Life at the end of the road

July 31, 2018

Snow in July!!!!! :-)

Well that’ll be the good weather by with now Sad smile Hopefully not for long though. Spoke too soon, that was two weeks ago and it’s ‘peachy again’ Smile Yup, that’s when I attempted some blogging again, halfway through my ‘on shift’ aboard Hallaig and it was snowing!! Well not really, we were doing some major painting round the portside of the car deck.

DSCN0254 DSCN0255 DSCN0256

The hardest bit of which is cleaning up all the ‘snowflakes’ left behind by the power washing.

DSCN0257 DSCN0260 DSCN0261

Luckily the trusty MV Hallaig has a large enough car deck to still ship plenty of traffic even with one lane closed. Having said that this was before the ‘Glasgow Fair’ and English school holidays. The Glasgow Fair fortnight being Raasay’s busiest period in the summer, when all the Raasay ‘ex pats’ return to their family homes Smile

Truly finished

My good mate and master builder Lachie Gillies took full advantage of the weather and came over to put the finishing touches to Sonas.

DSCN0274 DSCN0329

That’ll be the ‘ingoes’ around the 20 triple glazed windows finally done Smile It’s been one of those jobs on his ‘to do’ list for a couple of years, don’t worry Lachie, I’ve got hunners of jobs been waiting much longer than that Smile

DSCN0295 DSCN0304 DSCN0277

The Raasay House sgoth Oigh Niseach, four hens in one nest box and the gaff rigged cutter Eda Frandsen moored in Loch Arnish.

DSCN0287 DSCN0288 DSCN0291

My son exploring more of the Arnish sea caves

DSCN0282 DSCN0283

and wildlife, in and around Loch Arnish.

Everyone should have a digger

That was the ‘fortnight on’ as for the ‘two weeks off’ well that’s half way by with and much of it has revolved around Calum, the Kubota.

DSCN0313 DSCN0314 DSCN0315

A bent drag link on the neighbours Nissan Patrol being straightened with Calum’s blade and bucket.

DSCN0316 DSCN0317

A broken tyre valve being replaced on the Searider’s trailer.

DSCN0318 DSCN0319 DSCN0320

Then the more traditional uses for a 3 ton machine,

DSCN0321 DSCN0322 DSCN0323

laying a field drain in one of the hen enclosures. Something that would have been impossible in a normal ‘soggy summer’ Smile

DSCN0325 DSCN0326

The Portree fishing boat Green Isle after a lobster or two in Loch Arnish and Molly helping ‘haul rocks’ in the dumper.

DSCN0327 DSCN0328

The latest addition to ‘the fleet’ an old but low mileage Forester from Devon.

DSCN0330 DSCN0331

The ‘Egg Chariot’ ready for this afternoon’s trip to Harris and the ‘dog sitter’ with 75% of the pack (Molly is still in bed)


It’s a ‘dogs life’ hey, Leah, Charlie and Bonzo ‘full of beans’ and Molly having none of it Smile

Land Rover 1 Land Rover 2 Land Rover 3

Land Rover still very much ‘work in progress’ at Tayside LR

Anyway, ‘that’s it’ for now, gotta pack the car as we’re off on our ‘jollies’ this afternoon Smile St Kilda here we come (hopefully)


May 4, 2018

She’s away !

Well, May’s not been much to shout about so far Sad smile My favourite month has gotten off to a pretty shaky start really, though April really did ‘go out like a lamb’ with Monday being a pure peach so much so that I shaved my head on Sunday night in anticipation, come Tuesday I was regretting it right enough but it was good whilst it lasted and I got a fine tan on me bonce Smile

At least 14 tons

Over half way through my month’s holiday now and quite pleased with the results so far with the repairs to the old fish farm slip coming along nicely.

DSCN0929 DSCN0930 DSCN0931

A good 14 tons of aggregate, 70 bags of cement and lots of rebar. Ideally you’d be doing a job like this with much larger ‘pours’ but I can only work with what I have, which is a wee Belle mixer and 2 to 3 tons of aggregate at a time. Not ideal but a good strong mix and then drilling and pinning each fresh batch will help tie the different batches together (I hope Smile )

DSCN0939 DSCN0937 DSCN0940

DSCN0942 DSCN0946 DSCN0948

So, that’s pretty much the first section finished and now it starts to get complicated. The second section (after that crack) is gonna need a lot more support than the first section and it’s obviously underwater for more of the time. Methinks I’m gonna have to put a lot more rock and steel under before I start concreting in earnest. I’m also going to be restricted by the sea state Sad smile Still, even if I couldn’t do anymore then with what I’ve done now I’ll still be able to get the Searider in and out at the larger tides, which will save me having to drag it 10 miles to the ferry slip.

P1130239 P1130227

The garden

Next major project has been the garden

DSCN0898  DSCN0928 DSCN0935

and wind proofing, which is going well and getting a boodly good testing at the moment Smile

DSCN0927 DSCN0936 DSCN0925

Then there’s all the regular stuff like bins and sunsets Smile

Boats and stuff

Then there’s the regular boaty stuff,

P1130687 P1130686

the FPV Hirta spent a good part of the 1st of May patrolling the mouth of Loch Arnish.

The day after we were treated to the Norwegian frigate Thor Heyerdahl


in the same place for an hour or so.

P1130690 P1130692 P1130694

FV Serene and the sgoth Oigh Niseach at Raasay pier. The Northern Light Cruising Company charter vessel Hjalmar Bjorge anchored at Tarbert in Loch Arnish.

New chassis, bulkhead and B posts

Sure, as Les M says about the trusty old broom having four new heads and three new shafts, the ‘Old Girl’ is getting a new chassis, bulkhead and B posts, all galvanized of course. OK, she’s on her third engine, third gearbox, second set of doors and umpteenth set of brake discs, springs, shockers and suspension bushes but she is over thirty years old and still my ‘daily driver’. Having covered over a quarter of a million miles (mostly with myself at the helm) she’s like part of the family. Having owned her since the new millennium I aint gonna part with her now. Sure, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve considered getting a comfortable truck with a windows that work, a heater that’s hot, a radio you can hear above the road noise and performance akin to a ‘hot hatch’. Then I look around at all my mates driving ‘crew cabs’ that they have to change every four or five years cos the engine is fecked or the chassis as fallen off. This is after spending a fortune on dual mass flywheels DPF’s and ball joints every MOT. OK, so I spend an inordinate amount of time under the Landy but in all the years I’ve had her she’s only ever failed one MOT and that was debateable, I mean ‘brake pedal rubber’, headlamp alignment and corrosion near an unused seatbelt.

So, after much deliberation I figured ‘better the devil you know’ and having continuously owned a Land Rover or Range Rover since around 1978 I thought why change? Don’t get me wrong, I’d never recommend one to anyone. They’re over priced, unreliable, noisy, smelly, uncomfortable and only suitable for small people but they’re probably the best ‘off road’ and towing vehicle on the planet, the ‘Old Girl’ weighed in at over six tons once on the quarry weighbridge!!!! She’s also got me into work when the snow plough couldn’t get to Arnish for over a week!!! So, with that in mind I took her down to Perth today


and left her in the capable hands of Matthew Webster at Tayside Land Rover

Tayside Land Rovers

MiL collected me from the Broxden roundabout on the A9 and finally I’m home Smile

Older Posts »

Blog at