Life at the end of the road

March 12, 2019

Blown off :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, weather — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:36 pm

It’s a scabby old day here in the Sound of Mull for sure, we are getting a right pelting from Gareth at the moment and it’s been pretty boodly fresh all day. Having said that methinks it was worse through the night, at least in me caravan with the ‘wee dug’. I’d be lying if I said ‘I didn’t sleep a wink all night’ but I’ve certainly had more peaceful kips. We’d put out extra ropes but Hallaig, just a few yards from my bed was heaving and groaning under the strain and I could here it clearly from my berth. There had also been a few flickering lights prior to me ‘turning in’ and that is often a precursor to a power cut or glitch, both of which can cause havoc with the ships systems. Any modern electronics come to that, the people that design these fancy ‘touchscreen’ systems for controlling valves, machinery and other processes obviously live in cities than don’t suffer from an unstable grid.

Anyway, I need not have worried, all nine of Hallaig’s massive mooring ropes were just peachy and the power surges hadn’t done any harm. Even if they had we’re well able to ‘recover’ and sail on time these days, we’ve had plenty of practice Smile The first such incident in 2014 took me six hours to recover all systems Sad smile the second one two hours and now somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes Smile

  In fact, to be quite honest, it was actually a bonny morning, fresh right enough and with a hellish hail shower or two but nice.

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The west wind was so strong it was pushing the waterfalls at Innin Mhor Bay back up the hill and there were hail drifts in the mess room,

No photo description available.

but it was no a bad day, yet!!!!

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What did not ‘bode well’ aside from the BBC, XC Weather, the Met Office, HM Coastguard, the Shipping Forecast, Met Eireann, Magic Seaweed and just about every professional body in Britain and Ireland was the tide. The tide was waaay too high, now I’m no expert by a long chalk but when the tide is this high at neaps there’s some very low pressure and serious carp out in the Atlantic.

We ‘soldiered on’ until 13:45 but many routes had cancelled  earlier, some for the whole day.

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Buffalo burger for lunch

It’s a long story but the bones of it is that I didn’t actually realize that mozzarella cheese was made with buffalo milk. In fact I didn’t even realize they had buffalo in Italy . Sure, I guess many folk don’t, but me, well I’m half Italian, have been eating Mozzarella since I was weaned and lived on a small holding there as a child. OK, it grew olives, grapes and made wine but that’s not the point. This nugget of information came to me via Admiral Sandy Woods, our skipper down here. The upshot being, I got straight onto the Internet


last week and bought some buffalo burgers


which arrived today Smile So we all set about making em for lunch, Admiral Woods being in charge of roasting the sweet potato with me making the ‘brush on’ oil, chili and garlic baste, Finlay grilled the burgers and I made a tomato and olive salad.


Sure, some feta cheese would have been nice in the salad along with some fresh basil but ‘hey ho’ it was friggin delicious and I will defo be buying more Scottish buffalo Smile

Soon be bedtime

So, that’s it now, almost 19:10, the caravan is rocking big style, Molly has taken refuge beside me (a rare thing indeed)


and the lightning is pretty regular but the thunder a long way behind. Molly is not an affectionate dug (unlike Leah) and rarely sits beside or on anyone’s lap but I guess the storm has got her feeling insecure. Leah, well she’s always insecure and is just trembling in the car refusing to come out Sad smile

Earlier on I took them for a walk around Innin Beag bay just south of Ardtornish Point, it’s only a mile or two away ‘as the crow flies’ but a ten mile round trip by land. Needless to say we took the Egg Chariot on account of the carpy weather.

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Sadly I didn’t take a decent camera Sad smile

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Only the Victorians could build a magnificent boathouse like this on a beach in the middle of nowhere Smile

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The CEG Cosmos ‘hard pressed’ against the West Pier and some pish pictures of Hallaig from the other side of the loch, it really was carpy Sad smile Whilst heading round there I saw this coaster beating up and down the sound.

Nordica Hav

Looks like it’s now anchored off Mull, probably gonna call into Lochaline for sand when the weather improves I guess.

January 31, 2019

It was on the list :-(

18:30 now and that’s me fed, watered and in for the night. Sure with my nice well lit and dry shed there is stuff I could be doing but I feel no guilt in sitting here in the nice warm house staring out at the blackness. At least not now anyway, a few moments ago I did cos there was a light below the Storr but even that is now extinguished! For as long as I’ve been off work there’s been a light burning brightly just below the Old Man of Storr. So what I can here you say but the truth is despite being able to see from Portree Bay to Harris without moving from the kitchen table bright lights are a rarity here at Arnish. Sure I can see the glow of civilization from Portree reflected on clouds from the bedroom window, I can fishing boats going too and from their grounds. I even get the rare glimpse of a snow plough heading towards Staffin and the odd late commuter some six miles across the sea.

This one however had me puzzled as it was always in the same area just below the road and was often burning when I went to bed and awoke in the morning. Apparently it was a timber harvester and as they cost around a quarter of a million and the operator gets paid by the ton I guess he preferred the heated cab to his unheated caravan Smile Well, even he’s turned in, the light has gone out, you can just see it in the first image taken on Tuesday. The other two are from today and what a peach of a day it’s been.

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Another alternator

I never got posting yesterday cos I was in my bed at ‘stupid o clock’ with two dugs and a good book, the freezing weather forcing darling wife to abandon me in favour of the ‘toon hoose’. A more than sensible decision considering her 6:00am start and the icy road conditions.

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In the ‘grand scale’ of things it’s hardly a ‘huge dump’ or particularly cold but the road is steep and treacherous with both of us having come off it at times. Phone reception is dubious and it’s at least seven miles to the next house. When Ross and I came off the road in the Land Rover a couple of winters ago I had to walk over a mile to get a phone signal and he had to walk two miles home. That was it yesterday morning and even when I headed sowf some five hours later than Wifey would have, had she stayed at home, it was pretty boodly slippy.

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Normally ‘wild horses’ wouldn’t have dragged me down the road yesterday but I’d an appointment to see the Doc so thought I’d better make the effort, especially as he’d telephoned from the ferry to say he’d made it despite the state of the roads on Skye!!!!


Still, it gave me a chance to call on Callum and Jay at the Raasay Sawmill to see how me shed was coming along. Also managed to pop in and see Peter to give Bonzo a walk before heading back home.


Good to see the gritter in action at Scrapeadale

For the want of a shovel

Once home I jumped on the quad to go and check my hydro turbine at Tarbert which had stopped.

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Having to first negotiate a lake in the road that’s been growing daily for weeks now. It’s not alone right enough, there’s hunners of them on all the roads but 10 minutes with me wellie had the tide going out on this particular expanse of water. Now if I can do that with my foot just imagine what a well directed Council worker could do with a yellow pickup and shovel!!!! I mean it’s not friggin’ ‘rocket science’ is it. The drains get blocked, the water makes a lake which either freezes or turns into a raging river every time someone drives through it. Either the ice fecks it or the waves feck it. There’s no money in the budget they say, fer fecks sake how much money does it take to give a man a spade and tell him what to do with the friggin thing.


  • Chief Executive – £146,517 (2016/17)  £147,989 (2017/18)
  • Depute Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources – £116,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Care and Learning – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Community Services – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Development and Infrastructure – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)

For £111,370 you would think you could find someone with the gumption to give a man a spade hey Sad smile

After the road repair and turning off my hydro turbine I turned my attention to the storm damaged deer fence at the back of the house and put some stays behind it.

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Then, as darkness fell I got on with the 10 or was it 11kg ham that had been drying in the bunker. The ham had been soaking in all manner of goodies for over a month. So much so the the sweet smell of cider, sugars, spices and wine had been lingering around for days Smile I’d decided that it was way too big so reckoned I’d chop it up into manageable pieces, put one in the fridge for the weekend and the others in the freezer.

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The only problem with hams is passing them without hacking a bit off to eat Smile I kid you not, this baby had been hanging in the shed for a few days and the aroma was just impossible to resist, it was even worse when it was on the bench in front of me with a knife in hand. Of course a month in brine had made it rather savoury so I had a bottle of San Pellegrino at hand to quench my thirst. Even so, by the time it cut it up I’d lost my appetite for dinner Smile

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Mind you, that didn’t stop me turning the bone and some off cuts into a fine soup Smile


Another sharp but fine day

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with the day’s first task being the removal of the alternator from this lighting tower that was deposited on me yesterday Smile I’d already had a look at it and discovered a poor output, further investigation this morning confirmed the problem to lie within the alternator.

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It wasn’t too bad to remove the alternator after taking out the control panel, transformer and mounting brackets.

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After just a couple of hours work it was in the back of the Subaru ready for delivery to its owner who would either get it repaired or more likely replaced. Methinks these Linz alternators are quite sensibly priced.


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Of course whilst down at the sowf end I had to go and check on me shed and wife Smile The shed was coming on fine and darling wife was busy forklifting, I was greatly impressed Smile

Creosoting in January

OK, I know it’s the last day but still Smile

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I didn’t do it all right enough cos some of it was still covered in ice!!! but I got a good deal of it done Smile

Beko washing machine drawer leak

And, I almost forgot, the washer is fixed, I managed to stop the annoying leak on our otherwise excellent Beko machine just by turning the cold fill tap down a touch.


Sure, it takes a minute or two longer to fill but it still washes far, far quicker than our extortionate 4star plus Panasonic piece of carp.

How could I leave these out ?

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Glam, the Five Sisters of Kintail and a daft dug in the snow Smile

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