Life at the end of the road

April 19, 2014

Rain! what rain?

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:14 pm

Not so ‘hot off the mark’ this morning, it was 7:10 before I was wakened and 7:30 before I was out of the house feeding.


The hens aren’t shut in to their run but most mornings I take a crust out or some wee treat and they all follow me in there, whereupon I shut them in until lunchtime. I dunno why I bother really, for half of them are usually back out within the hour but it does seem to encourage them to lay in their nesting boxes and not random places around the croft.

I’ve just ordered another 50 for the new hoose off ‘Donald the hen’ at Struan, moving this lot up to the new house will probably put them ‘right off the lay’. The original ‘brown hens’ as Donald calls the ISA browns are getting a bit past it now anyway so we’ll probably not even try moving those. Better to start off the new hen house with a new batch of hens than end up with a shortage of eggs. The new ones will be here the middle of May but will take a couple of weeks at least before they start laying.

Donald does still have some available for May, his next lot will be in July, so if you’re needing any contact him on 01470 572 213, they’re £8.75 for the ISA’s and £9.25 for the Blackrock’s.

The Best day of the year

What was becoming more apparent by the minute was that this Saturday was not the same Saturday that was talked about by the BBC and XC Weather yesterday. The Easter Saturday that they were banging on about was going to be grey and damp in Scotland, well it was far from it and I was rapidly beginning to regret today’s ‘to do list’. Having consulted the forecast yesterday and being informed that it was going to be damp, I chose to go to the village today.

Eggs needed delivered to the shop, coal collected from the pier and a barrel filled with kerosene from a mates tank at Oscaig. Sure it had to be done anyway but I’d have done it yesterday evening had I known what a ‘peach of a day’ it was going to be. Still, I did manage a few hours work on the new hen run and shed before leaving around 10:30.


The day was improving by the minute,


and the two wee dogs were soaking up the morning sun on the lawn as I tried in vain to leave unnoticed. There was no way Molly was going to be left behind but I did manage to dissuade Charlie.



That’s the old road to Arnish made clear by the pigs digging away at the bracken that has hidden it for twenty five years.


Here is another of those stone hen houses that are dotted all over the place, this one below the aspen trees just before Tarbert.

Whilst it was with great sadness that I tore myself away from the croft it was good to be on  the road and see the island buzzing with tourists and hitchhikers. A whole family of them from The Black Isle that I managed to squeeze into the Old Girl along with their packs and camping gear. For this intrepid mother, father and two young daughters had just done the east coast walk from the ferry to Hallaig then from there to Screapadale, quite a feat over a couple of days with two young girls.


I bade the hitchers goodbye hitched up half a ton of coal deposited yesterday in my trailer and headed for the shop with the eggs and a short shopping list.

Our community store was looking fantastic after its major refurbishment, sadly I was too busy talking to the many customers to take any picture but it really does look smart. With my precious cargo of ‘Arnish Eggs’ delivered I drove to Oscaig and my mates house to purchase a couple of hundred litres of heating oil off him for our stove. Of course I had to pump it by hand out of his tank, so it was after midday by the time I passed this clump of gorse at Holoman.





It was almost 13:00 when I crossed the Brochel/Arnish border and arrived at what I believe is the bit of gorse at the north end of Raasay.


I could be wrong, as it’s several years since I’ve walked north of Torran but this small clump is the only one I know of. it appeared a couple of years ago and is doing really well. Sure it’s a pest and can quickly make swathes of hill ungrazeable  but I do love its splash of bright yellow at the dullest times of year.



The NLB’s Pole Star was out and about servicing navigation buoys, you can see two on her deck,


here she is just below the Storr.

Raspberry supports

As soon as I was back home it was ‘into the wacky shorts’ and out in the garden, the day was the hottest of the year and my first in sandals and shorts.


There was a whole heap more of stuff and I didn’t get in until after 20:00 but it’s past 21:30 and I can’t keep my eyes open, so I’ll just leave you with these from the MV Hallaig at Mallaig (but not for much longer Smile ).

photo 2 (1)


photo 4 (1)


The Coruisk returns having left the Clyde at 4:00am this morning after major repairs to her bow visor. The MV Hallaig has been covering for three weeks, and whilst she’s plenty of capacity for the Raasay/Sconser route, she’s sorely stretched on the Mallaig/Armadale.

photo 1 photo 3 photo 4

I think the crew have had a busy old time of it with plenty of sailings with her full complement of 23 cars

photo 2

look at that THREE crew on the car deck, that doesn’t happen often on Raasay.

I’m sure the commuters on the Mallaig/Armadale route will be just as glad to get Coruisk back as we will to have Hallaig home, I’m just glad that I missed Easter in Mallaig Smile

And just before I turn in at 22:00


IMG_1845 Glamaig skye

another cracker from Gary of Scotavia , just a pity it was Loch Linnhe and not Hallaig in the shot as he passed by on Friday.


  1. Morning, Paul

    That’s an interesting point about where the gorse stops. Hadn’t noticed that before but I’ve just looked at a series of photos I took in 2012 from Torran to the end of the island and there’s no gorse to be seen. Must be something to do with the change in the underlying rocks and what nurtures what vegetation. Loads of heather, though!

    The house and the hen shed are looking good – hop the hens appreciate it all.



    Comment by Sue — April 20, 2014 @ 8:08 am

  2. Paul,

    Cracking picture of the two dogs enjoying the sunshine. Happy Easter.
    As we came through Portree yesterday morning Pole Star was moored up next to one of the navigation buoys at the entrance to the harbour. I see that the Hallaig is not yet back, hopefully in time for your return that is unless they move her permanently to the Armadale/Mallaig route? ? ?

    Having issues sending em’s but will drop you a line when back south.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — April 20, 2014 @ 9:40 am

  3. Hen house looking good, hope the chucks enjoy.

    Comment by Andrew — April 20, 2014 @ 12:43 pm

  4. Well the place is looking swanky, what with a BBQ deck on the henhouse and what looks like a Wimbledon tennis court for the henwife😄. I was told gorse was an invader from Spain, perhaps it only recently caught the ferry to Rasaay?

    Comment by drgeo — April 20, 2014 @ 8:27 pm

  5. Hi Paul,

    Love the smell of gorse this time of year, for me it signals the return of summer and better weather 🙂 For some odd reason it also reminds me of when I lived in the Caribbean…

    I managed to get some cracking pics of the Hallaig as she passed Kyleakin on her way home but sadly due to my estranged (or should that just be strange…? ) wife disabling the Internet connection I can’t upload them to AIS. Hopefully I’ll get them up by the end of the week.


    Comment by Rich — April 20, 2014 @ 11:33 pm

  6. Hen hoose looking great! Where did you get the roofing sheets, as we are in Glen Moriston and they seem to be impossible to source?

    Comment by Jane — April 21, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

    • Hi Jane, we got the sheets from Harbro in Portree but they weren’t cheap, they seemed reasonable when I got a quote but they’re only 2′ cover and not the usual 2’6″ or even 3′ cover.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 21, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

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