Life at the end of the road

January 14, 2012

He’s gone :-(

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:57 pm

It’s been a helluva weekend I can’t see me being on here for long, already it’s 18:50 and we sail, or at least leave the pier in one and a half hours. So what’s not on here by then will have to wait, for tonight I’m driving straight home, having a stiff drink and going to bed, hopefully with my wife and not the wee dug 🙂 None of us has had much sleep of late but at least I’ve not been sleeping on the couch with a poorly piglet like the poor wife. Though actual sleeping has been in short supply for the swineherd, I’ve been OK, I may have been in bed a little later than usual and up a little sooner to help with the chores but not the wife. No my long suffering and bleary eyed partner has been tending to Tam’s every needs.

The wee chap, who’d been doing so well on his diet of baby milk, dirt and stones started to deteriorate on Thursday. His ‘pneumonia’ seemed to have moved up into his throat and he was having trouble standing, such a disappointment after his ‘rally’ of the previous few days. He was still feeding well but had to be held up, then after being fed he couldn’t move anywhere or stand to do the toilet, so just did it where he lay 😦 Molly would clean him up and we’d move him onto a fresh ‘puppy pad’ but he was obviously distressed.

I got an appointment to take him to the vet today, I could have probably got one yesterday but the wife was in no fit state to drive. I hasten to had because she was so tired and an emotional wreck and not because she’s been ‘on the juice’. At least by today our son would be there to help whilst I was at work.



Not that long ago I would have either left him to fend for himself with the others and let nature take its course or at least shot him after the first course of antibiotics failed to cure him. It may sound harsh but sickly and hand reared animals seldom thrive and if they do survive they generally become a pest. I know as I’ve reared plenty of lambs after their mothers have died or not had enough milk and I’ve had one or two piglets in the kitchen.

Tam though was such a little fighter that we did our best to save him, more than our best, all of us, wife, dug, vet, son and I.

140111 003

When I got home last night he did seem a little better and could even stand unaided, though not for long 😦 Still we had an appointment with the vet at 9:00am today and I convinced myself, and the family that he’d be OK.

Sadly he  wasn’t, I knew he wasn’t when the wife’s phone number came up on my mobile and the Dude answered when I pressed the green button. “The piglet’s not coming back” he said 😦 I’m not really sure what was wrong with him other than it was something to do with his heart. I’ll find out once the wife has got over it. She did after all not let him out of her sight for a week and he’d taken to following her about, which was fine when he could walk but quite distressing when he could only try.

Still we have to look on the bright side, he got an extra week or so, seemed quite happy for much of the time and at least we now don’t have to face the dilemma of what to do with a fully grown pet boar. For I don’t think that even the heartless soul that I am could have  Taken him to slaughter and I doubt anyone else would want a 200Kg pet with tusks 🙂

More developments

It’s not new news as it’s almost a week old and it may not be true news as it’s out of one of Rupert’s papers but it does sound like exceedingly good news 🙂 From well it’s not actually, it’s from a mate who emailed it to me as I’ll be damned if I give that megalomaniac any money 🙂

Times 11th Jan

I’m really sorry Mike if I stole your article great blog by the way 🙂


Times p2


The art gallery in question is to be housed in the old farm steading and what a venue it would be, I can’t think of a more apt location, well apart from Raasay House itself 🙂

280409 005

The picture’s a couple of years old as I have not had time to take one today having been buried down below,

140111 014

scrapping and undercoating the forward ‘Voith space’.

140111 012

Mr Hohler is the founder of the a charity who’s goal is to catalogue and make available for view (or at least digitally) all public oil paintings.

“The Public Catalogue Foundation, a registered charity[1], is working on a project to record the UK‘s complete collection of oil paintings in public ownership and to make this accessible to the public through a series of affordable catalogues and, at a later stage, free Internet access.

The catalogues and resulting website will allow readers to see a colour illustration and description of every painting in the UK’s national collection. This information has significant educational benefits and constitutes the building blocks for later art historical research. Revenue from catalogue sales made by collections will be dedicated to the conservation and restoration of oil paintings in their care.

In January 2009 a partnership with the BBC was announced with the aim to place the entire catalogue of publicly owned oil paintings online by 2012.[2]

So perhaps we may see works of art from further afield 🙂

Cementing it all together

So with Raasay House only a year off completion after the great fire of almost exactly two years ago

180109 004

and with our new hybrid ferry having it’s steel cut at Ferguson’s

image  image all we need now is a ‘Development Officer’ RDP.html .

24K goes a long way here and it’s a great place for children, but hurry because you’ve only a week to get your application in 🙂

Isle of Raasay Community Development Officer
Based on Raasay
35 hours per week
Salary of up to £24480
Job Share will be considered

Raasay Development Partnership (affiliated to Raasay Community Association) is looking to recruit a Community Development Officer to work with the Partnership and Community to progress and implement a community growth plan. Some initial projects have already been identified to create opportunities and enhance
the socio-economic, cultural and environmental welfare of the community.

The role requires good general computer skills, the ability to work effectively on your own,
strong motivation and an enthusiasm for the role.

The closing date for applications is Friday 20th January.
The position will start as soon after the 1st February as possible
and currently has funding up to 31st December 2013.

For a full brief, and to submit your application, please contact:

Donnie Oliphant – Chairman
Clachan Lodge, Isle of Raasay, IV40 8PB
01478 660388


Katherine Gillies – Treasurer
1 Holoman Park, Isle of Raasay, IV40 8PE
01478 660233



  1. I’m very sorry to hear about your losing Tam. I’ve been sharing the story daily with my wife, and she’ll be crushed to know he didn’t make it. What a spirit he had.

    Comment by Bob — January 14, 2012 @ 9:09 pm

    • Hi Bob and thanks, wee Tam touched us all with his ‘fighting spirit’

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 11:29 pm

  2. So sorry about Tam.

    Comment by Tigger — January 14, 2012 @ 9:18 pm

    • Hi Tigger, never been so moved and upset since Malin my last Jack Russell died years ago. Swore I’d never have another pet, then Molly came along. Not my ‘wee dug’ you understand but my son’s, the ‘wee dug’ follows me everywhere because my son is at the hostel, she looked after Tam the best she knew how and now I’m an emotional wreck because a piglet has died. We must produce between 60 and 80 piglets a year all of whom end up in the freezer, some get squashed, some are born dead and some get sick, that’s life. Yet this runty little chap broke our hearts, even the vet that ‘put him down’ said he was a cutie. The wife and I still can’t talk about it without ‘welling up’ and this is a family that lives off stuff they kill. Irrational or what!!

      Thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 14, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  3. Sorry, too about the piglet as he obviously was something special. Interested in the developments you mention, they sound exciting but hope they have the foresight to see that good road structure and maintenance could do an awful lot for the population wanting and being able to stay and for increasing visitor numbers!

    Comment by may cruickshank — January 14, 2012 @ 9:56 pm

  4. Paul, so sorry to hear about Tam

    good news about the art gallery though, I do hope it goes through … looking forward to seeing it if (when) I get around to visiting your part of the world

    Comment by carina — January 14, 2012 @ 10:07 pm

  5. So sorry to hear about Tam…all animals (whether stock or pets – and I suspect he’d become the latter) are special…

    Comment by cogidubnus — January 14, 2012 @ 11:32 pm

  6. I am sorry about TAm but you did your best for him. It is sad when that happens. I lost a calf like that this year who thought I was his mother. He followed me everywhere. I can understand how much your wife must miss the little guy.

    Comment by Marjorie Stintzi — January 14, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  7. So sorry to hear about Tam, was really looking forward to seeing him again in your storys..its so sad.

    Comment by Gaz — January 15, 2012 @ 12:01 am

    • Morning All, thanks for all the kind words about Wee Tam, the house is returning to normal now, no puppy pads on the floor, baby milk on the table or cuddly toys. We all miss him but at least we can sleep easy now knowing we did our best.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 16, 2012 @ 6:10 am

  8. I know it is irrational but .. there you are. Sometimes they get to you. He had a lovely warm loving extra week or so. Ah well.. Tell the swine herd greetings from across the world and take care of yourself too.. It will be easier to manage after a couple of good sleeps. c

    Comment by ceciliag — January 15, 2012 @ 12:12 am

  9. you all gave your best, including tam and molly. and you know, amor manet. love remains.
    best wishes to the excellent mrs. LATEOTR.
    i am happy to think the art is coming to raasay and a community development person as well.

    Comment by jeannette — January 15, 2012 @ 2:32 am

  10. It has all been said Paul. I have just returned from another 5 day spell in Hospital. I came out to read all your news, Spring is around the corner and I look forward to Jan taking me out to photograph the Almond blossom and any bird life we can find.

    David in Spain

    Comment by david — January 15, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    • Morning David,

      our birds seem a little confused by the exceptionally mild winter (so far) enjoy the almond blossom and take care, mind that Jan is careful and does not drive over or push you into any pot holes 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 16, 2012 @ 6:15 am

  11. Hi Paul

    Poor wee Tam – but he had a good shot at life. I can understand how you all feel.

    I do hope that the art project happens – it would be wonderful. It would also be good to see the old steading re-furbished, having watched it go further and further into decline over the years. I shall wait and watch with interest. At least the road is OK from the ferry to the steading!



    Comment by Sue — January 15, 2012 @ 9:40 am

    • Morning Sue and all who look forward to Raasay being put on the ‘international art circuit’ 🙂 I do hope it comes to fruition, what an asset it would be and what a setting. Can’t have imagined that it would have even been considered had the harbour been built elsewhere had the many objectors had their way 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 16, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  12. Sad news indeed given all the effort you were all making to bring him through.On a lighter note,what fantastic news about the art gallery.Maybe a mining museum/exhibition with a section of narrow gauge railway should also be considered if not already done so.


    Andy & family

    Comment by Andy — January 15, 2012 @ 10:22 am

    • Morning Andy, and thinks, cheer me up with a joke 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:15 am

  13. Sad about wee Tam. It’s hard not to get attached to the hand-fed ‘uns. The gallery idea looks great and the Steading looks like an apt venue. You should try having a wee rest sometime!!

    Comment by Iain — January 15, 2012 @ 10:31 am

    • “You should try having a wee rest sometime!!” funny enough that’s just what the wife says Iain 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:16 am

  14. My theory in life is that we all leave a foot print on this earth of ours, some more than others in the case of Tam I will always remember him and talk of him with those memories you have given us. Yes my Rita had followed Tams short life with you and feels a void for your loss. But you and wifey had done all you possibly could more than most. So keep your chins up and think of the future which look’s rosy and something to look foreword to.
    PS, Talk of the past look to the future.

    Comment by politescouser — January 15, 2012 @ 10:50 am

    • Sad news indeed. there is nothing worse than loosing a loved one, may it be animal or human.
      Anyway paul why dont you put in for the development officers post?

      Comment by steve b — January 15, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

      • “Anyway paul why dont you put in for the development officers post?” Now c’mon Steve, it takes me a month to work up the courage to do my VAT return 🙂 Anyway if it were me advertising the post I’d make it a condition the no one from Raasay actually got the job 🙂 🙂 🙂 It may be a little bit of Utopia but the politics are something else 🙂

        I’d make a very unpleasant development officer anyway. I’d cover the place in wind turbines, encourage a fish farm in every bay from Churchton to Loch a Sgurr and campaign for a ‘super quarry’ at the north end 🙂 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:24 am

    • “My theory in life is that we all leave a foot print on this earth of ours, some more than others in the case of Tam I will always remember him and talk of him with those memories you have given us. Yes my Rita had followed Tams short life with you and feels a void for your loss. But you and wifey had done all you possibly could more than most. So keep your chins up and think of the future which look’s rosy and something to look foreword to.
      PS, Talk of the past look to the future.”

      Thanks and well put Walter 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:18 am

  15. Such a shame about wee Tam but you should all be pleased that you tried to save him. Good news about the development post, and the art gallery – I think you should suggest they put it in your current house when you move – then they might keep the road up there in a decent state for all the people going there!

    Comment by francesp — January 15, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

    • Morning Frances, good idea 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:27 am

  16. so sorry to hear about the loss of Tam, I was really enjoying hearing about all the updates on him, he had a short life, oh but was he loved, by you, and your family and all us lot out here he never met, he was one lucky little bugger.



    Comment by Jackie — January 15, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    • Thanks Jackie, it does seem like wee Tam had lots of ‘friends’ and I do find myself missing him but it was for the best, not just for him but for the swineherd who was like a zombie.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:30 am

  17. Hi Paul, so sorry to hear about wee Tam, I have been watching the blog hoping all would be. I have to say that along with so many others one has to admire all of the family’s commitment to wee Tam who has touched all of our hearts, you did him proud and no-one could have tried harder than your dear wife. You all certainly made his last days the best he could have wished for.

    All the best


    Comment by Graham Thompson — January 15, 2012 @ 5:39 pm

    • Thanks Graham, the days are stretching here, time to be thinking about digging the old Thompson out 🙂 Keep up the good work, I only wish I had your dedication 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:32 am

  18. Oh, that’s so sad, at least he was given lots of love and affection.

    Comment by Julie — January 15, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

    • Thanks Julie, he really was part of the family, even if for only a short while 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  19. Very sorry to learn about wee Tam. What a little fighter.

    Comment by Gary Sutherland — January 15, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    • Hi Gary, he was indeed a little fighter, thanks.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:35 am

  20. That is sad news about Tam. That picture with the cardigan will stay in peoples mind for a long time, seriously cute 🙂
    On the subject of the new art gallery, maybe you could add a few of your own creations to the list? That green headed rock monster on your drive (cant remember his name), or maybe even one of your piggy arks?

    Comment by Simon — January 15, 2012 @ 9:42 pm

    • Aye that’ll be ‘Ali the alien’ on the drive Simon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  21. So sorry about Tam but life goes on, especially on a croft. On the subject of the art gallery – where on earth (or at least on Raasay) will all the visitors stay as the hotel is more or less defunct? Still battling with the Cooncil about the roads.
    Anne Macdonald

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — January 16, 2012 @ 12:31 pm

    • Hi Anne, good point about the accommodation but I suppose that will come, also you have to bear in mind that the new art gallery would be but a short walk from the pier. Something that not many people would have been prepared to do had the harbour stayed where it was 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

  22. Been reading your blog every day (in the office) since coming up to Raasay in Aug 2010 and loved the place. Also love your website, but have never commented before. Feel I have to today, am sitting at my desk having a wee “greet” over wee Tam. God bless. Hope you all feel a bit better soon. At least he had a great time while he was here.

    Comment by Amanda — January 16, 2012 @ 2:20 pm

    • Hi Amanda and welcome, a good ‘wee greet’ is good for the soul, had one or two myself of late and I’m a hardened ‘red neck’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

  23. Sorry wee Tam has gone😢we will miss the wee one

    Comment by Lesley and Alex — January 16, 2012 @ 6:15 pm

    • Thanks Lesley and Alex, it’s hard not to forget the wee chap with his jumper hanging in the kitchen but I’m sure it was for the best.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  24. Paul,

    Just spent the weekend on the West Coast (Brodick/Rothesay/Dunoon) and spent more time thinking about wee ‘Tam’ than where I was going/doing as I didn’t have access to the internet. Been fascinated and enthralled by his story- really sorry that he’s gone. Well ‘smokey’ in my cabin at the moment – if you know what I mean. Best wishes and condolences to the ‘Swineherd’ and yourself.


    Comment by Den — January 16, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

    • Hi Den and welcome, thanks for taking an interest and thinking about wee Tam, be careful in that ‘purple haze’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 17, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

  25. I followed Tam’s progress and will miss him. But I am moved by your family’s devotion to him, so heartwarming. Sad to lose him.
    The art gallery sounds wonderful. I hope it helps your community thrive but not be overrun by development.
    Best wishes to you all.

    Comment by Flora — January 18, 2012 @ 2:31 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: