Life at the end of the road

October 5, 2011

In the dark :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:51 pm

Probably the loss of an old acquaintance, a turn for the worse in the weather and rapidly shortening days have muted my enthusiasm, not just for blogging but for just about everything at the moment. It will probably return with the first clear night and a glimpse of Orion but for now I’m on a bit of a downer 😦

To be honest I don’t really mind the long dark nights and wild weather, it recharges both my own and the houses batteries. But the passing away of John Gillies, Lovat to all who knew him, on Friday saddened me greatly, not that I knew him very well but he was a brother, uncle, and compatriot of many of my good friends and will be sorely missed. Lovat, with his brother Alistair were regular visitors to Arnish when I first moved here some 22 years ago, at that time they both had ‘sheep interests’ at the north end, Alistair on Fladda and John at Kyle Rona. Both natives of the tidal island of Fladda their frequent visits to gather sheep would be accompanied by great hilarity, often around the open fire at my friends house in Torran. John in particular being one of the ‘jokers in the pack’ the other being the long departed Murdo Nicolson.

With my ‘city ways’ not far behind me these encounters, where the ‘craic’ was endless were pure gold dust and about as alien to me as Martians talking to each other. Stories of fishing, gathering of sheep and ships in places with names I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone remember. I’m sure that had I not been there the conversations would have been in their native Gaelic but that was just typical of these ‘gentlemen’ they would go out of their way to help and involve you.

The funeral in Portree on Tuesday was a very busy affair and John was laid to rest in the beautiful cemetery just by the Aros centre on the outskirts of town within sight of his native Fladda. Swallows circled overhead ready to head back to Africa, the showers abated to produce a fine rainbow and the mourners lamented the passing of dear departed loved one.

The rest of the week

I’m not very good at this religious stuff but it was a moving affair with a lovely service, prayers and readings from a minister who visits Raasay regularly who’s name escapes me. All too soon however I had to swap my suit for overalls and start my ‘week on’ on the ferry.

     051011 001


Monday had started off nice enough with a visit to my parents up Loch Duich for the fortnightly check of their water supply, a spot of grass cutting and a bowl of pasta 🙂 However the day soon degenerated into gale force winds and pishing rain, followed by a visit to the dentist 😦

 051011 003

Being a little early for my appointment in Kyle I went down to the fishery pier to check out the boats,


051011 004

Marine Harvests catamaran ‘Bradhan Mhor’ (big salmon) was just leaving and Nigel Smith’s ‘Seaprobe Atlantis’ was just arriving.

051011 006 

Wednesday started off in the dark 😦 and finished in the dark, no more trips to work in daylight until March 😦

051011 009  051011 012

Still, all this wind and rain means that the battery banks are fizzing away nicely 🙂

051011 010

051011 015


051011 021


051011 023



  1. Hi Paul,
    I think it’s that time of year, when the warmth of the summer gives way to the colder, darker days, that makes lots of people less enthusiastic and a bit down. Hope you’re feeling more positive soon. I’m feeling positive at the moment because a trip to the Western Isles in a couple of weeks time is on the cards, to do some work at the Gatliff hostels ( Takes a bit of planning getting there and back now though because the winter timetables will be in force, (Oban-Castlebay) and ferries every other day instead of daily! That’s if they run at all, I’ve seen the reports of some of the ferries being cancelled due to the nasty weather up there at the moment. Can’t say I’m looking forward to that!


    Comment by francesp — October 6, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    • The ‘black dog’ has passed Frances, all is rosy now 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  2. Just a thought Paul, now Proven has gone into receivership there assets will have to be sold off to pay debts, that is if they are not bought up by another firm. If you find out who is handling the sale you might be able to buy up a load of spare parts on the cheap maybe even a unit for that extra pole you have got.



    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — October 6, 2011 @ 11:50 am

    • Hi Dave, wondered where you’d been 🙂 and I still see that you’re paying attention, I’d almost forgotten about that mast 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  3. Fantastic photos mate! Hope your mood improves soon, I’ll see if I can send you up some Scilly sun!

    Comment by George Kershaw — October 6, 2011 @ 1:05 pm

    • Thanks for the sun George it arrived today mate 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  4. Spectacular Rainbows, you do so much to raise other peoples spirits with you Blog.
    We are in Amalfi for a while enjoying some Italian Hospitality and unfortunately the Mosquiti
    Our thoughts are with you

    Comment by chrisb — October 6, 2011 @ 3:42 pm

    • Hi Chris’s 🙂 hope Italy is good to you, enjoy the hospitality, but not too much 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:45 pm

  5. Feelin down huh, Its just that time of year, equinoxials kick in, big tides, temp. drops t shirt weather all but forgotten for now anyway. The wind has dropped to a mere breeze (westerly) not as forecast, wind speed that is. I first read your blog about two months ago and your “love” of old machines – built to last – R A Lister etc has me glued to the the set. I recently rescued a Petter AC1 genset for £50 which looked more or less complete, – got it home, got it started, and then decided to examine the innards. The more I looked the more I saw! A ham fisted or hammer and chisel “mechanic” or both had been on the scene. Anyway dismantled poor Petter to every last nut and bolt and replaced or renewed parts as required. £££££s later near 90% complete and I still don^t know if it will ever make leccy power -the guy I bought it from said it would hmmm we^ll see-Life^s never a dawdle but hey I think your do^in OK . Thanks for the insight of your life ateotr. Cheers for now. A

    Comment by arthur — October 6, 2011 @ 11:19 pm

    • Hi Arthur and welcome aboard, I’ve a Petter here that you can have 🙂 It will certainly keep you fit trying to start the thing on a frosty morning, dammed thing nearly killed me 🙂 It’s in a stone shed down on the shore where I did up my boat, many is the day I was left breathless and cursing in a panting heap on the grass before the lights finally came on as it screamed away at 3000rpm like a banshee 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:52 pm

  6. Sorry to hear about the passing away of your friend Paul. I have to agree with the comments above, your blog has been an inspiration to a lot of us. If it’s any consolation I spent all of last year and most of this year with a very badly broken leg which refused to heal. Reading your blog was (and still is) the highlight of my day, it is informative, amusing, has great photography and above all gave me the kick up the backside i needed to move 650 miles north to Skye, and for that I thank you.

    Any time you’re passing Kyleakin you are more than welcome to stop for a brew and a chat.

    I sincerely hope you are feeling happier, it was fairly clear tonight so maybe Orion appeared over Arnish 🙂

    All the best and thanks again for the much needed inspiration!


    Comment by Rich — October 7, 2011 @ 12:19 am

    • Hi Rich,

      feeling much better now thanks, hope you feel the same about Kyleakin in January 🙂

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 7, 2011 @ 9:54 pm

      • Yes mate i have been warned about Skye winters, doesn’t bother me though i’m an ex arctic warrior ;-), wife on the other hand… not :-(.

        Comment by Rich — October 7, 2011 @ 10:11 pm

      • It’s never really cold here by the sea Rich, it’s that incessant wind and rain that grinds you down 😦 what you need is a wind and hydro turbine to cheer you up 🙂

        Good luck, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 8, 2011 @ 5:21 am

  7. to have such a friend speak so well of both of you.
    amor manet. (love remains.)

    Comment by jeannette — October 7, 2011 @ 2:30 am

  8. Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Friends new or old are always of great value and loss never seems to get easier. I have discovered that down times are life’s way of forcing us who cannot relax to do just that. Rest up friend better days are a coming!
    Cheers Tony

    Comment by Tony Lucas — October 7, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    • Good morning Tony,

      my batteries are recharged thanks, I think a spell in the desert do me good though 🙂 A few weeks of your weather would soon have me longing for the wind and rain 🙂

      Cheers and thank you, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 8, 2011 @ 5:16 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: