Life at the end of the road

July 18, 2012

The blogger next door :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:15 pm

A great day for what we did today but hardly a ‘peach’, kind of damp first thing but dry enough to go out in the boat without oil skins, which is what we did. It was a spontaneous thing on account of having a wee chap staying with us who was keen and the threat of more north wind to arrive shortly. North wind, the north end of Raasay and small boats not being a great combination 🙂 and north it has been since April at least. Even today’s gentle breeze was accompanied by a lazy roll from the north that had the shoreline covered in cotton wool 🙂

180712 002

So after feeding everyone, eating our porridge and finally dragging the teenager out of bed we went down to the Arnish shore and my mates Pioner Maxi. I’d done the de winterizing work in May during my holidays in the vain hope that we’d get out in it then, but north wind and other projects had prevented that and now it’s July, where has the year gone.

I cannot praise this little 12’ plastic boat highly enough, it is ‘bombproof’, ‘idiot proof’, ‘rock proof’, fast, economical and light. With its 15HP Yamaha it will plane along happily with a couple of adults and a child in it and for beachcombing there is nothing better. Just look at that solid rock shore, try dragging a fibreglass or wooden boat up that every day and see how long it lasts 🙂

180712 003

Once the trusty Pioner was in the water we had a look around Loch Arnish to see if any treasures had been washed up, but apart from the usual plastic detritus there was nothing 😦 The Horses Cave however on the southern shore seemed to have suffered a rock fall over the winter though.

170411 034

Here it is last April, that is a serious amount of rock that’s come down and it looks like much more will follow this winter. I’m not sure how it got it’s name but there is a place near here were old horses were backed off a cliff to their death to save on burial and a bullet, perhaps this is where the bodies ended up.

The main reason for going boating was to go and collect grit for wifey’s hens, the excellent stuff given us off the Golden Dawn’s prawn creels having run out. Hens need grit to grind up seeds and stuff in their ‘crop’

from: Chicken Health Handbook, (c) 1994 Gail Damerow, used with permission

before being able to digest it, and there’s nothing better than broken lime rich shells or worm casts off creels.

The islets to the west of Fladda called Grian a Sgeir having a particularly good supply of the perfect stuff.


Map picture

Only a few hundred square meters in size this tiny archipelago is named the ‘sunny rock’ on account of it often being bathed in sunshine, something that I can confirm, whilst all around it is in rain or cloud. Once a place where lambs were  put for the summer, it is now a refuge for birds and seals.

The tide still being a little high for grit collection we took the inside route between Fladda and Raasay for a trip to visit our next door neighbours on Rona

180712 004

Considering that Bill is our nearest neighbour we spend far less time visiting each other than we should but the pair of us are devils for getting caught up in projects and life so two or three times a year seems to be about the sum of it. A tragedy really because some of our conversations would be a ‘sell out’ at the Edinburgh festival 🙂 Honestly the stories we could tell about ‘yachties’, kayakers, divers and humankind at large would have you in stitches 🙂 Imagine sailing in some of Europe’s cleanest waters and carrying your dirty dishes ashore and walking several hundred yards to wash them in peaty water !!! Imagine owning £100K worth of yacht and begrudging a £1 landing fee on  this beautiful pontoon!! ONE FECKING POUND, you can’t even buy a a touch up paint for the dinghy that you’ve just scratched on the beach for that.

180712 005

The well on Rona has almost run dry,

180712 006 ,

people want a shower or to use the internet, my mate works his ar5e off and these people make up all the excuses under the sun for not parting with £1, I despair. They leave their rubbish and dog shit, all of which has to be cleaned up, and they moan like feck because of the landing charge, nay fecking wonder they can afford £100k yachts 🙂

180712 007

Fortunately they are not all the same as Bill’s blog will attest, and we arrived unannounced at his house to find one such ‘customer’ using and appreciating the facilities that he’s provided.

After coffee for us and Coke for the boys, a good rant and laugh we went to check out his new ‘summer house’ in the woods,

   180712 010

180712 012 180712 011

as well as some of the older ruins.

Leaving shortly afterwards with some vacuum packed Rona venison we headed for Grian a Sgier,

180712 013

its abundant grit,


180712 017

phenomenal winkles,


180712 019 180712 020

and curious seals.

180712 014

And I’m falling asleep now, so will finish this later 🙂



  1. Paul it always amazes me how clear the sea water in the Highlands is, your photo’s taken in the right sun light show how clear the waters are. The bit about the roof cave falling in should deter the Kayak clan and to be careful when setting up camp.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — July 18, 2012 @ 11:44 pm

    • Hi Walter, I’ll stop saying ‘morning’ cos I’ve discovered it’s 12:30, how time flies 🙂 yes the water is amazingly clear, even in the winter, a far cry from Liverpool bay 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  2. Paul, as a yottie I was in the Acarsaid Mor on Rona dozens of times in the 70s and 80s and I wonder if we got up to the sort of thoughtless things you were taking about? No pontoon back then of course. It’s a bit like what you were saying about when y ou used to dive. I don’t think we made plonkers of ourselves – I hope not anyway. I think it’s also fair to say people are a lot more environmentally aware nowadays and also there are a lot more people going to places like Rona nowadays in kayaks and ribs and whatnot. Typing this on an iPad lying in bed lying in my bed – what next?? Brgds, Neil.o

    Comment by neilking — July 19, 2012 @ 12:41 am

    • Morning Niel, we’ve all done it our yoof I suppose 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:33 am

  3. Winkles, eh? I hear if I pick up only a ton of them the Glasgow man will give me a shilling!

    Comment by drgeo — July 19, 2012 @ 3:35 am

    • Hi DrG,
      you would be surprised how much a bag of wilks fetches around Christmas, £25 a bag is not unknown and on some tides I’ve picked 8 bags 🙂 in one day!!!!!! though realistically it is usually just two or three.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:37 am

  4. Good morning Paul,
    What on earth is the machine, which your friend on Rona has? It appears to be almost like a small version of a timber forwarder, but with a trailer body permanently fixed to it. I assume that it is 4 wheel drive, and steers by articulating in the middle? Very interesting.
    Best wishes,

    Comment by Richard — July 19, 2012 @ 8:39 am

    • Hi Richard, it’s an Italian tractor specially designed for working on the narrow steep terraced olive groves and vineyards.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:39 am

  5. Paul,I am amazed you are not bald from tearing your hair out with some of the less thoughtful types/actions you encounter.The ones that come closest to this, in my neck of the woods,are some of the school- run parents.Given the opportunity,I reckon they would attempt to park their cars, in the corridor outside their kids classroom 🙂

    Comment by Andy — July 19, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    • Hi Andy, just spotted another t0553r at the end of the road, plenty of room in the car park, loads of room by the end of the road sign but no we’ll park in the middle of the road to my neighbours house and my chalet, leaving not even enough room to get the quad by 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:41 am

  6. Wish i had a sea view and beach combing boat…nothing washes up this far in the republic

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — July 19, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    • Hi Steve, are you anywhere near South Shields ??? wasn’t think about beach combing, more of finding somewhere to park my caravan for 68 days whilst I’m at college 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 20, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  7. Paul, your blog today is terrific with fab photos and brilliant rant about yachters! So good, thanks.

    Comment by Carolyn — July 19, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

  8. Hens also need a fair amount of calcium for the egg shells Paul, and any marine derived grit will also give them much needed trace elements, particularly iodine and selenium

    Comment by caadfael — July 19, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

  9. sorry bout the crazy people in the yachts, it looks like paradise there. i guess i say that every week or so. still true!

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — July 22, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    • What on earth are you doing up at this time Jeannette, must be very late at night in New Mexico 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 22, 2012 @ 7:02 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

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: