Life at the end of the road

February 23, 2011

Pretty dull :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:57 pm

Not much to report or even rant about today, it’s approaching 21:00 and I’m needing my bed 😦 Tuesday saw me back on the Loch Striven after a morning of the dreaded VAT return, that onerous task that I put off until the last possible moment every three months. To an organized person who’d keep all his invoices in order and issues his receipts in chronological order this would be a simple task. For one who just lets everything pile up on the kitchen units and only opens his mail when absolutely necessary it’s a bodooly nightmare 🙂

Anyway I got it done and even managed without the customary stiff drink afterwards, not because I didn’t need it but because I was working in the afternoon and had to go to Portree with some pig pooh for the vet 🙂 Regular readers will know that we’ve a batch of squiffy piglets at the moment and after speaking to the vet she asked for a sample. Rhona Campbell our vet in Portree is marvellous with  pigs and excellent at giving advice over the phone but there’s no substitute for the real thing 🙂 So after a brief conversation about colour, consistency and feeding regime I agreed to bottle some and take it in for analysis. “How much says I” to which she replied, “no more than a fistfull” 🙂 Of course me being busy with my VAT had to leave the collecting up to the swineherd and her mum 🙂

Now this I would have loved to witness as the pair of them went out, fed the piglets then followed them about with latex gloves and a jam jar, what a photo for the blog that would have made 🙂 The fistfull was more of a dessert spoon full but they managed and we all set off for the 12:15 ferry.

Rhona seemed happy and gave us some charcoal based stuff and an antibiotic to mix in if they didn’t clear up in a couple of days and we returned on the 15:00. I stayed on board the good ship Loch Striven to let my ‘back to back’ away and wifey went home to make dinner and deal with the herd.

  230211 002

Easing myself gently back into work by replacing a hydraulic hose on the forward ramp, a simple job, the hardest part of which is catching the few drips of oil that run out of the old hose as it’s removed.

Today it was back to work in earnest for my first full day, the normal routine of which was broken by a lack of noise in my Land Rover. With more sound proofing than an executive Mercedes, thick rubber and acoustic mats around the transmission tunnel and lead sheeting on the floor my 25 year old bucket is pretty quiet. The noise I refer to is John Humphries and the Today program on Radio 4. As you’re probably aware I don’t watch TV or read the papers but I do, one week out of every two listen to the radio on my trundle up and down ‘Calum’s road’, or at least I usually do, well not now, my radio has died, not just my radio but my tape and CD player.

So with the middle  east and north Africa in turmoil and a catastrophe in New Zealand I drove to work trying to find annoying rattles and squeaks that I’m normally blissfully unaware of 😦

They day was cold, windy and at times miserably wet so I spent most of it down below in the engine room painting.

230211 008

This being the warm, tricky and usually neglected area around the oily water separator and aft generator.

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Being Wednesday it was refuelling day and as usual the tanker reversed onboard at 12:40 to bunker us with 3500lt of MGO (marine gas oil)

 230211 005

from a brand new tanker belonging to the newly ‘rebranded’ Highland fuels 🙂 They must have fallen out with ESSO 🙂

Filling the boat up isn’t just like popping into the petrol station for a few gallons of diesel, there’s tanks to be dipped regularly, quantities to be worked out and paperwork, lots of paperwork. The radar has to be switched off the VHF radios put on low power, spill kit made ready, a fire hose charged and of course all this done with no passengers on board and before the allotted sailing time at 13:00.

That was about it really, a couple of sea eagles were doing a mating display but I missed them and I headed home once again ignorant of the worlds ‘daily doings’

  weather 230211

I know, it’s pretty lame

graph 230211

but this might make you smile


a letter from Raasay Primary school 🙂

I only hope that Portree High is as good a school as our very own Primary with its dedicated staff.



  1. You are right,the note from school did make me smile. My grandson’s elementary school sends home notes about similar things all the time. They have something going on all the time.I think it’s a good thing.

    Comment by Mimi — February 24, 2011 @ 3:53 am

    • Morning Jeannette, Mimi,

      aye you’d have to go a long way to find a better school than the Raasay primary 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 26, 2011 @ 6:09 am

  2. as i understand it, scotland had the first free universal public education? via presbyterians in the 16th c? i read it on the internet, so it must be true.

    in any case, i love the reports you give of the school’s sports days and chili fundraisers and christmas plays and projects. it’s terrific to think of children so well-cared for in such a beautiful place.

    Comment by jeannette — February 24, 2011 @ 5:32 am

  3. Couldn’t agree more about the excellence of Raasay School. How is the fund for the children’s shelter getting on?

    Have a good rest-of-shift


    Comment by Sue — February 24, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    • Good morning Bacup 🙂

      the Raasay primary just got even better Sue, they now have a dedicated head teacher for their new ‘stand alone’ status.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 26, 2011 @ 6:11 am

      • Morning, Paul

        I’m so glad they appointed after two tries at advertising. The headteacher who is leaving hasn’t been there long – Ishbel Kerr only left a very few years ago – but it’s a tough job (though rewarding) and the school has flourished. Had I been (a) younger and (b) a primary teacher I would have applied!



        Comment by Sue — February 27, 2011 @ 9:43 am

      • Morning Sue,

        the right person got the job, our very own Mrs Duncan 🙂 an appointment that I’m sure has the parents, community and most importantly the childrens support 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 1, 2011 @ 6:02 am

  4. All that shenanigans for refuelling, I thought diesel (that’s what MGO is isn’t it?) was rather hard to actually set on fire having a flash point of about 60 degrees. Still if you are on the berth you are hardly going to need radar or a radio are you?

    Comment by Phil Cook — February 24, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    • Morning Phil,

      aye a lot of messing about but then fires have been started on ships with sparks from VHF,s whilst refueling so no point taking a chance.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 26, 2011 @ 6:14 am

  5. you’ve got statistics for most things, Paul … so tell me, how many gallons of paint do you get through in a year … and how many coats of paint does most of the Loch Striven have … it must be an awful lot

    Comment by carina — February 25, 2011 @ 12:23 am

    • Morning Carina,

      rather a lot 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 26, 2011 @ 6:15 am

  6. Hi Paul
    Just a short one. What weather collection system do you use for your weather data, and can it be recorded on a Mac Computer?

    Comment by Polite Scouse — February 25, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  7. Portree High can’t be too bad – I believe I’m right in saying that some of the members of RUNRIG went there – was quite a while ago though!

    Comment by francesp — February 25, 2011 @ 11:40 am

    • Morning Frances,

      I do hope it’s half as good as Raasay 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 26, 2011 @ 6:17 am

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