Life at the end of the road

February 13, 2011

Oh 5h1t :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, listers, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:41 pm

Sat here with two puppies on my lap a glass of cider by my side and a belly full of casseroled pheasant I can laugh about it, but this morning I was not a happy chappy 😦

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After I’d left you last night from my posting in the toasty Loch Striven mess room, well warm, reeking of garlic and liver with feathers from the freshly plucked pheasant wafting about in the convector heater that is 🙂 After I’d finished posting we set off for Sconser at 20:30 on a black and very windy night, so windy in fact that the

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forty knot southerly wind had us crawling along at 4.5knots at one point. The flood tide far from helping matters piled up a mean choppy sea half way across which seemed to hamper more than it helped. I know the picture’s cr4p put it was quite wobbly out there 🙂 Anyway at least it wasn’t raining and the return journey saw us flying back at around 9knots 🙂 so we were tied up safely to our new pier with extra ropes on and we were on our way home a little earlier than usual. We being a surprise passenger in the form of a big cockerel and myself, the cockerel was waiting patiently for me in a box by the Land Rover as I approached it.

I dunno what it is about me, but people are always giving me things, in the last week I’ve acquired a bag full of bandages and dressings, one red deer hinds liver, four pheasants and now a fine young cockerel 🙂

Anyway I left him covered up in the back of the ‘Old girl’ last night when I got home, had a bath then went to my bed. Not that I had a great nights sleep with the whining puppies waking up every few hours and wanting fed by a mother who was rapidly losing interest in them 😦

Sunday arrived, as far as I was concerned around 6:30 and I got up with great enthusiasm to meet her, I love my working Sunday 🙂 The Long Saturday is by with, it’s a short day and then all down hill until Tuesday, it takes allot to wind me up on a Sunday. A brief wrestle with the puppies hanging off my legs, a round of jobbie hunting and burning, a quick plonk away on here, a few cups of coffee and then out in the grey light of a February dawn to feed the pigs.

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Expecting to find Shona’s piglets snuggled up in the straw at the back of the barn I was beaming when I saw half of them at the barn door, three days old and already charging about outside 🙂

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Well most of them were outside 🙂

Whilst I got on with the feeding the swineherd cleaned out Bracken’s ark, Bracken is not the kind of sow that you clean out when she’s not distracted by food as she can be a little protective to say the least. Being stuck between 200kg of pig and her litter in the confined space of an ark is not something I recommend 🙂

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I’d almost forgot the cockerel in the boot (trunk if you’re in the US) so to speak but soon had him out and confined to his new quarters.

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This old dry stone barn behind the house has a covering of security fences (that I was given 🙂 ) and is great for confining hens for a few days until they get used to the place and can be let out. Our hens have no predators so are normally left totally free range and are not shut in at night.

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At one time it must have had a window in it but the previous owner saw fit to block it up, whoever did it, his stonework was not a patch on the original, not that I could do any better 🙂

As is usual for a Sunday I set off for work late, well not exactly late but later than I’d have liked, me being one of those annoying people that arrive early for everything. Actually I would have set off on time had I not had an appointment with a Manx cat on the way to work 🙂 The swineherd had been feeding and looking after a neighbour’s poorly cat of late, well I say neighbour but it’s 10 miles away. Not that that’s a problem because we’re 10 miles from anywhere and at least one of us drives past every day. Anyway, said cat has a little problem with its bowels for which I’d strict instructions to give it 3ml of paraffin oil and 1ml of something else by syringe orally. As anyone who has ever owned a cat will tell you this is no easy task, but to one who does tiny puppies, piglets and huge pigs on a regular basis it would be no problem :-)  And it wasn’t, no, I got kitty cradled comfortably on my lap, wedged her with my left arm against my chest and fired the 1ml of whatever it was down her throat, whereupon she fired a nice paraffin oil thinned pooh all over my uniform 😦 I was not a happy bunny, I was in fact a bunny covered in cat sh1t who was late for work. Driving the remaining mile to the ferry having left the traumatized cat in the kitchen my trousers around my ankles and screaming obscenities down the mobile phone to wifey to get herself down to the ferry terminal quickly with fresh clothes.

I really must have looked a picture as I abandoned my clothes on the pier and climbed on the ferry in my underwear 🙂 Wifey turned up just in the nick of time with fresh clothes and as far as I know the cat is still under the bed 🙂

More oil

With my fresh new clothes on and the mornings run to Sconser and back out of the way I set about changing the hydraulic oil on the ferry.

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Disconnecting one of the two hydraulic pumps that we run ‘week about’ and connecting the feed to a small ‘Jabsco’ electric pump to remove the oil.

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Once the old oil was pumped out,

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the fresh oil was pumped in and the filter changed.

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The hydraulic system is running all the time that the boat is in service so does allot of work, mainly operating the ramps but also the capstans and anchor windlasses. It is sampled at a laboratory yearly for contaminants such  as chrome which would indicate worn rams, copper, worn bearings and sodium for sea water ingress, nothing alarming had shown up in last years sample but at three years of age it was getting tired.


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After that was done the Land Rover got its fortnightly wash, the routine stuff got finished and we did the last sailing to Sconser, leaving just as the Serene was finishing her day at the prawns.

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We tied up by Raasay’s trawler ‘ lustre’ and I headed home via North Bay


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to arrive home almost in daylight 🙂

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Harry, my £1000 Lister HR2 12Kw generator was chugging away nicely at 1500rpm for only the second time this year, which was hardly surprising really as wifey had a pheasant in the oven and was busy trying to remove cat sh1t from my clothes in the washing machine 🙂

I really am at a loss why anyone would buy some piece of cr4p Chinese generator that screams away at 3000rpm pishing oil out of every conceivable orifice when you could buy a bit of history that will see you to the grave for the same money. I know there’s a wee oil leak from the inlet manifold, I’ve just seen it, I will deal with it, honest 🙂



  1. 😀



    Chinese crap? Cat crap? Or Chinese cat crap? Or just Peking style deep fried cat with sweet and sour sauce?


    Comment by Stonehead — February 14, 2011 @ 1:00 am

    • Hmmmm, deep fried cat, hope Kingdomcat isn’t reading this Stoney 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 14, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  2. Hi Paul.
    That reminds me of the old Chinese proverb. Cat who cr4p on minders knee make loose talk for everyone and washing for wifey.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — February 14, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    • Morning PS,

      “That reminds me of the old Chinese proverb. Cat who cr4p on minders knee make loose talk for everyone and washing for wifey.”

      🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 15, 2011 @ 6:05 am

  3. I dunno. You take pictures of just about everything, but not a crazy old man on a Calmac in his y-fronts. Come on Paul I need something to make me smile on a Monday morning in the office 😉

    Comment by Simon — February 14, 2011 @ 9:19 am

    • Definitely a missed photo opportunity Simon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 15, 2011 @ 6:06 am

  4. Hi Paul.Bit extreme for a non uniform day.More proverbs ,I am afraid:He who covered in crappy,not very happy- Mousey Tongue- The Little Brown book 🙂


    Comment by Andy — February 14, 2011 @ 9:55 am

    • Hi Andy,

      PSs Chinese proverb made me laugh, yours made me fall over 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 15, 2011 @ 6:07 am

  5. 😆the wee piggies are really filling out quickly–how old will they be when you take them to “heaven”No piccies of nice friendly pussy K.C will be unpleased😆 Are the other pups going to news homes soon?

    Comment by taddoe — February 14, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    • Morning Taddoe,

      the four ‘wee piggies’ will be going to new owners this week, Digger and Dumper to Bernisdale and the other two boys to Carbost 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 15, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  6. Thanks for the hilarious start to my day… like Simon, I’m wondering how you escaped being photographed trying to go to work in your drawers.

    Haven’t heard about Bee lately. Does she still follow you around while you work?

    Comment by Bob — February 14, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    • Good morning Georgia 🙂

      I mean Bob 🙂 Wee Bee at last thinks that she is a pig and not a person and has been exploring the north end of Raasay with the two Tamworths, Thelma and Louise for the last couple of months. She’s still friendly and has no fear but prefers the company of her own kind now. Which is great as it will make it much easier to part with her.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 15, 2011 @ 6:12 am

  7. Farmer say’s to neighbour, what did you give your horse when it were ill.Paraffin he say’s Paraffin ye paraffin o i’ll try that so off farmer goes gives his horse some paraffin and his horse drops down day he see’s neighbour again and ask’s him again what did you give your horse when it were i’ll. neighbour say’s paraffin.funny say’s farmer i gave my horse paraffin and it droped down dead,neighbour say’s i so did mine.

    Comment by MW — February 15, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

    • That was my mistake Mark,

      I obviously did not give the cat enough as it’s still alive 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 16, 2011 @ 7:04 am

  8. Lookout if sky clear on Thursday,Northern Lights could be about due to the sun sending out a lump of stuff in our direction

    Comment by Gary Brindle — February 16, 2011 @ 9:01 pm

    • Morning Gary,

      I will make a supreme effort to remember and watch for the northern lights, I rarely see them as I’m usually in bed 😦

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 17, 2011 @ 6:22 am

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