Life at the end of the road

December 27, 2012

More like Christmas :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:30 pm

With ferry services returning to normal we decided to go and visit my parents today, our first Christmas apart in 56 years did not go well, so we made haste over to the mainland today to catch up. In all honesty it’s probably not the first Christmas day that we’ve been apart, for I’m sure there must have been others (though not many) in my twenties and thirties. However in those days they were younger, I was dafter and did not have Swineherd and child Smile They didn’t have a grandson and my father didn’t have dementia, now his affliction means that in unfamiliar surroundings he’s way out of his ‘comfort zone’ so mum decided to stay at home rather than disturb his routine. Christmas just wasn’t the same without them so two days after the event we decided to have our own little Christmas together.

001 002 003

Of course I managed to get half an hour in on Lachie’s digger before we headed down for the 9:55 ferry, me I don’t have a problem starting early but wife and child are not ‘morning people’ but then just name me a teenager who is Smile Had it not been for Charlie trying to eat stones out of the bucket I think I’d have been much quicker but the wee terrier seems to have a bit of a rock obsession Smile





I was surprised to see that the relief boat MV Loch Linnhe was still on Raasay, but from what I gather she should be away by now.



Fendered piling was in place now alongside the temporary slipway at Sconser, the sanity of which escapes me, but then it won’t be me that’s trying to park the ferry between the old pier and the new piling Smile



Very shortly after arriving at my parents the ‘old man’ and I went out for our first proper march together in months. He me be 84 and have lost a good portion of his marbles due to dementia but my pop has got ‘the heart and lungs of a Sherpa’, I kid you not, I am by no means unfit and he can walk me into the ground Smile It was the usual route we take through the woods, along forestry tracks then back along the shores of Loch Duich.



A tiny flurry of un forecast snow depositing itself lightly on Carr Brae on the opposite shore


as we returned along the road from our four mile hike with the four dogs.


After that we all tucked into a stupendous lunch of cold meats, salad, olives and sun dried tomatoes followed by cheeses and a delicious sweet, all washed down with a fine Barbera di Asti Smile All of which had me asleep on the couch shortly afterwards Sad smile Still wifey was driving so that was just fine by me.

Five years on

Yes really, it’s five years ago this very day that I started writing my drivel Smile 5 years, 1,438 post and 1,448,899 hits, I’m staggered, staggered that I’ve kept it up for so long and stunned that so many people actually read it.

Fresh Start



Well the year is drawing to a close and i’ve not bought a new diary yet, so thought i’d give this a go. The life is ours a family of 3 living at the end of ‘calums road’ on the beautiful island of Raasay. I’ve lived here for 18 years and the OH and boy (the dude) for 7, for most of that 18 years our nearest neighbour has been around 8 miles away down a long and winding single track road.

Over the years I’ve done many things to keep the wolf from the door on our 7.5 croft. When i first arrived in 1989 i kept a couple of dozen sheep and fished for crab and lobster 9 months of the year. However i quickly discovered there was far more money and enjoyment in fishing than in farming so until 5 years ago i was a full time diver and fisherman. Old age and common sense have now prevailed and i now work on the ferry and with allot of help from the OH and the dude we keep free range pigs.

Today has been fairly typical of a day on the croft ( i work week on week off on the ferry )

Got up at 8:00am (not typical as we have had both families here for chrissy )I went to feed the pigs, currently in order of size, Ginger ( 3 year old tamworth boar ), Braken (tamworth sow with 5 piglets), Bramble ( tamworth sow with 8 piglets), Jamie Lee and Shona (2 Gloucester Old Spot gilts), Isla, Iona, Dean and Jack ( GOS weaners ) and OH went to feed the chooks, dooks n cats. After a hearty breakfast and seeing the in laws off got on with cleaning the arks and changing the bedding also put the weaners out on the hill so they could do some proper free ranging, they were most impressed. After that got on with repairing a coolant leak on OHs car (i used to be a mechanic in a previous life) by the time i’d sorted that it was lunchtime. Mrs C had made a most excellent turkey broth which went down a treat. Did a spot of work on the road until feeding time (around 15:30 ) Braken was off her food so i hope she’s ok, I’m not worried yet cos pigs have off days just like us. Anyway it’s 19:45 and ive got to drive 3/4 of a mile down a dirt track on our quad to pick up the dude from some friends who’ve just arrived for hogmanay. It is of course pitch black, pouring rain and blowing a gale!!!!

The bumpy road to Arnish

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:27 pm Edit This

calums road pigs

Set off to get the dude and it was actually a bonny night. The wind had died the rain stopped and Braken was waiting to be fed, so whatever it was that was wrong had passed. Gave her a good feed then set off to get the dude. The plan was to go straight there and pick him up but i got distracted by several cans of stella and some red wine ( luckily the dude can drive the Quad so he got me home safely!!!

Not much has changed really, we’ve always got piglets around Christmas and I’m still repairing the road Smile talk about being stuck in a rut Smile


27 weather

So I’ll just leave you with the weather

27 graph



  1. Has it really been 5 years, congratulations Paul. It has been a pleasure to read the blog all these years, it reminds of all the reasons why I want to live on the west coast and gives me many reasons not to move as well!

    Comment by Simon — December 27, 2012 @ 10:41 pm

    • Aye five years indeed Simon, how time flies 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:42 pm

  2. 5 years well spent, keep up the great work my friend, we all enjoy reading your blog and learning many new things in doing so.
    All the best for the next 5 years and many more beyond! 🙂

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — December 27, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

    • Cheers Graham, I’ll toast to that 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  3. Paul,
    I guess that catching up with your M&D has made Christmas. That is a great picture of the two of you.

    A big well done, as you mention nearly 1.5 million hits that is going some & shows how interested people like myself are in what goes on ‘At the end of the road’.
    Getting back on the digger brought a smile to your face.

    The good lady & I are in Maine right on the East coast now putting our feet up having just cleared over 14″ of snow that fell in under 12 hours from the drive…………………………………… has taken the best part of four hours. Then the snow plough comes by and puts some of it back on the drive.
    It is getting colder.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — December 27, 2012 @ 11:04 pm

    • Gosh Micheal, Maine for Christmas and snow too, lucky you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:44 pm

  4. 5 years ! well done, and a random thought, you must be almost self sufficient for pork, and eggs, you should start making those pork pies with an egg in the middle! Arnish pies for 2013

    Comment by mike — December 27, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

    • Self sufficient in pork and eggs Mike!!!! aye that’ll be right, we only get the cracked eggs and it’s almost two years since we killed a pig 😦 There’s a few small pieces of pork in the freezer and that’s it 😦 However that is all going to change, I’ve earmarked a couple out of the last litters for ‘home consumption’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

  5. Paul, i wish you and your family all the best for festive season.
    I spent 2 Xmas’s on the island the last in 1999, many happy memorries of my time in my van in the woods.
    Wishing you and all on Rassay the best for 2013.
    Many regards Jeff

    Comment by Jeff Knine — December 27, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

    • Cheers Jeff, did you have a Bedford truck and weakness for Guinness 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  6. Doesn’t seem right there being more snow in Dallas than Arnish! We enjoyed a white Christmas and our Scottish terrier saw his first snow–reaching his shoulder! He mentioned if the snow lasts much longer he would have to begin wearing trousers, to avoid frostbite!

    Comment by drgeo — December 27, 2012 @ 11:40 pm

    • Snow in Texas too DrG hey, fancy that, is that normal??

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  7. Hi Paul. I’ve only been reading for about a year, and it has been a pleasure. I don’t know if you saw this story or not, but even though I live thousands of miles away, I realized it was pretty close to you:

    Comment by jomegat — December 27, 2012 @ 11:55 pm

    • Hi Jomegat, funny you should post that link, I had read it, but only hours before on here when Kev posted it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 28, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  8. It’s great to know that you are still writing this blog and keeping us in touch with the lovely island of Raasay. Your optimism and cheerfulness shines through life’s rough patches and your enthusiasm for it all is the secret to its popularity. Even people who have never been to Raasay, feel they know it through your [almost] daily postings of great photos and your colourful conversational style of writing. You’ve really put Raasay on the map and it’s great to know the House will be open soon and the new ferry operational. I’m sure it’ll bring more visitors to the island. Long may you keep delighting us with your blog and all the best to you and yours for 2013. Best wishes, Carolyn. [?]

    Comment by Carolyn — December 28, 2012 @ 9:44 am

  9. Just keep rolling along there, Paul. The new house footings etc looked most impressive on yesterday’s offering. Here’s to the next five years, then. Have a great New Year all.

    Comment by Iain — December 28, 2012 @ 10:27 am

  10. Merry Christmas and Happy Hogmanay to you and yours, Paul. Like everyone here, I’m grateful for the dedication you show to the blog (and us), and this season especially I’m sure all our hearts go out to you and your whole family. Will there be a bonfire this year? It’s been awhile…

    2013 holds so much promise for you; changing houses, changing offices. I look forward to being there with you through it all.

    Cheers, mate. Keep taking awesome photos!

    Comment by bobrasey — December 28, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  11. Five years of thoroughly enjoyable daily reads Paul. I always look forward to checking your blog each day after work, so a big THANK YOU!!
    Great pic of you and your dad too, you should get it enlarged and framed to go on the wall of the new house mate!
    All the best to you all and a Happy Hogmanay mate. 🙂

    Comment by Lloyd — December 28, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

  12. Congratulations Paul, and here’s wishing you all the best for 2013 from Silly Sussex


    Comment by Cogidubnus — December 28, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

    • Hi Cog and thanks, hoping all is well for you down in ‘Silly Sussex’ 🙂 must visit sometime, it’s about as different to here as being on the moon from what I remember 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:33 pm

  13. Hi paul
    If I end up been half as fit as your pa at 84 I will be more than happy,and if your blogs are drivel then I love drivel,keep the drivel coming.

    Comment by Philip Hoad — December 28, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

    • Hi Philip, aye, the ‘old man’ never ceases to amaze me, hope I’m as fit as he when I’m 60 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

  14. Hi Paul,
    Met you once; never to be forgotten!!
    Have read every blog for pretty well the start; staggered, amazed, delighted that you have the energy and time and dedication. It’s a real treat in our dreary world to hear/see someone living a ‘REAL’ environmentally sensitive life.
    Wonderful and thank you so much for keeping us entertained.
    Mike and Sarah Bassett

    Comment by Mike Bassett — December 28, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

    • Hi Mike, reading everyone of my efforts is dedication indeed, thanks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

  15. I am a new reader and I love your blog – drivel it is not! Congratulations on 5 years and all those hits.

    I am so glad your Dad has someone to walk with … it is easy to think that dementias take everything from a person when they don’t and being able to walk and get out is such an important thing for many with dementia and yet the thing that families are most afraid of. Long may he be able to continue his walks.

    Comment by nonehpets — December 29, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    • Hi Nonehpets and thanks, it really is special to go and walk with ‘pop’ thanks

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:50 pm

  16. Congrats on half a decade, Paul! I’m so glad that I ‘found you’ a couple years ago. Your wonderful blog has enriched my life. That’s a lovely shot of you and your dad.
    Starting with Xmas eve, we’ve had 3 snowfalls, with more today. Fun to have a lazy snowbound day.
    Have a very happy healthy New Year!

    Comment by Flora — December 29, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

    • Hi Flora, sounds like you’re getting plenty of snow over there, ATBH in Maine, DrG in Texas and now you in Maryland?? Is that right, sorry my memory is rubbish 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 29, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

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