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.

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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

December 25, 2013

The ‘sprout run’ :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, for sale, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:08 pm

Just after 18:00 and the Christmas dinner is just finished, a little later than is traditional in this household but I had to work today, something I’ve not done in 57 years. Not that it bothered me, or the rest of the crew, for the whole island was depending on us for their sprouts and yesterdays papers Smile Personally I hate the friggin things (sprouts and papers) but wifey had promised to make them edible by cremating them in the oven with butter and bacon. To be honest even the papers would have been edible covered in butter and wrapped in bacon Smile

The weather yesterday had been atrocious to say the least, and Raasay had been left without mail, papers and worst of all sprouts for the Christmas dinners. Sure I’ve seen worse storms but I really can’t remember when and two people I spoke to today commented that they’d NEVER seen the glass so low. My skippers barometer went off the scale and a friend who’d had the same one for 51 years said it had never dropped so low EVER. I dunno what they recorded but clocked 939 millibar, which is the lowest I’ve heard of.

Batteries only

Anyway, I crept out of the house this morning just after 7:00am to get down to Hallaig for 8:00am and sail for 9:00am. CalMac don’t usually sail on Christmas day, but after yesterdays disruption both ourselves and the Hebrides had made the decision to put some kind of service on.  Of course nothing in life is guaranteed and the ‘weather window’ afforded us by seemed to be slipping away every time I checked the forecast. However upon driving south to work I was encouraged by the clear sky and the sparkling lights of Portree as I rounded the Bealach Ruadh on the west side of Raasay. Not long afterwards the lights Sconser, Braes and even Oskaig came into view and I figured that I would at least be able to ‘fire up’ Hallaig without drama. Not only that but the wind seemed to be abating by the minute and by 8:15 Hallaig was ‘alive’ and we all settled down to a cup of tea prior to sailing.


With only one car and passenger on board it was hardly a profitable crossing but we had two cars awaiting us at Sconser



and of course a van load of sprouts and groceries Smile


With only the one sailing scheduled we did it in ‘battery only’ mode



the 19lts of fuel being what I used just to warm up the generators at ‘start up’.


With the sprouts on Raasay we tied up for the day and I headed for the shop to buy some Sad smile


The Raasay Community Store open on Christmas day!!!!!


and just look at all that drink Smile

Word had obviously got around for the shop was absolutely mobbed and I got to thinking that it was probably a great way to see everyone together on Christmas day Smile

With my parsnips and sprouts on board I headed home


to get stopped by a tree Smile Luckily I had packed my chainsaw for such an event and soon had it moved.



Eventually, after a detour past Brochel castle I got home to my family and presents Smile

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And with 40,000 properties still without power we flashed up both electric ovens to cook our dinner with the wind and rain Smile Why anyone would wish to be shackled to the grid and the ‘big six’ is beyond me no standing charge and around ten minutes without power in twenty years Smile

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