Life at the end of the road

May 22, 2011

It just keeps getting wetter :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:43 pm

Well the old hydro turbine is going great but apart from that I have to say that I’m getting a little peed off with this weather. Of course it does not help owning a Land Rover, that finest British piece of engineering that has been letting oil out and water in since 1948 😦 By the time I get to work my right foot is soaked on account of the constant drip from the door seal, I really should wear wellies for driving in the rain 🙂 Yesterday I was pretty much wet the whole day, if not from the leaky Landy or the pouring heavens it was from sweat within my oilskins which were on and off like it was a day in January 😦

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Fortunately I had been shown the old ‘carrier bag on the boot’ trick some years ago so I was saved the indignation of getting my foot stuck halfway down the leggings or worse still having to remove my boots to put them on 🙂 Not startlingly obvious in the picture cos my overalls and oilskins are the same colour, but you puts a plastic bag on your foot before attempting to pull on the over trousers, the slippy bag lets you enter the leg with ease.


graph 220511

As you can see from the graph the much needed rain that arrived after a tinder dry April to put out the many heath fires has well and truly outstayed it’s welcome. Don’t take any notice of the actual numbers as my rain gauge seems to be out by one decimal point or thinks it’s imperial instead of metric.

Despite the atrocious weather the 8:25 ferry was actually (and much to our surprise) quite busy with holiday traffic,

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though you do wonder why some people torture themselves so 🙂 Me, I’d have been looking for a B&B, or at least some shelter and not the west side of a toilet block in a gale of south west wind or better still I’d have slept in the waiting room 🙂 Perhaps I’m just getting soft in my old age, I do remember sleeping under the Land Rover several times on the ferry terminal car park at Oban. That was in about 1980 right enough and it was always the end away from all the oil leaks 🙂

The thoroughly miserable day dragged by with a lack of enthusiasm akin to doing my VAT return but after tying up at 19:00 I took a jaunt up the ‘glen road’ to look at the forest, or lack of it.

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Here’s the remains of the railway viaduct from number 1 mine to the pier yesterday,

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here’s the same view four weeks ago



and here it is in 1917 in a photograph from Laurence and Pamela Drapers excellent book,

 220511 This little book is essential reading for anyone interested in Raasay, mines, industrial archaeology or how Britain flagrantly disregarded the Hague convention with regard to using prisoners of war as labour for the war effort. Not to mention taking away jobs from the locals 😦 Not that the Germans were any better, as the same convention banned the use of expanding ammunition, gas and bombs dropped from balloons. But you know what they say “history is always written by the winning side” 🙂

By the time I got home it was well after 22:00 so I just went straight to bed to be wakened at 5:30 by yet more rain. Normally I would have got up then and done a little catching up on here but I was almost starting to feel slightly depressed so set the alarm for 7:00am and turned over 🙂

When I did finally arise it was to a much better day, though it was by no means warm and was interspersed with viscous showers.

The ‘department bull’ and his new girl friend seemed quite happy at Glame, she obviously was not impressed with AI and I’m sure he preferred a real cow to a wooden ‘lookalike’ 🙂

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The forecast must have been bad for the Lustre to abandon the relative shelter of our new harbour for a mooring in Churchton bay.

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There was much more to the day, like the master of CalMac’s latest acquisition the MV Finlaggan departing Raasay to join his new ship in Oban today. The very same master that can be seen directing traffic in 1993 on yesterdays blog  🙂


The Finlaggan arrived in Oban today around 18:00 to tie up on the north pier, image from where you can find many more. There are some great pictures of her here


on the ships of calmac forum by ‘Gaelsail’  at higher resolution but I think you may need to be an anorak, sorry member 🙂 to view them.



  1. Hi Paul,can you send us some rain please,but not too much.Blow a hole in the Landrover floor with the shotgun for particularly wet days.Aim just to the side of the fuel and brake lines to be on the safe side.Hope they never consider reopening the mine with current metal prices on the up.Cheers

    Comment by Andy — May 23, 2011 @ 8:45 am

    • Morning Andy,

      a shotgun wouldn’t get through all the sound proofing and lead sheets in the floor 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 24, 2011 @ 5:29 am

  2. Gales here today – lots of leaves to sweep up when they settle! All the blossom has been blown off..and everything green seems to be facing north..!

    Comment by sotw — May 23, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    • Morning She,

      it’s been one long wet gale here, not only have we lost the blossom and leaves but quite a few branches also 😦 The ‘beetle man’ has not found many beetles 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 24, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  3. That really is a grim spot to camp in this weather, although the toilets at Sconser arent much better. My choice would have been either you lovely new waiting room on Raasay, or underneath the old bridge at Sligachan would be a nice spot. Sleeping under a Land Rover sounds a bit strange, why not inside?

    By the way can you please order some nice weather next week, I will be in Mallaig from Saturday onwards. I might pop over one day.

    Comment by Simon — May 23, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    • Have you ever tried sleeping in a Land Rover with six people 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 24, 2011 @ 5:31 am

  4. Can you please send some of your rain down to Reading too, preferably overnight though, my garden needs it and my water butts need refilling. Graham at the YH doesn’t seem to be enjoying the weather you’re having up there either!

    Comment by francesp — May 23, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

    • Morning Frances,

      It must be bad as I’ve not seen Graham out on his bike yet, though I suppose these days I seldom drive past the YH.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 24, 2011 @ 5:34 am

  5. Hate to rub salt but it’s pretty hot and dry down here. It does get a bit wearisome though! But it’s all that rain, feeding the lochs, burns and rivers that gives us all that lovely Malt, never forget!

    Comment by yractual — May 23, 2011 @ 9:48 pm

    • Morning Iain,

      ” It does get a bit wearisome though! But it’s all that rain, feeding the lochs, burns and rivers that gives us all that lovely Malt, never forget! ” it’s also making us lots of electricity 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 24, 2011 @ 5:33 am

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