Life at the end of the road

February 29, 2016

High tide at Cluanie :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:03 pm

It was forecast to be pretty miserable today and it certainly started that way at Arnish with a good dose of rain power washing the back door. Despite only having one door it will always be the back door I guess, ‘Number 3’ only had one door too but we always referred to it as the ‘front door’. I hadn’t really thought about it until now, but right enough, they do actually face at opposite points of the compass. Anyway, the Russell Timbertech  door we have at Sonas is pure pish and I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone, already it has swollen and after two or three days of yer regular West Coast deluges it starts to pish in water around the glazing. Even before the door was hung I was in a dispute with them about it swelling. Sadly it was over two years old and despite it lying down on its original pallet for two years in my dry shed they insisted that it’s swelling was due to incorrect storage. They kindly offered to fix it for £400, aye right.

I’ve not had many regrets about the new house but buying that door was one of them. I seriously wish we’d bought the £4K Internorm door we looked at but dismissed on cost. I’m sure we could have got a good deal off Mark Dunn of Dunn Homes who supplied and fitted the windows.

Anyway, being Monday it was off to the abattoir for me, school for my son and Glesgie for the wife. Two of the pigs were going for the chop and that was mine and Molly’s task, that and ‘holding the fort’ for a few days whilst the ‘Egg Lady’ is away visiting family.

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Bit slender on the picture front today as I’ve spent most of it driving but this is the Home Loch from the Youth Hostel road. Bit sparse now but in a few years it’ll be lovely and it won’t be half the midge trap it was.

Once the two ‘wee darlings’ had been dropped off at Munro’s I made a pilgrimage to George Cockburn’s butchers on Mill Street.


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There prize winning haggis and black puddings are well worth a try and you can get nice wee ones too.

A ‘mega shop’ at Lidl’s followed  and I then headed for Inverness weighted down with chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, chick peas, muesli, butter beans, Montipuliciano D Abruzo and of course £1.99 bottles of cider. Well I’m all alone with the ‘wee dug’ and on holiday Smile The shop also enabled me to grab breakfast in the form of a couple of sandwiches, four pork pies and two Scotch Eggs. The dug managing to scoff two of the pies whilst my I nipped into Screwfix for some welding rods. I can tell you, ‘I was not best pleased’ to say the least Sad smile

The carp weather of the west had been left behind pretty much as soon as we crossed the Skye bridge around 9:00AM, even the wind socks were limp. However, when returning west, the ‘great divide’ around the Cluanie dam saw the first signs of rain, and judging by the water level it had been raining for most of the winter here.

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I’ve never seen it so high in thirty years, usually, and certainly for as long as I’ve been blogging it’s waaaay lower than that.

Having said that it didn’t start raining proper, that’ll be proper as in real West Coast rain, until Broadford.

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Ten miles further on the waterfall at Drum na Cloiche was a raging torrent, six hour earlier it had been just a trickle!

Once back on Raasay I was stunned to see the first lapwing,

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three swans on the little loch before Brochel who’s name escapes me. I have never ever seen swans there before, and just a little further on three grouse. Sure the grouse are common enough but it’s not often you see three flying together here.

Cheaper than a motorbike or sports car

Having got through my ‘mid life crisis’ some years ago and not purchased a sports car or motorbike I got myself a much cheaper alternative to assert my masculinity as my libido fails Smile The Hatsan Escort semi auto shotgun with a seven round magazine is far more assertive than a Mazda MX5 or Harley Davidson, ‘tis much louder and gives you a ‘bigger bang for your buck’. It does however, just like the former, need maintenance and mine had started to jam. So, with the wife being away I took the opportunity to try out the kitchen table for a spot of gunsmith work.

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The Hatsan uses a ‘blowback system’  to reload the next round by utilizing some of the spent combustion gas energy from the previous round. This however requires a good seal to prevent a loss of pressure and thus a misfire, upon stripping the Turkish wonder I found a dodgy seal that was allowing some of the gas to leak and thus prevent proper ‘cycling’ of the next round. A quick search on the Internet found some on eBay and with a bit of luck they’ll be here before the wife Smile


  1. Also use a pipe cleaner or a suitably small drill bit on the two small holes in the barrel that lead the gases into the chamber which houses the piston with that rubber O ring. The crud from the burning powder tends to clog these up a little, as it does to all semi autos which use gas piston systems. I have found the Escorts work well and are very good value. Do you “roll your own’ i.e. reload shells at home? that is also a good hobby for a mechanically inclined person, to be enjoyed on dark winter evenings….

    Comment by john — March 1, 2016 @ 8:53 am

  2. Paul,

    I have found that it also pays to clean out the gas ports with either a
    pipe cleaner or a suitable drill, as they do crud up with unburnt powder
    after a time.
    My Escorts have been very reliable, but I have three O rings just in
    case…..they came with the Escorts.

    Regards, and thanks for your very interesting site.


    Comment by john smith — March 1, 2016 @ 9:26 am

    • I have indeed Sean and I know the chap selling it, he offered it to me prior to putting it on eBlag. I actually have one spare and another on the way but thanks very much for thinking of me.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 3, 2016 @ 10:27 am

  3. Assume you have put away your provisions by now and are settling down to a nice bowl of muesli smothered in Montipuliciano D Abruzo .

    Comment by drgeo111 — March 5, 2016 @ 4:15 pm

  4. Now that the Dude is a ‘big boy’ does he have to commute to school each day, rather than being in the hostel in Portree?

    Comment by Frances — March 5, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

  5. “Hatsan Escort semi auto shotgun with a seven round magazine”

    Does this need a FAC rather than a shotgun licence?


    Comment by Malcolm — March 6, 2016 @ 9:09 pm

    • Morning Malcolm and welcome,
      aye, anything over three rounds needs an FAC rather than a shotgun certificate but I already had one of those and it seemed daft to spend more money on another certificate.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 7, 2016 @ 6:40 am

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