Life at the end of the road

July 10, 2012

Ellie joins the herd :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, pigs, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:30 pm

This is going to be quick, It’s 20:30, been a long day and I’m now officially at work so an early night is essential. None of this ‘just before midnight’ stuff today, I’m aiming for 21:00 🙂 So I’d better just hammer on with it, well it was up a little earlier than usual on account of the necessity to get some piglets on the first ferry. Not an impossible task but certainly more difficult when a couple of children are involved and you need to have a bath first 🙂

Pigs fed, hens let out and cleaned, spotties loaded in the trailer and paperwork done we headed for, and caught the 8:55 ferry.


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No that is not the ferry, that is a squint picture of the cruise ship Europa anchored just outside the Black Rock in Portree bay


echnical Data of MS EUROPA


5-stars plus (rated by Berlitz Cruise Guide 2012)


Kvaerner-Masa Yards, Helsinki

198,60 m

24 m

6 m

Total output:
21.600 kW

21 knots

Fincantieri, 2 x 11sqm

Passenger decks:

Passenger capacity:

36 outside suites à 27 sqm
152 outside suites with veranda à 27 sqm (2 of them barrier-free)
4 SPA Suites with veranda à 27 sqm
10 Penthouse Deluxe Suites à 45 sqm
2 Penthouse Grand Suites à 83 sqm
Total of 204 suites


Language on board:

Zodiacs (motorised rubber boats):

Tender (150 seats):

Hospital with dialysis unit:



Advertised as

MS EUROPA – Your Most Beautiful Yacht In The World


she even has a dialysis unit on board !!

OK, I know the picture is rubbish but I was in a hurry 🙂

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Anyway an hour or so later we were at our first ‘port of call’ delivering the last two of Jamie Lea’s piglets to a regular customer in Balmacara.

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The two wee boys wasted no time in checking out their new surroundings

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whilst I checked out this little gem

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an early 1980’s Thomson Glendale I’d say . Very early in fact as this fine Scottish caravan maker went bust in 1982, quite simply because they were too well made 😦 Hardwood frames and proper wooden floorboards just can’t compete with chipboard and plastic on price. I have a 1971 or 72 Glenelg and it’s still sound, dry and damp free after 40 years 🙂

With those two dropped off it was onto my parents for a long overdue visit, my bad back having prevented me going two weeks ago. So I’ve missed going for a march with my dementia suffering father, of course he’s not missed it because he doesn’t know what day it is 😦 Bizarrely though today he asked me to help him with something that was obviously on his mind. After asking me at least three times in ten minutes if I wanted a drink out of the bottle of port we’d brought him, and I’m sure he’s have asked again had I not hidden it when he looked away 🙂

After that and several other questions and statements that indicated he really had no idea what was going on around him he asked me to help him with something!!! My dear old pop hasn’t asked me for help in months if not years for he really can’t remember anything. Anyway he said something about removing a tree from under a bridge and both my mum and I looked at each other in surprise. The bridge in question being one a few hundred yards away and built by William Caulfield in the 1750’s. Constructed as means of reaching the Bernara Barracks at Glenelg just opposite the Sky shore,


File:Bernera Barracks near Glenelg - - 28643.jpg

this road passes within a few yards of my parents house.


Fort Augustus to Bernera

The barracks at Bernera on the mainland shore opposite Skye were constructed in the early 1720s.[16] Caulfeild engineered the road through the West Highlands from Fort Augustus to Bernera Barracks in 1755 but Telford’s commissioners remade it in the 1820s. It initially headed west through Inchnacardoch Forest climbing to a height of over 1,280 feet (390 m) before dropping into Glen Moriston. It appears to have crossed the River Moriston somewhere near the confluence of the River Doe with the Moriston, and then taken a route somewhat to the north of the present day A887 road and A87 road north of Loch Cluanie. The road descended Glen Shiel to Ratagan before rising over the Bealach Ratagain (Ratagan Pass) and into Glen More and thence to the barracks at its western, seaward end.

My dear old dad walks by this bridge every day so I was curious to see what it was that had stuck in his mind but half expecting him not to remember why he’d put his wellingtons on, let alone why we were walking up the hill. Sure enough when we got up to the beautiful old stone bridge there was a small tree jammed under it 🙂

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Now this may not seem like such a big deal but I was overjoyed, this was me and my dad doing something together for the first time in ages.

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Sure I involve him as much as possible when I’m doing wee jobs about their house but he seldom knows what I’m actually doing and keeps wandering off but this was special. He’d spotted something, remembered it then asked me for help, I was dead chuffed 🙂 OK, he’s not going to get any better but it’s great to share these moments and at 83 he’s not doing bad 🙂

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Job done 🙂

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Two hundred and sixty years and not a stone out of place 🙂

Unfortunately I never got time to do the usual four mile route march with my dad as we had to leave early to go and collect a pig.

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Ellie, a beautiful Tamworth sow from Heaste on Skye was coming to join our herd on Raasay,

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well she was if we could get her in the trailer 🙂 Ellie seemed to prefer charging about the field chasing sheep than climbing into our CLH trailer but eventually hunger got the better of her and in she went. Though once inside with the door shut she became very vocal and tried to climb back out 🙂


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We left Loch Eishort behind and headed back over the hill to Broadford

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with its fine views over the Inner Sound, of Pabbay, Crowlin, Scalpay and even Raasay in the distance.

Me. I started work at 16:00 and left wifey to deal with the Land Rover, trailer, children, shopping and Ellie, typical guy really 🙂

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However, by the time I’d got home four hours later

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Ellie was sorted, the shopping away, pigs fed, eggs collected, children in pyjamas and my dinner made 🙂

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