Life at the end of the road

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

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and this at the Creagan Bheaga

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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.

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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?

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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

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and the day after heating oil Smile

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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

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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


  1. Good to see you posting Paul despite the fact that you’re busy. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy New Year.

    Comment by glenelgadventure — December 30, 2019 @ 10:16 am

  2. Good to hear from you again, hope you and your family have a very happy and prosperous New Yea. StN

    Comment by Stan Henderson — December 30, 2019 @ 11:07 am

  3. Glad you had a good Christmas 🙂

    Comment by Dan Grey — December 31, 2019 @ 10:28 pm

    • Cheers Dan and hope you had one too.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 1, 2020 @ 3:36 pm

  4. “The Darkest Dawn” is a great book – I got it myself as a Christmas present last year. I have a personal interest on the Iolaire tragedy as my Great Great uncle was one of the ones that lost his life. I recently found out that he actually survived and was found alive on the shore a short distance up the coast from “The Beasts of Holm”. Sadly he died on the shore. He was only 19 years old.

    Comment by Derek Peakman — January 2, 2020 @ 11:16 am

    • Aye Derek, looking forward too it, there’ll be few people with Lewis or Harris connections not affected by the loss of Iolaire 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 2, 2020 @ 11:32 am

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