Life at the end of the road

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

May 24, 2012

All shuttered up :-)

Filed under: boats, Croft house for sale, daily doings, for sale, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:57 pm

That’s it, 22:40 and I’m just in after shutting the hens in for the night for wifey, I did try earlier but they seemed to be in ‘party mode’ and did not want to go in. A bit like me really, for it was well after 21:00 when Molly, Charlie and I finally came in. Charlie being one of Molly’s pups that we’re looking after for a week or two.

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Aint he cute 🙂 all we have to do is keep him away from the hens and he’ll be just fine.

The day got off to a cracking start and just kept getting better

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and by 8:00am it was too warm for the overalls so after cleaning out the pigs I ditched them and got on with some more bedding cutting.

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Then I took a bag of seaweed to the hens who wasted no time in scratching their way through it for all the ‘jumpers’.

Next job was to go and check the hydro pipe for leaks etc on the quad but when I got to it the Honda was pouring fuel out of the carburettor over flow.

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Removal of the carb revealed it to be full of crud

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but, even hovering all this out and a big dollop sat on the float

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failed to cure it.

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So in desperation I cleaned up the valve seat with a twist drill, I know ‘rough as a bears ar5e’ , wrong angle and all that, but living on islands a hundred miles from anywhere as turned me into an ace bodger 🙂 Any port in a storm they say, well it worked just fine (eventually) so off we went.

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Stopping for a wee rest on the way, the ‘pit stop’ of choice being ‘Finlay’s rest’, a little overhang at the base of a cliff at the top of a steep climb out of Tarbert. Apparently some dude called Finlay, or was it Hector used to have a wee snooze here. Easy to see why as it’s very comfortable and in the lee of the prevailing winds.


Map picture


It’s just in the middle of that map where those shadows are.


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These are just a few of the fine views around Loch Arnish today but I can hardly even keep my eyes open.

So here’s a rare treat for you,


four dolphins off Raasay today, caught on camera by Fiona Gillies,


why on earth would you go anywhere else 🙂


Treated like cattle at airports with delays and security check when this is on your doorstep, I just don’t see the point 🙂

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And whilst that was happening at the south end, we had a coastguard display at the north end 🙂


Though I was way to busy shuttering up the base of a new generator shed to pay much heed 😉

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