Life at the end of the road

October 18, 2011

Out to dinner :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, harbour, hydro, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:22 pm

A rather hectic Monday started with an early rise and a not so quick dash outside to feed between the showers. Not as fast as usual due to the herd being a little more spread out than normal and a wee blockage in the hydro turbine inlet. Something that is closely related to the six ‘spotty’ piglets that insist on rolling lumps of turf into the burn that feeds my ‘Stream Engine’ 😦 It’s an easy enough job to clear it but requires me to remove my waterproof jacket, a task that is always accompanied by a shower of rain 😦

191011 003

191011 006


I really must put some kind of barrier in front of the inlet of that grey pipe to divert the sods of earth away from it.

After sorting that then feeding the spotties I went up to the new house site to feed a very happy pair of pigs in their new deluxe wide bodied oil tank. So pleased were they with their new house and field that they’d filled it with extra bedding. Something that they only generally do when they’re about to farrow.

That done it was off nice and early to catch the 8:55 ferry for the weekly visit to my parents,

191011 007

the poor forecast ensuring that both the Lustre and the Girl Catherine were still firmly lashed to the new pier.

191011 009

The day rapidly deteriorated into one of gale force winds and heavy showers but I still managed one or two outside jobs at may parents house, as well as fitting a shelf. For which I was rewarded with a fine bottle of wine, something that I’ve not partaken of for a few weeks.

The fruity merlot was joined with another on the way home for dinner with the neighbours at 19:00, something that would be a bit of a push to make on time. The 16:15 ferry wouldn’t see me home until 17:30 at the earliest as I’d a trailer load of road sweepings to take home from Brochel.

To be honest I’d rather the sweepings were still in the potholes than in a pile by the road but they needed removing and I was doing my civic duty 🙂 After months of inaction the council had at last promised to do some much needed patching on the road north. They were only going as far as Brochel right enough and leaving some of the worst bits further north on Raasay’s world famous ‘Calum’s road’. But at least it was a start and would be an improvement, or so I thought 😦

Someone at HRC had severely misjudged the amount of tar required, or probably more correctly had allowed for the amount of tar required when they surveyed the road in August. So the road sweeper duly turned up and swept the whole 5 mile or so section scheduled for repair. Something that not only removes the cr4p off the road but also sucks up much of the stuff in the 100mm potholes making them 150mm potholes. This is all ‘fine and dandy’ if they repair them straight afterwards but they ran out of time and tar at least two miles short of Brochel so now the road is even worse :-( 

Anyway, after doing that, feeding the pigs, bathing and changing we ‘togged up’ for our dinner appointment and ordered a taxi 🙂 Well that’s what you’d normally do when going for dinner in the pishing rain over a mile away, not here. Firstly there are no taxis and even if there were you’d not get one where we were going, as for walking, well that’s fine on a summers eve or frosty night but the Torran track is steep, winding full of holes and very dark. So it was on with the oilskins and boots, slippers and wine in the pockets and off on the quad 🙂

191011 014


We could enjoy the food and wine and the responsible twelve year old could drive us home 🙂

The beef was succulent, the wine flowed, we put the world to rights but our chauffeur decided to stay the night leaving wifey and I to wobble home on the Honda well after midnight 🙂


A change in the wind, a drop in the temperature and a sore head meant that the pigs got a late feed this morning, all that is except for the poor wee spotties. I didn’t feed them as I wanted to catch them later and deliver three of them to a customer on Raasay, if they were hungry they’d be much more enthusiastic about going in the trailer :-)  

191011 015

So after emptying my trailer load of road sweepings into some of my own potholes, having breakfast and then checking my still flowing hydro turbine pipe I went to collect my priming pump from Loch Beag.



Stopping to check my little bleed hole on the way just a couple of hundred yards from the pump which we dismantled and strapped to the quad

191011 021

Just in time to get caught in an horrendous hail shower

191011 022

that left me and the wee dug shivering behind a clump of heather for shelter.

After a few minutes it eased enough for us to make a run for it on the Honda, Molly cowering behind me on the seat and me getting pelted in the face by the hail.

191011 023

The hail was replaced by slightly warmer, less painful but much wetter rain and by the time we got home the pair of us were soaked.

Time for lunch and a couple of hours paper work in front of the fire before going to search for the spotties. Normally it’s just a case of shouting and rattling a bucket but 40mph of north west wind ensured that we had to go looking for the wee darlings.



I eventually found them down by the Torran boundary gate and the piglets raced after me to the waiting trailer, whereupon I lead them all in then turfed three out onto the road 🙂

191011 026

bewrare of the pig

That was about it really, I delivered the three gilts, did the last sailing on the ferry so my ‘back to back’ could get home and then drove home. All in all a very productive ‘rest week’ 🙂

weather 191011

So I’ll just leave you with the weather


of which there was plenty 🙂



  1. Hello Paul,
    Glad you enjoyed your night out. Went to see ‘Calum’s Road’ done in Falkirk last night. It is very good. A simple, but imaginative stage set creates the atmosphere and the cast of six successfully portray Calum, his family and neighbours. I found it very moving in places. It has been very sensitively handled. We’re hoping to see it again in Perth. There is also a surprise for you in it, but then you may already know of it. Great stuff!
    Cheers, Carolyn

    Comment by Carolyn — October 19, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  2. Hope the council come back soon to finish mending the road. I’m setting off for the outer hebrides on Sunday, we’re coming via Skye and Uig-Lochmaddy ferry, and the co-op at Broadford so don’t take everything off the shelves! so if the good ship Loch Striven is at Sconser when we pass, I’ll ask my chaueffer to stop, and come and say Hi to you. I’ll be sad to be going straight on and not on the ferry to Raasay – hopefully that will happen next summer.
    Please can you order some good weather up there for the next couple of weeks!

    Comment by francesp — October 19, 2011 @ 10:08 am

    • Morning Frances,

      looks like a smooth crossing on Sunday and good weather for Monday and Tuesday at least 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 20, 2011 @ 5:33 am

  3. Hi there Paul. Been meaning to correspond with you through this site for years! can’t make it up to Oscaig Lodge (where my dad Calum lived) for the first time in 40 years. Gutted I will miss the beauty of Raasay for a whole year but checking into your site reminds me of what a wondrous place it is. Hope you know who I am? How was auntie Jessies 90th? say hello to her for me. Keep adding to your site. Stops me being homesick a little! Do you have a link through Twitter or Facebook so I can follow you ? Fiona

    Comment by Fiona Thornhill (nee Macdonald) — October 22, 2011 @ 11:43 am

  4. We spent Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday on Raasay and Lyn at Raasay House/Hotel told us about your postings. My husband was in Raasay as a boy in the 1940s and later as a young adult so it meant a lot to him to return at 80. He’d come originally with Alan Evans, who was his Sea Scout Commissioner and he’s left a photo for the YH when it opens again and had his brains picked by Lyn! There were tales of putting in a water pump to Inverarish and he told me why the YH has two different chimney pots!
    I had heard of Calum’s Road when we were in Applecross in 1997 and planned to come ‘some time’. We met your pigs and saw your signs and enjoyed our stay thoroughly. Colin is a great walker so the 1 and 3/4 miles there and also back were nothing to him but I (though much younger!) am not so good and found it hard going, made me appreciate the making of the road and all that went with it, for the population before and after it! Lucky to live in Edinburgh so we can go to the Brunton Theatre to see the play in Nov.
    I understand now from reading your posts why we may have ‘bottomed’ the car (Ford Fiesta, driving slowly) on the last part of the main road where it runs W-E towards Brochel. I had thought of writing to the council as it is pretty shocking even compared to the main roads on Skye and would put me off coming again unless we had a much higher back axled car. Would have preferred to take public transport from home but (apart from the timings being difficult unless you want to arrive at tea time) we’d have been stuck within a few mile radius of the hotel as neither of us is much good on a bike!
    I like your site and hope to continue to be able to associate with life on Raasay!
    Best wishes, sorry we didn’t meet you.

    Comment by may cruickshank — October 22, 2011 @ 11:52 am

    • Hi May and welcome aboard,
      why does the YH have different chimney pots 🙂 and make sure that you do let the council know about your car. I phoned them on Monday but just got the ‘no money in the pot’ tale 😦

      If they employed someone on Raasay to do the patching before the road got into such a state and kept the water off the road it would save money in the long run, nay, it would save money in the short run 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 23, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

      • Will get the proper chimney pot story but they brought a recycled one from somewhere else to replace the rotten one. Don’t suppose you could give me best person/s to write to in the council/s about the roads?

        Comment by may cruickshank — October 23, 2011 @ 8:47 pm

      • Good morning May,

        on line form and phone numbers here

        Good luck, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2011 @ 4:25 am

      • Thanks for the link to the council. I have completed a comment form for the roads section and copied it to the councillor John Laing, Liz Cowie Ward Manager, Charles Kennedy MP and Dave Thomson MSP as I do feel strongly about the neglect. I also wrote to Colin Simpson, Tourism Coordinator, including additional comments about the difficulty of getting to Raasay by lunchtime from Edinburgh by public transport (someone needs to do a bit of coordinating of bus and train services there) and the lack of public transport on the island. Hopefully someone will take note at least of the problem of road maintenance! I will let you know if there is any response if you like.

        Comment by may cruickshank — October 24, 2011 @ 10:22 am

      • Many thanks for that May, I’ll keep you posted with developments.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 3:46 am

  5. i am very simple minded but i love seeing the piglets’ ears flap when they trot. love those videos, thanks.

    Comment by jeannette — October 26, 2011 @ 1:19 am

    • Morning Jeannette,

      us ‘simple minded’ folk should stick together thinking about it

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 26, 2011 @ 6:16 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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: