Life at the end of the road

January 1, 2020

I made it (to 2020) :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, Discovery, food, How I, listers — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:20 am

Well, that’s it, 2019 went out in a blaze of sunshine, a large bag of scallops and leisurely drive home with my wife. That’ll be my Disco YH52WFE and not the one that lives in the village Smile I left her with my son at the Raasay Village Hall partying 2020 in, with most of Raasay I would think Smile. Me, well I’m sat here with my first drink of 2020, a San Pellegrino blood orange laced with vodka at minus 18 degrees Celsius Smile  My first drink since Christmas truth be known and I can thoroughly recommend it, vodka, is at its best when stored in the freezer Smile I should have made the effort and been doing the ‘Auld Langsyne’ thing and ‘first footing’ myself but truth is I’m pretty whacked and it’ll be only the Smirnoff and sugar that’s keeping me awake. Sure, I could have found a sofa to crash on but ‘there’s no place like home’ and ‘drink driving’ isn’t an option, well unless it be a quad on the Torran track and even that has ‘ended in tears’ for myself and others bold enough to try Smile


The day has been a pure belter, much of it spent pottering about the croft repairing generators, visiting Torran fixing my compressor. A repair that Willie Eyre would have been proud of Smile 

With Ross Camilli still in his bed not long before lunchtime ‘yours truly’ went to fill the diving cylinders only to discover that the ‘double pole 20A’ switch on my Bauer compressor had failed.


The ‘live’ contacts were burnt, probably as a result of some wood shavings that seem to have found their way inside the Hager switch. Guilty as charged ‘M’Lud’ methinks it was probably due to me not cleaning out the switch properly over a year ago when I fitted it to a piece of 150 x 22mm timber prior to departing for Harris Sad smile Anyway, in true ‘Willie Eyre’ style I pulled the switch apart and cleaned all the fiddly contacts, sucked out the wood shavings and rebuilt it. I was truly amazed when it worked Smile Normally I would have just bought another, or at least found something that would replace it from my extensive pile of switches. The best I could find was a single pole 13A which just wasnae ‘man enough’ for the task so it was ‘Willie Eyre’ to the rescue Smile

Whilst the two 12lt cylinders were being filled I turned my attention to Harry, the HR2 Lister generator. I had observed a crimped fuel pipe on his primary filter.


I guess this must have happened when something (perhaps that armoured cable in the background) had fallen against it. Whatever, the fuel supply pipe was badly ‘nipped’ and search of my extensive stock failed to find a suitable replacement.

IMG_1545 IMG_1546

Careful attention with some Mole Grips seemed to provide a temporary solution with new fittings and pipe being added to the ‘to do’ list Smile

That done and with my boy finally out of bed it was ‘off to sea’ on a day to rival the best in May.

P1160038 P1160041

IMG_1547 IMG_1549 IMG_1551

Off we went to collect our ‘pilot’ from the Torran Schoolhouse then out of Loch Arnish to a spot south of Manish. With having ‘boat cover’ to follow us rather than anchoring and having to find our way back to the Searider it was ‘just like old days’ when my skipper Willie Eyre would follow my marker buoy and be waiting for me at the end of my dive. Consequently, even at my ‘pensioners pace’ we managed to collect a good bag of scallops for the New Year celebrations.

IMG_1552 IMG_1554

Unusually though we’d not be having them with our New Years Eve feast,


that would be this vacuum packed cotechino that had been sitting in my fridge since ‘pig fest’

Made from the poorer bits of meat, chopped skin, rind and seasonings all wrapped in the pigs stomach it sounds boodly awful hey. Don’t let that put you off, this traditional Italian New Years Even delicacy is pure delicious. Wrapped in tinfoil and simmered for two hours before being served with lentils is the Italian way. Ross and I had it with broccoli and Rooster potatoes, boodly awesome Smile 

P1160042 P1160043 P1160044

Nothing quite the last daylight of this year, now it’s 11:47 on the first day of 2020 and I’m just gonna retrieve the Searider whilst the tide is high. The forecast for the next day or two is more like what we’re used to in January, pishing rain and gale force winds Sad smile

February 28, 2019

It’s getting longer :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, food, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:18 am

Been somewhat distracted this last few days with ‘Callum’s shed’ so been working late then going to bed early with a good book and falling asleep after just a few pages. Last night was no exception only I awoke this morning at 2:30 ‘wired’. The sensible thing would have been to make myself a cup of hot chocolate and eat a banana. I kid you not it really works, me dear old Mammy used to swear by it when she couldn’t sleep. Me I’ve tried it once or twice too and it seems to have the desired effect on myself also. That would have been the wise thing to do, what I in fact did was pour myself a glass of wine and sit down on here Smile I figured it was about time I updated the world on me ‘daily doings’, not that the ‘World’ will be particularly interested just that I like to ‘get it down on paper’ so to speak.

I’ve been keeping diaries, logbooks and latterly doing this blog since the seventies so I guess it must have some in built need to do it. Perhaps cos the rest of my life is chaos, you should see my office and filing cabinet Smile Anyway, as you have probably figured out the new shelter, boat park, car port or whatever it is has a new name, from now on it will henceforth be known as ‘Callum’s shed’, not to be confused with ‘Calum’ the digger who will now be able to fit inside it Smile Callum being the ‘sole proprietor’ of the Raasay Sawmill and genius who designed and built the locally grown kit that now sits in front of Sonas.

The ‘Organic shed’ has not only grown from 3 bays to 4 but will be getting yet another 3m extension just as soon as I can cast another base Smile

Unseasonal weather

I guess the main reason I opted for the wine and not the drinking chocolate was the weather, apparently the unseasonable spell is gonna end today and I want to be out at first light to make the most of what is left. Sure we’ve not had the soaring temperatures experienced by much of the UK but things are in bloom that shouldn’t be and the grass has barely stopped growing all winter. I guess the Luddites, Torygraph readers and Trump’s Republicans would see this as a minor hiccup and not a portent of gloom. Me, well I’m 63 and have never seen anything like it and I have been keeping diaries for forty years Smile But then I also subscribe to the opinion that the oil is gonna run out and there are not huge untapped resources west of Shetland, perhaps I’m just a ‘wine glass’ half empty type Smile

So where was I

Well, I got on with making the panels for the back of the shed, again with a gap between each board to let the wind through.

  DSCN2315 DSCN2316 DSCN2317

They were boodly heavy so had to be lifted into place with an hydraulic jack and axle stands.

 DSCN2318 DSCN2319 DSCN2320

The ‘shed guru’ Callum arrived with the first extension to take us from 3 bays to 4.

DSCN2321 DSCN2322 DSCN2323

I got on with levelling the posts and burning the bases with a blow lamp, this is an old Japanese method of treating timber and stops it soaking up water apparently.

DSCN2324 DSCN2325 DSCN2326

When ‘section four’ was all bolted up and squared off we set about the roofing and got a couple of bays covered.

DSCN2327 DSCN2328 DSCN2329

Callum left at a sensible time but ‘yours truly’ continued until he could not see what he was doing


before retiring indoors to cotechino and a tomato salad.

 DSCN2334 DSCN2335 DSCN2336

Having assisted in making this cotechino, which is just basically pork rind, fat, poor meat herbs and spices wrapped in a pigs stomach I couldn’t believe how good it was. There was however enough left for lunch today where I fried up some slices with salami and dinner tonight when I fried up the rest and served it with broccoli and asparagus.

Delivery to your door

Today was not only warm but we actually saw some sunshine and after finishing off panel number four on ‘Callum’s shed’ I used ‘Calum the digger’ to move a cooker.

DSCN2338 DSCN2339

I lifted the cooker on its pallet then screwed the pallet to the base of the trailer. With the cooker then strapped to the trailer I lifted the whole lot off the ground and adjusted the trailer wheel bearings before repacking them with grease. I guess I should have done this before but it wasn’t until I dropped the 127kg cooker onto the trailer that I noticed the wheels ‘complaining’ Smile

DSCN2341 DSCN2340

With some help from Ewen and Callum we got the cooker delivered then Callum and I got on with the roofing sheets.

DSCN2342 DSCN2343 DSCN2345

A door from me Mam’s old house was then fitted at one end


and I continued with the cladding Smile Perhaps now I can get a couple of hours sleep before daylight Smile

Older Posts »

Blog at