Life at the end of the road

June 30, 2008

The SWB series 2, 88″ pig ark!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:27 pm

Things are really moving along here in the pig department, we put Shona the ‘Old Spot’ sow in with Ginger the Tamworth boar yesterday and Brambles wains, the 11 Tamworth piglets that we’ve nicknamed the ‘wee chunks’ are ready to be weaned as soon as I finish their new accomadation.

They were 6 weeks old the other day but the ‘wee chunks’ are ready for weaning now and she needs a rest. I spotted just the thing for conversion to deluxe piglet housing the other day. It was the hard top off a series 2 short wheelbase Land Rover which had been lying abandoned for as long as I could remember.

A quick word with the owner and it was mine for the taking, so this morning we all set off south to the old coal store where it was lying and before long had it loaded onto my trailer and back on the croft. Now I appriciate that to the hardened Land Rover buff this may seem sacreligious but there’s no bigger Land Rover ‘anorak’ than me and I was desperate!

So I set about grinding off the door seal lips and rivets after which I made some window and door blanks out of some 1/4″ hardboard I’d also been given. I then covered the door top blanks with a piece of tarpaulin that fell off a lorry. Literally it was off a 40t arcticulated lorry that was blown over on Skye in a gale a few months ago ( there’s a piccy on here somewhere ) A good section of the ‘curtainside’ was lying in the heather at the side of the road for long enough so I ‘rescued’ it. With blanks made for the back windows out of the same piece of hardboard, the rear door blank made from some old worktop and a wooden frame around the bottom to stiffen it up.

I was in two minds weather to leave the windows clear but decided against it or should I say OH decided against it.

Had it not started raining I was going to insulate it on the inside or at least the roof to stop condensation. I still have 14 sheets of this hardboard and some polystyrene sheet to use but it took me all day to modify it so far. Who knows how long it would take me to make a pig proof lining!

June 29, 2008


Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:11 pm

The day started well enough and after the usual round of feeding I got stuck into splitting logs again with my new maul. This took me all the way up until 2nd breakfast around 10:45, me I’m very much a morning person, much to the annoyance of OH so when I get up ( usually between 5:30 and 7:00 ) I have my healthy breakfast which is usually a large bowl of museli, a bannana with yoghurt and milk. Whilst doing wonders for my bowels and filling me with ruffage it does nothing for me in the way of calories so by 10:30 i’m usually ravenous  and in need of something pig related which today was 6 sausages! which even by my standards is positively greedy and left me no room for the ‘Ritchie’s of Aultbea’ black pudding that I bought the other day in Portree. Feeling somewhat stuffed I abandoned the log splitting in favour of sorting out my cable for the hydro system I’m installing.

Lightning never strikes twice!

Being something of a magpie I’ve managed to aquire all the cable I require FOC ok it’s in 6 different lengths 4 different sizes and 3 different types some of it’s been struck by lightning and I had to dig alot of it out of the ground but it was free! Initially I was going to need nearly 500m but I’ve come up with a cunning plan of connecting it to my neighbours chalet (whom we supply anyway) as that is already wired into my inverter and is almost 200m nearer the turbine. The first job was to test all the various lengths, I’d already checked them for continuity and found them to be sound, checked the outer covering again which was sound but I’ve now way of testing the insulation under load. The cable will only be carrying a maximum of 200 watts so I reckond if I could put 2kw down it without tripping the RCD or blowing a fuse then it must be sound. However just incase anything did go pear shaped rather than fry my ‘Trace SW 4548e’ inverter I decided to start up ‘Twinny’ the 6kw ST2 LIster back up genny and use that for the test.

So I titted a plug on one end a socket on the other and swtched the heater on full (gradually) I didn’t run it for long as the cable was coiled but it seemed OK so I repeated it on the other lengths without blowing a fuse, tripping the RCD or electrocuting myself so can only assume it’s fine. So after breking all the rules in the electrical code of practice I set about dragging this length through the woods and bracken to meet up with the stuff I’d laid yesterday.

It was whilst pulling the cable through the wood that I saw Shona and Jamie Lea who were already digging the trench to bury the cable in!

With that bit of cable laid I went to fit a latch on the gate of my neighbours chalet with a view to making her decking ‘pig proof’ no sooner had I done it than the girls came to check it out

After tying her wheelie bin to a tree in an endevour to make that ‘pig proof’ also I went back to jointing cable in the comfort of my workshop. If anyone interested this is how I did it,3821.0.html as I only had one resin filled joint

Mine’s the blue one and whilst I would not condone anyone else doing such a bodge I was well pleased with the result.


And if your ever at the north end of Raasay remember beware of flying pigs and don’t feed them!

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