Life at the end of the road

December 31, 2019

Will I make it? :-)

Well, she’s looking like a bonny day ahead this fine Hogmanay, sure it’s still dark being 7:00am but XC Weather and the BBC both assure me it’s gonna be peachy. Don’t think it’s gonna be the same for the start of 2020 right enough but ‘make hay while the sun shines’ as they say, perhaps we’ll get out in the Searider for a spot of diving again. I’ll certainly not be joining the hardy ‘pier jumpers’ on Raasay tomorrow in the bid to great the New Year with a splash. Nosireee, though I’d be surprised if young Camilli didn’t join in Smile The hardier (or is it more foolish) Raasay folk have already done one on Boxing Day.

Boxing Day dip

Me, I was in a dry suit yesterday and whilst the water is still 10 degrees I’ll no be doing a Seamus Nicolson in my trunks for sure Smile

The launch

It wasn’t exactly a ‘peach of a day’ yesterday but at least it was dry, pretty fresh from the south right enough but dry and mild. Much of my day being taken up by pottering around doing odd jobs awaiting the rising of my son. Sure he’s on holiday and been working hard at uni, me, well I’m practising for retirement which cannot come to quickly and that in itself requires me to slow down and not quite so manic. So whilst he was ‘pushing out zeds’ then taking the obligatory ‘half hour shower’ I launched the Searider.

A 4m tide height is what’s needed to easily launch and recover our RIB and at this time of year with the short days you have pretty short window at times.


Daylight is the straw colour and the 4m height ends at 11:30am so I had to get her in before then, the next time the tide would be high enough is around 22:30 at night so not much use to me.


First thing was to fill her with fuel, top up the tubes then lower her down to the bottom of the shed on an electric winch.


The slope of the shed floor and the long lead I fitted to the winch control make this a ‘piece of cake’ and once the boat is at the bottom I just hitch it to the dumper or whatever vehicle I’m using. It really is so easy, even on your own,


the actual launch too was stress free, despite a change in the wind to the west. This picture being taken at just about the extreme of when it’s possible to launch and recover her.

Yamaha 350 YFM throttle cable

As far as yesterday’s ‘doings’ go an excellent dive for a couple of dozen clams in Tarbert just about sums it it up. These we fried in olive oil and nduja which came from May or Snowy. That was followed by the remains of the turkey curry (which unusually didn’t make it to the next year) and potato wedges.

Also achieved ‘but not necessarily in that order’ was the replacement of the throttle cable on my Mate’s Yamaha 350YFM. The throttle had been sticking of late, well probably about a year Smile but had got really bad recently, a split in the outer cover allowing water into the carburettor compounding matters. As usual I ordered any replacement parts from MSP in Holland and they arrived timeously without hassle or delay. Feck knows what will happen once that blond lunatic has removed us from the EU Sad smile

IMG_1532 IMG_1533

The YFM cable is quite easy to change, though I find (as with most cables) the easiest way to route any cable is to attach the new one to the old one then pull it carefully through. This works with all types of cables be they Bowden, control or electrical and can save you immense grief, tape will usually do the trick, just don’t go mad pulling the new one through.

Through the archives

Being almost 9:00am now on a fine Hogmanay I’m tempted to leave warmth of the kitchen table and coffee number 4 behind and get some work done. It’s still quite grey with ‘wall to wall’ sunshine not due for a few hours but there’s barely a breath of wind and I really should go outside to make the most of it. So I’ll just leave you with some salami’s Smile


The Portree fishing boat Green Isle, unusually fishing in Loch Sligachan, in front of an awesome looking shed at Braes Smile 



Fraser in one of Eyre Plant’s Scania’s dragging a 13T Hitachi over to Raasay to help repair the Creagan Baegha.


The Old Man of Storr in a brief snowy surround.

December 30, 2019

A hundred years on :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, life off grid, the disaster thread, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:44 am

17:30 now on the Sunday after Christmas, tis as ‘black as the fire back’ out with the triple glazing and pretty wild ‘to boot’. A ‘quiet night in’ is tonight’s plan, after three lovely days with a houseful of dugs and family it’ll be a welcome change Smile Tonight, it’s just my son, Molly, the last of the turkey in a curry and a couple of good books washed down with San Pellegrino. I’m four days into ‘Scapa 1919’ The archaeology of a scuttled fleet by Innes McCartney, a riveting work with a wealth of images I’ve not seen before, which, considering the amount of books I’ve read about the German ‘High Seas Fleet’ it’s scuttling and subsequent salvage is rather unusual. It was the centenary of the event in June and I’d dearly like to visit the ‘Flow’ once more, this time with my son, perhaps next year. 

The sight of the massive ‘Dreadnought’  battleships lying on the sea bed, the massive guns that fired salvos at Jutland, long since impotent but still menacing is indeed something etched in my memory. Nowhere else on earth can you visit so many capital ships, cruisers, torpedo boats, destroyers and associated fleet craft from two world wars in one place.

A hundred and one years on

Well, that didn’t get me very far, it’s almost 8:30 on Monday now and still black outside, though admittedly not half as wild. A lack of inspiration on the blogging front had me buried into the scuttled German High Seas Fleet once more. Probably in a rush to start book number two, The Darkest Dawn before Hogmanay and the 101st anniversary of a little known tragedy (to the rest of the UK) in Lewis, an island (along with Harris) who had already given up more of its men and youth per capita than anywhere else in Britain to the folly that was WWI. Some 280 men and boys having survived the horrors of the trenches only to be drowned within sight of home on New Years Day 1919. Just two months after the Armistice and hoping to return to a better life with the promise of their thirst for land being slaked by a grateful nation. Well that didn’t end very well either, the land was only given after much protesting and jailing and Iolaire’s tragedy was buried in the archives at Westminster until the 1970’s. A grateful nation indeed!

For the want of a spade

By an unfortunate coincidence, the last time I actually did any writing/ranting was on the 9th of December and much of it involved me venting my indignation at HRC and their lack of road maintenance. Now I’m not talking about the expensive hauling of men and materials over to Raasay to actually repair the roads. No, in these cash strapped ‘austere’ times that would be too much to ask for. No, I’m talking about giving a man a spade just to clear the feckin drains!!! Well, if I can spare ten friggin minutes of my ‘busy’ life to do it without getting paid then surely the effing Council can give a man who IS getting paid a boodly shovel and tell him to use the feckin thing!!!!!


And I wasn’t alone in my desperation with HRC, other Raasay citizens also ‘took up the spade’ to clear the odd drain or ‘run off’.

Anyway, the day after said rant this happened on the Fearns road

Image may contain: tree, outdoor, nature and water

and this at the Creagan Bheaga

Image may contain: tree, plant, outdoor and nature Image may contain: plant, tree, mountain, outdoor and nature Image may contain: plant, tree, sky, outdoor, nature and water

the ‘low road’ is now closed and it’ll probably cost hunners of thousands to repair it, all for the want of ‘a man with a spade’, you couldn’t make it up really. Chances are too that the ‘executive’ who saved all that money out of the ‘road maintenance budget’ got a healthy bonus on top of his £119, 235 salary too.

Fair play to the Council though, they have got on with it pretty quickly.

 Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor, nature and water Image may contain: plant, tree, outdoor and nature Image may contain: outdoor

Eyre Plant are already ‘on the case’ though I do wonder about the sanity of hauling rock from over a mile away, through the village in a 50t dumper!!!! I wonder just how long it’ll take HRC to repair that damage?

Image may contain: sky, cloud, mountain, outdoor and nature

For want of a nail the shoe was lost,
for want of a shoe the horse was lost,
for want of a horse the knight was lost,
for want of a knight the battle was lost,
for want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
So a kingdom was lost—all for want of a nail.

Well, you can clear an awful lot of drains for what this will end up costing for sure Smile

Where was I?

Right, so twelve years after starting this blog I’m still at it, albeit not quite so regular or with as much enthusiasm but I’m trying. It’s just that I don’t seem to have the energy I once had and am rarely awake after 9:00pm these days. Anyway the ‘two weeks on’ passed pretty quickly and I even did a couple extra days for my ‘back to back’, though in reality it was just a couple of hours work and I was glad to get out the house on the 26th and 27th. Much as I love the family being around it was good to get out.

Image may contain: 1 person, shoes and outdoor Image may contain: Ross Camilli, shoes, outdoor and water Image may contain: food

Christmas Day saw Ross and I going out to ‘hand pick’ the starter to accompany the turkey. This I have to say was a masterpiece on my behalf, seriously Smile fresh prawns courtesy of Donnie Mackenzie’s Mary M, served in a sauce made from mayo, ketchup, Sriracha, crab, Baileys and a dash of lemon then poured over a scallop fried in butter. There were no complaints Smile

We all got lovely presents,


the 21 year Groove Armada 4CD boxed set getting much airplay in Casa Camilli of late. I know, I know, who buys CD’s these days, well Ross does for me cos he knows what a Luddite I am Smile

Boxing Day had us delivering furniture

P1160037 P1160034

and the day after heating oil Smile

IMG_1536 IMG_1534 IMG_1535

800lts, 200 at a time along to the Old Schoolhouse at Torran, it’s far, far easier in a Mule than with a quad and trailer I can tell you Smile

IMG_1537 IMG_1538

And yesterday it was more drain and road work on the croft with young Camilli having lost none of his touch whilst at uni Smile

Well that’s it, sure there was more, lots more but it be almost 10:00am now, the day has vastly improved and it’s time to drag my son out of bed Smile

Older Posts »

Blog at