Life at the end of the road

February 25, 2013

Purified :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, The daily pothole — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:53 pm

Gosh, almost 21:30 and I’ve only just started typing, where has the day gone, well a good portion of it was spent cleaning an oil purifier but I won’t bore you with the details of that. Well, apart to say that the gunge that I removed from it would have filled at least one good sized Raasay pothole. In fact that is just what the muck from the purifier looks and smells like, bitumen, and it’s about the same consistency as the stuff the council use, only minus the stones Smile 

 003  004

That’ll be the one I was cleaning today on the left, though I did the hard bit underneath the shiny spinny thing Smile The ‘Third’ did the clever bit in the middle Smile The Finlaggan has four of them for lube oil, marine gas oil and the heavy fuel oil that the main engines run off, they need regular attention and are very messy Sad smile Reminds me of when I left school and started an apprenticeship at a garage, the apprentice always had the pleasure of under sealing the new cars Sad smile

Anyway, the day started off several miles and islands away from where I am now in North Uist, it began cold clear and frosty on Raasay with me struggling to wake up the Dude. For Monday had come around all too soon and both the boy and I would be leaving home once more for the week. He to the hostel and me to cabin 420 on the MV Finlaggan, the ‘holiday’ was over Sad smile It was only two days and three nights at home but it felt like a holiday, the weather was that good and we achieved so much.

Leaving home just after 7:00 we dawdled down ‘Calum’s road’ initially, soaking up the pink skies, long shadows and of course the potholes Sad smile


This beauty being a section known as A Lon Chomhnard, The flat bog, which these days is anything but flat Smile Less than a mile further on we came to the part of the road that crosses from east to west, I wont attempt its Gaelic name but it has something to do with ‘the men of Oscasig (maybe).


Map picture

I have always called this stretch of road ‘The valley of the eagle and the pee’ on account of me seeing a golden eagle there on my way to view when I bought it 23 years ago. I just stepped out of the car to take a leak when a golden eagle that was perched on a rock nearby took off right above me. Since then I’ve often seen both golden and sea eagles here but this fine morning there were FOUR sea eagles circling above and a kestrel hovering nearby. It’s no wonder we never see any rabbits nowadays Sad smile



The last few miles were a bit of a rush after all our sightseeing but we made the ferry with time to spare, whereupon the Dude exited the Land Rover with his bag and pretended not to know me Smile



Probably not much has changed in the thirty odd years since this picture was taken, well apart from one of those schoolboys being master of this ferry Smile another having a hand in building my house and another serving in the engine room with me Smile I think that photo of the Raasay children going off to school for the week with all their bags was taken around 1977 and came from the nowadays my son is the only ‘lodger’ at the hostel.


Forty minutes later I parked up in Uig and joined my ship for the week,


Ferguson’s ‘Harvest Anne’ was on the pier and the ferry marshalling lanes packed with cars. I enquired to the chap dealing with them all “what’s all the traffic about”, “twitchers” says he “apparently there’s a rare duck in town” Smile

 adult ♂, breeding 

You gotta laugh at its Latin name

(Histrionicus histrionicus) Smile 


When someone drives all they way from the south coast of England to see a duck, stays one night in a B&B then drives all the way back home the day after, then I’d say that was pretty ‘histrionical’ Smile .



There was/is more, but it’s almost 23:00 now and I’ve still got stuff to do, so I’ll just leave you with the evening sky over Kilmuir


and that lump of rock outside Uig Smile



  1. I must be weird! i used to love doing the filters on various rigs i used to work on when i was a motorman!!

    Comment by v8mbo — February 25, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

  2. That photo of the ferry on a calm, blue sea is just magical. As is the hair on those boys in the 1970s! Good to see the MV Raasay again. If one of them is the skipper he must have gone straight on the ferry from school – think I first met him in 1982.

    Happy sailing


    Comment by Sue — February 26, 2013 @ 8:06 am

  3. I am going back a few years Paul, well over 40 nearer fifty. I was hiking around Harris and Lewis. I was climbing up from Loch Seaforth and decided to climb Clishan. The weather was perfect not a cloud in the sky. I had climbed steadily and was nearing the top. I rounded a rise and there sitting on a rock no more than 5-6 yards away was this massive Golden Eagle. I don’t know who was more shocked me or him. We froze and looked at each other for about 4 seconds then he just lifted off zoomed down the side of the mountain and then just glided out across lock Seaforth. The view was spectacular to say the least, but there was something not quiet right with it and it took me a while to sort it out. The whole panorama looked like a model. I felt as if I could have reached out a picked up the Shiants the same with Skye. It must have been some special conditions because there was no purple haze to give me a sense of perspetive. Very weird



    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 26, 2013 @ 8:38 am

  4. Love the picture of the schoolchildren with them all named.

    Comment by IainMacb — February 26, 2013 @ 8:48 am

  5. Paul,
    Cracking pictures of the ships, especially the two separated by 30 odd years. Some lovely weather you are blessed with, have not seen the sun since sometime last week down here in the south east.

    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — February 26, 2013 @ 6:57 pm

  6. Self sludging purifiers.

    A piece of piss to clean 🙂

    Once you get the knack

    Comment by thinfourth — February 26, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  7. Lads school uniform mid-70s style.Giant flared trousers, shirts with rounded ends on collars, a knot in your tie the size of the Isle of Anglesey and an Adidas or Gola school bag.Other things were,a FS1E Yamaha moped for fifth years,Tuesday lunchtimes crowded around a small radio to get the latest hit parade and a computer half the size of a kitchen table run off ticker- tape in the computer studies room.Great days but I am glad the clothing went out of fashion(my parents have the photos displayed for wind-up purposes) you could have made 3 pairs of straight leg trousers out of those giant flares 🙂

    Comment by Andy — February 26, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

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