Life at the end of the road

October 25, 2021

The return of ‘The office’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

When I got up this morning around 6:00AM the good ship Hallaig had just departed Oban’s North pier, less than 11 hours later and she’s back alongside the Raasay pier from where she departed over a month ago. If she wasn’t ‘back on service’ today (which I doubt) she’ll be plying her home route tomorrow and I for one will be glad to have her back. At least now I’ll be able to set off for the ferry half an hour before sailing and still be pretty certain of getting on. With the poor old MV Loch Tarbert it was far from a certainty so important appointments off the island meant me leaving Arnish an hour before sailing to be guaranteed getting on the ferry. 

The first perambulation with Bonzo was just a short walk through the woods and back up the Torran track to home. I’d not planned staying out long as it was pishing down so never took a mushroom bag. They were getting quite thin on the ground in the area I was heading anyway. So, I was most surprised to find a nice little clump of hedgehogs almost as soon as I cut into the birch wood.


Not only are hedgehogs delicious but they remain firm even in the pishing rain, appear late in the season and are fairly ‘idiot proof’ as regards identification. The tiny ‘spines’ on their underside which give them their being as far as I know (amongst UK mushrooms) unique. Luckily I had a rag in my pocket that I turned into a bag and with my parcel in hand wandered deeper into the wood.

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I had a sow once that chose to have a litter of 13 piglets up here in February one year! There was snow on the ground yet she’d made a nest in a little hollow atop this cliff. Sure it was a nice view but a long way from home for me to feed her! I ended up cutting some branches and trees down so I could the quad up there carrying food and water her Smile


Continuing down through the trees following deer tracks I manged to loose Bonzo, nothing fresh with that but I heard some muffled yelping and found him in amongst the rocks trying to extricate some creature form within.


I dunno what it was but it was in that hole and I left him to it figuring he’d get fed up eventually, sure enough, he somehow managed to arrive home before me Smile

Once back inside my toasty house and after sharing my muesli with Bonzo, Molly being stuck in the back of the car refusing to come out. I went back out to make a few adjustments to my diff lock selector which had stuck in the locked position. Unusually I managed to achieve this simply and with no drama, so with the morning brightening up I went over the hill to Tarbert and beyond with my ever bouncy Bonzo.

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The houses on Fladda and Holm Island off Skye taken from near ‘the Hill of the Hind’ above Tarbert.

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Some suicidal sheep that must have wandered north across the cattle grid at Brochel.

It used to be a jam jar

Lunch consisting of the last two rashers of home cured bacon was followed by trip to Torran to weigh up a task I was planning for day or so later this week.

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It involves some large pieces of timber to make a frame that needs bolted into a concrete pad and Scotland. For carrying the 4m plus timbers along the track I’d need to make up a frame for the Mule. The drilling and bonding into the founds would need resin and various threaded bar and tools all of which I needed to gather together in readiness for a weather window. With that done I took the quad up to Pipers Rock and beyond for no other reason than, I felt like it and the views are amazing, well they were when I left the Torran Schoolhouse Smile

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By the time I got up there it wasn’t so nice Sad smile

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The Pipers rock is that buttress on the left, the centre pick is taken from the T junction where the path to Fladda splits off from the path to Kyle Rona and Umachan. The well is just before the junction and some kind soul has replaced the jam jar with a proper cup complete with string Smile The water tastes divine, far better than mine and light years ahead of the stuff you get out of a regular tap Smile If you ever happen to be in the area the well which certainly has a name is about 200m before the junction to Fladda on your right about 25m off the path.

Once back home I set about making a frame for the back of the Mule so we’d be able to carry the timber on the roof.

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A few bits of timber cut to length and an old repurposed and shortened Discover ladder rack did the trick.

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That was it really, fed the pigs then came in and fed myself venison and mushrooms cooked in white wine and garlic.

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October 19, 2021

A festival :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:20 pm

True to the forecast, it wasn’t such a great day today. The torrential downpour did arrive as predicted, unfortunately my hydro turbine couldn’t take advantage of all the water flowing down the Arnish valley. XC weather quite correctly indicated a relatively dry start to the day and after managing to stay in bed until 7:30 Bonzo and I set off to make the most of it. Molly waited in the car after we fed the jumpy piglets.


Marmalade, Jiffy and Spotty being a lot less jumpy than they were and with every feed they get bolder and bolder leaving less and less in their dishes for the crows to polish off. Not that long ago I’d have taken to lying in wait for hoodies with a shotgun but nowadays I’m quite fond of my little ‘murder of crows’.

Anyway Bonzo and I didn’t take the usual route to the Secret cove, instead we cut off the path at the bottom of the hill


and headed for the sea. There is a spot just off the road where I once found some winter chanterelles

though that was years ago and I’ve never seen them there since. Dunno why they’re named chanterelles cos I don’t think they are and I prefer the Dutch name of yellow legs cos that is what they have Smile Unlike chanterelles they have a hollow stem and much firmer flesh, another name for them being trumpets. Whatever, as in previous year there were none so Bonzo bounced and I lumbered on by and to the shore.

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Torran’s vivid golden aspen a sharp contrast to the less advanced autumnal hues around them.


Unlike the aspen above the secret cove that had shed almost all their foliage.

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Once down at the shed I checked the output across the phases directly at the turbine.

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I’d already done up at the shed yesterday but was just hoping in vain that it was caused by a bad connection in the wiring or isolator, alas no Sad smile


Still, the journey did turn up two nice big ‘shrooms which I fried in butter and had on brown bread with a fried egg for lunch. Made a welcome change from my usual rabbit food Smile

Most of the rest of my day was spent putting the transfer box back in the ‘Old Girl’ which should have taken me about an hour but I managed to stretch out all day. So being how there’s only so many angles you can photograph a Land Rover transfer box from I thought I’d look at my phone gallery as I’ve not actually used my Panasonic since I stalled blogging.

The first festie

Sure I’ve kept banging on about lockdown not really affecting me up here, well one area it did was the festival circuit, I’ve no been to one in years, well it feels like it. So the week prior to the annual docking the dugs and I took off to Girvan to see my ex wife who’d agreed to watch Molly and Bonzo for a few weeks whilst I was away at dock. It just happened to coincide with the Playground Festival in Glasgow too . Well, it would have been a sin not to go hey, Friday night I went with Barbara and her sister, Saturday with Ross and finally Sunday night with Barbara once more

Friday’s highlight being Orbital,

Saturday’s Vitalic

and Sunday, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Martha may be 82 but she still puts on a show Smile Macy Gray was pretty good too and Nile Rodgers would have been awesome had the pishing rain not driven us away Sad smile

Sure it was great to see some live bands again and despite the poor organization and long queues at the beer tents it was awesome and a great venue at Rouken Glen Easy to get to from Barrhead where we stayed, not too busy and no queues to get in despite having to provide proof of a negative COVID test taken in the last 24h

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