Life at the end of the road

November 16, 2009

Ahhhhh, not the MOT!

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:28 pm

Sunday saw me arising just a tad later than normal through a restless night, probably something to do with the fact that I’m no longer waking up in the middle of night with a sore shoulder and my body is getting confused 🙂 Well it would be wouldn’t it after 15 years of pain that was miraculously cured by one needle on Friday 🙂 Funnily enough the swineherd seems to be sleeping sounder but she’s put that down to my lack of snoring, perhaps the two things are related? I mean if I have not been able to sleep properly on my left side for 15 years then perhaps I’ve spent more time on my back snoring 🙂 Then again it could be due to the lack of red wine of late 🙂

Anyway enough of that, after feeding everyone it was time to take our two guests for the weekend down for the 10:00am ferry to Sconser, escorting them over just to make sure that they left 🙂

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The morning was not the “dry but cloudy with occasional sunshine” promised by the, it was damp, cloudy and occasionally pishing with rain! Steaming into Loch Sligachan we met the tug Kingston Lacy as she headed back to the new harbour works on Raasay.

Having great faith in and seeing the odd patch of blue I was not disheartened by the wet drive back to Arnish once we’d returned from Sconser.

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The 30 or so freshly dyed yellow rams at Balmeanach did seem a little disheartened as we drove by, probably associating Land Rovers with food and wondering why we’d not stopped to give them any. Penned in securely for at least until December these chaps are dyed with a yellow tinge then they’re easier to spot on the hill if one gets out too soon. The last thing you need at this latitude is new born lambs out on the hill in March.

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The rams were not the only livestock we met on the way home,

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we stopped to have a chat with this ‘heilan coo’ who was being very vocal at our passing.

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Once further north and a mile or so down ‘Calum’s road’ the day looked like it might just stay dry like the forecast said, I was hoping so because I’d just discovered yesterday that the swineherds Daihatsu was just about to run out of MOT 😦 On Wednesday in fact. Now this would not be such a problem if we only used the car on Raasay, as you don’t actually need a valid MOT on the island. Your vehicle still needs to be roadworthy but you can actually tax it without a valid MOT. However as we’re over on Skye at least once a week, the swineherd has a ‘garage phobia’ and I was due back at work on Wednesday, the panic was on 😦

The last MOT on this fine wee car from the land of the rising sun had cost me £700 in parts alone! discs, pads, exhaust, and tyres. Whilst not expecting anything major this year I did have to at least service it, check it over and clean it. Now regular readers may find it hard to believe, judging by the amount of time I spend fixing Land Rover and generators, but I hate messing about with cars, especially modern cars. Modern cars being anything that has a silicon chip in it, when I was a lad you could fix cars, any car, you went out on a breakdown with a tin of WD 40, a screwdriver and a set of jump leads. You took off the distributor cap, re set the points, sprayed it with WD 40 and off it went, if the points were really burnt you cleaned them with the box of matches in your pocket and off it went. The only cars that got brought home on a truck were crashed ones, nowadays if it’s not run out of petrol or the battery’s not flat it’s b********d and needs to be taken to a ‘main stealer’ on recovery truck 😦

6000 miles without a hiccup

Coincidently the wee car had just covered 6000 miles since I’d fitted an engine to it last December. Now you may think that 6000 miles is not much mileage to cover in  11 months but what you have to bear in mind is that I did not actually get it running until Easter 😦

I spent 3 months trying to start the thing and in the end gave up, it then went to 3 garages on Skye on the back of a breakdown truck where it would occasionally run for long enough for me to pick it up and break down 10 miles down the road 😦 Eventually I got it to a main dealer in Inverness on the back of a breakdown truck where they could find nothing wrong with it. Reluctantly we collected it, half expecting to be phoning them up from the side of Loch Ness. The wee car however has not missed a beat since and is back in ‘the good books’, after all we’ve spent so much money on it that we can’t afford to sell it 🙂

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Despite the ‘promising weather’ it pished down on and off all day so the task of crawling underneath to change / check the oils, adjust the ‘self adjusting’ brakes and repair a broken ‘bump stop’ was not a pleasant one.

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Apart from worn wiper blades and front tyres approaching the legal limit this bump stop ( a casualty of ‘Calum’s road ) was all that was amiss. The rubber had come detached from the steel backing plate so a quick clean with a grinder and some contact adhesive soon had it sorted.

By the time I’d finished it was dark and I was cold and hungry

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but was heartened by the sight of wife and child preparing some of our own sweet corn to eat along with some of our own pork and potatoes.


Has been a bit of a rush, after a lovely drive to my parents on the mainland and a spectacular lunch of a pasta made with clams we headed back to Portree for an MOT and the ‘wee car’ passed 🙂

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