Life at the end of the road

January 29, 2018

It’s just not the same :-(

Looks like our Internet problem isn’t as simple as was first thought. Initially diagnosed as a router problem at Glenelg, it now seems that the Applecross mast blew down as well. No surprise really, for when it did go of on Wednesday morning I was convinced it was our mast that had blown down. The Internet disappeared just as I was about to look for a cotechino recipe prior to doing my VAT and tax return. The cotechino I improvised with and instead of having the traditional lentils I made butter beans and harissa to accompany it. The VAT return is done but with only 3 days to go until my tax deadline I’ve still not done me ‘Self Assessment’ form, tis a little difficult doing an ‘online return’ without the Internet Sad smile That’s not to say I have not tried, I went to my neighbour who has a satellite link and used his, trouble is I seem to have downloaded the wrong form, no surprise there then Smile

So that’s the reason I’ve no been blogging recently, sure I can write ‘off line’, like I am now whilst ‘ripping’ Dire Straits album Love Over Gold but it’s just not the same. I cannae check out facts, post links or put the video of ‘Telegraph Road’ (the first and best track) on here. Don’t have many regrets in life right enough but not seeing Dire Straits live is one of them Smile

Just down the road

The storm that destroyed my Internet also stopped the ferry on Wednesday so I never got to see me Mammy until Thursday, which wasn’t so bad cos I met John Hearach who had just put a headstone on me Pop’s grave just down the road. So Molly and I went to check it out.

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That’s me Mum’s wedding picture, at 16 aint they a beautiful couple and from his resting place you can see the Five Sisters he was so in love with.


OK, not quite all of them Smile Still, it is a beautiful spot.

Back to work

It was whilst awaiting the 16:15 ferry after returning from me Mum’s that I was asked to work a couple of days so that’ll be another reason for me not spending much time on here. By Saturday afternoon however I was ‘free’ once more so took up the offer of a tour round the new Raasay distillery by its newest employee Smile

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I was most impressed, especially by the stone work.

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Even on a shitty day like Saturday the views were amazing.

After that I went to collect a scaffolding tower that needed taking over to Torran.


That I unloaded at ‘the end of the road’ and then set about fixing the exhaust on the Subaru.

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And what an epic that turned into!! Reluctant to spend £300 plus on a Subaru one I got a Polish one from Germany for around £85 delivered. Some UK companies wanted almost that for delivery. Turned out to be a bad move cos it was too small a diameter and a couple of inches too short. However with a little ingenuity, lots of silicon sealer and a welder I had it sorted by this morning.

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I then turned my attention to hauling the scaffolding the last and most perilous bit to Torran on the quad.

Yamaha 350 Bruin starter brushes

The trusty Yamaha starter packed in but I’d been expecting that for four months when I last bodged it up by grinding the brush holders. Fortunately as soon as I’d ‘fixed it’ last year I ordered a new set, so really my bodge had done well to last four months or so.

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Fitting the new brushes is pretty straight forward and at around £20 off eBlag they’re better than a new starter or genuine set. They are also the same brushes as most Honda quads too. The hardest job on the Yam is getting the starter, out as the seat, top cowling and fuel tank need lifting off, though you can get away with just loosening the rear fuel tank bolts, lifting it up at the rear and propping it with a piece of wood or something.

The Old Girl

Next on the agenda was some major fettling on my 31 year old ‘daily driver’, which has done some quarter of a million miles now that I know of Smile Well the last month or so there’s been a whiff of anti freeze in the cab. Lately this has started to turn to steam and she’s using water, a sure sign of a leaky heater matrix.


That’s it behind the washer bottle and whilst you don’t need to remove the manifolds normally, I was also going to replace the starter and for that you do. Or at least it makes life much easier. Like the quad starter motor, I’d bodged this one up last year, unlike the quad I am going to fit a new one. This is far too messy a job to be doing every few months.

I guess you could remove by attacking it from the front by taking off the power steering pump and perhaps the nearside engine mounting but these days I prefer to work upright so I took off both the manifolds. The inlet is pretty straight forward but the exhaust is a bit of a pain as it’s jammed in with the turbo and cylinder head studs. It would be easier to do by removing the studs in the head but they were seized in so I had to loosen the turbo stay that fastens to the cylinder block in order to lever the manifold out. I can see that being great fun when I replace it! 

Anyway, that’s it for now, it’s almost 8:00am, I’m gonna feed the wild birds and head off to see me Mum, so I’ll get this posted on the way. So I’ll just leave you with a few images I took whilst working on Friday and Saturday.


The world’s best clam diving outfit, old Sarah may look a bit tatty but this 23’ Wilson Flyer lifts more scallops in a day than I could in a week.

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The Braes fish farm ready for a new batch of smolts.


Looking east toward the mainland, Scalpay, Crowlin, the Applecross peninsula and beyond.


  1. I love the pictures of your Pop’s headstone Paul, that wedding picture is wonderful. It’s also nice to see Molly out and about, hope she’s improving with all the rest she’s been getting 🙂

    Comment by Tigger — January 29, 2018 @ 12:54 pm

    • Thanks Tigger, and yes Molly is doing just fine, looking really trim in fact on her diet.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2018 @ 9:41 am

  2. Ah – I wondered whether the former post-lady’s job was at the distillery. Hope she enjoys it. Great views without having to experience the weather.



    Comment by Sue — January 29, 2018 @ 1:06 pm

  3. I was lucky enough to see Dire Straits, all the way back in 1977 when they were starting out. They played my home town, Swindon but – get this – were playing support to the might Talking Heads. I’ll always remember the date becuase TH first album cover was all over the place and it was called simply “77” and I “borrowed” one. Just to remind me to buy the album you understand.

    I’d heard “Sultans of Swing” way before it was a hit – probably on John Peel or some other slight “underground” radio show.

    Comment by Andy Poulton — January 29, 2018 @ 5:37 pm

    • Aye Andy,

      my cousin saw them at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester in the early 80’s and got invited back to the tour bus 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2018 @ 9:39 am

  4. Hi PAUL once again a superb blog.
    But I didn’t realise you’d started an Arab dating site.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — January 29, 2018 @ 10:47 pm

    • Me neither Walter 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 30, 2018 @ 9:40 am

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