Life at the end of the road

August 27, 2014

Herbal tea tonight :-)

Filed under: daily doings, How I, reading, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:04 pm

Just after nine fifteen in the evening and it’s almost dark a red glow to the north west throwing out the vestiges of the day’s brilliant sunshine. Tomorrow should arrive with some rain to test out the new guttering I fitted to the solar powered hen shed. It’s also the day that the ‘Old Girl’ is booked in for her annual MOT, something she’s been without since July. Fortunately it’s not required on Raasay and you can even tax you car here without one, so long as you don’t leave the island in it that is.

One thing for sure, there’ll be no scrumpy passing my lips for a while, apparently I fell asleep at the computer last night and was snoring like a pig with an empty glass in my hand. The wife put me to bed downstairs then was awakened by the sound of me calling for Huey, from the bathroom. Luckily he never arrived and I managed to get to sleep without the grim taste of recycled Beef risotto in my mouth.

Surprisingly for such a ‘session’ I awoke to a beautiful morn with nothing more than a mild headache and no memory of the previous evening. You can always tell quality drink my the nature of the hangover Smile Anyway, filled with horror I hastily turned on my laptop to check out what pish, if any that I’d written the night before amazingly enough it did not look like it had been written by the gibbering wreck that I must have been. A quality vintage scrumpy indeed was my Norfolk tipple!

I must have figured it was going downhill rapidly as a closed down early, missing many of the pictures I intended to post, so here they are today.


Our new home for a little while at least, the Old Schoolhouse at Torran, a place steeped in history with more than its share of eccentric occupants. One who purported to be of Libyan royal blood, one axe wielding fruitcake that the police hauled away and of course ‘Steve the Buddhist’ or ‘Cosmic Steve’ as he was sometimes known. It was also where Calum himself lived for a while and the place where the ‘Napier Commission’ met on Raasay in May 1883 Next to the school on the left is the Old Mission House that gets more than a passing mention in John Nicolson’s excellent book ‘ I remember’



John was born there and gives a fantastic insight to a hard life, not that long ago. He is after all only 33 years older than myself but life at the ‘north end’ then was akin to life ‘down sowf’ a hundred or more years ago. I thought it was a great read but it didn’t go down that well with the kirk and some of the relatives Smile


A miniature egg came as a bit of a surprise as I collected them from the nesting boxes,




well most of them came from the nesting boxes, some of the hens preferred laying ‘al fresco’ due to the weather I guess.


I know, I know, it’s just a couple of sheep but these two rascals are a long way from home and in great fettle, no doubt due to all the good grass and heather on our lightly grazed hill. They’ve been visiting me regularly the last couple of days.


After the wobbly start to the day it was a visit to the quacks for more drugs to add to my cocktail, I’ve now got codeine to add to the list and hopefully replace the tramadol.


The ‘beetleman’ who arrived on Saturday accompanying us as far as the shop so he could stock up on supplies. I dunno what it is about the north end of Raasay that attracts people who can’t drive. Eleven miles down a single track road and the vast majority of it’s inhabitants can’t drive!!! When I first viewed the property in 1989 the chap who saw it before me had a family of four and couldn’t drive!! Now bear in mind that at that time the nearest living soul was seven miles away and there was no phone or prospect of getting one. Imagine the lunacy of that bringing your wife and kids from a town in Wales to the middle of nowhere and not having a car!! How on earth was he going to educate the kids? This part of Raasay is definitely a ‘fruitcake magnet’, I’ve said it all along, I mean, why else would I be here Smile

037 039

Two old tree stumps on the croft, probably scots pine from the last ice age, or at least long before Raasay was mostly heather, bog and rock, these were truly magnificent trees at one time.

Anyway, after the sojourn south and wee walk with the dug I gently eased myself into some pottering about the solar powered hen house.


Firstly I fitted some facia boards then with a tight line spread along the boards I marked out a gentle fall for the guttering I was fitting.


This was all done with my tee shirt off wearing shorts!!!!!



And, I have to say, that I’m pretty ‘chuffed’ with the result,


even if it did take me until 20:00


and sundown.



  1. Looking good Paul, Forgive me if this is a stupid question from a non chicken keeping man but will the chickens not lay eggs Under the hen house ( and thus out of reach) if they like laying outside or do you plan to mesh the bottom gap off?

    Comment by v8mbo — August 28, 2014 @ 2:27 am

  2. The schoolhouse, eh? You’ll be rattling around in there but so much better than the caravan. I noticed that it was booked up until March 2015. Good job you have a quad. Will the pigs follow you, do you think?

    Comment by Sue — August 28, 2014 @ 8:08 am

    • Pigs are staying put along with the hens but we’ve just sold Rocky, Jamie and Ellie as it’ll be too much work over the winter.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 30, 2014 @ 8:05 am

  3. How many chicks now Paul? Ours have got peed off moulting, broody, or just stroppy. Eggs down from 20 to 6 a day. Do you have a time frame for the new house yet? Living out of boxes is no fun over winter?

    Comment by Andrew — August 28, 2014 @ 2:54 pm

    • Morning Andrew, 77 up at the new house averaging just over 55 a day and 18 here doing 6 a day, methinks it’s time for chicken soup 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 30, 2014 @ 8:03 am

  4. Paul, I’m bemused about how people manage without some form of motorised transport. You haven’t got any taxis or buses, and although you can subsistence farm and not need that much, surely there comes a time when you need something from the shops. Do they walk? I know they did in years gone by but we’ve all gone a bit soft these days.

    Comment by cazinatutu — August 29, 2014 @ 9:43 am

    • I’m bemused about how people manage without some form of motorised transport.

      I’m amazed too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 30, 2014 @ 8:02 am

  5. A wiry Scot with no shirt and shorts? With all that glare did the solar panels show a marked increase in production?

    Comment by Drgeo — August 29, 2014 @ 12:18 pm

    • Solar panels have made a huge difference Doc.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 30, 2014 @ 8:01 am

  6. Hi Paul,

    I see it is too late to warn you about this batch of Norfolk cider… 😉 I was downed last monday night on Fladda by 2 Pints full strenght of the stuff and found out next day you need to dilute it with 50% water/ice…. Then it is at its best and you are not out for 24 hrs 😉
    Sorry our Norfolk friend could not take our Dutch beer to your house too this time. My advice: knock on door of nr 5 next spring 🙂

    Regards from the Harwich – Hook of Holland ferry,


    Comment by Leonard Fintelman — August 30, 2014 @ 8:24 am

  7. Hi Paul. Have I missed something?…..Is the house sold now at last then, if you are moving into the old schoolhouse?

    Comment by Lloyd — August 30, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

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