Life at the end of the road

November 29, 2011

Oban bound :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, pigs, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:57 pm

That’s it, the holiday’s over, three weeks gone by like a flash, probably not most folks idea of a break but I’ve really enjoyed it and got plenty done 🙂 It started off with some phenomenal weather and ended with a week of rain, gales and ferry disruptions.

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I started my vacation with rough heather, bog and peat on the way to our new barn site and finished it with a road 🙂

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However work on the croft, or at least my part of it is now on hold, for I’m heading south, not for the ‘Jewel of the Clyde’ Bute, but Oban. For the good ship Loch Striven has been stuck there for a few days with the weather.


The Loch Striven and her twin sister Loch Linnhe swapped places on Raasay over a week ago but adverse weather has prevented her reaching on schedule.


Here’s the pair of them at ‘changeover’ last week courtesy of ‘The Purser’ 🙂

Of course being up to my eyeballs in pig sh1t, mud and rock I’ve been oblivious to all this until Sue Mason from Cornwall mentioned it 🙂

“Just noticed that the good ship Loch Striven has still only made it as far as Oban – that won’t help with the tight schedule !”


Well, at least I wouldn’t have as far to drive to join her 🙂

Anyway, it’s been a bit hectic here the last couple of days finishing everything off and getting everything ‘shipshape’ back at the house for my absence. There is always some disaster befalls wifey when I’m away at dock, once a year I leave home for a week and it’s inevitable that something will go ‘tits up’. Last year the road was blocked for a week, wife and child were stranded and the water frozen. When eventually it did thaw and outside tap burst and emptied the water tank :-(  Another time, Ginger our 250Kg boar got stuck in a ditch and nearly drowned and one year the oil stove failed leaving both house and water cold.

Yesterday I did a little work on my hydro turbine and helped my good mate Hugh MacKay of ‘Grumpy Digger Driver’ fame finish off at the barn site.


It was only a couple of hours work but that was him leaving the north end after an epic bit of road building and site clearance. Well I say ‘couple of hours’, that was me on the dumper, he was at it until dark 🙂

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wee dug in truck

The pishing rain was however no place for a ‘wee dug’ so I left her guarding the truck that would have to try and negotiate the decrepit cattle grid with a 7ton digger on the back 😦

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I really can’t remember what else happened on Monday as my head is ‘full of mince’ at the moment. The Swineherd has the 26 year old Land Rover, which is bound to break down with three ‘not so little’ pigs in the trailer on Sunday. That is of course if the road is not blocked by snow or the ferry cancelled due to weather 😦

This morning had us both up early, feeding and then worming the pigs,

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stuffed apples and banana being the delivery method of choice 🙂

After that wifey went to work and I went through the long list of stuff on my list of things to pack for the working week, topped up the oil tank, lashed down everything that was loose did a spot of path repairs by the feed store.

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Though I had to do it by hand now the digger had gone 😦

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That was about it really,

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I fed the pigs, packed the car and headed off on he last ferry. I’m now on the mainland watching two pine martens eating peanuts at my parents house 🙂


  1. Hi Paul.Hope the weather holds for you both.New road looks sound and strong :-).Hooky must have quite a tally of roads built on the island, what with the forest and other developments.


    Comment by Andy — November 30, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    • Aye Andy, Hooky is the 21st century Calum 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 2, 2011 @ 10:47 pm

  2. Hi Paul

    Hope things are going OK in Oban. I’ve been looking at old Burnley maps, and can see Whitham St and the Newtown Steelworks that were part of Burnley Ironworks. Whitham St is gone, but Cow Lane, that was not far away, going via Meadow Street, is still there, with the remnant of part of the Burnley Ironworks now being a nightclub. The school must have gone rather than been re-organised and re-named. You were near the Burnley Triangle of canal and warehouses that Prince Charles is taking a great interest in (he keeps visiting Burnley), most of which are still extant though dilapidated. The new roads that were heartlessly and confusingly built on, through and over old Burnley were probably the cause of much of the clearing some decades ago, but it’s still going on, with housing being flattened and few new ones yet being built.

    I don’t know if you knew, but the Whitham family were cotton mill owners in the 19th century, and a descendant, Thomas Whitham, was awarded the VC in WW1 but died, back in Burnley, in poverty, having had to sell his VC and other medals. The new 6th form in Burnley (on Barden Lane), which opened in 2006, is called after him (the head is an historian), and present-day members of the Whitham family came to its official opening.



    Comment by Sue — November 30, 2011 @ 6:16 pm

    • Most interesting Sue, thanks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 2, 2011 @ 10:48 pm

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