Life at the end of the road

January 11, 2012

I see no ‘potholes’ :-(

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:51 pm

Right, I really need to calm down before I start writing tonight, the day got off to a brilliant start and I was in a great mood for long enough. I was in a great mood until the Council pickup left Raasay on the 14:30 ferry. That’ll be the 6 or 7m long pickup that comes over once a fortnight to pick up all our litter and repair the potholes. This is the vehicle that costs damn near £100 on the ferry when a £15 one would do. The council have stopped sending over the skip lorry every three months because it’s too expensive but they send this ‘white elephant’ over to do sweet FA every fortnight. OK, I need to chill so I’ll move on 🙂

So where was I

Well it was a fine morning when I arose at 5:45, the ‘wee dug’ was on the covers of my bed, wifey was snoring downstairs in the spare room and Tam was fast asleep in Molly’s bed 🙂

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Ali the alligator was keeping Tam warm, but by all accounts he’d had been up every hour wanting fed and the swineherd (wife) was pure shattered. Before leaving for work at 6:45 I gave the ‘wee chap’ a drink then headed south.

The heater on the Land Rover wasn’t working so I took wifey’s Nissan down the 11 mile single track to the ferry terminal, driving, as usual slowly to avoid the potholes. Highland Region had, under pressure from MP’s, MSP’s community councillors and the general public made a half hearted attempt at repairing the Raasay roads. It was certainly an improvement but the road still needed approaching with caution and I arrived at work in one piece. The day was good so I got on with some ‘aerial’ jobs whilst the wind was light and the sun up 🙂

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Well, not actually up but threatening to 🙂

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The aerial jobs being greasing the ramps and replacing a floodlight bulb on the wheelhouse roof. It was whilst up here, many meters above the car deck that I was greeted by the sight of the council pickup arriving on the 9:25 sailing from Sconser. Oh goody me thinks as I look down and spot a Transit truck full of tarmac and two ‘enthusiastic’ council employees, they’ll be repairing the roads.


Please please please go no further if you’re offended by foul language but I’m of ‘working class’ stock and the nearest I got to university was a couple of eastern European girl friends studying at Oxford and Ljubljana 🙂 Like I said the morning was fine, though I missed much of it buried in the engine room with an electrician who was looking at our transformers.

Imagine my surprise, after bouncing 11 fecking miles down the road in wifey’s Almera to find the council pickup truck on the 14:30 ferry still full of tarmac 😦 My compatriot on the ferry was equally puzzled and enquired of its two occupants why they were heading off the island with as much tarmac as they’d brought over. “We couldn’t find any potholes” was the reply. Well I’m fecking stunned, six friggin hours earlier I’d been scraping the arse out of the wife’s Nissan and now these fecking clowns “couldn’t find any fecking potholes” . I’m sorry, I’m really fecking sorry if I’ve offended any one but this is a friggin joke, I have to fit heavy duty suspension to my Land Rover to cope with the road, I have to change the fecking ball joints and bushes on the wife’s car every year and these fecking eejits can’t see the friggin potholes.

I was nearly purple with rage, I pay my council tax, I don’t complain, I take my bins down to the ferry whenever possible and the numptys at HRC send a load of tarmac over then take it away, I’m fecking speechless!!!!! By the time I drove home the wind and rain had displaced the balmy weather of the morning but even in the dark I could see the friggin potholes.

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And this will be just the potholes that were not full of water,

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this will be just a tiny selection of the ones that I could not avoid on the way home.

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Not a great picture I know but enough  to drive you to drink 🙂 but that can is sitting on the ‘sub base’ below the tarmac 🙂

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Again, not the best of photo’s but it was pishing with rain and blowing a gale, something it was NOT doing when the council came over at 9:25 😦

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But this ‘fecker’ has to ‘take the biscuit’, just before Brochel and totally unavoidable,

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right in the middle of the road,

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with just a few millimetres clearance under the Nissan and “ we couldn’t find any  potholes”  I’m seriously pi55ed off.

Times are hard, I know, budgets have been slashed and we all have to tighten our belts but what is the point of sending a load of tarmac over to Raasay and not friggin using it. Especially when you could have sent it over in a van that was less than 5m long for less than a quarter of the price, I despair 😦

The curly tail

I’m really sorry about that ‘wee rant’ but I just had to get it off my chest, anyway, I eventually got home half an hour late due to all my photography to find Tam much improved.


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He had in fact got a wee curl in his tail for the first time in over a week, if a pig has a curl in its tail it’s generally happy 🙂 OK, he was by no means ‘cured’ was still panting but at least he was on the mend 🙂

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And just in case he had worms I gave him 1ml of ‘Panomec’ 🙂 Poor wee Tam, he’s like a pin cushion with all his medication but I really don’t know what else to do. Rhona Campbell, our vet has been brilliant and by rights wee Tam should have died days ago, but he’s such a little ‘fighter’ that we’re reluctant to let him go. In all honesty he’ll probably never amount to much and will have cost us a fortune but the wee piglet deserves a chance 🙂


  1. maybe if you sent their bosses a map with the potholes marked??? that really is outrageous, to spend the fare and come up ….witless.
    and, tam! scarfing scotland did you good! hope you’re feeling better and curlier too.

    Comment by jeannette — January 12, 2012 @ 1:00 am

  2. Paul,

    This link or this link may help you map the locations, though from regularly reading your blog the whole road will soon be one long pothole!


    Comment by Graham Sutherland — January 12, 2012 @ 7:39 am

    • Morning Graham and thanks for those two links, I’m going to get on the case and send one to and if anyone else feels like doing the same, feel free. The one with wifey’s car in the mud is just on the hill to the south of Brochel about 100yds past the sheep fank.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 8:42 am

  3. Thanks for the updates on Tam.

    David in Spain

    Comment by david — January 12, 2012 @ 8:57 am

    • Morning David in Spain 🙂 Tam off to the vet with wifey just now and he’s not looking great 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 8:43 am

  4. i live out in the sticks in lancashire
    our road is full of pot holes
    but this week council had a team of three men liter picking Y

    what you nead to do is get gps codenets on pot holes and send them to council

    Comment by wiggy — January 12, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    • Hi Wiggy,

      “i live out in the sticks in lancashire
      our road is full of pot holes
      but this week council had a team of three men liter picking Y”

      This is what really pi55es me off, that huge pickup comes over to Raasay to pick up litter also, but there is no litter on Raasay !!!!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 8:46 am

  5. Paul, the chap who was to get back to me ‘as soon as his enquiries have been completed’ is the Director of Transport, Environmental and Community Services who is looking into the matter of the state of the Raasay roads on behalf of the Chief Executive – impressed or what? I intend to get back to the Director of All Those Things and direct him to your site, it will speak louder than anything of mine. I have heard nothing since 22/11/11 but wn’t let it rest, it’s a disgrace and the Highland Councl should be ashamed of themselves. Anne Macdonald

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — January 12, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    • Keep up the good work Anne,

      it wouldn’t be so bad if they actually did some work whilst here. A typical day of ‘work’ on Raasay by the council seems to go like this. Wait in ferry queue for twenty minutes reading Sun and smoking, sit on ferry for twenty minutes reading the Sun whilst trying to hide cigarette. Arrive on Raasay around 9:50, just before tea break ‘work’ until lunchtime which I’m guessing will be an extended half hour 🙂 ‘Work’ some more before rushing back to the ferry terminal to finish off the Sun before catching the 14:30 ferry back 🙂

      What is the point of that ??? out of a typical eight hour day that will be at lest four hours travelling and sitting in the vehicle and at least one hour on tea breaks/lunch leaving a full three hours to do any meaningful ‘work’. Not to mention the cost of the ferry, why not employ someone already on the island ???? And I don’t mean another council employee with gold plated pension who has to go on course every other week to get a certificate to operate a shovel or some such. No a subcontractor who goes hungry if he doesn’t work 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 9:22 am

  6. That’s ludicrous, Paul, this really has to be brought to the attention of the authorities and hopefully Anne can help, but you really have to wonder at the intelligence of some of these people who after all are being paid by us. In Dunfermline we are being threatened by yet more useless speed bumps for instance, costing £22000 on roads where there has never been an accident, which has potholes, and where none of the residents want them, but all the complaints fall on deaf ears with the powers that be.
    How long before we have speed bumps on the way up from the ferry?

    Keep up the good work!!

    George Rankine

    Comment by George Rankine — January 12, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

    • Of Course George, how stupid of me, they’re not potholes they’re ‘rustic speedbumps’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

  7. Paul

    Hi there, I have visited Raasay most years since I was 2 in 1965 and really like the blog. Your email made me nostalgic of the many groups of men who did various jobs, the bins, the roads which are now contracted out. Many a hot summers day (!) was spent passing the road gang who maybe surprisingly were clearly more efficient than today’s option. I can’t remember all of the people who were in it but John Cummins our next door neighbour was definitely one of the gang.

    Comment by Allison — January 12, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    • Aye Allison, I’m thinking Neil MacKay would have been another and perhaps Peter Gillies and Korea 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

  8. Hard to believe that someone couldn’t see a pothole,isn’t it? Reminds me of watching the road crews where I live. Glad the little pig is doing better. My grandson saw pics and thinks he is so cute.He would like to have him.

    Comment by Mimi — January 12, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

    • Hi Mimi, they are not potholes apparently they are speed bumps in disguise, to slow down all the ‘boy racers’ on the island 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

  9. I heard of one council that regarded potholes as an alternative to speed humps.

    Comment by zyzzyz — January 12, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    • Welcome aboard Zyzzyz (gosh that’s hard to type 🙂 )

      “I heard of one council that regarded potholes as an alternative to speed humps.” think that’s HRC’s ploy too 🙂 Nice pictures

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  10. They should have gone to Specsavers !!!!!!!

    Comment by Kevin Simmister — January 12, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

    • “They should have gone to Specsavers !!!!!!!” 🙂 🙂 They should have taken their eyes off ‘page three’ Kevin 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

  11. Doesnt sound like i will driving my little old nissan micra up there in the dark. Absolutely ludicrous Paul, do you know whether they even went up to the north end?

    Comment by simon — January 12, 2012 @ 10:24 pm

    • You’ll be fine in the Micra Simon, that was one of the good things about wifey’s old Daihatsu, it was so narrow and light you good miss many of them, well one or two of the worse ones 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

      • Oh well, I need to plan a visit soon then. 🙂

        Comment by Simon — January 15, 2012 @ 9:44 pm

  12. Far a man how has trouble standing on two feet i would love to have seen you hopping around on one foot, and taking pictures too.

    Comment by MW — January 13, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    • Unlike most new Volvo’s MW I carry spare ‘boots’ in the boot 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  13. Oh I love a good rant, especially if there is a beer in a pothole and a wee piggie at the end of the day! maybe i should get out there and put some cans in my potholes, soon the postie will not be able to drive his car down our road, and now it is snowing and i cannot see the holes, though i have them pretty much memorised! c

    Comment by ceciliag — January 13, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

  14. Sounds like the council workers (lol) are tarred with the same brush as the ones doon here, what you need to do is get everybody on the island to send all repair bills for car springs, bushes, knackered alloys and such like to the council at the same time and claim from them. then you might get somewhere, its exactly the same here, i think i told you once before but the council find it cheeper to pay peoples bills than to fix the roads because not enough folk claim. Hope wee tam gets better soon and the swineherd will be able to get a decent kip.

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — January 13, 2012 @ 7:08 pm

    • Hi Jimmy, we’ll all be getting more sleep now, but not for the right reasons 😦 Poor Tam had a single on the ferry today, he went to Portree and never came back 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

      • ach thats a shame, at least you gave him a guid chance

        Comment by jimmy mcmillan — January 17, 2012 @ 10:06 am

      • Aye Jimmy, a wee shame indeed, hows the bairns 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 11:43 pm

  15. I’ve visited the Highland Regional Council website and hit the Chief Executive with an emailed complaint (my complaint was allocated reference 00012122-0130-00000001-0001) regarding this issue and threatening media attention, giving just my name, and email address as references…If EVERYONE does the same (nobody will know which complaints come from constituents and which from sympathisers) the pointless german aeroplane’s * going to get inundated …. and perhaps, just perhaps, something might get done …

    * Oh sorry…I meant useless focker…

    Comment by cogidubnus — January 13, 2012 @ 9:28 pm

    • So far Ive got:-

      “I am out of the office until Monday 16th January 2012.

      If your query is urgent or regarding a complaint please contact Gordon Morrison on (01463) 702547 or

      If your query is regarding a freedom of information request please contact Miles Watters on (01463) 702029 or

      Over to you

      Comment by cogidubnus — January 13, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    • Thanks for those links Cogidubnus, I’ll get onto the German airplanes as soon as I can 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:57 pm

  16. […] Life at the End of the Road […]

    Pingback by Snow as Art, An award, and yes, a wee story | thekitchensgarden — January 14, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

  17. Cecilia asked us to stop by … wow … lots going on on this post – reminds me of a traditional hardware store offers a bit of everything. Love the sunset pic!

    Comment by aFrankAngle — January 14, 2012 @ 3:15 pm

    • Hi Frank and welcome aboard 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  18. I put you on the list for the Leibster award on my pages. I know you don’t do awards, But i did it anyway because I want my other readers to come over and see the little Piggie!! So don’t panic!! c

    Comment by ceciliag — January 14, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

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