Life at the end of the road

April 14, 2012


Filed under: daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Hectic, yup hectic, that just about sums up the last two days, so hectic in fact that I’ve not had time to stop for a glass of wine 🙂 Truth be known, I’ve not actually had time to buy any and we’ve run out 😦 No bad thing really as I think it was slowing me down 🙂 I’ve been running around like a man possessed this last couple of days in a desperate attempt to achieve all that is on ‘the list’ and a few things more beside before I go back to work on Tuesday.

The priority job being to finish the fencing on the shed house and wind turbine site, something I’ve been putting off for far too long. It’s not a large amount, just around 150m but some of the ground is quite unforgiving and a bit of a challenge. Still I got most of the strainers pushed into the ground with Hooky’s digger or Lachie’s telehandler some weeks ago so that eased the pain. Now that they were all in with their stays it was time to begrudgingly go and collect the wire, posts, staples etc from Harbro in Portree, our local feed and agricultural merchant.

I say begrudgingly not because I’ve anything against the place, on the contrary the staff are always friendly and go out of their way to help. The reason I was reluctant is because even a quick dash into Portree is half the day gone and it’s only 7 miles away as the crow flies 😦

The day, just as XC  UKWind promised was a pure peach and we caught the first ferry over to Skye after a leisurely drive down ‘Calum’s road’.


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A frequent visitor to these parts at this time of year was lying just off the old iron ore pier having spent the night there. The Hebridean Princess an ex CalMac ferry now operated as a luxury cruise liner by was about to disembark some her wealthy passengers onto Raasay 🙂

I think I’m right in saying that is the first time she’s deposited some of her customers at our new, or even old pier, but it’s not the first time she’s set passengers ashore on Raasay. In the early nineties, before she was lengthened and when she still had the car ramps fitted she would often put people ashore at Loch Arnish. Either down by the old stone jetty at Port Arnish

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or below the white house at Torran in the distance. I was always struck by the professionalism of the crew as they deposited their usually elderly (or at least not young) and unsuitably (or at least inappropriately) dressed passengers on the shore. Expertly handled  boats by sailors that would lend a hand to steady their cargo it was delight to watch. They probably cannot do it now due to elfin safety or fear of getting sued, which is a shame as I’m sure it was a rich experience for many.

A quick dash for fuel then a trip to the Co Op to ‘not buy wine’ as you can’t until 10:30. I mean what is the point of that, how many teenagers or wino’s did you ever see queuing up for drink before 10:30 any way 🙂

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Harbro next to load up with 60 round posts, 3 rolls of Ryloc, 1 roll of wire, feed, etc, etc and of course on a separate invoice hen drinkers for the ‘Arnish Egg Company’ 🙂

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Back on Raasay before 11:00 the former ferry MV Columba was now putting people ashore


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for a nice little wander around the island, just wait until Raasay house is open and they have somewhere to spend their money 🙂 Perhaps even buy some eggs and pork 🙂

The next thing I did after arriving home and having lunch was go to bed 😦 No kidding I was whacked so went and had a wee lie down before unloading the trailer.

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The Dude ferrying stuff up the hill and laying it all out where it was needed to save me carrying it.

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Then it was stretching the high tensile wire with what is almost a good tool, the ‘Myti wire strainer’ would be an excellent tool if it were just made out of better quality materials and at the price of it, it should be 😦 The pivot bolt that comes with it is not even a proper high  tensile bolt, it’s a stainless ‘set’ that’s soft, threaded all the way to the head and bends 😦 The jaws are too soft soon fail to grip thinner wire but apart from that it’s great 🙂

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That took us up to dinner time after which it was a spell of ‘nest box’ making fixing,

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firstly jig sawing out the three holes before fitting the box I’d knocked up the day before

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when I had a quite spell 🙂


After a very early night Saturday arrived with a few aches and pains that I’d not felt for a while but the promise of ‘wall to wall’ sunshine had me out early with a clear blue sky over my head. Wifey hung the washing out on my recommendation and i got stuck into a little ‘hen house’ work.

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Fitting a lid to the nest boxes just before this arrived, out of nowhere and with a bang 😦

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That was hail but on at least two occasions we had snow!!! It didn’t lie, vanished in minutes and was on the whole a great day.

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Being ‘bin day’ I made sure that the bins were full, well if they’re going to come all this way I might as well make it worth their while 🙂 The disco lights, smoke machine and some strobes going in the junk pile but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them on the lorry next Christmas 🙂 The council may not get everything right but there’s nothing wrong with the refuse collection and schools 🙂

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Well, that was it really, a long day for all of us at the fencing

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right up until a late dinner of mince and tatties.

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And now at 23:00 I’m off to bed 🙂


  1. The ‘Princess’ looks like a fine craft there. I must check out just how much it costs for a cruise! Plenty, I expect. The Hen-hoose is looking pretty good too. Good luck with the house sale; maybe it’s the week for it: we’ve just managed to sell our Spanish place and had some eager possible buyers looking round our Swedish home yesterday! Fingers crossed.

    Comment by yractual — April 15, 2012 @ 5:32 am

    • Morning Iain,
      if you do get a trip on the Princess insist on Arnish eggs, Raasay pork, Raasay venison and Raasay prawns 🙂 Oh and if they have any mechanical problems send them to Simon 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2012 @ 6:46 am

  2. oh my golly gosh, “from” £4330 per person for that cruise!! … if that’s the “from”, then what’s the “to” ???

    seriously, Paul, if Raasay is getting so many more visitors these days, and with the new bigger ferry on its way, someone on Raasay has seriously got to the look at marketing … as far as I’m aware you haven’t even got a taxi on the island to take less actuve visitors for a wee run around, never mind having stuff to sell to them … how about ytour next venture is quad hire

    Comment by cazinatutu — April 15, 2012 @ 9:12 am

    • Morning Caz,

      we have some good people on the case right now ‘putting Raasay on the map’ with Joan and Lloyd our ‘development officers’. Aye the taxi service and ‘Calum’s road’ tour is long over due but I’ve got quite enough projects on the go 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 17, 2012 @ 5:34 am

  3. Mince and potatoes seems about right, especially if you are hungry

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — April 15, 2012 @ 10:41 am

    • Nothing quite like ‘tatties and mince’ or ‘haggis and neaps’ to fill a hole quickly and cheaply Dave 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 17, 2012 @ 5:35 am

  4. Hello Paul,
    over in NE Scotland we had lots of heavy snow and hail showers on Friday and Saturday,my flight cancelled twice,glad you got some good weather. I now also use for forecasts,updated more often and has a human forecaster.

    The Princess is now the default Royal Yacht, it has been chartered by the Royal Household at least once. I had no idea it was a former ferry, now I realise why it looked familiar , I saw it on postcards several years ago in the Western Isles.

    Time to head into the metroplis of Grantown for the casserole supplies, our CO Op allows off sales after 10 am, still daft.

    Comment by Gary Brindle — April 15, 2012 @ 11:44 am

    • Aye Gary, I remember when she came round flying the royal standard, can’t for the life in me remember if she had a destroyer in tow though 😦 The old Brittania was an annual visitor to Raasay and they always called at Inver (known as queens bay locally) for a barbecue. Many a visitor and local has met her entourage whist out walking there.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 17, 2012 @ 5:42 am

  5. Just cannot get the vision of your bin lorry adorned with disco lights,smoke machine and strobes out of my head.That would give someone a fright,meeting that on a dark winter morning :-).


    Comment by Andy — April 15, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    • Morning Andy, meeting the bin lorry on Calum’s road at any time would give you a fright 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2012 @ 5:24 am

  6. The Princess is the former Columba, one of three sisters built by H M Government and fitted with special features for use after a nuclear attack. Columba inaugurated the Oban Craignure service. Her sisters were Hebredies, which operated the Uig triangle to the Western Isles (another new route), and Clansman, which started on the Malaig Armadale but was widely used eleswhere later in her career.

    Comment by Phil Cook — April 16, 2012 @ 1:28 am

    • Cheers for that Phil

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2012 @ 5:25 am

  7. Tell Lachie to put his hard hat on!

    Comment by Steve patch — April 16, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  8. Hi Paul,

    Draper do a strainer tool that seems to work like yours. About £25 – mine is in its 3rd year, so far.

    Comment by Andrew McG. — May 8, 2012 @ 11:54 am

    • Hi Andrew and welcome, the Draper tool was the first one I bought and it broke at the hinge, having said that I’ve been meaning to repair it because it was far better made than the Myti Strainer.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2012 @ 6:43 pm

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