Life at the end of the road

August 1, 2017

Ticket for Bella anyone :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, for sale, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

Not the brilliant day they were promising right enough, at least not in the morning, in fact it was pretty pish AM considering we’d been promised a good day. I was up as usual at ‘stupid o clock’, put on a pot of coffee a little after 6:00AM and gazed westwards over to Skye full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. Five minutes later it was pishing with rain so without touching it I left the Brazilian ‘blend in the pot on the hot plate and went back to bed. Almost three hours later I had another go, the coffee having benefitted from it’s long gestation on the 300W hot plate ‘hit the spot’ and I trudged forth in the midge infested morn and fed the zoo.

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It was not actually raining then but within minutes of me stepping through the door into the house it was Sad smile I was not impressed, XC had promised a good day and this was certainly not, at least what I’d seen of it so far didn’t live up to much.


Sure there was a nice rainbow or two but I was wanting a little sunshine and to forego the oilskins for once.


Luckily I have a shed so got on with finishing off a few jobs on the ‘Old Girl’, yesterday’s winch repair for one. I fitted a new motor on Monday, a ‘Goodwinch’ one and not a genuine Warn one as I have in the past. This motor is direct replacement for the Warn one and a third of the price, not only that but the brushes are larger and fitted in brass holders. The Warn holders are steel and rust, which makes the brushes stick and burn out the commutator. This I know cos it’s happens every couple of years, usually when you really need the winch Sad smile


Also changed the gear oils in the axles and transfer box using this vintage gear oil pump that I’ve had at least 30 years and it was an antique when I got it from me mate at in ‘Accy’ all those years ago.

The birthday boy Smile

Sure enough it did finally brighten up so The lad and I went out for a dip.


He’s been pretty sick this last couple of weeks, fever and now a cold but the worst of it seemed by with so off we headed to Port Arnish.


There was a bit of a traffic jam on the way with a certain ‘birthday boy’ going in the same direction as us Smile

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Our plan had been to search for a large anchor below the Torran Schoolhouse that I once used as a mooring for the Conqueror. This we’d been searching for ‘on and off’ now for over a month without success but we had cleared the ground of four smaller anchors so planned to grapple for it after our dive. First though we anchored off the white house at Torran to search for the chain we’d found last month. The chain had been marked with an orange buoy but that had mysteriously vanished. Whilst we never actually found that chain we did find yet another massive anchor and even more BIGGER chain!!! Seems like Loch Arnish is a bit of a chain mine and anchor dumping ground Smile


It’s pretty good for clams too Smile bit like riding a bike this scallop diving, you just never forget how to do it and I wasn’t even trying Smile

As well as the clams we picked up a bucket of cracking mussels from a sunken trawl float that had returned to the surface after a long stint on the sea bed. I guess the float had gradually sunk under the weight of marine growth and mussels but after lying in deep water for so long much of the growth must have died off due to lack of light. Eventually it floated back to the surface where we found it, covered in its bounty of mature grit free mussels.

Whilst out in Loch Arnish we met up once more with the ‘birthday boy’ and managed to unload some of our ‘ocean bounty’ on him. By the the time we finally got home, his mum, Raasay’s oldest resident was ensconced in our  living room awaiting her taxi.

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Methinks the cailleach will be 95 this year and is just learning the art of quad riding to Torran. Jessie normally walks!!! I kid you not she usually walks the mile or so rough track to her old home without ‘batting an eyelid’.


Just as Jessie was leaving Arnish the 81,769t MS Zuiderdam was leaving Portree Dunno if she’s the largest vessel to visit Skye’s capital but she cannae be far off, that is a seriously large ship.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, drink and indoor

Almost as large as the ‘birthday boy’s’ selection of drink Smile

A spare ticket


For sale at ‘face value’ £150 a Belladrum 3 day camping ticket and parking pass

July 17, 2017

Two little girls

Filed under: animals, daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:37 am

Having survived another day of ‘17 Plate’ hire cars piloted by people who clearly cannot drive what I really need is a large glass of red to calm my nerves, but that’s not going to happen, on a working day at least. Seriously, you really are taking ‘you life in your hands’ at this time of year on highland roads and ferries. I really must start videoing some of the antics at Sconser, it’s frightening when it’s not funny. People stopping dead in a 60MPH zone to take pictures of the ferry, cars driving the wrong way down the carriageway, ignoring the no entry sign, jumping the queue, parking in the ferry lanes then disappearing for hours, even days!!!! I kid you not. And that’s before they get on the ferry, you would have thought that a flattened palm in front of any windscreen was an international signal to stop, clearly not judging by the number close shaves I’ve had recently.

So, not being able to calm myself with alcohol I thought I’d bash away on here for a wee while and try and get back into this blogging carry on. I’ve still no Internet right enough so there’ll be no links and it won’t go out until Monday but ‘hey ho’ I’ll give it a go. It’s Sunday and the miserable day that was prophesied didn’t actually materialize until after 17:00 and on the whole it has been a bright if not breezy day. At least the bits I’ve seen of it have been and it actually started out lovely.

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My first job being to feed the two ‘diggers’ that we got last week, Lulu and Cilla are Large Black x Old Spot gilts we got to fatten for Christmas. The wee girls are pure beauties and I’ve never had a pair so enthusiastic about digging. They are about the same size as Molly and already they are grubbing away like a pair of rotovators. Funny thing about pigs, some pigs dig and some pigs don’t, sure they all root using that snout like a shovel but some are just playing at it, well these two are very serious I can tell you.


After Lulu and Cilla I went to check on the new ‘table birds’ that we just got off ‘Donald the Hen’ over in Struan. Sure we’ve pulled the odd cockerels neck for dinner but these are the first birds that we have bought specially to rear for meat. They are called Sassos and should reach around 8lb in 12 weeks so ‘watch this space’ as they say.

After that it was off to work early so I could check my emails or at least the ones that have not vanished. I went online yesterday to discover nothing older than 14 days!!!!! Years of them just vanished from Thunderbird, Yahoo and the Windoze 10 client Sad smile They were there in the morning but after a Windoze or Dell update they just disappeared. Most of them still appear to be on the hard drive of my other laptop but heaven knows how I get them off there without losing them. Sure I’ve looked online but most of what I read is gobbledegook to me.

At work it was the usual busy summer Sunday and of course ‘BIG BREAKFAST’ which gave me the first taste of Ozzie and Django sausages Smile


And there is still room in the freezer for some scallops Smile

Once the breakfast and midday sailing were out of the way it was time for the regular anchor and boat drill and my favourite one, the monthly ‘black out’. I just love blacking out the ship Smile

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I seem to remember my son’s Xbox once having something called ‘The red ring of death’ well this is the Hallaig’s  version Smile At least it is until that baby on the right automatically ‘kicks in’ the EDG (emergency diesel generator) saves the day Smile Power can be restored and the main DG’s brought back online one at a time.

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The 375kW synchronous PMG motors can then be started locally in the event of any communication/power failure with the bridge.

So, after a few ‘near misses’ on the car deck and a late sailing from Sconser, due to an accident on the A82 (no doubt involving a ‘17 plate’ hire car or septuagenarian on a high powered motorcycle) I headed home.


OK, it wasn’t actually like that, that was last week but I forgot to post that picture the other day


and that one.


All taken from the same window as this one, which is a young finch of some kind, not sure which as we get quite a few. This wee chap was daft enough to fly into the window and got stunned for a wee while. So that’s it for now, with my new found enthusiasm for diving and not having any Internet to distract me I’m off to bed to read a chapter or two of Jacques Cousteau’s Silent World, the book I read first in the late secondary school and set me off diving in the first place. 

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