Life at the end of the road

September 30, 2020

On our way :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:37 pm

17:00 now, almost four hours since we departed Raasay and we’re somewhere south of Mallaig with MV Loch Fyne just crossing or bow.

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The Skye Bridge is a distant memory as we plough our way through the gloom towards Craignure in the Sound of Mull. It’s gonna be a long day as we had to await MV Loch Tarbet’s   arrival from Mallaig prior to our departure from Raasay.

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So, that’ll be why you’ve no heard from me for a while. My normal Monday, Tuesday manic rush before returning to work being compounded by the fact I’d not bee there for six weeks and I was gonna be away from home for two Sad smile As well as all the normal stuff to deal with I had to ensure house, pigs, hens and Molly were ready for house, animal and dog watchers. Bedding had to be changed, feed stock replenished, beds changed and all manner of lists to be made, followed or just ticked off.

As far as I can make out (so far) the only thing I forgot to do was put one final bag of sow rolls in the ‘ready use’ feed bin and remove the grass cuttings from my lawn. Monday was a bonny, bonny day and I reluctantly went to Portree for hen and pig feed, collecting my Trailer from Inverarish on the way back at 15:00.

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Raasay’s wee fishing boat MV Mary M, the Storr and Big Head from the Varragill road into Portree.

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A faint rainbow as I near home, a bonny stag with his harem just on the skyline at Tarbert


and me almost burning the clutch out on me Subaru Sad smile Had to unhitch the trailer to extricate the car from my foolish trailer parking spot, it got pretty smelly before I saw sense Smile


Apart from all the final packing for the ‘fortnight on’ I’d set Tuesday aside for dealing with the scrawny stag who’d been unfortunate enough to wander onto my croft. I was hoping to hang him longer than a couple of days but you just cannae be choosy about these things Smile I would have preferred to eat his liver fresh with some mushrooms and bacon but I’d just eaten a large Sunday roast before I spotted him Sad smile However, on Monday whilst travelling back from ‘town’ I’d spotted what must be the last chanterelles of the season at Henderson’s Bridge so they did me for ‘second breakfast’ after a spell of mincing.

dinner1 dinner 2

The best way to eat venison liver is fresh, preferably still warm but this was pretty good too, fried in olive oil with chanterelles and a rasher of bacon then served on home made bread. Just what you need after a hard morning’s butchery Smile 


The first bit of which was cleaning the ‘butcher’s slab’ Smile OK, workshop bench with the belt sander Smile


So, with my bench suitably polished I set about cutting the meat off the carcass and mincing it.

I do have a 2kW industrial mincer but to be honest I prefer doing simple mincing like this with my trusty ‘Porkert Number 10’

hand mincer.

The wee fella was quite damaged at the fore end with the gunshot so I just sliced the meat off the bone as far as the hind quarters. After removing the choice cuts of the ‘back strap’ and loin fillets I cut the haunches into half a dozen small roasting joints for myself and wee dog. Molly was very keen to help at this stage Smile

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The freezer having been on ‘super freeze’ in readiness for receiving all the joints, cuts, cubes and ‘dinner sized’ bags of mince was now nicely stocked for the winter.


The stags, well there are still plenty of them bellowing outside my house Smile

Just round ‘Archie’ Smile

Almost 19:30 now and still a few hours to go, bit ‘roly poly’ as we clear Archie, the ‘Hill of the Great sea’ in Gaelic and it’s easy to see why, it is always ‘roly poly’ here Smile There was a boodly fine sunset over Canna,_Scotland right enough but I’d still rather be home with wee dug Smile


September 28, 2020

The final cut, fingers crossed :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, Raasay road signs — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:48 am

Well, the Sabbath is here, I got me a Munro’s chicken from Raasay stores and that will probably see me all the way to dry dock. Methinks a nice slow roasted bird for an early dinner tonight after which I’ll pick the bones for Monday’s curry then boil up the remains to make stock, half of which will go into a risotto for Tuesday and the rest in the freezer. After that it’ll be back to the good ship Hallaig and straight down to dry dock COVID permitting of course. Greenock seems to be the COVID capital of Europe at the moment and who knows how you are supposed to ‘socially distance’ in dry dock. Usually the boat is crawling with contractors, surveyors, inspectors and of course crew. Methinks we are due at the ‘dock gate’ for Friday morning and by all accounts the weather will be in our favour, at least according to the general forecast. Be good to get ‘back in the thick of it’ after my six week absence, though I can’t pretend I haven’t enjoyed being ‘on the sick’. Fear of sneezing and coughing aside I’ve really enjoyed taking it easy and my rib was probably nicely healed a couple of weeks ago though I didn’t restart my morning exercises until  I returned from Girvan. 


Well that never happened hey, Sunday was such a bonny day I couldn’t bare being inside the house and evening blogging went out the window when a scrawny stag broke into the croft. It was 21:00 by the time I’d dealt with him. The lovely Munro’s chicken I’d recently cooked and demolished leaving me too stuffed to even share his fresh liver with wee dog. Guess what’s for ‘second breakfast’ Smile

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So, as soon as Venus the ‘Morning Star’ had moved over to let the sun out of bed I headed south to Brochel on another ‘lumb bashing’ mission. A 6m long length of concrete re-bar in hand, having previously tried a shorter one I had my doubts but this one was long enough to go down all the way from the top.

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Whilst it wasn’t actually frosty, it was certainly sharp driving the quad towing a long steel bar, summer, probably the best I can recall, is definitely by with.

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My latest crackpot scheme being to accurately measure the length from the blockage to the top of the pot then, after trying some manual ‘dibbing’ in the unlikely event that that moves it. If that didn’t work I was gonna weld an attachment on the end to fit my Hitachi breaker to make what would probably be the world’s longest chisel. There was however a serious flaw in this scheme. I would have to lift the 6m long 12mm re-bar vertically to drop it down the lumb Sad smile A task that I quickly discovered was not a wise choice for an early Sunday morning job in a remote location alone. I opted to leave that for now, measure the length accurately with a rope and weight then cut as much of the bar off as possible beforehand. This went severely ‘tit’s up’ when the 5’ heavy steel bar I was using as a weight disappeared once more down the lumb Sad smile


Leaving me with a perfectly formed rolling hitch on the end of my rope (once more) Sad smile Sure, I could have gone back home for my neodymium magnet and grinder but I’d had enough chimney adventures for one day Smile

Who cares where we park

Having given up on that I decided to go and collect my trailer from the south end where it had been languishing for many weeks full of building rubbish from Wifey’s house. Her builder having done what all builders (and Land Rover chassis replacers) seem to do which is start a job then come up with a gazillion reasons why they haven’t finished it on time Smile Sure, it wasn’t the only reason I was going to Inverarish, which was just as well, cos the the Minnow Films crowd from SAS ‘Who Dares Who wins’ had managed to block every single passing place and the sole parking place over a half mile stretch of the Glame road.

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The clue is in the sign chaps ‘Passing Place’ not Parking Place Smile Sure enough they did apologise but it’s not ‘rocket science’ is it hey. Lets upset the natives by blocking every single passing place on an island already full of boodly tourists that cannot reverse Smile

Anyway, they’re supposed to be emulating the SAS, can they no walk Smile Sure, I’ll get the trailer today Winking smile


So, on Saturday I managed to spend a delightful day under my Land Rover, most of it revolving around the wiring which led me to some wires I couldn’t explain that turned out to be for the stop light switch, which was missing. Worse than that it was broken off inside the ‘pedal box’, the nylon threads being flush with the top.

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I did waste a couple of hours trying to remove the broken bit with Torx keys and Allen keys but in the end did what I should have done in the first place and removed the pedal box and servo.

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The reason I didn’t do it straight away being that I had to remove my newly fabricated coolant header tank and three of the six bolts holding the box to the bulkhead didn’t have captive nuts. In effect making it a two man job, however using a magnet and long vice grips I got it sorted, managing to give it a coat of paint in-between more wiring hilarity Smile Finishing off the day with what will hopefully be the last lawn cutting of 2020 Smile

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