Life at the end of the road

December 30, 2013

Filling up :-)

Filed under: daily doings, New hybrid ferry, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Well it’s been a pure peach of a day by recent standards, not that I’ve seen much of it, for I’ve been ‘stuck in the office’ all day!!! And believe me, I never, ever in my whole life thought I’d utter those words as I dislike paperwork more than Rupert Murdoch, soup spoons, sprouts and Donald Trump rolled into one. The thought of being confined to a desk on a nice day after two weeks of wind and rain is enough to make me feel sick.


OK, it’s quite a nice wee office and the view from the ‘escape window’ changes by the minute but it’s still a friggin desk and computer, and it doesn’t come naturally Sad smile Sadly it’s the world we live in and filling in the right piece of paper these days is more important than actually  doing the job. Me, I was born ten years too late, 1946 would have had me just missing WWII, enjoying the ‘swinging sixties’ and diving on loads of untouched shipwrecks. I would now be retired like my ex workmate ‘Lucky Jim’ and laughing at all these fools that have to fill in a risk assessment to blow their nose and have a certificate to operate a microwave oven. In short I am a dinosaur and proud of it Smile 

Anyway, enough of that, it’s the penultimate day of 2013 and I finish work tomorrow for two whole weeks, yes indeed we’re going ‘two weeks on two weeks off’ and I can’t wait. OK, I’ll have to work for two whole weeks, but apart from the paperwork I actually really enjoy my job and a fortnight at work will enable me to get on with some serious projects. Not only that but a full two weeks off will leave me much more scope for getting wrecked at summer festivals Smile Well it will once I finally get my house built, pay off all my debts and send my son to college or university Sad smile On second thoughts I don’t think I’m ever going to have enough money to do anything like that ever again. Of course when ‘I write the book’ I’ll make a fortune but I’ll not be able to that until I retire for fear of losing my job, driving licence, firearm certificate, disclosure, and possibly wife Smile

You’ve got to laugh

It wasn’t all paperwork, I managed to fix Henry too, that’ll be Henry the hoover


who’d seized up with that expensive smell of smoke associated with ‘Lucas prince of darkness’.


Now these Numatic vacuum cleaners are normally the Rolls Royce, dogs danglies or just plain best hoover on the planet. Trust me on this one, a Numatic hoover will suck up anything from hydraulic oil, to soot and even raw sewage and it will do it year in year out, I know cos I’ve done all three plus bilge water engine oil and even gear oil. They are in short indestructible, until now Sad smile


Me suspects that ours has at some point been dropped in the sea, however, after cleaning it all out, removing the brushes and freeing them off Henry recovered nicely.



Look, half a dozen potholes worth of tarmac, you gotta laugh, that’ll be well over £100 on the ferry for a 7m pickup with 1 ton of tar when for double that they could send 12m truck with 15 ton of tar Smile

The day was getting busier and busier on the traffic front as it progressed, with locals going out to ‘stock up’ and visitors arriving by the car load.


The 16:15 ferry carried 15 cars and a trailer but what really made me laugh was car number 13 complaining about our new ferry. Car number thirteen would have complained a lot more had he been left behind if a Loch Class ferry had come over at 16:00 and only taken away 10 or 12 cars Smile Smile 


Just look at that, three lanes of traffic, enough room to easily get out of your car and you can hold a conversation on deck, even if it is to moan Smile This is a really good ship.

It’s looking like it’s going to be a really ‘kicking’ New Year here, Raasay House is full, there’s a band playing and a whole heap of crew on Hallaig. I reckon this Hogmanay will be like they used to be twenty years ago, pure epic and lasting for days Smile

The best calendar ever

After getting most of my paperwork done and tying up for the night I headed home past a festively illuminated Raasay House



that was finally getting into the ‘swing’ of things only 19 days shy of the fifth anniversary of the great fire and the thirteenth of our wedding anniversary.





Once home I got tore straight into a rum and coke and the best calendar I have ever, ever seen, forget the legendary ‘Pirelli calendar’ it’s not a patch on the Kinlochshiel Shinty club effort, and I’m not gay. This offering is a pure work of art,



seriously, it’s brilliant, better than all the calendars that I’ve ever seen.


Shot in black and white, sponsored by local businesses and featuring one or two people I recognize it is pure genius,



just look at that stonework


and that Cat, ‘no hill too steep’ Smile priceless. OK, not actually priceless but only £10 from

Dornie Store, Glenelg Shop, Buth Bheag, Kyle Pharmacy  and Inverinate Filling Station

All I can say is, well done chaps, that must have taken an ‘awful lot of bottle’ Smile


  1. So was it Lucky Thirteen or not? Miserable feckers! Somebody’s always got to complain! We sailed again on the 15.00 and for my money Hallaig is by far the quietest, smoothest and most comfortable small (ish) ferry I’ve been on – the Loch Alainn, Loch Portain and Loch Bhrusda (a noisy sod!) included! It’s a fabulous vessel, a step change for this type of ferry and I’m extremely jealous you have it to “play” with!!!

    2 weeks off will for sure be a great way to work and really help with getting things done around the croft – but heading back to work every fortnight will be a wrench!

    Good Luck and a Happy New Year – looking forward to great posts in 2014!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — December 30, 2013 @ 11:07 pm

    • Safe journey sowf Mark and so glad you enjoyed the trip on Hallaig.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:32 pm

  2. Glad you are getting 2 weeks off for Hogmanay, but think you might reconsider turning hotels into Viking bonfires and/or operating heavy machinery while naked. Lang may yer lum reek!

    Comment by drgeo — December 31, 2013 @ 1:03 am

    • Have a good one yourself DrG, about five hours later if I recall 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

  3. Paul,
    What a good blog to end 2013 all I hope is that when your builders return in 2014 to complete the new house ATEOTR they put a few more clothes on. :-). All for a good cause.

    Good to see the ferry filling up, don’t you just love the fact that the powers that be label a window as a means of escape just in case you forget to use it in an emergency.
    On the Henry front good to see that the UK can till manufacture a quality product.

    Happy 2014 when it arrives.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — December 31, 2013 @ 8:37 am

    • If Lachie’s stonework is as good as that I’ll let him keep his clothes on 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

  4. Have a great Hogmanay. And a ll the best for 2014.

    Comment by Alistair — December 31, 2013 @ 9:02 am

    • Thanks Alistair and the same to you.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:35 pm

  5. Hi Paul, thanks for yet another year of very entertaining blogs, as good as a blood transfusion. Hope you and all your extended family have a happy and prosperous new year. Best regards. Robert Findlay.

    Comment by Robert Findlay — December 31, 2013 @ 9:30 am

    • Cheers to you too Robert 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 31, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

  6. Happy new year , Paul and family.
    I don’t know if you saw some of the shinty calendar photographs being taken , it was on BBC Alba as part of the SWAG programme (that’s shinty wifes and girlfriends) – might still be available on the iPlayer.

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — December 31, 2013 @ 10:34 am

  7. Well what a way to close 2013, how comes you did’nt show any of the Pirelli pics. Ah well maybe another time, good to see the boat’s earning her keep at last. Have a happy new year Paul and to your family and keep up the good work on here. Slainte

    Comment by Stan — December 31, 2013 @ 10:57 am

  8. Great picture of Raasay house in full swing,such a contrast to early 2009.Lets hope GDD has no plans for a calender “au naturel” as the customary salute could prove awkward.All the best for 2014 and since we have just finished with the last round of Star Wars repeats on TV may the force(electromotive in your case)be with you.

    Comment by Andy — December 31, 2013 @ 11:21 am

  9. have a great one, I wish I was there now not bobbing about on my tin island : ( see you next year : )

    Comment by v8mbov — December 31, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

  10. Thanks for a year of great posts, Paul, and best wishes for 2014!

    Comment by Flora — December 31, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  11. Paul, get yourself offshore in oil and gas!! 2 weeks on and 3 weeks off!
    Skilled tradespeople with your undoubted skills are much sought after out here.
    Bliadhna mhath ùr

    Comment by Charlie — December 31, 2013 @ 2:14 pm

  12. All the best to you and the family for 2014 Paul

    Comment by Stan pyke — December 31, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  13. Oil and Gas…and bear in mind its a lot of money as well.., ask grant when you see him or we cant talk in the new year when I am up : ) have a good night, wish I was there : (

    Comment by v8mbov — December 31, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  14. happy new year from new mexico, where it has just occurred.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — January 1, 2014 @ 7:45 am

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