Life at the end of the road

December 22, 2011

Home :-)

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:16 pm

Home at last, how I love home, call me dull but a couple of weeks on the croft in May or June beats any foreign holiday in the sun ‘hands down’. A few days ‘Doon the watter’ on beautiful Bute in a great hotel may be some folks idea of heaven but ‘there’s no place like home’ 🙂 The Victoria hotel on Rothesay may have kept me well fed on great local food, the views over to the Cowal peninsula and up Loch Striven certainly were spectacular, but give me a fat ‘wee dug’ a ‘crabbit wife’ and the pishing rain any day 🙂

It had been a long and stressful day on the last day of my shift so rather than head north in the dark on Tuesday I opted for another night in the ‘Vic’


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with my compatriot from Sleat.

We had both talked about an early start, as the first ferry from Rubhbodach was just after 5:30 but I left it until 7:30 to get a breakfast inside me. I was awake at 5:00am but figured that the half bottle of red wine that I’d drunk the night before would need diluting with a ‘full Scottish’ so turned over 🙂 Funnily enough I met him in Lidl at Fort William three hours later 🙂

After spending well over £200 there, precious little of which was on alcohol, I headed for, and caught the 15:00 ferry to Raasay. Of course by the time I arrived at my beloved Arnish it was dark,

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but I wasted no time in getting reacquainted with my herd 🙂 The swineherd had just weaned Bramble’s three piglets and this was their first proper feed away from mum. The two ‘chunky’ boars on the left being destined for


this dude on Skye 🙂 The third one, on the right, a wee gilt would be staying on Raasay for finishing.


Despite being up at 5:30 not a great deal was achieved before daylight, the mountains of useless 5h1te that had poured through my letterbox (not that we actually have one) had to be dealt with and the stove had to be cleaned. At 7:30, with absolutely no sign of daylight I went back to bed, it was pure miserable outside and I needed some proper sleep 🙂

9:15 saw me arise and wifey had already fed the pigs so I set off out with Molly the ‘wee dug’ to do some work on my hydro turbine.

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The had sprung a leak from the spiral wound PVC pipe that I’d used to connect from the penstock to the turbine nozzles. At one time this 38mm hose from   would have been well up to the job of supplying 6 bar of pressure. However they have now started importing it from India or China and the stuff is cr4p, it’s the same price as the quality green stuff that you could buy from them two years ago but it’s pure 5hite 😦

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So, I replaced it with this stuff, rubber marine grade with stainless wire, 10 bar working pressure and tested to 30 bar stuff from that was reasonably priced and arrived very quickly 🙂

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That done the ‘wee dug’ Molly and I did some cable jointing, it was pishing with rain but the sad little dog would not stay at home in front of the nice warm stove. I suppose she was thinking that I’d abandon her again if she let me out of her sight 🙂

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That wee Jack Russell stuck to me like glue for the whole day, the rain and wind never ceased but Molly refused to stay inside 🙂

It’s hard to be ‘upbeat’

It’s hard to feel the usual smugness that I get when people connected to the grid are without power, we make our own  and have not been without it in 22 years 🙂 However as I type this much of Skye and the Western Isles are without power, not through fallen trees or landslides but through a tragic accident



  1. dogs are wonderful.

    Comment by jeannette — December 22, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

    • Dogs are a ‘pain in the butt’ Jeannette as you well know ‘I am not a dog person’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2011 @ 11:51 pm

  2. Hi Paul

    Yes – nothing like home, even when it’s persisting down and blowing a hoolie. You should put your wee dog in your list of the women in your life alongside the LR, the Loch Striven and your good lady – you are certainly at the top of Molly’s list!

    Have a good Christmas, Paul (and the ladies and lad in your life) and a great Hogmanay.

    As I’ve said before, ‘lang may yer lum reek!’


    Comment by Sue — December 23, 2011 @ 9:01 am

    • Cheers Sue,

      my ‘lumb sure is reeking’ but I suspect thgat it was the chicken curry 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2011 @ 11:54 pm

  3. Hiya Paul so your back to real food an proper scots weather and as for wee Molly just like my girl when I get in from work forgets the missus and does not leave me till we go to bed. Anyway hope you & the family have a good Christmas and a peaceful New Year me I’m going to curl up with a nice 12 year old from Highland Park and for the ones with no idea thats a malt.
    Stan & her indoors.

    Comment by Stan Henderson — December 23, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    • Cheers Stan, enjoy the malt, I’m saving mine for the New Year :-)It’s not like I can nip to ASDA for another 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2011 @ 11:56 pm

  4. Hello Paul, I have only commented once before,when you won ‘the blogger of the year’ even although have followed your blog from the begining. Did say ‘Hello’ once, May 2010 if I remember rightly,at the old Rassay ferry site, but thought this time of fellowship and good will to all folk called for yet another comment. I have never enjoyed so much pleasure and satisfaction from surffing the web as I have in following your blog. A pure joy and so many happy occassions and so many hearty laughs at your many antics, both frustrating and sucsessful. To all your family and animals ‘A VERY HAPPY AND ENJOYABLE AND TROUBLE FREE 2012’. Will continue to enjoy your blog as long as you continue to produce it. To endorse one of your other fans ‘LANG MAY YOUR LUM REAK’.

    Comment by ROBERT FINDLAY — December 23, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    • Thanks for that Robert 🙂 glad you’re enjoying it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 23, 2011 @ 11:58 pm

  5. Hi Paul
    Just wanted to wish you a very Happy Christmas. I was the embarrassed woman on the ferry in May with two girls and my sister, and love reading about life on Raasay. Have just completed the purchase of a piece of land at Aird so with any luck might have a house in a few years, its only taken 10 years of searching to get a piece of land! Have a great time.

    Comment by Jo Cohen — December 23, 2011 @ 9:12 pm

  6. Hi Paul…I’m another who always lurks and seldom comments (promise I’ll try harder in future!). I quite agree, home is ALWAYS best…a very Merry Christmas to you and the family mate, and a happy new year…and while I’m at it thank you so much for all the interesting posts…bless you all!

    Comment by cogidubnus — December 23, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

  7. And while we’re a it … Happy Christmas, and many thanks for the wondrous stories I keep reading 🙂

    Comment by San — December 24, 2011 @ 9:22 pm

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