Life at the end of the road

March 28, 2019

I love concrete :-)

Almost 21:00 now on a Thursday night and I’m sat here drinking the bin mans beer, sorry Sam Smile Well, I’ve been saving it for him since New Year but he’s no been well so I reckon I done good to keep it this long Smile 

That’s me more than a week into my months holiday too but it’s only today that I’ve actually got stuck into my holiday projects with earnest. Of  course I didn’t actually get back home until last Friday and there was ‘quality time’ to be had with Darling Wife and then a whole day spent wiring up the new shed.

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I gotta say that I was pretty chuffed with that, loads of 13amp double sockets with weather proof ones at the ends and the four 35W LED strips lights I was most impressed with.

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Still awaiting a weather proof switch for by the door from Screwfix and I was so impressed with the LED strips I ordered some more.

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LED lights have come on in ‘leaps and bounds’ this last few years, I did fit some in the barn a few years ago and can’t say I was too impressed but these 4’ 36W got great reviews and I was not disappointed. They provide an excellent instant bright light, ideal for fiddly jobs at night, as I found out when I tried to start my Mate’s quad.


The throttle seized open on the trusty Yamaha YFM350 Bruin and of course the carburettor is buried under the seat and fuel tank. Typical of the Japanese machines the carburettor is well sealed with an O ring to prevent water ingress but I guess over years some had found its way in there and not been able to escape. A little persuasion with a hammer and WD40 soon had it sorted though.

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A young stag there eying up the fresh green hawthorn in the garden, seem to be seeing quite a lot of him lately.

Back to the concrete

With the ‘Old Girl’ still away, a full year for an alleged six week job I managed to get a loan of ‘The Tank’ on Wednesday to get me around 8 tons of aggregate.

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The Tank being next door’s Nissan Patrol 3.0 TD auto, which really is built like a tank but uses about as much fuel as one too Smile I spent the whole of yesterday shuttling back and fore to Sconser Quarry for ‘20mm all in concrete mix’.

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I was hoping that this would be enough to finish the base but I now have my doubts. After speaking to the ‘Shed Guru’ Callum at the Raasay Sawmill I decided to go for a 5m extension instead of another 3m one, so obviously the base is gonna be bigger and it’s gonna have to take the weight of Calum the Kubota and or dumper so it’s gonna be thicker and reinforced. Still, ‘I have a plan’ Smile

The neurotic dug

Taking the dugs away with me seemed like a good idea, I thought it might introduce some chaos into me Mam’s dug, Leah’s life. That’s my dear old mum been buried for a year now and still Leah hasn’t really settled. I figured a break from routine might help her and sure she was fine down there, in fact we all were. We went for lots of walks, met loads of folk and I’ve never picked up so much dog 5h1t in my life Smile Sadly, as soon as we got back home she went AWOL then started fretting as soon as we put the heating on in the house.


My Mate Les suggested one of these, a Thundershirt,  may help so it arrived yesterday and Leah is wearing it as we speak. It’s early days yet but she certainly seemed quite settled in it and she’s not barking quite so much, fingers crossed.

Back to the shed

So, with my big pile of aggregate and a good stock of cement the plan was to start pouring the base for the shed extension today. Trouble being I couldn’t make my mind up as to what size to make it, 3m now then another 3m later, 4m now, 5m now or even 6!!!! After a whole mornings deliberation I decided to go for one extra 5m bay which would need an extra 3 uprights, one at the front and two at the back.

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After measuring it out I cut some steel up, bored 14mm holes in it and fitted 250mm lengths of M12, 8.8 threaded bar.

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However this piece on the right was just to hard to bore with my cutter and I blunted one 14mm broach and broke two 12mm ones before giving up. I guess it had lain outside for so long it had ‘case hardened’. I even tried grinding away a few thou off the surface but still the cutters wouldn’t touch it.

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By the time I’d done all this and the shuttering it was far too late in the day to start pouring the base so I contended myself with just setting the plates for the three uprights and some dollops for the mesh.

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It wouldn’t fit on one plate

With ‘Darling Wife’ putting the hours at at the Distillery ‘yours truly’ has been ‘looking after his sen’ as they say in Yorkshire Smile Yesterday it was an awesome salad spiced up with Raasay Walled Garden leaves accompanying some asparagus, broccoli, boiled spuds and hot smoked salmon. 


Today it was a fresh tuna steak fried in olive oil and harissa with more or less the same,


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the steak was so big I needed two plates Smile

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MV Loch Bhrusda and MV Loch Linnhe at Raasay yesterday, tomorrow Bhrusda will be going to Mallaig for a few days so get down early for the ferry if you have an important appointment. Linnhe’s car deck was made for Vauxhall Viva’s not Mazda 6’s, Ford Mondeo’s and ‘crew cab’ pickups Smile

Willie Campbell at the Distillery

Night in the ‘toon hoose’ methinks Smile

Hector’s Noost

It was during one of my many waits at the Sconser car park that I had a chance to admire the up and coming takeaway cum bunkhouse there.

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Beautifully crafted stonework and I just love that corrugated iron roof.


Sure it’s a proper ‘marinised’ coating on it with a thirty year guarantee but this is gonna be one fantastic wee asset when it’s finished. I was fortunate enough to meet Hector there and he showed me around inside, you sure can tell that this has been thought about by one who actually lives in Sconser and knows the place Smile Unlike the waiting room and toilets with their shallow pitched slate roofs and the silly hinged doors on the goods shed. No one in their right mind would fit hinged doors on a shed at Sconser!!!

March 22, 2019

Carping meself :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:30 am

Well I’m almost home after a two week plus stint in LA Smile Much as I love Lochaline it’s environs and folk, I love home the best. I was relieved hours ago by my trusty ‘back to back’ and common sense would have dictated I stay there until tomorrow and drive north today. Sadly a desire to see the wife, croft, hoose and all things dear to my heart had me leaving LA at around 16:00. Not a good move due to the forecast and I have only myself to blame, for whilst I did have a nice drive home and called in at Kyle for a ‘Chinese’ I’m now stuck at Sconser with two terrified dugs. Leah is in the car and won’t come out and Molly is trembling at my side. Bits are flying of the caravan, the ferry probably will not run and the only person I can blame is myself. Still, the jacks are down on the van which is still firmly attached to the Subaru, so with a bit of luck we won’t blow over or into the sea Smile


Sign says ‘disruption likely’ well ‘amen to that’ Smile

Sure I fully intended posting last night but manged to forget me ‘dongle’ so had no Internet, sure I had my employers Internet at the port but that cost millions and is carp whereas mine costs about a tenner a month and is pure amazing Smile

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Amazing tractor towing chipper that can demolish 2’ diameter trees!!!!

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Old bogie and mine entrance at LQS

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Serious dumper at LQS Smile

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A wee walk along to the pontoons in Lochaline with the dugs.

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Fishermen and fish farmers in the Sound of Mull.

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Teuchters on tour and a ‘tight load’.


‘Admiral’s chicken’ that’ll be Sandy’s chicken breasts basted in pesto, butter, cheese and bacon then served with oven chips, baked sweet potato and broccoli, awesome Smile


Leah and Molly at feeding time, they have been great company Smile


A Norwegian submarine transiting the Sound of Mull.


Briggs Marine’s ‘Kingdom of Fife’


FPV Minna


A very tidy looking tug called Strathfoyle at Lochaline West Pier, listed on AIS as Dutch built by Damen shipyards in Holland but actually ‘made in China’ Smile

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A fishing boat heading south and the Yeoman Bontrup heading north. The Bontrup is one of the two ‘worlds largest’ self discharging bulk carriers in the world at some 96000 plus GRT.

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Rare pics of MV Loch Linnhe at the LQS pier in Loch Alainn, she was just waiting there for Hallaig to load.

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