Life at the end of the road

December 25, 2018

Santa’s coming :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:31 pm

Woo Hoo, that’s it I’ve finished for Crimbo Smile I’ve no been this excited since I was a wee wain but I’ve not been drinking since before Groove Armada and I’ve got me breakfast for tomorrow planned already, half a large cup of strong black coffee topped up to the brim with Bailey’s Irish cream Smile Well, it is Christmas after all hey and I have just finished a fortnight’s ‘hard graft’ aboard the good ship Hallaig, OK, perhaps not hard but long.

Aye, it’s been a long shift right enough with more than it’s fair share of cancelled sailings due to inclement weather, nothing worse than missed sailings to make the days drag. It’s one thing finishing early cos we’ve been ‘blown off’ for the last crossing or two but this ‘will we or won’t we’ in borderline conditions is the worst of all. I wouldnae have a skippers job for ‘all the tea in China’ or even ‘all the salamis in a herd of pigs’ Smile


Speaking of which, mine are looking just lovely, as is my 10kg ham marinating in HFW’s cider, orange, sugar, pineapple, cinnamon, salt, cloves and star anise brine.


The ham has been sat outside in a dustbin for two weeks now, weighted down with some diving weights in a plastic bucket. I gave it a turn then submerged it once more for another week at least.

Santa’s been

So ‘that’s it’, Christmas day now, the fresh coffee and Bailey’s was delicious, as was the fresh coffee and Tia Maria Smile It’s 12:25 now and I’m on the third cup of strong black coffee but this one is around 15% Whyte and Mackay Smile Well the Bailey’s has to last till New Year and we need the Tia Maria for all the Black Russian’s I’ll be making Smile

It may be the first Christmas in 62 years without me dear ole Mam but it’s been a cracker nonetheless and on the upside, it’s the first time in 62 years that I’ve not fallen out with her Smile That’ll be the Whyte and Mackay’s speaking Smile Seriously though some things just aren’t the same Sad smile Still the four of us and four dugs are having a great time, have not come to blows yet and I’ve been given some of the best presents I have ever had. A DeWalt multi tool, diver’s torch, socks, cammo waistcoat and smelly stuff being ‘damn fine splendid’ but my all time favourite being an ornament. I feckin hate ornaments, clutter, carp you hang on the walls or stick on window sills, pish you stick on the fridge and novelty mugs. However the old trawl float given me by my son and made by his girlfriend’s mum almost has me in tears. A painting of FV Conqueror BRD257 adorned with puffins on an injection moulded trawl float almost had me blubbering, I kid you not.

 DSCN1770 DSCN1771 conqeror-and-jumbo-shot-011.jpg

I salvaged this boat from 20m of water, spent two years repairing it then made my living from it for many years clam diving and lobster fishing. It was an integral part of my life for years, I put my heart and soul into it and my son spent some of his formative years aboard her.

DSCN0431conqueror 102

Clam diving 2001 1 001 Clam Diving 2001 2 001

He learned how to count and Willie Eyre taught us both so much, Willie now has dementia and the two year old is at uni but they were priceless days we’ll never forget.

Nay friggin turkey!!!!!!!

Almost 20:00 now, the Christmas songs were long ago axed and replaced by the likes of Faithless, Morcheeba and Groove Armada. The vegetarian Christmas dinner has gone and we are on the second jug of Black Russian.

DSCN1779 DSCN1782

Must be the first time in 62 years that we’ve no had something dead for Christmas dinner and I gotta say the stuffed roast peppers followed by nut roast was awesome. Indeed it was every bit as good as if not better than the traditional American import we’ve been brainwashed into eating this last century. However, I am a great fan of eating something that requires toothpicks and goes well with red wine Smile somehow cheese and veg don’t cut it in that department. Don’t get me wrong, I think we and the planet would be a whole lot better off if we ate less meat, especially the factory farmed carp we’re all so used to devouring. However, in my book Christmas dinner is about killing and eating something at the Winter Solstice and not importing out of season veg from halfway round the planet. I dunno when the turkey came into it right enough but the Christians and Romans seem to have hijacked the festival for their own ends, Christ seems to have been born in March or April, of that there is no doubt. I guess it was just easier to keep the dates the same and substitute many Gods for one hey. Whatever the reason, days are getting longer and that really is something worth celebrating for sure.

A Christmas day walk


So, apart from getting wrecked, opening presents and eating dinner we all had a wander down ‘Calum’s road’ with half a dozen dugs and the neighbours Smile As for the rest of the fortnight since I last posted, well here’s some pictures.


A mountain of mail for the poor postie Sad smile

DSCN1742 DSCN1743 DSCN1744

Finlay and ‘Admiral Woods’ out for the weekly boat drill around the FV Speedwell.


The ‘red screen of death’ during the monthly ‘black out’ drill.

DSCN1756 DSCN1757

A 500h service on a Volvo D13.


Admiral Woods and Phonely Byrne ‘hard at it’ Smile

DSCN1760 DSCN1761

The Raasay Distillery Christmas party. A most civilized affair involving much good food and wine.


FV Eilidh heading south through the Raasay Narrows.

P1140404 P1140405

John Macbeth’s memorial bash, a well attended affair at the Raasay Boatshed involving fire, drink, photo’s and no brimstone. Nope, none of the preaching and ‘your turn next’ at this affair, John was fondly remembered and celebrated by all who had come from far and wide. 2-017-small.jpg

2-022-small.jpg 130711 012

Aye, John Noel Macbeth, a true friend and thoroughly decent human being. Douglas Adams once said that the Babel fish proved the none existence of God. Me, I think that John’s premature departure from this world at the age of 33 confirms it. Fer fecks sake, you have Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Vladimir Putin alive and kicking in their sixties and John is whisked away at 33!!!!!! There really cannot be a ‘higher power’ hey Smile


  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family Paul from me and mine in Northern California. Heading to Edinburgh in April to see the musical version of Local Hero. Not sure if we’re headed to the Highlands and the islands after that or an adventure in Ireland. Still plan to shake you hand on Raasay one day and looking forward to that. Cheers and all the best in 2019. Morgan

    Comment by Morgan — December 25, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

    • Thanks Morgan and I look forward to the handshake 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 26, 2018 @ 11:01 pm

  2. Happy Christmas and thanks for all the posts this year, I’ve really enjoyed each and every one.

    Comment by David Brodie — December 25, 2018 @ 11:43 pm

    • Sorry I couldnae be more ‘regular’ David 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 26, 2018 @ 10:59 pm

  3. A very happy and prosperous New Year when it comes xxx

    Comment by SOTW — December 26, 2018 @ 11:45 am

    • Golly gosh She, that looks like a fine bottle of red 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 26, 2018 @ 10:59 pm

  4. Yes indeed concur with DB. Feel like a time-served virtual family member … and keeping alive connections to old memories ‘up norf’. Thank you.

    Comment by jimbo — December 26, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

    • Glad ‘to be of service’ Jimbo 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 26, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

  5. Happy Hogmanay Paul, Blwythyn Newydd Dda. Let 2019 be the year the Old Girl re enters the story 🙂
    God Bless you and yours mate

    Comment by Lloyd Owen-Reece — December 26, 2018 @ 8:03 pm

    • Cheers Lloyd and ‘Cabbage Patch’ 🙂 we’ll be hoping for good news on the ‘Ole Girl’ front our selves.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 26, 2018 @ 10:57 pm

  6. Nice to hear of John and see pics of him. I learned of his passing through an old flat mate. We all shared a flat together in Edinburgh a good few years back – he was a great guy, like the little brother of the household. Very sad to hear he has left us now at such as young age.

    Comment by Fiona Lauchlan — April 22, 2019 @ 10:12 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: