Life at the end of the road

August 31, 2020

He’s gone!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:12 pm

A bonny, bonny Monday behind me and just about to settle down on my first meal alone in a long while, a baked aubergine and courgette affair  with some passed their ‘use before’ date fish cakes I picked up on Friday night. I was passing the Co op in too much pain to carry more than two pots of yoghurt and 4lts of milk and grabbed them on the way to the till along with a frozen pizza. Not my normal fare but Ross was gonna be out all night and I wouldn’t be in until 20:00, too tired and sore to be cooking. The pizza I demolished when I got home with a tomato salad, the fish cakes have been sat in my fridge since, their orange ‘sale’ label conveniently hiding both ‘use by’ and ingredients labels. The ‘use by’ date thing has never bothered my septic tank like stomach, if the packet isn’t ‘blown’ and if it don’t smell and you cook it hot enough it’s fine. Well, it is for me and I’ve only ever poisoned myself once or twice and never seriously Smile As for the ingredients I didn’t want to know, the ‘large print’ said sweet potato and chili fish cake, the small print probably said basa fish from the Mekong Delta and I’ve already had the misfortune of Googling that after eating one Smile Anyway, it actually pretty good with the baked veg which was just sliced and brushed with olive oil and salt.

This weekend I gained a Land Rover and lost a son Sad smile my ‘boy’ whom I’d shared a most enjoyable ‘Lockdown’ with departing on Sunday morning in the Subaru.


The car being needed as he’d an advanced diving course booked for next weekend and scuba diving not being very conducive with public transport. Normally a car in Edinburgh being a complete PITA and parking ticket magnet. His flat is only ten minutes walk from the city centre, twenty minutes from uni and almost next door to a Lidl, what more do you need Smile 

To console ourselves his mum and I went for a good walk out of Inverarish with the dugs.

Starting off at the ‘Emigrants Trail’

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which is looking decidedly greener than last I saw it, having gained some pampas grass amongst other things Smile

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The Inverarish burn sporting some wee brown trout Smile

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The ‘Burma Road’ a few large healthy chanterelles. We branched off at the remains of one of the iron ore mine viaducts with the intention of following the line of the narrow gauge railway to the old pier. The walk up towards the embankment providing a pure assault on the senses with the late summer fragrance of heather reminiscent of the late Johnny Ferguson’s honey, their diet being almost exclusively the purple blossom.

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Here is what appears to be a junction in the railway line between mine 1 and mine 2?

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A building that I guess housed some of the hauling gear.


Hallaig passes the Penfold rock buoy on her way home.

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Another one of the hauler houses above the old Iron ore pier.

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Remains of the five kiln bases and the gantry supports for the railway. The kilns were removed during WWII and at least three of them were in use at Lingdale in Cleveland until 1969.


This line drawing of the Calcining Kilns and materials hoist at Lingdale mine gives a true impression of their size. Eric Johnson informs the Archive: ”This drawing of the calcining kilns and materials hoist, shows the three kilns which were originally on the island of RAASAY in the Inner Hebrides; dismantled in about 1943, each part carefully numbered and loaded into ships. One local man John MacLeod was killed in the hold when the sling broke. The kilns were taken to Lingdale and re-erected shortly afterwards.” Image courtesy of Joan Webster and thanks to Eric Johnson for the update.

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The old engineering workshop and ore hopper just behind the pier.

Iron ore

Out for dinner


A wander along the road back to town concluded the walk and wee dug and I headed home whereupon I went out without Molly but with one of her (clean and unscented) pooh bags to collect part of dinner Smile Molly was pure wrecked after the earlier trek and I could find a mesh bag. You should always use a mesh bag or basket for collecting ‘shrooms to spread the pores Winking smile

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I managed a good bag of chanterelles and one nice cep ‘the girls’ catching half a dozen fresh mackerel.

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Grilled mackerel with a tomato sauce and eggs,  fresh figs for desert, don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh fig before Smile Boodly awesome and I wobbled back home around 22:00 Smile

August 11, 2020

Miserable, midges, wet and summery!!!! :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, weather — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 4:13 pm

A typical west coast summer I guess, Sunday I’m raving about clear skies, sun and a fresh breeze. Monday was the same, so much so that I’m rushing around at work like a demented fool and too tired to post when I got home. Having just demolished a Ross Camilli number involving monk fish, aubergine, green pepper and potato. Not that you would find that combination in many recipe books. My son is somewhat inventive on the cooking front, Sunday’s offering being a linguine with, nuts, olives, asparagus,  tender stalk broccoli and bacon. Anyway, after that and a 1 hour documentary about the Battle of Coronel I went to bed leaving this in my wake.


The weather over the weekend having been so clear that my 1500lt thermal store was pretty much uniformly heated to 80 degrees for three days. The store being heated by excess electricity and solar collectors on the roof. They don’t need the heat, just daylight and when the top of the tank reaches 80 degrees a pump starts to circulate the water within the tank to cool it.


It was such a nice day that much outdoor painting was the order of the day, ‘make hay whilst the sun shines’ as they say.


Or, if you are Highland Council, ‘clean slips whilst the tide is small and on the way in’!!!!! You could not make it up really. The one thing in life that you can predict with any certainty is the tide, it is like the sun and moon, indeed it is closely intertwined. You can look at a tide table or App years in advance and predict with a great degree of certainty what the tide is going to do on a given day at a given time. We use these slipways up to 18 times a day and every time the ramp goes down HRC charge CalMac £50, every night we tie up the ship it’s another £400!!!!! and on top of that they take ‘pier dues’ off every ticket sold. I kid you not. The entire revenue generated by ticket sales on the Raasay Ferry does not cover the cost of the pier and harbour dues yet they cannot keep the feckin slip clean.

Well’, that’ll be today’s we rant by with Smile so here are some pictures whilst I lower my blood pressure.


That looks very much like Ali Bruce in another clam diving boat, wonder what happened to the trusty MV Sarah?


The MV James on fish farm duties, she was in Loch Arnish last week?

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Ben Tianavaig and my old favourite the Storr from a different angle.


Both of them in the same shot and Raasay’s own Dun Caan below.


Speedwell heading off to sell her catch.


Tuesday’s more like it

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Cool, calm, wet and midge infested, that will be your regular West Coast August and that was what greeted me at 6:00am when I went out to feed the pigs. An hour later I was at work and it was pishing down on a sleepy Inverarish and Clachan.

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As we headed out at 7:55, Paul B a small workboat headed south.


It was truly dreich so I headed inside to do some painting.

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Firstly around the emergency diesel generator, a 63kW Volvo D5


Then down below to the aft engine room until the weather cleared and the sun came out.

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And then the paint brush closely followed by the dog’s dish Smile

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The Raasay fishing fleet and Ben na Cailleach behind Broadford.

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