Life at the end of the road

August 30, 2014

Like sweaty socks :-(

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:47 pm

Almost 22:00 now and it’s most definitely the ‘torch season’, come 21:00 you’re needing one to do anything outside, as I’ve just discovered when I went a looking for my camera. This will be the one I left out in the rain a few days ago and now has no functioning ‘on off’ switch. Never fear I’ve managed to fool it into booting up by pressing the gallery button then the shutter, followed by opening the SD card door to switch it off. I’ve yet to find a camera that is totally ‘Camilli proof’ but the Panasonic’s come pretty close, this Fuji has been repaired 3 times and breaks at the drop of a hat. The Panasonics can be dropped in mud, rained on, sprayed with hydraulic oil and run over by the quad and still carry on functioning.

The subcontractors are here Smile

The old ‘bad back’ has had me working the Dude pretty hard at the weekends doing all the fetching and carrying for his ailing father. This weekend though I was going to have to get the subcontractor to help, as there was just too much to do.


First off, after feeding the hens was to reverse the Land Rover and large trailer into position between the open gateway of a fresh field. I’m going to be working away for a few weeks this winter and be it caravan or the Torran Schoolhouse it’s going to be tough on the wife. Consequently Rocky, Jamie Lee and Ellie are sold, we’ll still have five but they’ll all be gone by Christmas and we can think about a fresh herd in the spring. It’ll be really good to give the land a rest and we’ve bought some sheep that’ll take far less looking after.

The trailer is left hitched up ready to go on Monday and the herd can use it to sleep in until then.


This is far easier than messing about early in the morning trying get three reluctant pigs into an unfamiliar trailer.



By the time Monday comes around it will be their regular home,

014 015

it’ll have to be cos Lightning and the Dude screwed a pallet to their current one Smile

Next to a lesson on how to refit a driveshaft to a Yamaha quad.

016 017

This being kind of essential for the next ‘backbreaking’ task which was to take 600lts of heating oil to the Old Schoolhouse at Torran . This would mean three trips along the track 200lts at a time.


It’s no wonder my back is a mess, I’ve been moving barrels like this on my own for thirty years, well I’m paying for it now!



It was rather busy on the half mile path from the road end to Torran, the spritely nonagenarian Jessie Nicolson still walking the path regularly to her old family home.



Then a traffic jam! three quads, two towing trailers meeting at one of the narrowest sections!! That took a little sorting out I can tell you Smile


A work of art in the woodpile department courtesy of my son , almost as good as Willie Eyre’s at ‘The Cottages’

100412 008

but not quite.

There was more but it’s 22:30 now and I’m just going to drink my valerian tea and go to bed. I dunno why but you can’t seem  to get it in the UK anymore, well you can but it’s invariably been imported from the States or Europe. I’m going to try some to help me sleep, but this lot whiffs of sweaty socks despite tasting quite nice. You could even get it in the Raasay stores at one time but now none of the UK based outlets seem to have it. It’s where the val in Valium (now called Diazepam) comes from and when I’ve had it in the past I’ve had great sleeps and pleasant dreams. Well fingers crossed as we’ve a lot to do tomorrow.


  1. Not sure where it comes from but Holland and Barratt do a valerian tea

    Comment by Irena Krasinska-Lobban — August 30, 2014 @ 11:02 pm

    • Thanks Irena 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  2. Hi Paul

    I have grown valerian and made infusion from the leaves – don’t know how hardy it is: I was living in the soft south in Somerset at the time, but it’s worth looking for.


    Comment by Sue — August 31, 2014 @ 7:44 am

    • On second thoughts (and before anyone says that it’s not the leaves that contain the medicinal stuff, though they worked for me) valerian tea bags are easier and can be bought at no great cost but probably not in the community shop!


      Comment by Sue — August 31, 2014 @ 7:56 am

      • Aye Sue, you could actually get it when Caroline had the shop but the supplier stopped doing them. Same goes for the wholefood shop in Portree and several other outlets. I think even Twinnings used to sell them, then they just seemed to vanish off the market. Didn’t help me sleep last night right enough 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2014 @ 1:14 pm

  3. I just Googled ‘growing Valerian’ and up came a mass of stuff. Maybe you should consider trying to grow your own.

    Comment by Anne Macdonald — August 31, 2014 @ 10:23 am

    • I just Googled ‘growing Valerian’ and up came a mass of stuff. Maybe you should consider trying to grow your own.

      Aye Anne I’ll just get on with it between moving house, building a house dealing with the hens working on the ferry and restoring my Range Rover 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 31, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

      • It’s surely something that the Dude can do between school and north-end chores! And after all he won’t have pigs to help him pass his time so it’ll help to keep him from getting bored. Anne

        Comment by Anne Macdonald — August 31, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

  4. As for helping you sleep, have a wee dram as the nights close in.

    Good to see that in a way you are getting sensible and cutting back just for a short while. Just had my first proper summer holiday in over ten years and feel so much better for doing very little for ten days. I think the very real danger is that we try and cram so much into each day and life becomes like a hamster wheel, the more you do the more you try and do tomorrow and even more the next. You get the picture.
    Trust the back eases somewhat sooner rather than later.


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — August 31, 2014 @ 4:37 pm

  5. I see why you have to get rid of the pigs now, I did wonder how you were going to cope this winter if you moved to torran, it will be a fair commute each morning to work, so obviously no time for pigs. It will be sad to see them go, I have enjoyed there antics over the last few years.

    Comment by Alistair — August 31, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

  6. Ps I find 2 bottles of my 9% homebrew heavy sets me off to sleep. lol

    Comment by Alistair — August 31, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

  7. I think I now have ‘woodpile envy’ 🙂

    Comment by Tigger — September 1, 2014 @ 12:14 pm

    • I think I now have ‘woodpile envy’

      Me too Tigger, wish he’d stack mine as well 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 2, 2014 @ 1:13 pm

  8. Valium is a trademarked name for the drug.
    Diazepam is the generic name for it.
    7-chloro-1,3-dihydro-1-methyl-5-phenyl-2H-1,4-benzodiazepin-2-one is the chemical name.

    If you ask for Valium you should get a drug made by Hoffman La Roche. If you ask for Diazepam you should get the same stuff made by any pharmaceutical company. The last name tells a pharmacologist/chemist the checmical make up of the drug. It looks complex but it’s really a set of instructions on where the different atoms go in the molecule, think of it as like a set of plans for some Meccano.

    The change in the UK came because generic drugs are often cheaper than the same drug with a trademarked name. The NHS changed this in the 90’s when it became compulsory to prescribe generic drugs wherever possible to save money. So the doctor may say Valium, (s)he’ll write Diazepam on the prescription and you’ll get whatever the pharmacy can get cheapest which might actually be marked as Valium.

    It’s just the same as Hoover (a brand name) being used to mean vacuum cleaner. You may hear people say “go and vacuum the lounge” but more likely you’ll hear them say “go and hoover the lounge.”

    Comment by Andy — September 3, 2014 @ 12:48 pm

  9. With retirement on the horizon, maybe a hobby?

    Comment by Ron — September 4, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

  10. Have a look at Real Foods Edinburgh they have Hampstead organic fairtrade valerian tea and loads of other stuff you might use. free delivery over £24 to Skye for most items so you could get stuff sent to us 🙂

    Comment by finniedogCarole and Finnie — September 16, 2014 @ 2:50 pm

  11. That is THE MOST GRAND wood pile I’ve ever seen! It’s gorgeous!

    Comment by — September 21, 2014 @ 8:16 am

  12. We miss you here in Irishtown NB Canada – hope all is well?

    Comment by Linda Evans — October 11, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

  13. I too saw him on the Rona blog, come on Paul we need some more stories down here in the grim North of England.

    Comment by Simon — October 16, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

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