Life at the end of the road

November 11, 2013

Three away :-)

Well, it sure was a wild night last night and methinks it’s about time I bought another weather station, perhaps Santa will be good to me. Anyway, the morning wasn’t too bad and I got the three ‘wee boys’ loaded up just fine in the dark. I’d brought three of the five into the croft last night and put them in the barn, a far easier solution than trying to separate them at 6:00am in the morning. It had worked out rather well, for the three largest and greediest  were the first through the gate last night when I split them up. That’ll give the smaller two chance to grow a bit before they get the chop in a month.


You’ll have to excuse the pictures as there’s no screen on this carp Fuji and there’s around half a second delay between pressing the button and the shutter closing. OK, I know it’s only a ‘virtual shutter’ but you know what I mean. That is a pig leaping over a plank of wood Smile the trousers are my old Skye Batiks raving pants and many is the session I’ve been to in those Smile In fact, I think I went to see Andy Weatherall at Clubzone in Dingwall wearing those.



OK, perhaps two hours fifty seven minutes is a little much for the uninitiated but just check out the Papua New Guinea remix, awesome.

Sorry got distracted there listening to that classic, my good mate and fellow ‘space cadet’ for a while Gavin Gillies ‘dropped’ that tune at a memorable gig here once. Gave me the 12” cover too and it still has pride of place in the barn somewhere, those were the days Smile

Anyway, pigs loaded for the abattoir and Dude loaded for the week at school we set off at 7:00am for the 7:55 ferry, it was a little early but I didnae want to be rushing down the road with the three boys in the trailer.


Not that they were that bothered, if a pig is still eating well it’s happy, you start to worry about them when they don’t eat.

The 100 mile journey to Munro’s was a pure delight, as the weather improved and I came to grips with the fact that ‘normality had been restored’. I was doing my ‘week on week off’ thing and spending every night in my own bed, sure I’d be back at work tomorrow but at least I’d be at home and not in a hotel, ship, B&B or mates spare room. Life was indeed looking very peachy Smile

 021 022 

023 024



The ‘Old girl’ was working hard and loving it whilst the ‘wee dug’ and I listened some tunes on the CD player she was getting hot, revving hard, had .5bar of turbo pressure and 600 degrees of exhaust gas temp. There are some serious hills on the way to Dingwall and at times we were down to 12mph!!!!



OK, 10mph !!!!



We stopped every few miles to let Molly have a sniff, the pigs have a feed and the Land Rover a rest



Loch Carron is indeed a bonny place Smile

Once the three boys were delivered to Dingwall and instructions left as to how they were to be returned I did the usual mad rush round Lidl and Tesco for shopping.


Then on the way out of town  called on prize wining butcher George Cockburn & son for some haggis and black pudding.



Being ‘wifeless’ and not so involved on the shopping front I’d a nice leisurely drive home so had chance to stop at the Garve Hotel and take a picture of ‘Tog Mor’.


I’ve no idea how this steel model ended up here outside the hotel in Garve but I remember seeing it at Howard Doris’s yard in Kishorn some thirty years ago. It was I believe made by apprentices at the oil rig fabrication yard three or more decades ago and is a pretty good likeness of what was at the time one of the worlds largest shallow water heavy lifting barges. It was built in Holland in 1976 under another name and was used for lifting the Mary Rose  at Southampton


in 1982 and judging by that link was still actually working until very recently!



We managed to get the 15:00 ferry back and arrive at Arnish before dark


I even got around to doing a little work on the ‘Quadzilla Crapzilla’ before calling it a day Smile


OK, it was only topping the battery up and charging it but it was a start. Incidentally the best way to fill a motorbike or quad battery is with a syringe, it’ll save you much grief and water Smile



  1. Is that water bottle a memento of a visit to the Wickerman Festival ? as its the same as the ones we give out there.

    Comment by Jeff Knine — November 11, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

    • Hi Jeff, nope, that’ll be one of Scottish Water’s very own, they are in fact Highland Spring water bottles with another label on!!! And it’s about time we made it to the Wickerman once more, it is indeed the best festival in Scotland. See you next year???

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 11, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

      • Ah we give pallet loads of the Scottish water bottles out at the Wickerman each year. I’ll be there next year for the 11 year running the litter crew. Get in touch If you would like a couple of tickets etc. I still owe you for taking me to Scalpay and collecting me again many years back. I belive Knockengorroch festival near Ayr posibly to be better smaller more senic and freindly.

        Comment by Jeff Knine — November 12, 2013 @ 11:15 pm

      • Hi Jeff, wifey and I have just spent a good while on and like the look of it. It’s also a little nearer than the Wickerman and I see that Utah Saints and the Peatbog Faeries played last year, awesome.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2013 @ 9:10 pm

  2. I take it the hill you rested on was the A890 at Strome Ferry. If it is I used to dread going up their. Most weeks late in the afternoon after work I would drive over to Drumfern and pick up mussels from a crofter and take them back to Kishorn usually a tonne and a half on a Ifor Williams trailer towed by a Hilux. Pig of a pickup, the two wheel drive Bedford pickup we had had more grunt than that thing. Many a time I thought I was going to get stuck in the dark on that hill.

    Comment by Alistair — November 12, 2013 @ 8:55 am

    • Aye Alistair, before I fitted the turbo diesel seven or eight years ago I thought I’d never make it up those hills, even without the trailer it was second gear and first with 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

      • Yet again you remind me of my previous life. The model of the Tog Mor outside the hotel always seemed a strange place for it no connection with Kishorn, but nonetheless a memorable landmark on the road to Inversnecky.

        Comment by Alistair — November 13, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

      • no connection with Kishorn
        Apart from the hundreds of ‘Kishorn Commandos’ that got ‘tanked up’ there on their way to work 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2013 @ 9:53 pm

  3. Happy days, Paul. Delighted your back to your old self and old routines again now. Best wishes to all the family.

    Comment by Lloyd — November 12, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

  4. Paul, if thats the back road to Dingwall I remember coming down one of them hills front wheels squealing like anything. You guessed it my brakes had gone and I was nursing it home back to the garage at Armadale, and I made it. I also remember the Garve Hotel, we came up back in the early nineties with Shearing’s coaches and was due to stop at hotel in Ullapool but owner had got a better offer from a party of Germans. Hey we did’nt complain we got the better deal by being putting for couple of nights at the Garve.

    Comment by Stan — November 12, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    • Aye Stan, it seems like everyone has an A890 story or two, usually involving an extra hundred or so mile journey because it’s been blocked by a landslide, rock fall or avalanche though 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

  5. Lovin the tunes. ..

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — November 12, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    • Doesn’t it just take you back Steve??

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 13, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

  6. ‘Apart from the hundreds of ‘Kishorn Commandos’ that got ‘tanked up’ there on their way to work :-)’

    I think that tradition carried on when I worked on the fish farm in Kishorn, the village shop did a roaring trade in cider at 8 in the morning.

    Comment by Alistair — November 14, 2013 @ 9:03 am

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