Life at the end of the road

July 1, 2008

Weaning the ‘chunks’

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:20 pm

I’m a big fan of tin roofs having lived under this green one now for 19 years, when I bought the house it was grey and like a dog peeing on a tree the first thing I did to put my mark on this place was paint the roof. As a rule and contrary to popular belief it’s not noisy, the corrugated iron is nailed  through thick horse hair felt onto 3/4″ wooden boards then there’s 4″ of rockwool then 16mm vee lining and of course I’m a bit deaf. This morning however it was noisy in fact it had been noisy all night and I really did not want to go out in it to feed the pigs, I just lay there listening to it and feeling guilty as it was well after their 7:00 am feeding time and whilst I am a morning person I do have to have my ritual cup or two of strong black ground coffee before I do anything so it’s still half an hour after I swing my legs out of bed and put my slippers on before I silence the first and most vocal pig. This morning however I needn’t have worried as it was so miserable that not even the pigs had got up when I finally made it to their troughs. To be honest that was the worst of it and whilst it was pretty wet and windy at times there were a few dry spells so I took advantage of the first  one to go up to North Arnish and see how the well was doing there.

The ancient well that supplies my two neighbours with it’s beautifully fitting stone door, roof and lining was at last producing more than the trickle it had been down to recently. A quick look in the now full storage tanks and off down through the shoulder high bracken to check the ‘Harris Turbine’ at my mates along at Torran. This mini hydro set up that I fitted for him was now performing magnificently after the two month rest due to lack of rain. In fact I heard today that in the whole month of May and first two weeks of June the West coast had less than an inch of rain!

2nd breakfast

The late start meant that this almost became lunch as I didn’t start it untill 11:00ish and this time I did manage to have some of ‘Richie of Aultbea’s’ most excellent fare. Over said pud we decided our plan of action as regards removing Bramble from her 11 ‘chunks’. It’s allways easier to remove the sow than the piglets, as the ‘chunks’ can get out of their field, in fact we’ve encouraged it by turning the gate upside down. We just waited till they were off exploring round the back of the house and then led Bramble out of another gate and in with Jamie Lea. I use the term in quite loosely as we leave a gate open so they can free range on the hill but can’t get onto most of our croft where the piglets, boar and other sows are. Re imtroducing a sow to another can sometimes be a bit harrowing as they sometimes have a real go at each other until they re assert their pecking order but this time it was quite tame with just the odd snap and no drama at the trough.

The hydro cable

Well I finally got my armoured cable laid and jointed right from the turbine end to the chalet where it will be connected into our electrical main. 320m in all with 6 joints ( I think ) most of it being 3 core SWA of 10mm sq but the first and longest length is 7 core 2.5mmsq with live and neutral taking 6 cores and one for earth so connecting these required a little imagination.

Not to mention a fantastic enclosure left by BT some years ago whilst on one of their many visits to our bum phone line. With the trick one done I went on to the straight forward ones using my home made crimp tubes.,3821.0.html

Though thanks to ‘Northern Installers’ suggestion I drilled the covering 25mm water pipe and injected silicon in and like ‘Crofter’ suggested a wrapping of ‘Densotape’ will be used to finish it off.

Penelope and Pandora

All that took me up to the pork curry and yoghurt wrapped in flour tortillas that was dinner after which we removed Arthur and her pal (soon to be renamed P+P) from the herd of spotty piglets. These two lucky devils are going to be pampered on Skye and I’m so glad they’re not going to end up as pork chops cos they are pure sweeties.

The pair of them are always together and come straight up to you for a tummy rub or chin scratch before rolling over in pure ecstacy

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