Life at the end of the road

April 12, 2012

Another broken car :-(

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:00 pm

Even later tonight 21:50 before I’ve put pen to paper so to speak and I’m just through the door, having had a record breaking bath, put my pj’s on and cracked open a bottle of red. All in about ten minutes after what has been a very lovely and productive days fencing.

Thinking about it, I’ve not really got a lot to show for my days labours, one strainer in the ground and half a dozen stays but it was hard going in sponge like peat then solid rock so I’m quite pleased with the result. Especially as I’ve been working all day up at the new house site soaking up the view that will eventually be visible from our new home.

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Rubha nam Brathairean (Brothers point) in the middle, Creag An Fheilidh (Kilt rock) in the distance and  Grian a Sgier (sunny skerry) being hammered by a northerly swell that was just starting to build.

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I spent quite a long time on this challenging strainer post that had to be extra tall due to a change in the fence height and drilled into the rock to hold it steady.

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It took quite a bit of head scratching to come up with a solution but I eventually found some thick stainless steel clamps that I bolted into the rock and then dropped the pole into them before tightening up the clamping bolt. That left me with just the stays to bolt in, for these I used some galvanized angle iron from telegraph poles plus two square fence posts. Hard to visualize but I was too busy to take photographs 🙂

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Eventually I got them all sorted apart from the ones near the caravan site, these will be done once it’s in position. That done, pigs fed and dinner eaten I went back out in the evening sun to cut all the heather away from where the fence will go just to make the job of fitting the wire an ‘Ryloc’ easier.

It was way too late in the day to start stretching wire between the posts so I turned my attention to the ‘Arnish egg company’ my wife’s new enterprise 🙂

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Or, to be more precise I started to make some nesting boxes to fit on the side of our larger hen house.

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The ‘repaired road’ claims another victim 😦

During my many trips up and down on the quad with tools, generators and fence posts I spotted this

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on the car park. No it’s not a ‘pimped up Mercedes with lowered suspension

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for this is the other side. It is yet another casualty of the disgraceful roads on Raasay, fortunately the couple with child and four week old baby were in the RAC, so once off Raasay they’ll get ‘Relayed’ home some 600 miles south :-( 

I know, it’s pretty thin but it’s 23:00 now and I need my bed, If I go ‘off on one’ about the state of the feckin roads and how many cars and wheels have been damaged of late it will send my blood pressure through the roof 🙂 So I’ll say goodnight before I really start swearing!!



  1. Good morning,

    It’s nice to see your progress with both the fencing, and the hen enterprise, having had enough experience of both. I don’t know whether you have heard of bedding your fowl down using peat (which you appear to have an abundance of)? I have kept chickens since Noah was a boy, and tried various methods of housing, etc… I stumbled across a book, ‘Poultry Culture for Profit’ by Rev. T.W. Sturges, which may well have been first published in the early 1900’s. In it the Reverend gentleman suggest that the hen house a good bed of peat can be used for bedding. This has the advantage of the droppings drying out; there is no smell; no flies. The peat bedding is stirred up every so often, and found to be dry enough that you can physically handle it, with no adverse effects. I have used this system for over 15 years now.

    I thoroughly dig out, clean and disinfect the hen house once a year. I then have to buy in bales of peat, which is then spread in the newly cleaned house. The hens themselves using it as a giant dust-bath, and for generally rooting around in; obviously they have access into a large enclosed, outdoor run where I throw down corn for them. They have ad-lib feed and grit in two hoppers mounted inside the hen house, together with a 1/2 gallon galvanised drinker. I have a five gallon drinker in the outside run as well. This run area was dug out to over 300mm deep and refilled with hard wood chippings. Again no smell, no flies, rodents can’t burrow into it, chickens have a whale of a time digging holes, etc…, and the wood chippings decay down. Back to the hen house, this requires mucking out once a year, normally in early March, and straight onto the vegetable patch, where it is immediately turned in. As a soil improver, this mixture is excellent; as is the resulting produce. It’s was just a thought but it certainly saves time throughout the year.

    Best wishes,


    Comment by Richard — April 13, 2012 @ 8:34 am

    • Morning Richard,

      the Swineherd and I really like the sound of this peat bedding carry on, will have to give it a go, we’ve already got some dried out on the croft. How deep do you suggest.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 6:28 am

      • Glad you liked the tip. Well from experience over 15 years, I am actually rather generous, and perhaps go a little mad, but I put the peat in to a depth of about 200mm – 250mm deep. One must bear in mind that that depth last all year, and at the end goes straight out onto the vegetable patch. Even though we have to buy it in, I still consider it all worthwhile, and don’t begrudge the expense. The main advantage is no smell, totally dry bedding (provided your hen house is water tight), dust bath for the girls; when the ground is covered in snow then we throw down corn in the house. The advantages are many and varied; I now wouldn’t use any other system. Hope you find it as good as I’ve sold it?

        Comment by Richard — April 15, 2012 @ 6:56 am

      • Morning Richard,

        just bought the book of eBay for £5.95 inc postage 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 7:52 am

  2. I’m sure the ‘Gambia Road’ is in better condition than the council neglected Raasay road system. i’m gutted for the car owners. Glad you got the strainer in. Do you still use ‘china’ eggs in the nest boxes?

    Comment by SOTW — April 13, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    • Morning She,

      think they’re plastic now 🙂 That was a long time visitor, mutual friend and council tax payers car with the broken spring. I do hope they got home safely and put in a claim against the council.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 6:31 am

  3. Hello
    Have been enjoying reading your blog whilst on holiday in Sconser
    Came across to Raasay today and walked up Dun Caan
    I think we met 2 of your pigs, a lovely wee ginger one and a big spotty sow having a snooze in the sun. my 2 daughters loved them and now want a pig!!!
    Was on the look out for some Arnish Eggs but didn’t spot any for sale
    Will pop back to your blog when I’m back home
    Live in Lincolnshire now, but originally from Glasgow

    Comment by Marina — April 13, 2012 @ 3:43 pm

    • Good morning Marina,

      did we see you on the 10:25 ferry ??? That would be wee Toots and Jamie Lea you saw, you must never buy a single pig, you need at least two, one for each daughter 🙂 Pigs do like company and can get depressed alone, bit like people really 🙂
      Shame you didn’t call for eggs, we might have sold you a house 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  4. Sat in bed reading your blog think I may cycle over there in summer.

    Comment by phill — April 13, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    • Morning Phill,

      some steep hills but worth the effort 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  5. Hi
    No we were up early and first on the ferry at 8.25
    Your colleague was very cheery as he took our fare and we talked about the path up from Balmeanach
    Back in flat old Lincolnshire now.
    Daughters still raving about your pigs – just have to make do with our 3 guinea pigs!

    Comment by Marina — April 15, 2012 @ 5:24 pm

  6. Is it time for car manufacturers to start paying attention to real road conditions? Cars need higher profile tyres, more ground clearance, and more suspension movement. Like the aborted ‘Africar’ which was like a jumbo 4×4 2CV built to travel fast on rough surfaces. Try googling Africar a car for Africa. There’s a book about it too. We need a car for Scotland project: rust proof, snow proof, pothole proof, economical…like an Africar.

    Here in Aberdeenshire the roads are falling apart faster than the council can fix them. I think they need to concentrate on deep rebuilds of select routes, sorting the drainage and perhaps leave some little used roads unsealed-the cost of tar follows the cost of oil.

    Comment by Max — April 16, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

    • Morning Max, think that our council have just opted for the latter part of the plan whilst ignoring the first bit 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2012 @ 5:27 am

  7. Cheers Richard,

    wifey’s on the post today so perhaps it will arrive 🙂 Then I suppose she’ll be filling my head with more ‘chicken tips’ 😦

    Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:20 am

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