Life at the end of the road

September 26, 2020

Plan Z :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Well it seemed like a stormy night here if the voltage on my battery banks is anything to go by, I was up several times during the night and on each occasion the kitchen voltmeter was hovering around the 59.V mark.


It’s 6:30 now, reading a much saner 50.2V and I cannot hear a breath of wind outdoors but by all accounts it was pretty stormy elsewhere in the country. Here the forecast looks good with big smiley sunny faces dominating the outlook on XC Weather. I just can’t make my mind up what to do today, yesterday’s lumb clearing being something of a failure. My plan being to try and clear the avalanche inside the lumb from below using a small battering ram on the end of some drain clearing rods. This initially met with some success but my ‘ram’, whilst dislodging much rubble couldn’t seem to break up the larger rocks so I figured more weight and a ‘pointy end’ might help.

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This brought to mind a hardened steel pick for my demolition hammer that I’d purchased some years ago only to discover it was the wrong fitting for my Hitachi breaker, so, I welded it onto the steel bar on the end and went to have another go.


It certainly seemed to be bringing down more of the debris but kept getting jammed up there. Having already lost several heavy objects inside the boodly chimney I decided to abandon it until I could modify the back end with a grinder so at least it wouldn’t jam on the way down. I also had in mind to ‘find’ three meters of 63mm thick walled blue water pipe as I knew where there was several hundred meters lying in the heather, or at least there was a few years ago Smile I figured that 63mm pipe would be solid enough to batter with a sledge hammer but bendy enough to go up the lumb. I’d already tried 90mm and it just wasn’t bendy enough.

Back to the ‘Old Girl’

Truth is, I was boodly knackered after all my battering and rodding so I went home to do some more work on the Land Rover, leaving my quest for 63mm pipe until later when I was expecting some deliveries from the ferry.

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I had already destroyed my exhaust down pipe trying to remove it to access the starter motor. A new 90 degree bend was on it’s way but the one fitted on Steve Parker’s 200TDi conversion is swaged slightly smaller at the manifold end and I’d battered that to death.

SPEX102 Front Exhaust Pipe 200Tdi Discovery Conversion Land Rover 90 110

So, I heated up the damaged end, straightened on a mandrel, chopped it off and fastened it onto the end of the £15 bend, I wasnae paying £150 for one of Steve’s again Smile


Seemed to work just fine.

I then headed to the ferry to collect more bits required for the ‘Old Girl’ calling by the new EE mast at Cnoc an Uan on the way.

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No visit to the south end around lunchtime would be complete without a stop at the Larch Box for a snack.


Yesterday’s choice being a brie, sundried tomato and pesto toastie, yum, yum.

Armed with more Land Rover parts I headed home via the water treatment plant to see if the long lengths of 63mm pipe were still lying in the heather.

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Sure, they were but it wasn’t that that caught my eye, it was the broken ‘pecker’ lying outside the compound which Molly and I ‘rescued’ with some difficulty. It was quite a way from the car and boodly heavy. I had a plan Smile yet another for the lumb saga.


Well, it almost be 8:00am now the stags are roaring outside and the hinds gathering


he’s been busy rolling in the peaty mud trying to make himself look bigger and more attractive,

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the girls, well, they don’t seem too impressed Smile Me, I’d better go feed the pigs, if I can find them, they never came home last night Sad smile

September 25, 2020

Shepherd’s delight!!!

Filed under: daily doings, food, How I, Land Rover — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:47 am

Aye that’ll be right, 5:30 and I’m just back in the house after lashing everything outside down and emptying the water out of my toolboxes Sad smile Not that this wee blast and deluge from the north wasn’t forecast, just that ‘yours truly’ was lulled into a false sense of security by the bonny, bonny day that was Thursday. A day that was calm, clear and sunny with myself just so glad to be back home. Methinks I’d left all my tools outside, doors on the shed open and bonnet up on the ‘Old Girl’ cos I was fully intending going back outside again after my dinner but somehow got distracted and forgot. Only realising at ‘stupid o clock’ this morning as I heard the rain lashing on the triple glazing Sad smile If I can actually hear anything outside I know it’s bad, between my challenged hearing, triple glazing and the thick insulated walls of Sonas it’s the wee dug that normally alerts me to any exterior noise or visitors.

Truth is, I’d probably have woken at that time regardless but it was with great reluctance that


I put on my slippers and abandoned Molly to search for a torch. The equinox by with it has reached that time of year where torches are an essential accessory here, though I haven’t yet got a whole pile of them by the front door or in every jacket pocket. That will come when they start the clock changing nonsense in a few weeks time, then I really will start getting up and going to bed early for the next three months Sad smile 

It really was wet and windy outdoors, my open toolbox and socket set were full of water and I switched my larger wind turbine on to take advantage of the energy streaming down from the north. The sky is brightening now at 6:45, the wind has eased and there’s little sign of the downpour earlier. Coffee pot number 2 is brewing on the hob and I guess my first task will be ‘the lumb’.

 The Lumb

I’ve not been at the lumb for a while having been away and awaiting the arrival of a very strong magnet. My neighbour’s lumb has a blockage, not a regular one but a serious one about 9’ from the top of the chimney. There appears to be several large rocks jammed down there and the best efforts of myself and others have failed to shift them either up nor down. My last attempt involving a long heavy steel bar on a rope which I kept hauling up to the top of the chimney pot then dropping it in an attempt to break the obstruction. This, along with some scaffolding sections pushed up from below seemed to be at least moving the blockage. However, when I came to pull up the rope last week after leaving it down the lumb for a few days there was nothing on the end of the rope!!!! I’d left the rope hanging loose over the gable end and I guess the wind vibrating on it had loosened the ‘rolling hitch’ and several ‘clove hitches’ I’d attached it to the rod with. So now, not only was the chimney blocked with rubble but it also had a 5’ heavy steel bar stuck down it Sad smile After much thought I ordered a strong neodymium magnet off eBay

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and armed with that yesterday soon fished out the bar. After spending some time working at this with only moderate success I went for a walk with wee dug around the ruins at Brochel.

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Formulating yet another plan along the way Smile The ‘jack and scaffolding’ method from below had reached a stage where the blockage was loose and small jerky movements seemed more effective than the slow and steady hydraulic jack. So, taking the fibreglass poles of the drain rods home I elected to make up a heavy steel ‘battering ram’ to fasten on the end.

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Welding a heavy steel bar onto some tube which I pressed onto the end of the rod.

Back under the ‘Old Girl’

Next off Molly and I wandered over to Torran

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collecting ‘second breakfast’ along the way and enjoying my large fried cep with two freshly laid eggs and a loaf one of my shipmates had made Smile Ok, not the whole loaf Smile

Next it was the removal of the exhaust downpipe off the Land Rover to heat it up and straighten it after struggling to remove the front pipe last week.

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What a frigging epic that turned into, had to grind away part of an ‘obstruction wrench’ to get the bottom bolt off and one of the top Allen bolts proved exceptionally stubborn. By comparison heating the pipe up cherry red and straightening over a mandrel in the vice was a piece of cake.

Having had so much fun with that I turned my attention to the reluctant and rusty heater controls, removing them, freeing them off ‘shrink wrapping’ the cable and then painting them.


A bonny evening

That was it really, don’t sound like much but it was a pretty busy day, rounded off by yet another walk with wee dug.

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This time round the ‘red rocks of Arnish’ to the accompaniment of honking geese heading south.

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Right, that’s it, time to test the battering ram, feed the animals and get some more paint on my heater controls Smile

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