Life at the end of the road

September 30, 2019

Turning into an epic :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Discovery, food, stonework — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:37 am

Eight fifteen PM now and I’m ready for my bed, sure I’ve been blogging ‘early doors’ of late but I’m back to work on Tuesday and really need to get the Disco finished tomorrow. The ‘little’ welding job I started is (as usual) turning into an epic and we’re off to dry dock on Thursday. So, not only do I need a car, I need one that works properly and me Subaru is also poorly at the moment.

I only started this wee job cos the Disco is such a faff to get on my lift.

IMG_1010 IMG_1011 IMG_1012

I use long planks of wood supporting the sills rather than just the rubber pads, they spread the load much better and there’s not the danger of the pads slipping on a sloping steel chassis. In all honesty I wouldn’t be seen dead under this Chinese lift if I’d not put the vehicle on it myself, sure it has safety locks on the arms and lift but it would be extremely easy to dislodge the vehicle and have it crush you if you were not more than a little cautious. Once up in the air though it really does make life so much easier.

Off to bed now but I’ll leave you with the last pics of the day

P1150393 P1150394

Busy I may have been but it was Sunday after all, so when a good friend turned up we took the dugs out for a walk, making sure of course to take a bag for any ‘shrooms we found along the way.


Well it certainly has been the year of the lactarius, these monster ‘shrooms were popping up everywhere. Not held in high esteem throughout Europe they are apparently a delicacy in Russia when pickled in salt. Perhaps that’s what my granny did with them.

We wandered down the Torran track towards the Old Schoolhouse, then just before it, turned right and followed the burn up towards North Arnish. The last time I was up here must have been ten years back when checking it out for a possible hydro turbine.

P1150384 P1150383

Leah just kept checking it out for possible bathing sites, Molly watched in amusement, Wee Dug is not fond of water and is good to follow across boggy ground cos she generally picks a dry route Smile It’s quite a magical spot up this valley and it is not a frequently visited one, bar the deer of course which seem to use it regularly. With a bit of work it would certainly be a possible micro hydro electric scheme of a couple of hundred Watts but it’s a long way from my house Smile

P1150385 P1150386

There are the remains of a few old boundary walls up there and once clear of the birch and hazel you come out near an old sheep ffank below the red rocks of Torran.

P1150387 P1150388

Sure they don’t look very red now but come the late autumn blood red sunsets, they’ll be ‘on fire’ Smile

Turning right we then did the short climb up to North Arnish,

P1150389 P1150390

being blessed with some fine views of Torran along the way. Nice wind turbines Smile no wind Sad smile

P1150391 P1150392

I guess this ruin, which was once the Post Office must, if I’m not very much mistaken, be the highest house on Raasay by a long way. It certainly produced people of strength, you had to be fit just to live there Smile

Back under the Disco Sad smile

Once back home with the first winter chanterelles of the season, a few hedgehogs, regular chanterelles and a birch boletus, I got back under me truck.


I don’t usually bother picking the birch boletus, they are really common and nice dried for soups and curries but they’re a bit slimy when fried. However, this one was a nice specimen and would bulk up the sauce I was planning for a dinner with scallops Smile

 IMG_1005 IMG_1006 IMG_1007

Meanwhile it was back to my pile of steel for stitching to the Disco chassis,


three, five and eight millimetre steel should do the trick Smile

September 29, 2019

The ‘ship’ on the rocks :-)

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, Discovery — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Six in the morning and I’ve not long since got out of my bed, well it is Sunday after all and one does deserve a ‘lie in’ now and then hey Smile I’m just back in the house having just been out to me caravan to retrieve some stuff out of the fridge. I caught a few deer in my torch beam and was somewhat surprised at how dry and mild it was outdoors. Yesterday was a pure peach here, in sharp contrast to the ‘severe weather’ bulletins that peppered the music and mince of Radio 2.  Mudslides at Bentham, a place I know well, ferries off on the Mersey, a place I’d be happy never to see again Smile at least not from the deck of Hallaig. We dry docked there in 2015 after the most horrendous sea voyage of my life through the Irish sea in November Sad smile By contrast there was hardly a breath of wind here and I was severely miffed at having to spend much of my day under the Disco Sad smile

The ship on the rocks

OK, it was actually a sheep stuck at Aird Torran but every time I see a stranded woolly I think of a phone call a friend of mine received form an auxiliary Coastguard years ago. “There’s a ship on the rocks north of Staffin” to which my Mate, a keen diver and scrap merchant got really excited only to become somewhat deflated when he realized it was just another boodly ewe with a death wish Smile Well I guess I first noticed it on the 25th as I headed for Rona,


we’re not on speaking terms but I know her quite well, for she is the only sheep for miles. Completely wild with at least a dozen fleeces on, she missed the final Torran gathering some fifteen or twenty years ago and has been living a peaceful if not lonely existence at Aird Torran ever since. I often see her through the binoculars from home or from the boat when out diving, just not this closely.

P1150324 P1150328 P1150364

She was still there on the 27th and a look around the point with the boat told me she probably wouldn’t get out without help but I’d give her another night. The weather was settled, the tides getting bigger so she may have been able to walk out herself at low water with a bit of luck.

However, as dawn broke yesterday,

P1150361 P1150363 

I could see over my bowl of muesli that she was still there Sad smile Still it was a cracking day and I was going out diving anyway, just hadn’t planned to do so so early. After finishing several cups of coffee and donning my dry suit I set off, anchored the boat just offshore swam the short distance to the land, removed my flippers and proceeded to chase the woolly round in circles. I knew from experience that she would eventually end up in the drink, where she would either find her way own way out, encouraged by adrenalin and a strange black monster. Or she would just eventually drown as her fleeces turned from an oily lifejacket to a sodden weight. Hopefully before this happened I could swim out to the Searider, get a rope around her horns and keep her head above water. Been there, got the book, video and T shirt Smile However, once she ended up in the water I managed to follow her and persuade her up that slope on the right of the second image.


I dunno who was more knackered, me or the ewe Smile


Good deed done for the day I continued north through the Fladda Narrows to Eilean Tighe in the hope of catching some supper.


Despite there being fish there I never even got a bite, as my wife used to say, “if we had to rely on your hunting skills to eat we’d starve” Smile Which I though was a little unfair, what she should have said was, “we’d get boodly sick of mushrooms and scallops” Smile So I dropped the anchor’


and got me a nice bag of clams instead. I also cut my dive short cos of a leaky wrist seal on my dry suit.


An injury that could well have been ‘sheep related’ Smile

In the shed Sad smile

Reluctantly I went back home, the tide wouldn’t be high enough to remove the Searider until after 17:00 and I really did need to fix my vehicles. The Disco was on the Chinese vehicle lift, it’s minor jobs having morphed into major ones. The 2500kg single post lift I got a year ago is the ‘dogs danglies’ for regular cars. However a heavy vehicle like a Land Rover, Range Rover or Discovery with a separate  chassis require very careful and somewhat tedious preparation before lifting. Consequently I had been making the most of it being ‘in the air’ and started to do some welding that was an ‘advisory’ on the MOT.

IMG_1000 IMG_0999 IMG_1001

As is often the case with corrosion, a tiny ‘pin prick’ turns into virtually a new chassis leg Smile It wasn’t this that was pi551ng me off, it was the fact it was so nice outside, but I really had to sort myself a vehicle before starting work on Tuesday. The Subaru too needed to go on the lift to have new anti roll bar links and bushes.

Come 17:00 though, I’d had enough and went to get the Searider out of the water before I got tempted to use it over the next day or two rather than repair my fleet of cars Smile

IMG_1002 IMG_1003

Piece of cake with a dumper and dog to help Smile

P1150373 P1150378 (2)

No sooner had I got my RIB out of the water than another turned up on the scene, Raasay House and David Croy if I’m not mistaken Smile Great evening for a trip for someone

Older Posts »

Blog at