Life at the end of the road

April 10, 2019

A lot has happened

The last ten days have been a bit of a whirlwind really, after my last effort and the visit to the Isle of Raasay Distillery to watch and listen to Willie Campbell I got on with painting the house. Conditions were far from ideal with showers forecast but I chose the lee side to make a start.

IMG_0658 IMG_0659 IMG_0660

Moving from one side to the other as the wind changed, then when it got just too wet I set about strengthening up some fences.

We’ve bought a couple of pigs to fatten and plan to keep them on the croft in the hen and wind turbine fields for a while. We normally do this anyway but there are now a couple of extra ‘ladies’ at the ‘North End’ charging about the hill. Judy and Tilley, two rather large ‘Iron Age’ gilts (wild boar cross Tamworth) have been a welcome addition to the Arnish ‘wildlife’ but they’re somewhat impervious to fences of the regular calibre required for ‘tame’ pigs Smile So rather than have them tunnelling into ‘meet the neighbours’ I started beefing up the fences ‘just in case’ using timber grown and milled on Raasay.


IMG_0663 IMG_0668

The two ‘darlings’ had been at Arnish for a good three weeks and I hadn’t actually seen them despite walking the two dogs every day in the general direction of where I thought they may be. Typically when I stopped for lunch I returned to my labours to find one of them in the hen field Smile

IMG_0664 IMG_0665 IMG_0666

I soon got her out and then the pair of them made off, not to be seen again (by myself at least) until today, ten days later Smile

IMG_0661 IMG_0662 IMG_0667

I also made good use of some old corrugated iron sheets from my mums house to provide a wind break and discourage porcine mining in the turbine field.

IMG_0669 P1140861 P1140860

There was some fearful showers, even some of snow but most of them seemed to miss the ‘North End’.

P1140862 P1140865

This is me new pal Murdo the ‘hoodie’ who seems to know I’ve lost my appetite for shooting crows. I’m sure that as soon as I picked up a gun he’d be off like a shot but I seem to be getting soft in my old age. Mink excepted I’ve taken to not shooting anything I can’t eat, sure there are recipes for crow but Darling wife refuses to try them out Smile  I’ve seen enough sheep and lambs have their eyes plucked out whilst still living by a hoodie or raven to not be sentimental but as my lovely wife says ‘they’re just trying to survive’ and I’ve no had sheep for many years now. Ole Murdo is getting bolder and bolder and can be often seen in the garden but this rocky knoll just outside the gate is where he can watch over his territory and he probably knows it’s just outside the range of me shotgun anyway Smile


Well, I guess that picture was taken a week ago on ‘bin day’ Smile

More solar

Not that we actually need it but I decided to fit some more solar panels to the bunker. These would be just to supply a spare 48v 900Ah battery bank that sits in there doing nothing. Sure that makes no sense whatsoever but along with the Outback GVFX3048 inverter it feeds it’s just something I ‘acquired’ along the way Smile Like these thick heavy duty stainless steel brackets I found on eBlag at just £40 for 25. I cut half a dozen of the in half and fashioned them into mountings so I could put two 300W panels above the 60 hot water tubes on the bunker.


There was just enough room for the two mounted ‘landscape’ fashion.

IMG_0712 IMG_0713 IMG_0715

One end I fastened into the gable end with 10mm x 100mm ‘Multimonti’ fasteners . These fasteners are fantastic in concrete blocks, you just drill an 8mm hole and screw them in, no plug, no resin and you torque em up to 50Nm, though I filled the hole up with silicon sealant too to stop any dampness.

IMG_0716 IMG_0717 IMG_0718

It may not be very high up there but it wasn’t easy getting those 20kg panels up over the 60 glass tubes without breaking any I can tell you.

IMG_0720 IMG_0721 IMG_0722

Still, I managed all on my own last night and left the wiring for today, servicing the wife’s Subaru in-between lifts Smile


I do like my Chinese lift Smile 

The Land Rover saga

With Tayside Land Rover having had my dear old Landy for just over a year now for what was allegedly a six week job I decided to pay an unscheduled visit.

IMG_0682 IMG_0675 IMG_0676 (1)

It was 2:30 on Friday afternoon and nobody was home Sad smile

IMG_0679 (1) IMG_0677 (1) IMG_0681

We were going to spend the weekend in Edinburgh with our son anyway so it wasn’t a wasted journey.

IMG_0684 (1) IMG_0696 (1) IMG_0701

The weather wasn’t up to much right enough but we managed some good meals out and to see some of the sights.

IMG_0704 (1)

Korean barbecue at was well impressive, though I missed the signs that would have been mandatory on a CalMac ship. You know the signs for stupid people, like, ‘Surface may be hot’

Of course it’s hot, it’s a feckin barbecue Smile There wasn’t even one above the hot tap in the toilet to tell me the water may be hot!!!! Smile Not only that, they never provided a thermometer to tell me if the prawns were cooked inside. Really, it’s a miracle we made it out alive Smile

We also managed a fine Nepalese and French Caribbean meal as well as a trip to at the National Museum of Scotland.

IMG_0693 (1)IMG_0694 (1) Metropolisposter.jpg

Where I got to meet one of my ‘screen idols’, Maria from Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic Metropolis Sure there was lots of hi-tech stuff there too but Maria made it for me Smile

On the way back I paid another impromptu visit to Tayside Land Rover and was most impressed to see THREE people actually working on the ‘Old Girl’ Smile


A tragedy

On Sunday 31st, probably around the time Darling wife and I were getting ready for Sunday lunch at Raasay house an elderly gentleman went missing on Raasay.

020911 011

Alistair Lovie, or Chop has he was affectionately known, that’ll be him doing some dry stone walling in the ‘hi-viz’ coat. Alistair went out for a walk and never came back, and whilst ‘as fit as a butchers dog’ he was suffering from dementia and despite a week long search by local volunteers, Skye Mountain Rescue, Portree Lifeboat, Coastguard, Police, Fire and Rescue using dogs, boats and the helicopter not a trace has been found of him. The search was called off a week later after a stupendous effort by all involved, including all the community members who kept the searchers supplied with coffee, baking, soups, sandwiches and help. Our thoughts are with Alistair’s wife, family and friends, not to mention the ‘wee dug’ that he was always out walking. And here I have to smile despite the tragedy for I suspect Alistair’s dementia was like my fathers insomuch as he kept forgetting he’d taken the dug for a walk. No sooner had my father sat down in the chair after taking Leah for a walk, then he would get up and take her out again Smile After three or four walks Leah would eventually get pi55ed off and leave my Pop to go out on his own Smile 

There was more but it’s after 22:00 now and time for bed.

February 4, 2019

A well earned rum :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, life off grid, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:14 pm

That’s me just showered, and poured myself a stiff, well earned, Kraken rum Smile 20:40 is the time and I guess I must have been indoors just after eight feeling like I’d worked exceedingly hard and late, which I had for me Smile Me, I’m very much a ‘morning person’ and go rapidly down hill after lunch, a creature of habit I like to be fed and watered around 18:00 then rarely venture back outside at this time of year. I’ve done all this working till ‘stupid O clock’ in days gone by and have the diaries to prove it, but now, well into my sixties and preparing for retirement I’m ‘taking it easy’. Today however, I made an exception, probably cos ‘darling wife’ is once more in the ‘toon hoose’ and I’m here with two daft dugs enjoying yet another TV less evening Smile Gosh, I do love the silence, the only thing I can hear, if I hold my breath, is the clock ticking. Leah is sat on my feet under the table and Molly is sat on the bed, it doesn’t get much better than this after a hard day’s graft.


Sure, I know it’s been February for long enough but it really feels like we’ve ‘turned the corner’ as far as winter goes, sure it’s still snowy and icy but the days are really stretching and the solar power has really started producing once more, a good 6kWh today, not much by ‘home counties’ standard but ‘damn fine splendid’ for here at Arnish. Sunrise at 8:15 and sunset at 17:00 makes all the difference too, another week and it’ll be nearer 18:00. Sure we can get some pretty heavy dumps of snow, gales and ice but it never seems quite so bad in daylight Smile

When I last posted the frame for the new boat/car port had just gone up, the ground was covered in snow and I was deep in the ‘brown stuff’ for not going to Inverness on Friday afternoon. Selfish prick that I am, I chose to put up me shed with Callum rather than take darling wife shopping in Inverness. Redemption came on Saturday however when we headed off on the first ferry and bought a nice bedroom suite for the ‘toon hoose’ from the Blythewood charity shop on harbour road.



Not to mention curtain poles, from B&Q and a gazillion ‘bits an bobs’ from Screwfix. Anyway’s, we made it back for the 17:30 ferry along with a Chinese takeaway from Kyle. With the TV mercifully broken we watched ‘Night Train to Lisbon’

Night Train to Lisbon 2013 Poster.jpg

on Netflix or Amazon Prime or something I was suitably impressed and reduced to a gibbering wreck. Despite getting panned by Hollywood critics I thought it was a really good film.


Well, Sunday was a kinda leisurely day from what I recall, we went out for a walk with the dugs to Screapadale

P1140545 P1140546 P1140547

and then I set up some shuttering in front of the boat/car port. That big square thing is a huge rock that must have become detached from the cliffs millennia ago. Methinks it’s called ‘Church Rock’ or something, whatever it’s called it’s boodly spectacular Smile


DSCN2211 DSCN2213 DSCN2214

Once I’d got the shuttering in place for the ramp I filled it in with ballast and also came up with the idea of extending me shelter. I figured the slope would give me enough height to get the digger or dumper in there as well as the boat if I was ‘canny’ with the concreting Smile

 DSCN2215 DSCN2216 DSCN2219


Well, that went rather well and after filling the shuttering with ballast the tamping it down with Callum’s grading bucket I reckoned that I could extend me shelter another 3m and have enough height for the digger at least. All I had to do was get more cement and mount some more studs for the extra uprights. Well that and ‘run it by’ my ‘shed guru’ Callum at the Raasay Sawmill Smile

P1140548 P1140549 

Well, it seemed ‘fine in principle’ so I made up a mounting plate anyway.

P1140550 P1140551 P1140552

Another nice thick steel plate from Hallaig’s bottom providing the base for the potential upright.

P1140553 P1140554 P1140555

Better to put it in now and not use it than to wish I’d done so later Smile

P1140556 P1140557

The ‘Old Girl’

For those of you that have been following regularly you may remember the ‘Old Girl’, my 1986 110 CSW Land Rover that I left at Tayside Land Rover some time ago for a new galvanized chassis, bulkhead, B posts and doors, well things are  definitely progressing.

IMG_0964 IMG_0965 IMG_0966

The ‘Old Girl’ is definitely ‘on the mend’ Smile


That was a pretty ‘feckered’ bulkhead hey.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at