Life at the end of the road

September 19, 2012

Unheard of :-(

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 am

Nine in the morning, the sun is shining, the forecast good and I’m in the kitchen Sad smile not only that but I’ve not worn any overalls for two days. Rarely a day goes by without me being clad in a boiler suit, holidays away from the croft excepted. Apart from a little gentle pottering about in my workshop, a little tinkering around the caravan and some gentle walks I’ve done zilch. I’ve not even done a great deal on the computer as I find sitting down and effort and very uncomfortable with a straight back and uncrossed legs Sad smile Lying down is just marvellous but there’s only so much of that you can do so I’ve been doing quite a few exercises and wandering about with a straight back.

First thing that I did on Monday morning at 7:00am was to email to see if Stephen could fit me in. He runs a practice from the shinty club and whilst I’ve never seen him before I’d heard he was good. It was too early to be phoning folk so I went down to the ferry terminal with wife and child jus in case I could get an early appointment.


A long queue of 4x4s and cattle trailers already waiting for the 7:55 ferry told me it was the Portree calf sales so we never even attempted to cross to Skye. For a start I hadn’t actually got an appointment and secondly I could have taken up a place on the ferry needed by one who actually had to gat over the sea.
So back home we went whereupon I managed to get an appointment with Stephen at 15:00 and one with my doctor at 11:40, a result indeed Smile



It was a day of sunshine, showers and rainbows, this being one near Holm Island on Skye



this being one over the Arduish



and this being one of the showers making them. Hurtling northwards up Loch na Caridh between Scalpay and Skye and almost blotting out Ben na Caliach as it did so.

After seeing the doc we went for a bite of lunch at the Caledonian cafe on Wentworth street

caley cafe

and I have to say that I was severely impressed. Once dubbed ‘The smoking mums cafe’ by my good mate it has moved seriously up market in the cuisine and decor department. Me I had a couple of tortillas filed with chick peas and spicy red onion sauce, whilst wifey had roast lamb flat bread with a rich sauce tomatoes and basil. Sounds weird I know, especially as the tomatoes were uncooked but both dishes were beautifully presented, delicious and a struggle to finish. I only wish I’d taken my camera to record them Smile


An hour or so to kill had us up at the Coey shopping and watching yet another, albeit feint rainbow and photographing some trucks up near the auction.



This being Beedie Bros’s Volvo


and this James M Forbes’s Foden, there were many more but it was time for me to go and get my back tweaked.

One thing that I’m sure all the trucks had in common was their place of origin, and that would be from the east, mind you  suppose they’d struggle coming from the west as that’s sea Smile Seriously though the Portree cattle sales are very popular with buyers from the more lush and fertile east coast where they will go to be finished on fresh green pasture.

An hour with Stephen Shaw had my spine straightened and sacroiliac (the root of my ills) tweaked

and we managed to catch the 16:15 ferry back to Raasay.

Much stretching, excising and absolutely no pain killers later I’m well on the mend, though I’ve signed myself off work until Saturday when I head for South Shields. If I can get myself sorted for them I reckon that a couple of months off the croft with lots of exercise will have me fixed. To be honest it’s probably happened just at the right time.

Meanwhile back on the hybrid ferry

An early night with some medicine to help me sleep, red wine and not the Diazepam given me by the doc Smile I’ve had it with the Tramadol, I’m sick of constipation, insomnia, mood swings and upset stomach, sure it eases the pain but to be honest it’s not worth it. It certainly fixes all my regular aches but when that red hot poker gets stuck in my bum when the sciatic nerve gets trapped it does little for it so I asked the doc for some ‘Mothers little helpers’


Hopefully I’ll not need them but if it does flare up again 400 miles from home at least I’ll be able to sleep without getting wrecked on red wine Smile

Whilst I’ve been preparing for the new hybrid ferry with ‘jellies’, rest, exercise and tinkering with the caravan

Ferguson shipbuilders have been getting on with the ‘nuts and bolts’ so to speak Smile


Here’s our very own new boat with the aluminium superstructure starting to take shape.


The second vessel on the stocks next to her




Many thanks to John Salton of CMAL the ships owners for those images.

However it’s now 11:00am and I need to get out Smile



  1. Morning Chris, glad you are back on the mend….as I have said before to you and I will say it again, Pilates!
    Just punch in Pilates exercises for sciatica and it comes up with loads, even U-Tube ones, get yourself one of those stretchy bands they work a treat, hubby had sciatica, he does Pilates, and he is a big guy, its not girlie, he hasn’t had sciatica since…you run it by your osteo, he should tell you to go for it…interesting you get relief from stretching, listen to your body!! Cheers Chris, Jackie

    Comment by Jackie — September 19, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    • Morning Jackie, just had a good stretch before logging on 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2012 @ 6:47 am

  2. they are progressing with that hybrid at some pace, no flies on those boys. theres a bottle of red and some local info waiting for the accidental crofter when you get to this neck of the woods. look after that back wor lad.

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — September 19, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    • may I also offer to shout you a few sessions with my osteopath (in Newcastle) , and I’m sure we can get a you newcastle shirt for the young lad, all you have to do Paul is think of something to take back for the wife !

      Comment by mike — September 20, 2012 @ 12:37 am

    • Morning Steve, I’m looking forward to it already, the wine and the ferry 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2012 @ 6:45 am

  3. Should South Shields include lots of long lectures, you could prevent back strain by telling the instructor in advance you will sit in the back due to a “bad back” and on occasion just stand up unobtrusively and stretch a bit. Instructors hardly ever mind if you warn them in advance.

    Comment by drgeo — September 19, 2012 @ 4:10 pm

    • Morning DrG, well at least it would stop me falling asleep 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2012 @ 6:41 am

  4. Aluminium superstructure, what a waste of money, I suppose they have got to reduce the weight because of all those extra batteries. I wonder how much this super ferry is going to cost and who is going to pay for it?

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — September 19, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    • The batteries only weigh 7 tons Dave and are well down in the ship, the aluminium is more likely required because of the MCA’s ridiculous stipulation for a double bottom. If you can’t say anything constructive could you shut up please 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2012 @ 6:39 am

  5. Man (with strong back) to Monaco – Well, he made it Paul!!

    09:06 (2 hours ago)

    to undisclosed recipients

    This morning I paddled around the corner from Cap d’Ail to the port in Monaco where I was met by all my colleagues from Dominion and others from the Isle of Man (including the Hon. Alex Downey, who presented me with a wonderful trophy for the adventure). Unfortunately we were unable to find out the exact place and time of arrival into the port until late the night before. I arrived at about 10.15 and we soon moved into the yacht show.

    In the afternoon HSH Prince Albert came to the Dominion stand and congratulated me on behalf of himself and the Outward Bound Trust Monaco, which was a great honour and delight.

    The day was rounded off with a delightful dinner with my friends and colleagues, where we celebrated both my finishing and my 60th birthday.

    What a day!

    More to follow shortly.

    Best Regards

    Christopher M. Allix

    Comment by Jonathan Mosse — September 20, 2012 @ 10:20 am

  6. Shame you can`t uprate your “sacroiliac” joint for a new heavy duty version 🙂 Glad to hear you are feeling better anyhow. Are they AA size batteries powering the new ferry, as I can get 12 for a £1.00 in our local poundshop if you ever need any 🙂

    Comment by Andy — September 20, 2012 @ 10:23 am

    • Morning Andy, 12 for a pond hey, wonder how many you’d need for 700Kwh 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 23, 2012 @ 7:26 am

      • 300,000 with a change half way across the sound assuming calm conditions 🙂 £50,000 a crossing.Better shut up now before the EU take a liking to the idea.

        Comment by Andy — September 23, 2012 @ 11:56 am

  7. All the best for the trip south,and look forward to seeing you back home to the End of the Road, with your mittful of certificates.x

    Comment by SOTW — September 21, 2012 @ 9:06 pm

  8. yoga (like acupuncture) helps with sciatica. this website left out the easiest and most helpful pose: stand with the palms of your hands flat on the ground, head down, to a count of 100.

    Comment by jeannette — September 22, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

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