Life at the end of the road

September 4, 2017

Off to uni :-)

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:36 am

Well, that’s the end of a manic weekend and back to the calm of the kitchen table, the grey mist shrouding the Storr and more pishing rain. Our son deposited at Heriot Watt university and just the wife, dug and myself for company. Sure it’ll be nice not tripping over his size 10 riggers boots at the door, the food bills will plummet and the thermal store temperature remain more stable Smile When I go for a shower the temperature at the top of the 1500lt TS drops by a mere 2 degrees Celsius, my son can drop it by 10 degrees during his endless watering in the bathroom Smile Gonna really miss him around the croft right enough and most of my serious diving projects will now be on hold until he or A N Other returns. But that is it, another chapter in ‘the book of life’ begins, on Saturday we drove him down to Edinburgh for the start of ‘fresher’s week’.


He checked in at reception,


let us help him carry his stuff into the hall and that was about it really, he couldn’t wait to see the back of us Smile


We did stay overnight right enough, in a lovely room on campus, which with a double king size bed and all the ‘mod cons’ was better than most hotels I’ve stayed in. After a good  night’s sleep we killed time until the 9:00am breakfast by walking around the immense and well kept grounds.

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The university in on the site of what was once a large stately home and it’s estate.

Riccarton Estate

The earliest recorded reference to Riccarton or Richardstoun is from 1315 when King Robert the Bruce bestowed the land as a dowry on his daughter Marjory. In 1480 the Wardlaw family held the lands and by 1508 they had been leased to the Hepburn family. Lawyer Sir Thomas Craig bought the estate in 1605 and throughout the 17th century added much of the surrounding lands including Hermiston.

The beautiful landscaped parkland was first developed in the late 18th century by Thomas Craig  who enclosed much of the land, and then by Sir James and Sir William Gibson-Craig. Both were avid collectors of plants and introduced the "sunken" part of the lawn which was a curling pond. The house was extended in the 1820s to create an elegant mansion. Sadly, two sons then died in the Boer and First World Wars and the title and lands were split, the estate passing through the female line to the Sudlow family. The house was commandeered by the Army in 1939, becoming the headquarters for the liberation of Norway and after the war a resettlement camp for ex-Prisoners of War and from 1947 to 1954 the headquarters for the Royal Artillery’s 3rd Anti Aircraft Group. The house by this point was in quite state of disrepair and was demolished in 1956.

Midlothian County Council acquired and gifted the estate to the University in 1969. Although the house has now gone, many original buildings remain such as the lodges, Gardner’s Cottage and Hermiston House.

The grounds are full of wildlife

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with just a few clues as to its past life like the old ice house above.

After breakfast we headed home and caught a busy 17:00 ferry back to Raasay, your truly did try to post last night but was in his bed just after 20:00. I just can’t cope with all the stress of modern life these days Smile

Where would you be without a digger

The day before heading sowf was spent spreading 20mm ‘chuckies’ at the front of the house, though first we called in to see me Mam. It would be the last chance in a while that my son would be seeing her and we’d not have time on Saturday.

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I just love quarries and always have Smile spent much of my yoof exploring them in the Lake District and Wales, latterly diving in many flooded ones. So I’m always happy visiting the one at Sconser, sad or what Smile

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Now the last time I spread these 20mm chips around the house I dumped them round the back and barrowed them round the front. It’s no wonder I’ve a bad back, well those days are long gone, this time I used Calum the Kubota Smile


Much easier Smile



  1. Oh wow I want to go to that Uni! What will your son be studying?

    Comment by Alison Hall — September 4, 2017 @ 6:43 am

    • Hi Alison,

      Oh wow I want to go to that Uni! yes me too 🙂 He’s doing mechanical engineering, gonna teach his dad a thing or two when he gets back I hope.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 4, 2017 @ 6:59 am

  2. A new page in the book of life, HW have a very active dive club as well though he will have to be ” trained ” You house is looking amazing btw !!

    Comment by v8mbo — September 4, 2017 @ 7:04 am

  3. Hi Paul

    Doesn’t seem long since your lad was starting at the high school and all that wrangling about getting a hostel place – hope he enjoys his time at HW and does all the things that students should (as well as study).



    Comment by Sue — September 4, 2017 @ 7:39 am

  4. Bloody hell, Paul where does the time go I can remember when you and yours was packing him off to Portree for the week. Now it’s going to be a whole term, how long is he there for?

    Comment by Stan — September 4, 2017 @ 7:41 am

  5. I, too, am wondering where the time has gone since your son started secondary school, and the difficulty of getting a place in the hostel.

    I wish him all the best at university. At least he has chosen a subject that will hopefully give him plenty of employment opportunities once he graduates unlike some.

    Comment by number32 — September 4, 2017 @ 8:52 am

  6. HW has gone up in the world since the days I worked in the Pharmacy Dept down in the Grassmarket, my office overlooked the Greyfriars graveyard

    Comment by cazinatutu — September 4, 2017 @ 9:28 am

  7. Even my kids cannot believe how fast time has gone by for their school years.Eldest starts at Liverpool university shortly and youngest begins A levels tomorrow.Only seems like a moment ago they were at Raasay primary.Hope all goes well.

    Comment by Andy — September 4, 2017 @ 10:14 pm

  8. I remember when Riccarton was fields and woods, tell him to look in the engineering bit of Chamber St museum to see a model of your ferry. Bye the way may interest people in West of Scotland

    Comment by ron — September 5, 2017 @ 11:08 am

  9. Off to the university! I expect that as we speak Ross is spinning the propeller on his freshman beanie, trying to gain greater rpms! Seems like only a week ago he came in second in the digger contest at Rasaay primary’s fair. When do you suppose he will change his major to poetry? Maybe senior year. Or maybe he will ask you for a small loan so he can open his new philosophy store on Mull? Ah, the excitement and adventure of college. Back slaps and grins for Ross!

    Comment by drgeo111 — September 12, 2017 @ 8:28 pm

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