Life at the end of the road

December 17, 2008

How could she!

Filed under: daily doings, harbour, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:56 pm

Being Tuesday and the last day of my ‘rest week’ there’s always plenty to do and today was no exception. The demise of  ‘wee car’ my better halfs Daihatsu YRV 4×4 meant it was the school run for me, darling wife having spent the previous week driving my Land Rover had had enough of it.

'Old girl'

'Old girl'

Sad as it may seem I get as much pleasure driving my 22 year old bucket as I did when I bought it 8 years ago, the rattles, squeaks, water leaks and rock hard suspension all adding to the very agricultural driving experience, unfortunately my wife does not see her through the same rose tinted spectacles! Still the run down ‘Calum’s road’ to the Raasay primary school would give me a chance to have a look at the harbour works. As usual I headed up to the top of  ‘The Battery’ ( Raasay’s defence against Napolionic invaders) for a fine view of the works.

Surveying the scene

Surveying the scene

Where I found Andy busy surveying with a very complicated bit of kit, he did explain it to me but as usual I forgot or at least I didn’t remember enough of what he said to make any sense on here. Although there wasn’t a great deal more to see above the water since my last proper visit a couple of weeks ago, quite a few of the blocks had been laid below the surface .
interlocking 20t and 9t blocks

interlocking 20t and 9t blocks

The Highland Marine tug ‘Kingston Lacy’ was busy shunting a barge load of rock into the temporary jetty.

Kingston Lacy and work boats

Kingston Lacy and work boats

With more than just a little help from one of the two orange work boats that assist with the shunting and towing, the other one slung below the ‘small’ 90t Kobelco crawler crane. I think both these ex German army work boats have 250 hp V12 ‘Magirus Deutz’ air cooled diesels

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=-YEGvm-mftc&NR=1

And there must be even sadder people than me out there for posting this stuff, that clip just does not do the air cooled brute justice as it only shows half the engine but here’s another from the same boat

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=qGKmfVwoFy4&feature=related

Back to the croft

After watching all this activity it was back up the road to my own civil engineering project of moving rocks! a favourite pastime of all dwellers at the north end of Raasay for generations.

Willing helper

Willing helper

The purpose of all this rock moving being to make a path through the mud so we could get into Bramble and her 12 piglets without losing any more wellies!

Turning the veg patch

Turning the veg patch

Whilst we were on rock moving duty, Rory and Ruby were busy rotovating the veg patch in search of the odd potato, carrot or parsnip that had been overlooked.  With one trailer load of rocks spread about the field and a few more pot holes filled in our drive it was time to head south for the school, my boy and ‘buffalo bill’s’ truck. For those not up to speed, Raasay’s deadliest hunter had offered my darling wife the use of his proper ‘red neck’  Mitsubishi L200 pick up truck for a few days until the boy finished school. So I dropped her off then went to see the ‘mad Frenchman’ on wind turbine business.

You get what you pay for

The very fine Chinese wind turbine that Louis had bought for his boat had stood up to a full two weeks of Raasay wind before dying and was now lying in my workshop along with a pile of  similar products from the ’empire of the sun’.   http://windpower.en.ecplaza.net/6.asp

is marketed under various names and whilst I’m sure is quite serviceable in Suffolk or Szechwan province it’s just not man enough for ‘west coast’ winds so the voltage regulator had failed. The importers were only interested in selling complete turbines and carry no spares and the manufacturer was just interested in selling the new, better 400w version! So it was decided to get a British made, tested in Scotland

http://www.futurenergy.co.uk/ 12v 600w turbine and this had just arrived. So whilst wifey headed north with boy I headed to the ferry to collect the turbine. Not long after I recieved a phone call from said partner telling me to sell the Land Rover and buy a pick up like this!! I mean how could she say such a thing, I was mortified, I know it’s ‘for better or worse’ but imagine asking, nay telling me to sell the old girl and buy a Japanese pick up truck. Ok the heater works, it’s dry, quiet, comfortable, reliable, economical, powerful, has lots of gadgets and you can climb in and out of it without a step ladder but it’s got no soul!

The Carol service

The very same evening was the night of the Raasay carol service/concert in the village hall so after arriving home with said wind turbine and quickly assembling the blades I grabbed a quick bite to eat and we all headed down for the hall. Now I can’t really say I follow any particular faith, there are plenty out there, most of them say the same thing and if we’d all just realize that and get on with each other the world would be a far happier place. So whilst I’m not particularly religious I’m a great fan of Jesus and my boy was playing the recorder so how could I miss such an event? It staretd at 7:00pm with a beautiful  introduction to’ Once in Royal David’s city’ by Rosie Macleod

Once in Royal David's city

Once in Royal David's city

The next hour and a half was an alternation of song and reading by various members of the community followed by a rousing sing song of the likes of ‘Rudolph the red nosed reindeer’, ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ and other favourites.

Carol service 16/12/08

Carol service 16/12/08

And It’s midnight now so I must go to bed!




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