Life at the end of the road

March 26, 2018

I almost forgot :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:56 pm

In my haste to tell you all about concrete I forgot about Friday night at the Raasay Distillery.

Raasay Tunes

Live Music at Raasay Distillery

Truth is, it was more a case of I was in a hurry this morning when I posted rather than forgetting. It was far too memorable a night to forget . Friday night’s performance of tunes inspired by and or written about Raasay by Peter Morrison and Seamus MacLennan was of the highest standard extremely well attended.

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Every tune had some connection to Raasay, though some would have been familiar and perhaps known by other names elsewhere in Scotland. However it says something of my adopted home that Peter and Seamus spent the whole evening playing Raasay inspired music from throughout the centuries.

Peter and Seamus are two of Skye’s best known musicians both locally and internationally, through regular traditional music sessions in the Old Inn, Carbost and performing at some of the world’s greatest festivals and venues over the past 25 years with the Peatbog Faeries.
Seumus’s family hails from Raasay and both look forward to a lively night performing their unique ‘Raasay Tunes’ repertoire at the Isle of Raasay Distillery.

The evening is a musical celebration of Raasay with tunes inspired by the people, the place and its history. Peter and Seumas don’t just play the tunes, they set the scene for each with storytelling insight and characteristic Hebridean banter. Set in the Distillery’s Gathering Room with a stunning sunset view across the Raasay Narrows to the Red Cuillin, this is bound to be a magical musical evening.

Two 45 minute sets with a 20 minute break for drinks & eats.

The ‘half time’ grub was pretty good too, ‘stovies’ they call it here ‘tater hash’ where I hail from, anyway, it went down a treat with half a bottle of house Merlot that was very favourably priced.


This morning it was off early to take Leah and Molly for a walk round ‘Number 2 mine’ before catching the 7:55 ferry for Skye.


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This building housed the machinery that pulled the ore carts to the pier and back. Dunno what drove it but it must have been quite some motor or engine to pull all those carts such a long way.


It’s all in Laurence and Pamela Drapers excellent book on the subject but I’ve forgotten Sad smile

After our walk we just about managed to squeeze on the MV Loch Linnhe which we’re stuck with for a couple of days yet.


Hopefully we’ll have Hallaig’s 23 car sister the Lochinvar before Good Friday I believe she’ll be on her way from Arran tomorrow Smile


Me, I was off to Jewson’s  in Broadford for concrete reinforcing bar and cement and up to Eddies at Skyefit to get some punctures repaired and order a tyre.

Image result for bfg mud terrain

Eddie’s the agent on Skye for BF Goodrich tyres and his prices are pretty good. Having said that these 33 x 12.50 x 15” tyres aint cheap but they last three times longer than the current Chinese one’s on the ‘Old Girl’. Last time I needed tyres I was pretty skint and got wheels and tyres for the same price as BFG’s. Still ‘you get what you pay for’ and whilst a BFG is good for around 36K on the Land Rover, the Chinese equivalent struggles to manage 12K or just over a year.

Next stop was the ‘smoking volcano’


That’ll be Sconser quarry for two more tons of 20mm ‘all in’ concrete mix for the fish farm slip.


Expertly deposited by Yogi Smile

Managed to get back home on the 10:25 then got straight into preparing more shuttering for the next pour tomorrow.

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All timber grown locally and cut at the Raasay Sawmill by Callum Findlay,

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guess what I’m doing tomorrow Smile

A king amongst shovels :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:43 am

WooHoo, we’ve ‘sprung forward’ at last, sure, that’ll be my ‘body clocked’ confused for several weeks but at least the evenings will be longer. Did I ever mention ‘I hate all this fecking around with clocks’ Smile and now we have an extra dug to confuse. Having inherited me Mum’s Labrador, Leah, who is somewhat ‘institutionalized’ when it comes to feeding time and walking time. Molly has never had the luxury of regular anything in our chaotic household so she’s OK, Leah on the other hand was fed at 16:00 and walked at 12:30 so starts whining about 15 minutes before Sad smile

The dresser

Saturday was, as is usual these days, spent round at me mum’s house sorting stuff out. It’s usually quite a draining and emotional day as you can well imagine. I didn’t think I was a very sentimental sort until recently and I’ve found myself keeping all sorts of mad stuff, quite a lot of which I don’t actually like Smile The embroidered Japanese lady for one and my three legged pot pig for another.


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There was never any doubt about the dresser, my Mother loved the thing but as for the oriental lady, I’ve always hated it, still, I just couldn’t throw it away Smile The unhappy looking pig I was ‘forced’ into keeping, I told my cousin it was going in the skip. She then informed me I’d had since childhood and robbed it regularly to which I relied. I don’t car, I hate ornaments and clutter with a passion, it’s going in the bin unless you want it. The week after when we went to do the first ‘clear up’ the unhappy pig was on my Mum’s mantelpiece on top of a note saying ‘please look after me’ Smile 

As for the dresser, all 80” tall and 70” wide of it, I can’t believe we actually got it here in one piece.


Back to the concrete

That was Saturday, the rest of my ‘spare’ time being filled with the major civil engineering project which is the Arnish fish farm slip.


Had to do a wee modification on the rear of the dumper to enable me to hitch up the trailer full of aggregate right enough. All up the trailer weighs around three tons with the two tons of 20mm ‘all in’ mix in the back. The first time I took it down to the slip using the Land Rover (some 5 tons in all) and I just didn’t have much in the way of control reversing down the slippery slope.

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Since then I’ve been using the 3 ton dumper, it isn’t prone to skidding down backwards so much Smile

The first was of course making up shuttering.


A large piece of timber being bolted to the steel supports first.

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With that done I screwed the shuttering to it,

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and started mixing, pouring and ‘poking’. There’s a large void to fill and the vibrating concrete poker was essential to make sure the concrete flowed into all the air space under the slab.

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The ‘poker’ is a small electric motor with a 6m hose and vibrating metal probe at the end, it really does ensure the concrete flows everywhere.


The thirty year old shovel

Just like when I look at the dresser, Japanese lady or pot pig, I always think of my Mum, when I pick up my steel tapered mouth shovel, I always think of ‘Grump Pete’.


He gave me this shovel over thirty years ago and despite it being split at the end for the last three or four of them, it was still the best shovel I had for mixing concrete.


That was of until Saturday when I purchased this beauty from Jewson’s in Broadford, a Novi Pro ‘tapered mouth’ steel shovel! I dunno what they paint them with but I’d just mixed a cubic meter of concrete with that shovel when the picture was taken and there isn’t a scratch on it!!! Methinks that will be ‘Grumpy Pete’s’ shovel officially retired now Smile

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