Life at the end of the road

January 19, 2011

Grouseaten :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:12 pm

I had hoped to celebrate my tenth wedding anniversary in a newly refurbished Raasay House, for that is where the swineherd and I tied the knot exactly ten years ago today.


Of course, as you know the place went and set on fire just hours before our eighth anniversary and only days before the keys were to be handed over.


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For a while it looked like we might be at least able to celebrate our eleventh there but since the main contractor ‘ROK’ went bust a two months ago even that looks highly unlikely. Now though the once fine building seems to be stuck in a kind of limbo awaiting some kind of decision from the insurers and the local enterprise company.  Meanwhile the staff make the most of it working from the hotel , the security guards trudge around and the roof is open for yet another winter.

Me though, I really know how to spoil a girl, so we spent the day fencing up at the new shed site 🙂

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It’s a good job that I don’t do this for a living as I’d never make any money at it as it took us all day just to put 23m of ‘Ryloc’ up 🙂

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Once the wire section was up I squared the strainer up with a ratchet strap and filled that section in with six wooden rails. The gap between the strainer and gate post being just the right distance for a 3.6m rail 🙂 It would have been cheaper and easier to do it in wire but one day we hope to build a house up here and a wooden fence is much more welcoming 🙂

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The extra post that I’d fitted last night as light was failing got an extra battering today with this fine ‘tamper’ that I was given a few years ago.


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With a six foot long shaft and this heavy lump of cast iron at the bottom it’s perfect for tamping down rock close up to the post, indeed it was probably made specially for doing telegraph poles 🙂

Again, it may not seem like much was done but we were very pleased with our days labours and when the sun went down and light failed I called it a day.

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I retired to the workshop where I fitted a new pressure gauge to my Navitron water turbine 

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I also had a look at my ‘wire pullers’, these would be fantastic tools if they were just made of better quality materials, the bottom one, a Draper failed when this steel plate broke.

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It’s difficult to see on the picture but that black bar should not be kinked up on the right, it has broken inside the blue bar where the hole for the rivet goes through it. An easy enough job to fix on a rainy day but it’s an inherently weak design due to the forces involved.

So when I saw that much sturdier looking forged red affair at Frank Nicol in Dingwall I bought it. After only one short section of fence it’s already badly worn at the jaws, I am not a happy chappy 😦

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I filed the jaws up on the red one to make it usable but it will be going back 🙂

The first grouse

Leaving the workshop to walk up to the house I was confronted by this awesome full moon, no wonder I’ve been hyperactive of late 🙂

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Anyway after treating my wife to a days fencing the least I could do was make dinner, and the only thing that came to mind had been hanging in the generator shed for over two weeks. Now the nearest I’ve ever been to a grouse is watching these dudes 🙂 I saw them for the first time in the Clash tent at Rockness in 2009 and they were one of the highlights.


However the grouse I’m talking about was one that I’d hit with the Land Rover a few weeks ago and had hung in the shed to mature. Everyone I’d spoken to said at least two weeks with the guts in, now I must confess that the thought of Mr Grouses festering entrails did not really appeal to me. Now I know you don’t eat them but just hauling them out of that wiffy wee bird after hanging upside down next to the Lister HR2 for 16 days didn’t excite me either. So I just plucked his breast and legs and cut off the meat.

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Camilli’s pasta grouse

So I just diced up the meat, fried off some onion, garlic and ginger in a large pat of butter, finely chopped up some mushrooms and threw them in with the grouse. A tin of chopped tomatoes followed by a glass of red wine, three bay leaves, some dried basil, and a little salt and pepper was then added. It was then left on the stove to reduce before serving with pasta twists. We were all much impressed 🙂

Anyway, that’s it, now I’ve just popped the cork on some champagne and I’m going have a wee glass or two with wifey of ten years 🙂


  1. The Draper wire pullers are indeed crap. I bent the black steel bar on mine into a banana shape. And no, not across the flat but through the inch-deep section.

    I love the GPO tamper. Mine’s not bad but it has a square face and isn’t grooved to slide down the side of a round post. I’ll have to see if I can turn up one like yours.

    Comment by Stonehead — January 19, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    • Morning Stoney,

      That tamper is indeed the bees knees, when I had it given I thought it was a bit light but it really seems to do the biz. Do you have any suggestions for wire pullers ??

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 20, 2011 @ 7:45 am

  2. Congratulations!

    Comment by Vivian — January 19, 2011 @ 11:41 pm

    • Hi Vivian, Mimi, Flora,

      thanks for that, it really is a miracle that wifey puts up with me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 20, 2011 @ 7:46 am

  3. Happy Anniversary!!!!

    Comment by Mimi — January 20, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  4. Congratulations on your 10th anniversary. Glad you did something useful on the big day. My wife got a day out on her 40th birthday: a ride in a Mercedes – sadly a battered old Mercedes VAN from the transport firm we then ran. We went to glamorous Milton Keynes to fetch some coach parts. No time for shopping either; the parts had to be rushed back to Kent to rescue a bus-load of holidaymakers. You need to keep things in proportion on these big days!

    Comment by John, Isle of Sheppey — January 20, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    • Hi John,

      yup, you really do have to get your priorities right 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 20, 2011 @ 7:47 am

  5. Wishing you a very happy anniversary! And many more years enjoying your eclectic island life together.

    Comment by Flora — January 20, 2011 @ 2:53 am

    • Morning Flora,

      thanks for that, and now I most go and do some eclectic fencing with my darling wife 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 20, 2011 @ 7:48 am

  6. Congratulations to you both! My Jamie’s a fencer I’ll ask for his recommendations on wire pullers

    Comment by Phil — January 20, 2011 @ 7:19 am

    • Good morning Phil,

      sorry you never made it north over the festivities, we’re still enjoying Hamilton’s black pudding by the way 🙂 Any recommendations on wire pullers and tips gratefully received 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 20, 2011 @ 7:53 am

  7. Congratulations, both of you!
    Lang may yer lum reek!
    (You don’t look a day older than in the photo….)

    Comment by Sue — January 20, 2011 @ 8:25 am

    • Thanks for that Sue, Chris and Yestosh,

      Much appreciated, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:04 pm

  8. Glad you had such a glorious day for your Anniversary, here’s wishing you all greatest happiness for the future

    Comment by chrisb — January 20, 2011 @ 8:35 am

  9. Congratulations to you both and heres to many more years of happiness together.

    Comment by yestosh — January 20, 2011 @ 9:37 am

  10. The penultimate shortlist profile of the 2010 transatlantic diablog award. Here it is. Bud of Older Eyes awaits you…–-shortlist-profile-4-older-eyes/

    P.S.: Congratulations to both of you, Paul.

    Comment by administrator — January 20, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    • Thanks for that Administrator,

      my eyes are feeling quite old right now after very little sleep 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:05 pm

  11. What a grand way to celebrate an anniversary! Healthy exercise, someone else cooking and fizz!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — January 20, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    • Hi KC,

      it was purrrfect 🙂 how corny was that 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:09 pm

  12. Happy anniversary! Sounds like a tasty dish – Grouse al dente!

    Comment by Robin brinkler — January 20, 2011 @ 1:04 pm

    • Cheers for that Robin,

      perhaps we could hire you for the 12th anniversary at Raasay house 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  13. Whats that yellow thing strapped to the post? never knew you could use one of them Paul.

    Comment by MW — January 20, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

    • Hi MW,

      it’s not mine it came with my sons Bob the Builder kit some years ago 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:16 pm

  14. Hi Paul

    Any chance of some Cuillin pictures (if they out). Would like to see if there is much snow up there before venturing north tomorrow.

    Comment by simon — January 20, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  15. Congratulations! I’m raising a glass of rose elixir to your next decade!

    Comment by Sarah Head — January 20, 2011 @ 8:27 pm

    • Hi Sarah,

      I’ll be raising one myself shortly, thanks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:18 pm

  16. Congrats to You and Wifey only another twenty to go before you catch up with me Paul, I use to knock it until I tried it now I would recommend it am I going or have I gone insane

    Comment by Stan Henderson — January 20, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    • Well done Stan,

      thirty years hey, I’ll be 74 then and probably in a home 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  17. Many congratulations and best wishes for the future

    Comment by sotw — January 20, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

    • Hi SOTW and thank you,

      hope to see you soon, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 22, 2011 @ 4:20 pm

  18. For durable long lasting kettles you should try AGA, link below.

    The original ones were almost indestructable!

    Good luck.

    Comment by John Warhurst — January 21, 2011 @ 10:11 am

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