A good day at last 🙂 not that I utilised all of it, for a visit from our neighbour and a bottle of rum last night meant that I had a lie in. Well it was Sunday and 8:30 is hardly late, still as soon as I was up I wasted no time in getting on with the days chores, assisted by my boys pals who were staying with us overnight.
The first job after feeding everyone was to finish the filter for my mates Harris turbine that powers the ‘Old Schoolhouse’ at Torran http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html. The last one that I’d made out of an old bird feeder and a plastic water tank was letting the odd frog into the system with terminal consequences for both the frog and electricity supply 😦 Anyway, this old 3mm hardened steel quarry screen should fare much better.
The metal construction was quite heavy so whilst waiting for another quad to arrive I turned my attention back to the ‘Old girl’ who was spending her 24th birthday in bits awaiting new springs and shockers for the MOT. My Land Rover would have passed the MOT without changing the springs and two of the shockers but I’m a bit of a girl when it comes to my Land Rover 🙂 ( sorry ladies, no fence )
And if you are ever unfortunate enough to own a Land Rover and even more unfortunate to have to change the springs here is a really good tip. Before you fit them compress the shockers and wire them up in that position with some steel wire ( the stuff of armoured cable is ideal ). This makes fitting the springs and turrets much easier and you can tighten up the base plate and spring retainer bolts without the shocker in the way, once all that’s done just cut the wire and remove it.
The shocker should then just spring into its mount and another tip is to only tighten up the top one loosely, then when the bottom one is in position, take the nut off the top and fit it to the bottom. this will allow you to spin the shocker around by hand whilst holding the nut with a spanner. Access to the top nut is far easier than access to the bottom so do that one first.
The ‘oil beetle’
Next it was up to the high black loch above Torran to fit the modified water filter,
a tricky journey that consists of a mile or so on the quad then a half mile hike across the heather.
It was whilst stopping briefly to take a picture of these two ‘experts’ that we saw this,
a blue black beetle about 30mm long. Normally I would not give it a second glance but as we have a ‘beetle expert’ staying with us at the moment I took a picture. Apparently it’s an oil beetle and is quite rare http://www.buglife.org.uk/getinvolved/surveys/Oil+beetle+survey and my mate the beetle man has only ever seen one other on Raasay. It does have an interesting lifecycle involving a bee http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meloe and also secretes an irritant oil, hence the name.
Good job I never got it on my hands, or elsewhere 🙂
Once parked up below the ‘pipers rock’ we trekked over the heather to the loch and once there I stripped off to change the filter.
It was bloody cold!!!!!
and I got no help from the rest of the team 😦
well apart from Molly that is 🙂
Once the initial shock had worn off it was not too bad and having brought spare clothes and a towel I felt quite refreshed afterwards. The job went well and once completed we all headed back for lunch.
Enjoying fine views of ‘Brothers point’ on the way back,
and stopping in this old sheiling to admire the stonework,
it may look pretty rough but I assure you that it requires great skill to rest rocks that large on top of each other for centuries 🙂