Hi Paul,
    My family, including my 80 year old father, have booked the schoolhouse for the end of August. My father is a Scot and longing to find somewhere on the island where he can show his grandsons how to fish for brown trout. Nothing will prevent him from coming on this holiday. I am a bit worried, though, because after we’d booked I saw the article about your brilliant blog in the newspaper, read right through your back entries and was delighted to read mention of the Schoolhouse and installing solar panels and to think that we might meet you when we come. I was also worried by mention of the steep track to the house. My Dad will be horrified at my contacting you but he really isn’t too good at walking. I had asked him if he could manage half a mile walk, and he had insisted that I must be joking to even suggest that he, a Highlander, couldn’t make it but I would be really grateful if you had a second, in between blogs, chickens, chicks, ferry duties etc, to tell me how steep the path is. By the way, we keep three brown chickens in a suburban Surrey garden so it will be lovely to meet their Scottish cousins. Amanda

    Comment by Amanda Elsdon-Dew — May 3, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

  42. Hi Paul

    great blog- everytime I read it- I am a tad envious. I started reading it as a bit of a CALMAC fan- interested in the harbour. But the livestock stories certainly make for fun reading!

    I may be on the ferry later this week for a wee sail across and back

    Keep typing!

    David

    Comment by David Fairclough — May 4, 2009 @ 3:07 pm

    • Hi David,

      glad you enjoy the blog, are you on Islay? as I spent much time there in the late 70s early eighties.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 4, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

      • Liverpool actually!

        Portnahaven- I am told is Gaelic for the river port- and we live close to the seamans mission which is called Colonsay House….quite Hebridean in Crosby!

        Comment by David Fairclough — May 4, 2009 @ 8:50 pm

  43. Hi Paul,
    Now we know who you are!! How do you manage to fit everything in (the jobs not the landrover)? We are the couple with the red motorhome that came last week for 1 night and stayed 2 (wish it could have been longer). Like you, everyone waved, were so friendly – visitors and locals alike. We would like to thank everyone for their enthusiastic, valuable information (especially the ex-joiner in his white van, who we presume you will know) from the moment we parked at Sconser for the ferry. We took photos of Raasay’s quirky signs including yours only to discover you had beaten us to it. It is over 30 years since Janette last visited Raasay when weeds were growing through the carpet of Raasay house. Sad then sad now.
    We won’t leave it so long next time! So many more walks to do! And “oh boy” didn’t we judge the weather to perfection.
    Regards Janette and Peter

    Comment by Janette & Peter — May 17, 2009 @ 3:20 pm

    • Hi J&P,

      glad you enjoyed your spell on Raasay, my compatriot on the ferry was much impressed by the interior of your home. It’s not often you see a motorhome with a leather interior! hope the weather’s just as kind the next time you visit.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 20, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

  44. Dear Paul
    odd one this -I live oer the water at Applecross and paddled around Rassay last weekend and pulled into rubha Crion and stayed overnight before heaeding back I left a bowl and wooden spoon which I carved on the jetty thetre. Then this weekend I met Christine and she mentioned your name and that you nmight have found it-if so couls you pass it to her or hold on to it ILL COME AND COLLECT IT Another time I may have passed you on Callums road ?

    Comment by Greg — July 6, 2009 @ 12:20 am

    • Morning Greg,

      I’ll have a look on my way to work. I’ll also ask around as there have been a few people fishing off the rocks there.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 6, 2009 @ 4:24 am

  45. Hi there, I stumbled on your website today and have really enjoyed reading the posts.

    You may gleam some interesting info from my Renewable Energy website http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk

    I also commend the Proven turbines (Bullet Proof!)

    I am working in Blackpool on a theatre show once a week (Movie Music Magic) with Louise Martell and Rob McVeigh at the Horseshoe Venue. Whilst there I notices 2 6KW grid tied Provens on the sea front. In reading up on them they help offset the cost of illuminating the Golden Mile lights!

    Take care and hope to hear from you some time.

    Comment by Andy Mahoney — August 8, 2009 @ 1:59 pm

    • Hi Andy,

      great site, I’ve just had a wee look through and it deserves further investigation when I’ve more time. Also I’ll put a link on here to it.

      Thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 11, 2009 @ 9:59 am

  46. Hi Paul, I’ve just managed to get a copy of Callum’s road in our local Oxfam! What a lucky find, finished half of it and about to finish the second half now. A great book…

    Best wishes

    john

    Comment by John Gilmour — August 27, 2009 @ 9:47 pm

    • Well done John,

      unfortunately we don’t have an ‘Oxfam’ :-(

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 28, 2009 @ 9:30 pm

  47. Hi Paul
    Have really enjoyed the blogg and the pictures are fantastic. Such a long time since Carol Saraid and I were at Arnish! Saraid now left Uni and working for National Trust At Attingham Park Shrewsbury. Our lad Sam at Abertay Uni Dundee. So hopefully Carol And I might get to visit you and the family some time in the future. Took a flat packed kitchen and appliances out to France for Willy during the summer and spent a few days at his place there. Managed to buy a 1955 Fergy TEA 20 whilst over there so I am now in the process of restoring that (easier to work on than Land Rovers) Keep up the good work and see you soon! Worm and Carol

    Comment by Worm — August 31, 2009 @ 11:41 am

    • Hi Worm,

      where did the years go? Sam at uni, Saraid working and my boy almost at high school, God I feel ancient!

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  48. Hi Paul, it was great to wave to you on Saturday (I was the one filming on the back of Roger’s bike). Love the blog – makes a great read!

    Comment by Linda — September 3, 2009 @ 6:26 am

  49. Paul have just found how to post a comment(just learning!)Thank you for your blog it is interesting as I used to work on Skye Eileen.

    Comment by eileen scott — October 27, 2009 @ 6:13 pm

    • Hi Eileen,

      glad your enjoying it.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  50. Sorry Paul
    for calling you mike

    Comment by Ray Wilshire — November 25, 2009 @ 9:46 pm

  51. paul i just wanna thank u for ur input

    Comment by annette — February 4, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

    • Hi Annette,

      and thank you.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2010 @ 9:20 pm

  52. Hi Paul,
    Just discovered your blog and find it very interesting. My father was born in Torren and went to school in the old school house there. His brother Murdo lived there for many years until moving away for a while. Aunt Jessie returned after his death, but now lives in the main village as the old house, I believe, is now owned by the Fisheries Department .
    My sisters and I spent many wonderful summer holidays staying in Torran and we visited Arnish and Fladda frequently.
    It is good to know that someone is living in Arnish again as it was such a beautiful place.
    Cheers
    Mi

    Comment by Mi — April 14, 2010 @ 7:56 am

    • Hi Mi,
      I knew Murdo very well and see Jessie most most days just now as I’m off work, the wee brown dog by the lawn mower in yesterdays post is her Alfie :-) The Nicolson’s still spend plenty of time in the old house at Torran as you can see http://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2008/01/01/a-very-quiet-day/ from this Hogmany party :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

  53. Hi Paul

    I lived on Raasay back in 1989/90, with Calum and Rebecca McKay, while doing my Geology thesis. It has been 20 years, but I hope to bring my wife and boys to Raasay this July to let them see the beauty and wonder of the Island. All they know is the picture of the Glam that hangs above the mantle piece. Your blog is brilliant. It has brought back may happy memories of many quiet, windswept, fantastic days.
    Looking forward to crossing the sound one more time.

    many thanks

    James

    Comment by James Hyndman — April 22, 2010 @ 4:00 pm

    • Hi James,

      glad you enjoy the blog, 1989, that’s when I arrived also :-) I see quite allot of Calum, he’s still doing the crosswords and has his dry sense of humor :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 23, 2010 @ 9:38 pm

  54. Hello Paul,
    thanks for the update on the new terminal and all the other happenings,I think you post sometimes on ais liverpool forum?

    Keep your eyes on the sky on Sunday, I will be across to make aerial views of the terminal and also heading up your way.

    I had a few good dive trips to Islay with the RAF looking at old shipwrecks on the Rhinns, camping near Portnaheven, wonder if you were there?

    Comment by Gary Brindle — April 30, 2010 @ 4:42 pm

    • Hi Gary,

      I’ll keep an eye, and ear out for you from under my Land Rover :-) which is so loud that it’s probably visible from space :-) Not me on the AIS forum, though I have visited once or twice.

      I never made it as far south as the Rhinns of Islay, did most of my diving on the west side, Otranto, Floristan, Belford and HMS Graph whilst camping at Kilcheran bay. Did a little round the Oa and up that south east coast but can only remember the Limelight by name. I would have been up there between 1978 and 82 in a white Fiesta van or Land Rover.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2010 @ 7:14 pm

  55. The flight on Monday turned out very well,grabbed a few views of your place, not a person in sight. Can you give me an email address to send the airphotos to?

    Comment by Gary Brindle — May 4, 2010 @ 6:59 pm

    • FANTASTIC pictures Gary,

      look forward to putting some on here.

      Many thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 6, 2010 @ 5:21 am

  56. Hi, I found your blog by accident when I was looking for photos of Rockness. I stayed to read lots more.. Very envious – I will drop in now and then and dream of leaving the south.

    Great blog,
    Gill

    Comment by Gill Spooner — June 14, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    • Hi Gill,

      glad you like the blog and sorry my pictures of Rockness were not better but once the place filled up and the rain started the phone network could not cope with everyone stuck in their tent using an ipod :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 14, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

  57. Hi Paul, Peter Munro here from Lochcarron. How’s it going?? I was speaking to Ronnie Reid from Portree he said you may be able to help me out…. i’m looking to buy 3 or 4 pigs, preferably sows don’t mind about breed, but they’ll need to be hardy. Can you e-mail me with a contact number if you have any ideas please??? Cheers mate Peter

    Comment by Peter Munro — June 15, 2010 @ 2:51 pm

    • Hi Peter,

      email on the way but nothing ready until October I’m afraid.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 15, 2010 @ 6:51 pm

  58. Hi Paul i have recently visited your parents and it was good to see them after such a long time.
    As we have never met i thought i should introduce myself our dads are first cousins and were brought up in Providasco until my dad came over at the age of 10 i go over every 2nd year to see my aunt. i have lost your phone no. so would you send me it and i will phone you. hope to hear from you soon Brian

    Comment by Brian Camilli — July 16, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

    • Great to here from you Brian,

      phone number on the way :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 17, 2010 @ 4:34 am

  59. Hi Paul,

    Just a note to say that Hutchison Telecon (3) have got their 3G on the Suishnish mast:-) Works fine from the ferry, and as far along the top road as far as (at least) Balmeanach (or Balameanach as it says on the new sign?). 3 Transmitter good bandwidth, as nobody else knows about it, or is using it ?!

    Q. How old is the oldest Landrover on Raasay ? (clue is has an original 1997cc engine;-).

    Keep up the good work on the blog btw ,

    Ralph

    Comment by Ralph — September 19, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

  60. Hi Paul,
    We’re about to become white settlers on Harris and was interested in your wind generator. We’re putting in a GSHP and solar panels, but decided to pass on the wind as we should be able to buy our electricity off the community micro hydro scheme as we’re in North Harris at Maraig.

    I’ve never been to Raasay, but I need to drop in for a book I’m writing, so I’ll see you then.

    Love your blog – I’ve just started a new one acrosstheminch – having foolishly started one up with the same name as the B&B we’re going to run – Doh!

    Comment by Trickie Dickie — September 30, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

    • Good morning Trickie Dickie,

      aye you get plenty of wind on Harris right enough, perhaps too much for most turbines, good luck with the move.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 2, 2010 @ 5:57 am

  61. Hello Paul,
    I saw your name re the new ferry terminal on Raasay and thought – “I know that name!!!”
    It would be great to catch up with you sometime – it must be 20 years since I saw you last.
    Cheers Paul
    Ken

    Comment by Kenny MacAskill — October 2, 2010 @ 6:59 am

  62. Hello Paul

    Just found this item up on another website.

    http://thereifixedit.failblog.org/2010/10/14/white-trash-repairs-historical-thursday/#more-15479

    The road is getting about.

    Ian

    Comment by Ian G — October 14, 2010 @ 9:21 pm

  63. Hi Paul,
    I enjoy reading your blog as I have relatives in South Oskaig
    Shaun & Catherine Carney.
    I have followed the construction of their new house but never really learned much about Raasay life – tough but a beautiful location.
    I have visited the West Isles many times from California and hope to come over to Rassay on the ferry next year.
    Thanks for all your down to earth info and daily life experiences.
    David

    Comment by David Murray — November 8, 2010 @ 2:37 am

  64. Hi.
    Congratulations on an excellent site. I am spending the winter at Braes on Skye and its great to see ‘The Old Girl’ over on the slip on your working weeks. I even watched you drive down fron the north end the other Sunday morning!!.
    Please can you answer this question?. On the 16.00 sailing from Raasay today the Loch Linnhe was showing a red light on her starboard side. Surely this should have been green?. On her return from Sconser it was red again. Do these lights not change automatically with the direction of travel?. If not, your skipper forgot to change it but if it should change you may have a gremlin in the system!.
    A reply would be gratefully received.
    Keep up the great work which I find especially interesting when I am down south in the summer.
    Best Regards, PERRY.

    Comment by Perry Dark — November 21, 2010 @ 5:10 pm

    • Morning Perry and welcome aboard,

      glad you enjoy the blog, re the nav lights, well spotted :-) that would have been us doing 8knts astern then :-) They are changed manually, looks like somebody forgot :-(

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 22, 2010 @ 5:51 am

  65. Hi Paul
    Just done ah searc on Loch Ewe and you came up having dived there.

    I amm researching an exped I am planning to do next Summer to locate and dive the liberty ship William H Welch which sunk in Loch ewe during atorm in WW2

    http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/search_item/index.php?service=RCAHMS&id=101911

    I see you have dived Loch ewe and wondered if you know anything about this wreck or any body that does?

    I cant find any reference of anybody diving this wreck recently at all.

    Am looking for accurate GPS co-ordinates. I am hoping to have available a ROV and operator for this trip, and also wondered if there might be a lot of stuff in Loch Ewe thrown overboard from the ships when at anchor during the war.
    Any comments you have or contacts would be much apopreaciated.

    I am planning this trip to get my BSAC advanced diver qualification.
    Thanks

    John

    Comment by John Carpenter — December 11, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    • Hi John,

      it’s 30 years since I dived the William H Welch and it was pretty smashed up and heavily salvaged then. I was put onto to it by a group that scrapped allot of it in the 1970s. I do have some very interesting links to eyewitness accounts of the time but don’t have them handy but I’ll email them to you later on in the week. The wreck is easy to find as two of the lifeboats are still on the shore and those positions are good on your link from what I remember. Another really interesting dive is the old 6″ naval guns which lie just below the battery, these were removed from HMS Iron Duke in Scapa Flow and I still have some bits in my garden :-)

      The seabed of the loch must be littered with debris and the old ‘loop detector’ system, there is also an interesting booklet on the subject available from the Gairloch museum.

      I’ll be in touch, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 12, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

  66. Hi Paul, we spoke on the ferry about a month or so ago about Tamworths. I was wondering if I should still expect a delivery in January?. Would you mind dropping me an email or giving me a ring? Thanks, Moira.

    Comment by Moira Scobbie — December 14, 2010 @ 8:33 pm

    • Hi Moira,

      two of those ‘wee chunks’ have your name on them :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 14, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

      • Excellent! Wanted to check before getting going with preparations for them. Thanks :-)

        Comment by Moira Scobbie — December 15, 2010 @ 8:29 pm

      • Hi Moira,

        probably deliver them some time after the 5th of January unless you want to come and pick them up before.

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 16, 2010 @ 6:16 pm

      • Thanks Paul, just wanted to check before getting started on preparations! :-)

        Comment by Moira Scobbie — December 15, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

  67. Hi Paul
    Re sundogs- you may like to check out this site…

    http://www.islandnet.com/~see/weather/elements/sundog.htm

    Another good one is spaceweather.com

    Buster sends his regards… The CSA is after him!

    Comment by Colin Alston — December 14, 2010 @ 11:34 pm

    • Hi Colin,

      thanks for that excellent link and tell Buster he’s no need to worry, we won’t be pressing charges :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 16, 2010 @ 6:08 pm

  68. Hello Paul. Since we cound’t find your e-mail-address somewhere on your great blog, we try to get in contact with you with this comment. First of all: Congratulations. It was a close, but clear decision for us. You deserve it. Many of your and our readers and the other blogs agree:

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    So we want to honour you and your blog in the coming weeks with some special content. If you like this idea, you maybe want to send us your e-mail-address. Here you can find our address:

    http://transatlanticdiablog.wordpress.com/the-authors/

    Sincerely yours,
    the team of the transatlantic diablog

    Comment by administrator — January 31, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  69. Paul, great job on the blog.
    I live in Tempe,Az and find your blog to be a great escape from the desert. It sounds a bit odd to tell someone to keep up the good work, when they are simply documenting their life. So I say to you “keep living a great life”
    Tony

    Comment by Tony — February 20, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    • Welcome aboard Tony,

      wouldn’t mind escaping to the desert myself sometimes, I spent a month in Colorado and Utah once, thought that I’d hate being so far away from the sea but I loved it. Never made it to Arizona, well apart from that stone that sits between New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. I’d dearly love to go back but it’s very unlikely :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

      • Good to hear from you. My work with Caterpillar took me to the UK for the first time last year. We flew to New Castle and drove all the way back to London stopping at several factories on the way. I loved England and hope to return later this year. my wife has also been to the UK and we both plan to spend much time there in the future, well after our currently two year old gains a bit of independence. I look forward to reading Calum’s road and your blog.
        Tony

        Comment by Tony — February 21, 2011 @ 1:28 am

      • Good morning Arizona :-)

        must be interesting working for Caterpillar and traveling about Tony, me I just couldn’t cope with it, the furthest I go these days is Dumfrieshire for the Wickerman festival http://www.thewickermanfestival.co.uk/ and I’m thinking of giving that a miss this year because it’s too far (350m) So there’s no chance of me ever making the http://www.burningman.com/ in Nevada. An old diving buddy of mine is one of the organizers :-)

        Cheers, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 22, 2011 @ 7:16 am

  70. Hello Paul . . . just discovered (and enjoyed) your blog, when making plans to visit Raasay late next July. I author psychology texts, and am including(as an example of “grit”) the story of Calum and his road in some of my new editions. I’d be happy to e-mail you a copy of the page of you will e-mail me.

    Keep up the great writing!

    Comment by Dave Myers — February 21, 2011 @ 2:15 am

    • Good morning David,

      that’s some prodigious output of books :-) Aye, I’d love to see it, will drop you a line.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 22, 2011 @ 7:18 am

  71. Hi, I was wondering if we could exchange links. I write a blog from the Isle of Erraid, a tidal island off Mull.

    Thanks

    Comment by Paul Adams — March 11, 2011 @ 10:47 am

    • Good morning Paul,

      I do pop in on you from time to time :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 12, 2011 @ 6:07 am

  72. at last, an interesting blog, look forward to reading, feels like I’ve travelled each day!
    Jan, Melbourne

    Comment by jan — May 21, 2011 @ 2:28 am

  73. I’m working on a project re television coming to Wales in the 1950s – one of my interviewees has a story about visiting a neighbour’s farm so that he could view his television – he used a lister startomatic st1 or st2 (c. 1966). I’m really looking for a photo I can use on our webstie http://www.culturenetcymru.com/mnm to illustrate this. Would you allow me to use one of your photos please? Many thanks -interesting blog…

    Comment by Dana Edwards — June 9, 2011 @ 8:42 am

    • Help yourself Dana, and thanks for asking :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 9, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

  74. Hello,

    Great blog you have, good effort. Hope you don’t mind me asking here, but I have a question about walking Calum’s Road.

    We have always wanted to walk Calum’s Road, after reading the book, but seem to be having difficulties in planing the walk. Driving it seems all too easy, and it’s also cheaper if we leave the car at Sconser! The two mile walk of Calums Road seems a bit daunting for some in our party of four if we have to do the 9 miles first to get to it!

    We have found out that the road that Calum built is from Brochel to Arnish, but we’d much rather take it slow and walk it. Are there any options of transoport to cover the 9.4 miles from the ferry to the start of Calums Road?

    Regards,

    Andrew

    Comment by Andrew Short — June 23, 2011 @ 2:09 pm

    • Hi Andrew and welcome,

      I’m afraid that transport is something that is sadly lacking on Raasay but you could try phoning http://www.raasayoutdoorcentre.co.uk/ they may be able to help.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 23, 2011 @ 10:50 pm

  75. Hi, I wonder if you could let me have Bill Steel’s contact details? We have also have an isolated cottage (just 6 miles from the grid) which runs on a combination of lister, hydro and PV panels with the added complication that my father (suffers from vascular dementia, drinks too much, hovering on the edge of power of attorney, touchy as hell) designs and builds darrieus turbines. The combination of dementia, drink and darrieus is complicated and, as well as going through diesel at a rate of knots (the turbine is a net consumer of electricity), our battery bank is failing after just 2 years. My dad contacted Bill Steel to check the system but I wanted to get in touch with him independently.
    Thanks
    Sally Semple

    Comment by Sally Semple — August 19, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  76. Hey Paul, for your information, we were charged around 95 GBP for the new tyre on the Volvo, but we did not have have to pay for the transport by lorry. We will get the money for the tyre back from our car rental insurance claim. The whole experience was just part of the randomness of travel, and we probably enjoyed racing up the road to Brochel Castle on the lorry and the trip to Kyle as much as we would have trekking up to Arnish. Our visit to your end of Raasay will have to wait for our next trip, when we’ll try to get a vehicle a bit more suited to the roads there.

    Nice meeting you in Raasay, and hope to see you again.

    Comment by Randall Laurel Rasey — September 27, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    • Really glad that you enjoyed your trip to Raasay Randy and great to meet you too. Nothing like a bit of an adventure to liven up a holiday :-) Good that you took it in your stride, shame you never made it to Arnish, perhaps next time hey :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 27, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  77. Well Paul as you know I had been looking forward to coming to Raasay to see the new ferry crossing and terminal and to visit my fav place, Temptation Hill; unfortunately we never made it this summer (if u can call it a summer). The first time I got to see the new terminal was last Thursday when we came across for my cousin Shelagh’s funeral :(
    So so sad that my cousin has lost her life at such a young age and the loss that we all feel is unexplainable. I just wanted to say thank you to you for putting Shelagh’s justgiving link on this site as it meant more people donated and Shelagh’s target was reached.
    Thank you,
    Norma x

    Comment by Norma — October 24, 2011 @ 11:47 am

    • Hi Norma,

      sorry your visit had to be in such tragic circumstance, here’s hoping that you make it up next summer and the weather is kinder, though to be honest our summer was pretty good up here.

      Love and sympathy, Paul and family

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 3:50 am

  78. Great blog – really interesting with wonderful pictures.
    Yet another simple congratulations, I know, but I felt I had to write to add mine to the large pile that should be
    building up to remind you of the value of the glimpse you give us all into quite a different way of life (certainly
    to mine in a big city).

    In passing I was wondering about the new house – why? What is the plan? Perhaps you have mentioned
    it in a post, but I was looking and couldn’t find one. You seem to have your current place working so well,
    so I just wondered….

    Many thanks……………Tim

    Comment by Tim Ward — November 1, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

    • Hi Tim and welcome aboard,

      when our house was built over 150 years ago every inch of ground for growing crops was precious, consequently our house (like many of its day) is tucked up against a bank and faces north. This may have been desirable then as it’s very sheltered, however we loose the sun for three months of the year and have no view of the sea :-( The four foot thick stone walls may be good at keeping the noise of the wind out but they don’t keep the heat in and any more insulation would make the house even smaller :-( It’s been a very ‘happy house’ but I’ve always wanted to build in the spot we chose and it was a long battle to do so. It’s only a hundred yards away but the location is stunning.

      The view

      We’re going to build a super insulated, low maintenance house powered and heated totally by renewables that we produce here at Arnish :-)

      http://wam.highland.gov.uk/wam/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=LNUUX8IH09500

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

  79. Hi Paul, If there is anything I can do to help you on the technical side of anything renewable then please feel free to ask me.

    Kind regards

    Andy Mahoney
    http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk
    Renewable Energy & Self Sufficiency UK

    Comment by Andy Mahoney — November 2, 2011 @ 8:49 pm

    • Cheers for that Andy,

      I often pop over to http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk/ for a wee gander, need to do some more research into WMO, I’ve rather a lot of it :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 5, 2011 @ 5:03 am

  80. Hi Paul
    I see you have a lot of photos of a tugboat I have purchased , the Kingston lacy
    Is it possible that you could get in touch with me
    Best wishes
    Peter fitzpatrick

    Comment by Peter Fitzpatrick — December 23, 2011 @ 12:05 am

    • Good luck Peter with the ‘Kingston Lacy’ and make sure you keep me posted on developments.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

  81. Paul

    Could you send me your email so I can send you a short piece I’ve written, for you to check – it is for a wee book about off-grid living, which will include material on Scoraig & Rousay, and I’d like to mention your experiences as well.

    I know Raasay, and have visited a few times.

    best wishes,

    alec

    Comment by Alec Finlay — January 3, 2012 @ 12:04 pm

    • Hi Alec, great website http://skying-blog.blogspot.com/ love the piece about the 1955 Orkney experimental wind turbine. Got your email fine but have not had time to read it.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

  82. Hi Paul, Hope all is well. I met you on my last trip up to Calum’s Road, Please have a look at our web site http://www.ukmadefilms.com to see how things are coming along with the Film Calum’s Road, also please feel free to touch base with me at anytime.
    Best wishes
    Patrick

    Comment by UK Made Films (@UKMadeFilms) — January 21, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    • Hi Patrick good to meet you again so to speak, had a look at the http://www.ukmadefilms.com/ and it looks very exciting, will be in touch shortly.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 23, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

  83. Hi there, not sure how else to contact you but looking for a Tamworth boar if possible to breed with our Tamworth pig. She’s a bit over a year and would like to find her a mate before it’s too late. Haven’t really worked out logistics of transport but thought I’d try you anyway and see if you’re looking to sell any. Regards, Catriona

    Comment by Catriona Boyle — January 22, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

    • Hi Catriona, Rocky is on hire at the moment on Skye if that’s any use to you.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 23, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

  84. Hi Paul, should have done this ages ago but the thought only just occured to me, its old age honest lol, Put up a new post in the Thomson Forum about your blog, hope it gets the interest it deserves.

    http://thomson-caravans.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=151

    Feel free to send me any details you want me to change!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — February 4, 2012 @ 7:45 pm

    • Morning Graham,

      thanks for the link onto the forum http://thomson-caravans.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=general&action=display&thread=151 I really must spend more time on there ‘Sadoldgit’ that I am :-) Aye those poles are something else, some of the ones I pulled out of the peat were the original 1930’s ones with a crown on the base and still like new. Many of them were much shorter than your standard pole and called ‘super lights’. They were put ashore by boat at Arnish and carried by locals to there position from Arnish to Brochel.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2012 @ 6:40 am

  85. Hi Paul, Hope you’re well. Do you have an idea of how much you are looking at for your house yet? Christine (I was up there a bit in 2002)

    Comment by Christine Jordaan — February 17, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    • How could we ever forget the mad South African hitch hiker that I picked up and then stayed for three weeks :-) Great to here from you Christine, is it really 10 years ago that we went looking for hazel trees at Torran :-) Those were the days hey, wifey and I still talk about them, like the boat trip to Portree, Craig Walsh playing at the community center and a mad night in the Portree hostel afterward :-) Thinking about 200k and could not think of a nicer neighbour :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 17, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  86. Hi Paul, on the subject of lack of alc I have a few words to let you know. If you give me your email address I’ll send you a real homebrew recepie to you.

    Comment by Dave Grundy — March 25, 2012 @ 1:00 am

    • Hi Dave and welcome aboard, perhaps wait until the house is built first :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 25, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  87. Sorry about my spelling :(

    Comment by Dave Grundy — March 25, 2012 @ 1:09 am

  88. You lucky man,you are livein where I always wanted to live,when I was younger read a book about a family who moved there ,wanted to live there ever since moved from northampton to lybster in caithness six years ago

    Comment by phill — April 9, 2012 @ 9:01 am

  89. I love reading your blog. Walked on Scalpay and stopped long enough to cook up some mussels on the shore. Quite shallow going through specially with a keel. Been often into Acarsaid Mhor but never set foot on Rasaay although sailed all round it. Started a wee blog but not a patch on yours. I have not found how I really want to do it yet but your welcome to look. All the best, Robin. http://www.heiskir.wordpress.com

    Comment by Heiskir — April 9, 2012 @ 9:51 am

    • QUOTE
      http://heiskir.wordpress.com/ is marked private by its owner.

      Comment by San — April 9, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

    • Morning Robin and welcome aboard, probably been on the same beach and cooked mussels myself many years ago :-) Like someone said, can’t seem to get onto your blog :-( C’mon don’t be shy :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2012 @ 5:05 am

      • I think I need an email address to send an invite – happy to do so

        Comment by Heiskir — April 12, 2012 @ 10:25 am

      • Paul, Just click on Heisker’s link, wordpress will ask you to log in (your wordpress login) then there will appear a ‘request to Heisker’ click on that and wordpress will send your request to Heisker. Cheers Carole.

        Comment by finniedog — April 12, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

  90. Hi Paul, Calum & Alison here. We’ll be coming up to the bothy on Sunday afternoon to spend a week or two at the bothy. Lots of woodwork needing painted as well as the roof. Hope to see you about. All the best C & A

    Comment by cyclingecosse — April 26, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

    • Morning Calum and Alison, well if you’re not on your way here that is :-) I’ll keep an eye out for you at the end of the road.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 28, 2012 @ 5:45 am

  91. Happy birthday Paul. Hope you’ve had a good one.

    Comment by Callum — May 7, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  92. Hi Paul, just seen you on River Cottage, long time no see, knew you in Accrington as kids!!
    Do you remember me Roger Wallis?

    Comment by roger wallis — May 20, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

    • Well well Roger, fancy that,

      of course I remember you, Glyn Burr, and Graham Wilcox, probably a few more if pushed :-) Bizarrely enough I think of you quite often, most times I hear football crowds or people at festivals :-) You won’t remember an argument we had as kids when I said something like two quiet noises don’t make a louder one and you said ‘what about footie crowds’ :-) Strange the things that stick in your mind after forty odd years hey :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 21, 2012 @ 4:48 am

  93. Hi Paul,

    We’re heading up to Skye next Saturday for a week (getting all excited!!) and someone on Trip Advisor has said that you may be able to recommend places for open water swimming on Skye. The family have wetsuits but are looking for safe spots to enjoy the cold water. Any recommendations will be gratefully received. They are in training for a swim in the Lakes in June.

    Thanks

    Rose (from the sunny Ribble Valley)

    Comment by Rose — May 27, 2012 @ 8:07 am

    • Good morning Rose and welcome,

      sorry it took so long to reply but I’ve been a little preoccupied :-) I’ve done lots and lots of swimming in the sea when I was clam diving. In the summer I used to strip off and dive into the sea from the wheelhouse roof quite regularly. Often I’d swim to the shore to dive in off the cliffs, but that’s not much use to you as these places were often inaccessible by land.

      On Raasay jumping off the pier is a favourite passtime and if you’re very luck, as the children were of Friday you’ll have dolphins nearby.

      dolphins

      There’s also a few magical places at the north end of Raasay that I used to frequent.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 29, 2012 @ 10:59 am

  94. Hi there.

    Am doing some research behind a vacancy that has been advertised upon the ferry.

    I’d love to ask questions about that seeing as you are already working there.

    Also, when we visted this island in 2009 we were consumed by the mystery of the pig signage. lol
    funny how certain unrelated events can bring about explainations. lol

    Anyway, would be very grateful if you could get back to help me in my research.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ally.

    Comment by Ally — July 5, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

    • Morning Ally,

      all our jobs have been advertised, six in total, as we need to go away for training. I think the contract is until June 30th, though the new boat will need at least two, if not four extra crew.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 6, 2012 @ 5:34 am

  95. This looks interesting! I shall follow it.

    Comment by heartlandroad — July 13, 2012 @ 8:56 am

  96. Hi Paul did you have the Internorm windows fitted? If so are you happy with them? Just had a quote for Internorm (£12k) for triple glazed wood/ali to replace a large – 9.5m long x 2.3m high (five panels no openings). thanks and regards. Ron

    Comment by Ron — November 10, 2012 @ 8:34 pm

    • Hi Ron, not even got the windows yet, our project has kind of ground to a halt at the moment due to this college lark. All I can say that I’ve seen the same windows we were after on a house on Skye and both the owners and myself were well impressed with the quality. They’re certainly not cheap, our quote came in at £15 or £18k I can’t remember off hand but that was for quite a lot of windows, again I cant remember the number/size as I’m away from home :-(

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 10, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  97. Hello Paul , was talking recently to Andy Heaste who was doing some work here (Ashaig) . I’m trying to do a wee very micro hydro project , and he said you were into such things big time . I’ve got ( I think ) a useful flow and head of water , and am wanting to harness it with a waterwheel . I wondered if you do consultancy work on such stuff .
    Regards , Tom Stephens

    Comment by tom stephens — November 14, 2012 @ 11:45 pm

    • Hi Tom, I’ll try and call in when I’m passing.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 15, 2012 @ 4:43 pm

  98. Paul, I’ve a couple of Old Spot gilts here in south Skye that I’m keen to get ‘served’ – have you an enthusiastic fertle boar at The End of The Road that I could loan for (say) a month? Try as I might (and I’ve been looking so long its probably verging on indecent) I cannot gauge when my gilts are in season from rear-end observation so thought I’d keep a boar for at least a whole cycle (3ish weeks) and hope nature takes it course. Any boars? a Tamworth/Old Spot cross sounds good to me… Appreciate you’re doon sooth at present but any response gratefully received….

    Comment by Chris Marsh — November 17, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

  99. Hi Paul, we’re from the university of Sunderland currently making a documetry about self sufficiency and after reading about your impressive achievements we would love to come talk to you about your life and becoming self sufficient. We noticed that your in South Shields for a few days and wondered if you fancied a meeting for a chat while your in the area (we’ll supply the scrumpy haha).

    We look forward to hearing from you.

    Thanks

    Greg, Glenn, Steve, Jade and Jordan

    Comment by bf91xg — November 21, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    • Hi Greg, Glenn, Steve, Jade and Jordan,

      just left South Shields and won’t be back until the 21st of January :-(

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 21, 2012 @ 8:10 pm

      • Hi Paul

        Oh that’s a shame. Would it be possible if we could come and visit you at your home? It would provide us with some brilliant content and (after looking on google maps) some amazing shots for our documentary.

        Thanks for your time.

        Greg, Glen, Steve, Jade and Jordan

        Comment by bf91xg — November 22, 2012 @ 11:46 am

  100. Hi Paul, don’t know if you know this website, but came across this old map of Raasay.

    http://maps.nls.uk/os/6inch-2nd-and-later/view/?sid=76131349#sid=76131349&zoom=7&lat=8543.80357&lon=3679.53766&layers=BT

    Found it through “Stumbleupon, probably the most addictive site known!!! http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2M6uxn/www.oldmapsonline.org/
    Hope you’re not getting lost in your “Triangle”!!! lol
    All the best
    Doug

    Comment by Doug Miller — January 14, 2013 @ 10:54 pm

    • Once upon a time, I installed StumbleUpon. The only way I could get rid of it was by re-installing Firefox :( . I hope it’s less sticky nowadays.

      Comment by San — January 15, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

  101. You really don’t have an electric kettle?!

    Comment by tearoomdelights — January 28, 2013 @ 2:05 pm

    • I really don’t have an electric kettle :-) we’ve only acquired an electric iron recently, before that I used to heat a lump of cast iron up on the stove and my wife only got here first hair drier this Christmas. Now she no longer needs to put her head in the oven :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 28, 2013 @ 5:06 pm

      • She must be pleased about that bit of progress, but how do you make a cup of tea? On a stove?

        Comment by tearoomdelights — January 28, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

      • Hi TRD :-) we have a kettle of water constantly on top of our stove and just transfer it to the cooker for boiling, usually a matter of seconds if it’s already boiling on the stove. I really find it difficult when away from home for our stove keeps both tea and coffee hot for hours after it’s been made. I hate lukewarm tea :-(

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 28, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

  102. G’day Paul

    Was looking on the web for a Lister ST-1 manual and found you via Smokstak, thanks for the manual, You live a great life there, had a quick browse whilst I was here. Funny thing I also have a TRX350 Honda, the same Makita battery drill as yours, pictured in a post about air rifles. I also have 7.3 Kwatts of schott solar panels and a 8KW Sunnyboy Transformerless Inverter.

    Have just fitted a “Chinese” AVR to my Lister, it came to me with no voltage regulation gear at all.

    How’s the crow shooting going? I reckon you only ever shoot one then they are just too cunning,

    I am on the North Coast of New South Wales Australia, oh and my name is John.

    Raining cats and dogs here at the moment…have had 13″ of rain the past week.

    Thanks for the info Bye

    Comment by John Learoyd — March 2, 2013 @ 3:19 am

    • Good morning or should i say G’day to you too John,

      I always get excited when I hear from kindred spirits in far away lands :-) Are you ‘off grid’ too ?? Re the AVR does it really need any ?? The Brush alternators that were fitted by Lister didn’t seem to have one. I think basically that the flywheel is so big and heavy they’re not needed. Having said that some modern electronics can be a little temperamental on the singles.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2013 @ 6:46 am

      • Good evening Sir, How’s that?

        I am on the grid, it would actually cost me a lot of money to be off the grid. Part of the incentive over here to get people onto Solar (besides subsiding the price of panels) was to ‘promise’ to pay for all (yes all!) the power your system produced, at a rate of 60cents per Kilowatthour for a 7year period ending in 2016. My system produces almost exactly 12000 KWH per annum, that equates to $7200 per year tax free!

        Sounds absurd, but its true, and even when the scheme is finished I’m sure I’ll still be in front by selling my excess (exported) KWH’s to the grid.

        I used to live off grid on the world’s third largest sand island (there’s a research question for you)….that was fun and believe it or not the property had a Lister ST1 for backup to the 16 Kyoritsu panels

        I was given a ST-1 last year that had been taken out of sevice some years earlier and the external regulation system was missing altogether, hence the need for a replacement control unit to excite my field coils

        I have seen the wiring diagram for a Brush on the ‘net and it was a very simple affair from memory, but like I said my Alternator had nothing save some broken terminal strip.

        Anyway so far so good, got sidetracked today and save selecting some heavy timbers for the gen mount I have not progressed far,

        PS the reason for getting the generator going is that we have lost grid a couple of times for extended periods in the past 2 years due to severe storms and well I just thought I could solve that annoyance.

        John

        Comment by John Learoyd — March 3, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      • Well I never http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moreton_Island all that sand John, what made you leave it :-)

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2013 @ 9:15 pm

  103. John, watch those Chinese AVR units, the output is usually shocking (Pun Intended) it could well fry up anything electronic. A friend had one on an a scope and the waveform looked like it was having a nervous breakdown!

    My Bits On Lister CS Engines

    http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk/html-articles/diy-self-sufficiency-articles/lister-cs-stationary-engines.html

    How to set the injector on a Lister CS Engine!

    http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk/html-articles/diy-self-sufficiency-articles/how-to-set-the-injector-on-a-lister-cs-stationary-engine.html

    Andy

    Comment by Andy Mahoney — March 2, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    • Thanks for your input (return pun) Andy, Not sure how an AVR feeding a ‘Brush’ type alternator (that’s task is setting a DC Field) can generate a noisy AC wave. I could envisage amplitude problems with poor regulation but not what you suggest. I have only just done some temporary hookups, now need to mount the Lister to concrete and hardwire the whole kit and kaboodle (sp), the voltage reg measured on the AC and DC sides looks fine with my Fluke. I’ll admit I have not checked it with a CRO however. This is like the unit I have installed

      http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Universal-CF-15A-Automatic-Voltage-Regulator-GAVR-15A-General-GAVR-15A-/170790096648?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c3e20f08

      it seems well filtered and physically well constructed, I’ll post you in a year or so about the components!

      John

      Comment by John Learoyd — March 2, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    • Morning Andy,

      wondered where you’d been, hadn’t heard from you in a while, though I do ‘dip in’ to http://www.homebrewpower.co.uk/ every now and then, usually when I’m stuck with something :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2013 @ 6:51 am

      • John, My sister lives in Brisbane (19 years over there now!) and I fancied a ‘Bug’ from your 3rd Largest Island in the world ;-)

        Comment by Andy Mahoney — March 3, 2013 @ 8:31 pm

  104. Hi there my name is Kees Schuller. Can you please email me regarding your lister generator? I have one which I think is the same, I have also removed my life to a remote location (in this case from Toronto Canada to an island park in Panama. The generator motor runs well but we have a problem getting reliable power out of the dynamo. I don;t know the model number exactly for this machine, but the diesel started like butter after sitting in the jungle for five years. In particular I am hoping you may know where an old manual is….or maybe we could find some way to communicate over the web….

    Comment by Kees Schuller — March 12, 2013 @ 6:27 pm

  105. Wish I’d found this one earlier (thanks Richard from Keane)! Still, with no tv while we build our house, it’ll be something nice to look at of an evening. I’ve followed it, does that mean I’ll get an email whenever you post? I’m still a bit of a blogging luddite ;)

    Embo

    Comment by Embo — April 19, 2013 @ 7:43 pm

  106. This isn’t the right place, but seen this yet?
    All the best.
    A

    Comment by AE — April 25, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

    • Hello AE and welcome, thanks for the link :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 26, 2013 @ 9:57 am

  107. Paul

    I’ve just put in a Freedom of Interest Act 2000 request to Highland Regional Council regarding both your roads plus communication between HRC and the water authorities, in which you might be interested…please contact me with an email address so I can forward details plus any response

    I’ve no idea where this might lead, but feel free to comment!

    All the best

    Dave

    Comment by Cogidubnus — May 4, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

    • No need to make your address public Dave, I can see it anyway.

      Cheers Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 5, 2013 @ 7:25 am

  108. Hello Paul!

    I have a bit of a weird question.Me and my boyfriend are supposed to stay at a hotel on the isle of Raasay on the 28th of July. Unfortunately we are landing in Edinburgh midday and won’t make it to Sconser in time for the last ferry. We are wondering if there is an alternative way to get across to the Isle of Raasay on Sunday the 28th of July around 7 or 8 in the evening. We are willing to bribe local fisher men or boat owners with Whisky or a small amount of money. We are nice and friendly Swedes who would greatly appreciate any help or information you can give us.

    Thank you in advance (as we say in Sweden)! :)

    Comment by Sofie — July 11, 2013 @ 10:00 am

    • Good morning Sofie and welcome,

      I would try phoning Raasay House http://www.raasay-house.co.uk/ I’m sure they could pick you up.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 12, 2013 @ 2:42 am

  109. Hi there,

    I saw your blog recommended on trip advisor for advise in where to go open water swimming in Skye. I know Loch Coruisk is a good spot but I was wondering if there were any others, like Geshornish?

    Any tips would be great!

    Thanks,

    Louise

    Comment by Louise Beard — July 12, 2013 @ 5:58 pm

    • Good morning Louise,

      can’t really offer much help really, I have done loads of ‘open water swimming’ but it was mainly from my boat during the summer when I was clam diving. I used to have a ‘dip’ between dives in my youth :-) There are plenty of fantastic places on Raasay but that is really the limit of my knowledge, great caves that you can swim in and cliffs you cab dive off but involving extremely long walks.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 13, 2013 @ 5:52 am

  110. Dear Paul,

    I am staying on Raasay next week, planning to visit Calum’s Road as I’ve choreographed a dance to Capercaillie’s music, and wonder if you know if any of Calum’s relatives are on Raasay as I would love to meet them?

    Regards,
    Cindy

    Comment by Cindy Kelly — August 27, 2013 @ 10:32 am

    • Hi Cindy and welcome, sorry but I’ve been internetless :-( Enjoy your visit, I’m sure Calum has a few living relatives on Raasay but I don’t know who they’d be.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 1, 2013 @ 5:22 am

  111. Hello Paul,

    I have just wiled a way a good part of what should have been a busy afternoon reading your wonderful blog and found it most refreshing and informative. I am in the process of packing down my life in London to move back North to work and live. I am aiming for in or around Skye and wouldn’t mind taking a little look around, I have been to Skye a handful of times in the past (and travelled around many of the Islands – Orkney, Harris, Lewis, Uist, Arran, Mull etc) but not for a few years now. I am looking for work and a cottage (or something of the like to call a home) and was wondering if you new of anything of had any tips. I was at leaving drinks from my current job and a friend Richard Hughes told me about your blog. Anyway, it may be a shot in the dark, but I figured I give you a shout and see if you had any tips or knew of anything. All the best with your work and endeavours.

    Bosun Smee

    Comment by Bosun Smee — October 4, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    • Welcome aboard Bosun Smee,

      well there’s always http://www.greenshifters.co.uk/for_sale/1394_3_4_Bed_Croft_House_with_Land_Available :-) Seriously though, there are quite a few properties for sale on Raasay at prices well below Skye and the mainland. Sure it’s an island but we’re better connected to the main bus bus routes and roads than most places without the traffic :-) And of course the ferry service is very good :-)

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 4, 2013 @ 5:38 pm

  112. Will you be working on MV Lochinvar? I live on the Isle of Bute and follow the hybrid development as I have just converted my own sailing yacht to pure electric propulsion. See https://www.facebook.com/ElektraYachts and a wee bit of an article in the local paper today. http://www.buteman.co.uk/news/local-headlines/bute-yacht-s-electric-power-leads-a-quiet-revolution-1-3133540 This Summer I have done 600 miles on sail and electric motor and total energy consumption has been 100kW. Interested to see you only use 3.5kW per day wheras as folks on Eigg have a budget of 5kW. Enjoying your posts. John R.

    Comment by Panomphaean — October 11, 2013 @ 10:37 am

    • Nice work John,

      I’ll only be working on the Hallaig as far as I know but anything is possible. I usually visit Bute once a year for dry docking at Ardmaliesh, it’ll be in February 2014 so perhaps we could meet up, I’d love to see Elektra. I think we only use 3.5kwh because we’ve no electric kettle or central heating, 5 is quite realistic I’d say.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 12, 2013 @ 7:30 am

      • That would be fine. Look forward to it. Drop me an email and I’ll give you my mobile.

        Comment by Panomphaean — October 13, 2013 @ 1:04 pm

  113. Paul,

    I’ve been following your website for a year or two and feel I should finally post a big “Thanks!” I started out simply enjoying the inside take on the hybrid ferry (I’m a design engineer in the marine world). But, now I find myself enjoying as much your posts about living off the grid and of course your doings at the end of such a historical and inspiring road. The story of Calum MacLeod is such a great story!

    My surname is Scottish but have no connection to Scotland whatsoever; am an American whose ancestors might have been the scum and villainy of Scotland centuries ago. But, I find the amazing photos, riveting stories of your island, and the history of Raasay pulling on me. It may be many years before I can even afford a trip to the UK, but I can assure you if I set foot on any of these isles it will require a visit to Raasay. And, of course, I hope to ride the hybrid Hallaig someday, too. Keep up the good work! I only wish I could be there (next week?) when that mighty ship begins service for all the people of Raasay with I assume some sort of big kick off.

    Thanks Again!

    Will

    Comment by Will Ayers — October 12, 2013 @ 12:39 am

    • Hi there Will and welcome aboard,

      really pleased that you’re enjoying my efforts, a little encouragement goes a long way :-) Hope to see you on the Hallaig some time and show you around.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 12, 2013 @ 7:21 am

  114. Paul,
    I came into this part of your site to say thank you for the kishorn part which is what I was interested in, (I googled kishorn medal) but since then I have looked at more of your bits on this, sorry for my ignorance but I think this is called a blog !!
    What I am trying to say is apart from the kishorn bit, the information you put into this site for everyone is really quite amazing.
    Regards and thank you. Stan.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 13, 2013 @ 7:58 pm

  115. Oops that looks wrong !! The kishorn bit is amazing too. Lol.

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 13, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  116. What ho Paul,
    Otherwise known as todthedog, it just seemed easier than just peeping over the hedge so to speak

    Comment by Andrew — January 24, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

    • Good morning Brittany and welcome to the wild and windy far north west :-) Oh, and many thanks for the addy, we now have a working phone :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 26, 2014 @ 7:47 am

  117. Do you have any piglets for sale just now? – we live on Skye and heard you do sometimes have some that you are willing to sell.

    Comment by Christine Martin — March 30, 2014 @ 6:43 pm

  118. Hi Paul
    We got a bit scared by one of your freeranging sows on our recent trip to Arnish – thought it better to jump back in our car (black BMW rather carelessly parked – thought there wouldn’t be much traffic to complain) than get too closely acquainted!. My husband is descended from the same MacLeod family that Calum of Calum’s road is from – and actually my husband’s ancestors are the ones that famously had their house burnt to the ground in Arnish and were kicked off Raasay and emigrated to Australia in 1852 because they had dared to get married without Rainy’s consent – as we were most interested to read in some of the local history books we saw on our visit there. Wow, this is a beautiful but harsh place to live. We had superb weather the 2 days we walked around the island in late April – and were interested to see from what we could how self-sustaining the houses in that area need to be – now I see your blog and can read more. If we won the lottery it would be fun to have a little cottage ourselves on Raasay to live in for a while. Keep up the blog – interesting reading.
    Ann & Gordon

    Comment by Ann Knight — May 17, 2014 @ 5:15 am

    • Good morning and welcome Anne, are you sure you didn’t put that sow in the back of your car, I’ve one missing :-) they’ll go with anyone :-)

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 17, 2014 @ 6:56 am

      • Although we are farmers in Australia we were both a little nervous about the size of that sow – also no chance it would have fit in our car – we had way too much luggage! I was also delighted to see your pictures of the evacuation day. That was the day we left the island and we’d heard about it from the lady at the village shop, and we were at the ferry the same time as you – watching the fire engine and lifeboat arrive. We got pictures too. Raasay was a real highlight of our trip and one day we hope to be back. :)

        Comment by Ann Knight — May 19, 2014 @ 12:34 am

  119. Hi Paul
    I`be been following your blog for 4 years now, thanks for the extra education you have given me, my wife and son and the time, thought and effort you put into it, its been a godsend I`m a practical guy see https://www.facebook.com/MerlinsHealingHouse/photos_stream but the little tips such as the Diesel bug and a hundred other titbits re wind turbines etc are priceless. We`ve just spent 2 years negotiating to buy a croft in Husabost on Skye for a self build from recycled materials in a timber frame and straw bale build croft house style only for the seller to withdraw at the last minute. Just when planning permission finally came through !!! So were back in the market for a site for a croft or building plot will be on Raasay looking at a site in Suisinish, come what may we intend to be living on Skye/Raasay next year somehow. Do you mind if I share your blog on the Social Enterprise website and Facebook pages we run.? See https://www.facebook.com/MerlinsHealingHouse/photos_stream .and http://www.worldfederationofhealing.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=1894. Not sure if this was best posted here or via e-mail.
    Thanks Roy

    Comment by Roy Bennett — June 11, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    • Hi Roy and welcome, sorry to hear about your sale falling through but you’ll be better off on Raasay :-) How about ours http://www.iosea.co.uk/3sarnish.shtml you could always knock the house down and start again :-) Feel free to link away.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 13, 2014 @ 1:06 pm

  120. Dear Paul, I was trying to find out what “make a pig’s undercarriage of” meant and wound up on an entry of yours from 2010. What a great site! I’m going to link to it from mine, fiftysteps.net (language learning). Persevere! Don’t ever get writer’s cramp!

    Comment by bill murphy — July 18, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

    • A ‘pigs undercarriage’ :-) welcome aboard Bill.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 27, 2014 @ 6:34 am

  121. Hi Paul
    I came across your blog the other day when I was researching shipwrecks! However theres obviously a lot more strings to your bow than diving and I ended up going right off at a tangent and spent hours reading all the other interesting stuff! Anyway I’m from Tobermory originally and have been researching and diving wrecks around Mull, Coll and Tiree for the last 25 years or so and I can see from the blog that you’ve obviously spent a bit of time diving around the same areas. I’d love the chance to pick your brains about a couple of the wrecks that you’ve been on which you had clearly dived long before we ‘found them’! It would be great to get a view on what they were like at that stage. Hope you don’t mind
    Cheers
    Iain

    Comment by Iain Maclean — November 24, 2014 @ 4:57 pm


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