Life at the end of the road

October 31, 2008

The vampire and the wooden leg!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:37 pm

Well the weather today here on Raasay was pretty much a re run of yesterday without the frost, though it could well have been frosty at the south end as we quite often miss it here for some reason. Anyway I awoke with my usual enthusiasm for the day despite the most excellent glass or two of ‘Mission Peak’ red wine that we had with the chilli and chips! OK I know it’s not the most cordon blue of dishes but I got 4 bags of oven chips yesterday in Portree for the new freezer and whilst you can’t beat our own home grown ‘Golden wonder’ spuds I am partial to the odd helping of those limp reconstituted finger shaped thing that you just bung in the oven. First job after the usual round of feeding was to unload the 25 bags of feed out of the Land Rover and put them in the feed store, then round to my nieghbours chalet with the wood for ‘pig proofing’ her basement. The time now was around 9:00am, the sun was up and the red deer stags were still bellowing away to each other across the valley.

They never did stuff like this in my school

With my ‘Old girl’ unloaded I headed into the woods on my next mission which was to find 4 x 7′ long straightish lengths of wood for the Raasay primary school. Or to be more precise for Leon Durbin of who was coming to Raasay today to give the pupils of Raasay and Carbost schools a lesson in shelter building and bushcraft.

4 stick and 3 pigs

4 stick and 3 pigs

As is quite often the case when working in the wood I had some little helpers who just looked beautiful in the low, bright autumn sun. Now Leon is well capable of cutting his own wood but as time was precious, he’d never been to Raasay before and Highland regional council probably need him to fill in several hundred forms to take children wandering around the wood with a deadly saw it was far simpler for me to do it in my own wood and take the sticks down for him.

Leon Durbin

Leon Durbin

The Raasay primary school is fortunate in that it has it’s own little wood right outside the classroom and this is where I found Leon preparing for his lesson with a selection of tools for cutting wood and starting fires. We spoke for a while and I’d have loved to stay longer but the first set of pupils were waiting eagerly and I had to go down to the ‘Golden Emblem’

The wooden leg

If you read yesterdays offering you’ll know that we squared up the ‘Golden Emblem’ well todays project was to make up legs for her so she could be pulled further down the beach on the next big tide and not fall over when it went out. We made the two but could only fit the starboard side leg as there’s a large bank of stones and rubbish on her port side. However once she’s floating and pulled clear fitting the second one should be a doddle.

The wooden leg

The wooden leg

With leg solidly bolted to one of the ‘Emlem’s’ many ribs

The 'rib cage'

The 'rib cage'

Then we set about silencing the VERY noisy diesel generator with a wind turbine!

Aeolus 300w turbine

Aeolus 300w turbine

It was quite straight forward to assemble and just before it went dark we had it up, running and charging batteries!

Up and running

Up and running

The Vampire

Now I hate all this Halloween carry on, not the kids going out and having fun but all this cra4p we import from China in the form of masks, brooms, plastic eyeballs, and rubbish that will be in the dustbin tomorrow. What’s wrong with a pumpkin and a bit of imagination? why do we have to drag all this rubbish halfway round the planet to put it in a landfill? OK I know I’m miserable but I just needed to get that off my chest. Whilst I may well be an old f4rt the post lady isn’t and she got well into the spirit of things today by putting on red eye makeup, black lipstick, and hanging a vampire bat around her neck! so I hope she didn’t give anyone a fright and for anyone who didn’t notice the bat or the date SHE WAS NOT BEATEN UP by her husband!


  1. Hi Paul

    I found your blog from googling “Raasay Pier” as I was interested to see how the new one was coming along. I’ve no connection with Raasay except my mother lives in Gairloch and I’ve sailed these coasts for many a year (as a yachtsman, not in any professional capacity). Think the last time I was on Raasay was 1991 and I’m pretty sure we drove all the way to the end of Calum’s Road – I’d be surprised if we didn’t as driving to the end of a road just because I can is the sort of thing I do. Especially if it’s in the west Highlands and Islands which I just love. I also used to have a professional connection with the H&I and as well as loving the scenery, I’m very interested in the economy and general “social health” (if that’s not too pretentious) of these fragile communities (I hope it also doesn’t sound patronising).

    I’m also abnormally interested in Calmac ferries to a degree my OH finds unhealthy so you can imagine how interesting I found your blog (I thought the best pic was your clean repainted bilges) and I went back right to the beginning and read all your posts. I’m not that interested in pigs or Land Rovers but I’m sort of interested in wind and hydro power. Unfortunately, I’m just the worst sort of soft handed townie who barely knows how to change a light bulb but I have the greatest respect for people who can change an axle on a Landrover and then install a hydro the following day. I have A levels and Uni degrees coming out my ears but couldn’t even change a light bulb on a Landy.

    I’m now retired and live on an island as well – always a dream of mine. It’s Flores in the Azores. There are many similarities to the Hebrides but when people ask me to compare, I say it’s like the Hebrides 40 years ago.

    Anyway, mustn’t ramble any more, your blog is added to my favourites and you may expect more comments from me!

    Kind regards, Neil

    Comment by Neil King — November 2, 2008 @ 2:29 am

  2. I love your comments about all the JUNK purchased at Halloween! We decided NOT to spend any money on Halloween except for candy. The kids didn’t even notice — they just wanted candy.


    I linked to you, btw.

    Blessings from the States and our lousy election,

    Comment by Razor Family Farms — November 2, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  3. Never mind oven chips what about pudding and chips from Burnley road chippy,how will you drag the Golden Emblem down the beach on the next high tide?

    Comment by mark — November 2, 2008 @ 11:04 am

  4. Neil you’ll have to join the club.
    As we were lifting creels one day End of the Road commented on my “Office boy hands” nor really being up to the job of hawling up enless fathoms of rope
    Now wear Marigolds to hide my disfigurement.

    Comment by chrisb — November 2, 2008 @ 4:05 pm

  5. Hi Niel,

    Glad you enjoy my ramblings and you can look forward to some pictures of the Loch Striven in dry dock in a few weeks. I’ve also got some crackers of her just after she was launched in 1986 at Hessel on the Humber but they’re on ‘Lister’ my other laptop who’s in Germany at the moment beig repaired!

    Hi Lacy,

    Saw the link when I visited you the other day to check on ‘Razor family farm’ :-), Thanks

    Awrite Muz!

    many’s the day I dream of steak pud, chips, peas and gravy from Burnley rd chippy but tonight we just had to settle for a venison stew and roast veg from the garden 😦 and we should be able to pull the ‘Emblem’ out with a long rope from the Landrover on the pier. Watch tis space in a couple of weeks.

    And as for ‘Girlie’ hands Chris, mine are heading that way these days, don’t do much without gloves myself now. Been a bit busy today preparing for taking the ‘spotty pigs’ away 😦 but I’ll fill you in soon.

    Cheers to you all, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 2, 2008 @ 9:08 pm

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