Life at the end of the road

December 2, 2019

The Postman’s rest :-)

7:30 am and that’s me just out of bed ‘Woo Hoo’, a rest at last Smile I actually sat down at me laptop last night after an eventful, sunny, busy, beautiful day and started to right some mince. All poetic prose about the arrival of the final month of the year, the departure of the last hazel tree leaves and a rant about imported conifers. By 20:00 I was nodding off so read a few pages of my Panama canal book and went to bed. Guess I was fast asleep by 20:30 and didn’t awake until 6:45 Smile

Methinks the change in the weather must have helped, it’s still pitch black outside, the windows are wet and it has turned much milder outside. This being more like the December weather we are used to, in other words, miserable Smile, well not yesterday, Sunday was a peach.

Paths and track work


Being a Sunday I wasn’t in my usual manic rush and pottered about the house and croft doing chores before heading over to Torran to do some there.


The first half mile or so of track is in pretty good order as it serves a couple of properties that use quads as a means of transport and we all ‘muck in’ to keep it serviceable. Once Molly and I had done our regular battery maintenance at the Schoolhouse

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by topping up the Rolls batteries and ‘equalizing’ them we went for a walk.


OK, we took the quad Smile past the old Mission House and Torran Croft, where the hazel refused to give up its leaves to winter and a lonely heather was still in flower.

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Once by the croft house we were in ‘unchartered territory’ Smile OK, not exactly, I used to walk the path daily as far as the Fladda fish farm 20 years ago but it’s probably 5 or more years since I set foot by Torran croft house.

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A rock fall across the path meaning we had to take a small detour and a few hundred yards further on we resorted to ‘Shank’s pony’. Many is the time I have taken a quad all the way along this path but not any more, I just don’t have the nerves for it.

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This is where I once worked and travelled the path daily be it on foot or by quad.

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Happy days Smile Having ‘walked down memory lane’ Wee dug and I continued along the path towards Fladda admiring all the work put in recently by a group of ‘local heroes’ who had sacrificed their time to cut back heather, bracken and scrub birch from the overgrown path.

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The ancient holy tree with it’s equally old ‘graffiti’ some of which has been there 50 or 60 years, hey DN Smile

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Whilst Fladda was inhabited for centuries prior to the last ‘Exodus’ in 1965 this path to it was only built in 1952 by Calum (of road fame) and Charlie Macleod. Prior to that the path climbed up by the Schoolhouse to Pipers Rock and over the top before a long decent down to the causeway.

Further along this section is the ‘Postman’s Rest’,

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a strategically positioned stone shelter that looks out over the reefs to the south of Fladda.

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From here the Postie (who walked from Brochel every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!!!) could observe a reef (where the red line is) which when visible would indicate that the Fladda Causeway would be passable. The causeway could only be crossed for three hours either side of low water.

I guess I was feeling guilty having seen all the work the ‘path people’ had done recently so we went home and got the Mule to do some of our own.


Still dry and sunny at Arnish, looks like a shower on Skye Smile


The only problem I can see with the excellent Kawasaki SX 4×4 Mule is its abysmal ground clearance if you have the tyres at the correct pressure, which I think is 7psi. Sure the traction is far, far better but get a few kilos in the back of it and the already poor ground clearance gets even worse. Having had enough of it ‘bottoming’ on the track I blew up the rear tyres and set off with some tools to remove the worst of the lumps.

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This proved far easier than expected and a few deft strokes with a large lump hammer sorted it.

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That was it really, I spent what was left of the day ‘hauling rock’ then put a new wrist seal on my dry suit in anticipation of catching some shellfish for Christmas Smile


Well, it’ll be after 9:00 now, it’s well light and not raining, time to get some work done hey.


  1. Everytime you put up a smolt delivery picture i cannot help but remember the bolt of static you would get offthe bucket if Baldy Pete the pilot hadnt earthed it properly first. Good old polarcirkle cages. We didnt have many of those in the early 90’s though we did have them on the north shore site at kishorn. They were a bugger to work on, I dont think elf and safety knew that they existed back then, hidden out of site.

    Comment by Alistair JD Gray — December 2, 2019 @ 9:26 am

    • Aye Alistair, many is the day I’ve got wet feet on a Polar Cirkel 🙂 Some of those cages however were Righ Mara and had three rings, far more stable until the plastic hand/foot rails moved around in a storm. No wonder they went bust 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 3, 2019 @ 9:49 am

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