Life at the end of the road

February 21, 2013

An extra run

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:23 pm

Wednesday 20th

It’s too early for bed yet at only eight thirty, but the only thing that’s stopping me is the knowledge that if I ‘crash’ now I’ll be up all night. Come to think of it, that might not be a bad idea Smile Why, well, we’re doing a private charter now for the MOD, so won’t be back in Lochmaddy with an internet connection until after midnight. I’ve done my twelve hour shift so can’t work for at least another ten and I’ve loads to do on the internet. Methinks a little sleep is called for Smile the Minch is quite ‘wobbly’ and I just love dozing in a rocking boat Smile

So much for “I’ll be up all night”

I laid my head down and there it stayed, right up until 23:30 whence I  reluctantly went down to the car deck with my camera to photograph all the army trucks and their rockets. Only trouble is there weren’t any, or at least if they were they were inside a very boring looking civilian truck Sad smile severely disappointed I went back to bed figuring I’d waken up about three in the morning whilst in Lochmaddy and do some blogging. Fat chance, the next thing that I knew it was 5:30 and time to get up for the ‘start up’, the ship may not sail until 7:30 but there’s and awful lot more to starting a ship than turning the key and pulling out the choke Smile Gosh, there’s a think, I suppose most folk don’t even know what one is these days Smile


Gone are the days when every car had one of these stuck on the dashboard Smile

A day in the workshop

Anyway, I’ve kind of lost the thread a little, having slept twice since yesterday but I’ll have a go at remembering what I did with the help of my camera.



As you can see it was another spectacular day, getting off to a magical start somewhere south east of Lochmaddy,



the Cuillins looking pretty much as they had done at sunset the day before Smile



The heavy lift ship ‘EIT Palmina’ steamed down the western side of Skye early in the morning heading for Belfast with a good load on board.

M/V EIT Palmina

Built: 2009
Deadweight: 9.500 dwt
Hold Capacity: 19.973 cbm
Cranes: 2 x 350mt / 700mt combi



After a large breakfast and a wander around the upper decks checking stuff I retired to the bowels of the ship to do a little fabrication job in the workshop. How I wish I could get my barn kitted out like the Finlaggan’s workshop, it’s not huge but has everything in it that one could wish for and the little job I’d been tasked with had me using much of the kit. It wasn’t a big job, just a modification on some pipework for filling the three diesel generators with lube oil. 

However it did involve using just about everything from the lathe to the welder Smile First thing I did was press a pipe onto the hose tail that I’d removed from the generator to increase its diameter to take a larger hose.


Once that was done I turned the pipe down from 28mm to 26mm in the lathe so that it would take a 25mm pipe.


018  019

When it was the correct size I also cut four grooves into it for the pipe to grip on,


then I welded it Sad smile OK, I know my welding is like bird pooh but the boat was moving from side to side (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it Smile ). After that I received instruction from ‘The second’ on the intricacies of the Alfa Laval centrifugal oil purifier and finished my day with it in hundred bits.



With the centrifuge soaking in diesel overnight I turned in for the night, and as mentioned previously, turned in early to be welcomed by yet another bonny day today. Being up a little earlier than required i managed to catch an email from wifey with pictures of progress on the house Smile


20-2-13 007


20-2-13 005

The sight of which, compounded with the weather to put me into an annoyingly good mood that had me spending most of the day up to my armpits in black oil and diesel Smile



Later on in the day the rest of the army arrived in ‘proper trucks’ Smile



I think the missiles must have been in last nights ‘boring truck’ as the Rapier launchers were empty Sad smile

007  012

A welcome break after cleaning out around 100 separate parts in the oil purifier was provided by having to repair it prior to assembly, this time a chance to test my drilling and tapping skills Smile Had this broken on the Striven it would have been the cordless drill and a steady hand whilst keeping my fingers crossed Smile What a joy it is to work with decent tools Smile


An early finish in Tarbert had the crew doing a drill, which funnily enough simulated a fire on the car deck with an army truck full of explosives on board Smile


Needless to say, we abandoned ship rather sharpish Smile

21-2-13 002


I know, I know, you’re sick of looking at pictures of our house Smile


21-2-13 001



  1. At last your roof is taking shape, is it going to have a slate Finnish or corrugated Paul. Hope the M.O.D don’t incarcerate you for giving away national secrets of their manouvres. Walter.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — February 21, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    • Hi Walter,
      Spanish slates for the roof, though we very seriously thought of this stuff not quite corrugated but near enough. I dunno about MOD secrets, there were two ‘anoraks’ waiting to take pictures of them coming off the ferry, you really cannot keep anything secret here 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:54 pm

      • I don’t know they emptied a ship of alcohol and no one blurpt where it was to be found.

        Comment by Polite Scouser — February 21, 2013 @ 9:57 pm

      • Hi Paul,

        Spanish slate sounds worse than Donegal stone 😉 Its a pity Ballachulish isn’t quarried any more.

        I see Raasay is back on national news –

        Crazy decision. When will politicians ever learn. :-\

        All the best

        Comment by Derek — February 21, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

      • Thanks for that link Derek, boodly disgrace, fecking halfwit ‘beancounters’ 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:38 am

  2. No, not sick of looking at house. Keep them coming, just not too easy to spot the differences! Weather looks fantastic, no complaints here but for the bitterly cold air. Have some of the skills acquired in SS been coming in handy or could you do it all anyway?

    Comment by may cruickshank — February 21, 2013 @ 9:52 pm

    • Hi May, the stuff we did in South Shields my boy could do 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 9:55 pm

  3. Paul, Can you explain why the roof is been covered in wood over the rafters, is this a local solution to a problem or environment. Just never seen it done before and especially not in Ireland. Keep the house pics coming, been looking forward to them.

    Comment by Willie — February 21, 2013 @ 10:01 pm

    • Hi Willie, that’s what they fasten the slates to up here, it’s called sarking and provides a very wind, water and weather tight roof.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 21, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

  4. “I know, I know, you’re sick of looking at pictures of our house”…well… :-))

    It’s coming along a treat though Paul. Certainly keeping up the pace – they will be first fixing before you get back!

    Comment by Carrie — February 21, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

  5. Think youself lucky paul, we have three weeks of heavy gun practice over on the ranges. I’m watching shamoolie’s (thats flares on parachutes) and listening to the “crump crump” of rounds impacting the ground. It’like being in syria….

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — February 21, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    • Now that would be an intersting blog post, if i could get close enough..

      Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — February 21, 2013 @ 10:32 pm

    • Hi Steve, luckily our MOD range is for submarines, so very quiet 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:39 am

  6. Never get fed up of looking at the house build, its fascinating to see it taking shape! Thanks to wifey for sending the pictures on to you. 😉

    Yes as Derek has already posted the link I won’t duplicate it, never ceases to amaze me at the stupidity of this decision, if they had let the islanders control it then the extra cash generated would have been of huge benefit to tourism for Raasey, and dare I say it may even have funded the much needed roads repair to boost tourism rather than boosting yet another private companies profits! Absolutely crazy! 😦

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — February 22, 2013 @ 1:29 am

    • Those that hath shall hath and those that hath not shall have what they hath taken away and given too those that hath so endeth the 11th commandment according too the Conservative party

      Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 22, 2013 @ 8:31 am

      • Sounddeth we are not all equalleth.

        Comment by Polite Scouser — February 22, 2013 @ 10:32 am

      • Ain’t that a fact.

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — February 23, 2013 @ 3:35 am

    • The worst of it is Graham that the sums involved are paltry in the grand scale of things, far less than the grants they would hand out to the same people for improving their crofts. It really beggars belief, the same department could issue a grant of say £10k for some untried crackpot scheme yet they scupper a perfectly viable one for the sake of a few quid 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:51 am

      • There is certainly a lot wrong with this and many other things that the Scottish and UK politicians are doing.
        I have received the information that I will be liable for two bedrooms due to bedroom tax, a payment of £100 per month, which we don’t have. We have 3 options as I see it, pay and either do without heating or food, downsize, which is something we had been considering but discovered that for a 1 or 2 bedroom house we will be waiting years as there are none available, or the third and the most costly to the tax payers, move into a privately rented accommodation which will be exempt from the Bedroom Tax. Now the third one is tempting but as said is the most costly, at the moment staying where we are costs £400 a month a private let would be £1600 increasing the benefit payment by 4 times as much. Certainly we are not the only disabled persons with this problem and I reckon if everyone opted for private let then the cost would be millions to the tax bill. These people run our country but as you say ‘it beggars belief’ if they worked for a private company they woul have been out on there ear within a week!
        Sorry to go on but this is, as you can imagine, been playing on my mind along with the proposed abolishment of DLA.

        My own proposal for Raasay would be to have a few months of Politician hunting, this would be a period when all the country’s politicians would have to live of the land on the island whilst being hunted by anyone who wishes to do so for a nominal fee. There would of course be no penalty for shooting these parasites and in fact a reward could be offered to the person with the highest kill rate. 😉 I’ll bet within the first week the island would raise enough cash not only to pay for a new road but also boost other parts of the island community as well. 😉

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — February 24, 2013 @ 1:55 am

  7. Not sure if the Army trucks were invading Harris or quelling the disturbance caused by some Dude on Rasaay. I suppose one must rattle a sword every so often so Norway is discouraged from attacking again? Keep the house photos coming–progress on the outside goes twice as fast as on the inside. Glad QSat is responding .

    Comment by Drgeo — February 22, 2013 @ 1:49 am

    • Wow, DrG, dunno what you did but Q-sat are now being exceedingly helpful all of a sudden 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:52 am

  8. Dear Paul,
    Is it compressed air starting on the boat.

    Regards Dave

    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 22, 2013 @ 8:26 am

    • Morning Dave, aye compressed air it is.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:53 am

  9. The house is looking good! Looks like you’ve got some fantastic weather as well 🙂

    Comment by gareth — February 22, 2013 @ 8:53 am

    • Morning Gareth, the sun has vanished now I’m home 😦 Still at least it’s dry 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:54 am

  10. Re the Raasay Shooting etc Rights. Shocking decision by the so called ‘Scottish Parly’. Why is it that when things are running well, some ‘ bachle’ comes along to spoke the wheels. Maybe the ‘government ‘ hope to turn Raasay into a hunting estate once more. Be glad your new house is north of Raineys Wall, and make sure it is in good repair,it may be needed ! Good the church is for once speaking up for the oppressed.

    Comment by SOTW — February 22, 2013 @ 10:30 am

    • Morning She, yes, it is indeed a disgrace. Just a thought, as Neil said ‘Dutchman’s cap’ is off Mull but Brothers Point sure looks like one to me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:56 am

  11. Oops… Meant that Raineys Wall should be kept in good repair..your houses are just fine…or could the new gamekeeper need to buy a house at Arnish?

    Comment by SOTW — February 22, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  12. Hi Paul now the Isle of Lewis ferry is back on the Stornoway – Ullapool route what has happened to the Hebrides?

    Comment by Iain — February 22, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

  13. Hebrides is at Oban to relieve Clansman when she is in Garvel drydock for her annual overhaul. Hebrides is then next to go to drydock.

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — February 22, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

  14. “At Eilean Donan castle, when John MacRae-Gilstrap had had enough of entertaining his guests in the Banqueting Hall, he would very quietly sneak off into this secret little chamber that we now know as “The Laird’s With-drawing room”. A tiny little room hidden away in the walls of the castle. Here he would sit, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet and smoke his pipe.”
    Now’s your chance to design your getaway!

    Comment by drgeo — February 22, 2013 @ 5:16 pm

  15. Never tired of looking at the progress on the house front – that is going to be a bonny hoose when it’s done! Just in time for summer. Willy ou be on the Loch Striven next week we’ll be up in Skye?

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — February 22, 2013 @ 7:29 pm

    • Morning Anne, I don’t think I’ll be on the Loch Striven ever again 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 23, 2013 @ 7:57 am

      • Will you get to work on the Hallaig or is CalMac as shambolic as the rest of officialdom and only trains people who won’t be working on the boats?

        Comment by Anne Macdonald — February 23, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

  16. hi paul
    quite comical , you can see quite clearly two different stonemasons on the walls at sconser , you have to wonder who puts these public works contracts together & do they ever consider cost !!!!!, do they give a monkeys, the new forth crossing is about to be built with steel from china !!!!! no wonder we have the largest national debt figure we will catch up with the americans if we try a bit harder $$$
    your new house looks good & stunning location
    i am hoping to escape easter to try fishing brochel castle loch & dun caan lochs if weather permits
    also great to see rassay house finally complete, i was shown round the house approx 1980/81 I think & there was still some of the furniture from when it was a hotel / hunting lodge

    enjoy your weekly news from rassay it is always interesting

    Comment by Alan Patrick — February 23, 2013 @ 12:59 am

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