Well that’s the fortnight aboard the good ship Hallaig and I’ve barely looked at the blog, let alone posted. It’s been pretty grim couple of weeks really with the passing away of Ewan Macdonald from Oskaig and Alex Moody of Inverarish. Alex was probably the first person I ever met on Raasay, along with his wife Margret as they held the keys for ‘number 3’ when I came to view it in 1989. Alex and his dog were a bit of an institution on Raasay and it was not that long ago that he stopped helping to unload the shopping and papers for the local shop. He’d be there waiting outside the shop come ‘rain or shine’ in a sports jacket and tie about twenty minutes before the van actually arrived As he was in his eighties he must have still been unloading that van in his seventies. Always a keen motorist Alex took great pride in his cars and was driving well into his seventh decade. I always remember him telling me that he once owned a Ford Corsair that belonged to Mike Avory, the drummer from the The Kinks.
Many is the Corsair that I’ve worked on in my yoof, the rough and oily V4 Essex engine probably amongst the worst that Ford ever made Still, it was a boldly styled and well loved car, especially the 2000E version.
Two weeks ago tomorrow, the day I started work was almost spring like and the visit to my parents house on the mainland turned up a few surprises.
As did my start ‘on shift’ a few hours later,
a fine bottle of red wine had been left for me by the ‘relief motorman’. It certainly wasn’t necessary but the ‘Marquis D Carano Gran Reserva’ 2008 went down a treat with Sunday dinner.
Looking back through my pictures over the last couple of weeks has turned up these.
An errant tup that had been wandering the Arnish hills finally caught and returned south, he’s in fine strip considering the work he’s been doing over the winter.
A proud ‘wee dug’ showing off her new camouflage coat, ‘aye right’, she looks well impressed hey.
A Mark II Ford Escort recently returned from the Snowman Rally, of around 1979 vintage I remember doing PDI’s (pre delivery inspections’ on these when they were new!!!
A Honda quad outside Macgregor Industrial Supplies in Portree, now that really would go anywhere
Once back at work I could admire some of the ‘modifications’ carried out in my absence.
‘A tidy ship is a happy ship’
My first task was repairing a ‘UPS’ (uninterrupted power supply) that was suffering from a loose battery fuse.
Now, I really could do with a couple of these big 160amp fuses an holders in my setup but at a couple of hundred quid each I’ll give it a miss.
In Like a lion
One thing for sure it’s been an eventful spell at sea, with weather like we’ve not seen in years. March certainly has come ‘in like a lion’, lets hope it ‘goes out like a lamb’.
Lachie and Donald made a great start on the plasterboard at our new house
but have been unable to get back due to the weather, which has been exceptional.
Another ‘great fire’
Friday’s depression brought storm force southerlies and saw us missing the afternoon sailings, but it was well forecast and I’d already gotten my son home from school on Thursday night. However, in what almost felt like a rerun of the great Raasay House fire of 2009 https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2009/01/18/raasay-house-is-ablaze/ I received a phone call. Only a few hundred meters away, in storm force southerly winds and torrential rain we had a blaze.
Our neighbours home was an inferno a mere 10 minutes after receiving the call.
Of course the blaze had tripped the power so the alarm had to be raised via mobile phone, not a simple task in an area of poor reception in the middle of a storm.
However, despite that the Raasay volunteer fire brigade were soon on the scene.
It was far too late to save the chalet but they managed to prevent the brand new Peugeot going up in smoke. Also despite the storm Portree lifeboat managed to get get reserves sent over from Skye to help.
My neighbour was lucky to get out alive in his stocking feet with no jacket but their home was ‘raised to the ground’ with the loss of all their possessions.
Two days later I saw the true horror of it,
nothing but cinders, twisted steel, cracked concrete and the remains of a ‘Super Ser’ gas heater.
you can see that going off in the video at around 30 seconds.
Two peoples entire life gone up in smoke in a couple of hours due to an unattended candle
After that Monday’s inclement weather seemed rather inconsequential.
Sure, it was a bad day, my son never got to school and my builder never got to Raasay but ‘in the grand scale of things’ it’s pretty ‘small beer’ really.