Life at the end of the road

June 30, 2009

What a week!

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:03 pm

Tuesday already and my ‘rest week’ is almost over, to be honest I’ll be glad to head down ‘Calum’s road’ tomorrow and set foot on the Loch Striven for a rest 🙂 Thankfully my hours on board the good ship are covered by some EC directorate or another, unlike the hours on the croft.

The last week I was ‘on’ was not brilliant weather wise but my week ‘off’ has been nothing short of spectacular on the sunshine front with only one shower of rain during the whole week and that was at 5:00am on I think Thursday morning for about 20 mins.

The ‘to do’ list

I allways have a long list of things that I want to achieve during my rest week though I seldom get through it, this week however I surpassed all expectations and my list!

The list comprised of :-

1- fabricate and weld on new crossmember to dad in laws Nissan.

2- fit new drive shaft to Land Rover.

3- paint roof on caravan.

4- finish painting roof on house.

5- deliver 4 weaners to Skye.

6- take three finished pigs to abattoir.

7- get lobster pots out.

8- castrate two lambs (ouch).

Not only did I do all of these things before Monday was out but I managed much more, on Thursday I helped Jamie lea deliver 8 fine piglets though I’m sure she would have managed just fine without me. Last night I removed Shona a heavily pregnant sow from a ditch and she would definitely not have managed without me!

Of course the good weather and fact that in barely goes dark at this time of year here helped enourmously, as did that cider left by friends from Fladda 🙂 So as dawn broke on this particular Tuesday I had the whole day to just potter about 🙂

The last day

Usually I’m running about like a headless chicken today trying to at least get things squared up for my week on the ferry, not today though. I started by cleaning up the workshop after my weeks labour on the Landy and the Nissan though to be honest it was not that bad. Once all was in its correct place I took advantage of the dry spell to dom some work on the ‘Navitron 200w hydro turbine’  or should I say the ‘header tank’ that supplies it.

Just a trickle

Just a trickle

As you can see there’s hardly any water going into the tank and it’s been like this for over a month now. Normally it gushes over the screen and cleans all the cr4p off it but of late it’s produced no meaningful electricity 😦 Still it was the ideal time to drain off the tank and clean it out. When I fitted it just less than a year ago, I never put a drain in it, so today I remedied that by by cutting a 25mm hole near the bottom and fitting the removable bung off a boat.

4mm from 'Rock Ness'!

4mm from 'Rock Ness'!

And if you look closely you will see that my toe nails have grown around 4mm since wifey varnished them for me at ‘Rock Ness’  18 days ago 🙂

Total recycling!

Total recycling!

I have to say that I’m really pleased with my ‘budget turbine’, the blue pipe was salvaged from Skye FOC the old tank was blocking up a hole in a fence and the filter ( old washing machine drum ) came off the dump 🙂 Once I’d cleaned out the foot of sludge, fitted the bung and scraped the grating ( old quarry riddle ) I put it all back together and prayed for rain! Well not really, I can cope with this dry spell just fine 🙂

With the hydro turbine sorted I did a little more tinkering with our classic caravan, spending more than an hour or so changing the window screws for stainless steel ones! I know I’m really sad and no one will notice anyway but it makes me happy!

With the old caravan looking a million dollars I turned my attention to the ‘Old girl’ who’s  rear disc pads needed changing, I’d spotted this a couple of weeks ago before the MOT but had moved it down the list in favour of  ‘Rock Ness’ and being irresponsible 🙂

Taking it to the max!

Taking it to the max!

To be honest I just caught them just  in time, as you can see the old one on the left is RIGHT ON THE LIMIT, but that’s ‘Calum’s road for you, these pads have only done 11,000 miles! as have the front ones which I changed when I did the drive shaft. Incidentally the front pads were ‘EBC Performance green stuff brake pads’ and I can quite categorically say they are CR4P! this is the second set I’ve fitted in two years and in both sets  the friction material has  become detached from the steel backing. I’m over 50 and do not drive like a teenager, these pads cost an arm and a leg so should be the ‘dogs danglies’ but they are in my opinion rubbish 🙂

Rear disc and pad

Rear disc and pad

So I’ll be sticking to the standard £11 Mintex in future. Whilst their pads might be cr4p EBCs discs are just fine though at £150 a set somewhat pricey, with this in mind I bought a set of

http://www.paddockspares.com/pp/DEFENDER/Brakes/Paddock_Performance_Brake_Disc_(pair)_-_front_-_90/110/130_vented_from_LA930436.html

At £36.50 + vat but to be honest they will be going straight back as they are pretty poor, with hardly any vent holes and slots that do not go to the edge of the disc. In fairness to http://www.paddockspares.com/ most people are just obsessed with the price and not the quality and they have a very good returns policy.

Fishing at last

With my brakes sorted and my boy back from school we went out to lift the 6 creels that we’d set on Sunday, as they’d been lying on the shore since last year I was not expecting  much just yet but it was good to get out and lift them.

A big 'V' to Rainey's wall!

A big 'V' to Rainey's wall!

Whilst we only got a handfull of velvet crabs it was a fantastic evening for a boat trip and after lifting our 4 lobster pots at Tarbet we sped off to get the rest at the south side of Loch Arnish! It takes a while for creels to start fishing properly so we were not too dissapointed and headed home in good spirits.

Homeward bound

Homeward bound

All in all it has been a fantastic 7 days with much achieved, I’m sorry if I’ve been pretty lax at this blogging carry on but I’ve either been too knackered or too cidered 🙂 I’m sorry if I could not give you more info on the footie matches but my memory is rubbish 😦

The highlights of the week were 8 fine piglets (who are going to be trouble!) and the 3  barmy pigs that are now probably hanging in the chiller at http://www.munrodingwall.co.uk/

It's rather warm!

It's rather warm!

It may seem like a bit of a contradiction being able to love something then send it for slaughter but life is very complicated and these guys really did enjoy it.

Submarine pig!

Submarine pig!

As you can see!

Was that good?

Was that good?

And that’s about it really chaps, 22:00 aproaches and it’s time for bed. Tomorrow will bring all the cr4p that I’ve missed, being cut off  for a whole week from that sh**e that is the worlds media, though I did catch a snippet that the Joan Collins lookalike had died!

June 29, 2009

I’ll try again

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

I’m really sorry guys, I know yesterdays post was a little disjointed and I never went into more detail about the footie but I’ve just spent a couple of hours re writing it and lost it 😦 It’s now 22:30 and I’m plain ‘tired and s*****d out after a long squawk’ as John Cleese would say! It was a very early start and a long drive to Dingwall and back so I’m just going to post a couple of pics and go to bed.

The three boys went into the trailer after a light breakfast and we all headed off for the first ferry, stopping briefly at Glame to let a young lapwing cross the road.

Young lapwing

Young lapwing

The run through to http://www.munrodingwall.co.uk/ was beautiful with very little traffic and the ‘Old girl’ going just great after her major service and new drive shaft.  Once the pigs were dropped off it was a major shop at Lidl followed by £17 worth of stuff we could not get there from Tesco. Me being the ‘ideal husband’ usually assists wifey with shopping but after spotting this

Unimog

Unimog

there was no way I was going round Tesco’s pushing a trolley.

With its 117 gallon fuel tanks, hydraulic winch, portal axles, cab, fuel and engine heaters this is my kind of truck 🙂

I thought mine was high!

I thought mine was high!

OK it takes up more room than a stretch limo and is probably only good for 50mph but it does do over 20mpg which aint bad for something that weighs in at over 7 tons!

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