Life at the end of the road

May 5, 2011

Dull as dishwater :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:49 pm

Can’t see this being a very long posting tonight as its after 21:00 already and yours truly is worn out after a hard day at the office. Well that and the complicated matter of voting 🙂 I’m not much into the whole voting thing and all the election bumf goes straight into the big blue bin outside the door. To be honest I think the country would run much better under a benevolent dictator, cost much less to administer and would get rid of much of the PC cr4p that we have to put up with 🙂 However that’s unlikely to happen so my vote goes to Charlie (Charles Kennedy) not because I’m particularly liberal but because he’s done a few things for us in the past. OK, he might like a tipple but so do I 🙂

As for the AV thing, which I only found out about yesterday means ‘alternative vote’, a change is as good as a rest so I gave it a yes 🙂 I figure that anything that is more likely to put a government in power that is not in the pocket of Rupert Murdoch can’t be a bad thing 🙂 Call me ill informed, cynical or just plain paranoid but when the owner of a ‘titty paper’ and three quarters of the media starts picking the government for the last 25 years I think it’s time for a change 🙂 Especially when said megalomaniac goes to the lengths of becoming an American citizen so he can start buying their media as well.

Anyway, enough of the minor ranting, and please no lectures from the more ‘politically astute’, it’s just the opinion of a grumpy old git who takes little to do with current affairs 🙂

So where was I ? well on Wednesday I trundled down to work on what would turn out to be the last day in a long spell of magnificent weather.

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Being a little early I took a run along to our old berth at Suisnish to have a look at floating pier that had been put in position on Tuesday ready to take away one of Raasay’s forests.

Wasting no time on my arrival at work I got stuck into some painting on our good ship that celebrates her 25th birthday this month.


And here she is going down the slip at Richard Dunston’s all those years ago.


Loch Striven 1

After a morning with the paint roller I got stuck into changing one of the ramp latches on the forward ramp.

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These hydraulic cylinders hold the ramps locked shut whilst on passage and this one had been weeping a little oil, nothing serious but better to sort it before it got worse.


Now this video is as dull as dishwater unless you’re a ‘ferry anorak’ like me but I was just trying out the new movie editor I’ve downloaded as ‘Windows Movie Maker’ does not accept MOV files off the Panasonic DMC-FZ38 that I mainly use. The video seems to work but the sound has gone ‘pear shaped’, I friggin hate computers 😦

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The rest of the day was quite busy with more JST hardware arriving,

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this being a seriously long reach crane for stacking the timber at Suisnish prior to loading the coaster that will take it away.

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The ‘post person’ took advantage of the good weather to wash the van, but don’t tell her I snapped her in her shorts or she’ll kill me 🙂


Today got off to a much needed damp start that will hopefully damp the raging fires in Torridon and Kintail but was not great for painting.

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The main task of the day being to replace a 55 man life raft whose casing had been damaged by a broken pile on the Sconser pier. A task that was ably carried out with the assistance of Raasay’s most expert machine operator ‘The man formally known as Grumpy Digger Driver’.

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Apart from bunkering our regular 3500lts of fuel and bringing yet another huge tractor over for JST that was about it.

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We tied up the good ship Loch Striven securely to our new pier and I went off to vote,

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which, for the first time was in the Raasay village hall.

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The venue may have been new but it was the ‘usual suspects’ running the show, though one of them is hiding behind the ballot boxes 🙂

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Though she did come out to take my picture 🙂

The normally pleasant drive home was made even more enjoyable when i was flagged down by a regular visitor to our fair island.

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This green campervan has been a frequent traveller aboard the Loch Striven the last few years and its owner introduced me to a fine ‘malty’ number from Islay



a nice ‘Ardnave ale’ from the ‘whisky isle’ that went down fine with the chilli that was dinner 🙂




  1. C’mon Paul
    1) that audio … if you used COPY … try AAC or MP3 (& vice-versa).
    2) tell us more about *that* coat!
    3) 55 person life raft! got any picture proofs?

    Comment by Deoch'nDorus — May 5, 2011 @ 11:29 pm

    • Morning D & D,

      1) Many thanks for that, I’ll give it a whirl as I’m sure you’re right, I had to change copy to XVID to make the video work

      2) That’s my redneck hillbilly coat that I seldom take off 🙂 not only can you fit a rabbit in the pockets but it’s the only item of clothing that I posses that will take my Panasonic 🙂
      3) Actually I think it’s 51 man

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 6, 2011 @ 5:10 am

  2. Hi Paul … your polling station people have a fantastic view (how can they sit with their backs to it? I’d be facing it) … and “tut tut” for photographing hard-working post office personnel in compromising situations … I hope you get your bottom smacked

    that camper van with all the stuff on its roof, are you sure you should be photographing that as well, it looks like it’s part of a secret installation

    Comment by carina — May 6, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  3. Many thanks for the link to avidemux – also have a Panasonic and have never managed to sort the video thing – will have a have a go, also thanks to Deoch’nDorus as the one I just tried had “pants” sound as well ! Longing to try to capture the Whimbrels calling as I walk along the coast, with them down below on the beach – Magic !

    Comment by Sue Mason — May 6, 2011 @ 7:54 am

    • Good luck with the video editing sue, I look forward to the whimbrels as I’ve never seen one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

  4. Hi Paul,
    Now normal “Skye” weather seems to have resumed could could you please post some weather details. I have sort of extended the pole to my wind thingy (all beit a bit amateurish) but I seem to be getting more realistic readings.

    Comment by Angela — May 6, 2011 @ 9:23 am

    • Hi Angela, weather reports will be reinstated shortly 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

  5. Is there a spare liferaft to replace the one taken away? If not I would have expected the Elfin Safety police to be out cordoning the Loch Striv off behind rolls of barbed wire until the full complement of rafts was back in place.

    Comment by Neil King — May 6, 2011 @ 11:33 am

    • One off and one on in a jiffy Neil, dunno about the barbed wire, the paperwork was sharp enough 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

  6. Hi Paul

    I stumbled across an interesting new weather site you might be interested in. A history of weather in graph for anywhere you like. The link below is for Arnish.!graphs;a=UK/IV40_8/Kyle_of_Lochalsh/Arnish

    Comment by simon — May 6, 2011 @ 12:06 pm

    • Thanks for the weather link Simon, you can’t have too many, if you look hard enough there’s always one that will tell you what you want to hear 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:39 pm

  7. Hi Paul. If I remember rightly, we share the same birthday tomorrow (Saturday). So happy birthday for then!

    Comment by Catriona — May 6, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

    • Well done for reminding him, he thinks it’s on Sunday.
      (green van man)

      Comment by Ray Wilshire — May 6, 2011 @ 4:49 pm

    • Thank you Catriona and ‘Green Van Man’ for putting me right on the birthday thing, another ‘senior moment’ 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

  8. And Sandy will only make the van dirty again anyway. A wasted job 🙂

    Comment by Catriona — May 6, 2011 @ 8:22 pm

  9. Hi Paul.
    Just like to thank your blog for information on solar power and energy systems,various information about Raasay, todays lead from Simon about weather spark site. All good reading and informative and I’ve purchased Calum’s Road for my Kindle it’s the wife’s really but what the heck love is sharing. Will pass comment when read, for those interested there are 2623 pages reading on kindle. So keep the useful and interesting stuff coming. Walter

    Comment by politescouser — May 6, 2011 @ 8:56 pm

    • How you getting on with Calum’s road Walter ?

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  10. Happy birthday Paul

    Comment by carina — May 7, 2011 @ 4:29 am

  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU, squashed tomatoes and stew, bread and butter, in the gutter, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

    Have a really good birthday Paul.

    Comment by Carole,Finnie and the Quarryman — May 7, 2011 @ 7:28 am

  12. Happy birthday! One year (in numbers at least) nearer to retirement!

    Comment by francesp — May 7, 2011 @ 8:53 am

  13. Happy Birthday Paul.
    It will start very soon senior moments. What are senior moments you ask ? A brief period when someone, especially an elderly person, is unable to remember something. Example forgetting where you left your favourite paint brush. Have you fed the pigs, are you on rest day or should you be bodgering today. And the favourite putting petrol in the diesel tank, and it goes on and on.– What was I talking about? ho yes Happy Birthday again Paul.

    Comment by politescouser — May 7, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  14. Hi Paul,
    Another year gone, eh? Where do they all go?! As a former solicitor, I’m qualified to give advice where needed: relax with a bottle of rouge. Happy Birthday.

    Comment by Iain — May 7, 2011 @ 5:51 pm

  15. to mark her 25th you should paint her like she was in that pic at launch and stick the bunting up!

    Comment by Zak — May 7, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

    • Hi Zak,

      don’t think the paint job would go down well with the ‘corporate image’ bods 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 8, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

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