Life at the end of the road

September 6, 2020

Diverted up the lumb :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, food, Land Rover, reading — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:21 am

Sunday morning now, a grey but promising start to the Sabbath and feeling just a little sore.


Though I didn’t actually do much on Saturday, it was obviously too much Smile

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I did start with the best of intentions, just tinkering about in the ‘Old Girl’s’ battery box then on my back underneath the rear axle fitting brake pipe brackets. Nice simple tasks involving no stretching or straining. The battery box is now thickly plated, sealed and bored for the large winch cables and their cable trunking. A coat of paint will be going on it today once the sealer has set.

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In between making brake pipe clips and boring holes I turned my attention to bent steering on the ‘Tank’, leaking transmission pipes and a blocked fuel filter. The fuel filter and transmission cooler pipework being within the ‘pain threshold’ the banana shaped drag link being ‘put on hold’ until my muscle ‘Mate’ turns up tomorrow. Methinks that be a job for him under my instruction and with the help of ‘Calum the Kubota’ Smile You would be amazed what you can ‘un bend’ with a three ton digger Smile

The chimney avalanche

It was during such showers that I migrated to my shed to turn my attention to the thorny issue of a friends blocked chimney and I don’t mean blocked with a bit of soot. I mean a pure avalanche of rocks out of the gable end that were brought down trying to fit a flue liner. I had been perusing this thorny issue for weeks and came up with a plan. The first part of which was to get a piece of string or fishing line through the blockage strong enough to pull a wire rope through it then to try end dislodge the jammed rocks by pulling upwards with a Tirfor. Numerous attempts having been made by others previously to push it all ‘down the way’ having failed’.

Anyway, we had got as far as getting a rope through the jumble of debris, all that was left now was to remove the wire rope from the Tirfor and pull it up. Then a large shackle or similar object could be pulled ‘up the way’. This however required the making of something to squarely support the Tirfor vertically on the chimney pot.

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Enter the stainless steel hydraulic hauler disc that was perfect chimney pot size Smile I just happened to have lying around Smile

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A little work with the grinder and some aluminium angle and I soon had a great vertical stand finished off with a foam pad to rest on top of the pot.

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Where it now rests awaiting ‘Mr Muscle’, how I wish my son had not gone back to uni Smile


A lovely relaxing evening followed eating simple fare caught or grown locally, a hot smoked mackerel with potatoes and French beans from the Raasay Walled garden.

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Even more and fresher fish arriving on my doorstep courtesy of neighbours at Torran just prior to me going to bed before 21:00 with a good book.


How sad am I Smile My son certainly knows his father’s taste when it comes to literature Smile 


The grey start is long by with and it’s cleared up nicely, the pigs are fed it’s not even 8:00am, already the Ronja Supporter


is heading off to work somewhere. The sun is out, methinks it’s time to forgo the muesli and fry up the left over Raasay Walled Garden spuds with a couple of Duchess and Curly’s wee eggs then go and lie under my Land Rover.

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Lovely flowers from the Walled Garden too hey Winking smile

January 13, 2020

Eighteen ropes !!!!!

Well, that was a short day Smile Home during the hours of daylight in January? unheard of. Sure ‘Storm Brendan’ was pretty well forecast but we were at least hoping to get a couple of runs in prior to ‘knocking it on the head’. Alas that wasn’t to be and the furthest we moved today was up and down the berth to lash more ropes onto Scotland.

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That in itself being ‘no mean feat’, between the wind that was strong enough to knock you off your feet and loud enough to drown both radio and speech it was a miracle we got any extra ropes on at all. Still we did, just about every strand we had aboard went out, eighteen in total, all ‘bar tight’ and singing like ‘piano wires’ once we’d finished.

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Speedwell ahead of us at the berth, the Mary M having moved round to the ‘wee pier’ a few days ago Smile

Having secured the ship, finished the paperwork and shut down the vessel we called it a day. Miraculously we were all still dry, tis a rare thing indeed to have a storm like this unaccompanied by pishing rain. Sure it wouldn’t be far away, but for the morning at least it was just the waves we had to dodge Smile

Me, I headed off to see Peter and share his 92nd birthday cake,


prior to taking Bonzo and Molly for a walk, and, it was still dry!!!!!

Home in daylight

It was still dry when I drove home and stopped at Brochel castle for a wee walk there with Molly.


Was pretty boodly wild there too considering this was Raasay’s sheltered side!!! It wasn’t much better at home, in fact, I could barely stand up and Molly refused to get out of the car until it was parked safely in the shed. Normally she tries to leap out when I get out to open the gate onto the croft. Once out she made a ‘B line’ for the front door and then once inside went straight to bed. Me, I toured the ‘estate’ making sure all was lashed down securely, the drains were free from debris and picking up a few stray buckets, plant pots and scallop shells (don’t ask) Smile Then it was indoors to think about dinner or should I say wade through the fridge and freezer looking for something suitable. Being short on inspiration I boiled a few Roosters for a couple of minutes then threw in some chopped asparagus, leaving that to boil for a further five or ten mins. Then with the asparagus nicely tender and the spuds cooked I drained the pan contents into a large sieve, leaving it to dry whilst I added chopped garlic, olive oil, sea salt and balsamic vinegar to the now warm dry pan. I put contents of sieve back in pan, drizzled a little more olive oil on it then refitted the pan lid and shook it enough to bash and mix the contents. Serving said concoction with a few slices of nduja and home made black pudding Smile Hardly ‘haute cuisine’ but quick, easy, very filling and just as good without the dead animal on the side. OK, perhaps not quite so good without the charcuterie but a really good vegetarian option


The rest of the week

Truth be known I’m only on here cos I finished work early, normally by the time I get home and make dinner I’m too knackered to blog. We did finish early the other day and I managed home for 19:00 but by 19:30 I was in me bed too tired even to read a few pages of my current riveting publication, ‘The Darkest Dawn’ 

At 1.55am on 1st January 1919, a naval yacht carrying sailors home on leave ran aground on rocks near the village of Holm, a mere 20 yards from the shore of the Isle of Lewis and less than half a mile from the safe harbour of Stornoway. HMY Iolaire was crowded with 280 men, mostly naval reservists returning to the safety and comfort of their homes after the horror of the Great War.

by Malcolm Macdonald and Donald John Macleod. An examination of the loss of HMY Iolaire on Hogmanay 1919


Anyway, it’s ‘pitch black’ outside now, not even 7:00pm and the rain is well and truly lashing the windows, so where was I?

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Well, today wasn’t my first daylight commute of the year, that ‘milestone’ fell to Sunday morning and was blessed with a full moon over the sycamore at the bottom of Glame Brae.

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Was pretty nice when I got to work too with a dusting of snow on the Black Cuilin.

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I even managed a spot of painting whilst the boys prepared for Brendan by splicing a new spring and extra head ropes for the aft quarter.


Another day Smile


A mountain hare in its winter coat, OK, I know the picture is pish but I only ever see this chap in the winter and always here at Glame. Probably only actually see him cos he’s brilliant white in the winter and sticks out like a sore thumb in his ‘camouflage’. I guess this another sign of global warming, probably there was much more snow back then when evolution gave him suitable winter attire Smile


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The Portree creel boat Mharie Bhan II off to catch an early prawn or velvet crab.

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Wrong way from Sconser? Smile sailing this way to execute the famous ‘Henderson turn’ at Raasay, awesome seamanship Smile

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The most important job of the week, Raasay’s new ambulance and the magnificent Storr from an unusual angle.

With ‘SAS who cares who wins’ topping the Raasay TV viewing charts the Hallaig’s crew have drawn up a daily exercise regime.


Brimming with testosterone the ‘young bloods’ have been aboard at 6:00am every morning working out!!!!! I kid you not Smile

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