Life at the end of the road

July 22, 2017

Three times is enough :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:28 am

Well, it’s been a pure peach of a week, or at least the bits I remember. That’s the trouble here on the West Coast where the weather is often wet and windy, two good days in a row and you forget at about the two weeks of gales and rain. Or worse still the humid calm, damp midge infested morning and evenings that are so common in July and August. Truth is this summer seems to have been relatively ‘midge free’ and apart from a grim June has been ‘peachy so far.

The last couple of days have been cracking, though yesterday didn’t get off the best of starts,

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the Storr in sharp contrast to Wednesday was covered in mist, there was no sign of Harris or Lewis to the north west and Holm Island didn’t look very inviting.

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A young velvet covered stag was wandering around at Glam and the Raasay Distillery was looking very quiet. Mind you it wasn’t much after 6:00am as I was heading down early to use the free CalMac internet. My recent correspondences with Applenet, the Arnish ISP proving very disappointing, with no prospect of broadband this month by the sound of it. To say it’s inconvenient is something of an understatement and probably explains in a small part why I’m so crabbit at the moment. Well it’s either that or the Tramadol again, I’ve been taking that for three days, which doesn’t help.

Anyway, the day improved vastly,


assisted no doubt by the scrambled egg and hot smoked salmon on toast.


The small shower that preceded the sunshine making a lovely rainbow at Sconser.

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The Eda Frandsen and Donna Marie both ‘earning their crust’ in the Raasay Narrows, Eda at the boat chartering and Donna at the clams.

Once the morning shower had dried off it was back to the painting with me old shipmate Finlay.


The rest of the day being spent marshalling cars on a busy deck, or just plain dodging them if the truth be known. So, by the time I got home after 20:00, having been away a good 14 hours and more I was pure whacked. By 20:30 I was in my PJs with my ‘feet up in front of the fire’, OK, we don’t actually have a fire but you get the gist. In short, I am ‘tired and shagged out after a long squawk’ as they say. An hour later, two thirds the way through a pish film that I’m actually quite enjoying the ‘wee dug’ starts barking her head off. This she does at deer, cats, rabbits, pigs and people, though by 21:30 I’m not thinking it will be the latter.

A sign is the only answer and don’t read on if you’re easily offended

How wrong was I, it turned out to be a Spanish couple  who had driven off the Torran path. I was feckin’ raging and gave them both barrels, It’s a friggin footpath not a road, are you stupid? OK, it may seem a little harsh but this will be the third time in less than twelve months that I’ve dragged some clown back up this path.

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And it’s not just the three halfwits that I’ve pulled out, my mate John William, AKA Bradain pulled a camper van out of here earlier this year, a big one!!!! Not only that but that barmpot female wrecked the track in her abortive efforts to extricate herself.

The latest pair of clowns in the obligatory ‘17 plate’ hire car had actually managed to get further than all the eejits I’ve ever rescued bar BT, yes BT even got a tractor bogged down here. No wonder this muppet and the others got stuck. So I arrived there to the smell of burning clutch, hitched up my winch and pulled him out. I didn’t have the heart to charge him despite being severely pi55ed off at them, the car was damaged, the clutch burnt and I guessed they’d be paying dearly for the dents on the hire car. The ‘end of the road’, Raasay and that crabbit crofter will be etched in their memory forever, methinks they’ll no be so stupid again.

However, that’s it, I’m sick of these clowns, between the three here and the three at Brochel this last year I’ll be taking ‘money up front’ from now on Smile


Needs a bit of work and punctuation but you get the gist Smile

Twenty eight years I’ve lived here at the ‘end of the road’ and in twenty six of them all I’ve rescued has been one tractor and about a couple of dozen kayakers. Sure there have been a few people who cycled up here then gave up, one or two that got lost on the way to the bothy and the odd broken down car but you expect that.  It’s just the last couple of years that has seen this explosion of numpties that are unable to drive or walk and leave their sh1te in black bags at the side of the road for ‘The Bin Bag Fairy’. Having said that, the ‘Bin Bag Fairy’ worshippers have been conspicuous by their absence so far this year, though it is ‘early days’. The only carp I’ve found so far this year is the remains of several ‘Happy Meals’. I mean ‘what the feck’ is that all about? some Neanderthals who prefer sugar and E numbers to real food have bought a large bag of ‘Big Mac’s’ etc and carried them 100 miles from the nearest ‘Golden Arches’ to consume and dump them at the end of Calum’s Road. I mean, if you drove the car like you stole it all the way from Inverness or Fort William to Sconser,  then just happened to drive straight on a ferry, then drive straight up to the ‘end of the road’. If you did all that and then ate your happy meal straight away then it would be at least four hours old. Jeez, I thought I had a strong stomach. Of course the ignorant bar stewards could have consumed them anywhere on the 210 mile trip, driven past a gazillion bins and chose to dump them at Arnish as some kind of offering to the ‘Bin Bag Fairy’ but I doubt it.


This morning I had a ‘lie in’ until 6:00am before heading down the road 25 minutes later,


the sun was blazing and Dun Caan was busy soaking it up on her eastern slopes.

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A golden eagle flew across directly in front of the Land Rover at Glam before landing nearby to gaze over to Portree.


That’s it on the right.


Acta Marine’s Sara Maatje VIII just leaving the berth at 7:00AM

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and back again 12 hours later with Ferguson’s Harvest Anne.


January 31, 2017

The ‘Des res’ for wiglets :-)

This ‘ole for the new wind turbine is really getting me perplexed, methinks I need to reduce its size to around 8 cubic meters so as I can get the batching truck safely up to the ‘end of the road’. Sorry, I’ll rephrase that, I need to make the ‘ole smaller so someone else can safely bring their truck up the road. We’ve had a fair old selection of trucks up here and even two articulated lorries but Eyre Plant’s Scania ‘batcher’ will have the heaviest load per axle I’m sure.

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And that’s not including the snow plough, Calor gas tanker, cattle float and septic tanker Smile  Just wish I could convince Certas Energy to deliver oil here Smile I bet Calum would be dead chuffed at the amount of tonnage that’s been up his road.

A new home for the girls

Anyways, having got the old oil tank into a suitable position in amongst the trees we set about reassembling it, beefing it up and making a new roof.

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It’s a cracking spot up there sheltered by the trees on three sides, facing the sun but with a small bank in front to give the door some degree of protection. Basically it’s an old 1200lt oil tank split down the middle and widened by 24”. It’s plenty big enough for a couple of full grown sows and we even had Bramble farrow in there once. Mind you, that wasn’t intentional and I wouldn’t recommend it.

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However it’ll be perfect for these two darlings, who, true to form came to check it out. Pigs are really intelligent and curious creatures and if you’re working in the same place long enough they’ll always come and check out what your doing. Probably looking for food or a wee belly scratch if the truth be known, well there was none of the former but they both got a good scratch and the keeled over like they do Smile 

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Rainbow and Proven wind turbine on 11m mast


More mixing

That was the weekend out of the way so on Monday morning I headed off early to the Sconser quarry for more 20mm concrete mix.

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A Macleod’s lovely old Daf was on the weighbridge and LAS Plant of Inverness were delivering a cheery picker to the distillery.

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It was a perfect day and I managed to get the 9:25 back to Raasay

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and was mixing by 10:25. I just can’t believe how easy it is doing this. I have mixed tons and tons of concrete over the years and have always been pure wrecked afterwards. Normally you are lifting from a pile of sand, aggregate  and cement. Having the aggregate pre mixed at waist height with the mixer at the same level turns backbreaking work into gentle exercise.  Even after taking a lunch break I’d mixed over tons in less than two hours without breaking a sweat.

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The hardest job being moving my mates pallet around the edge of the ‘ole Smile

That done it was time to put Robin to work again,

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but not before I’d fitted a tool box to the front rack. This ten year old rack doesn’t look like it’s ever carried anything! I kid you not, there’s not a mark on the paint work, consequently I wrapped pipe insulation around it before fastening it on with ‘tie wraps’. I cannot believe I just did that Sad smile

Then, with my nice shiny tool box full of wire cutters, crow bar, hammer and cordless drill we went to collect a hen house from next door.

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Hens like to ‘snuggle up’ for warmth and our current hen house is rather large for the five hens in it so we decided to retrieve one of the old ones. These houses have been designed and built by ‘Donald the Hen’ of Struan on Skye and are perfect for around a dozen hens. We’ll be getting eight more off him shortly so this will be nice and cosy for them. It will also keep them separate from the current ones for a while to prevent bullying.

Back to the quarry

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This time it was Fraser’s Eyre Plant Scania on the weigh bridge.


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Another couple of tons goes into the trailer and home for 17:15 Smile

That was it really, well apart from this

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the stills uncovered Smile


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This is all I’ve seen of them lately, so was good to see them ‘in the flesh’ so to speak.

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