Life at the end of the road

March 13, 2013

Four years on

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:26 am

Half past six in the morning, yours truly had little inspiration for posting last night due to lack of cider, sore knee and French genius Smile The abstinence from scrumpy was through  choice, the Gallic masterpiece a film by Jean Pierre Jeunet and the right knee a friggin nuisance Sad smile 


A touch of genius from the same stable as Amelie and Delicatessen, Micmacs centres around a sting operation on two arms dealers whom the main protagonist, blames for his fathers death and the bullet lodged in his brain. Ably assisted by his new ‘family’ of vagrants including a contortionist, human cannon ball, and various other eccentrics he seeks his revenge on the evil duo. One of whom has a collection of various body parts including a tooth from Marilyn Munro and  an eye from Mussolini  Smile 

Anyway, day two passed by at college interestingly enough with more work on motor theory, magnetic flux and then a dose of ‘power electronics’ in the afternoon. All of which I found riveting on account of its relevance to not only our new ferry but also my own house and renewable energy projects. Much of the theory and practical work being on ‘frequency drives’  which are basically inverters like the ones in my house Smile

A long wait

Four years and three months after the tragic fire at Raasay House

10am it is now almost ready for business.

Mansell construction, the main contractor were offering tours of the almost finished Georgian mansion that has had it’s fair share of troubles this last four years. Almost handed over to the new tenants after a renovation which must have started in I guess 2007 it burnt down, then eighteen months later the contractor who was tasked with rebuilding it went bust Sad smile A further year of delay followed whilst the insurance companies battled it out, a delay which meant that almost all the previous work had to be ripped out and the job started almost from scratch once more Sad smile

The tours had to be arranged with Alan, the site manager and were for small groups but wifey and Jessie managed to get on one yesterday, sadly her batteries went flat in the camera Sad smile but here’s a couple of pictures she sent me last night.


Raasay House 2013 001

This is what used to be the ‘Blue lounge’ and is now a bar, I know, I know, it could be anywhere but wifey says there was furniture and workmen everywhere.


Raasay House 2013 002

This will be the area that was once the ‘Dolphin Cafe’ and is now a restaurant, probably with finest view in the Highlands, or at least it will be if they can stop plonkers parking in front of it Smile That really used to pee me off about the old cafe,  you’d sit there over your meal or drink admiring the sloping lawn down to the Sound of Raasay and Glamaig beyond, then some halfwit would park their car, or worse still minibus right in front of the friggin window. After that they would then usually enter the cafe and admire it Smile

Raasay House 2013 003

The new entrance hall with what looks like a faithful replica of the original marble fireplace, probably from China Smile


Raasay House 2013 005

The balcony room where we spent our wedding night, exactly eight years before the fire.



  1. Hi Paul

    Wonderful to see the pictures of Raasay House- I’m looking forward to seeing it properly this summer. I know what you mean about the cars parking in front of the Dolphin Café – they ruin the view even when it’s misty and raining.

    Glad the course is somewhat interesting. Home soon and spring bursting out all over- your daffodils etc are way ahead of our here.



    Comment by Sue — March 13, 2013 @ 9:15 am

    • Hi Sue,

      can’t wait myself 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2013 @ 10:10 pm

  2. Great pics of Raasay House and I hope the grounds will be landscaped. Nice to know we can buy a cup of coffee on the island shortly. Hope this build does not get trashed, and I agree about the parking, will there be a car park there? The dog cemetery is always worth a visit, but a great pity the Victorian tennis courts were removed, they would have been of historical interest ,as part of Raasays heritage. Great to see the Auld Mill getting a new lease of life, does it have a completion date? Hope your knee is ok now, what happened to it? TTFN.

    Comment by SOTW — March 13, 2013 @ 9:23 am

    • Hi She,

      you just don’t know whether to laugh or cry over the tennis courts really. The carp they came out with about other aspects of the refurbishment. Had to repair the windows instead of replacing them, not putting insulation in, preserving bits of lath and plaster, yet the clowns bulldozed what were probably the first tennis courts on the west coast of Scotland 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

  3. I was over two days after the last fire,vacuming off the gas out of the gas tanks that had been filled for the opening last time.
    yes the roads are awful and to be honest I’m amazed the back gable wall didnt fall in as it was at some angle after the fire.
    I hope she lasts longer this time.
    The last transformation was mazing compared to the floorboards bare in the old house.
    Lets hope it gets some money back on the island.

    Comment by Roy cleary — March 13, 2013 @ 12:43 pm

    • Hi Roy, yup, the roads may be awful but rumor has it that there is some money left in the pot 🙂 Perhaps all the visitors to Raasay House will be able to drive safely when they arrive 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2013 @ 10:02 pm

  4. As an American I am an expert in Marilyn Monroe’s body parts and wanted you to know that a “Munro” is a small mountain. Don’t take a Freudian slip off a Munro, you might wench your knee again.

    Comment by Drgeo — March 13, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

    • 🙂 DrG

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 13, 2013 @ 9:59 pm

  5. house looks really nice, will that bring a few job to the island too then?, glad to read your getting something out of the course this time, how long you down for this time?

    Comment by mike — March 13, 2013 @ 10:27 pm

  6. and now for Brochel : D

    Comment by Gordon Macleod — March 15, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  7. Hi Paul, for a while ive been toying with the idea of working for the merchant navy, as a labourer, since ive only high school certs and no previous seagoing exp, im in my late 30s. Ive done a bit research and spoken to a some folk connected to the industry. It appears i would be an Ableseaman or EDH, but from my research it appears that i would need to fund and source the initial training plus one years seagoin exp in order to be eligible for the training course. Just wondering if you can offer advice. My interest in merchant life was sparked by several years working on the Forth n Clyde canal moving boats/assisting with mast stepping etc, plus i used to see the few remaining bulkers, dredgers etc, passing by and never having been abroad, looking at their port names i used to realise how big the world is and it got me thinking!..P S the blog is great as usual!…always envious of the views you have, but not the roads LOL.

    Comment by Gordon Smith — March 17, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

    • Sorry Gordon,

      it’s a classic ‘catch 22’

      The term catch-22 was coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22. Initially this is based on the explanation of the character Doc Daneeka as to why any pilot requesting a psych evaluation hoping to be found not sane enough to fly, and thereby escape dangerous missions, would thereby demonstrate his sanity:

      You can’t go to sea without an EDH (efficient deck hand ) certificate and you can’t get an EDH without being at sea 😦 It’s why I’m stuck on the Finlaggan until the middle of August, despite being on the Striven for ten years, being a fisherman and fish farmer since 1985 and having a ‘boatmasters license’ I have no ‘sea time’ as I was ‘signed on’ as motorman and a motorman doesn’t qualify for any 😦 How someone that drives the boat, does all the drills, ties the friggin thing up every night and goes on ‘sea trials’ with the MCA (the very body that makes up the regulations) doesn’t qualify for ‘sea time’ is beyond me but that’s the rules 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 17, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

      • Cheers Paul…yip it all seems crazy! plus the type and quantity of training i appear to need for a seagoin labourers job seems over the top!… can understand deck officers and above needing it , but for someone who would spend most of their time, grinding paint off and cleaning the decks it seems OTT!…at least you have a job you appear to love and its not far from home.

        Comment by Gordon Smith — March 17, 2013 @ 6:46 pm

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