Life at the end of the road

May 28, 2013

Turned the corner ?

Filed under: boats, daily doings, stonework, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:08 pm

I’ve said it before then it all went pear shaped a day or two later with snow and all, but today, in fact the last few days, really has felt like late spring.

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Pretty poor quality pictures because it was the phone but the apple and pear trees are in blossom, the strawberries netting has been repaired and with a bit of luck wifey will have got the spuds in. Apparently she spent all day yesterday removing creeping buttercup and today is the last of the days for planting spuds according to the biodynamic calendar. The garden is not my forte but many wise folk swear by it and I’ve certainly seen evidence to support it.

Repairing the pressure washer

I know it’s a little random but it’s for my benefit and not yours so bare with me, if I write stuff down I loose it, if I store it on my computer it’s gone when I get a new one so I’m gonna put it on here. Then when I require all the info on my trusty Interpump TH3500 pressure washer it’s easily at hand, for I had a few snags with it at the weekend. Pressure washers are extraordinarily useful tools and mine is a good twenty plus years old, however most of the ones you see for sale are carp. They all rave about being 150bar or even 200bar or more but it’s not the pressure that’s important, well it is but what is more crucial is the flow and at the very least you need 10lts/min, mine is 13.2 but most of your garden type ones are only 6 or 7. Of course they give you the flow figures in lts/hour to make it sound more impressive so you’ll need 600 of those Smile

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My Honda driven TH3500 was not performing properly and I suspected a blocked inlet filter which is located in that brass sleeve that screws on the end of the aluminium casting at the base. Sure enough the filter was blocked but not with dirt, it had kind of got what looked like a sort of varnish on the mesh that made most of it go solid. However in removing it the casting snapped, brass and aluminium are not a good combination Sad smile Anyway I cut out the old but with a hacksaw and chisel, rethreaded the casting 1/2” BSP and screwed it back on, feeling really pleased with myself until I gripped it in the vice to fit the new home made stainless steel filter, whereupon it snapped off again like a carrot Sad smile I was not a ‘happy bunny’, not wanting to write it off just yet I came up with the solution of pressing a 15mm copper pipe into the end and using a compression fitting on it for the hose tail, which worked a treat, the stainless mesh sitting nicely within the copper tube. Aluminium, copper, brass, stainless steel and acid water mean that electrolysis and failure won’t be far away but it got me out of a hole and I’m sure I can get a spare from Bruce at Washdown Supplies in Penrith.

Back to work


Dun Caan and the ‘White Face’, ‘Cathedral rock’ or whatever it’s called looked spectacular on the way to work,


as did the newly tarred section of ‘Calum’s road’. This part is called Lon hornat, well it sounds like that when my Gaelic dictionary Calum Don Mackay says it but I’m sure it’s spelt completely differently. Anyway I think it means ‘straight flat bit’, well it may be straight but it’s certainly not flat as that newly tarred bit is quite often underwater due to the road sinking. There are at least two drains, one on top of the other and that’s not including the one that Calum must have put in, some matting, hard core and another drain would have been prudent here rather than just more tar.



I seldom travel this way to the ferry but having a letter to post took me by the youth hostel for a change so I got a good look at the yellow blaze of bracken around Raasay’s cemetery. The warzone like mess that is inevitable after a forestry harvest  is already starting to heal, another ten years and you’ll not even know it was there. The forest at Screapadale looked like this after it was done but it looks far nicer now without the oppressive conifers. Don’t get me wrong I wish they’d plant more trees here, many more but they’re a crop that I’m glad to see the back of. Every corner of Scotland I’ve visited this last year has seen major harvesting but there is precious little evidence of replanting and these will be a valuable crop in the future.

The Silver Grasshopper



The post box is of course situated outside the old telephone exchange on Raasay which is now the home of ‘The Silver Grasshopper’ . The showroom and shop for Raasay’s jewellery maker and silversmith Fiona Gillies,

 Picture  Picture  Picture

who’s fabulous wares can be purchased in the shop or online.


Before Uig though I had to divert into Portree ‘to see a man about a dog’ Smile



Actually it was to swap some Arnish eggs for a bag of grit from ex clam diver and semi retired fisherman ‘The Wellie’ who was busy mending creels when I arrived. The grit is the ‘worm casts’ that get deposited on the mesh of the prawn creels after a few months in the water and every year or so they need brought ashore and powerwashed. Rich in lime they make fine fertilizer as well as grit for the hens but my mate sacrifices his lawn just to get hold of some of the wife’s eggs Smile Though having said that, they are now available in Portree at Relish, the new delicatessen on the corner of Wentworth street

Relish - Portree, United Kingdom 

Work has been a pleasure of late, the good weather meaning much time spent on deck painting beneath a blue sky in a warm breeze.



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Though before I painted this handrail I used a ratchet strap, shackle and some lateral thinking to straighten it Smile

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A regular on the ferry today was Jansvans Volvo V4 JAN and a long way from was Ellis Transports DAF VU 06 JVV, all the way from Cambridge with some useful looking plant.


This will be Weavers point, Maddy Beag , Glas Eliean Mor and Rudha nam Pleac astern of us as we head for Lochmaddy.


Below is a yacht at anchor in Bagh Ard nam Madadh


and just check out the size of those lintel stones.


OK, don’t bother, the picture is rubbish Smile


Also on the ferry today was the ‘incident command unit’ for the ‘British Divers Marine Life Rescue’ organization . Not that I’ve heard of any stranding’s recently, but that’s hardly surprising with my track record on current affairs. I only heard about the Russian coup attempt of 1991 on its anniversary and the Berlin wall coming down passed me by for a while.



Anyway, that’s it, I’ll leave you with an ‘arty farty’ picture of the Cuilins from Loch Snizort.


  1. Hi Paul,
    Long time since I commented, but no internet for a while. I can’t help wondering if SCA – a Swedish forestry operator – is involved in the felling process. They were supposed to replant around us in the North of Sweden but never did as far as we could see. Their tentacles have a wide range. I’ve seen their spoor in a bar loo in Oregon and in North Carolina, so who knows?

    Comment by Iain — May 28, 2013 @ 8:46 pm

  2. Hi Paul
    just like to say thanks for almost smoothing the Minch before our crossing over to Tarbert last Thursday.Saw you briefly as we were marshalled onto the car deck, things appeared bit frantic would have liked to say hello

    Comment by Ronnie — May 28, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

    • Hi Ronnie and Irene, think I spied you in a sliver Peugeot 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2013 @ 4:43 am

  3. I clicked on your first phone photos and they enlarged. It’s easy to see why you enjoy gardening, with all those empty wine bottles bordering the beds! I don’t think you will grow more wine that way though. Your 4th photo looks like a 6′ tall circle on a tripod, so I can only assume you are trying to grow a Texas tomato this year.

    Comment by drgeo — May 28, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

    • Morning DrG,

      that lot does not include the 3000+ that went into the foundations of the patio, all eighteen years worth of bottles, now that’s proper recycling, not dragging them about in a big yellow truck to be crushed into aggregate 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2013 @ 4:45 am

  4. Raasay eggs for sale on Skye, you’ll be global egg baron before you know it, at this rate !

    Comment by mike — May 28, 2013 @ 11:26 pm

    • Morning Mike, just watch this space, pretty soon it will be Glasgow and then London, perhaps even South Shields on the way 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2013 @ 4:48 am

  5. Makes me homesick reading ur blog but I’m addicted 🙂 looking forward to visiting the Hebrides in July and checking out the Relish shop on my way through Skye:)

    Comment by mudarissa — May 29, 2013 @ 6:53 am

    • Hello Mudarissa and welcome, sorry it took me so long to say hi, been kinda distracted 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 2, 2013 @ 4:51 am

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