Life at the end of the road

June 9, 2013

A loch full of leaches :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:06 pm

Another peach of a day here and I’m not long in, more to the point it’s after 20:30 and I’m not in bed yet, though I’m sure it won’t be far away. Methinks shortly after the Dude comes out of the shower, about an hour then Smile 



As it was a Sunday and wifey was at home I started the day off by helping her with the paths in the veg patch. In other words I laboured for her by barrowing beach pebbles from the trailer to the garden prior to placing them in buckets for her to place on the pathways. This was me taking it easy on the Sabbath, not rushing and even spending a little time sat down on the lawn not doing anything> OK, it was only for ten minutes to admire it after I’d cut it, but even so it’s not like me to ‘do nothing’.


The next task on the face of it appeared quite straight forward, just to take some of the play and looseness out of this swivel on a trailer,



but the 32mm nut was so tight that I had to remove all the way with a scaffolding tube on the bar for leverage. Twenty years ago I wouldn’t have broken sweat but today in the midday sun I was pure shattered. Still a nice big washer, some grease then a a good re torqueing had it sorted.

The next task was to repair a broken water pipe way above Torran, not one that’s actually in service but one we use just to back flush the filter on my mates hydro turbine. Most of the pipe is PVC 50mm, some 180m of it but I’d repaired a section last year with some MDPE and it’s not really ideal having a different expansion rate, being very slippy and impossible to glue. A patch that I’d made had parted last summer but as it’s more a luxury than necessity I’d not done anything about it. However I’d formulated a much better plan of how to join the pipe using all PVC by making up a double female ended pipe, this I did by cutting the larger end off an old pipe and gluing it onto the smaller end of a short length that already had a female end on it. The result was a meter long double ended pipe that I could splice into position on site using glue, well I could once we got up there, for it is a bit of a trek to Loch Airigh n h-Aon Oidhche,  ‘The Loch of the One Night Shieling’. 


It was hardly a priority job and certainly not on the ‘to do’ list especially since I turned the turbine off and the solar PV is providing more than enough. However it was a job that the Dude could help with and it would give us chance to wander the hills, admire the views and exercise the ‘wee dog’.


It would also give us chance to see the new house from another angle, though I’d not noticed the Proven (bottom left) until I downloaded the picture.


This picture taken in the same place without the zoom shows Loch Arnish, Dun Caan, Raasay’s highest peak (top left) and our new house (extreme left of centre).



Here’s my dud joint, that was originally pushed right into the blue MDPE as far as the yellow tape.


011 012

A little hacksawing and a bit of glue later it was sorted

013 014

and we continued on our walk up to the loch.


It really is beautiful up there with views from Lewis to the Five Sisters of Kintail and beyond.





You can of course see Dun Caan, but then you  can see that from pretty much everywhere Smile



This next picture was a bit of a disappointment for the ancient rock is speckled with quartz or something that was sparkling in the sunshine.


The loch itself was absolutely full of newts, I have never seen so many in my life.


The ‘wee dog’ even tried to catch some



but without success Smile

With that all sorted we trudged back to the lower loch to flush out the pipe


the ‘daft wee dog keeping an eye out for newts, unlikely as there’s a filter on it, but she didn’t know that. The pipe was full of air and floating so the Dude and I braved the leaches, yes this loch is full of them Sad smile

032 033

We braved the leaches to go and put some rocks on the pipe, though the air soon came out and we turned off the water.



Walking back towards Pipers Rock and the quads we came upon this huge tree root normally buried in the peat but revealed with the dry weather. It must be truly ancient and has been preserved by the peat, the whole area must have been covered in forest at one time for there are at least two on my croft and I found another at Brochel recently.



This will be the Pipers Rock on the right and Benn na h- Iolaire ‘The Hill of the Eagle’ in the distance.


The track north is getting quite overgrown with the birch, another couple of years and this will be impassable if the Dude and I don’t keep going up there. I did do some cutting back a couple of years ago but you need to keep at it since the sheep were taken off the Torran hill.



Back home the pigs were resting


and the hens spreading bark chips for the wife Smile All you have to do is split the bag, dump it on the ground and the hens will do the rest.



  1. Great pictures Paul. I’m sure Raasay must translate to Paradise in some language. Looks like you had a perfect day.

    Comment by Morgan — June 9, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

    • Morning Morgan, yes a lovely day indeed with the family 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 10, 2013 @ 4:44 am

  2. Ah, leeches. Providing the only good excuse for smoking 🙂 Touch the end of your fag on them and they drop off without leaving their teeth in you.

    Comment by Bob — June 10, 2013 @ 4:53 am

    • Ah, leeches. Providing the only good excuse for smoking 🙂 Touch the end of your fag on them and they drop off without leaving their teeth in you.

      But apparently, they regurgitate the contents of their stomach into your bloodstream and poison you instead 🙂

      Common, but medically inadvisable, techniques to remove a leech are to apply a flame, a lit cigarette, salt, soap, or a chemical such as alcohol, vinegar, lemon juice, insect repellent, heat rub, or certain carbonated drinks. These will cause the leech to quickly detach; however, it will also regurgitate its stomach contents into the wound. The vomit may carry disease, and thus increase the risk of infection.

      If I smoked and got a leach attached to me I’d certainly take great delight in burning the little beggar though 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 10, 2013 @ 5:03 am

  3. Good morning from the other end of the island!

    It was indeed a lovely day yesterday – took the path from Fearns to Hallaig and photographed the end of the islang glistening in the sun, Dun Cann and the waterfall. No-one else around and quiet also in the afternoon around Inverarish and Raasay House. So good to see the latter re-opened and looking wonderful inside and out.

    May motor up beyond Brochel tomorrow and leave the car ‘by the kiosk’ before walking to Torran and beyond. Hope to pick up some Arnish eggs in the shop this-morning.

    Continue to enjoy your two weeks at home


    Comment by Sue — June 10, 2013 @ 8:07 am

    • Morning Sue,

      if you get chance pop in and I’ll find you something in the freezer.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2013 @ 6:12 am

      • Thanks! Will drop in this-afternoon if you’re in.


        Comment by Sue — June 11, 2013 @ 9:04 am

      • Hope you enjoyed the pig as much as we enjoyed the wine Sue 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 13, 2013 @ 4:52 am

  4. I’ve swum in a few of the lochans on Raasay over the years and had no idea they contained leeches. Eeeek! This has put me right off doing it again. Or is it just that one?

    Comment by Carolyn — June 10, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    • I wouldn’t worry too much Carolyn, done the same myself but this is the only one that I’ve seen leaches in.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2013 @ 6:18 am

  5. My wife informs me I have been mispronouncing the name Eilean Donan and should be saying “yale-een”. How do your parents pronounce it? They are the folks living nearby, so they should know.

    Comment by drgeo — June 10, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

    • Morning, tricky one this DrG, heard both A-leen and I-leen but never yale-leen 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 11, 2013 @ 6:20 am

  6. Managed to catch Calum’s Road at the Traverse in Edinburgh on Saturday night. You get a few mentions of course – cracking play, well worth catching for those that haven’t seen it.

    Long live the sunny weather – Stornoway was cooking yesterday!

    Comment by Alan — June 11, 2013 @ 10:06 am

    • Morning Alan, I’d love to see it again right enough.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 13, 2013 @ 4:52 am

  7. Any Midgies?

    Comment by v8mbov — June 11, 2013 @ 11:34 am

    • Aye the midge is here but only if you’re ‘unsmidged’ 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 13, 2013 @ 4:50 am

  8. White flowers look like wild garlic or in scots ransoms. Good for cooking if they are, use like garlic.

    Comment by christine — June 14, 2013 @ 1:49 pm

    • Yes the white flowers are wild garlic, rub the leaves and then smell your hands they will smell of garlic, you can actually use these for cooking.

      Comment by fraoch16 — July 5, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

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