Life at the end of the road

April 27, 2010

They’re all gone :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, stonework, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:34 pm

I must be well on the mend because I’ve had that Tuesday feeling for the first time in weeks despite not being at work. The ‘Tuesday’ feeling being that light hearted warm glow that all Calmac small ferry crews get on the last day of their shift. It’s the kind of thing that if you could bottle and sell would make you a millionaire and go a long way to solving the worlds ills. Anyway, I’ve had it all day, even though I have not spent seven gruelling days ploughing the high seas between Raasay and Skye 🙂 Of course it could be my biological clock, the full moon or the fact that I’m feeling much better, whatever the reason I’ve been annoyingly happy. Fortunately I’ve not been in anyone’s company long enough to really get on their nerves ( I hope ). I exclude darling wife from this category because I’ve known her long enough not to annoy her ( I hope ) 🙂

The poor day that was forecast yesterday and did not happen was prophesised for today also, in fact according to it should have been raining when I arose. It wasn’t so I rushed out to feed everyone early before the expected deluge that never came. The prophecy by Catriona Purll that wifey would feel like she’d been hit by a truck this morning was entirely correct so I left  her at home and took the boy to school.

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Though not before we’d rescued this small lizard from the cats and deposited him in a dry stone wall.

Another fine wall

Once he was safely deposited at Raasay primary school I headed along to the old mill to have a look at yet another fine bit of stonework.

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hector and cameron

Hector and Cameron were busy building a dry stone retaining wall by the Inverarish burn next to the old mill, which will one day become the Raasay Heritage Centre.

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It may even once the water wheel is restored generate electricity,

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originally built as a meal mill in the 1700s it was later converted to a saw mill and was in use well into the 1900s. Now owned by the Raasay Heritage Trust  it’s hoped that it will one day be a major visitor attraction and the start of the ‘Heritage trail’.

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I’d always wondered why the wheel was at the side of the mill but apparently there was a mill pond behind the mill that drew water from the stream via an aquaduct. The water was then directed on top of the wheel and then back into the burn here.

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And you cant even tell where the 18th century stone work finishes and Hector’s starts 🙂

Piggies away 🙂

The rest of my day was spent doing some long overdue work around the house, clearing stones off the lawn ready for the inevitable ‘first cut’. The stones are from the hens scratching around the bird table and you’d be amazed at the size they can move. The grass is well past needing that ‘first cut’ but I’m not that fit yet 🙂

A few bags of seaweed got dug into the raised bed in front of the house by wifey and I did much power washing of the paths around the house. Not exactly strenuous but it’s a start and I also managed three barrow loads of aggregate into some holes in the drive, though that almost killed me 🙂


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After lunch a tell tale ‘I’ve laid an egg’ cluck led me to a corner of the old byre where Ringo the duck was trying it on with a hen who was sat on two eggs. Pretty amazing really when you consider he’s blind! Around 16:00 wifey and I loaded the last four piglets into a crate for a good friend of mine to deliver to their new home on Skye just before the forecast wind and rain arrived.

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Just look how the indoor temperature rockets with the arrival of the wind, that must be the extra draught up the chimney on the oil stove because the heat dumps are switched off. The heat dumps are oil filled radiators that come on when the batteries are fully charged but I switched them off to let the batteries ‘equalize’, that’s giving them a really high charge every month or so to stir up the electrolyte.

That’s about it really, no more lambs arrived but my sister in law did, and just in time to baby sit for a long awaited night out at Raasay village hall to the music of Gary Innes and Ewan Robertson.

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Ewan is an awesome musician and played at my wedding, hopefully he and Gary will play music from their album Shouts  . He’s been in several bands, Session A9 and Braebach to name just two, equally at home playing traditional music or dance music alongside a DJ it promises to be a ‘kicking’ night.

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And there’s a bar 🙂


  1. Hi Paul
    just wanted to say thanks for the pics showing the progress at the mill. I have always admired the skill that goes in to building a dry stone wall and would love to watch it being done sometime.
    I especially liked the pic which showed our chimney stacks in the background, which have recently been renovated, as we have paid for the work without seeing it! 🙂
    There is also a very old water storage tank located behind and to the mill park side of the mill which used to supply all the water (via outside taps) for Mill place. The water from there tasted much better than the water now piped down from Dun caan 😉

    Comment by Derek — April 28, 2010 @ 8:40 am

    • Good morning Derek,

      I’ll email you some more chimney pictures shortly, though if the job was done by Steve or Ron you will have no worries about the quality 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2010 @ 5:42 am

  2. And if any followers of the blog missed Ewan and Gary on Raasay, they’re playing in Applecross on Friday evening (30th) starting at eight. It’s licensed too.

    Comment by alison macleod — April 28, 2010 @ 7:34 pm

    • Thanks for that Alison,

      we had a great night at the village hall, though had to leave early with our son as he’s got school today 🙂 Bought the CD though and that’s great.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2010 @ 5:52 am

  3. Hello Paul,

    We’ve not conversed before, but I have been looking at your blogs of late and I do find them very interesting. I live far away from your beautiful island in Brighton and my wife and I visited Raasay briefly last June, walked around the south western corner for a day and we absolutely loved it.

    Nobody I know down here has even head of Raasay and I have to admit that we hadn’t either, until we found it on the map and spotting the ferry link from Sconcer, felt we had to go and see it. Glad we did.

    It’s not only scenic, it’s an interesting place with a colourful history – Bonnie Prince Charley, the clearances, Calum’s Road etc. I’m sure we’ll be back.


    Derek Jones

    Comment by Derek Jones — April 29, 2010 @ 10:38 pm

    • Hello Derek,

      Glad to have you on board, next time you visit you should try the more rugged north end 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 30, 2010 @ 6:20 am

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