Life at the end of the road

December 12, 2011

The ‘Power of Dreams’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:38 pm

No posting last night because I was in my bed, at 18:30!!!!! a record even for me 🙂 not only that but I slept for almost thirteen hours. Or at least I did until some clown phoned me up (twice) after 22:00, by that time the entire household was pushing out zeds and it was left to me to give the caller an ‘earful’. I suppose the wife reasoned that I’d a head start in the sleeping stakes so wouldn’t begrudge a little disturbance 🙂 She was wrong, especially when I discovered it was the same caller that had me out of bed with heart palpitations almost exactly eleven months ago.

“Anyway that was it for yesterday, I went to bed early, tired and emotionally drained only to be constantly disturbed by the frigging phone”

The only people that phone in the ‘middle of the night’, and to me 22:00 is the friggin middle of the night are my work during an emergency or the emergency services in a friggin emergency. When phone goes off in sleepy time I get an adrenalin rush that any junky would die for, because I usually have to be dressed pretty quick and drive like an eejit as someone is dying or about to have a baby :-(  The latest newspaper article or theatre review does not constitute a matter of ‘life or death’ 🙂

Anyway a cup of hot milk and a banana soon soaked up the adrenalin and I was back in the land of nod pretty much until 7:00am. Wifey already being up and getting the boys ready for the 7:55 ferry and school, me I went out to see Jamie Lea.

Yesterday had been taken  up by a visit to my parents, but just before leaving I’d fed the pigs and discovered Jamie was producing milk. Normally pigs only produce milk immediately before birth, well around 24 hours anyway. She wasn’t actually due until the 22nd but we all know how good my maths is 😦 so we separated her into the field set aside for her and the swineherd stayed behind to keep an eye on things.

Today however when I went out to check her there was no sign of piglets or even milk, so I think it was a false alarm, perhaps something they do as they get older? Anyway, with me heading back down the Clyde tomorrow I thought I’d better try and minimise any potential problems for the swineherd.

The field Jamie is in does not have any water in it so we usually lift it out of the burn just over the fence, not an easy task, especially for a lactating sow who can consume literally gallons during a day. There is a hose into the field but you can guarantee that that will freeze in my absence so I decided to make a big water tub.

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The 400lt fish cage float I’d already cut up some years ago for another task so it was just a matter of stiffening it up a little with some planks of wood. Then I could take it into the field and pump water into it using my 30 year old Honda 2” water pump. Wifey could then scoop it out with a bucket for Jamie as required, OK it might still freeze but not as much as a hose pipe and the galvanized bucket would soon break the ice 🙂

Only problem was I couldn’t find my water pump 😦 I couldn’t find it because I’d left it almost a month ago right by the side of Loch Beag over a mile away and forgot to lift it 😦 It must be fecked I told myself, right by the shore where the wind would force great waves of water into every orifice like a power washer. I could have kicked myself, twenty five or so years I’ve had the thing, it’s salvaged yachts, caught razor fish (spoots) and drained the Raasay house cellars more than once and now its wrecked 😦

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There was no point rushing to save it so I went down to the ‘Powerspout’ on the way and fitted a plug to the armoured cable

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and admired the rainbows,


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OK, I know they’re pretty faint, but hey it is December and sunshine is a rare thing here at this time 🙂

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Once at the loch I checked the fuel and oil on the abandoned pump, pulled the cord three times and off she went,

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in fact it set off with such gusto that it flipped over and gave me a shower, I was well impressed.

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I bet wifey will be too, now she doesn’t have to climb the fence with the bucket 🙂

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There was more,  as usual it involved yet another Honda and the ‘wee dug’, we hauled more rock for Saturday’s path, started laying a 10mm square SWA cable to the house site and spent an hour on the phone to the bank.

However it’s 21:30 and time for bed 🙂


So I’ll just leave you with the storm that never came.




  1. interesting about the pig, don’t forget to give us an update when the time comes. It is getting so cold here that the hoses are useless. I have started to carry water for the cows in buckets from the house. Today it warmed up so i could use the hose, but when it is frozen it is frozen, nothing to do but haul it.. I get good shoulders! c

    Comment by ceciliag — December 12, 2011 @ 9:59 pm

    • Morning Cecilia,

      Still no piglets from JL, very strange, keep exercising those shoulders, the winter has just begun 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 7:25 am

  2. The storm came into the South West alright – lots of gusts over 60mph – real glass bending stuff, with rain smashing onto the windows – hope it doesn’t reach you, you’ve had your share recently – although Thursday is looking grim for all of us. Isles of Scilly goods boat might not go all week – they’ll be down to the Ship’s Biscuits by then ! Hope your trip South goes well. Sue

    Comment by Sue Mason — December 12, 2011 @ 11:25 pm

    • How goes it down in Cornwall now Sue?? finished the ships biscuits yet 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 7:26 am

  3. Wasn’t me that phoned Paul, like you I was in bed early last night due to having a rotten cold caught from my younger daughter who is home living with us again. It is so nice of her to share, especially when I cannot take anything for the cold due to my daily meds routine given by the doctor, so grin and bear it! Slept through till 11am and like you rudely awoken by the phone, which was for said daughter!
    Why oh why do people phone when we are enjoying slumber!!!! Everytime I panic as Dad, now well into his 80’s reently moved house and is doing all kind of scilly things that he should not attempt on his own. Sometimes wish we where not 400miles away from him.

    Hoping and praying you have a safe journey doon the Clyde and that all runs smoothly back at the ranch!

    All the best


    Comment by Graham Thompson — December 13, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

    • Morning Graham,

      from what I hear all is peachy on the croft, though the road from the village to our house is treacherous. Good job I left the ‘Old Girl’ with wifey 🙂 Mind you I wasn’t saying that at 6:00am yesterday in Glen Shiel when the Nissan was skating all over the road 😦 Luckily my parents are only an hours drive away, dunno what I’d do if they were 400 miles away 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 7:32 am

  4. Wow, was it really eleven months ago that you said “goodbye Ginger” and “hello tasty pork”?…….Seems longer!
    The weather is bad darn sarf, but must be much worse for you. Hope the Swineherd and son are ok without you, and you get home safely, mate.

    Comment by Lloyd — December 13, 2011 @ 7:29 pm

    • Morning Lloyd, how time flies hey, it don’t seem that long ago that I was plonking away on here, in this very room in the Victoria with Ginger in a ditch 200 miles away but it’s four years, almost to the day.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 7:35 am

  5. we to have been lashed by the storms, our wind turbine is almost done in, the yaw bearing is goosed after this spell of heavy weather. love reading your blogs keep up the good work, don’t get washed away..

    Comment by Steve Batey — December 14, 2011 @ 8:08 pm

    • Hi Steve,

      hope you get your turbine sorted, what sort is it ??

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

      • its a whisper h80 running at 48vdc. a little light for our lofty elevation. this is the 3rd or 4th one i have had. me thinks i need to up grade a tad.

        Comment by Steve Batey — December 19, 2011 @ 6:02 pm

      • Morning Steve,

        sounds like you need something more substantial, if the yaw bearings are always giving trouble then perhaps the site is too turbulent? Taller mast or different location may help.

        Good luck, Paul

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 20, 2011 @ 7:08 am

  6. I have eventually typed up Colin’s chimney pots story but can’t see how to attach a document – am I being thick or what?

    Comment by may cruickshank — December 17, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    • “I have eventually typed up Colin’s chimney pots story but can’t see how to attach a document – am I being thick or what?” No point asking me May 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 18, 2011 @ 4:59 pm

      • right, maybe someone else knows or I can ask someone who uses wordpress. Meantime, will copy and paste and see what happens

        Alan Evans Memorial Hostel Chimney Pots

        On the chimneys of the Alan Evans Memorial Hostel in Raasay, there are two different chimney pots. Not unusual, you may say, but thereby hangs a tale of piracy!

        When Alan bought Creachan Lodge, as it was called then, one of the pots was broken. This was shortly after the end of WW11 when all building supplies were in very great demand and very short supply. Accordingly Alan, with his usual ingenuity, assembled a small team and using his yacht Rowter, we sailed up to South Rona, where we knew there were several good houses with solid chimney pots. I can’t recall which house we chose, but it was close to the shore in Acarseid Thioram.

        In those days, we were all into rock climbing and climbing on to a house roof was not a problem. By carefully chiselling away the cement at the base of the pot we tilted it sufficiently to pass a climbing rope through it. Belaying the rope at the top of the roof, it was possible to lower the pot to the ground. Anyone who has had to handle a chimney pot while perched on a roof will appreciate that this was no mean feat, nor was transporting it to the shore and getting it on to the boat and, of course, off it again back on Raasay!

        So, when you see a fine castellated chimney pot and an ordinary one you can guess which one is which ……

        Told by Colin Cruickshank

        (on the document I have included photos of the chimneys but they don’t attach)

        Comment by may cruickshank — December 18, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

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