Life at the end of the road

February 24, 2012

Yet another casualty :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:19 pm

Friday already and most ‘normal’ people would be relaxing after a hard week at work, not me, I’m not even half way through it and I don’t know how many times I’ve tried posting. Truth is I’ve just had too much to do, most of it house related, which involves both paper and phone work, both of which I abhor. A couple of phone calls and a form or two fill me with dread, knock the stuffing out of me and leave me shattered, I’d never cope in an office 🙂

We’ve also been suffering problems with the oil stove that heats both the kitchen and hot water. True to form it only really went pear shaped once I was back at work but it’s been acting up ever since I fitted a new oil feed pipe to it last week. A job that I should have done four years ago when I moved the tank, but which somehow kept getting pushed to the bottom of the ‘to do’ list.

The visit last Friday from the surveyor, prior to us putting the ‘wee hoose’ on the market spurred me into action. The last thing I wanted was him tripping over it, there’s bound to be pages of legislation of how deep it has to be buried and what kind of material it has to be made out of.

Anyway I’ll not dwell on that lest some future purchaser ‘sues my ar5e off’ 🙂 but since the pipe was changed the stove has just not been itself 😦 First it was too hot, then it was too cold, then it was too sooty and now it’s just right but it’s involved much sweat grime and cursing to sort it. Basically disturbing all the pipes seems to have dislodged much gunge that has ended up in the ‘Toby valve’ an oil control contraption that sits at the back of the stove.

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That was actually Wednesday nights excuse for not posting, I’m not sure what I was doing on Tuesday night after my first stint on the Loch Striven. Though I do remember it being a pure miserable day 😦

I hope they bill the council 🙂

It may have been a poor day on Wednesday for me but it was a very expensive one for the couple from London who’d chosen Skye as their holiday destination. The little black VW Golf that came over to Raasay for the day, no doubt to visit the world famous ‘Calum’s road’ never made it back to Sconser. In fact I don’t think they made it as far as Brochel before the joined the ‘casualty list’, that’ll be the list of vehicles wrecked on Highland Council’s “I see no potholes road”, the road they made such a fine job of repairing last year 🙂


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Excluding the two cars I’ve towed out of ditches in the last twelve months the Golf is the second one in a few months to spread the oil of it’s sump all over the road after ‘acquiring’ a hole. The other one being a Skoda which join the BMW, Volvo, Nissan and VW Passat that all sustained other ‘road related’ injuries.

Of course it would be serious enough in ‘civilization’ but here it was an epic and potentially dangerous. Not that I knew it all until later. First I heard of it was when I headed home on Wednesday to meet ‘another vehicle’!!!!!! It was a mate who wound down his window and told me to drive carefully as he’d abandoned a trailer, complete with car at ‘Cnoch nan Uan’. Actually he never said that, I’m showing off my recently acquired skills in Gealic learned from one who is 57 today 🙂

Nevertheless six miles further on, the dark blue car on it’s dark blue trailer was deposited ‘more or less’ off the road on account of his van not being able to pull it up the hill. Not that there was anything wrong with the van, just that the fecking drains at the side of the road are non existent and the road is permanently wet. Matey had to leave the trailer there as he’d no option other than to go back and get a tractor some seven or eight miles away :-(  

Next time I saw the car, trailer and it’s occupants was on the ferry on Thursday on it’s way to a garage, that’s when I discovered the hole in the sump, on account of the oil on the deck 😦 I’m thinking that by the time they’d paid for the recovery, hotel and repair it would have been a ‘holiday to remember’ but for all the wrong reasons 🙂

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Here’s the ‘spud leg barge’ off the end of Sconser pier hammering away with its ‘pile driver’, just see how far down that first leg nearest the shore is, I think it’s on its maximum at 16m, probably a hole dug by the ferry 🙂

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Here’s a better one with the tide further out

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and here’s the best kept old Scania on Skye

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heading off with my mates digger 🙂


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And here are the holes that my mate dug for my barn before he went and did some proper work 🙂

Meanwhile ‘down below’

As far as actual work goes on the ferry I’ve been mostly down below continuing with the epic painting of the ‘forward Voith space’

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and changing the odd bilge alarm switch.

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That will be the shiny thing that sets an alarm off up in the wheelhouse if water enters the space.

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Today the barge was swung around to bore another hole and you can see that there’s not a great deal of room between it and the ferry 😦

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And this will be the small but powerful work boat ‘Hannah B’ that moved the barge sitting peacefully on a mooring off the pier.

I could go on and have a good rant now about ‘touch screen’ phones and how friggin useless they are for people that actually work with their hands as opposed to fingers. What is the point of them ???? do the people who design these fecking things and con you into thinking that they’re ‘really cool’ not realize that there are folk in this world that actually get their hands dirty wet and oily. I mean we live in a world where you can’t speak to a person without going through ‘option 1,2, 3 or 4’  and some clown comes up with a phone that goes blank and you can’t see the fecking keys or it presses the keys with your friggin ear.

The number of effing times some dude has showed off their new toy to me and been unable to get the picture on their ‘smart phone’ the right way up 🙂 Touch screen phones to me belong with ‘Betamax’, ‘Stylophnes’ and those Sinclair C5’s but I’ve had to borrow one off my son and it’s driving me mad 😦

Anyway, like I said ‘I could go on’ but it’s bed time 🙂



  1. Lucky you, away to your bed, im stuck on 12hour nightshifts. lucky i have a touch screen smart phone with the wordpress app so that i can post a comment or blog… steve.

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — February 24, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    • Glad you can use your phone Steve, me I’ve just put mine in the microwave and cooked it 🙂 I’m obviously dead as the fecking screen can’t sense my fingers, back to the Nokia £20 jobbie with a wonky speaker. At least I can unlock it and make a phone call 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:31 am

  2. oh dear, Paul … I’ve been dreaming of coming up to see Calum’s Road for myself but think it will have to wait until you tell us the road is in better shape, my poor little Toyota would never stand a chance … unless of course you have someone up there who wants to do a holiday home swap during the Olympics

    Comment by carina — February 24, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    • Don’t let the state of the road put you off Carina, it’s OK if you drive slowly in daylight without too much weight in. My parents wee Toyota Aygo made it just fine, well more or less. They did hit one big bump but that’s now been repaired.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  3. So barn so good mate, but with the hoose on the market, if you get a sale soonish, where will you move to?…Is the barn to be home, or a barn?………And like you I only want a phone that I can ring peeps from or be called on.

    Comment by Lloyd — February 24, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    • Looks like a caravan for us Lloyd with a shipping container as back up 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:35 am

  4. in a ‘small world’ way, the man who came to put up my new tv aerial yesterday started talking about this book he’d read which led him to Raasay to travel ‘the road’ and see where Calum lived and he mentioned the house at the end of the road and how seeing and travelling the length of it really brought it all alive for him.

    Comment by Kingdomcat — February 25, 2012 @ 12:51 am

    • Morning KC, hope you directed the TV man to the blog 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:35 am

  5. Sleep tight!! c

    Comment by ceciliag — February 25, 2012 @ 2:57 am

    • You too C 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  6. Morning Paul

    So sad that Calum’s wonderful road should become the disgrace that it is. Can’t someone apply for world heritage status or something? Though even that isn’t safe, going by what might happen to Liverpool’s word heritage waterfront if the ‘development’ plans are approved. Anyway, let us know when the road is too bad even for a Land Rover – I don’t want to become a casualty on the next visit!



    Comment by Sue — February 25, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    • Yes Sue, the world heritage thing sounds like a good idea, you any good with paperwork 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:37 am

      • I’ve been doing it all my life! Seriously – I’ll investigate.

        Comment by Sue — February 27, 2012 @ 9:16 am

      • Cheers Sue, you’re a star 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 29, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  7. Happy Birthday for yesterday.
    Amazing what havoc a little dirt can cause
    Our dehumidifier, Ebac 6100, was making out it was a hippo on heat from the noise it was making, and just 3 months out of their standard 5 year warranty.
    Paul our resident home grown plumber traced the cause of the racket to the pump impeller being blocked by a smidge of grit.
    That removed all is quiet now. Having no open fires these modern houses retain a lot of dap stale air
    By keeping the moisture at bay with this bit of kit running in the winter saves quite a lot on heating oil.
    Good luck with the hooose building.

    Comment by chrisb — February 25, 2012 @ 9:50 am

    • Morning Chris and Chris, not my birthday but ‘Calum Don’s’, my Gaelic teacher 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:38 am

  8. “WII” Paul.
    Yep that’s the wife’s latest toy I bought her for Christmas,only just got it out of the box and set it up. What a marvel I’ve just had a game of tennis, round of golf been fishing and viewed your blog on the 52” TV using the internet connection that comes with it, without breaking into a swet. Must say your pictures are still good on the big screen. Where am I coming from you may ask? Some products are suitable for the job and some completely useless, you have just pointed out the failure of touch screen phone for your working environment so why don’t you get your followers to recommend an alternative product which can take into account yours and other crofters need’s by inviting suggestions.
    PS Have you thought of putting a toll Booth on Calum road for non residents who use it to help towards the upkeep and maintenance?

    Comment by Polite Scouser — February 25, 2012 @ 11:37 am

    • Morning Walter and good luck with the WII 🙂 I like the look of Jon K’s Nokia 6310i, think I’ll keep an eye out for one. As for the toll booth, great idea 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  9. It is a shame about the road condition,since it attracts tourists you would think it would be kept up better. I agree about those smart phones,I have one and only need two of its applications. Happy Birthday for yesterday,it was my grandson’s 16th also. Hope things smooth out for you.

    Comment by Mimi — February 25, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    • Morning Mimi, another nine weeks to my birthday, think I’ll ask wifey to get me an ‘old persons phone’ BIG NUMBERS, LOUD speaker and easy to use 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 28, 2012 @ 6:07 am

  10. Phone? Simples…. Nokia 6310i….. its the business…. I buy them off ebay, not reconditioned ones.. new ones.. I have 4 new ones so I dont run out. o2 gives me a new phone every year, last one was the iphone i gave it to my daughter… pure scrap.

    Comment by Jon K — February 26, 2012 @ 9:01 am

    • Cheers for that Jon, it does seem like a classic phone right enough and just up my street, any idea, or a link to a seller. The ‘new’ ones I saw seemed to emanate from China and were fakes. Is it just a case of finding an old one that’s been unused ??? It really does seem like my kind of phone.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 28, 2012 @ 6:29 am

  11. Hello,

    We have been following your Blog since we returned from our Honeymoon (12th – 18th Feb). We actually stayed on Skye but we came over for the day on Thursday (I think) – we had a 2005 Blue Focus with ‘Just Married’ lovingly scrawled on the rear window with lipstick! We spent a good few hours on Raasay and got right up to your piggy signs at the ‘end of the road’ … we didnt manage to crash our car into a pothole … it is funny to think that we have come to know you from 800 miles away via the Internet when we were only metres away from your home and probably saw you on the ferry!

    We are now trying to work out how to support ourselves so that we can move from the Brecon Beacons and onto Raasay!

    Tim and Hannah … who was Hannah B (Byrne) before we married last week!

    Comment by onfire — February 26, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

    • Golly gosh ‘onfire’ and just married 🙂 Think wifey remembers the Focus right enough, our house will be on the market shortly with a couple of acres for less than 200k plenty of opportunity for a clam diver, wilk picker or tea house ‘at the end of the road’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 28, 2012 @ 6:34 am

  12. I know what you mean about touch screen phones. We have to use one for monitoring at work and every time it gets rain on the screen and you try to wipe it off you end up touching a button or doing something thet you hadnt intended! I wanted a phone thats a phone and thats why i got a Samsung extreme. ….Waterproof ,good sized keys ,can be dropped without damage and the screen shots on Samsungs web Site show what look like a landrover driving over one! cheap enough from Amazon etc. Keep up the Blog! whilst im sitting hear in the midlands it gives me great interets to read the blog regularly.

    Comment by shippostcard — February 26, 2012 @ 7:26 pm

    • Morning and welcome SPC, glad to hear that you’re enjoying the blog land locked in the Midlands, not hard to guess what you do 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 29, 2012 @ 6:33 am

  13. Friend has a VW GTI, he went through an oil pan last summer driving through construction, they are not good cars to lower via low profile tire either, to close to the ground as is the oil pan.

    Comment by toysarefun — March 6, 2012 @ 3:22 am

    • Good morning ‘C’ glad to know you still look in from Wisconsin 🙂 Aye the Golf is far too low and that front spoiler turns into a snow plough 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 7, 2012 @ 6:06 am

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