Life at the end of the road

December 31, 2011

She’s back :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 12:18 am

21:30 and I’ve just woke up, how I’m enjoying the peace and quiet of no TV 🙂 sure the family and I have been doing stuff together. OK, it was only a wee chat then falling asleep on the couch with the ‘wee dug’ but it beats the cr4p out of River city or CSI, NCIS or whatever other drivel usually comes out of Channel 5 🙂

Course the down, or possibly upside of this is that you don’t have to spend as much time reading my drivel 🙂 Speaking of which I’ll fill you in briefly on the days doings that started with an unexpected ‘piglet encounter’. After the usual pot of coffee, quick plonk on here and daily ablutions I left the house a little earlier than usual to put fuel in the Land Rover. Stumbling about in the dark, on account of having no head torch I almost tripped over our one remaining piglet, a wee Tamworth gilt that we’re saving for the freezer.

This wee madam was left over from Bramble’s litter and is turning into a bit of a character. Millie as we’ve now named her was the runt of the litter and we thought she’d be a bit of a problem. It’s unfair to keep a single piglet and we were reluctant to put her out with the herd for fear of her, A, keeping Bramble lactating and not coming on heat and B, getting bullied by the much larger pigs.

Once we weaned her and the rest of the litter she was left on her own for a day and was so upset and frantic that we reluctantly put her out on the hill with the rest of the herd. I thought at first my worries about her preventing her mum from stopping producing milk and thus coming on heat had come to pass. The first thing she did when let out was dart under mum for a drink, however within a few days Bramble dried up and got served and the wee runty piglet settled in with the rest of the herd.

The tiny wee Millie charges about with the rest of them and gets her share of the grub and she’s just as happy to hang around with Rocky or Bracken as with her mum. I’m a little amazed by this, not just the way Millie has settled in but by the way the whole herd is interacting. There’s always a pecking order and the primary conflicts can be quite brutal but once they’ve established it and settled they’re all very civilized. Or at least they are when they’re out on the hill and fed over a large area, the same pigs fed in a field tend to hog the trough and take chunks out of each other.

Anyway, as they’ve all settled down we’ve taken to leaving the gate to the croft open out of pure laziness and of course the crappy weather. Seems to be that now they spend the day on the hill then wander back onto the croft and sleep in the barn. I had thought that they were sleeping in the old net shed then wandering around in the morning to get fed but once Millie then Bracken and Rocky turned up as I was fuelling up the land Rover I realized they’d been in there all night 🙂

Striven’s back 🙂

our own vessel the MV Loch Striven had left Tobermory just before 7:00am for the eight hour steam to Raasay.


screen so we spent the next few hours sprucing up the MV Loch Linnhe for the crew that would be taking her away.

301211 007 (Medium)



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Whilst we were busy with the ‘Scalex’ and power washer the ‘well boat’ Victoria lady was busy transferring fish from Loch Eynort or the Moll to the new cages at Braes.

 301211 009 (Medium) 

Vessel Identification

Viktoria Lady





Former name(s):

Aspoy (Until 2009 Aug 11)

Technical Data

Vessel type:
Fish Carrier

Gross tonnage:
1,186 tons

Summer DWT:
700 tons

53 m

13 m

5.2 m

Administrative Information

Home port:

Class society:
Det Norske Veritas

Build year:

Havyard Solstrand
Tomrefjord, Norway

Fosnavaag, Norway

Fosnavaag, Norway

301211 013 (Medium)


The mystery marag

Our own ship passed Eyre point on Raasay just after 14:30 (cheers George 🙂 )

Loch Striven

and arrived at the new harbour shortly afterwards.


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Just as we on the Loch Linnhe were returning from Sconser 🙂




All went well, apart from me leaving my ‘red neck hillbilly’ jacket on the Linnhe and before long the relief boat headed south (after returning my jacket, thanks chaps)


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Shortly afterwards she was caught on camera by ‘Oyster George’ as she headed to Mallaig ???


Loch Linnhe


It was only long after the good ship Loch Linnhe had departed south that we noticed the ‘marag dubh’, two large black puddings nestling in the otherwise bare fridge 🙂

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OK, it was more like one and three quarters than two but you know what I mean. Enquiries amongst the crew and passengers revealed nought, the biscuits, chocolates and booze (shh) could all be accounted for, but where had the black pudding come from ?????. Was it a Mull marag, an Oban offering or a Gourock ‘blood pud’ ???Whatever it is I’m looking forward to trying it, I only wish I hadn’t eaten all the scallops for breakfast 🙂


It’s been here since Wednesday and I’m afraid to open it, it arrived with a flash and bang on the table as if by magic.

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OK, that’s a lie, it arrived by courier and I didn’t bring it home until last night but I’m overwhelmed and afraid to drink it.

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At 21 years old and with a hand written label

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it’s going to have to be a VERY special occasion Sue 🙂


  1. Oh yeah.. that is a very special label,, but harking back.. why would you NAME a pig destined for the freezer.?. all is lost at that point.. c

    Comment by ceciliag — December 31, 2011 @ 12:44 am

    • Hi Cecilia “why would you NAME a pig destined for the freezer.?.” if we didn’t name them then we wouldn’t know who we were eating 🙂 Eddie’s ribs, might get confused with Ginger’s or Millie’s 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  2. Pudding mystery has affected my family in the past.Whilst helping my brother construct his drive we found a 3″dia black pud lurking in the undergrowth.Thinking it was an electric cable joint we approached with caution only to find a fairly fresh black pudding still in wrapper. I nearly keeled over the following morning when my brother started cooking the thing. Days later we discovered the dog, from the hotel next door, was the most likely culprit having swiped the pud from the kitchen when the coast was clear 🙂

    Happy new year all


    Comment by Andy — December 31, 2011 @ 12:51 am

    • Morning Andy,

      glad to see your brother is a man of good sense and didn’t let the marag go to waste 🙂

      Happy New Year to you all 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2012 @ 12:41 pm

      • The thing that cracked us both up, was he had never heard of “Stornoway” cable joints 🙂

        Comment by Andy — January 1, 2012 @ 7:01 pm

      • Hi Andy, ‘Stornoway cable joints’ are renound for their imperiousness to wind and rain, bit like the good folk of Lewis I guess 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  3. Morning Paul

    Where you getting your black pudding from ?, I’ve found a really nice pudding , it’s called Clonakilty , it’s an Irish recipe, its nutty and taste a little like haggis, its well nice, ever tried it..

    Anyway have a good one


    Comment by Gaz — December 31, 2011 @ 9:27 am

  4. Enjoy Paul but don’t get a sore head and a happy new year to you and you family

    Comment by Stan Henderson — December 31, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    • Good morning Stan, well actually it’s almost 13:00, the head is clear and 2012 is here 🙂 Have a good one yourself, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  5. Thanks for your lovely pics and delightful stories, Paul. You bring a lot of cheer to your readers around the world. Wishing you and your family health and happiness in 2012!

    Comment by Flora — December 31, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    • Good morning Flora, well it probably is where you are, it’s almost 13:00 here and I’m just out of my bed drinking strong black coffee laced with Disaronno 🙂

      Hope you had a good New Year

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

  6. As Flora says, Paul. Thanks for another year of funny and fascinating daily blogs. I always look forward to getting in and reading the latest post. Happy Hogmanay mate!

    Comment by Lloyd — December 31, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

    • Happy New Year Lloyd and all the best for 2012, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

    • Hi Lloyd, it was indeed a good one thanks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  7. Happy New Year to you and your family, Paul. I look forward to more of your interesting posts in 2012. Good luck!

    Comment by Carolyn — December 31, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  8. Happy New Year Paul to you and all your family…thank you for your postings over the past few years, and here’s wishing you good fortune for the next one…all the very best


    Comment by cogidubnus — January 1, 2012 @ 1:45 am

    • Thanks Dave, much appreciated, glad you’re enjoying the ramblings and still keeping up 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2012 @ 10:52 pm

  9. happy new year to you and your family Paul thanks for posting on your blog letting everyone know how lovely people on sky and rassay . Happy new year

    Comment by jay and sharon mitchell — January 1, 2012 @ 5:50 am

  10. Happy New Year to you and family. Long may you write.

    Comment by Mimi — January 2, 2012 @ 1:02 am

    • Thanks for that Mimi in the US?? glad you’re enjoying 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 4, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  11. Happy New Year from North-east Fife!

    Comment by Kingdomcat — January 7, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

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