Life at the end of the road

October 25, 2021

The return of ‘The office’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs — Tags: , , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:47 pm

When I got up this morning around 6:00AM the good ship Hallaig had just departed Oban’s North pier, less than 11 hours later and she’s back alongside the Raasay pier from where she departed over a month ago. If she wasn’t ‘back on service’ today (which I doubt) she’ll be plying her home route tomorrow and I for one will be glad to have her back. At least now I’ll be able to set off for the ferry half an hour before sailing and still be pretty certain of getting on. With the poor old MV Loch Tarbert it was far from a certainty so important appointments off the island meant me leaving Arnish an hour before sailing to be guaranteed getting on the ferry. 

The first perambulation with Bonzo was just a short walk through the woods and back up the Torran track to home. I’d not planned staying out long as it was pishing down so never took a mushroom bag. They were getting quite thin on the ground in the area I was heading anyway. So, I was most surprised to find a nice little clump of hedgehogs almost as soon as I cut into the birch wood.


Not only are hedgehogs delicious but they remain firm even in the pishing rain, appear late in the season and are fairly ‘idiot proof’ as regards identification. The tiny ‘spines’ on their underside which give them their being as far as I know (amongst UK mushrooms) unique. Luckily I had a rag in my pocket that I turned into a bag and with my parcel in hand wandered deeper into the wood.

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I had a sow once that chose to have a litter of 13 piglets up here in February one year! There was snow on the ground yet she’d made a nest in a little hollow atop this cliff. Sure it was a nice view but a long way from home for me to feed her! I ended up cutting some branches and trees down so I could the quad up there carrying food and water her Smile


Continuing down through the trees following deer tracks I manged to loose Bonzo, nothing fresh with that but I heard some muffled yelping and found him in amongst the rocks trying to extricate some creature form within.


I dunno what it was but it was in that hole and I left him to it figuring he’d get fed up eventually, sure enough, he somehow managed to arrive home before me Smile

Once back inside my toasty house and after sharing my muesli with Bonzo, Molly being stuck in the back of the car refusing to come out. I went back out to make a few adjustments to my diff lock selector which had stuck in the locked position. Unusually I managed to achieve this simply and with no drama, so with the morning brightening up I went over the hill to Tarbert and beyond with my ever bouncy Bonzo.

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The houses on Fladda and Holm Island off Skye taken from near ‘the Hill of the Hind’ above Tarbert.

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Some suicidal sheep that must have wandered north across the cattle grid at Brochel.

It used to be a jam jar

Lunch consisting of the last two rashers of home cured bacon was followed by trip to Torran to weigh up a task I was planning for day or so later this week.

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It involves some large pieces of timber to make a frame that needs bolted into a concrete pad and Scotland. For carrying the 4m plus timbers along the track I’d need to make up a frame for the Mule. The drilling and bonding into the founds would need resin and various threaded bar and tools all of which I needed to gather together in readiness for a weather window. With that done I took the quad up to Pipers Rock and beyond for no other reason than, I felt like it and the views are amazing, well they were when I left the Torran Schoolhouse Smile

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By the time I got up there it wasn’t so nice Sad smile

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The Pipers rock is that buttress on the left, the centre pick is taken from the T junction where the path to Fladda splits off from the path to Kyle Rona and Umachan. The well is just before the junction and some kind soul has replaced the jam jar with a proper cup complete with string Smile The water tastes divine, far better than mine and light years ahead of the stuff you get out of a regular tap Smile If you ever happen to be in the area the well which certainly has a name is about 200m before the junction to Fladda on your right about 25m off the path.

Once back home I set about making a frame for the back of the Mule so we’d be able to carry the timber on the roof.

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A few bits of timber cut to length and an old repurposed and shortened Discover ladder rack did the trick.

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That was it really, fed the pigs then came in and fed myself venison and mushrooms cooked in white wine and garlic.

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October 24, 2020

Wasted :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Land Rover — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:47 pm

Well, that just about sums me up today, pure wasted, not just me but the whole day for I’ve barely stepped out of the house. Sure I’ve had the washing machine and tumble drier going for much of it, the house is spotless and I’ve lovely clean fresh sheets on the bed. However I’ve not actually done anything outdoors bar feeding the hens and pigs.

The problem being very much alcohol related Sad smile After yesterday’s rather productive day I celebrated with a couple of Mates over a venison stew, having been invited over to the Torran Schoolhouse for ‘dinner at seven’, I should have known it would go ‘pear-shaped’ when wee dog refused to accompany me!!! Normally I have difficulty stopping her but last night, after showering and getting ready for dinner she flatly refused to get on the quad after I put a bottle of red and ten year old single malt in my slippers.


It was an ominous sign and I said as much to my hosts upon arriving at the Schoolhouse and removing the drink from it’s shock proof packaging before putting them on my feet. Dinner and the company was excellent and after just one can of Stella, two small glasses of red and one or two whiskies I wobbled home on the quad with the remains of James Eadie from Blair Athol


When I finally awoke this morning I realized they must have been very big glasses Smile It was 9:00am, my head was splitting

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and despite the sunshine it was lashing with rain, though that soon passed leaving sunshine on its own.

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I got hastily dressed and went out to deal with the hungry pigs and broody hen.


Curly hasn’t moved off her nest for three days despite me taking the egg she was incubating. Not having any need for more eggs I just left her alone rather than try and ‘cure’ her Duchess is still keeping me well supplied with an egg a day Smile After dealing with the animals I returned to my bed until 14:00!!!!!, boy, am I going to pay for this, especially with this clock changing nonsense tonight Sad smile My body clock is gonna be well and truly fecked now, still, at least the clock on the MVHR control panel will read the correct time tomorrow.


Almost 21:00 now and I’m usually in bed by now, methinks it’d time to make a cup of hot chocolate, it’s black, wet and wild outside so curling up with a warm drink seems like a better plan than another meeting with James Eadie.


The first thing I did yesterday was check to see if stretching my nylon pipe had worked. I had nailed the curled up pipe to my wooden bench in an attempt to remove the twists out of it to see if that would allow me to feed it through my chassis.

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Despite the 8mm pipe being relatively straight I still couldn’t feed it all the way through so I did what I should have done in the first place and bought some ‘pull throughs’

Of course, as soon as I bought them I went back outside to try again and the pipe went though the chassis ‘no bother’, just typical hey. Still, I’m sure they’ll be boodly useful in future Winking smile

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once the red nylon pipe was through I taped it to a 7 core and 13 core cable I’d ‘shrink wrapped together and started to carefully pull that through the chassis. It would have been far easier with another body (one pulling the pipe and one pushing the cable) but once I had a meter or so into the chassis I’d enough pipe through to hold both ends myself and do it unaided.

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After that I made a stainless steel plate to hold a junction box for the cables on top of the clutch master cylinder pedal box.

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There was no northerly swell today round Holm Island or anywhere else for that matter, apart from the odd shower it was a nice day.

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Rainbows being the order of the day, over the sea to Skye and the Pipers Rock above Torran.

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