Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2009

How do they do it ?

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:55 pm

I’m not long in after a very long day in a Land Rover and off to bed so I’m just going to stick today’s pictures on here and you can use your imagination for now and I’ll add the text tomorrow, probably around 5:00am πŸ™‚

5:00am, well that was a laugh, I had to be dragged out of my bed this morning at 7:05 and it’s now 20:00 so I’ll get on with yesterdays effort which started as usual with feeding the ‘wee darlings’, 4 of which will be going to the abattoir on Monday 😦 With  two of those fine ginger beauties heading for
shortly afterwards so if your anywhere near Kyle, Portree or Mallaig why not ask for some ‘serious free range’ Raasay pork. It might not be cheap but you won’t catch swine flu from it and your taste buds will thank you for the rest of your life πŸ™‚ Anyway after the usual early start it was down to the ferry for the 7:55 sailing to Sconser. We had a long day on the road ahead of us in the ‘Old girl’ my 1986 Land Rover, which whilst I love her dearly is not a long distance cruising machine by any streatch of the imagination. The first port of call being Fort William a mere 115 miles away to go for a medical. It was not until 13:00 but we’d various bathroom tiling and plumbing fittings to pick up as well as half a ton of pig food from Harbro in Fort William.

Me fit!

I’ve been for more medicals than most people, the insanity of which never seems to amaze me, I used to have to get a medical for diving, a medical for fostering, a medical for working on the ferry and the odd one for insurance purposes. I’ve even had two different ones by the same doctor on the same day! All these have had one thing in common, well apart from generally leaving me inconvinienced or out of pocket and that is that the doctor who ever he or she is always tells me how increadably fit I am. One doctor asking me if I played the bagpipes because my lungs were huge! and the doctor yesterday asking me if I excerscised alot because my BMI was perfect! All I’ve got to say if I’m a fine specimin of the human race with my sore joints acheing back, poor hearing, bad eyesight and shocking memory then we are all well and truly doomed!

So with my ego boosted I jumped into the ‘Old girl’ at 13:45 and raced north eastwards up the ‘Great glen’ past lochs Lochy, Oich and Ness to our next destination, B and Q in Inverness. I use the term raced in the context of an almost veteran vehicle of less than 90hp with half a ton of pig feed in the back thundering up the A82 at around 50mph. We were having to increase our average speed by some 10mph to enable us to cover the extra 70 or so miles that going to pick up floor tiles for the bathroom would involve and catch the last ferry back to Raasay at 18:45. Whilst I love driving up and down a deserted ‘Calum’s road’ on Raasay I hate driving in traffic and despair at the way that driving seems to bring out the worst in people, fortunately the roads were quiet and once in town my intimidating old truck which would loose half a BMW, Audi or GTi under an axle without even noticing means that people generaly give way πŸ™‚

Loaded up with even more cargo in the form of tiles, adhesive and shopping we headed westwards for home. Once past what must be one of the last single track major A roads in Britain at Glen Morriston I asked the swineherd if she’d take over the helm.

Wishing I’d done it sooner I settled back in the passenger seat, relaxed and took some photo’s, the previous two being of Glen Shiel.

Wild goats at Kintail

Kyle of Lochalsh from the Skye bridge Ashaig

Ben na Cailiach and the red Cuillins from

Ben Tianavaig on the left and Dun Caan on the right from Ard Dorch about 10 mins before Sconser and the Raasay ferry which we caught with about 15 mins to spare. By the time we arrived home at Arnish we’d covered 298 miles and 11.5 gallons of fuel and I was wrecked. I might be fit but I really have to take my hat off to people who spend their whole day at the wheel because I certainly could not do it!

April 29, 2009

Mayflower in April!

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:19 pm

Well it’s been another bonny day here but I’m afraid that I spent most of it in the bathroom so there’s not really much in the way of photo’s or excitement. I took advantage of my first ‘bacon’ day (a bacon day being one spent at home as opposed to a ‘banana day’ which is one spent on the Loch Striven) by having a wee lie in bed until 6:00am before going out to feed my herd and flock.

Which this morning had increased by one, Nanny, our oldest and somewhat toothless Soay ewe had given birth to a fine ewe lamb during the night.

And no matter where Nanny went the lamb was sure to follow, even if it was a near vertical slope!

Still these sheep were bred to share the cliffs of St Kilda with the sea birds so a grassy slope at Arnish was a walk in the park for these two girls that have more in common with goats than sheep!

Ne’er cast a clout till may is out!

It was whilst looking for Nanny that I spotted this

The first hawthorn or mayflower, the old saying refers to not removing any clout (clothing) until may, the flower and not the month is out, well today it was out a full 12 days earlier than last year and it’s not even May yet! OK, I know it’s probably been out south of here for ages but it’s pretty early for Arnish I can tell you.

 Mussels, white wine, cream and curry!

As I said most of the day was actually spent on the tiling epic in our bathroom,which despite my misgivings about doing the whole bathroom in tiles is beginning to look quite good so I’m starting to warm to the idea. As the four of us ( wifey, in laws, and your truly ) had spent most of the day, cutting, sticking and grouting, dinner had been left to the last minuet and was hastily conceived with little preparation. It did however turn out to be cuisine of the highest order. I am very fortunate in having access to some very fine mussels on Sconser pier, when the low tide coincides with a long wait there at either 12:30 or 15:45 which it did on Monday so I lifted half a bucket full and removed the barnacles. Today I threw them in a pan, poured 1/3 of a bottle of white wine over them brought them to the boil then threw in a pot of double cream and a spoonfull of 20 year old curry powder.


The reseult was spectacular πŸ™‚ and we follwed it with pasta ‘au squattie’ which again was completly off  the cuff but divine. Bacon chopped up with leeks and squat lobsters ( courtesy of the ‘Golden Dawn’ ) with melted cheese poured on top and the remains of the creamy mussel sauce. Pure cholesterol on a plate but worth every day that it’s probably knocked off my lifespan πŸ™‚

So now with my end drawing ever closer I’m going to bed!

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