Life at the end of the road

June 3, 2018

Baking elsewhere :-)

Just after eight fifteen PM here at the ‘end of the road’ and the end of a rather grey day, which is, in fact why I’m here at the laptop and not outside ‘tinkering’ Smile The ‘wall to wall’ sunshine we’ve been having of late never materialized.


That was what greeted me this morning


and that’ll be tonight’s feeble excuse for a sunset Sad smile Having said that, just ten miles south in Inverarish it’s been baking with blue skies Smile Can’t complain though it’s been an awesome spell of weather for the best part of three weeks now and we’ve been ‘lapping it up’. Tools left outside, car windows left open and double watering the garden every day. We didn’t even see a midge until June arrived and I can count the number of bites I’ve had on one hand. That gentle north wind we’ve of late keeping Sonas on the whole ‘midge free’.

Hence the lack of activity on the blogging front, truth is I’ve not been in the house until after 21:00 recently, whereupon a glass of red in front of the ‘one eyed monster’ with darling wife has been the ‘order of the day’.

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Well, with most days ending like this, it would be a crime not to have a glass of red wine hey Smile

In the water at last

Camilli’s current obsession has been getting the Avon Searider, getting ready for sea and making a place to recover it safely at Arnish. The latter is still very much ‘work in progress’ but we’ve been ‘on the case’, despite it being a little warm for concreting.

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Still, I took the opportunity of ‘press ganging’ my mate into helping for one good ‘mix and pour’ of a couple of tons. Looks pretty rough but that’s deliberate so as the next batch will get a good key to it. On a 5m tide I’d be able to get the Searider out here with the Land Rover or dumper but going down just past that mesh means 4m would be doable.

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I spent an inordinate amount of time fitting a Garmin 95CV sounder to the boat, a job I could have done in a couple of hours but managed to string out for two days. To be honest I was just enjoying the weather and doing things at a very leisurely pace. The month’s holiday had been quite physical and the ‘two weeks on’ had seen us working manically painting the Hallaig so it was good to just ‘potter’ about. The Searider actually came with a perfectly adequate sounder for finding good ‘scallop ground’ but there’s a few  wrecks I’m planning on looking for and visiting and the new Garmin’s ‘side scan’ facility will make this far easier.

Flat out at Raasay Distillery

It was great to get my son back from Heriot Watt for the summer but no sooner had he arrived home than he was ‘head hunted’ for a job with R&B at Smile OK, perhaps a bit of an exaggeration but they have started letting out some rooms to the public and it has been doing very well. No surprise really cos the rooms are absolutely beautiful and the setting idyllic. And, who wouldn’t want to stay in a distillery hey Smile


    So, my son and I aint been doing quite as much of the ‘male bonding’ I’d have liked, him being working pretty much full time since he arrived Sad smile Anyway’s, we did at last manage to get the Searider launched on Saturday and headed north to Loch Arnish for a spot of clam diving Smile

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Nikon Coolpix W300

Sadly, not much in the way of photographs cos my Nikon Coolpix W300 died again Sad smile

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The very expensive camera I purchased as Christmas present to meself last year is friggin useless, at least in the water. I could have got something better for half the price but this camera is allegedly good down to 30m. Aye right, the first one flooded in less than 7m and this one died at 25m. You can see the yellow seal by my thumb nail has failed. I am most dischuffed Sad smile

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Still, seeing the boat sitting happily on its mooring a ‘stones throw’ from home made up for it,


as did our bag of clams.

Scallop recipes

Guess what we had for dinner Smile  Having made a living clam diving for much of my adult life I’ve tried them most ways but that was afore I had the Internet Smile Now you can just ‘Google’ for inspiration, so I did came up with a variation on that.


Never been much good at following recipes so I just melted a quarter of a pack of butter, fried 5 rashers o chopped bacon in it, added basil, oregano, chili flakes and three cloves of garlic, cut the roes off the clams, chopped em up and threw them in the pan for the last 30 seconds or so then served with linguine. It was good but missing some cream and salt, I figured the bacon would be salty enough but was wrong. Today we had something similar for Sunday dinner but used all the roes, mixed in some Munro’s black pudding and half a pot of double cream at the end with some chopped parsley. Now that was awesome Smile

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And the weather has improved too Smile


May 11, 2018

More pours

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:11 pm

Sadly, it’s been somewhat dull ‘at the end of the road’, that is, unless like me you get excited about concrete Smile I’ve always liked concrete, probably since I was at school and had a fascination with air raid shelters, pill boxes and underground bunkers. When I was a lad pretty much every school had an air raid shelter nearby and close by the many Lancashire cotton mills where my dear Mum worked there were some crackers. These we’d explore and play all manner of games in and around involving bits of wood in the shape of machine guns.

Back to the old slipway

So, apart from some more fencing work around the croft and trips to Skye for cement and pig/hen feed, all I’ve been doing is mixing concrete. Sad I know, but I actually quite enjoy it. There’s the ‘big kid’ in me that likes shuttering and inserting rebar and mesh. The kind of rough work that takes me to building dens and tree houses out of old wood.

Of course the trips to Skye are easier now we have the Hallaig back but harder cos I gotta take Wifey’s Subaru which just aint the same as the ‘Old Girl’, for a start I can’t put anything on the roof and then I’ve gotta try and keep it clean.

I was surprised the other day to see the dive charter vessel Halton alongside the pier and according to ‘the boys’ she’d been there for a few days. More usually seen in the Sound of Mull, Scapa Flow or the Norwegian fjords the Halton is a very seaworthy ex Danish fishing boat that’s been converted for diving charters.

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When I was down at Lochaline a few weeks ago she was taking divers out there, love the blue and white superstructure, I guess it’s an enhancement to the ‘A flag’ Smile which must be flown when you have ‘divers down’. It tells other boats to slow down and keep clear, not that all boats take any notice or that all diving boats fly one, but they most certainly should, both of them Smile


The trip to Portree had to be extended to Broadford as well as I couldn’t get rebar there, indeed I bought the last 5 lengths they had in Broadford too. My cordless grinder making short work of turning 5 6m lengths of 10mm bar into 15 x 2m ones so they’d fit in the trailer. No trip to Broadford would be complete without a visit to Deli Gasta for a coffee and sandwich, mine being a smoked venison one with Cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers. The chilies you have to ask for, they give the sandwich a nice kick and complement the venison and cranberry sauce, honestly. 

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That’s been it really, most days involve taking the dogs back from Tarbert in the morning after Wifey drops me off on the way to work.

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Tarbert, Manish and Ard Torran on one of the nicer mornings. It may have been warm darn sowf but it’s been boodly freezing here and often wet, especially in the morning. Having said that it’s been great concreting weather and the tides have been perfect.

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Much time was spent cutting up salvaged mesh and inserting wherever I could prior to shuttering.

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Shuttering being complemented by rocks, expanding foam and drilling & pinning.

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The wee Daihatsu is like the Subaru in that it’s no substitute for the Land Rover Sad smile

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I’ve been spending so much time down the slip that I’m getting mail deliveries there Smile


That’ll be the sun about to disappear behind The Storr, it’s gonna be a cracking sunset,

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well, it sure was Smile

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