Life at the end of the road

May 12, 2013

An emissary from ‘The Republic’

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, the disaster thread, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:50 pm

Eight thirty and I’m probably not going to finish this or do justice to the last couple of days events, I’m sat here with a glass of wine, which could be someone else’s feeling ‘comfortably numb’. It’s been a rather physical weekend and I’m enjoying a rather pleasant back ache!!!!! strange turn of phrase I know, but my back feels like it’s just run a marathon. Not that I would know but I’m guessing that people that do such things feel quite satisfied with their aches and pains afterwards. Well, that’s just how I feel, I’m pure shattered and loving it Smile

I think I left you around 2:00am on a Saturday morning halfway through my night shift on the MV Hebrides, well that finished at 6:30 and I turned in for a blissful few hours prior to an Irish stew and heading home.


Leaving the good ship Hebrides just after 13:40 I headed for the multinational ferry terminal at Sconser, I say that because the slates are from Spain, the stone from Ireland the paving slabs from Caithness and the fendering from China !!!!!!! This will probably be rubber fendering made from scrap European tyres shipped to China then back again as fenders for the Sconser pier, the world has gone mad. There’s no shortage of stone on Skye and I’m quite certain that fenders could be found nearer than China. The council make this big thing about recycling, most of which is pointless, renewable energy, of which I’m a great fan but wind turbines in school playgrounds are not the answer. They (and we all) would do far better saving the planet (and the locals) by sourcing stuff locally.

The one that took the biscuit for me was the buoy they placed on the reef at Sconser, the weights that keep it anchored to the seabed are Chinese railway wheels!!!! I kid you not, instead of employing some dude on Skye to cast some concrete blocks to moor a buoy they use railway wagon wheels from China, I despair.



Still, it will be a lovely job when it’s finished and I’m glad to see that they have at last put sacrificial anodes on the pier . These zinc based lumps of metal welded to the steel work are replaceable and corrode in preference to the steel, they’ve been used on ships for generations but it’s taken a while for them to ‘catch on’ on piers.



Clam dredger in the narrows Sad smile

Once back on Raasay the first thing I did was collect my trailer which had recently been filled with heating oil for the Old Schoolhouse at Torran. That would be 800lt in four barrels that I’d need to take over there by quad and trailer.



Driving home with my load I was stunned to see road resurfacing equipment at Brochel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Smile Smile Smile




As soon as I got back to Arnish


010 011

Molly and I took one barrel of ‘kerro’ over to the schoolhouse whilst my pal the stag looked on.


013 015

Just look how much those antlers have grown in a few days !!


last weekend


the weekend before.

A matter of interpretation Smile

Anyways, once home and with the first barrel of oil safely delivered down the Torran track, pigs fed and dinner eaten I unpacked my present.



This will be a gift that found its way into my cabin at Lochmaddy, from whom I do not know, but once all the ‘gaffer tape’ and Sunday Times wrappers were removed I found three fine bottles of red wine Smile It’s only after drinking two of them that I’m wondering if they were actually for me or ‘CalMac crew Loch Striven’ and I was supposed to deliver them Sad smile Either way I’m most grateful, but if they were for someone else let me know and I’ll replace them Smile


Well that got off to a really bad start, with me getting up early to take more heating oil over to the schoolhouse,


something that ‘ended in tears’



and got even worse Sad smile



as I tried to remedy it.

Distracted by a missing BlackRock and rapidly approaching 23:00 I’m going to have to ‘call it a day’ Sad smile





  1. … look forward to hearing that the road surfacing equipment is functional and there for a purpose and not just because the local council struggles with recycling locally sourced materials!

    Comment by nonehpets — May 12, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

  2. A. ha. I see how the problem arose… a sheepshamk with two half hitches have not been used on that trailer… my advice to you is…. Helicopter!!!!

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — May 12, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

  3. I can only imagine a tearful Paul, in his cups, chasing a wayward chicken around the island. This is why we don’t drink and drive, especially with a tank of flammable liquid strapped behind. One can only hope all the potholes have your blue paint markings intact after a long winter.

    Comment by drgeo — May 12, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

    • Morning Dr G I can only imagine a tearful Paul, in his cups, chasing a wayward chicken around the island.

      you weren’t far wrong, wifey and I were out in the dark last night doing just that 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 13, 2013 @ 5:37 am

  4. Up your way this week will miss you if you are working all week, next year maybe!

    Comment by MW — May 13, 2013 @ 5:45 am

    • Shame it wasn’t next week MW, you could have come with me to Dingwall again 🙂 Hope you have a good week, looks a bit showery but nice towards the weekend.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 13, 2013 @ 5:56 am

  5. Dear Paul,
    Oh dear, the wine was from Sarah and I to say a huge ‘Thank You’ for brightening each with your blog; fantastic !!! Actually there was a card in the envelope on the packaging and the gift was 100% for you. ENJOY!!
    Mike and Sarah Bassett

    Comment by mike bassett — May 13, 2013 @ 7:07 am

    • Many many thanks for that Mike and Sarah, it went down a treat 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 14, 2013 @ 5:15 am

  6. Paul, never mind the barrel of oil that tried to get away, what about your missing Black Rock, has she come home yet? We have just one Black Rock and she is affectionately known as ASBO Chicken because if one of them is going to do something ‘interesting’ then it’s always her. Confident and very curious, able to fly over tall fences even with a clipped wing she is definitely small but feisty…

    Comment by Tigger — May 13, 2013 @ 9:54 am

    • Morning Tigger, we managed to find AWOL pullet inside a small shelter some distance away, hopefully she won’t do it again 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 14, 2013 @ 5:14 am

  7. Paul, how come these days you’re working on both the Heb and also the Striven?…….And why do they make you night watch all the time on the Heb, when you are capable of so much more?

    Comment by Lloyd — May 13, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

    • Hi Lloyd, I’m only ever on the Striven as a passenger these days, was just being night watchman to help out.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 14, 2013 @ 5:12 am

  8. Looks like they mean business with the road repairs.Hope the trailer problem was resolved.

    Comment by Andy — May 13, 2013 @ 9:56 pm

    • Aye Andy, resolved the trailer problem, just couldn’t get the internet last night to tell you about it, tried until midnight then gave up, works fine this fine May morning at 6:00am though.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 14, 2013 @ 5:11 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: