Life at the end of the road

May 30, 2008

Boxers on a hot tin roof

Filed under: daily doings, harbour, How I — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Been another scorcher here at the north end but I missed most of it as I was being a responsible parent for a change and helping out at the school. Well that’s a bit of an exaggeration actually, I was sat in the mini bus making up ‘responsible adult’ numbers for the swimming lesson in Portree and we did manage to get back to Raasay on the 11:20 ferry ( just )

Raasay Harbour

As i’ve been on holiday and spending most of it on the croft I’ve not seen much of the new harbour works lately. The Dude said there’d been some blasting done yesterday but by all accounts the warning sirens were more spectacular than the event. Anyway after disembarking from the ferry I went over to the battery for a mermaids eye view of operations.

The story goes that the commissioning of these two stone mermaids bankrupted the last Macleod at Raasay house and he fled to Tasmania. Personally I don’t believe it and if it is true he must have had pretty poor taste or bussiness acumen because they’re hideous and I’m sure he could have blagged his way out of the deal under the sale of goods act or at least its 19th century equivalent. But whatever you think of them they do have a fine view of the Cuillins and the harbour!

No that’s not the new harbour wall but some steel shipping containers filled with rock to act as a temporary structure for loading and unloading and if you ask me it’s probably better than the one the ferry is using now.

Anyway I’m off to bed and I’ll finish this in the morning.

Well I’m back now after red wine induced sleep and feeling much better after lying in bed until almost 7:00am which must be a record for May.

The mountain moves again

This roadway which is being built by ‘Twiggy’ ‘Popeye’ and ‘Hooky’ ( the artist formally known as ‘grumpy digger driver ) is the latest resting place of Raasay’s very own ‘moving mountain’ having first of all resided in front of the ‘Raasay village hall’ for a year it was then deposited at Clachan and is now being used here. As well as this the accommodation units had arrived for the divers and were being craned into position.

Painting corrugated iron

With my spying completed at the harbour site I headed home to get a bit of roof painting done whilst the sun was high. Now I don’t profess to be an expert at this but having 7 sheds and 1 house with ‘crinkly tin’ roofs I have done rather allot of it so will pass on some of my observations. The first and most important being that you can’t just paint it when it’s new. That is unless you use a specialist ‘etch primer’ if you paint it without an etch primer it will just peel off after a couple of years making it impossible to paint properly without removing all the old paint. You can get two types of primers that are suitable. One is just like an ordinary paint to use and the other is like water to use I think it’s called a ‘wash primer’ they both seem to work well enough but the wash is much quicker to apply. The easiest way however is just to let it weather in the elements for a couple of years, It used to be that a year was long enough with all the acid in the rain but nowadays I’d give it 2. By far the best tool for the job is a ‘barn roller’ a 9″ wavy paint roller available from

And whilst this is by far the easiest tool to use the company that sell them are less than helpful to say the least. They advertise free carriage on goods over £50 but when I ordered £50 worth of  rollers and brushes they were going to charge me £44 extra for delivery, when I pointed out that they could post them here for £5.50 they were not impressed and when I gave them an alternative mainland address they said that they could only deliver to the card holders address. This is despite having done so before so in the end I gave up and used a 4″ brush!. In the past I’ve used a long handled sweeping brush and a big tray and whilst being very quick and effective it is a bit messy so I confine that method to barns and sheds. The best paint by far for the job is

I used to use ‘Trimite farm oxide’ but they appear to have gone out of business. I’d chosen to do this now as it was too hot for the dreaded midge, however the heat does not seem to bother the ‘clegg’ or horse fly. Now you can usually kill these blood suckers quite easily before they bite but up a roof with a pain brush in one hand and a bucket of paint in the other it’s risky to say the least. With this in mind I decide to wear my overalls despite the heat. 10 mins later they were thrown on the floor closely followed by my T shirt and I ended up painting in my boxer shorts! I never did get the roof finished as I’d promised the boys that we’d go out fishing as we’d seen mackeral playing in the loch. We never caught any but we did catch this wee chap and let him go.


  1. Not sure of Mary-a few choices..could it be Margaret ? a few choices there too..and what does it say about cows ? Yes, all paid and 3 of black fossils in advance – I quess the guy will see you about them. I lost your email address – pressed delete (when I intended to save) and I cannot find it anywhere. The gaffers hard drive is at the IT surgeons getting its intestinal organs checked. It sounds very painful- the plastic card will not be the same again!. Hes also on emergency tax as his papers cannot be retrieved, DHSS procedures must be followed and nothing and noone can retrieve the necessary tax code until DUE PROCESS happens. Do you know what that is, and how it can be got rid of ? We think its a rash… … !. TTFN

    Comment by she over the way — May 30, 2008 @ 11:13 pm

  2. Sounds like a job for Willy Eyre! our resident IT Boffin (definitely not geek!)

    will email me email

    P X

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 31, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  3. Your description roof painting brought back a few memories. I’ve painted quite a few corrugated iron roofs, but in even hotter conditions than you describe. Try painting an iron roof under the blazing Australian sun, when it’s 38-40C in the shade.

    We used to let new iron weather for three years, then apply a coat of red oxide primer and then a coat of silver paint. We used silver as it reflects a lot of the sun’s heat away from the house but the downside is that when you’re putting it on, the heat and light reflects straight up at the painter.

    If you stripped your clothes off, you were sunburned from above and below. If you kept your clothes on, you baked. Either way, sweat poured off you and you had to be careful not to dehydrate or you’d get dizzy and fall off the roof. Oh, and the glare was horrendous, especially in the days when good sunglasses weren’t as cheaply and readily available as they are now.

    Still, it wasn’t the worst painting job. That award went to painting the inside of corrugated iron water tanks with a fresh coat of bitumen paint. Sun belting down on the outside while you’re inside an oven-like tank with only a small round access hole for ventilation. Not a job to be done on your own, and always a job to be done with at least one person outside the tank.

    Well, cuppa finished and back to work. Fencing today.

    Comment by Stonehead — May 31, 2008 @ 9:24 am

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