Life at the end of the road

May 3, 2008

The Dude and the drain!

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:41 pm

If you follow the lunar planting calender for planting you’ll Know there are days that you should just not do anything. Me I don’t follow it simply because half my life is spent on the ferry and living on the west coast means whatever the plants are influenced by if it’s storm force 10 and pishing with rain I aint planting anything! That’s not to say I don’t believe in it, it’s just on the whole not practical for us here. I know I’m influenced by the moon and just ask any barman, nurse or policeman what happens when the full moon falls on a Friday. But there are times in the lunar cycle when things just seem to go pear shaped and I’m sure this was one of them. We had the day planned to make the most of it, I’d just bought a wee car for mrs C and I was to pick it up at 10:00am from near Kyle whilst mrs C took the Dude swimming, whilst halfway down the 11 mile road to the ferry mrs C asked me if I’d got the cash, of course I hadn’t it was still in the 2nd drawer from the left in the kitchen units. And for any would be burglars reading this we don’t normally have any money in the house I had to draw it out specially and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a £50 note never mind owned one or should I say possessed one. Anyway I digress, of course we missed the intended 9:00am ferry so were running late, once on the ferry mrs C realised she’d forgot her ferry tickets. We got to Kyle and the swimming was canceled due to a cross country run or something ( though no one thought to inform us ). After picking up the car I went shopping but had lost the shopping list and had somehow managed to lose the keys for the new car ( fortunately we had a spare and later on the lost key materialised in mrs Cs coat pocket! ) Despite all this we did manage to get back on the 13:15 ferry and mrs C loves her wee car. So much so that she spent the rest of the afternoon driving round the village showing it off whilst the Dude his pal and I went to do some work.

Back to the hydro pipe

If you’ve been following my witterings you’ll Know that ‘drain stopped play’ yesterday whilst I was laying the penstock pipe for the new hydro turbine. I’d got most of it done but hit a snag whilst trying to get the pipe under the road. The drain is about 20′ long but has a bend in the middle, the first half is dry stone and the 2nd corrugated steel pipe. I tried pushing the pipe through but as it’s got a slight curve in it from being coiled up it would not go more the half way through yesterday so I gave up. Today I got several 4″ pipes that slotted into each other and pushed them through from the other end and whilst I could get these much further up the drain it was still catching on a large displaced stone around 6′ down the drain.

I did think of tying a string to the pigs tail and trying to coax it down the drain with some food but I had none on me. In the end I did what any responsible parent would have done and sent their 8 year old boy down to move it past the stone whilst his father pushed it from the other end.

Once the 4″ pipe was pushed through I tied a rope to it, pulled the rope back through, tied the rope to the blue pipe which would be supplying my turbine and heaved it through the drain.

This is the rope emerging from the drain on the end of the 4″ pipe and once the blue pipe was pulled through and dragged into position we set about connecting them all together. The original 470m of 63mm pipe that I acquired had 3 different types of coupling and for anyone interested here are my observations if your considering doing a similar project.

I’ve just realised that this pic is pretty poor but I’ll try to explain and post some better ones tomorrow. The one on the left and the center one are plastic though the center ‘Philmac’ is easier to use and can be coupled whilst a degree or two out of line. Both these types normally have an insert but I leave these out as they cause turbulence and have potential to stop debris. The one on the right is steel, much easier to use and with care the pipes can be mated in such a way as there is no small gap to cause turbulence. I’ve no idea of costs but the plastic ones seem well up to the job even if the steel is marginally better and easier to use.

Back to the creels

with our 250m of penstock fully jointed and the tide high we set off out to sea to lift our 6 lobster pots and whilst we were void of lobsters (probably the moon!) we did get 3 nice crabs and some velvet crab. After the evening feed (both pigs and people) I went and gave Jamie lea ( one of our pigs ) her 3rd shot of her 5 day course of antibiotics and felt so confident that I did it on my own ( perhaps pigs don’t know about the moon!) Having said that I’d been out to her twice during the day when she was in her ark, given her a good rub down then a hefty slap on the rump with my hand followed by an apple so she was used to the ‘prick n treat’

Create a free website or blog at