Life at the end of the road

April 8, 2012

Record numbers ??

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:04 am


Gosh it’s Easter already and it’s kind of crept up on me without noticing it. Long gone are the days when I had a ‘proper job’ in the city and used to count the days down from Christmas to Easter and the first proper holiday of the year. The vacation was always well planned in advance, usually around the start of the year and inevitably on an island, usually Mull. It would invariably involve diving and towing a boat at least 400 miles behind a Land Rover, or latterly the relative luxury of a Range Rover, though that was in the early eighties so not that ‘latterly

The trip would be meticulously planned with ‘slack water’ calculated for all the wrecks that we’d have lined up for ‘bashing’. Bashing being attacking anything and everything  on the seabed that looked like non ferrous metal 🙂 I think in those days we got between £800 and £900 a ton for copper and brass with lead fetching a measly £40 so not worth lifting and we rarely bothered with it. Now it’s ten times that to the detriment of many a church roof and railway signal cable 😦

Nowadays Easter just arrives, still very welcome but no where near as eagerly awaited, probably because I consider a great deal of my life a holiday :-) 

The weather might not have been up to much but that certainly didn’t stop people visiting Raasay,

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or, as in the case of ‘Green van man’ revisiting Raasay 🙂

For yesterday on Good Friday we had 106 cars, 2 mini busses and three commercial vehicles, though I’m sure a few of them will be leaving with punctures and suspension damage 😦 I know the roads are atrocious on Raasay but some of these Audis, Volkswagens, Volvos and Fords are so low to start with they don’t stand a chance when full of families and luggage. Many of them struggle getting on the ferry, let alone up Calum’s road.

Apart from loading and unloading cars not a great deal was achieved really, my fairlead project being abandoned due to wind and rain. With the sudden drop in temperatures this last week or so, the last thing I expected to see on my way home from work was a flowering rhododendron bush.

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The weather certainly has gone barmy, if not balmy, we’ve barely had any frost this winter and I saw one of these still in flower in October once.

image OK, it past its best but this is the west coast of Scotland not Devon 🙂

After that it was straight home to bed, well, after a chat with ‘Green Van Man’ who kindly gave me a bottle of which I’m going to sample when I get home 🙂


This morning started off with a huge tide that had just stepping straight onto the boat at deck level.

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The equally impressive low tide enabling us to give the tide gauge a good clean.

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The tide actually being around 100mm below ‘chart datum’, but me thinks that Balfour Beatty’s ‘chart datum’ is actually higher than the real one 🙂

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During my lunch break I went to look at our new home 😦


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It’s going to take some getting used to 🙂 Still I’m sure I’ll keep you all well entertained when I tow it to Arnish behind the Land Rover 🙂

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I did manage a little more work on the ‘fairlead rollers’ and some seals on the pressure washer

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but the pressure washer pump had a cracked ceramic piston

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so that was only 99% successful 😦

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Still, all I have to do is phone Bruce at in Cumbria and a new one will soon be in the post. The pressure washer on the good ship Loch Striven certainly gets well used and the Ehrle one that we have hard wired and plumbed into the ‘forward voith space’ is a bit like the ten year old broom that has had three heads and two handles 🙂

Having said said most off the damage has been caused by abuse rather than poor quality of the Italian pump and Polish motor, which brings me onto Bruce. Whilst the German made is a fine bit of kit the spares cost an arm and a leg. A W140 pump bought from them will cost you around £500 whereas buying one from Bruce who purchases them direct from the Italian manufacturer will cost you half that. Same goes for the motor, £400 from Ehrle, £200 from Bruce. Not only that but he’s on the end of the phone for advice and really knows his stuff.

I know, it’s a bit boring and lame but it’s 7:00am now on Easter Sunday and I’ve to go and ‘roll a pig’ 🙂 well more a case of catch three and put them in a crate. Then I have to go and look at our new shed/house site that Lachie and Hooky have been working on 🙂


  1. Happy Easter Paul! I hope the beer was the “Rare Breed”. One of the best tasting beers I’ve had in years!

    Comment by Ian Jones — April 8, 2012 @ 6:42 am

    • Morning Ian, not Rare Breed but a fine hoppy, malty bitter 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 4:54 am

  2. Hi Paul … your “new home” looks a wee bit cosy, hope you don’t have to camp out in it too long … whereabouts is it at the moment, on Raasay or on Skye?

    Comment by Carina — April 8, 2012 @ 8:41 am

    • Morning Carina, it’s just near the steading 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 4:55 am

  3. I well remember the Easter of 82 when my Paul and I drove from Feniton to yours at Accrington. You drove a Landy trailing a boat and maybe one on the roof.
    My ears are still ringing from the beat of Led Zep played at a gazillion mega watts to keep you awake on the journey to Oban. Then straight onto the ferry to Mull and a full day diving in hail storms and bitterly cold winds. Fantastic wrecks of Sandra, Thesis, Rondo and Meldon. You had it all arranged to run like clockwork. And no surprise it all went like clockwork. Even having to winch the Landrover out of some boggy stuff a couple of times.
    Brilliant Paul, thanks for the memory and best of luck with towing your new home to Arnish
    Happy Easter to all

    Comment by chrisbbbbb — April 8, 2012 @ 9:30 am

    • Gosh Chris, was that really 1982!!!! still have a sounding lead somewhere off the Thesis and the steam whistle off the Meldon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 4:57 am

  4. Call it the”snug” paul, although green van man and his significant other will udoubtably be very nice folk, i see the have pitched up and parked in a passing place…. grrr.. thats one of my pet hates. like yoursejlf living up a single track road can be a tad difficult to get to at times. It does’t help when you get mr day tripper parking in the only passing place for a quarter of a mile and you meet a loaded timber wagon arghhh….

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — April 8, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    • Morning Steve, yes I do know what you mean about the ‘bin bag fairy’ types that abandon cars and cannot reverse but there’s plenty of room just there where GVM parked. It’s the halfwits that park in front of gates and especially the Torran track that pi55 me off. There’s a whole car park at Arnish yet some 4×4 owner always blocks the path 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:03 am

    • “i see the have pitched up and parked in a passing place…. grrr”

      Not quite. He’s parked it on a flat bit next to the passing place. You could get two vans through there. Not sure about mobile homes or artics full of shed though.

      Comment by Phil Cook — April 9, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  5. Like the new “touring caravan”. All you need now is a Chinook to tow it with 🙂 Best of luck.


    Comment by Andy — April 8, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    • Morning Andy, yup that’s going to be an interesting ‘tour’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:03 am

  6. Good luck to you Paul towing that too Arnish, wheels on those things are basically no more than decoration to conform too the law, should work if you can get a bit more ground clearance. I can see the whole bloody thing grounding when one of those roller skate wheels drops into one of those Potholes. A suggestion, it might not be a bad idea to get it towed by a tractor and you go ahead with a couple of metal plates to bridge some of the deeper holes, a couple of decent lengths of U girders would do as well. Your mate at that little engineering firm could most likely help. I also hope you have got enough straps and some good ground ankers to help keep it fast to mother earth especially if you are going to place it up on that exposed building site otherwise you might have to change the name of your blogg too “life beyond the end of the road. ”

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — April 8, 2012 @ 11:36 am

    • Nice and easy should do the journey and a sleeper buried with some anchors attached stop us flying away, then all I have to do is stop the roof coming off Dave 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:05 am

  7. Hello Paul,
    I likewise built a new bungalow, and lived in one of those types of caravans for six months. The main downside was having to listen to the magpies clogging dancing on the roof in the first few rays of sunlight. Apart from that, using a tin bath; a chemical toilet in an old chicken house,etc…. it was actually a nice way to live for those few months, especially being right next door to the building site, where one could keep on top of any tasks which required attention; the monitoring of building materials, etc….
    The trip to Huddersfield to look at the Series 3 was a complete and utter waste of time. On arrival I could see in the first 20 seconds that the vehicle was not as advertised. It most certainly was not immaculate. I have now bought a Defender 90 truck cab (300Tdi) with 53K on the clock.
    Best wishes, Richard.

    Comment by Richard — April 8, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    • Morning Richard, the summer should be fine, it’s the winter I’m not looking forward to 😦 As for the ‘immaculate’ series III I know exactly what you mean. Once drove 200 miles to see a LWB Series IIa Safari described just the same which turned out to be a heap 😦 At least the 90 will have a heater that works, comfy seats and wind down windows 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:10 am

  8. Do you have to return the wee metal house, or can you incorporate it into your new estate? Chicken hotel? Pig palace? Dude party central?

    Comment by drgeo — April 8, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    • The wee metal hoose is now our very own DrG, bit posh for chickens and pigs but it might do for me when the Swineherd is in a foul mood 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:12 am

  9. Hi Paul
    I’m sure you’ll use a low loader to get the Caravan to your Croft, can’t see you towing it with your Land Rover.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 8, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    • Morning Walter,

      Hi Paul
      I’m sure you’ll use a low loader to get the Caravan to your Croft, can’t see you towing it with your Land Rover.

      Watch this space 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:13 am

  10. Is your mobile home one of the caravans used when Raasay House was being built and sited up behind the hotel? I remember wondering if they would sell them off afterwards.
    Good luck with the new house build.

    Comment by Carolyn — April 8, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    • Aye the right caravans Carolyn but they were used by the BB and HRC engineers when building the harbour and are in remarkably good condition 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 9, 2012 @ 5:14 am

  11. Good luck with the caravan, Paul… we’re just back from a week in one of them in Wales, and after a pretty cold week (though nothing like you’ll face up there) I’m very glad that we decided to rent somewhere during our build rather than move into a static.

    Is straw extortionate on Raasay, or could you pile a few bales around the caravan to give you some insulation, at least on the most exposed sides? I was shocked by how quickly the static cooled down, and how cold the floor was. Of course, maybe the Scottish caravans are a tougher breed than their Welsh cousins, but we got through a lot of gas!

    Comment by ecobodger — April 9, 2012 @ 6:06 am

    • Morning EB, must pop over to your build to see how that’s coming on tonight. Aye the straw is a good idea right enough and it certainly won’t go to waste. Was planning some Kingspan under the floor too and perhaps an oil stove to help with the condensation problem.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 10, 2012 @ 4:58 am

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