Life at the end of the road

March 13, 2009

The double whammy!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:03 pm

Actually this should really be yesterdays post but ‘satlink’ problems meant I could not get it out so to speak. So before wittering on about today I’ll finish off wittering about yesterday and the double whammy that hit me on reading the ‘West Highland Free Press’ that fine weekly oracle that is the local newspaper in these parts. My days of adrenaline rushes through diving, driving fast cars, motorbikes beat up old Land Rovers through daft places and going to raves are long gone and I now get excited at the prospect of shopping in Lidl 😦 It’s exactly a year since the Lidl roadshow came to Portree and the thought of cheap olives, salami, mozzarella, feta, pastrami, chopped tomatoes and kidney beans on my doorstep has helped me through the long winter nights. Imagine my horror when there on the front page is the headline ‘Lidl pulls out of Skye’ or words to that effect, there was also something about Tesco but I can’t remember what it was and care little OK if Tesco do come the Co Op may have some competition and prices may fall slightly but they both sell the same stuff and me I just love that quirky stuff with the foreign language labels and not a single Homer Simpson, Disney or Dr Who in sight. Not that there’s anything wrong with Dr Who but when I buy a packet of cereal I want to pay for the food inside and not commission to the BBC, Walt Disney or worse still Rupert Murdoch 🙂 ( more of him later ) Anyway having just got over the shock of page one I opens up the paper to see ‘Raasay to become dry island’ or words to that effect 😦 The http://www.isleofraasayhotel.co.uk/ lost it’s license over a year ago, the soon to be opened Dolphin cafe at http://www.raasayoutdoorcentre.co.uk/ burned down in January and now due to lunatic legislation by the Scottish government the ‘Raasay Stores’ can no longer afford the renewal fee for it’s license to sell alcohol over the counter. Which has in a misguided bid to combat underage drinking gone up from £80 to £800 !!!!!!!!!!!!! Whilst I’d be the first person to admit that the cities of  Scotland do have a problem I honestly can’t ever recall seeing a teenager on a Raasay street corner with a bottle of Buckfast harassing old ladies!

Friday the 13th!

The day got off to a fine start with the sighting of a kestrel hovering above the road just past Screapadale a buzzard on a fence at Inver and a wee rock pippet on the pier.  I dunno where the rock pippet spends his winters but he spends his summers on the pier, nesting under the decking and roosting under the Loch Striven’s upper deck on the cable trunking. He flies off the ferry when we get on in the morning and waits for us tying up at night before going to his favourite little spot and cr4pping allover the fire hydrant 🙂 Dunno what he does when we get called out at night and I hope he follows us over to the new pier later on this year.  Speaking of which I seem to have generated some debate about the height of our new berth, well chaps just to give you some idea of what it will look like at a good high spring tide on a CALM and MOTIONLESS day assuming it’s the same height as the Sconser structure here’s some piccies of the old girl getting a wash there last year, courtesy of Iain Robertson.

'When I'm cleaning windows'

'When I'm cleaning windows'

And whilst this low pier is ideal for cleaning the windows at high tide it does not afford a great deal of shelter and will make boarding/tying up and letting go very ‘interesting’ in poor weather.

It's a long way up!

It's a long way up!

Like I said I’m no expert and the numbers look lovely on paper but they don’t really mean much to me as I’ve a memory like a hen but what I do know is that the highest tides are always around 7:00am and 7:00pm when yours truly has to get on and off the boat 🙂

Red noses and white exhausts

The day was actually quite busy and we had to leave a couple behind at 8:30 and despite the forecast it stayed dry for most of the day though I didn’t see a great deal of it, being buried in the engine room on my ‘wee project’ which is to brighten it up a little by painting the exhaust lagging and deck head. I do the exhaust lagging every year as it comes back from dry dock covered in black hand prints that just won’t clean off so it’s easier just to paint over them.

Loch Striven engine room 13/3/09

Loch Striven engine room 13/3/09

Loch striven aft engine and port genny

Loch striven aft engine and port genny

The deck head I started last year before dry dock then got distracted so I’m doing that as well, all of which brings me back to Rupert Murdoch and one of his news papers but I’ll tell you about that next week after I’ve made a fool of myself 🙂 Speaking of which and she’s gonna kill me for this but it’s all in a good cause and I will pledge £10 to children in need.

"don't you dare"

"don't you dare"

But seriously would you leave your children with this person?

Sorry Miss!

Sorry Miss!

OK Wilma we’ll make it £10 for each picture, anyone who can spend the whole day like that in front of Raasay Primary and go to the Co op deserves it. Though she was not the only one! I spotted another teacher with red cheeks and three little pig tails 🙂 phew those kids must have been terrified! probably permanently scarred!


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