Life at the end of the road

April 12, 2022

A tale of two plugs :-)

Well that’s it, the holiday is over, this afternoon I’ll be back at the office and to be honest, I can’t wait Surprised smile Not that I’m fed up, bored or miss my work so much, no I can’t wait to get back to work and get it over with Smile then I can start doing all the jobs I didn’t get done on me hols Smile The main one being to fit the rear chassis to the Disco and MOT it but there’s painting the house and a whole load more tasks to look forward too. Sure, I could have made a start on the Disco but I decided to go down to Girvan for a few days instead. Four days with the family celebrating various birthdays and seeing Ross seemed far more attractive than a week’s welding under the Disco. Trouble with this plan was I’d have to take the ‘Old Girl’ which isn’t half as comfortable, fast, quiet or economical as the Discovery. Still it would be an adventure Smile but first I had to get presents and for that I decided to buy local Winking smile 

Tiny roost

next door at my old house in fact . After viewing a selection of Lisa’s beautiful Harris Tweed bags and selecting a nice one for my sister in law I headed down to Kirsten’s Craftavan by the shop

Taigh nan CearcanP1000775

to view more locally produced crafts.

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There are seven people from Raasay who display a selection of locally made gifts and articles in the Caravan just by the shop. After leaving with a Harris Tweed bag and half a dozen duck eggs I returned home to pack the land Rover for the trip on Tuesday.

Departing Raasay on the first ferry and stopping regularly on the way to walk the dugs.

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It was a lovely quiet drive south with even the normally busy Ciste Dhubh parking spot in Glen Garry being deserted.

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After stopping to top up with mocha and a bacon roll at the Well of the seven heads takeaway who’s name comes from a gruesome episode in clan history which took place nearby.

Eventually after more stops at Fort William, Barrhead and probably other places too we finally came in sight of Ailsa Craig

 Ailsa Craig from the southeast

The vast granite plug in  the lower reaches of the Clyde that heralded our destination. Known as ‘Paddy’s milestone’ because it also heralded the arrival in Scotland of many Irish immigrants in years gone by.

Four days of partying, dug walking and shelf fixing later we found ourselves packing the Land Rover once more to head home having averaged 35MPG on the journey south Surprised smile Not bad for an old tank and much better than the 25MPG I averaged towing the caravan to Mull. With a full tank of fuel we headed north at 7:00AM on lovely quiet roads until just after Tarbert on Loch Lomond when my fan belt snapped Sad smile

Not having a spare or any tools to change it if I had I decided to improvise using one of the dog leads which was not a success, after five miles it snapped. I guess at the knot I’d tied, so after creeping northwards along the loch side whilst keeping an eye on the temperature gauge. I finally found a place to safely stop


the now derelict Bonnie Banks Café where I managed to find a length of 6mm rope that I spliced together after guestimating the correct length to go around the crankshaft and water pump pulleys.

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I figured that I would get home on the juice in my battery as long as I switched off the heater and CD player and I’d just have to manage without the power steering. The water pump requires very little effort to drive it whereas the power steering and alternator sap a couple of horse power. Sure it would be a long slow drive at 40MPH and quite boring without the audio book I was listening to but I made it to Sconser where the car park was full for the first time in years Surprised smile


Though they only left two cars behind and went back for them Smile

The other plug

With my voltmeter reading just 10V I finally arrived home around 18:00 and after unpacking the Land Rover and making dinner went to bed. The next couple of days being taken up by fitting the spare fan belt I should have taken with me Smile


I also serviced my Pals 2.3 Honda outboard,

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delivered it to Torran,

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where there’s a fine if distant view of Raasay’s very own volcanic plug, Dun Caan Smile


That’s it really, I came home to a much greener garden than I’d left and now I’m off to do some work.

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  1. 10V on your poor battery! I hope you gave it some TLC (tender loving charging) ASAP!



    Comment by Damon Hart-Davis — April 12, 2022 @ 10:40 am

  2. Wow … that was a epic one. Nice fix with the well spliced rope chap!

    Comment by Matt — April 12, 2022 @ 11:03 am

    • Aye Matt, was pretty chuffed myself, though not as pleased as when I fixed the broken heater tap on my MG Midget with a tampon 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2022 @ 4:08 pm

      • I can see how you’d rate that one higher up in the ‘bodge it’ leader-board … no way I’ll ever beat that! 🤣

        Comment by Matt — April 12, 2022 @ 4:20 pm

  3. Such a nice wee tale with my morning coffee. Thanks once again for sharing a glimpse of life at the end of the road. Very envious.

    Comment by Laura Winkler — April 12, 2022 @ 11:14 am

    • Glad you enjoyed it Laura.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2022 @ 4:06 pm

  4. So glad you got to see the family, hope they come to visit Raasay sometime, maybe during the summer holidays ?
    Your neighbours seem very “crafty”. I looked at the Facebook page, nice stuff. Whatever happened to the cabin the jewellery maker Fiona used to have – I think she married and moved away didn’t she.

    Comment by Caroline — April 12, 2022 @ 11:37 am

    • Sadly Fiona, Iain and baby departed to another distillery 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2022 @ 4:05 pm

  5. Your reference to Ailsa Craig sparked a memory. Many many years ago my parents had a caravan on a delightful little caravan site called Ringstead Bay. (It was on National Trust land with a max of 30 caravans and a rudimentary toilet block). Anyway, at low tide a reef appeared which produced a small, sheltered bay of clear sea – ideal for learning to swim, dive, scuba, sail and canoe.

    We had a sailing dinghy which we used for sailing (what a surprise) and also fishing – which was when we would attach an outboard motor to it. So, why did your reference spark a memory? Because the outboard we had was a Tomos Ailsa Craig. Almost everybody else used the ubiquitous Sea Bee but dad liked to do things differently. 🙂

    Comment by Andy Poulton — April 12, 2022 @ 1:17 pm

    • Aye Andy, had a few adventures myself with the trusty Tomos Ailsa Craig 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2022 @ 4:03 pm

  6. I take it you’ve stopped wearing tights then! 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Comment by finniedog — April 12, 2022 @ 5:05 pm

    • I did think of using my braces though 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2022 @ 7:11 pm

      • LOL, not as good as tights though the men would have us think 🙂

        Comment by finniedog — April 12, 2022 @ 8:14 pm

  7. That is certainly one way of keeping your speed in check between Crianlarich and Tyndrum 🙂 Well done with the string theory.

    Comment by Andy — April 12, 2022 @ 8:00 pm

  8. Glad to see the blogs back up paul, grant, gordon ( Kate’s cottage ) and myself were at the end of the road today on the bikes and spoke to your new nabours!

    Comment by v8mbo — May 1, 2022 @ 2:00 pm

    • Sorry I missed you Robin, fine day for it hey 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 1, 2022 @ 5:21 pm

  9. Hi Paul. I watched my all time favorite movie, Local Hero, for about the 100th time last night and got nostalgic for your part of the world. I have visited Pennan and walked on the beach by Morar and then walked to Arising and spent the following night in Lochairlort (any place in the credits of the movie I’ve tried to go to, except Banff, which I hope to tick that box off when I walk the Speyside Way). Hope all is well and your Spring and Summer were superb. Cheers, Morgan in Northern California.

    Comment by Morgan — August 23, 2022 @ 1:25 am

    • Hi Morgan, hope all is well in California and you are not to hot. Great film hey, I have relatives in Banff though I’ve never met them, apparently they had the best chip shop in town 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 23, 2022 @ 7:34 am

      • Good to hear from you Paul, hope all well at the North End. Visit to Mull in May was fantastic, apart from the weather! Your suggestion re Loch Buie Cafe and Mull Cheese were spot on, fantastic! thank you. Back to Barra next week for another taste of heaven. All the best. Sally

        Comment by Sally — August 24, 2022 @ 1:18 pm

    • Forgot to add my wife and I came to Edinburgh in 2019 to see the musical of Local Hero at the Lyceum. It was the first run of the production. The story line and characters were changed quite a bit and Mark Knopfler wrote all new songs. Covid shutdown production in 2020, it was supposed to play at the Old Vic in London, but I see it is having, or possibly had, a short run somewhere else this year. It seemed appropriate to see it in Scotland. I am a true fan of director Bill Forsyth’s work and have seen all his films. Love Gregory’s Girl.

      Comment by Morgan Will — September 10, 2022 @ 1:15 am

  10. Hello Paul, Hope you’re OK & all’s well up at the North end – no news for a long time. Thought I might draw attention to the Raasay Community Renewables project and their video – stunning drone views on & around Raasay! It must be just about time now, to flick the switches & start generating. Good luck to all involved. Best wishes Ian

    Comment by Ian Button — September 29, 2022 @ 9:54 pm

    • Thanks for the pointer, Ian. Great video and an inspiring community project. We are shareholders in a similar scheme in our Pennines village. See

      Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — October 6, 2022 @ 7:24 am

  11. I’m sure Pauls followers will join me in wishing him and his family a Happy Christmas, and a healthy and peaceful New Year. We hope all is well at Sonas, and hopefully look forward to an update when Paul feels able. Best Wishes to all followers to. Sally

    Comment by Sally — December 8, 2022 @ 10:28 am

    • Paul has been on the news here in Scotland a fair few times with his son and his business partner. They hope to have green energy generated on the island and supply it to the grid. His son and business partner had crowd funding to finance it. Can be found on google. I guess this is why no blogs for a long time. Just too busy.

      Comment by Jay — December 22, 2022 @ 8:07 pm

      • Thanks Jay. See comment 10 above for details of renewable energy project. Not sure if this is the same project as Pauls son ? Great project(s), anyway.

        Comment by David G — December 22, 2022 @ 8:32 pm

  12. I’m with you Sally! Happy Christmas Paul and I hope all is well at the end of the road. I’ve been treating myself to reading older posts from December’s past and rediscovering the charm of Rassay and a crofters life. Cheers! Morgan in California

    Comment by Morgan Will — December 15, 2022 @ 1:05 am

  13. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Paul 🙂

    Comment by Dan Grey — December 31, 2022 @ 7:02 pm

  14. Just a note to say hello and that your blogs are missed. No guilt trip, just letting you know it. Glad to keep up with the Raasay energy info. Should be able to visit Raasay for a day in May and hope to see it working in person. Hope you and both dugs are fit and fine.

    Comment by Laura Winkler — February 19, 2023 @ 6:55 pm

  15. Where have you gone? I miss your posts! Too much partying and walking the dug…

    Comment by Cecilia Mary Gunther — February 27, 2023 @ 3:30 pm

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