Life at the end of the road

November 10, 2021

Back in the groove :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, life off grid, New hybrid ferry, pigs, weather — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:36 am

Hmmmm, almost 4:30, fat lot of good setting the alarm for 5:30 did hey, I’ve already been up for an hour,


emptied the fridge, got ready for work and made the first pot of coffee. Not before the daily routine of checking my blood pressure though, that went ‘through the roof’ after COVID jab one. So much so that I was refused my ENG1 medical, started eating less fat, doing more exercise, drinking less coffee and taking pills. That managed to restore it to some kind of normality and I was once more given a two year medical. Only to have it ‘sky rocket’ into the stratosphere  after COVID jab two, where it remained for the best part of a month Sad smile Having said that it was just before the annual dry docking where stress levels are high and I was living on hotel food. Even so my Excel spreadsheet has only been at acceptable levels for around a fortnight.

On shift

As was usual but won’t be for the next fortnight, Bonzo and I went walkabout, deciding that a trip up to the well would be a good option as my ‘tell tale’ overflow wasn’t overflowing Sad smile


The blue pipe comes from the overflow of my fresh water tank 250M up the hill so I can instantly see if my tank is full or frozen without walking up the hill. I buried this old piece of water pipe in the same trench as the supply pipe, a pure stroke of genius on my behalf and a great use for a long piece of 32mm pipe that had been contaminated with diesel.

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So Bonzo and I trudged up the ancient path to investigate the 3000lt storage tank and 1000lt settling tank.

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The storage tank was full but there was no more water going into it and the settling tank was half empty. So off we went to check the well that feeds it which lies at the base of a small cliff nearby.

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No Bonzo, not there, that’s the ruins of an old hen house,


that’s the well with the cover on it you daft dug Smile

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Yup, that’s it and the inlet strainer was blocked with peaty silt which I soon cleared


and had flowing once more. Leaving it to fill whilst we explored the ancient enclosure and wall that once divided the island to the north of Rainey’s Wall.


This one is much older and probably just a boundary wall of some description cos I don’t suppose it was ever capable of maintaining stock but it does however completely dissect  the island right by my house. Starting at the east side of Raasay and running all the way to the small inlet where I keep my boat on its mooring.

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The view looking east and west from the top of the island behind my house.

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After that I went and did an inspection of the croft and ‘three little piggy’s’ as they would be looked after by my neighbours for the next fortnight. Then after packing my bags it was off to Portree for more pig food then joining the good ship Hallaig at 16:15.


Molly and Bonzo getting fed on Sconser car park prior to starting work Smile

Back to sea Smile

Once I’d bade my ‘back to back’ farewell it was in the office onto the ‘puter to catch up with a gazillion emails and ‘management updates’ then a tour of the ship to make sure everything was, well, ‘ship shape’ Smile 


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That new lagging on the generators looking much better than the old stuff which now adorns my Lister Smile

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Well, it was all just how I remembered it but cleaner and shinier Smile Just hope I can remember how it all works Smile well the weather looks no bad Winking smile and that’ll be my alarm clock going off, best get ready for work then.

November 4, 2021

A leg up :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Discovery, Land Rover — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:22 am

It’s only 7:30PM just washed up the dishes after a nice dinner involving a pork chop fried on a bed of almost caramelized onions which I finished off by tipping some white wine in the pan. Not cos I’m a particularly adventurous cook but quite simply cos I found a box of white wine in my utility room and as I don’t drink the stuff I figured I use it to lubricate my dinner with. My steamed asparagus, green beans, broccoli and ‘shrooms already had enough butter on them to raise my BP and the wee tatties from the community garden were quite dry and flowery so I figured that a nice juicy onion, wine, olive oil garlic and pork fat sauce would do the trick. Probably worse for my Blood Pressure than even more butter but I’d feel better by not using quite so much of the stuff Smile

Anyway it’s after 8:00PM now and I’m pure wrecked, having got up very early and worked very hard but I’ll tell you about in the morning. I’m off to join the dugs.


Bonzo and Molly having already gone to bed, Molly using the stool I placed there yesterday. That’s so she can get a ‘leg up’ rather than sit at the foot of the bed whining for me to lift her cos she’s so stiff and cranky these days. Bit like me really, at least I will be in the morning after barrowing 2 tons of stone chips and some rocks this afternoon

Thursday 6:00am

Yup, pretty stiff this morning but I did sleep like the proverbial log right through unit half an hour ago.


Orion gazing down on me from a much blacker sky this morning as Molly and I went out to fire up the generator. Not that it actually needed starting, it does that automatically if required but I just wanted to give it run for a couple of hours whilst I was in the house. I try and do this at least once a month just to make sure everything still works as the generator is rarely required. However with winter’s short days here it’s good to keep an eye on things. Who knows when we’ll get the next really cold spell with high pressure, no wind and frozen hydro Surprised smile Probably never with global warming but best be on  the safe side hey, even though I can’t actually remember the last time I actually had frost on the car windscreen at Arnish.

Anyway, back to yesterday’s ‘daily doings’ which started off with a trip to Portree, mainly for pig food but I thought I’d take the opportunity to call at Sconser quarry and get a couple of tons of 20mm stone chips whilst over on Skye.

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A good stiff northerly breeze seeing Speedwell on her mooring rather than alongside the Raasay pier which can get uncomfortable with a swell from the north.

Dropping off the trailer at the Sconser car park we headed for Portree stopping at the Varragill bridge to go for a wee walk in the woods.


Then after loading up with sow rolls at Harbro we ‘about turned’ for the quarry to get our stone chips

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That’ll be Matt the Quarry dog minus his hard hat and safety boots Smile Unfortunately we were just a little too slow to catch the 10:25 ferry

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which had just departed as we cleared the weigh bridge. Weighing in at over 5 tons we sat at Sconser for an hour to catch t he 11:25.


Back on Raasay three hours after leaving it we headed slowly north with our load.


So slowly in fact that I chose to leave the trailer at Brochel then unload the Land Rover and go back for it with the Disco. The more powerful TD5 engine with its Traction control and Hill descent control making the towing experience much pleasanter. The road to the north end of the island has had some major resurfacing work done recently and is much, much better than it was. Sadly they never got as far as Brochel and the last couple of miles of road consists of a long track of holes with odd bits of tarmac between Sad smile The Disco seems to cope much better over this ground with it’s softer suspension and Traction Control.


The Hill Decent Control being most reassuring on the steep gravely incline to Tarbert.

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Inspiring me with such confidence that I stopped and added some extra rocks on the way Smile

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Once up at Sonas the difficult task of trying to lay the weed suppressing membrane in a gale of wind began.

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Eventually with some rocks and a lull in the wind I got it down and started to quickly barrow some pats of gravel on top of it.

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Not quite getting finished before it got dark and both the animals and I got hungry Smile


Dunno where this sheep came from but that crow is watching her intently


or perhaps she’s watching the crow Smile

Anyway, that’s it, almost light now, time to feed the pigs and move some rocks.

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