Life at the end of the road

August 13, 2012

A fresh face :-)

Filed under: boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:08 pm

The first effort on my new laptop so it’ll probably be pretty short, it’s taken me over an hour just to download the blogging software that I use. Much as I hate being shackled to Microsoft, I do like ‘Windows Livewriter’. I tried Firefoxes ‘Scribefire’ again but after using Livewriter it’s not so ‘user friendly’. Only problem being that you cannot (or at least I cannot) easily download it without receiving a whole load of other windows carp as well. Sorry Bill, I don’t want ‘messenger’, I don’t want ‘essentials’, I’m quite capable of staying in touch with people I want to without cluttering up my computer with rubbish Smile  So it took me several attempts and three ‘restarts’ to finally get the 2012 version without all the garbage.

Anyway here I am now at last on my new Lenovo G570 and so far I HATE IT, call me a Luddite but I despise the inane tune it plays every time I switch on and off, I know, I can switch it off but my last one had a knob Smile I loathe the endless messages and dialogue boxes that keep popping up and detest all the junk that came on it and was stuck on my desktop, most of which I’ve managed to delete. It also makes this annoying noise like an old mechanical typewriter every time you hit a key Sad smile I’m sure I’ll get it sorted eventually but for now it’s driving me nuts.

So, where was I, well Sunday I suppose, yet another glorious day that had me up early feeding the pigs and then tinkering about in my old Thomson Glenelg caravan.

001 002

Having come across a new Veritas ‘number 2’ mantel in the garden shed, I fitted it and it worked Smile most of the ones I’ve found or been given have just gone up in flames on account of their age. This one however lit up the new glass that Arthur gave me last week beautifully.

As usual all my tinkering about around the croft had me heading into work later than usual,


past the tractors resting peacefully for the Sabbath alongside the first hay to be made for years. The crofters here gave up on hay long ago, preferring to make the much less riskier silage on account of the usual August rain. No such problem this year during the driest summer I can ever remember.


After a busy first sailing, a far more sensible breakfast than usual and a welcome and timely gift from Caz of wine, cheese and black pudding we got on with the really important stuff.

005 008

Fishing for lunch, sorry, I mean rescue boat drill being the first on the agenda prior to the usual ‘fire on car deck’, ‘fire in engine room’ and ‘terrorist alert’ Smile

Mackerel ‘Jamie Oliver’

Wifey had had this the other night whilst I was working late so I thought we’d give it a go. ‘ Crunchy raw courgette ribbons with grilled mackerel’ from Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie at home’


Nothing could be simpler if you have a few mackerel, courgettes and some chilli’s. Just make up a marinade with olive oil, some chopped chilli, a dash of lemon juice and some salt, slice up your courgettes nice and thin and put them in the marinade. Get your fish, score it deeply, rub in olive oil and salt then stuff the body cavity with a few sprigs of rosemary. Once you’ve done that bung them under a really hot grill for a couple of minutes a side.

014 016

The crew were well impressed, as was I Smile



The lovely day saw the Spindrift visiting from Portree and was finished off with a roast chicken dinner at Arnish for us all, followed by an early night for me.


Rocky and Ellie also spending their first night together after the usual mating ritual and playing ‘hard to get’ Smile


This will be our newest additions first ‘meeting’ with Rocky and we’ll be hoping for piglets in 115 days Smile


Not quite the weather we’ve been used to greeted me this morning, for it was raining when I got up!!!!!!



Though, by the time I’d set off for work at 6:30 it was fine once more, if just a little greyer than of late.


Luckily the first hay in long enough had been covered up before the rain arrived.



There was a time on Raasay that religious fervour would have seen it get wet and rot rather than ‘break the Sabbath’ but then I suppose it could have been covered very early this morning Smile


004  005

A busy day began with amongst other things, Eyre Plant’s Scania tipper bringing sand and aggregate over.




Clam divers in the Sabre II working away in the sound


the clean uncluttered ‘fresh face’ of a Raasay House without its scaffolding



Manish in the evening


and a red glow in the evening, though it doesn’t look very red in the picture Sad smile



trust me, it was Smile


  1. Don’t know if it’s the new camera or new laptop but the pics look great on the blog Paul. Mollie certainly looks interested in the mackerel too.

    Comment by Iain-Down under — August 13, 2012 @ 10:46 pm

    • Hi Iain down under, how’s winter with you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:27 pm

  2. Hi Paul, I’m really pleased that the lamp glass fitted your ‘van, “looks good” and it may well be that the mantles I gave you are more than slightly past their “sell by date” so if they “self destruct” don’t blame me! These lamps are a great source of heat as well as light so you can stay warm if you head “South” during the winter months. I have a jack/jockey wheel assy. that should fit your ‘van. “Yours” if you want it. Cheers. Arthur.

    Comment by arthur — August 13, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

    • Hi Arthur, your mantels were just fine, well the one that I used was, most of them were the wrong type of fitting, something called a ‘Bijou’ fitting which was just the same but smaller. Yes please, I’ll take the jockey wheel, though whether I’ll actually get around to picking it up before the next time Rocky’s services are required is doubtful 🙂

      Thanks again, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

  3. Remember using those mantels in tilly lamps at Strathcarron Station

    Comment by Chris Humphrey — August 13, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

    • Remember using those mantels in tilly lamps at Strathcarron Station

      Gosh Chris, that must have been a long while ago 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:32 pm

  4. I love Jamie Oliver. And I love mackerel.

    I also love your blog.

    Comment by heartlandroad — August 14, 2012 @ 8:26 am

  5. I don’t like my laptop to make noises either, so I have it on mute. Much better 🙂
    Your scenery is fantastic, thanks for sharing it.

    Comment by knotrune — August 14, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    • Hi Knotrune, glad you like it and now my laptop is silent, well apart from the noisy keys 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

  6. Sympathise with you regards new computer – my new one (also Lenovo) came with Windows 7 whereas my previous one was XP and I have yet to find a single thing about 7 that’s better than XP although I’ve found lots of things that are not as good.

    These gas mantles take me back to caravanning hols at Gairloch in the 70s and I remember being surprised the first time I went up Rubha Reidh lighthouse to find the lamp was roughly the same thing!

    Comment by Neil King — August 14, 2012 @ 11:33 am

    • Hi Neil, with you there on the XP, though I’m slowly getting used to it. What as really pee’d me off, and I’ll have to deal with it is the updates FIFTY THREE last night when I turned off!!!! then nine this morning before 11:00am followed by another one shortly after.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

  7. Great to see the Thomson light burning bright and looking great again, Well done to Arthur for finding it and passing it on in true Caravanner’s style! Don’t forget to get the other things this time lol!
    Nice to see the tradition of keeping the Sabbath remains on the islands crofts, I feel sure that if the covers where added on Sunday God would smile favourably at the crofters preserving the hard work of getting the hay in. After all he does allow Ministers, bell ringers, choirs, orchestras and the Salvation Army Bands to ‘work’ on the Sabbath and as long as it is done in praise of him I am sure its OK! Some things just cannot stop these days and many Organisations turn a blind eye, although I long for the day that more old fashioned methods return.
    Yes the modern laptops get some getting used to and like you I have removed a lot of the carp on my machine, especially the annoying typewriter noise! Like so many there are things in Win 7 that I am not in favour but a few things that are. After all it is a personal computer so we should be able to make it ours as best we can!
    Couple of programs I swear by that replace windows ones are Piriform CCleaner and Defraggler, run at least once a month and it helps keep even the oldest operating systems running smoothly, defraggler is much better than the windows equivalent and I notice a speed up after every months use of it. Just put Piriform in google to find them, not big downloads so don’t despair!
    As always loving the pictures and dialogue, the lack of reddish in the pictures could be due to the laptops picture settings on downloading them I get this now and again and just used my photo program from Ilead to correct it. Perfectionism is a pain but just now and again has its up side lol!
    Anyway have a good day and we will all eagerly await the next offering! Have to admit it is a ritual now to check for new blogs from you and a delight to follow you’re entries!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 14, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    • I agree with you there . This blog really brightens my day.

      Comment by SOTW — August 14, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

      • Always a pleasure and never a chore! Paul has the knack of posting great observations on life in the slow lane!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 14, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

      • Couldn’t agree more!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 18, 2012 @ 9:04 am

    • Hi Graham, always been a fan of the Piriform myself and used to run it everytime I switched off. However I don’t do it so often now as it resets the default ‘Google frigging instant’ and if there’s one thing I hate it’s predictive text and that kind of carp. Why is the default mode always to use these things ????

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 15, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

      • Hadn’t noticed that myself Paul but will check it out, you can change settings in CCleaner so will investigate what I did, I know off hand I deselected the saved passwords, network settings, and something else on the browser settings before it runs the cleaner. Like you I hate predictive text, my daughters swear by it but having had some dubious texts from them I am trying to persuade them not to be so lazy lol!
        Hoping to get away in the van for a couple of nights in September and for a week in October, got Joan playing on-line Bingo in the hope of a win to make it more enjoyable! We live in hope!!!
        All the best

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 18, 2012 @ 9:10 am

  8. I enjoy the blog too, although I’m uncertain whether I am glad or sad I can’t work as hard as Paul! I wonder if the Dude inherited the old computer?

    Comment by drgeo — August 14, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  9. must say i agree with your comments folks, since stumbling upon pauls blog while searching google for a solar charge controller some two years ago i await the next installment like a schoolboy eager to learn about “stuff”. Being married to a macdonald and being of orkney bloodstock myself, i cant help but be drawn north. Keep it up i say…

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 14, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    • Morning PRON you found me looking for a solar charge controller and I haven’t even got one 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 16, 2012 @ 6:15 am

      • it must have been in the text of your blog Paul.

        Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — August 16, 2012 @ 7:49 pm

      • Morning Steve in the PRON, well it’s in the text today and on the ‘to do’ list, a TriStar 45 for my mate no less.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 18, 2012 @ 8:06 am

  10. They really do look after their trucks up your way Paul the same type w reg down here would be so rusty dented with black smoke everywhere im not kidding . its great to see that some people look after what they have and dont have that throw away culture of ill buy a new one when the old one works just grand 🙂

    Comment by jay — August 16, 2012 @ 5:40 am

    • i just realised it is a brand new truck dohhhhhhhhh lol having a blond moment today i think still its one nice truck 🙂

      Comment by jay — August 16, 2012 @ 5:48 am

      • Morning Jay, you were right first time, it is twelve year old truck. That’s Frasers from ‘Eyre Plant’ and he’s just had the cab painted to match the new one V 9 EPH that was over the day before. And yes you’re right they really do look after them, we get some fine old trucks on the ferry from a number of local operators.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 16, 2012 @ 6:00 am

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