Life at the end of the road

June 15, 2012

Sooooo disappointed :-(

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, harbour, New hybrid ferry — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:17 pm

After three weeks of fantastic weather for my holidays I was a little slow off the mark this morning, bumbling about and feeling a little lost like I was out of practice 🙂 Normally I’d have got the uniform out the night before, thought about what I was taking for lunch, had my wallet nearby and set off for work like a well oiled machine. Today I couldn’t find anything, forgot my drugs, had barely enough fuel in the Land Rover and didn’t even shave 😦 Not that I was up late or even late for work, just that I was in a bit of a flap for some reason.

Anyway I managed to get down the road without incident and even remembered how to start the ferry 🙂 and pretty soon was back into the swing of things. It wasn’t a great day by recent standards, a bitter easterly wind even brought with it some rain but it never came to much.

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Much had happened during my absence,  there was a good deal to catch up on and a lot to digest with many developments in the pipeline for our new hybrid ferry. At well over the 500ton mark, perhaps getting on for 700!! it will mean intensive training and courses for us all and at least one extra crew member. A bit of good news that will be a welcome boost to the island and will perhaps mean a few more egg sales 🙂


sconser car park

Other news was what could be the tenth and possibly final draft of the much needed Sconser ferry terminal improvements. Though with only thirty parking spaces it’s still too small for the traffic we have now at times, when you take into account there were 23 cars parked on the current one last week and many more on the grass. So much so that the police came down and moved a few. Of course all the abandoned canoeists vehicles don’t help matters, but who am I to complain, I don’t live there and have to look at it all day 🙂

sconser slip

And for a time at least we’ll have two slipways, though the sanity and expense of building and then dismantling that mammoth structure on the left to repair the one on the right escapes me 🙂 Still I’m sure it will be all ‘fine and dandy’ when it’s finished, a fitting accompaniment to our new ferry terminal on Raasay and new hybrid ferry 🙂


That was it really at work, well apart from these turning up,

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ten journey tickets valid for six months from date of purchase. OK, there’s not actually date on them but I’ve not seen the top ones in almost ten years and the pink ones nearer twenty, “are these still valid” said the customer!!!! 🙂

The journey home was one of things that I’ve missed whilst being on holiday. Now you may think that that’s daft as I’ve certainly been up and down the road a few times recently but travelling home from work, as opposed to rushing back to the croft to feed pigs and hens is very different. Returning from wherever with a mountain of shopping, pig feed or building materials to a load of chores on the croft is a completely different affair to commuting home. For a start I’m on my own, don’t have to rush or do anything at the end of it and can meander slowly along the road listening to the radio and watching the wildlife.

female sea eagle

Which today included a pair of sea eagles, this one, the size of a barn door being the female which flew across the road just by ‘Calum’s cairn’ at Brochel. I know it was the girlie because her mate flew by later and even though he was larger than me this beauty was even bigger. You really have not seen anything until you’ve seen one of these up close, it’s hard to imagine something so large actually flying, let alone living in the wild outside of some David Attenborough documentary 🙂 Far better than a kestrel on the M25, M77 or M66 and a lot less stressful 🙂


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One thing that today’s rain didn’t do was make any difference to the parched and dried out grass along the roadside, at Brochel and on our own lawn.


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Still, at least I’ve not had to cut it 🙂

Arnish Eggs ‘go viral’

I arrived home calm and nicely ‘de stressed’ to find wifey busy printing labels for ‘Arnish Eggs’ which are at last on sale in the Raasay Stores


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The first batch going in with young Kirsty Mackay’s design on the box, after of course they were all

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‘candled’, weighed and stamped.

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This monster coming in at 84.3 grams, some 10 grams above the 73g XL size 🙂




But now it’s after 23:00 and I’m off to bed, hopefully I’ll be a little better organized in the morning 🙂

And speaking of eggs, could Mr Freddie Fraser go to to see

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the owner of that pickup and collect his 🙂



  1. Those birds are amazing, what a cool thing to see. The eggs look so good, wish I could pop in and get some!
    I’m sure you’re disappointed in the boy. But one of those things about being young, the brain and judgement is way stupid. Many hours of repairing or doing chores for the school will help cement the lesson. A better consequence than a police record which in some cases does no good at all. Hang in there Dad…

    Comment by Kate — June 16, 2012 @ 3:15 am

    • Morning Kate, aye you’re right the brain does not function quite right at that age, I remember it well so whilst being severely let down, I’m not worried, I did far worse and turned out OK 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:43 am

  2. Hey Paul! love the eagle pic. sorry to hear about the dude. Brain won’t be hardwired correcttly for a few more years anyway, but his upbringing made him come clean in the end and thats the main thing. Only 1 out of 4 of our birds are laying right now. 😦

    Comment by Lloyd — June 16, 2012 @ 3:47 am

    • Morning Lloyd, hope the hens pick up, not too worried about the boy, he’s 13 next week so will probably be OK in another ten years 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:45 am

  3. Paul

    Nice to see the drawings of the Sconser terminal at last. Not hugely different from when I left matters back in April last year, but some good tweaks. Having just widened the slipway at Tayinloan for the Loch Ranza, the second slip to allow the existing to be widened is by far the best way to go. We couldn’t get one in at Tayinloan due to the beach profile, but had we had one, the time taken would have been halved and the quality achieved would have been twice that what we got in the end. It might seen daft, but it is the way to go, for sure. It avoids disruption to the ferry service as well.

    Which consultant is now on the scheme – the drawings don’t look much like Scott Wilson or URS efforts, but I may be wrong.

    Glad to see despite the traumas, honesty prevailed with your son – that’s the policy we promote with our pair of scallywags and think it the best for everybody at the end of the day. Can’t help thinking though that the date on the letter from school might be wrong unless you celebrated a different Jubilee to the rest of us!

    Comment by Alan — June 16, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    • Morning Alan,

      I’m sure it the ‘best’ way to go but must double the cost, would it not have been more sensible to just build a new better aligned structure further up the loch a little. The problem with Sconser is that most of the weather comes howling down the loch broadside onto the ferry and blows it off the slip. This is only going to get worse with the new ferry which has five decks and proportionally less power.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:54 am

  4. absolutely beautiful photo of the sea eagle. Do you have any objection if I share it on my Facebook page and credit it to you? Your son has always struck me as a great guy so I hope he can put the incident where it belongs in the grand scheme of things and move on. Remind me to check out my holiday dates with you in future from the weather point of view!

    Comment by may cruickshank — June 16, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    • Morning May, feel free to use the picture 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 17, 2012 @ 6:55 am

  5. Consumer advice – “put eggs in fridge”. Noooo!!!
    It is funny that the authorities insist on you putting the notice on the box, but they are never in the fridge in supermarkets!

    Sounds like your lad is a good one for owning up so quickly. I bet they just panicked when it happened.

    Comment by Simon — June 16, 2012 @ 1:29 pm

  6. Arnish is a pretty small place if one wished to become devoted to a life of crime. Just last night we were watching an old Hamish Macbeth dvd, involving mystery and crimes in the metropolis of Plockton. When all possible suspects can fit into the same small room, the mystery only lasts a 1/2 hour! The Dude might wish to delay shenanigans until he lives in a bigger town, like St Andrews or Cambridge. Back in neolithic times when I got myself into teen trouble the grapevine did not extend all the way around the world, so it was easier to regain the mantle of respectability. Now is the time to place an extra effort into “catching” him being good. You need not judge the actions, just observe them out loud. “That saved your mother some work.” “You have a way with animals.” “I remember when you couldn’t mow so much on your own.”

    Comment by drgeo — June 16, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

  7. As with all teenagers the prank or high jinx went sour but one can take away from this that the youngsters involved have all owned up and apologised, this in no way does detract from what they did but it does show that they are and have been responsible enough to admit to their deed. This i feel is a great reflection on the parents and the way in which children are raised on the island and I feel sure a valuable lesson has been learned.
    As you say Paul we all did similair if not worse things during our teenage years and I am sure we did not always own up to our deeds. Dissapointment in the behavior is natural but at the same time some pride should be taken that the owned up and offered to do anything they could to make it right. With such high values i feel sure they will be better people for this.
    As Drgeo says now is the time for catching him and his friends doing good deeds and commenting on them, it will no doubt bolster their enthusiasm to be better citizens for life and the prosperity of the island!

    Great pictures of the eagles, makes me even more determined to try and visit the island, anywhere we can park the caravan for a few days? Maybe not this year as there is not a lot of caravan time left and we still have a wedding to go to in July, which will be a bit tight money wise as we have had the added expense of the repairs to the van! which by te way is coming on well, still to be resealed and ply on inner wall at the front to be replaced but due to the wet weather we have had this has been very stop and start, although we have managed to wire up some of the cabling and replace the waste and fresh water hoses. Heading back down the hill to do some more shortly, hoping to get some resealing done before the wood starts to get wet again!

    All the best to you all, Graham

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — June 17, 2012 @ 11:50 am

  8. this is one of your best slice of life posts. the gorgeous eggs with the children’s labels. the enormous beautiful birds. a mistake by a good, hard-working boy. more “improvements” for raasay.
    the beat goes on.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — June 17, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

  9. Hello Paul,
    84.3g is quite good but…
    One of my 4 ‘ex-bat’ hens laid a 105g egg (7.5cm long), then another whopper the next month.
    Strangely, she died 6 months later. Ce la vie.
    Tell your girls to keep on practicing 😉

    Comment by Andrew McG. — June 24, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    • Morning Andrew 105!!!! that’s a monster, no wonder she died 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 27, 2012 @ 5:02 am

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