Life at the end of the road

September 30, 2019

Turning into an epic :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Discovery, food, stonework — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:37 am

Eight fifteen PM now and I’m ready for my bed, sure I’ve been blogging ‘early doors’ of late but I’m back to work on Tuesday and really need to get the Disco finished tomorrow. The ‘little’ welding job I started is (as usual) turning into an epic and we’re off to dry dock on Thursday. So, not only do I need a car, I need one that works properly and me Subaru is also poorly at the moment.

I only started this wee job cos the Disco is such a faff to get on my lift.

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I use long planks of wood supporting the sills rather than just the rubber pads, they spread the load much better and there’s not the danger of the pads slipping on a sloping steel chassis. In all honesty I wouldn’t be seen dead under this Chinese lift if I’d not put the vehicle on it myself, sure it has safety locks on the arms and lift but it would be extremely easy to dislodge the vehicle and have it crush you if you were not more than a little cautious. Once up in the air though it really does make life so much easier.

Off to bed now but I’ll leave you with the last pics of the day

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Busy I may have been but it was Sunday after all, so when a good friend turned up we took the dugs out for a walk, making sure of course to take a bag for any ‘shrooms we found along the way.


Well it certainly has been the year of the lactarius, these monster ‘shrooms were popping up everywhere. Not held in high esteem throughout Europe they are apparently a delicacy in Russia when pickled in salt. Perhaps that’s what my granny did with them.

We wandered down the Torran track towards the Old Schoolhouse, then just before it, turned right and followed the burn up towards North Arnish. The last time I was up here must have been ten years back when checking it out for a possible hydro turbine.

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Leah just kept checking it out for possible bathing sites, Molly watched in amusement, Wee Dug is not fond of water and is good to follow across boggy ground cos she generally picks a dry route Smile It’s quite a magical spot up this valley and it is not a frequently visited one, bar the deer of course which seem to use it regularly. With a bit of work it would certainly be a possible micro hydro electric scheme of a couple of hundred Watts but it’s a long way from my house Smile

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There are the remains of a few old boundary walls up there and once clear of the birch and hazel you come out near an old sheep ffank below the red rocks of Torran.

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Sure they don’t look very red now but come the late autumn blood red sunsets, they’ll be ‘on fire’ Smile

Turning right we then did the short climb up to North Arnish,

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being blessed with some fine views of Torran along the way. Nice wind turbines Smile no wind Sad smile

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I guess this ruin, which was once the Post Office must, if I’m not very much mistaken, be the highest house on Raasay by a long way. It certainly produced people of strength, you had to be fit just to live there Smile

Back under the Disco Sad smile

Once back home with the first winter chanterelles of the season, a few hedgehogs, regular chanterelles and a birch boletus, I got back under me truck.


I don’t usually bother picking the birch boletus, they are really common and nice dried for soups and curries but they’re a bit slimy when fried. However, this one was a nice specimen and would bulk up the sauce I was planning for a dinner with scallops Smile

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Meanwhile it was back to my pile of steel for stitching to the Disco chassis,


three, five and eight millimetre steel should do the trick Smile

September 28, 2019

Round rugged Rona and roaring stags :-)

Gonna try and make this brief cos it’s only two hours until dawn, the forecast is brilliant and I have much ‘on the list’ for today.

Sorted the Yanmar ?

So, yesterday’s first task was to get to the bottom of the Brochel generators recurring fuel starvation problems. The main issue being a choked fuel filter caused by a tank full of carp, bad diesel and improper filling from Jerry cans. Sure the ubiquitous can gets it’s name from it’s invention by the Germans just prior to WWII . Since then just about every country in the world has copied it in one form or another, it’s easy to carry, stacks well, requires no funnel and is generally ‘leak proof’ it does however have a serious drawback. Perhaps not in its original form but most of the ones you purchase these days (even genuine ex MOD ones) have a red paint coating on the inside and eventually tiny bits of paint flake off. I can absolutely guarantee that if you open up the fuel filter of any car, truck, digger, plant or generator that is regularly filled from a Jerry can, you will find tiny flakes of red paint in it. Now I dunno if Rommel had problems in Africa with his Tiger tanks but just about every outboard motor on a fish farm does Smile Added to that is water usually acquired from filling the tank in the rain or with a wet funnel. Sure the odd drop my not seem like much but it all adds up and then stays in the tank causing mayhem in the way of rust or ‘diesel bug’, a bacteria that lives at the interface of the water and fuel.

diesel bug 

A bad case from one of my own tanks years ago, it looks like frog spawn, gums up filters but worst of all it is extremely corrosive.

Anyway, my first job was to power wash the tank with my 200 bar pressure washer then suck it dry with a ‘wet’ vacuum cleaner.

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That done I headed south to Brochel to refit it to the Yanmar and take the builders some fuel for their petrol one. Amongst other things I had a fuel filter waiting for me on the ferry so drove down to the village to collect that and supplement my muesli at Iona’s Larch Box

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Sadly Iona was having a well earned day off so I had to forsake her brie, pesto and sun dried tomato toastie for breakfast with a friend in the village. Mind you the scrambled egg, smoked salmon and tomato on toast I got there was boodly awesome too Smile 

The wee Larch Box is a little hemmed in at the moment with a film company that seem to have taken over this part of the island recently Smile

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So come to Raasay and the Larch Box, you may get breakfast with the stars Smile

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Though methinks most of them are locked in The Alamo which looks like it’s preparing for a siege Smile Smile

After ‘second breakfast’, collecting my filters, anti roll bar bushes, brake fluid and links from the ferry I headed back north.

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The silage was in at Oscaig and there was a great big Vanguard class nuke heading north on the range at Brochel. Dunno which one it was, they all look the same and it was too far away for a picture.


However, I did manage to leave two running generators in my wake when I finally left Brochel and the happy builders Smile

Round Rona

I had managed to acquire some mackerel from the ferry along with my generator, Subaru and Disco parts but I was still determined to catch some of my own. The days are getting shorter, the boat is in the water and the sea calm so I thought I’d make the most of the opportunity and decided to head up to Rona.

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As has been usual of late, the loch is full of porpoises, not quite so usual though is this ‘sheep on the rocks’. Unusual cos it’s wearing about five fleeces and there are not actually any sheep at the North End any more. I saw it there yesterday and from experience have found that they get stuck, sometimes for days but as soon as you try and ‘rescue’ them they either find a way out or jump in the sea. If sorry looking old girl heads for the water with all those fleeces on she’s not going to be coming out of it Sad smile

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Two pictures of where the sea eagles were Smile There was a pair perched on these rocks on Fladda yesterday and today but it’s no easy to photograph em from a moving boat Smile

The old schoolhouse and holiday cottages at ‘Dry Harbour’ on Rona

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Above them on the hill is the 2.5kW wind turbine I helped install with Hugh Piggott, Bill Cowie and of course the helicopter that put it there Smile

After some more unsuccessful fishing in the bay there I headed north to the Rona Navy Base and it’s ‘bright lights’, so bizarre to see street lights there.

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Then it was round the top and down the east side.

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Fishless, it was time to head home and feed the pigs,


whatever it was in Loch Arnish (probably the porpoises).


May coming to be fed, hotly pursued by the ‘Iron Age’ pigs Smile


I heard my first stag roaring yesterday and so did these hinds, never saw him right enough but he mustn’t have been far away.

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OK, I never caught em myself but the mackerel I got given went into a fine Linguine, which is something you can try when you are fed up with every other way of eating them Smile I dunno where I got this recipe form but it’s great when you are fed up with the taste of mackerel, not that I am, I’ve not had chance Smile Anyways, make a pasta sauce, you know, onions, garlic olive oil, tinned and fresh toms, touch of stock and tomato puree. Once that’s bubbling nicely dump a load of frozen peas in it until the sauce is back up to temp. Add mackerel fillets, cover pan then sit on very low light for 20 – 40 mins depending on what you’re doing or how high the ‘low light’ is. Me I had work to do in the shed so left it for half an hour or so on a warm hot plate. Serve with spaghetti or linguine, boodly awesome and not in the least fishy Smile

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