Life at the end of the road

November 25, 2013

Kidneys on toast!!!!

Filed under: daily doings, food, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:42 pm

Not a great nights sleep was had last night, a combination of ‘mind on overload’ with all the tasks left yet to do and the prospect of the first scheduled crossing on the Hallaig. I did manage to stay in bed until after 5:00am, but only just, and after a little plonking away on here I went outside to feed everyone in the dark. Well there just wasn’t an option, the boy had to get to school and me to the dentist, the hens were hilarious, I’d obviously surprised them and there was all manner of clucking going on upon my arrival. They’d obviously heard me rattling around in the feed bins and come charging out confused in the dark and were wandering around bumping into things.

The pigs well, they’re just opportunists and carry on like they’ve never been fed whatever time it is, though I couldn’t find Rocky despite doing several rounds of his usual hiding places on the quad. Methinks Rocky is a little depressed, it must be a ‘boar thing’ for Ginger was the same, nay, Ginger was worse, much worse, he’d get suicidal at the ‘drop of a hat’, separate him from his girls and he’d sulk for Scotland. I’ve never noticed it before in Rocky, perhaps it his age but since we threw him out of the croft and put Ellie and Jamie Lea in different fields to farrow he’s gone all mopey. He wasn’t so bad when at first when he’d the five ‘wee boys’ for company but since three of those are now in various freezers and he started scrapping with the other two he’s been on his own.

The poor soul refuses to go and sleep in his insulated ark and mopes about along the fences all day, usually sleeping on his own in a clump of rushes. Right enough I’m not feeling sorry for him, he’s as ‘fat as a pig’, well he would be wouldn’t he after living with five smaller boars for a few weeks. I’m pretty sure our prize Tamworth was getting the ‘lions share’ of the food.

The first sailing

After all the herd (well almost) and chooks were fed, the boy and his weeks baggage loaded into the Land Rover we set off south for that monumental occasion of the Hallaig’s first commercial voyage.


Sure enough the worlds first sea going hybrid Ro Ro ferry was waiting for us



and I had my oil absorbent mat ready Smile

 004 005

The half dozen or so vehicles looked lost on the Hallaig’s enormous deck and there was even enough room to open the car doors Smile


The ‘bridge crew’ were all set, and at 7:55 we departed for Sconser



the school kids and all enjoying the crossing.




Ready to take on ‘all comers’ Smile


Once I’d dropped off the ‘Arnish eggs’ with Charlie I proceeded to the dentist in Kyle whereupon I had my first appointment ever without a lecture on tooth brushing Smile Either I was getting better at 57 or the dentist had given up on me!


On the to my parents and, amongst other things a walk through the woods with my octogenarian father



and the dogs, one of which was a very subdued looking Leah, who’s enthusiasm (and barking) can be a little OTT, poor soul was ‘in the doghouse’ with a muzzle Sad smile







Anyway, after a good wander around the forestry roads above Loch Duich we returned to a lovely aubergine dish prepared by mum.

A little work on the roof done, a bottle of wine and joint of venison loaded in the Land Rover I headed back to Sconser to catch the Hallaig.


Only problem being it was the Striven that arrived Sad smile but I’ll not go into that Smile

An unusual dinner

By the time I’d got home, fed everyone, sorted out the eggs and caught up on phone calls I’d lost my appetite and the two pork chops that I’d had marinating in apple juice for 24 hours seemed a little excessive. Searching the fridge for something lighter I came across a kidney, not your obvious choice for a snack but a quick ‘Google’ turned up a few ideas.


One of them was kidneys on toast and involved mustard, red wine and chilli powder, I didn’t use it, but it did inspire me.


I simply sautéed the kidneys in some pork fat, red wine and harrisa and had it on toast, awesome offal indeed Smile



  1. So why the Striven on the way back? had the Halaig broken down?

    Comment by Alistair — November 25, 2013 @ 10:03 pm

  2. Great to hear finally the service on the Hallaig has started. But reading between the lines either someone forgot to plug her in for her night charge or not a big enough fuse?
    Regardless Paul you still have family time with your parents you have your priorities in order.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — November 25, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

  3. I certainly hope you waited until after 10:30 am to transport that wine.

    Comment by drgeo — November 25, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

    • I dunno who’s the wittiest you or Andy 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:08 pm

  4. reminds me if my first breakfast in the Royal Marines on 15 May 1955. It was known as sh”t on a raft.

    David in Sunny but cold Spain.

    Comment by David hardisty — November 26, 2013 @ 7:36 am

    • Hmmmm David, sounds appropriate 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:07 pm

  5. Oh come on Paul, you’ve GOT to tell us why it was the Striven not Hallaig on way back. Maybe she’s not wanting to go to wherever she will now be sent, and thought ‘they won’t get rid of me that easily’!

    Comment by Frances — November 26, 2013 @ 12:24 pm

    • I think she doesn’t like the idea of just going backwards and forwards she wants the open ocean.

      Comment by Alistair — November 26, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

      • You could be right Alistair 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:05 pm

    • I’ll tell you once I’ve retired (or got the sack) 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:06 pm

  6. was it a repeat of the “propulsion error” …

    Comment by cazinatutu — November 26, 2013 @ 2:08 pm

    • Not quite, but similar Caz 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

  7. Love your photos….especially the “foodie”ones

    Comment by eileen1929 — November 26, 2013 @ 2:17 pm

    • I wish I’d taken a picture of the pork chops marinaded in apple juice Eileen.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

      • Now you are making me hungry, pork in cider with sage garlic clove, cinnamon and cardamom. Your favourite old rosie is particularly good in it as well.

        Comment by Alistair — November 26, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

  8. It’s like the end of a two-part episode, where the caption comes up

    To Be Continued…

    Comment by IainMacb — November 26, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

    • Continued constantly Iain, just wait until I retire and write the book 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

  9. No Leccy no Likey?

    Comment by Roy boy — November 26, 2013 @ 7:56 pm

    • No Leccy no Likey?

      You’ve lost me there Roy 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2013 @ 8:01 pm

  10. I can’t believe that there was no big fuss made about the Hallaig’s first sailing. Nothing on BBC or anywhere else. Maybe it was wise if she has broken 😦

    Comment by Simon — November 29, 2013 @ 7:53 pm

    • They did report the collision with Raasay pier on Friday where injuries were sustained, but yes,no mention of the breakdown on the first day of its service. Hope this not a foretaste of things to come. Raasay deserves better.

      Comment by SOTW — December 2, 2013 @ 6:49 pm

  11. Report on, states it had a problem with the propeller unit.

    Comment by Tedgo — November 30, 2013 @ 1:57 pm

  12. Paul, I know you have to plead the 5th Amendment, but your neighbour on Rona says … “the new Raasay ferry has been plagued by breakdowns and yesterday it had an engine fail and ‘skelped ‘ the pier!!!!”

    Comment by cazinatutu — December 1, 2013 @ 10:58 pm

    • Paul, I know you have to plead the 5th Amendment, but your neighbour on Rona says … “the new Raasay ferry has been plagued by breakdowns and yesterday it had an engine fail and ‘skelped ‘ the pier!!!!”

      And Chris said we forgot to feed the hamsters, neither are true 🙂


      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 2, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    • Not certain the 5th Amendment applies to citizens of GBR, but in this case I think we should let him use it anyway.

      Comment by drgeo — December 2, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

      • We have the right to remain silent. “You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence.”

        Comment by Phil Cook — December 3, 2013 @ 6:42 pm

  13. OK Paul
    Let’s cut the amateur engineers out and send the Hallaig to Cammell Lairds Birkenhead. Their good at sorting out new Calmac ship engineering problems out. They would have loved to have built it in the first place.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — December 2, 2013 @ 9:03 am

  14. Realize the need for decorum in such matters but I just hope you are not having to shoe-horn the Lister into the new ship,especially since your new generator shed is looking so good 🙂

    Comment by Andy — December 2, 2013 @ 9:16 am

  15. No word from you in over a week, Paul, and I’m starting to worry. I’m sure that you didn’t go down with the ship. How are you?

    Comment by Flora — December 5, 2013 @ 2:42 am

    • Both the ship and I are fine Flora, thanks 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 7, 2013 @ 10:41 pm

  16. how are you surviving the gales, Paul … hope everything is screwed down tight

    Comment by cazinatutu — December 5, 2013 @ 10:21 am

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