Life at the end of the road

August 8, 2012

The first turf :-) :-)

Filed under: boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings, shed/house, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:06 pm

I really, really should have recorded this momentous occasion on the day that it happened. Indeed I arranged for a special cameraman to capture it for posterity in my absence but the day just took too much out of me, especially after Monday’s epic on the roof and elsewhere.

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Tuesday started a little greyer than the forecast had predicted but the sight of ‘Hugh Mackay Plant’s’ 7ton Hitachi ‘at the end of the road’ was better than blazing sunshine to my eyes. The ‘man that never stops’ obviously having brought it the night before as it wasn’t there when I fed the pigs at 18:30.

Much as I would have liked to have seen the first clumps of turf scraped away from ‘Donald’s garden’ to make way for our new house I had other things to do. For it was my last day of my ‘rest week’ and the day I visit my parents on the mainland. Not that my dad would actually miss me, suffering as he does from dementia, but I’d miss him and he won’t be there forever. Today too would give my mum a wee break so she could go and get her hair done whilst the Dude and I watched pop 🙂

The grey morning was improving by the minute so after loading some sand and aggregate into the back of the Land Rover for a little concreting job I had planned we raced off for the ferry. I’d lied to my teenage son the night before saying we’d be catching the 9:55 when in fact it would be the 8:55 🙂 He’s as difficult to get out of bed at 10:00am as 6:00am but not so keen to offer his services if he thinks it will be early 🙂 Still, I managed to prize him out and even stuff a bacon sandwich down him before sprinting out of the house still clutching my coffee. The wife and remaining yoof being left with a camera and instructions to catch the ‘Grumpy Digger Driver’ at work 🙂

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The summer sight of silage being made, or at least the parked tractors from the day before waiting to start again was evident in front of Raasay House. A place that only two years ago looked like this!!!!

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Once on Skye we just pottered along slowly behind the inevitable convoy of European campervans that seem to prefer ‘safety in numbers’. Not that I was bothered or even in a rush, but what is it with these people, why do they insist on travelling in twos and threes, or even twenties as one batch of Germans did last August. Do they not see enough Germans in Germany ??? Is it really so barbaric and dangerous in Scotland that they need to travel in ‘wolf packs’  for protection 🙂

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The SD Northern River, no doubt on Navy business was showing the ‘red over white over red’ of a ‘vessel restricted in her ability to manoeuvre as she lay in Loch Alsh.


red white red

The other Serco boats SD Raasay and SD Warden alongside the Navy pier.

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The best thing that ever happened to him

Onward then to that little bit of ‘paradise’ that my parents call home to find my father moving some plants in the driveway. The puzzled look said it all, he’d not a clue who we were but gave me a hug all the same and all the while warmed to our presence.

There was not much chance of getting the planned concreting done, the mainland was much damper than Raasay and the burn too swollen. To be honest I was a little glad that cement mixing had been cancelled for the previous days labour had left me pure wrecked. So instead I opted for the four mile ‘route march’ with pop, I say four miles but that’s just a guess and it’s probably nearer five. The tromp through woods, over military roads and along forest tracks takes 70 minutes at a good pace. My fathers 82 year old gait putting the 56 year old me to shame and keeping the thirteen year old Dude on his toes.

The journey was much the same as every other walk I’ve been on recently with dad with, lots of discourse about one or two subjects over and over again 🙂 The beauty of that is that you can get much mileage from the same stories 🙂

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I can listen to the names of the hills and valleys several times in one day yet on other visits he remembers them not.

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Though we rarely pass this wind torn clearing without some comment about ‘the twister’ 🙂

Back was then along the tarmac road along the shores of Loch Duich, three dogs and three folk out for a leisurely stroll.  The summers day that was promised having finally arrived  we all retired to an easy chair for tea. My father settling down in his corner chair with its stunning views down to Eilean Donan castle, but not for long 😦 Every few moments he would look vaguely agitated and ask where my mum was, to which I replied, at least half a dozen times “at the hairdresser, she’ll not be long”. This would put him at ease for a whole five minutes and went on until she returned.

The sight of the little blue car turning into the drive had him beaming from ear to ear, “my goddess has arrived” said he with a smile, adding quickly “she’s the best thing that has ever happened to me”,


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he even complemented her on the hair 🙂 I found it hard to keep the tears back but then I guess that that’s what sixty years of marriage is all about 🙂

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After the usual homemade feast, this time of spaghetti with meat balls and a few ‘wee jobs’ we headed for home via the Co op for some shopping

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arriving at Sconser in time to see Skye Transports MAN artic coming off the ferry.

Starting the house

Joining the ship at 16:00 and catching sight of around 30 porpoises on the way back to Raasay.

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The next couple of hours on the ferry passing much slower than i would have liked for I was desperate to see how Hooky and Lachie had got on.

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OK, there’s not actually a great deal to see but it’s a start at last 🙂

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Fortunately I had my ‘on the spot cameraman’ to record the days events. This will be them consulting the instructions after digging the hole 🙂

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Now where did I leave my glasses 🙂

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Now that is good soil for a garden 🙂


Well I’m afraid that’ll have to wait, it’s 23:00 now and time for bed 😦



  1. What a lovely photo of your mum and truly wonderful words your dad said about her.

    Comment by Sharon Stacey — August 8, 2012 @ 10:14 pm

  2. Paul,good luck with the build, nice dry soil it would be a mess here after all the rain. Still with a bit of care the potatoes and veg are doing well and a years supply of peat safe.

    Comment by mi — August 8, 2012 @ 10:37 pm

  3. Sounds like your dad is still in love with your mom after sixty years!That is the way it should be. Looking forward to seeing progress reports on house build. Hope no major obstacles occur.

    Comment by mimi — August 8, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  4. Your mum’s eyes light up when she sees you!

    Comment by drgeo — August 9, 2012 @ 1:44 am

  5. Brilliant to see the digging underway… I’d better tell my builder to get a move on, cos I’ll be really annoyed if you finish first!

    Comment by ecobodger — August 9, 2012 @ 6:42 am

    • Morning EB, with me away for the next six months there’s little chance of being in it before you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 10, 2012 @ 5:11 am

  6. don’t know what’s more beautiful, your mother’s smile, the view from your house-to-be-, or that gorgeous earth. wow wow wow

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — August 9, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    • Morning Jeannette, the unusual thing about that soil is how dry it is, I think you’d not find any like that on the east coast or in England.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 10, 2012 @ 5:13 am

  7. well the house build has started you must be buzzing. Will the new camera person carry on with the photos while your away training and your mum looks the picture of health


    Comment by rob — August 9, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    • Morning Rob, yup ‘buzzing’ indeed, though the timing isn’t great with all this college stuff 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 10, 2012 @ 5:19 am

  8. When is the expected finish date for the build Paul?

    Comment by Lloyd — August 9, 2012 @ 5:32 pm

    • When is the expected finish date for the build Paul?

      This is the west coast of Scotland Lloyd, I’m not holding my breath 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 10, 2012 @ 5:20 am

  9. congratulations on getting started

    Comment by cazinatutu — August 9, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

  10. Has Hooky hurt his saluting hand or is it all down to the person behind the camera 🙂 Your topsoil looks like it could grow some stuff, whats your PH like?Good before and after shots of the silage field.Regards to all,

    Comment by Andy — August 9, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

    • Morning Andy, I have the pictures, just not had the time to blog 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 10, 2012 @ 5:25 am

  11. Always love to hear of the time you spend with your mum and dad. They are both so truly still in love with each other and its great to see that in your pictures!

    Great news on the start of the digging, hopefully time will fly by and you will soon be in the new house and enjoying the views!

    All the best


    Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 9, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

  12. Brill, really good to see the first turfs moved, looking forward to seeing the account of this build as it unfolds. Mind you, it always takes what seems to be for ever, then all of a sudden, four walls go up, then roof and the shape of the house evident. Things then seem to slow down but in reality are moving just as fast only much more subtle. Best regards to you and yours. Steve…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 9, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

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