Life at the end of the road

September 15, 2011


Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:38 am

Five thirty am on Thursday, it’s as ‘black as the fire back’ outside and I’m raring to meet the day. It’s been a good few weeks since I’ve been ready to assault the day with such vim but light easterlies, blazing sunshine and some great news have put a much needed ‘spring in my step’. Or should I say evened up the permanent limp that I have through aching joints, bad back and athletes foot 🙂

We have at last received full planning permission for our new house 🙂 It’s been almost a two year battle that we’d not have won without our architect Archie MacDonald, so all we have to do now is rob a bank 🙂


The final day at work was the usual rush of finishing off the weeks tasks and buttoning up the paperwork, but an ailing memory prevents me from remembering the finer details.

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There was a new visitor to these waters, or at least one I’ve not seen before, in shape of the Inverness registered clam diving boat Donna Marie.

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Pity she wasn’t here a week ago before the clam dredger from Annan ploughed up the sea bed. Still there are places in the narrows where not even the most diligent of dredgers can scrape and sometimes you do get piles of scallops at the end of a tow when the heavy chain bags are full.


It really is a most brutal fishing method that leaves destruction in its wake


everyone has to make a living but this indiscriminate harrowing of the sea bed should be banned, at least in inshore waters.


It was good to see the council preparing early for the approaching winter

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by taking the gritter away for its annual service. Though I dread to think what the Arnish road will be like after that’s been up and down it once or twice. They’ve done precious little work on it since to repair last winters damage 😦


My first day off work did not go as planned for I received the news at 5:30am that we’d got our planning permission 🙂 Of course I’d been checking the website daily, well at least when it wasn’t ‘down’ and it had sat there for weeks ‘pending decision’. I even checked it Wednesday at 21:00, still ‘pending decision’ so I was overjoyed to get Archie’s email, though a little dismayed to here that it had been approved on the 2nd of September!!! and would still be a secret had he not phoned them 😦

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After dragging my son out of bed at 6:45 I took him south to school as the moon set over the Hill of the hind at Tarbert

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and the sun rose at Brochel.

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After returning home I went to do some work on my penstock that had stopped flowing, replacing those two short lengths of blue pipe that were leaking and drawing in air.


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Or so I thought, the problem was further down the line in the form of a burst joint,


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luckily I had spare, and more suitable one.

Anyway it’s 6:30 now and time to once more get the zombie up for school 😦



  1. Great news about the planning permission, Paul. When will the works start? Even better if the council granted a boarding place to your lad – I fail to understand the refusal. They probably measure distance from the school in miles, not speed and condition of road, plus a ferry and a bus, let alond the grindingly long day he has to undergo. Hope the ‘high-up’ who visited recently can have some impact.



    Comment by Sue — September 15, 2011 @ 7:36 am

    • Morning Sue,

      we’re hoping to start in the spring and if my son has not got a place in the hostel he’ll be helping build it because he’s not going to school until he has. Yesterday was the ‘last straw’ and I’m not putting him (or us) through it anymore.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 5:42 am

  2. when I saw APPROVED I thought it was the place for your youngster … never mind, maybe that will come too in time … so congratulations on the planning permission, shame there’s no banks to rob on Raasay

    Comment by carina — September 15, 2011 @ 7:55 am

    • Morning Carina,

      probably not such a good idea to rob a bank really, I’d probably end up blogging about it and get caught 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 5:45 am

  3. Paul, you need to cosy up to these guys – Just completed a £40m heist and look to have a succesful track record

    Comment by Andy — September 15, 2011 @ 8:37 am

    • Morning Andy,

      I don’t have a passport so Sao Paolo is out 🙂 I always try and do things locally so perhaps the BOS in Portree, they’ve ripped me off often enough with their extortionate bank charges. My favourite being when the charge me £100 every year to ‘set up’ the overdraft facility on my business account. How frigging difficult is it to do that!!!!!! I seldom use it and when I do they charge me interest anyway. Then the ‘real bank robbers’ charge me when I put money into my account which they then use to fund their dodgy investments. There’s allot to be said for keeping it under the mattress, though with my memory I’d probably forget it was there 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 5:57 am

  4. Great news on the planning permission Paul! I look forward to seeing your progress with the build on here (and maybe by popping over to Raasay). We were up in Portree yesterday (buying yet more DIY supplies) and got some cracking views of Raasay, can’t wait to explore it.

    I absolutely agree with you on the dredging, it has been banned in parts of England & Wales maybe it will be banned up here too. I know people have to make a living, but by destroying a sensitive ecosystem that takes years to recover?, doesn’t make sense to me.


    Comment by Rich — September 15, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    • Morning Rich,

      good luck with the DIY, bet you were surprised by the cost of materials up here 😦 Didn’t realize that dredging was banned in certain areas of England and Wales, it’s banned here for a few months of the year in Lochalsh, though how much good it does I don’t know, for as soon as it’s open again in April or May they descend on it like locusts 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 6:15 am

      • You’re right there Paul, everything seems more expensive (although i suppose it’s got to travel that bit further).

        Do you know of anyone around Lochalsh/Broadford who does air fills?, i think i’m going to have to got to Oban for nitrox…


        Comment by Rich — September 16, 2011 @ 2:43 pm

      • Morning Rich,

        all the clam divers are now using nitrox so you could try them. If you’re stuck I could fill a couple of bottles with my trusty Bauer but it does involve running the expensive big generator 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 17, 2011 @ 4:56 am

  5. Excellent news on the house Paul, so pleased for you. Can I have the old house when you are done?

    Comment by Simon — September 15, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    • Morning Simon,

      “Excellent news on the house Paul, so pleased for you. Can I have the old house when you are done?” at a price, it’s yours 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 6:16 am

  6. That’s excellent news about the house. Hopefully it won’t take as long to build as it took to build the road! 😀

    Comment by Stonehead — September 15, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

    • Morning Stoney,

      knowing me it will 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 6:17 am

  7. congratulations, i’m thrilled for you and yours.

    Comment by jeannette — September 16, 2011 @ 12:45 am

    • Thanks Jeannette,

      watch this space 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 16, 2011 @ 6:19 am

  8. good stuff with your planning permission, all the best

    Comment by Alex & Lesley — September 17, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

    • Morning Alex and Lesley,

      all we need to do now is get our son in the hostel and all will be rosy once more 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2011 @ 5:42 am

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