Life at the end of the road

April 12, 2019

Murky ??? :-(

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, food — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:33 pm

Well, that’ll be the telly fixed Smile It died a couple of months ago and cos I rarely watch it I never got around to fixing it, what with all my other ‘wee projects’ on the go. I’d kinda been putting it off on account of where the antennae resides, which is in the loft above 900mm of insulation. I’d a feeling it wasn’t a good idea fitting it up there when I installed it 3 or 4 years ago as it would obviously be loosing some efficiency through the slate roof. However, external TV antennas and dishes in these latitudes usually get battered by the wind, loose signal and inevitably leave rusty streaks down your walls. Anyway, I’d traced the fault to the booster which was no longer showing its ‘powered up light’ and fitted a new one with a built in amplifier and 4 way splitter. That was of course after carefully peeling back 3 x 300mm layers of insulation from above the loft hatch and carefully picking my way through it complete with breathing mask and gloves. Boy does that stuff irritate or what. So, now I’ve got my gazillion TV channels back but after a quick look through them tonight I figured I’d be as well off on here Smile How is it possible to have so many channels full of 5h1te?

Thursday

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Yesterday I once more borrowed the neighbours ‘Tank’ to go and get stone from Sconser Quarry, this time 20mm ‘chuckies’ for the drive around ‘Callum’s shed’.

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Thanks to a Windoze or Firefox update I’ve lost most of me pictures right enough but I was really chuffed with the outcome Smile

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MV Loch Bhrusda, the noisiest ship on Scotland’s west coast and FV Sarah the best clam diving boat on the planet Smile Don’t let looks fool you Smile

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Friday

Sure Thursday did have a great deal more to offer but as I mentioned previously I lost all me pictures thanks to an update Sad smile Why do we need all these friggin updates (please don’t answer that). My first laptop was an old IBM Think Pad with a pirate copy of XP on it running Firefox. I had that laptop for years and cos it had this pirate software on, it never had a single update installed in all the time I had it. The thing preformed faultlessly for years until the actual laptop keypad failed and even then I fixed it temporarily by putting it in the freezer overnight. Every time  install a Windoze or Firefox update something barmy happens Sad smile is it just me?

Anyway, with the weather being so settled and me having ‘worked my butt off’ this last wee while I figured I was due some ‘me time’. So after getting the Searider all ready for sea and polishing up my diving gear I went for a ‘blast’ Smile I had spent the morning dropping off my neighbour and collecting cement from Sconser then returned home to take generator, mixer, poker and wot not down to the shore at me slip. The tides were just about as small as they could be with a HW of only 4m at 13:05. They do not get much smaller than that and my goal during all my slipway ‘civil engineering’ had been to make my slip usable at ANY ‘high water’. Well today I did it Smile I managed to launch the Searider around an hour before at around 3.93M Smile Sure the wind was from the east and the pressure high so it was probably even lower than that but I was ‘well pleased’.

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And after a quick tour of Loch Arnish

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and a visit to the ‘Horses Cave’, which looked like it had suffered another ‘roof fall’, I sped around through the Fladda Narrows into Loch a Sgurr for a dip.

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  That’ll be the ‘Huntsman’s Leap’ on Fladda, legend or is it ‘nonsense’ has it that someone jumped the gap on a horse ‘aye right’ Smile Anyway, it’s pretty spectacular and as you can see from the vegetation devoid of sheep and deer Smile

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Managed to drop my anchor almost on top of the first scallop Smile this ‘clam diving’ is a bit like ‘riding a bike’ Smile

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I gotta say though that I was severely disappointed with the water clarity, it was a tad murky, which was a surprise after all the settled weather. Perhaps it was a plankton bloom cos the water temp was 8 degrees!!!! which from memory is a good 2 degrees higher than normal for this time of year.

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Once I’d finished ‘catching dinner’ it was a mad rush to Sconser quarry to load up a couple of tons of aggregate ready for tomorrow’s mix, if it ever happens Smile

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Aggregate back home, dugs fed and then back down to the shore to recover my trailer, diving cylinder and dinner. I gotta say, it’s much easier with a digger than Land Rover Smile I had just one scallop for me dinner fried in the same pan as a cod fillet and some chorizo, it was boodly amazing Smile

April 10, 2019

A lot has happened

https://www.facebook.com/RaasayDistillery/videos/377852142944061/?t=199

The last ten days have been a bit of a whirlwind really, after my last effort https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2019/03/31/the-eleven-hour-pour/ 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.

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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.

  

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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

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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

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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.

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

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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

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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.

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

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One end I fastened into the gable end with 10mm x 100mm ‘Multimonti’ fasteners https://www.heco-schrauben.com/screws-accessories/screws/multi-monti/ . 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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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Korean barbecue at https://daochef.com/korean-bbq/ 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 https://www.nms.ac.uk/exhibitions-events/exhibitions/national-museum-of-scotland/robots/ at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Where I got to meet one of my ‘screen idols’, Maria from Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic Metropolis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metropolis_(1927_film) 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

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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.

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/highlands/1713068/rescue-teams-search-for-missing-person-on-isle-of-raasay/

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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.

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