Life at the end of the road

June 18, 2010

45 mins only :-(

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:07 am

I know it’s been yonks since I’ve been on here but I’ve just been disappearing up my own rear end of late, rushing round like a maniac trying to catch up after our epic weekend at Rockness. Tuesday and Wednesday were kind of interspersed with frequent trips back to bed for a ‘wee sleep’, I’m just far too old for this festival carry on. Whilst the first day back on the croft was pretty much a ‘write off’ we did manage to get back on with the serious business of constructing a shed for my new hydro turbine.

 170610 001

And when I say ‘we’ I do fo course refer to Molly, my little shadow, who has not let me out of her sight since I returned.

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I’ve barely seen wifey as she’s been busy in the garden weeding and tending her strawberries.

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Me I’ve been carting stuff up and down a cliff to the site of my turbine, which with a memory like mine usually means that even after writing list I inevitably forget stuff. It would not be so bad were it not 500m from the house and down a small cliff 😦

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OK, I know it looks a little ‘Jed Clampet’ but just wait until it’s finished, anyway, you try using a spirit level and square properly inside a ‘midge smock’ with ‘Avon Skin So Soft’ streaming into your eyes, it is in short ‘midge heaven’ down there 😦


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It’s usually canoeists

All that took me up to 20:00, when just as I was returning back home I happened across a couple of cyclists, or should I say very tired cyclists. Said cyclists were wanting to know how far it was to ‘The Bothy’  an old croft house renovated by the

Who make a fine job of looking after almost 100 bothies in Britain where one can get shelter free of charge in the remotest of spots.

There was no way that the cyclist were going to make the trip in the condition they were in so I reluctantly ‘rescued’ them, I say reluctantly because it was late, I was tired, had little fuel on an Island without any and setting out on such a trip at that time was foolhardy to say the least. Still it made a change from that frequent summer activity of rescuing sea kayakers who find themselves stranded on these remote shores due to not listening to weather forecasts. Having said that ‘I’ve been there, done that, got the video, book and tee shirt’ so can hardly criticize others for getting in difficulty in there all too brief holidays 🙂

The 45 mins is almost up

Anyway, that’s it I’m afraid, yesterday, Thursday was a day of more hydro turbine and injecting piglets ready for delivery today.

 170610 017

Cleaning out and winching Bramble’s ark into a different spot

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opening up and cleaning out an old well high above the croft

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and finally getting the ‘Stream Engine’ in its house, but it’s 7:00am now and I’ve got to go and catch piglets 🙂


  1. Hi Paul

    Just wondering how you are going to stop the vegetation that is now in the ‘stream engine’ house going rampant?

    Comment by Derek — June 18, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    • Hi Derek,

      I’m putting in tomatoes next year, or perhaps a cash crop like cannabis, no one would ever see it down there 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 19, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  2. Dear Paul

    Like the shelter, have you got the new (old) 6mm swa cable in yet? I see you have got one of the pipes connected, most likely for testing, interested to see how you connect and interconnect the rest of them. I have to keep my self in check not to tell you how to do things having done this sort of installation work in many parts of the world over the years. Might not be a bad idea though to get a pick axe and cut a few steps down that slope. I would hate to try and scramble down there on a cold stormy winters night to do some repairs, a bruised bum is no problem but a broken ankle is.

    From what I gather you have been thinking about installing PV, any developments on that front? Nice complementary system, when the wind doesn’t blow the sun usually shines and the prices have been falling since the price of silicon fell from a price of $500 dollars a kilo a couple of years back to roundabout $50 dollars now. Just over the boarder in German they have been building some new houses in a village a couple of miles away, only about 6 or 7 but everyone has got PV on the roofs and solar water heaters. The farmer next door has had all the fixing for PV panels installed on his barn roof, that was about 2 months ago. I expect he is waiting for delivery as, the German Government is going to reduce the FIT in a few months time and he thought he would get into the scheme under the old tariff, better than milking cows. The Government says that it is too expensive. I don’t quiet understand the mentality of the government because the FIT has produced 60,000 jobs in Germany and a new industry producing the panels. They make money selling the panels abroad save on oil imports plus taxs paid by the 60,000 in work. To me it seems like a no brainer

    Bean counters though are not one of my favorite live forms, they are down there with the rest of the bottom feeding pond life, lawyers, second hand car salesmen, and of cause politicians. Looking forward to future developments.

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — June 18, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

    • Hi Dave,

      the cable is all I’m short of right now, weather permitting it might be on the cards for tomorrow, though it’s not looking that promising at the moment with a huge swell rolling down from the north 😦 The steps and perhaps a rope are on the cards but as with most things in life I’m unlikely to ever actually finish properly 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 19, 2010 @ 8:34 pm

  3. Sorry to bother you again Paul but if it doesn’t work out as it should, you could perhaps light your house with this, get the wife out tommorrow planting a couple more rows of spuds.

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — June 18, 2010 @ 12:17 pm

  4. Paul,

    Regarding the MBA and canoeists:
    1. as a member of the MBA: thank you!
    2. as a hiker and canoeist: thank you for leaving the pallets near the MBA bothy for all those years in the past. I remember putting a few in the fire in your honor …

    But please remember that as canoeists we did not need your help and as hikers the fact that we didn’t make the bothy in winter 1995 (between x-mas and Hogm.) meant we got to get to know our Norfolk Amber friends better than hours before on the old ferry (stange trip as it included the coffin with the body of someone to be buried on his native Raasay). So, giving stranded (and maybe unprepared or even silly) folk a place to stay for the night can evolve into new longlasting friendships too 🙂 .
    Let’s only hope these cyclists weren’t Dutch.. that could bring us a bad name in the North Raasay community 😉

    Did you check the 20W solar panel connection yet 😉 ?

    Comment by Leonard — June 18, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

    • PS, Paul,

      Am I correct in reading/understanding that you took these cyclists by boat to the bothy?
      Or did they share some space with your pigs 🙂 ?
      What would you ask for a planned transfer of a family of 4 to a spot near the bothy?
      You may specify this in Amber currency…


      Comment by Leonard — June 18, 2010 @ 3:35 pm

    • Hi Leonard,

      was it really 1995 that those ‘foolhardy’ foreign people tried to get to the bothy in a blizzard at night 🙂 How time flies 🙂 Never made it to Fladda but I did meet the ‘bootleggers’ on the car park today on their way out. Of course I apologized profusely for not making it over but they did mention a return in August and more of the ‘amber nectar’. Yes you’re right about long lasting friendships, I’ve stayed in touch with several people that have rescued me and pulled me out of the brown stuff over the years 🙂 which is why I can’t really complain too much 🙂 The cyclists were deposited by Land Rover eight miles south of here as I don’t have a boat suitable for carrying folk to the bothy these days 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 19, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

  5. Hi Paul. How is your turbine going to work? Perhaps I missed a post when you explained it.

    Comment by Rienza — June 18, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  6. Hi Paul,

    Have been regular reader of your blog ever since my parents brought it to my attention recently. It brings back some great memories for me. My father used to run biology field trips to Raasay during the late 1960s and 1970s, and I have been fortunate enough to visit the island on several occasions. However, the last time was back in 1986, so I imagine things have changed a bit since then.

    Particularly remember playing football with the locals on one occasion, going fishing with a Mr Nic(h)olson, climbing Dun Caan, watching golden eagles at Fearns, and visiting Brochel Castle. I’m also pretty sure that we once bumped into Calum MacLeod with his wheelbarrow.

    So Raasay is like a ‘spiritual home’ to me, and I am very tempted to make a return journey very soon. Might even be this summer, if I can get my act together and look round for some suitable accommodation.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Paul. As I’ve said, it brings back some great memories of times spent on Raasay, as well as keeping me up to date with more recent happenings. Hope that you’ve recovered from your recent ailments!

    Best wishes

    Brian Watkins

    Comment by Brian Watkins — June 19, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    • Hi Brian,

      1986!, Yep I’m sure you’d notice a few changes but most of what you love will be just the same, glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 19, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

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