Life at the end of the road

September 18, 2010

Meanwhile down the harbour

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:59 pm

 

I know I’m a really sad case and should not be plonking away here on a laptop at a music festival but I’m old, tired and need a rest from all the festivities 🙂 Last night was awesome and yours truly retired to his luxury Thomson Glenelg caravan before the rest of the team after a banging session with the ‘Grousebeaters’  http://www.grousebeatersoundsystem.com/ at the Argyll hotel in town.

Grousebeater Sound System - Photo by Steedsy.com

 

Of course being a crofter at heart and still having a biological clock linked to feeding pigs I was up much earlier than the rest of the revellers sharing my caravan. Being the perfect host I left quietly so as not to disturb everyone and had a wander down town to check out the boats. I know, I’m hopelessly dull 🙂 any sane person would have stayed in bed but I’d seen the Isle of Lewis sail by and wanted to check her out. Can you imagine that, here I am at a world class music event and I want to go and look at ship that belongs to my employer 😦 we are talking serious ‘anorak’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anorak_%28slang%29 materiel here!

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Anyway the rain had stopped so after doing the morning ablutions in a very clean toilet block I headed down to the harbour.

 

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once down there to watch the ‘Isle of Lewis’ discharge and take on fuel I came across a couple of old acquaintances, The tug ‘David Andrew’ that was instrumental in the construction of our new harbour on Raasay,

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who was built at the very same yard as the good ship ‘Loch Striven’

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though her plate was not as clean 🙂

Moored next to her was the ‘Nitrox’ a fish farm/diving boat that came from the same yard as the Lyrawa bay, a 1970s ferry that I did much diving work from in the 90s.

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Also down there, and looking pristine was this lovely single handed creel boat,

 

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‘Flower of Scotland’

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that I would have given my right arm for  15 years ago 🙂

Loopalluood

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 12:41 pm

So much for the weather forecast, it’s pishing down 😦 and it has been doing so for most of the night, still it’s done little to dampen the spirits of the 2500 revellers here.

 

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We left tranquil Raasay on the 10:55 ferry and had a lovely drive northwards via Strathcarron, Achnasheen, Loch Luichart and the Black Water river. The traffic was light and the frequent light showers interspersed with sunshine gave us a wealth of rainbows that enlightened the dying bracken and purple heather. Arriving at our destination http://www.broomfieldhp.com/ the Broomfield campsite around 15:00. Sandwiched between the town centre and the shores of Loch Broom with an Indian Restaurant at the gates and a number of pubs within yards it is the perfect place to stay for the ‘festival experience’.

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I’m not really into towns, pubs, organized campsites or having to unhitch my caravan and then leave the ‘Old Girl’ parked in the street, but space is at a premium here and the parking restrictions are eased for the festival. The atmosphere is friendly as are the traffic wardens, and the toilets (complete with showers) are streets ahead of any festival toilets I’ve ever seen 🙂

By the time we’d set up camp and removed the Land Rover the Ullapool pipe band came marching through the site and into the arena to open up the fest.

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After checking out the pipe band and retiring to the old Thomson Glenelg caravan for wee glass of wine I was soon drawn out by the pounding bass of ‘Silver Columns, http://www.myspace.com/silvercolumns an electronic duo consisting of Johnny Lynch and Adem Ilhan.

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They were really good and should have been on later and for longer, it was whilst discussing this with nearby dancers that were just as enthusiastic as I that I was told not to miss the next act. I’ve never heard of Carly Conner

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http://www.myspace.com/carlyconnor 

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it was an unforgettable experience, this 18 year old from Glasgow is going to be a superstar and I’ve a couple of videos that I’ll post to prove it when I get home 🙂

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Carly was followed by the Loopallu stalwarts, the Vatersay Boys who opened up with their version of the ‘Kishorn Commando’s’ that ballad about the 3000 ‘bears’ that constructed oil rigs in the wilds of Loch Kishorn in the late 70s and early 80s.

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Chorus:
We’re the Kishorn Commandos way up in Wester Ross
We never had a gaffer; we’ve never had a boss
But, we’ll build the biggest oil rig you’ve ever come across
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

Oh, every single morning we get wakened by a shout
Get up you idle buggers won’t you get your fingers out
And what do get for breakfast, seven pints of stout
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

Digging down a dusty hole till we can hardly speak
Summer sunshine, rain or snow we seldom stop to sleep
We work for 40 hours a day, at fourteen days a week
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

We’re the toughest gang of workers that you have ever met
We’ll work and fight with anyone and you can lay a bet
There may be some men tougher, but we haven’t found them yet
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

We never joined the navy; we’d never joined the RAF
We never joined the army, we’re not so bloody daffed
We’d rather come to Kishorn and get paid for skiven aff
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

You’re welcome here in Kishorn if you know how to work
We’ve Geordies here from Africa and Paddies from New York
We’ve Scowsers, Jocks and Taffies all from the County Cork
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

And when the job is over we’ll up and pack our bags
We’ll spend our money on the booze the women and the nags
But until then we’ll have to do with Navvys dressed in drag
Remember we’re the Kishorn Commandos

 

I never worked there but I did visit the site several times when it was closing down to dismantle buildings and remove scrap and it was MASSIVE. A huge dry dock cut into the solid Torridonian sandstone, cinemas, bakeries, giant cranes and acres of concrete set amongst the towering mountains. A place that still has several entries in the Guinness book of records, for amongst other things the construction of the worlds largest man made moveable object, the Ninian Central platform.

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Constructed in 1978 and weighing in at 600 000 tons it’s still in operation in the North Sea with Canadian Natural Resources, a testament to the men who built it.

The headline act of the night, Paolo Nutini was not really on my ‘must see’ list but I have to say that I was glad that I made the effort for he and his band were brilliant, though by the time I arrived the tent was mobbed and I only caught glimpses of him between bobbing heads.

The brilliant thing about Loopallu is all the stuff on the fringe, most gigs are in the middle of nowhere but here with it’s town centre location there’s lots going on nearby. I chose to go and check out ‘Grousebeater soundsystem’  who were playing at the Argyll inn

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and I have to say they were awesome.

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This dude being on far better form than he was at Belladrum earlier in the year 🙂

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