Life at the end of the road

October 24, 2015

Birkenhead bound!!

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Range Rover, shed/house, stonework, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:27 pm

Over a month now since I’ve actually posted anything other than the odd comment but that’s about to change. Tis’ 17:00 now on a Friday afternoon and the good ship Hallaig has just departed Raasay leaving the MV Loch Linnhe to cover.


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She arrived on Wednesday night right enough but only ‘picked up the route’ this morning. Weather and a lack of suitable berths at ports to the south of here having kept us in port. However, that’s us well and truly on our way to dry dock, at Cammell Laird in Birkenhead!!!!! Well, it’ll make in interesting change from the Clyde that’s for sure Smile 

Slow progress

The reason, or at least the main reason for lack of input has of course been the house and the long hours that it’s demanded from both the wife and I. The fact my dear mum took a fall and broke her hip also ensured that I’d far more on my mind and in my schedule than usual. However a marvellous health care system, friends and neighbours that were ‘the salt of the earth’ and a month in NHS Scotland hospitals have set her well on the way to a full recovery.

We have also lost two dear friends from Raasay in the space of two weeks and that too has taken its toll emotionally, it’s been a ‘helluva’ month!

There has been some progress on the bespoke oak kitchen right enough, and with that we’re well pleased.


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The stonework on the gable is also finished and the old railway sleepers are now in position.


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They took a bit of getting up there right enough and Lachie did it on his own, my only input being to sort out which was the right way around Smile


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The blocks around the ingoes need rendering but to say that we’re ‘chuffed’ with the result would be something of an understement. Norman Shanks who did the stone work is something of an expert to say the least.

Here’s another house he’s working on on the mainland.

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This newbuild on the mainland was designed by Ben Wear who did our airtightness test and also helped with the site survey at Sonas some years ago. It’s just so refreshing to see that some people still prefer quality over quantity, for what this relitively small house has cost in masonary work you could have built a dweling twice the size, but just look at that stonework, it’s a masterpiece, no wonder the CEO of Lego is after Norm Smile I only wish we’d had enough dosh to get a few more walls done in natural stone.


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And what a view the owner will have, not as good as our right enough, but pretty cool Smile

Funny how things turn out

I’ve lost track of the days but just came accross this pic from a few weeks ago, which just goes to show that things are never quite so straight forward here on Raasay.

Arriving on our good ship one early morn to find a total ‘blackout’ caused by a power cut I proudly ‘pats myself on the back’ when I ‘recovered’ from it and got Hallaig ready to sail on time at 7:55 only to be greeted by a tremendous vibration once the drives were started. It was very obviously something wrapped around the Voith Schnieder propellor unit and we were going nowhere Sad smile Fortunately we managed to clear the obstruction and only missed a coule of sailings, and luckily a team of divers were on hand to check for damage . Turned out it was my good friend and one time boss Euan, who now works for ‘Wester Ross Diving’ and arrived with a team of suitably whiffy compatriots.

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“How I hate the smell of dead salmon in the morning” Smile


After a mounatain of paperwork they sorted us out and we all left very happy.

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This chap didnae right enough but the hunter that shot him was as ‘pleased as punch’, Raasay is overun with them and precious few trees get chance to grow and thrive thanks to their inscesant munching of saplings. Just a few months ago some thirteen stags were seen on the small tidal island of Fladda off Raasay’s north western shore.

I’m sure he’ll be burgers in the local shop by now and will have contributed greatly to the local economy.

Incredibly dry

One thing for sure, the weather has gone seriously ‘tits up’, after the wettest ond most miserable summer on record we’re now confronted with the driest autumn I can remember!!! So much so that our hydro turbines have produced ‘didly squat’ and the leaves are still on the trees.

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How bizarre

As if all this ‘strangeness’ wasn’t enough, one Sunday I’m minding my own business in the caravan when the dug starts barking like a ‘pure no righty’


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and I looks out the window to find this on the drive, a 1970 Range Rover with an Inverness reg and chassis number 295!!! Turns out to be a rather interesting Dude on a charity mission in a 45 year old 2 door Rangie!!!!

Seriously, you just ‘can’t keep this man down’ Smile


Land Rover dealer Hunters of Norwich boss, Adrian Brooks stands by the newest model of Range Rover and shakes the hand of Richard Steven who stands by his 1970 RR "Pearl",one of the earliest ever built,at the start of his circumnavigation of mainland Great Britain commemorating 45 years of RR

Applogies Richard if we weren’t more welcoming, and sorry for not feeding you after the dogs ate your lunch but we’d ‘an awful lot going on’.

The weather really has been amazing

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So, that’ll be the obligitary ‘disabled ramp’ being expertly installed by Lachie



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and the ‘soakaway’ for the septic tank.

Oban Saturday night

Anyway, that’s us firmly tied to the ‘Lighthouse Pier’ in Oban tonight Smile



  1. Hi Paul.
    Sorry to hear about your mother, hope she’s up and about as soon as possible.
    Great to see your still giving it all you’ve got. What a change to your weather locally, quite obviously someone’s been doing the opposit to the rain dance.
    When do you expect to arrive at Birkenhead and will you be working by on the ship? If you are the sales are excellent in Liverpool and you have the Cheshire Oaks outlet Village at Ellesmereport just a few miles from Cammel Lairds. If you are staying with the ship, would like to meet up and give you a bit of local hospitality.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 24, 2015 @ 10:07 pm

  2. sorry about your mother. I have just broken my arm so know a little of what she is going through.

    Comment by Eileen — October 25, 2015 @ 8:02 am

  3. so sorry to hearabout your mother but glad to know she is on the mend

    Comment by Nigel Macleod — October 25, 2015 @ 9:50 am

  4. You have just reminded me of the smell of rotting salmon. I render being given the task of doing a body count on 2 tubs of mots which had been sat on the deck of one of Highland marines barges in Kishorn for a month. It was more of a case of counting skeletons in a bright pink soup.

    If you have time in the one eyed city checkout the u boat museum, really worth while. And of course no trip to the mersey would be complete without a ferry cross the mersey though you will be arriving in your own.

    Comment by artimaginguk — October 25, 2015 @ 10:18 am

  5. Hi Paul
    Yes sorry to hear about your mum and hope she gets better soon and sorry to hear of your losses on the isle, we have just lost a dear friend and neighbour. Stan

    Comment by Stan — October 25, 2015 @ 11:10 am

  6. Mrs Camilli, I hear Italian red wine is good for making hips feel good as new!
    I’m glad you didn’t get more custom stonework walls, Paul, it will be a big enough job to colour each with a different crayon while you are away over Halloween!

    Comment by drgeo111 — October 26, 2015 @ 6:56 pm


    Hi Paul, If this link works correctly, I see that you and Hallaig are in Campbeltown tonight?

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 26, 2015 @ 7:50 pm

  8. Also now see that a great set of Hallaig photos available by the same link. Can follow individual ships anywhere in the world – fascinating!

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 26, 2015 @ 7:56 pm

  9. Now on the way to Douglas, IoM. Make sure to try a dish of Manx Queens (scallops) if you go ashore. Island hopping to Birkenhead. Bon voyage!

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 27, 2015 @ 11:17 am

  10. Nearly there, but destination showing as Liverpool???

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 28, 2015 @ 6:04 pm

  11. Aha – you have arrived safe in Birkenhead! Website shows Hallaig destination as Liverpool, but presumably that must include both sides of the Mersey? Gerry Marsden and his Pacemakers will be very pleased – it would save them their 1964 ferry fares!

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 29, 2015 @ 6:37 am

    • Good link. Thanks.

      If you zoom in more, it shows the Hallaig’s track going into B’head.

      Comment by San — October 29, 2015 @ 9:49 am

  12. If the link is as accurate as I think, Hallaig is now in dry dock alongside MV Lord of the Isles, another Calmac vessel

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 29, 2015 @ 5:57 pm

  13. Hi Paul great to see see your fully moored, how long are you here for ,if you’d like to be given a tour round the area any time whilst your here, just give us a call on 07590434861. I do get a bit of free time.
    Walter ( Polite Scouser)

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 31, 2015 @ 4:17 pm

    • Be in touch later today Walter.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 1, 2015 @ 7:29 am

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