Life at the end of the road

August 27, 2019

A fish supper :-)

Seven AM now, around two hours after I thought I’d actually wake up! Must have needed the sleep cos I’m usually awake at ‘stupid O clock’ but not this morning Smile Nope, I had fully intended scribbling a few lines down last night but by the time I’d made and eaten dinner I was pure wrecked so retired after my fish cakes. Hoping to wake at my normal time and do a little blogging before breakfast but that never happened, ‘twas 6:30 afore I stirred and a pretty uninspiring view that greeted me out the bedroom window.

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Not a patch on yesterday’s vistas of the Storr, in fact most of Monday was a pure peach of a day and after dealing with animals and washing I had a notion to visit Sconser Quarry. There was no particular logic behind this move, I had parcels to collect and folk to see at the sowf end so figured I may as well get some concrete mix whilst I was at it. You can never have too much aggregate Smile

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The quarry is always good for a social call too, the chap that bought my boat served me, my dumper vendor loaded me and I met Jamie from Bear who took my parents house off my hands Smile Methinks Yogi was trying to sell me a tipping trailer to match my dumper too Smile 

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Usually I try and go to the quarry using the 12:15 ferry or 15:30 as this means I can normally get loaded and back on the same sailing. However, in the drive to reduce my blood pressure and lead a calmer life I’d gone for the 8:55 giving me more time to chat and take the dug for a walk at Sconser. Hector’s new bothy and take away can’t be far away so with a bit of luck next time I go for aggregate or chips I can get a coffee there.

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Back on Raasay a yacht had called in to recover it’s lost tender that had come adrift during the night, methinks it was a good deal fresher than forecast and their inflatable had ended up on the shore below Clachan Croft. The silage at North Bay was at last bagged, the inclement weather of late having held things up.

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Hector’s may not yet be open but Iona’s ‘Larch Box’ https://www.facebook.com/thelarchbox/ certainly was Smile The ‘must visit’ attraction just a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal serves an awesome Brie, Pesto and sun dried tomato toastie amongst other things and that’s what I had for ‘second breakfast’. The muesli, fruit and yoghurt I had for ‘first breakfast’ may taste delicious and be healthy but it just doesn’t keep me going Smile

A spot of fishing

After visiting a few peeps in the village I headed home with the notion to do a spot of fishing for mackerel, my good friend and ‘back to back’ having given me some mackerel feathers on the ferry. By the time I actually got on the water though the day had ‘gone to the dogs’. Sure it was nice enough ashore with a good breeze of south wind to keep the midge at bay, however there was a heavy sky full of mischief and the wind was blasting off the land.

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Camilli had also, rather stupidly forgot to pull in the ‘elephant’s trunk’ last night and his boat was full to the brim with water Sad smile Still it was a first class opportunity to test the ‘self bailing’ capabilities of a 5m Searider and 90HP Tohatsu, I was well impressed Smile What must have been a good ton of water disappeared over the transom and out through the ‘elephant’s trunk’ at the mere push of the throttle.

Once I’d found my fishing spot off Manish point I threw in my line encouraged by the many porpoises around the boat. However it proved to be saithe and not mackerel and after 30 mins I gave up, my fingers bleeding from shaking off dozens of small saithe off me hooks. Sure they would have been fine for bait in the creels but saithe are a bit bland so I just kept a couple for dinner and called it a day.

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Long winded fish cakes

With my son on ‘late shift’ and a couple of hours to go before he was home I decided to have a go at fish cakes, not actually realizing what a pure faff they were Smile

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2303639/family-meals-easy-fish-cakes At first glance it seemed simple enough.

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I filleted the two saithe, added finely diced scallops, chopped spring onions and some milk then cooked it for two mins in the shed Smile That’ll be where I keep the microwave Smile I know I’m eccentric but I don’t like the friggin things Smile Having already mashed the Roosters with butter I drained the milk from the bowl and tipped the contents into the mash along with a heap of crab meat left over from yesterday. Ground black pepper and grated cheese were mixed in, after which I got fed up with the recipe which was telling me to put the mixt in the fridge for half an hour. So instead of that and frying em in flour I covered em in flour and breadcrumbs and baked em in the oven for half an hour at gas mark 6.

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They were boodly delicious served up with a tomato salad, three each being more than enough, even for Ross Smile Guess what’s for lunch today, after a visit to the microwave in the shed of course Smile

March 28, 2019

I love concrete :-)

Almost 21:00 now on a Thursday night and I’m sat here drinking the bin mans beer, sorry Sam Smile Well, I’ve been saving it for him since New Year but he’s no been well so I reckon I done good to keep it this long Smile 

That’s me more than a week into my months holiday too but it’s only today that I’ve actually got stuck into my holiday projects with earnest. Of  course I didn’t actually get back home until last Friday and there was ‘quality time’ to be had with Darling Wife and then a whole day spent wiring up the new shed.

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I gotta say that I was pretty chuffed with that, loads of 13amp double sockets with weather proof ones at the ends and the four 35W LED strips lights I was most impressed with.

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Still awaiting a weather proof switch for by the door from Screwfix and I was so impressed with the LED strips I ordered some more.

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LED lights have come on in ‘leaps and bounds’ this last few years, I did fit some in the barn a few years ago and can’t say I was too impressed but these 4’ 36W https://www.screwfix.com/p/led-batten-36w-3200lm-4ft/2297r got great reviews and I was not disappointed. They provide an excellent instant bright light, ideal for fiddly jobs at night, as I found out when I tried to start my Mate’s quad.

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The throttle seized open on the trusty Yamaha YFM350 Bruin and of course the carburettor is buried under the seat and fuel tank. Typical of the Japanese machines the carburettor is well sealed with an O ring to prevent water ingress but I guess over years some had found its way in there and not been able to escape. A little persuasion with a hammer and WD40 soon had it sorted though.

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A young stag there eying up the fresh green hawthorn in the garden, seem to be seeing quite a lot of him lately.

Back to the concrete

With the ‘Old Girl’ still away, a full year for an alleged six week job I managed to get a loan of ‘The Tank’ on Wednesday to get me around 8 tons of aggregate.

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The Tank being next door’s Nissan Patrol 3.0 TD auto, which really is built like a tank but uses about as much fuel as one too Smile I spent the whole of yesterday shuttling back and fore to Sconser Quarry for ‘20mm all in concrete mix’.

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I was hoping that this would be enough to finish the base but I now have my doubts. After speaking to the ‘Shed Guru’ Callum at the Raasay Sawmill I decided to go for a 5m extension instead of another 3m one, so obviously the base is gonna be bigger and it’s gonna have to take the weight of Calum the Kubota and or dumper so it’s gonna be thicker and reinforced. Still, ‘I have a plan’ Smile

The neurotic dug

Taking the dugs away with me seemed like a good idea, I thought it might introduce some chaos into me Mam’s dug, Leah’s life. That’s my dear old mum been buried for a year now and still Leah hasn’t really settled. I figured a break from routine might help her and sure she was fine down there, in fact we all were. We went for lots of walks, met loads of folk and I’ve never picked up so much dog 5h1t in my life Smile Sadly, as soon as we got back home she went AWOL then started fretting as soon as we put the heating on in the house.

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My Mate Les suggested one of these, a Thundershirt, https://www.thundershirt.co.uk/  may help so it arrived yesterday and Leah is wearing it as we speak. It’s early days yet but she certainly seemed quite settled in it and she’s not barking quite so much, fingers crossed.

Back to the shed

So, with my big pile of aggregate and a good stock of cement the plan was to start pouring the base for the shed extension today. Trouble being I couldn’t make my mind up as to what size to make it, 3m now then another 3m later, 4m now, 5m now or even 6!!!! After a whole mornings deliberation I decided to go for one extra 5m bay which would need an extra 3 uprights, one at the front and two at the back.

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After measuring it out I cut some steel up, bored 14mm holes in it and fitted 250mm lengths of M12, 8.8 threaded bar.

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However this piece on the right was just to hard to bore with my cutter and I blunted one 14mm broach and broke two 12mm ones before giving up. I guess it had lain outside for so long it had ‘case hardened’. I even tried grinding away a few thou off the surface but still the cutters wouldn’t touch it.

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By the time I’d done all this and the shuttering it was far too late in the day to start pouring the base so I contended myself with just setting the plates for the three uprights and some dollops for the mesh.

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It wouldn’t fit on one plate

With ‘Darling Wife’ putting the hours at at the Distillery https://raasaydistillery.com/ ‘yours truly’ has been ‘looking after his sen’ as they say in Yorkshire Smile Yesterday it was an awesome salad spiced up with Raasay Walled Garden leaves https://www.facebook.com/RaasayCommunityGardens/ accompanying some asparagus, broccoli, boiled spuds and hot smoked salmon. 

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Today it was a fresh tuna steak fried in olive oil and harissa with more or less the same,

 

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the steak was so big I needed two plates Smile

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MV Loch Bhrusda and MV Loch Linnhe at Raasay yesterday, tomorrow Bhrusda will be going to Mallaig for a few days so get down early for the ferry if you have an important appointment. Linnhe’s car deck was made for Vauxhall Viva’s not Mazda 6’s, Ford Mondeo’s and ‘crew cab’ pickups Smile

Willie Campbell at the Distillery

 

https://raasaydistillery.com/raasay-distillery-events/raasay-tunes-events/raasay-tunes-with-willie-campbell-29nd-march-2019/

Night in the ‘toon hoose’ methinks Smile

Hector’s Noost

It was during one of my many waits at the Sconser car park that I had a chance to admire the up and coming takeaway cum bunkhouse there.

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Beautifully crafted stonework and I just love that corrugated iron roof.

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Sure it’s a proper ‘marinised’ coating on it with a thirty year guarantee but this is gonna be one fantastic wee asset when it’s finished. I was fortunate enough to meet Hector there and he showed me around inside, you sure can tell that this has been thought about by one who actually lives in Sconser and knows the place Smile Unlike the waiting room and toilets with their shallow pitched slate roofs and the silly hinged doors on the goods shed. No one in their right mind would fit hinged doors on a shed at Sconser!!!

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