Life at the end of the road

November 29, 2008

The big day out

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:32 pm

Well that’s it over, Raasay’s biggest yearly event is by with. Now it might seem strange to people who don’t actually live here that the annual school coffee day is the most eagerly anticipated function of the year. Of course you might just think that living on a wee island we haven’t got anything better to do and you’d be wrong. Well actually you’d probably be right just at the moment with Raasay House being closed for renovations the hotel being closed for the winter and the village hall not being fully open yet 😦 but even if all these other venues were open this would still be the islands biggest draw. In almost 20 years of living here it has never ceased to amaze me that a school with as little as 6 pupils and at the most 30 could pull in such a crowd and raise so much money. When you consider that there are only 90 odd permanent addresses on an island with less than 200 people then the fact that they have never raised less than £1000 in 20 years and considerably more in many is a testament to the community.

Such a pefect day

It’s a song by someone, but it was!

The Storr ( again )

The Storr ( again )

The day started as ever with the usual round of feeding only this time I separated out 3 of the Tamworth gilts for their trip to Dingwall on Monday 😦 after which it was a mad rush to get all the little jobs like emptying the feed from the Land Rover and re building the dashboard done before heading down to the school behind the gritter.

Gritting 'Calum's road'

Gritting 'Calum's road'

Though the nice man did let me pass with my precious cargo of chili, the wife having set off earlier with her chicken curry. As I arrived a little late all the heavy moving of tables etc had been done and already a fine macaroni and ham soup had been brought in by Ann Macleod two wonderful salads by Mairi Nicolson, and some bean salad by Anna Kenny. Hugh (Hooky) Mackay was busy unloading his digger for the ‘Raasay Digger Challenge’ and Chrisabeth Brown along with Jane Gillies were busy unloading mountains of home baking. Many more people brought stuff and helped but I spent most of the day in the kitchen with the ‘Babes’ slaving over a hot stove and the washing up so missed a lot of it!

Kitchen Babes!

Kitchen Babes!

Despite having sweated in the school kitchen all week and looked after all the guests at B&B Anda brought in a wonderful soup and kept us all in line in her kitchen. You can tell she’s a professional by the gloves! Outside the kitchen there was plenty going on


There was a fine ‘Crofting calender’ on sale


Which was designed and drawn by the pupils, clicking on the images will enlarge them and many thanks to Balfour Beatty for sponsoring it. There was a spectacular cheque handover from Balfour Beatty to the school but yours truly was so busy washing up he missed it. I did however have chance to go and try what must have been one of the biggest attractions and that was the ‘Raasay Digger Challenge’ which involved lifting a bucket of water off the ground, slewing it round and placing it on three different platforms, trying to do it as quickly as possible whilst retaining as much water as you could in the bucket.

Not unlike playing a piano!

Not unlike playing a piano!



Other attractions included a raffle for amazing prizes like a Half hour flying lesson from nights out in various hotels ( which once I’ve found out which ones they are I’ll tell you and if anyone has a list of prizes could they email it to me ) The piano playing digger driver winning the plane trip and a night in a posh hotel. There was also a trip from as a prize. The silent auction included a selection of tools, electrical equipment and two piglets which could end up on the menu at when it re opens for Easter! Two excellent arial  photos one of ‘Calum’s Road’ and one of North bay and the old pier donated by George Rankine fetched excellent prices. There was ‘guess the weight’ of a cake and clootie dumpling both of which were won by Gina Ferguson ( again ) years of working in the Raasay stores has given her very accurate scales in her hands!


The dining room was busy all day with everything being eaten and all the plates coming back clean! which either means the portions were’nt large enough or people realy enjoyed them. Ann Macleods macaroni took an early lead, the two large dishes running out first, the chilli was a bit slow off the mark but soon gained ground and caught up with Barbara’s chicken curry both of which ran out around 2:30pm which was pretty good really considering that it was our first time. All in all it was a fantastic event on an amazing day and whilst it’s not possible just now to give an accurate count of the takings it will certainly be around the £2000 this year which has to be some kind of record for a school with only 16 pupils.

The end of a perfect day

The end of a perfect day

And once the washing up was done and the kitchen cleaned I watched the sun go down over the Cuilins from the playground.


  1. Really love the calendar.

    Comment by Lindsay — November 30, 2008 @ 8:47 am

  2. What a fantastic day Paul!
    Definitely visiting you in 2009 mate, might even stay in the Old Schoolhouse, having looked at the website.

    Comment by lloyd — November 30, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  3. What a gorgeous calendar!!!


    Comment by Razor Family Farms — December 1, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  4. Hi Hope the trip to Dingwall was uneventful.
    I like the calendar- it is not how I imagined it.
    Storr is magnificent as ever. xxx

    Comment by she over the way — December 1, 2008 @ 9:21 pm

  5. Congratulations to all on the fund raising Paul. Like the photo’s.

    Comment by Rienza — December 1, 2008 @ 10:13 pm

  6. Superb calendar!

    Comment by Simon — December 3, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  7. Hi everyone,

    Sorry I’ve not replied to all your comments sooner but I’ve hardly had time to switch on ‘Lister’ the laptop recently and I’ve gotta agree with you guy’s that really is a superb calender. The school always produces a nice one, usually of Raasay winter scenes but this has to be the best yet. Now I could be accused of being biased being as my boy did one of the pictures but I don’t think so 🙂 special thanks must go to Balfour Beatty who donated the money to make it possible and of course to the Raasay primary school staff who’s brilliant idea it was 🙂

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 3, 2008 @ 6:22 pm

  8. Hi Lloyd,

    The schoolhouse would be right up your street mate. It even has a smoker that was used by HFW himself! Though perhaps you do enough smoking at and would like a break 🙂

    Cheers, Paul

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 3, 2008 @ 6:27 pm

  9. Hi paul, i was wondering if there is a reward for the capture of this “buffalo bill” character?….. as the dog end hanging from the mouth looks familiar. Hope you all had a good day.

    Comment by sally anne — December 8, 2008 @ 12:06 am

  10. Hi Sally Anne,

    uncensored picture on the way so you can make sure it’s the same person before you call the SWAT team!

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 8, 2008 @ 6:52 am

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