Life at the end of the road

February 6, 2014

Well and truly ‘Radoxed’

Filed under: boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Well, I’m not going to moan about the weather after seeing the devastation wreaked upon coastal towns in the south west  and villages in the Somerset Levels. However, it was not another creosoting day today and I was severely dischuffed when I poked my head out of the front door at 7:15 to be greeted by rain!!!! The east winds and smiley suns on yesterday’s XC weather forecast had been replaced by the clouds, half suns and rain drops of, ‘sunshine and showers’ which up here can mean anything. Often sandwiched between blue skies a ‘west coast shower’ can appear out of nowhere and really ruin your day. Twenty nine years I’ve lived in this beautiful part of the world yet still I leave wellies outside the front door in sunshine only to return to them half full of water after a cup of tea. And it’s not just muddy footwear, it can be cameras, tools, car windows and worst of all ‘the sunroof’ Sad smile Don’t ever buy a car with a sunroof if you live north west of Glasgow, I’ve seen us driving down the side of Loch Lomond wearing oilskins in a Renault Clio!!! Apart from this Almera, every car we’ve had with one of the infernal  things has pished in water or at some point stuck open in a shower.

Anyway, I seem to have ‘wandered off course’ a little there, where was I?


just returning from ‘the school run’ at 8:15 with every sign of the weather improving. That will be Raasay’s highest peak, Dun Caan in the distance


and that’s Brochel castle with the Crowlin islands on the right and


the Applecross peninsula on the left. You’re basically looking down that gap towards Duirnish and Plockton just north east of Kyle and that blue line ends at the abandoned village of Uags.



Here’s a picture looking the other way towards the distinctive volcanic plug of Dun Caan taken by Brian Dixon. It’s a long walk, paddle or sail from anywhere but well worth a visit and the bothy there is snug and dry.



Once back home I fed the pigs, the wee ones really enjoying the space in their new field near the hens, of course they’re no strangers to hens but they say an awful lot more of them at this end of the croft.



The day was actually pretty good, just not good enough for painting and it was certainly much lighter than of late with snowdrops in flower to add to that ‘over the hill feel’. We could still get some pretty carpy weather but it doesn’t seem half as bad in the daylight Smile







As you can see there was good progress on the slating front, even in the showers Smile

Having woken up this morning feeling like I’d been run over by a truck I still managed to do a little more ditching, this time at the bottom of the garden to try and drain away some of the water lying there. I also moved my weather station around to the new house site



which means I’ll not be able to download data from the house but I’ve not been able to do that for a week or more anyway. I had actually taken down the sensors with a view to returning the unit as it’s not been working properly for a while. However, as soon as I took it down and reset everything it appeared to be just fine. As my current mast behind this house is friggin scary to climb at 57, I decided to move it to the new house and put the receiver in the caravan. At least then if it does stop working or need resetting I can deal without without nearly having a coronary. Not only that, but this is a much more realistic site to gather data from, as it’s probably where I’ll put my next turbine.

As well as that and doing some gate and fence repairs I spent a couple of hours power washing paths and sheds in anticipation of the hoards of potential buyers coming to view our property Smile Seriously though, the housing market does indeed seem to be picking up and there’s been a ‘wee flurry’ of interest in the old hoose Smile

It’s hardly worth it Sad smile

With the demise of my Karcher A2004 vacuum cleaner being felt deeper by the day I had another go at it. I really didn’t realize how much I used this tool until it broke, not just the obvious stuff, but for emptying water, removing rock dust from drilled holes, sweeping the chimney, picking things up, deflating airbeds and a host of other jobs. I’d already come to the conclusion that buying a new motor was stupid, the cheapest motor I could find was £60 plus VAT and carriage and I could get a complete boxed new one for £79.99 delivered!!! A bit like cordless drill batteries, a genuine new one often costs as much as a drill with two spares!! Why the feck do they do that? sure you can get cheap Chinese clones for buttons but they seldom last more than a few months.



As it was only the one bearing that had collapsed causing the rotor to jam and give off the ‘expensive smoke’ I had a go at removing the bearing, fat chance. The whole thing is assembled in such a way as to make replacement nigh on impossible without destroying the fan. However, I’ve not given up on it just yet Smile

Loch Portain comes to Raasay

It was a bit of a surprise right enough as the last time I’d seen the MV Loch Portain was at Leverburgh last year but wifey said there was another ferry at the harbour this evening when she collected the Dude. The mystery was solved when I received this picture via the Hallaig’s iPad


it was the Portain on her way back to the Sound of Harris after refit. Commissioned especially for the tortuous shallow crossing amidst rocks and sand banks the Portain has water jets rather than the more common Voith Schneider propellers of the other Loch class ships.

And after all this excitement I slipped into a hot Radox bath to ease away the aches and pains of the last few days. I really don’t know if I can cope with two weeks off Smile



  1. Molly and snowdrops – lovely!

    Comment by Sue — February 6, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

  2. The loch class ships seem very small next to the Hallaig!

    Comment by Lloyd — February 7, 2014 @ 12:33 am

  3. House coming on Paul, the roof tiling really makes a difference.

    Comment by Andrew — February 7, 2014 @ 7:01 am

  4. Dischuffed – love it, going to use that one in the future 🙂

    Comment by Andy Poulton — February 7, 2014 @ 8:18 am

  5. Good to see the pictures of Uags, Ali at Applecross (Life On The Edge) mentioned it the other week. There use to be a gentleman Dougie who lived at another abandoned cottage about 2 miles further round at the head of Loch Kishorn. He used to take his little yellow dingy in all weathers to get to Kishorn to get his weekly supplies. If he could get there in his boat he would walk all the way to Tornapress and then back round to Kishorn. I believe he also used to walk to Toscaig to meet the fish van as well. When KLD set up its north shore site for salmon in the early 90’s we would give him a lift back to his house if we saw him or take his supplies.

    He said he had come accross the cottage in the late 70’s done it up and lived in it, completely off grid no power or running water, eventually the Applecross estate giving him a peppercorn lease for it. Great eccentric guy sadly no longer there I am told.

    Comment by Alistair — February 7, 2014 @ 9:14 am

  6. Wear Russian boots for your 2 weeks off.

    Comment by Andy — February 7, 2014 @ 9:56 am

  7. The Loch Portain is actually larger than the Hallaig, LLoyd

    Comment by mark — February 7, 2014 @ 7:16 pm

  8. Good to see the house coming on Paul, tiles look good. Can’t help thinking about the crackling when I see your pigs!! Yum 😈

    Comment by George White — February 7, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

  9. Building on Skye:

    A different approach :).

    (Not sure if this has been linked before; apologies if I’m spamming.)

    Comment by San — February 11, 2014 @ 7:23 pm

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