Life at the end of the road

August 20, 2020

An enduring legacy

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:38 am

Not even 5:00am and I’ve been awake for ages, finally arising from freshly washed sheets about half an hour ago. For yesterday was such a peach of a day I washed just about everything in the house I wasn’t actually wearing. The clear blue skies putting the solar PV into overdrive and a nice zephyr from the south doing a far better job than any tumble drier.


The loch was full of porpoises and the last forecast I’d seen promised reasonable weather so with that in mind I got the thirty year old Searider ready for sea,

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The tide was high around 8:20 so that would give me a good couple of hours to get her out of the shed, fuelled up, loaded with our diving gear and in the water. Not that I couldn’t have done all that in ten minutes but it was far too nice a day for rushing anything and I’d my mountain of washing to deal with. Also there be a lot less of the ‘wee devils’ about once the sun is higher and my slipway is in the shade ‘early doors’. I say ‘my slipway’ but as with most civil engineering projects Hugh Mackay had a big hand in ‘back in the day’. Twenty five years ago when he’d probably not even turned thirty Hookie ‘cut his teeth’ down here with his first machine, an old 13ton Daewoo. Prior to that, access to the shore had been a steep and dangerous climb. Back then he had no ‘beaver tail’ truck for moving his plant so he ‘tracked ’ the yellow Daewoo ten miles up the road from the south end Smile It takes me around half an hour to track my machine round to Tarbert about half a mile away Smile

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No sooner had I got my vintage vessel in the sea than the coastguard issued a gale warning!!! Still, it wasn’t from any direction that should concern me so I did ten minutes pointless fishing amongst a pod of porpoises in the loch, cursing my lack of camera. It was Hugh’s funeral and we didn’t want to be late for that, the heat had had me sweating like a pig in my dry suit, so after showering and donning my only other suit, Ross and I headed south.

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Overnight the Cnoc an Uan (Hill of the lamb) lay by had sprouted some plant ready for building the EE phone mast.


Farewell Hugh Mackay

There was a huge turnout for Hugh, albeit with COVID protocols restricting numbers at the grave side but the whole island, at least as far as I could tell had lined the road from the ferry. Very few of whom would not have been touched by his warmth generosity and probably one of his diggers Smile I came across this last night, I know not who wrote and I’m sure Ann Oliphant won’t mind me copying it. Though I’m sure she’d not thank me for waking her up at ‘stupid o clock’ to ask Smile

 Ode to Hookie

Aye, he was some man, I returned to my home up the drive he built cut the grass by the rock that finally ‘outwitted’ him.

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On Hookie’s rock now stands an old tractor wheel, he just couldn’t break this lump of Lewisian gneiss so we moved the house east one meter Smile It now sits as yet another permanent reminder of an exceptional person and good friend.


After that, it was along to Torran to do a little work at the Schoolhouse, using, of course, the well travelled track that Hugh widened so you can now safely get a quad or mule along.

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Wee dog and I then went down to the shore to check everything was OK prior to a large tide and offshore wind, which is now, at 6:30AM here with vengeance.

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This will be the old cairidh a fish trap that corralled the once abundant fish on an outgoing tide.

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And this will be just another Sonas sunset last night.

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