Life at the end of the road

October 23, 2011

Calm at last :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:24 pm

Saturday already and the ‘working week’ is already more than halfway by, the summer timetable has finished and for a few days at least we’ll by tying up in daylight. That is until they start messing around with the clocks again next weekend 😦 I really, really hate this clock changing carry on, they try to pin it all on the farmers who need the extra daylight!!!! though I’ve yet to meet a farmer who does not do the required ‘daylight’ jobs when it’s actually daylight and not when the friggin clock tells him to do it. His cows, sheep, pigs and hens all want feeding and milking at the same time for they can’t ‘tell the time’, actually they’re a damn sight better at telling the time than any plonker with a watch 🙂

Anyway we’ll not go down that road just now as it’ll leave me nothing to rant about next week, I’ll just try and remember what I’ve been doing of late.


Well that was where I left you after a restless night and a 4:00am start, not that I needed to get up at that time but I just couldn’t sleep. Sleep is not something I have a problem with normally, normally I have a problem with staying awake. It was however the day of Shelagh Taylor’s funeral on Raasay and I guess it was preying on my mind, for I seem to be spending far too much time at funerals these days.

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I may not have been on great form but the sunrise over Scalpay cheered me a little as we sailed to Sconser at 7:55.

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Any death on Raasay hits the community hard for everybody knows each other and many are related, if not by blood then through marriage. Shelagh’s passing was made more tragic by her age and the suddenness that the cancer got a grip. At only 45 years of age the kidney cancer stole her from her son Chris her mother, father, relatives and friends from Raasay and beyond.

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Work prevented me from staying for the whole service with the other mourners but I shared a prayer, sung psalm 23 and listened to a reading from ‘Romans’ chapter 5. I’m not a religious person  though I’m always moved at a service and seldom leave with dry eyes, today was no exception but I had to go. So I quietly left, said my goodbye on the car park and went back to work.


The rest of Thursday saw me buried in the guts of the sewage plant compressor,

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that had, due to a build up of oil,

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stopped compressing 😦

A good clean sorted it out, too well in fact, for the extra pressure seemed to get the bacteria inside the tank very excited leaving some very peculiar smells upstairs 🙂 Fortunately they’d gone by the morning, which I approached with a little more enthusiasm than Thursday despite the wind and rain.


I’m kind of loosing the thread a little here, for now it’s Sunday and I’ve lost count of how many times that I’ve started this post then given up. Anyway, as you can see it looks like there is at last movement up at Raasay house. The ROK signs have come down twelve months after they went bust and the new contractor has got his signs up 🙂


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From what I remember Friday improved greatly during the afternoon, the grim start had seen many of the contractors and workmen leaving in the early afternoon and the latter part of the day was quiet. A roast beef dinner with friends prevented posting and I was in my bed just after 22:00 leaving the rest of the family to ‘make merry’. Bit of a ‘party pooper’ really but the ‘guests’ are seldom out of their bed before lunchtime on an ordinary day let alone after a few glasses of wine. Me I had work so I left them to it 🙂


Well there’s one thing for sure about Saturday, we would not have done many sailings from the old berth and the ones that we did do would have been ‘very interesting’ on the slipway to say the least. A south or south east wind was the real bad one at Suisnish but here at Clachan and over at Sconser it’s just a breeze, quite wet and slow on the way over right enough but we can live with that 🙂

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The ebbing morning tide and 40+knot winds had the good ship Loch Striven crawling along at less than 5knts in some of the ‘holes’ in the narrows.

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Mind you we made it up on the way back 🙂

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It never looks as bad astern 🙂

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But there were some nasty squalls at Sconser, here’s the fish farm boat getting a pasting in one of 48knts, a few seconds later it was down to 8knts !!

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By late afternoon it had all blown out so we used the respite and lack of traffic to have a fire on the car deck, well at least a pretend one 🙂


The lack of traffic was not confined to the afternoon for the last two sailings were empty also and I went straight home to bed 🙂

This morning saw me up bright and early, sorting out paperwork and cleaning and blacking the oil stove before I went to feed the pigs and off to work.

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The blue sea and the black Crowlin Islands in sharp contrast to the lighter hills behind on Skye and the mainland.


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Not the finest pair of stags that I’ve seen but these two just above Cnoc nan Uan, the ‘hill of the lambs’ have probably been doing a lot of work recently 🙂

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The day at work was pretty busy with both traffic and repair work on the ferry,

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a particularly stubborn ‘by pass’ valve on the hydraulics that needed drilling out to replace it 😦

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Of course you can’t actually get a drill in there so I had to remove the cabinet, or at least part of it 🙂

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Anyway, that’s about it, or as much as I can remember so I’m off 🙂


  1. We were the eejits up on the top on the 10am sailing on Saturday – very refreshing! We stayed at the Old Manse this time – lovely house. Back in Ayrshire now though 😦

    Comment by Catriona — October 23, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    • Morning Catriona “We were the eejits up on the top on the 10am sailing on Saturday ”

      funny you should say that 🙂 I said to the skipper “can you believe it, there’s some eejits on the top deck” 🙂 🙂 Now come on, Ayrshire’s not that bad, you could be stuck in Accrington 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2011 @ 4:19 am

  2. Hi Paul

    Glad to read about new contractors starting on Raasay House – let’s hope that everything goes according to plan this time.

    End of Summer Time – the main argument these days seems to be about road accidents and school children in the morning – though what difference the hour makes in reality I don’t know. It’s darker in the evening (and in northern regions, way above the government tide-line, kids come home in the dark even when they leave school at 3.30). It is also dark when folk round here leave for school at 8.00!

    Lovely pics as ever – good to keep up with how things are on the island. I just hope that, by my next scheduled visit in early June I’ll have two working legs and the ability to walk and go up hills without pain for the first time in years.



    Comment by Sue — October 24, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    • Morning Sue,

      June will be here before you know it and I’m sure the old legs will be just fine 🙂 You should also see some startling progress on the old house by then as they should be halfway through it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 3:43 am

  3. Now now Paul some of us are stuck in Accrington.

    Comment by MW — October 24, 2011 @ 8:23 am

    • Morning Mark,

      I just knew that would get some Accringtonians wound up 🙂 the things I have to to to speak to you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 3:45 am

  4. Great postings as ever, Paul. Tell me, did the blood test for Lyme disease come back positive, or are you succombing to anno domini like me?

    Comment by Lloyd — October 24, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

    • Yup Lloyd, lyme free but a severe dose of AD 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 25, 2011 @ 4:00 am

  5. I am sorry for stopping by on this thread out of the blue but my mother, Vickie, and I lost touch with Shelagh around May of last year. We had been trying to contact Chris via Facebook to no avail to see how she was doing. I happened upon your blog today when my mother and I renewed our search for Shelagh. I was deeply saddened to learn of her passing. I had first met Shelagh in Charleston, SC and she and my mother became close for a long period of time. Almost 20 years. We had lost touch with her during her battle with cancer but had made several attempts to check on her and see how she had been doing. 😦 I only wish we had been more successful before her passing.

    Comment by Brandy Ramsey — August 29, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    • Aye Brandy, Shelagh’s passing left a hole in the life of many she’s sorely missed.


      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 29, 2012 @ 7:44 am

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