Life at the end of the road

March 20, 2012

The ‘Good Samaritan’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Well I managed to stay in bed until 5:50 today, no doubt assisted by that bottle of African red my dear mum gave me. Must be loosing my tolerance to alcohol after two weeks without a drink because I’ve got ‘the mother of all headaches’ 😦 We’re not going ‘teetotal’ or anything daft like that we’re just not buying drink anymore as it’s too dear. This house building carry on is boodly expensive and needs a clear head 🙂

Anyway, I left you yesterday just prior to stirring the rest of the household ready to meet the day, our son was off to Portree High and a week in the hostel there and wifey was on ‘de cluttering’ duty. The house will be going on the market this week and it’s still full of carp. We keep taking stuff out, binning it, burning it, selling it, giving it, hiding it or just re arranging it but still there’s more to go 😦

I was wanting to finish painting the roof before it went on the market but that’s not going to happen today and I’m back at work tonight. Still it’s almost done and I’ve managed to find a picture of it from 2009 which is quite ‘representative’ as the estate agent said 🙂

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OK, the ‘Mayflower’ is out but at this rate it will be in bloom once more in a few weeks.


Here’s how it looked in Charlie’s time some forty years or so ago

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This is it now, or at least three years ago, it’s a little muddier just now 🙂

Once the family was sorted the boy and I set off leaving wifey in charge of the pigs, it was raining but the chap on the radio told be it would stop and like an idiot I believed him. In fact it pished down the whole day. With son deposited on the school bus I continued onto my parents on the mainland for my fortnightly visit. After my last trip there and walk with my dad I was hoping for another but the incessant rain put the kybosh on that. Instead I changed the water filter, checked the supply and cut some kindling, leaving a little earlier than usual due to the freshening wind.

My Faith restored

It was supposed to reach near gale force by 16:00 and the last thing I needed was a night away so just after 13:00 I headed for Kyle. I was needing some shopping, not much as I’ve mislaid my wallet (again) and only had £30 cash. After some tw*t reporting me to SEPA for extracting water  from Loch Beag and another stealing one of my full gas cylinders from the pier my trust in my fellow man has been somewhat diminished of late. Well today it was well and truly restored by an angel from Kyleakin 🙂

Not being the best shopper on the planet and being used to paying by card I arrived at the checkout only to discover I was a tenner short 😦 Proceeding to haul stuff out of my trolley, starting with the wife’s chocolates I was halted by a young lady who graciously handed me a ten pound note. I have no idea who she was and she refused to let me reimburse her, insisting it was her good deed for the day.

Whoever you are thank you very much 🙂

Still being well ahead of schedule for the 15:00 ferry I decided to call into and get our little piece of paradise on the market. It will be Easter in a week or two and people will be doing there holiday thing, and hopefully feel like leaving the ‘rat race’  or buying a cosy wee holiday home 🙂 I had a good chat with the ‘Sales Negotiator’ (I love these titles) and she said they’d be over on Thursday to take pictures, so that’s it then, I’ve done it. Twenty three happy years here, by far the longest I’ve lived in one house and I’ve put it on the market 😦

I made the ferry, which is just as well because it could well have been the last one as it waited at Sconser for the school children who normally catch the 16:15. By the time I arrived home it was almost 16:30 and pure miserable. However I spent a couple of hours outside in my oilskins moving a gate for my neighbour,

190312 001

checking the hydro turbine inlet,

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whilst the rain may stop painting and turn the place into a swamp it does produce a lot of power 🙂

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And that was about it really, I gave the barn a good clean out and went in for my dinner at 19:00


190312 007

which was far far nicer than it looks. Going by the name of ‘Aubergine soup with mozzarella and gremolata’ wifey dug this little number up from here a five star book she got for Christmas.

 190312 011

Containing some bizarre concoctions we’ve yet to try a bad one 🙂

 190312 010

Anyway, that’s it, it’s almost 7:30 and time to go and feed the pigs.



  1. Hi Paul
    I just love these old/new comparison photographs (maybe its a middle age thing :-)). Couldn’t help thinking how different your croft would look now if Calums road had not been finnished and surfaced, which must have been happening around the time the old photo was taken.

    Comment by Derek — March 20, 2012 @ 9:13 am

    • Morning Derek,

      aye it would have looked a little more rickety indeed and I suppose I’d have been walking the piglets to Brochel 🙂 That’s how they did it in my fathers village in Italy. The chap that sold the piglets would set off from the end of the road at the bottom of the mountain and walk through the villages selling them 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 21, 2012 @ 5:59 am

  2. Good morning from sunny North West Norfolk; it’s an absolutely superb morning here, with an outside temperature of 10 degrees C, and a gentle breeze of 10 MPH from the SW. It would appear that even in remote outposts such as your own, there are people there who need their hands chopping off. If it is not screwed down some individuals appear to think that they can appropriate anything. With regards to the issue with the abstraction of water, likewise some individuals act without checking the situation out. Never mind, take a deep breath and continue to enjoy life. I have noit long joined your following, having stumbled on the site by sheer accident whilst researching Stage 1 Land Rovers. Hopefully going to buy a fully restored Series 3 88″ on Saturday.

    Comment by Richard — March 20, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    • Hi Richard and welcome,

      glad you’re enjoying the blog and good luck with the Land Rover, they can become quite addictive 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 21, 2012 @ 6:01 am

      • Thank you. If I do buy the vehicle, it will be the eleventh that I have owned in the last 42 years. I have been looking for some time, and trying to locate one without all the modern electronics, and upholstery inside. One where if needs be, it can be cleaned out with a hose. I’ll keep you posted re purchase.

        Comment by Richard — March 21, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      • Morning Richard,

        it will be the eleventh that I have owned in the last 42 years.

        Oh dear, it looks like you already have a terminal case 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 22, 2012 @ 6:07 am

      • I really shouldn’t be allowed out on my own.

        Comment by Richard — March 22, 2012 @ 10:54 am

  3. Hi Paul

    Your place looks fine – reminds me of my little place north of Alness off the Struie road. Clutter or not someone should snap it up. I would have done 20 or more years ago, and not just for holiday use – would have chucked the daily grind in and been inventive about covering living costs. Hope whoever buys it is at one with the surroundings and the island.



    Comment by Sue — March 20, 2012 @ 10:29 am

    • Hi Sue, we may possibly of seen your house up at Alness on one of our frequent tours of the area some 10 years ago when we used to spend a lot of time at Embo. The wife, kids and I loved the area up there but unfortunately could not make the wrench from family to make it more permanent. Such a lovely area and one we really must get back to again soon although we probably will choose another caravan site as there is no longer any space on the front at Embo for tourers as they have gone the route of the static caravans on those great pitches, the view from the new camping ground is just not the same!

      Comment by Thomson Caravans — March 20, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

      • Morning Graham,

        holidays in the old Thomson are looking a little doubtful this year 😦 It’s gradually filling up with stuff from the house 😦 Says something for the quality of the wee van that it’s sustained countless west coast winters outside and is still fit for storing clothes inside 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 21, 2012 @ 6:12 am

      • Hi Graham

        The little place looks a bit different now – went up there in 2010 and the back ‘garden’ that would only grow potatoes and hens has a lawn and flowerbeds! There is also, I’m sure, central heating instead of the range. It is a lovely area and quieter (if it was ever not-quiet) than when the rigs were being built at Nigg and Alness was expanding to house the workers.



        Comment by Sue — March 21, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

    • Morning Sue, I hope whoever buys it is good at fixing things, has lots of children and a driving licence 🙂 You would not believe how many people have lived up here over the last twenty odd years that can’t friggin drive !!!!!! What is the point of living eleven miles from anywhere and being unable to get shopping ??? One of the people that looked at this property twenty three years ago was the same, four children and no car !!! How on earth can you bring up four kids with no fecking transport ???

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 21, 2012 @ 6:09 am

    • Morning Sue, it looks even better now after removing the clutter, I don’t want to move now, this house is massive 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 22, 2012 @ 5:40 am

  4. Hi Paul, sounds like you found the good samaritan whilst doing your shopping, it always makes me feel so much better when I hear of these wonderful people who can and do make a difference in ones life, especially after you have had a bit of a let down in humanity. Well done that woman and God bless her!
    Excellent pictures of the croft which doesn’t look any different in the 40 years since the first picture, a true accolade of just how well you and the former owners have taken place of this beautiful cottage and preserved the heritage of this wonderful wee island.
    I do hope the new owner is one who will embrace the lifestyle and live and keep up the tradition of crofting.
    Isn’t it amazing how the stuff just seems to pile up over the years! Joan and I have been starting in on clearing out our abode of the extras we don’t need or use in the hope it will raise a few bob, need the cash to go down to my sisters wedding in July, a round trip of some 600miles without the caravan as we will be hoping to stay at the hotel she is having the reception in, not that I don’t want to take the Thomson but economically it will be cheaper to stay the two nights in the hotel, Not a great thing for caravanners when you consider just how much site fees have risen and along with the cost of fuel, maybe the chancellor will listen for once and cut fuel duty, otherwise our other ideas for caravan holidays this year will be thwarted a great deal.
    Keep up the great work, your blogs make my day and often have me thinking about things I would love to be able to do and things I have done in the past.
    All the best


    Comment by Thomson Caravans — March 20, 2012 @ 1:51 pm

    • Good morning Graham,

      aye it would be good to see some ‘young blood’ with enthusiasm back in Arnish to get the drains cleared and rushes treated. All jobs on my ‘to do’ for about ten years now. Be great to see a family with children and smell the birch from another neighbours fire 🙂 Might even get goats and a cow if there was someone here to milk them when we went away in the 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 22, 2012 @ 5:38 am

  5. Goodness me 400 soups! To get your money’s worth from the cookery book, should you give each recipe a second chance? Will there be a chart showing results? I have a recipe for Taco soup, should you need something Mexcilente!

    Comment by Drgeo — March 20, 2012 @ 8:08 pm

    • Morning DrG,

      no taco soup in the book so lets be having your recipe 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 22, 2012 @ 5:41 am

  6. So your house is full of carp? Interesting. 😀

    Brilliant to hear of your good Samaritan, although she may have thought she was helping a decrepit pensioner. Someone helped me recently and when I thanked them, they said they liked to help old people when they could!

    Comment by Stonehead — March 21, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    • Morning Stoney, all the carp is now away 🙂 gosh the place looks big 🙂 they said they liked to help old people when they could!
      yep, you’re probably right 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 22, 2012 @ 6:09 am

    1 pound hamburger
    1 small onion, chopped
    1 can rotel tomatoes
    2 cans petite diced tomatoes
    2 cans kidney beans, drained
    1 can white hominy, drained and rinsed
    1 can corn ( yellow Mexican or summer crisp)
    1 package taco seasoning + 1/2 cup water
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Brown salted and peppered hamburger and onions together.
    Add tomatoes, beans, hominy, corn, and taco seasoning + water.
    Simmer for 1 1/2 hours or put in slow cooker and let cook over night.

    Toppings: chopped green onions, grated cheddar cheese, diced avacados, sour cream,
    Crushed tortilla chips (any or all.
    Serves 4

    Comment by Drgeo — March 22, 2012 @ 6:15 am

    • Note: Got the recipe from Isla Mujeres, Mexico ( 20 minutes by ferry from Cancun) on a chatter board there. Tried it and liked it.

      Comment by drgeo — March 22, 2012 @ 7:42 pm

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