Life at the end of the road

May 15, 2009

It never came

Filed under: daily doings, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:52 pm

Bit of a change in the weather today, yesterday I was baking on the roof with my shirt off wearing a pair of sandles. Today I had a fleece on under my overalls and a pair of woolly socks inside my boots. All the forecasts were showing rain for early evening and overnight until Saturday morning so I was determined to get my roof finished before it started but first of all I had to take my boy to school, along with some paint, brushes and fence posts for the compost bin shelter that I’m helping the primary school to make. Today is ‘Creative Friday’ and the children were going to prepare some of the wood ready for my next Friday off when I can go and assemble it for them, so that this winter they will not have to chase the ‘black Dalek’ and all its contents around the playground! With that done and instructions left with the head teacher I made off at great speed before I could be cajoled into assisting, half an hour with the Raasay primary school is far more stressful than a day balancing on a ladder painting or cleaning out pigs 🙂 Not because they’re badly behaved but cos they’re really smart and ask lots of clever questions that I can’t answer! So with great speed I headed for the ferry terminal and my 5 barrels of oil for the generator and stove that had been filled on Thursday when the oil tanker was over.

800lts on board

800lts on board

With 4 of the 5 barrels loaded I headed north and home, taking the low road past the hotel and Raasay house to have a look at the wall that was being built at the new road junction by the steading.

A fine wall from poor stone

A fine wall from poor stone

It looked almost ready for the  ‘Caithness ‘ coping stones and it’s a fine result from the mountain of unsuitable rock that the guys had to work with.

The journey home was very leisurely with my 750kg of oil taking my trailer to the limit of it’s legal load, I’m sure it would have taken the last barrel but the road north is pretty hard on suspension systems and this trailer is a key element in our enterprise. We often use it for storing bedding, temporary pig accommodation, gathering logs and of course trips to the abattoir.  Once home I had a second breakfast of bacon rolls then went to bed!!!!!!!!!!! This is not like me, the weather was fine, I was desperate to finish my roof but I was falling asleep at the table (hope it’s not swine flu 🙂 ) and being anything but  100% when painting a roof would be foolhardy. After a few hours kip a rose around 13:00 just in time for lunch and feeling much better. I then flew up the ladder to finish the roof before the impending rain, which in the form of one light shower had already arrived at the south end of Raasay. I had the front which is the hardest part finished by 15:30 but the blackening sky to the east made me reluctant to start the rear, the UKWind had promised rain around early evening but ThR had shown the north end of Raasay and Rona as staying dry but I was not taking any chances so satsfied myself with re fitting the gutters and putting everything away that was likely to get wet.

Two fine boys

I still had to pump the oil into the generator and stove heating tanks so I bashed on with that whilst it was still fine as I thought we would be needing the trailer tomorrow.

pumping oil

pumping oil

There’s allot of work in this fossil fuel carry on and the sooner we can become totally free of it as regards the house the better. A solar hot water system on the roof plus a larger wood burner should sort out the DHW and CH followed by a large solar PV array to supplement the wind and hydro turbines. We have already slashed our diesel consumption from 100lts per week to 3 or 400 a year but I’m getting to old for lugging barrels everywhere! I have to roll them into the trailer on their side then stand them up, then roll them back out put them on their side, roll the small bung to the top, take it out, put in a connection to my electric pump and pump it into the tank. I then have a 10 min rest before repeating the operation.

water and diesel

water and diesel

The tank on the left is my ‘water bowser’ which can be sat in the trailer to ferry water up from the pier if we run out, which we did last year for around 3 weeks, whilst the south of England was under water! The one on the right is my large 12kw Lister HR2 fuel tank, they were both made from salmon cage floats that washed up on the shore and will hold around 6 or 700 lts each. Once that was underway I went on my feeding rounds pulling out two of the spottie’s on the hill for delivery to Kyle on Monday, though at the time Id thought I was going to take them tomorrow.

Spotty boars

Spotty boars

We put them in a small field along with the transport crate that would be their bed for the next 3 nights and that was about it really I pottered about outside under a stormy sky that came to nothing until around 21:00 whereupon I tried to post on here but fell asleep! it’s now 7:00am on Saturday and still we’ve seen no rain 🙂

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