Life at the end of the road

December 9, 2013

The wright stuff :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, hydro, life off grid, shed/house, The daily pothole — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:44 pm

Hardly the time of year for salads but I’ve just demolished a beezer and I’m pretty stuffed, it accompanied an incredibly  simple baked potato with tuna and mayonnaise. Not really serious fare for two hard working souls but we were both in late and it was quick, very quick, probably around the twelve minute mark or as long as it takes to ‘bake’ a spud in the microwave. I know, I know it’s not the same as in the oven, and we’ve no shortage of power these days. However the pair of us needed a quick fix after I’d eaten last nights leftovers for lunch, the Raasay reared coo we’d sampled last night would have made two meals but your truly was a bit of a pig.


The picture doesn’t do it justice, for that’s just the remnants but it was just balsamic vinegar, olive oil, ground salt and pepper, lots of freshly chopped coriander, a teaspoon of harrisa,  butter beans and cherry tomatoes. My mate ‘the man from Gourock’ got me into this North African paste whilst I was down at the yard and we’ve just about run out of it now Sad smile Luckily I’ve just found it on Amazon so I can order it with the Christmas presents I should be buying instead of typing on here.

To be honest it was the bread that made it, the spud was nice but wifey’s homemade bread soaked in the oil, vinegar, chilli, tomato juice and spices really finished it off, yum, yum.

Another light at the north end

When I first moved to the north end of Raasay there were absolutely no visible lights to guide a weary mariner back home. The old schoolhouse was occasionally occupied, but with no electricity the best I could hope for would be a candle light behind a thick curtain from ‘Steve the Buddha’. The chalet, at that time belonged to the fish farm and was only used during the day, if at all. When my friends at Torran arrived a year or two later I’d look for the friendly speck of light as it appeared over Manish point on the way back from Portree. I just had to make sure I didn’t turn eastwards until I’d cleared the point Smile

It was of course much easier once I’d ‘moved up’ to the MV Conqueror with radar, GPS and a chart plotter, but even so there’s nothing quite so reassuring as a light. I’ve not had reason to put to sea at night in years but I’m sure the light from my neighbours chalet would now provide an excellent guide, as will the new house when it’s finished.


Well the house still has a long way to go but the lights are on,


or at least they are in the caravan.


It was only a matter of laying some armoured cable and connecting both ends up but between that and extra lashings it’s taken me two days.


Of course that incudes cleaning up debris from the storm and helping Lachie re secure the roof membrane but it was far from straightforward.


Anyway, that was today, what about the rest of the week, well I did a couple of days on the Hallaig for my ‘back to back’ as he’s going to cover for me this week.


It was a late start, which was just as well as I went down the road ahead of the post lady,

003 004

luckily she didn’t need a tow, though it was very slippy. It was the first time I’d been down the road in daylight since the storm and it looks like Hope has died. Faith and Charity the other to Evance 9000 5kW wind turbines were milling away merrily but the centre one appeared to be seized. 


I’ve since driven by several times and the middle one is most definitely poorly, of course it could just be ‘braked’ but you’d not brake it unless it was broken so to speak.


It’s all a bit of a blur now and I’m not sure if this was Friday or Saturday, but whatever day it was the fish farmers were busy.


010  011

Definitely Friday judging by the smiles Smile



This must be Saturday with the snow away and my ‘back to back’ back Smile


The snow and ice may have gone but it left destruction in its wake,



I can feel a letter to the council coming on.


Home in daylight on Saturday I wasted no time and went up to the house site to continue with caravan lashing and electrification. I’d got the SWA laid as far as the van and connected at one end but lack of light stopped play and I called it a day after feeding everyone in the dark, they were not impressed.

Sunday was pretty miserable but the Dude and i made the most of it and headed over to the mainland to say happy birthday to my dad and give him his present.



That was of course after I’d loaded up the trailer with empty barrels and gas cylinders for the other residents of the ‘north end’ Smile

It was actually my dads 85th birthday last week but one of dementias few advantages is that he doesn’t remember so Sunday was as good as any for himself and far better for the Dude and I.


It was pretty grim on the weather front so we skipped the usual four to six mile hike for a leisurely couple of miles down the road and back, my father being on his best form in months. Mountains of weed, stones, branches and flotsam right up to the road had him chattering like I’ve not heard in long enough. Of course much of it was the same over and over again but it was just fantastic to engage with him once more like I used to. I think my less frequent visits this last twelve months had taken their toll Sad smile


We arrived home around 18:00 to the lovely smell of Dexter cow cooking in the kitchen and a ‘hen lady’ in unusually good form. You’ve had visitors she said, and they left you a present. Ohhhhhhhhh sh1t thinks I, some stalker has turned up at the door and started hassling the wife Sad smile 


Luckily for me it was a pal from the ‘south end’ and Robin in his BMW M3, though how the feck he got that up the road in one piece I’ll never know. Robin’s obvious skill in driving is matched only by his sense of humour and choice of presents, far better than the bottle you promised, honest. No really, I just love Wright’s coal tar soap, OK they’ve taken the ‘coal tar’ out of it due to EU lunacy but I still like it and you guys had the wife in stitches Smile


Well, I’ve already told you about that at the beginning, I took the boy down for the school ferry at ‘stupid o clock’ and then did a tour of the herd


but they just wouldn’t keep still. The wee ‘spotties’ are still pretty much ‘confined to barracks’ but the seven ‘Tammies’ are rushing about like a shoal of fish and into everything. The hens were noticeably happier today but that wasn’t reflected in their laying, I dunno what the total was for the day but I only lifted 8 at 15:00 when I fed them, they really do not like the wind.


023  024

Output from the ‘Stream Engine’ was down but a length of pipe shoved up the feed soon sorted that and now it delivering a steady 750w. sure it could do much more but there’s little point as the Powerspout is doing the same and there’s a full gale blowing from the south.


  1. How long has Molly been sporting a 90 degree pipe fitting from her head? 🙂 Good shot of the pier from the new high level bridge.

    Comment by Andy — December 9, 2013 @ 11:08 pm

  2. Big Charlie smiling! Will need to show this to the people that say he’s a grump!

    Comment by John MacDonald — December 10, 2013 @ 10:42 am

  3. Good to see Molly has a pipe so she can let off steam. And as long as you have lots of pipe, perhaps Santa will bring the hen wife a steam driven calliope?

    Comment by drgeo — December 10, 2013 @ 8:52 pm

  4. the caravan looks positively comfortable and habitable … when you get bored of your current house and want a break, you can take a holiday there and admire the view … well, the view from the bedroom anyway, I see the picture window is facing the hill

    Comment by cazinatutu — December 10, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

  5. Been using the Wright stuff for years, never knowing about the E U legislation. I feel cheated – give me back my coal tar instead of just a “fragrance”

    Comment by Arthur Findlay — December 11, 2013 @ 10:00 pm

  6. “The Wright stuff” – to add insult to injury it’s now made in Turkey!!!

    Comment by Arthur Findlay — December 11, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

    • Turkey Arthur!!!!! well I never.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 13, 2013 @ 8:11 am

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