Life at the end of the road

August 7, 2017

Mud glorious mud :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 3:23 am

Thursday morning did not start well, the ‘shepherds delight’ sky of the previous evening giving way to this grey and dreich offering.


The ‘Misty Isle’ really was just that and you could barely see it from home. Not a breath of wind, damp and midge infested, we could not wait to head east.


Liberally covered in ‘Smidge’ to repel the ‘wee devils’ we loaded up the ‘Old Girl’, departed Arnish just after 11:00 and caught the 12:15 to Skye.

Once on Skye we gave Broadford a miss insomuch as we passed straight though it without stopping, or at least trying to park or get fuel. Just as well, it was friggin’ chaos. The petrol station was rammed to the gills, folk driving in and out the wrong entrances, cars queuing two abreast at the entrance and exit, both backed up onto the main road and causing mayhem.

Last year we made the fatal mistake of stopping and it was pretty pointless, all the cash machines were empty and the shelves bare. I ended up going through the till three time to get cash back from the checkout. Having learned our lesson we were already full of fuel this year and called at Balmacara Stores for some last minute essentials. 


Parking right by all these scallop shells in bags, methinks it is a clever way of cleaning the shells after they have been shucked. I do the same myself only I just dump them on the beach and go back a few days later to collect them after the crabs have picked them clean. I guess this way saves time and does not leave you open to regulations regarding the ‘dumping of industrial waste. I kid you not, I used to sell to a buyer in Sallachy who got in trouble for just that. I sold her the scallops whole, she shucked them and sold them to high class London Restaurants including that French Dude . At least I thought he was French looks like he’s from Leeds Smile Aye, ‘back in the day’ I’ve supplied scallops to Nick Nairn, Hugh Fearnley – Whittingstall and a few others who’s names two large vodka and oranges for breakfast prevents me from remembering Sad smile

Disco rules

Anyway, after a relatively sane drive through to Bella we dropped off our teenager


parked up in what looked like a potential bog and started trying to assemble our awning on the caravan with the help of some German instructions and a TV engineer called Gregor from Glasgow.


Cheers Gregor, don’t think we could have done it without you Smile Wish I’d brought coloured insulation tape to make this easier the next time Smile

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That done it was a healthy dose of crisps, Captain Morgan rum then off to the action in the arena.

Here we saw an amazing band in the Black Isle Brewery Tent called Heron Valley,

sadly I don’t seem to be able to upload the SD card images onto this new laptop Sad smile

After that it was a risotto from one of the many festival vendors and spell back in the caravan bashing Captain Morgan. With Wifey lost in an eBook from Terry Pratchett I headed off down to the main stage to see Sister Sledge . Now I gotta say that apart from Donna Summer’s iconic ‘I feel love’ I’ve never really been into this ‘disco’ stuff. The amazing performance of a couple of ladies from Philadelphia last night night converted me and after a headlining spell of Amazing Grace and We Are Family I was a fan Smile 


Friday had me lying in bed listening to the pishing rain battering down on the caravan.


Still, it give me chance to get my nails painted Smile


It really isn’t a ‘festie’ until you are pure wrecked and have purple nails Smile

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Still, we were well prepared with wellies, CalMac issue oilskins, cowboy hat, glitter and a silly smile Smile

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So off we trudged though the mud to the ‘Hot House Tent’ and a band that took me right back to the Hollins Secondary school in Accrington. The one and only Atomic Rooster,

Atomic Rooster The Essential Atomic Rooster album cover

of course they don’t look like that any more.


still setting the stage alight after 45 years Smile

Many thanks to Basil for that. Once more I have camera problems Sad smile

Of course we were expecting that, the ‘old ones are often the best’. What we weren’t prepared for was a couple of acts down on the main stage. The Glasgow based Bhangra, Dub, Punjabi, Hip Hop, rockers Tigerstyle

who were only slightly  outclassed a little later on by those icons of Dub, the Dub Pistols. Looks like at least one of them was on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ but we’’ not hold that against him. The headliners, the awesome Chrissie Hynde and her Pretenders finishing off action on the main stage for the night. This gave us a chance to catch the last half hour of Twin Atlantic who were headlining the Hot House Tent. Now these dudes really did put on a great set for the rammed tent and the huge crowd outside. However that wasn’t it for darling wife and I, fuelled with energy and alcohol we rounded off the night at The Temple of Dub to some awesome Reggae Smile 


A far better day but still quite wet at times but eventually I donned my CalMac ‘one piece’ and we headed to the arena.

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The rain had done little in the way of dampening spirits, in fact the caravan area was by far the worst as far as the ‘brown stuff’ was concerned. By all accounts it was much better on the camp site and not bad at all in the arena.

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And yes, there were men in kilts, this mad bunch for one Smile 

Long time Belladrum favourites the Dangleberries Though that’s not an actual video of the day, that one one have been quite wet Smile

There were a couple of ‘must see’ acts on quite early in the ‘Hothouse’ tent, The Lewis hard rock five piece Broken Ravens for one

From an island with a tradition of interstellar pipers, accordionists, fiddle and clarsach artists these chaps were a surprise. The video does not do them justice, Belladrum’s ‘sound man’ at the Hothouse stage really did them proud. Me, I just kept thinking of which of them were crofters, fishermen or clam divers in their ‘day jobs’ Smile It was a far cry from a Sunday afternoon service at the Back Free Church Smile

Just as moving in my book but I guess the ‘elders’ wouldn’t see it that way Smile

The Lewis ‘hard-core’ rockers were closely followed by another bunch of ‘mentalists’ and Bella ‘faves’, Root System who we first saw here many years ago. Since then they have appeared on TV and at many other festivals we’ve attended.

Methinks that after that we had another awesome meal from and headed back to the caravan.


I gotta say that the only reason I started eating at ‘Johnny Baghdad’s’ was cos there was rarely a queue, being half Italian I don’t have that inherent British love of queuing. I dunno what it is, but the Brits just love queuing, this I first noticed back in the eighties when I lived on Scalpay.

Where I stayed on this relatively remote spot was directly opposite a large parking spot on Skye visible though binoculars. Now this ‘lay by’ could be empty for hours, nay days, but as soon as one vehicle stopped in it, it would fill up within minutes!!!!  Well, Johnny Baghdad’s trailer is inevitably sandwiched between a ‘Happy Haddock’ and Mexican. The chip van is usually rammed and the Mexican busy but the healthy Iraqi offering in the middle pretty quiet, so we inevitably go there. Now I love ‘fish ‘n’ chips’ as much as the next man but fer fecks sake you can get a ‘fish supper’ from Torbay to Thurso so why not be a little more adventurous Smile


So, we hauled off one of Johnny’s ‘Meza Platters’ to the caravan and fell asleep. Pure ‘lightweights’ the pair of us Smile

It just got better

By the time we awoke the rain had stopped and some wee sparkles of sunshine had made a fine job of drying out the ground. The ‘one piece’ was abandoned, the wellies folded down into the ‘summer position’ and we headed back to the ‘Hothouse’ and Milburn . Truth be known, had it not been for Wifey I would never have gone to see a band with such a dull name. Well, what a mistake that would have been, these Sheffield rockers were amazing and far better than there followers the Arctic Monkeys.

The lads from ‘Steel Town’ were followed by another amazing act, the ‘Young Fathers’

By now it was after 22:00 and time to stop drinking, so after giving all my beer tokens away and listening to a rather disappointing set by MacFloyd at the ‘Grassroots’ tent we headed for the ‘Temple of Dub’ and then the ‘Mother’s Ruin’ dance arena. Now I have no idea who was DJ at the time at ‘Mother’s Ruin ‘but he mixed ‘Wish you were here’ by Pink Floyd and ‘I feel love’ by Donna Summer perfectly into his banging set. By 1:00 AM we was pure shattered and headed back to the caravan sober and tired.

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