Life at the end of the road

May 25, 2009

A double drenching

Filed under: Uncategorized — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 3:58 am

So much for the weather forecast, today, well yesterday because I’m writing this at 3:00am on Monday as I’m unable to sleep ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Sunday was supposed to be fine all day, at least until around 19:00 anyway. So having foolishly put my trust in UKWind and as I was feeling almost 100% after my bout of the ‘F’ word I removed the doors of the ‘Old Girl’ as a precursor to the annual refit. The Loch Striven goes in for her annual refit and renewal of her PC (passenger certificate) in December and the old Land Rover has much the same done every June for her MOT. OK one’s a wee bit bigger than the other but they’re the same colour and age and both events can be quite traumatic ๐Ÿ™‚

Making a start

Unfotunately a good deal of this blog for the next couple of weeks will be Land Rover related as I’ve a mountain of work to get through before the 10th of June and the annual vehicle inspection that is the MOT test. Though why it’s still called the ‘Ministry of Transport’ test 20 or 30 years after the said ministry was swallowed up by the department of the envioronment is beyond me. Probably it’s because the DOE test would sound like something Homer Simpson would say. Not that I watch the yellow people of Springfield, just that it’s hard to escape them these days, what with Simpsons Easter eggs, soap, comics and the like. Me I go out of my way to avoid this kind of franchised cr4p, an Easter egg is just that, an egg to celebrate Easter not an excuse to line the pockets of Disney, Rupert Murdoch or the BBC. OK, I know I’m missing out on some fine anti establishment humor but as you’ve probably gathered by now, I am somewhat eccentric. Wow, I must be feeling much better if I can rant like that at 3:20am ๐Ÿ™‚ sorry for going off on one ๐Ÿ™‚ Where was I?

Right, yes, making a start, so yesterday (Saturday) I took the doors off the old girl to start repairing a few minor dents and to finally prepare the ‘new’ left hand rear door that I’d got off ebay about 2 years ago! When I say new I do of course mean new to me, as this was purple and had self adhesive decals on it, it would require lots of TLC to get it fit for purpose. As I have no shed large enough for the old girl I figured it would be easier to take off the doors and repair them inside the barn.

With the dents repaired on Saturday and a coat of ‘self etching’ primer on the bare aluminium I awoke early on Sunday ready to start undercoating the doors. Well after feeding the whole flock and herd on my own for the first time in a week that is. I was a little concerned by the almost full gale of south wind that was blowing and the grey look of the sky but felt it would brighten up soon. The plan being to do some welding on the bulkhead and righthand ‘B’ post inbetween coats of paint.

The first step being to carve out the rusty steel and then insert a piece of galvanized steel box section inside the old ‘B’ post, courtesy of an old fish farm cage hand rail. Once this was screwed firmly into place I welded it in position.

With the box section welded in situ I set about making a cover out of some old shelving I’d rescued from a skip outside the Broadford Co op last year.

And the reason there are no actual pictures of my welding is because I’m embarrassed by it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ the gale force wind which was blowing the shielding gas off the weld making my normally ‘passable’ welds look like bird pooh! It was also lashing with rain which was doing nothing for the interior of my Land Rover or mood!

Squiffy sheep

Despite the obstacles in my way I was at the end of the day very pleased with what I’d done so once I’d reached the stage of letting all the ‘Sikaflex’ that I’d used to hide my abysmal welding dry I turned my attention to our sheep! At least one of our sheep was not passing the hard round currants that normally pass for pooh and one of them (probably the same one) had a bit of a runny nose. The shepherdess had noticed this a couple of days ago and we’d decided to bring our drenching for worms and liver fluke forward  a few weeks. Now for any would be smallholders thinking of going into sheep and being like us tempted by the ‘low maintenance’ Soay sheep, please read this http://community.rivercottage.net/users/Smallholdings%27R%27us/forums/other-livestock/viewtopic/topic_id:22938

Don’t get me wrong, as far as sheep go they are lovely and their immunity to foot rot and self casting fleece does make them an attractive proposition but they are not for the novice being more like small deer than sheep. They don’t have the herding instintinct of ‘normal’ sheep so just scatter at the sight of a dog and they can jump clean over a standard fence or 10 year old boy! With this in mind we had prepared an area between two deer fences and started feeding them in it a couple of days ago and the sheperdess had trapped them in there at dinner time.

We were also fortunate to have a young expert on hand in the form of my boys pal who was staying with us for the weekend. He kindly cleaned out and freed up the old drenching gun we’d been given then proceeded to administer the 6ml of combined fluke and wormer required for our lightweight sheep.

Stormbound

Despite my constant whinning (mailny to myself) I was well pleased with how the day had panned out and by around 17:30 there where at last enough patches of blue in the sky to make a pair of sailors trousers. I was just about to settle down to a much needed dinner of pork cooked in breadcrumbs when there was a knock at the door. It was 3 stormbound canoesits who were stuck at Kyle Rona with the weather, in need of a decent forecast for tomorrow. I’ve lost track of the number of kayakers that I’ve rescued or helped over the years, most of them are well prepared and on the whole caught out by poor forecasting rather than poor preparation and these three guys seemed to know where they were at. Unlike the first ones that turned up on my doorstep almost 20 years ago who did not even know where they where! I duly fired up my laptop and obliged before they headed south with another friend in her car to get a shower and bed for the night at the Youth Hostel.And that was about it really, it’s now almost 5:00am and our 21st century cockeral has been up for half an hour. Our Buff Orpington X Blackrock male hen

truly is a modern man, wifey caught him sat on some eggs the other day!

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