Life at the end of the road

May 8, 2012

Two birthdays :-)

Filed under: daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:15 am

Still no internet so you’ll not get this until tomorrow and there’ll be no links in it 🙂 I can’t go back and check the bull in my last post either so you’ll have to forgive me if I repeat myself or tell any porkies 🙂 As if 🙂

Anyway it’s Monday, May 7th and 21:00, I had intended scribbling a few lines down last night and replying to all the comments but fell asleep at 18:30 and did not wake up until 5:30am on my birthday!!!! It had been a lovely day, starting as usual with a spot of pig feeding and udder squeezing before trundling down to work in the old girl.


050512 009

The sun was blazing down the cruise liner Albatross was just heading for Portree


050512 011

where she dropped anchor shortly afterwards.

050512 014

The morning at work was busy enough with a few cars and plenty of walkers enjoying the bank holiday sun,

050512 015

me, I did some more painting 🙂 OK, I know it’s a little rough but it looks great from a distance and it’s very hard using a roller on the end of a broom handle 🙂

Lunchtime saw the wee dug and I going for a wander around the pier and its environs,

050512 012

Molly being far more enthusiastic about walking than sailing.

050512 016

Our first ‘port of call’ being these steps hewn into the rock then levelled off with concrete, just by the boathouse I suppose they were done to make boarding boats easier for ladies in long skirts 🙂

050512 017

After that it was up to Raasay house to creep around the security fencing and admire the new windows that had just been fitted

050512 018

which should go a long way to reducing the heating bills. You have to laugh at these halfwits at ‘Historic Scotland’ who would not let decent windows be fitted in the first refurbishment. The most popular and photographed castle in Scotland is Eilean Donan that looked like this in 1910,

 File:Eilean Donan Castle, pre 1911.jpg

would it have been so popular and generated so much income for the local economy had it not been refurbished to look like this ????? Would it feck, no one would have given it a second glance as they sped past Dornie on their way to Skye.


010512 007

Would it have featured in James Bond, Highlander, several thousand biscuit tins and a million calendars looking like the result of an air raid??? not a chance. Would you wish to get married there ??? would you heck. So why do these buffoons in quangos  answerable to no one get away with this carp?? These old buildings and castles need using, not leaving to rot, they are organic bits of history that need to evolve to survive not burdened with a gazillion conditions because they are ‘listed’.


050512 019

Having said all that I don’t think that they should be repaired with breeze blocks and flashing tape, you just have to admire ,, and Firth Plumbing’s work to see that 🙂

050512 020

After our ‘recce’ of Raasay House we wandered back back in almost Mediterranean conditions back to the boat.

050512 027

Doing a spot of tide gauge cleaning before we sailed again at 16:00 for Sconser,

050512 028

you would not believe that I just power washed that two weeks ago!!

Bank holiday Monday

With the lovely day at work out of the way I headed home with the full intention of doing a few jobs around the croft before retiring. After all it was an early finish and a lovely day, however the massive portions of haddock in bread crumbs given me by wifey for dinner had me going for a ‘wee lie down’ from which I never recovered 😦

Even when I awoke this morning at 5:10 I wasn’t fully ‘compos mentis’ and by the time I’d had a bath, done the dishes and sorted myself out it was almost time for work. By the time I’d gone into the barn to check on Jamie Lea

    050512 031

and discovered a farrowing sow with squashed piglet it was getting late 😦

050512 033


050512 032

Wifey had checked her last night at 21:00 and all was fine, our most prolific sow was just grazing merrily outside the barn. At 6:30 this morning however she’d managed to rip the wooden panelling off the barn and turn the polystyrene lining into snow. She had a piglet trapped underneath her and two others looking for milk 😦


050512 034

After getting the weakest one latched onto a nipple I ran back into the house to raise the swineherd

050512 035

leaving her and Molly to deal with the piglets whilst I headed south for work.

050512 039

which was another lightning quick day, though not half as busy as we’d expected for a bank holiday Monday. Not that ‘Eyre Plant’ and Raasay’s own ‘Hugh Mackay Plant’ ever stop work on a bank holiday 🙂 Duncan’s old Scania dragging Hooky’s 13ton Komatsu back home after a spell of working away. Perhaps it will be coming to Arnish shortly 🙂

050512 040


I think folk had been put off travelling by the forecast. Ever since Friday the radio has been telling everyone how rubbish the weather is and what a carp holiday it’s going to be. OK, we had a spot of snow and it’s been boodly freezing on the ferry in the north wind but on land and in the shelter it has been a beautiful May so far. We even had a frost this morning and there was ice on the puddles at Sconser but the sun was out for most of day, a few spots of rain at 17:00 didn’t even stop me painting 🙂

050512 043

When I arrived home around 20:00 six of the seven piglets were thriving and wifey had cleaned up most of the polystyrene that Jamie had ripped off the walls.

050512 044

Number seven was in the house wrapped up but going downhill despite the best attentions of a protective Molly and the family. He had rallied after being put on the teat but could not stand despite his best efforts, a large swelling on his head probably indicating one of Jamie’s footprints and a damaged brain. I should have just shot him there and then to put him out of his suffering, especially after all the effort that we’d put into Tam in January

   080112 009

but at least Tam could stand. This wee chap was getting colder by the minute and definitely not going to make it through the night. However he seemed settled enough and it seemed kinder (and easier on us) to let him go in his sleep.

Sure enough he was dead this morning 😦



  1. Happy belated bithday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many nipples in one posting!

    Glad the Bank Holiday was better than here in the soggy Midlands. Just read the complete bo##ocks that the Meat is Murder brigade foisted upon you. They and their ilk are one of the reasons I would never do what you do – put out honest, real accounts of what your life is like. We’ve been coming up to the Western Isles for over 30 years and I totally “get” what you are doing. Life’s hard enough at the moment without these cyber-bullies having a go. Please don’t let them get you down and thanks for the insight into life outside the rat-race.

    That’s it, I’m off to do a spot of painting myself.

    Comment by Steve H — May 8, 2012 @ 7:50 am

    • Cheers Steve, ‘Meat is murder’ seemed to trawl the internet a few years ago hassling small holders, probably from his flat in the metropolis. I don’t have a problem with vegetarians at all, was almost one myself for a couple of years for precisely the reason that many are. I knew exactly what went on in intensive farming and didn’t like it so I never ate anything (apart from fish) that I hadn’t killed myself or swapped with someone that had. At the time I was doing probably one of the most physically demanding jobs there is six days a week (clam diving) and I just could not function after a few days without protein. I could feel myself going feint and the almost instant cure would be to eat a few raw scallops 🙂 Vegetarianism is fine for people who work in offices 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  2. Happy Birthday Paul – sounds like you had a busy one. Enjoying seeing the sunshine – winter on it’s way here.

    Comment by Kym — May 8, 2012 @ 8:04 am

    • Thanks Kym, your surveyor arrived today 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2012 @ 6:37 pm

  3. Happy Birthday for yesterday Paul.

    You really do know how to make us all feel jealous with this wonderful life you lead and gracefully share with us 🙂

    Comment by Tigger — May 8, 2012 @ 8:26 am

    • Wonderful life Tigger!!! doesn’t feel like it right now with every bone in my body aching and a heap of jobs to do 🙂

      Thanks, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2012 @ 6:39 pm

  4. Happy birthday Paul.Cracking weather your having (hopefully no midges yet). Your painting looks sound from here (Shropshire) :-). Mrs T hits the big 50 next week-but keep it quiet.

    Andy & family

    Comment by Andy — May 8, 2012 @ 8:28 am

    • Still good weather Andy and still no midges yet 🙂 Happy birthday to wifey from us all 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 9, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

  5. Happy birthday Paul keep up the good work.

    Comment by mi — May 8, 2012 @ 11:47 am

  6. Happy Birthday Paul

    Comment by Marjorie Stintzi — May 8, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  7. Happy Birthday for yesterday Paul.
    My eldest brother will be 58 tomorrow and his first born will be 31, no doubt both these chaps will have a wee glass to celebrate!.
    So sad to hear that one of the piglets did not make it but pleased the others all seem to be doing well. Molly is certainly great with them all and it is great to see the pictures.
    Yes the weather has been rather nice if a little cold although having been indoors most of the weekend I was warm enough! (-; Been out today and got the timber I need to start on the structural work on the Thomson, cost of timber was just under £20 so well pleased, using my judgement I got some thicker stuff which I can cut to exact sizes and have some left over offcuts to use as needed in future projects. The biggest piece, 2.4m x 100 x 50mm was £6, just a bit of a saving on headed up your way to get some from Rassey house. Great pictures of the house and it certainly is looking great, the contractors seeem to be doing a great job and it will be good to see it when finished. I do agree whole heartily with your comments on ‘Historic Scotland’ sometimes they just go too far! My understanding of all the old heritage buildings is that they have never remained as they where originally constructed with new owners always updating or adding their own bits over the centuaries, surely this should continue in order to add to the history for future generations.
    Hope you get the Internet back at home ASAP, it is such a bain when it is not working properly and the ISP still want their money!

    All the very best for the future

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 8, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

    • Morning Graham and thanks,

      glad to hear of progress on the Thomson, had all the windows and door open on mine all day yesterday to let a good blast of dry north wind through it. Not that it’s damp or anything just to give the ‘wee hoose’ an airing as it’s still got half our possessions and clothes in it. Says something about its construction when you can happily put your stuff in it and know it’s not going to get eaten by mice or smell damp. Not bad for a 42 year old van hey 🙂

      Don’t get me started on planners, SNH or HS, can you imagine what they’d all say now if you wanted to build an iron ore mine or a mansion on Raasay 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 10, 2012 @ 5:49 am

      • Hi Paul, yes they certainly did a grand job of assembly on a Thomson, something I am now finding out in more detail, tongue and groove , mortice and tenon, dowel, screw joints to name a few and no glue! The latter making dissasembly a lot easier. This has also meant that many of the panels are not getting damaged when removed which is great news as it saves changing too much of the original look.
        Good idea to let the air through it and of course this will indeed keep it freash. I have to admit that the last few days have been spent pottering around indoors as the weather is just a bit too cold for my veins. Blue is a great coulour but not when its your skin lol!
        I think it was one of my first bosses who used to say’ “show me a planner and I will show you someone who knows nothing about practicle matters!” Oh how right he was! lol
        all the best Graham.

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — May 11, 2012 @ 11:51 am

  8. Happy Birthday Paul, all the best from Lesley and Alex

    Comment by alex — May 8, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

  9. belated happy birithday, Paul

    Comment by cazinatutu — May 8, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

  10. Happy birthday Paul have a fine year….. Keep us posted …pun intended

    Comment by tonylucas63 — May 9, 2012 @ 5:30 am

    • Hi Tony, and thanks, wondered where you’d been 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 10, 2012 @ 5:50 am

      • My father passed away, I have been in the Pacifc Northwest taking care of things. All is ok and I did get to spend his last days by his side.

        Comment by tonylucas63 — May 10, 2012 @ 6:23 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: