Life at the end of the road

April 3, 2022

Back in time :-)

My last day on Mull was nice leisurely affair, like a holiday even Smile The Mule was finished and I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself and thought I’d visit a few of my old haunts from waaaay back in time. The era of Thatcher and the miners strike when I seriously considered moving to Mull to salvage coal Surprised smile Luckily I saw sense and took a job on Scalpay managing a scallop farm instead. The coal was still on board the SS Meldon


a 2514 ton collier on the bottom of Loch Buie that I just happen to own, or at least a third share in it Smile 

The Meldon struck a mine laid by U-78 in March of 1917 but her captain managed to get her into Loch Buie before she sank in around 10M of water. Where she lies to this day

her iron prop and rudder pintle being quite a sight to behold Smile 

As well as the Meldon the SS Maine, HMS Barcombe and several other wrecks lie in this area  all of which I visited many times in the past.

Chauffer driven

The first job however was to go and look at a digger in Salen with  my Mate, a baby brother to Calum the Kubota no less Smile I’m sure he’ll makes as much use of it around his campsite as I do of Calum around the croft. Probably he’ll ache a lot less too Smile


After which he drove us back to Tobermory via Loch na Keal  , Ulva ferry and Dervaig. A most enjoyable jaunt especially from the passenger seat Smile After lunch at my caravan I headed off in the Land Rover to Loch Buie on the south west of Mull.

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Once more passing through the village of Salen past three sad looking old fishing boats. When I was last here in 1985 there was only one, the ‘blue’ one nearest and it looked like it had been there years then Surprised smile It’s called the FV Glen Carradale but we always called it the Glen Scammeldale cos it had a Scammel truck tractor cab for a wheelhouse Smile


You had to see it and know its owner to appreciate the joke Smile

Then it was on to the head of Loch Buie where we parked up at the Old Lochbuie Post Office café which didn’t open until the 11th Sad smile I dunno if it was ever a Post Office as I remember it being further up the glen where the telephone box resides.


The new one is certainly a big improvement Smile


Parking up at the café we left the aching Molly in the Land Rover and took the track that follows the loch shore towards Carsaig, yet another beautiful old stone pier but Bonzo and I only went about a mile down to where we used to camp in years gone by.

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By the remnants of old farm machinery, fishing gear and the foundations of a shed to


a beach where we would launch the boat and camp whilst diving on the wrecks. Returning to the Land Rover after our trip down ‘memory lane’ to the monument just by the Old Post Office to ‘Loch Buie and his Highlanders’. Dunno what the inscription says you can’t read it now but 40 years ago you could.

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I remember this monument very well cos I hit it with an Alfa Romeo Sad smile Writing it off in the process but not before straightening the chassis with a tractor and strainer post, soldering the radiator over a camp fire, tying the bonnet and wing on with fencing wire and driving home 300 miles Surprised smile Those were the days Smile

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Can’t you read Bonzo, it says beware of adders Surprised smile One time I was up here we stayed in this farm at the head of the loch it was Easter 1984 and the gearbox layshaft bearings failed in my Series III LWB Safari Land Rover leaving me with only two gears, low and high 4th. Undaunted I got a Pal to bring me up a new layshaft and bearings and fitted them in the field at the side of the farm Surprised smile 

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This tree is in the cemetery at the head of Loch Spelve on the way to Lochbuie I dunno if it’s a ewe but if it is it must be ancient as it’s the largest one I’ve ever seen Surprised smile


Well that was a nice leisurely trip home via Lochaline and  the MV Catriona. Ferguson’s MV Harvest Anne and the MV Aqua Stadt heading down the Sound of Mull as we awaited Catriona.

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Once on the mainland it was off on the single track A884 towards the Corran ferry

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stopping at the head of Loch Sunart in the sunshine to walk the dugs.

Sopped briefly in Fort William for a Lidl shop before continuing the northward trek towards home.

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Stopping briefly at the side of Loch Garry to admire the view Sad smile


of some toe rags fly tipping Sad smile

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Home at last around 17:30 Smile

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March 24, 2022

Pretty vacant :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:40 am

Almost 7:30 now, must have rained during the night and it’s pretty grey outdoors. I managed to crawl out of bed at 6:00 but haven’t achieved much as I’ve been wandering about like a half shut knife with a cup of black coffee in my hand going horse shouting at Bonzo and Molly as they get distracted by all the good sniffs about the shed. The big attraction being drops of congealed blood in the stones of my drive and four sides of pork hanging in my lean to.


Yesterday’s annual ‘pig fest’ getting started with Gavin and I getting everything set up.

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First thing being to get the 100litre cast iron boiler in position and lit. You need LOTS of hot water when de-hairing a rare breed pig. When this thing gets lit it takes around an hour to get the first 100Litres up to temp. The water needs to be about 80 degrees to melt the fat in the follicles, any hotter and you risk cooking the pig in the bath. However what we’ve found is that if the pig is kept out of the bath so it doesn’t lie in any water you can use boiling water without risk of cooking. The hair comes of easier, you just have to be careful when pouring the water not to scald anyone Winking smile

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After doing Spotty we moved the bath out into the sunshine Smile

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The hardest part is actually collecting the blood for black pudding making but this year we actually managed to collect a record amount. The secret is to collect it in a big bowl whilst stirring it like crazy with a whisk to stop it clotting. Not an easy task but a digger helps Smile

Having actually started at 13:00 we finally had Spotty, Marmalade and Jiffy in six sides and hanging by 18:00. Then it was dinner involving liver, kidneys and lots of wine along at the Schoolhouse. I seem to remember driving home on the quad and managing to brush my teeth before collapsing into bed. Consequently I’m a little ‘vague’ this morning.

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Still, at least my garden is coming to life, which is more than can be said for me. However I will no attempt to walk along to Torran with Bonzo, Molly and Gavin to collect the Mule and take the four remaining sides over and chop em up.

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These three random pictures being hawthorn on the croft next door which I swear wasn’t green on Monday. The NLV Pole Star and 100m of 90mm black pipe that Donald on the Mary M towed up from the Raasay ferry terminal for me Winking smile Thanks Donald.

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