Life at the end of the road

December 25, 2013

The ‘sprout run’ :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, for sale, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:08 pm

Just after 18:00 and the Christmas dinner is just finished, a little later than is traditional in this household but I had to work today, something I’ve not done in 57 years. Not that it bothered me, or the rest of the crew, for the whole island was depending on us for their sprouts and yesterdays papers Smile Personally I hate the friggin things (sprouts and papers) but wifey had promised to make them edible by cremating them in the oven with butter and bacon. To be honest even the papers would have been edible covered in butter and wrapped in bacon Smile

The weather yesterday had been atrocious to say the least, and Raasay had been left without mail, papers and worst of all sprouts for the Christmas dinners. Sure I’ve seen worse storms but I really can’t remember when and two people I spoke to today commented that they’d NEVER seen the glass so low. My skippers barometer went off the scale and a friend who’d had the same one for 51 years said it had never dropped so low EVER. I dunno what they recorded but clocked 939 millibar, which is the lowest I’ve heard of.

Batteries only

Anyway, I crept out of the house this morning just after 7:00am to get down to Hallaig for 8:00am and sail for 9:00am. CalMac don’t usually sail on Christmas day, but after yesterdays disruption both ourselves and the Hebrides had made the decision to put some kind of service on.  Of course nothing in life is guaranteed and the ‘weather window’ afforded us by seemed to be slipping away every time I checked the forecast. However upon driving south to work I was encouraged by the clear sky and the sparkling lights of Portree as I rounded the Bealach Ruadh on the west side of Raasay. Not long afterwards the lights Sconser, Braes and even Oskaig came into view and I figured that I would at least be able to ‘fire up’ Hallaig without drama. Not only that but the wind seemed to be abating by the minute and by 8:15 Hallaig was ‘alive’ and we all settled down to a cup of tea prior to sailing.


With only one car and passenger on board it was hardly a profitable crossing but we had two cars awaiting us at Sconser



and of course a van load of sprouts and groceries Smile


With only the one sailing scheduled we did it in ‘battery only’ mode



the 19lts of fuel being what I used just to warm up the generators at ‘start up’.


With the sprouts on Raasay we tied up for the day and I headed for the shop to buy some Sad smile


The Raasay Community Store open on Christmas day!!!!!


and just look at all that drink Smile

Word had obviously got around for the shop was absolutely mobbed and I got to thinking that it was probably a great way to see everyone together on Christmas day Smile

With my parsnips and sprouts on board I headed home


to get stopped by a tree Smile Luckily I had packed my chainsaw for such an event and soon had it moved.



Eventually, after a detour past Brochel castle I got home to my family and presents Smile

018 020

And with 40,000 properties still without power we flashed up both electric ovens to cook our dinner with the wind and rain Smile Why anyone would wish to be shackled to the grid and the ‘big six’ is beyond me no standing charge and around ten minutes without power in twenty years Smile


  1. Paul Enjoy the rest of the day with your family.👍🎅🍻🍷🎄

    Comment by Polite Scouser — December 25, 2013 @ 7:31 pm

  2. Have a good one Paul. In deepest Surrey we have been without power since Monday night and we are not well prepared! Gas barbecues and camping stoves about as far as it goes! And there is still no power for tonight. Us southern softies are glad of our “skye clothes” as my daughter calls them. Merry Christmas.

    Comment by Jo Cohen — December 25, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

    • Hi Jo and welcome,

      really sorry to hear of your woes at this time of year, wrap up warm and keep smiling 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 25, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

  3. merry xmas to you and the family paul, hope everyone is well and santa was good to you all, watching the video of the sea battering the pier brought back fond memories 🙂

    Comment by jimmy mcmillan — December 25, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

    • Same to you and yours Jimmy, funny enough that’s just what went through my mind and I said as much to my pals at work. Those videos you took on your phone were as close as I’ve seen to Christmas eve.

      Cheers, Paul and all

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 25, 2013 @ 10:11 pm

  4. Hi Paul, a huge WELL DONE to you and your shipmates for taking the extra time to sail today. I have already said well done to all the emergency services, hospital staff and those who work through these holidays but had not thought of the many folks who turn out to man ferries to the islands when the preceding days weather left many stranded or short of supplies.
    I hope that the rest of the day with family was extra rewarding having done your duty.
    As for being reliant on the big 6 I have often thought that those who are self reliant have the best of all worlds, for what it cost to set up solar panels and or a wind turbine I am sure the rewards are plentiful and it pays for itself time and time again.
    All the best and stay safe over on the Islands.

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — December 25, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

  5. Merry Christmas to all at the End of the Road! I’m certainly glad your mom had previously trucked in gallons of red–so you would not be tempted to transport bottles from the Rasaay Store before 10:30 am! And to all a good toasty night!

    Comment by drgeo — December 25, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

  6. A big THANK YOU and Well done to you and Hallaig’s Crew for going above and beyond the call of duty! Great job….and only 19 litres of fuel for the round trip too – amazing economy!

    Good luck and enjoy the rest of your Christmas!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — December 25, 2013 @ 11:18 pm

  7. still Christmas day here in new mexico — happy to think you saved so many Christmas dinners. merry Christmas to you and yours. love. peace. thanks.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — December 26, 2013 @ 2:53 am

  8. Morning, Paul

    What weather! That video of waves crashing over Goat Island and the end of the pier, going almost as far as the waiting room was amazing. Good to see booze in the store again – has the community invested in a licence or was that just for Christmas?

    Hope you all get some peaceful weather soon, but looks like it’s getting bad again tomorrow.



    Comment by Sue — December 26, 2013 @ 9:52 am

  9. Only one thing i can add

    Comment by thinfourth — December 26, 2013 @ 12:58 pm

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