Life at the end of the road

April 19, 2012

Raasay stores anyone :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:05 pm

Two hours of my life wasted last night when I could have been sleeping 😦 To say that I was livid when my labour at doing last nights post vanished into the ether would be putting it mildly. There was I going into great detail about the ‘doings’ of the last two days of my ‘week off’ and the first of my ‘week on’ when poof, it just disappeared, no warning, no messages, not saved, not in the recycle bin, ‘windows livewriter’ not running, just gone. I slammed the lid of the laptop in disgust, brushed my teeth for the first time on Wednesday (more of that later) and went to bed in a huff.

So here goes

I’ll try and recall the bones of it before I even attempt today’s ‘doings’, it all started with the batteries really, that’ll be the half ton of forklift truck 2v cells that insisted on trying to leap out of the trailer as they bumped along the Torran path on Monday. They never actually made it out of the trailer thanks to the two large ratchet straps firmly holding them in but they did managed to tip it three times. Every time it went over there was a mad rush to right it before the acid poured out and yours truly went a bit OTT with the pain killers 😦 Consequently Tuesday morning arrived (after a long sleepless night) with me feeling decidedly queasy in the stomach department and extremely tired in the general body all over 😦

The boy had to go to school however so it was up early and off on the 7:55am ferry, him to Portree high and myself to mum and dads on the mainland, eventually. I say eventually because it took me two hours to drive the forty or so miles to their little bit of Shangri La on the mainland.

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No, not that one, that’ll be Eilean Donan castle where I spent my third sleep 🙂 It took me double the normal time because I kept stopping for a nap, or at least trying to, for my first kip near the Broadford cemetery was rudely disturbed by the honking of a Forestry Commission vehicles horn. Now I wonder who that might have been 🙂

Arriving at my parents around 10:30 I had a little kip on the sofa before tackling a few wee jobs around the house and vowing to keep well clear of the Tramadol unless absolutely necessary.

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With life slowly returning to my ailing body I went up the burn to clear debris from the intake to their water supply as well as changing the house filters, cutting some kindling and generally being a good sport 🙂 Returning to Sconser with several ‘brownie points’ a nice bottle of red and a golden glow from the chilli mum had made me for lunch.

With my ‘back to back’ away at 17:30 I slipped into work mode for a couple of hours before heading home to a farrowing sow.

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Bramble had, after dragging half of her field into the ark started labour around 18:30

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by 20:30 there was still only one piglet, she’d passed the after birth, gone out for a pee and we thought it was all over.

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So after a quick spin up to the shed to admire Lachie’s handiwork we called it a day and I went off to my bed.

Wednesday arrived all too soon with any thoughts I had about going to check on Bramble vanishing abruptly as I tried to get out of bed. Every joint in my body ached and I felt like I’d been run over by a truck 😦 It was all I could do to get dressed and make coffee, even brushing teeth and shaving proved impossible. Two Tramadol later I managed to make it to wifey’s car, the Land Rover being far too high off the ground for me to climb up to 🙂 I dunno whether it was the little green and yellow pills or the sheer beauty of the drive to work

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but the suns rays lifting the mist off the Storr

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a dozen hinds at Glame

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a new born lamb at Holoman


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and snow on the Cuilin’s behind Manitoba had me at work 40 minutes later with almost a spring in my step 🙂

The day was busy enough with a good smattering of tourists but not too busy that I couldn’t break out the paint roller and do some work on deck. Not straight away as I had to wait for the morning sun to burn the dew and condensation off the Loch Striven’s cold hull.

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A good time for me to give the ‘day shapes’ that lurk in the locker below the wheelhouse a lick of paint then.


These ‘shapes’ are hung from the mast (or further forward in the case of anchoring) to warn other vessels of our intentions or situation. There are many other configurations and shapes including cones and cylinders that cover operations from dredging to diving but these are all we’re ever likely or hopefully unlikely  to need 🙂

A golden opportunity

After much painting, soup making (for three!!!!!) not to mention ferrying the day was done

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and we all headed home as the ‘Ocean Spirit of Moray’ dropped her anchor (without black ball forward 🙂 ) in Churchton bay.

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A regular summer visitor to these parts she belongs to Gordonstoun school near Elgin, founded in 1934 they have always had a strong attachment to the sea.


Gordonstoun School’s yacht: The Ocean Spirit of Moray under sail in the North Irish Sea.

Seamanship has been a main part of the curriculum since the school began. The first voyage of note was in a cutter from Hopeman to Dornoch in June 1935, a distance of 25 miles (40 km).[49] Students still train in cutters from the age of 13 upward at Hopeman harbour to prepare for a voyage in the school’s 80 ft (24 m) sailing vessel. Most excursions take a week sailing off the West Coast of Scotland, but the school also enters into The Tall Ships’ Races annually which allows students to take part in an international competition in European waters lasting up to a month.[50]

Before my failure at posting last night I’d time to check my inbox which contained a link to the Raasay Store sale advert at Isle of Skye estate agents.


which at offers over 100k would make a fine business for anyone wanting to move to a quite and beautiful spot with a steady income.



So for less than 300k you could have a regular wage and our cosy little cottage 🙂 


That’s it, it’s almost 22:00 now, I’m fading fast and haven’t even started on today, well it was lovely,

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with a fine stag sprouting fresh antlers starting off the drive to work.

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A reluctant wee dog helping us wash the boat before being deposited in the Land Rover until lunch time


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more progress on the shed

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and three fine piglets 🙂



  1. Great post mate. Hope Bramble has a few more to drop, and your backs sorted soon. Love the tramadol induced photographs! ) 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — April 19, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  2. Hey Paul, it looks like your last or lost post has fallen victim to the Joint Warrior military exercise. There’s some info on the BBC news site — GPS to be jammed — internet connections may be lost — etc. Time to dig out the paper charts and forget the new fangled way for a day or two!

    Comment by arthur — April 19, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

    • Hi Arthur, that would be Maclennan on the Bulwark 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 23, 2012 @ 9:16 pm

  3. Shouldn’t Mollie be wearing a life vest? There might be wetness!

    Comment by Drgeo — April 20, 2012 @ 12:54 am

  4. Hi Paul,
    Sorry about the bad back again. Photos are great, though. Has Caroline decided to retire from the shop? She made such a good job of it. I hope the right person buys it. I can still remember the days when Finlay ran it. Nothing stays the same, does it?

    Comment by Carolyn — April 20, 2012 @ 2:15 am

  5. Ah the magic of tramadol, been on them for years and they are my back-up nowadays to the host of other pills the doc gives me! They do tend to have a bit of a sleepy phase to them which explains the long journey, not the first time I have stopped a few times along the road for a wee nap! Hope the back gets better soon, more deep heat and hot baths should help!
    Shed is certainly taking shape now and looking great!
    Well done to Bramble on new piglets, hope all are fit and well!
    Hope you are feeling better today matey.

    Comment by Graham Thompson — April 20, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    • Hi Graham, yup, I seem to be getting much fonder of those ‘wee naps’ of late 🙂 All the piglets have been out enjoying the sun, just like me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 23, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

  6. Dear Paul,
    seems very much that you are overtiring your self, try and pace yourself. I bet you never even got done what you had planed to do last week, and you have most likely tagged them on the the ” TOO DO ITEMS’ next week. write a list out and priorities them into what must be done and what can be done later, and be pleased that what must be done gets done Putting a new head gasket on Rocky who seems to be firing only on one cylinder might not be a bad idea to put on the too do list, but of cause you can leave it too the following week if the sows are not coming on to heat.

    I like your shed. should see you out. The main doors at the opposite end will be most likely be roll up and that will be where you will have your workshop with the bench along the wall opposite the door, should be a nice decent size giving you plenty of room to work. I hope you don’t have any trouble getting that tank you drive around in into it. The turning circle seems a little tight.

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — April 20, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    • Morning Dave,

      wee bit more work to do on that bank yet 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 24, 2012 @ 5:09 am

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