Life at the end of the road

June 30, 2010

Work at last :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, listers — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:00 pm

A sad and hectic last day of my first three week leave of 2010 left me in no mood and too tired to post last night. Sad because it was the day that Jessie Ann Macleod was laid to rest and hectic trying to get everything on the croft running smoothly for wifey whilst I’m at work.

The day started without the wall to wall sunshine that UKWind had promised, instead low cloud and a dampness that withered the spirit but did little to fill our depleted water tanks. The checking of which is now a daily routine after feeding the pigs. That done I took my son down to the 8:55 ferry to join the rest of his classmates for the Raasay primary schools annual trip, which this year would be a visit to Glenfinnan and an overnight sleep on board the train that would take them to there via Malaig. That done it was back home then out to sea to lift and bait my lobster pots before bringing the boat ashore for the week. The fishing, like the day was poor and it was with a heavy heart that I had a 2” bath and donned my only suit for Jessie Ann’s funeral at 13:00

Arriving at the packed church just before one it was difficult to park, as from what I could see most of the island and many people from far and wide were already there. The service was led by the Reverend Dr James Tallach, now of Lewis but who had for many years been Raasay’s minister. Shortly afterwards the hearse led the long crocodile of cars up to the cemetery where Jessie Ann was laid to rest on what turned out to be a beautiful summers afternoon. It was as if, as one of her three daughters said “ the sun has come out for mum”.

Returning home my first and unscheduled job was to repair Harry, Harry being the HR2 Lister 12kw generator that charges the battery banks when wind and hydro are not enough.


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Harry had run out of diesel but it took my befuddled brain a while to realize this and even longer to bleed the system and get him back on line.

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Meanwhile using the 7Kw ST 2 Lister to charge up the batteries via that white box on the left, a 50 amp 48v  charger that I purchased off the internet.

Next job was to repair my mates Stihl FS55 brushcutter, a relatively straight forward job of replacing the fuel and stripping the carburettor. Two strokes are prone to gumming up with stale fuel as the oil separates out and causes the valves and diaphragm in the carburettor to stick. once that was cleaned out a quick ‘Google’ found me the mixture screw settings and the thing ran like new. Well enough for me to test it on a load of rushes that I cut for bedding for the pigs, my next job.

Genny’s working, beds changed, dinner made and eaten I settled down with a glass of wine in front of the TV, well I did until 22:20 when I saw the rocks on the hill opposite turn red, a sure sign of an amazing sunset.

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So Molly and I went out to investigate,

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what can I say,

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one day I will build a house where I can watch this without leaving the comfort of my own home,

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priceless 🙂 It may be hard work living here but it does have its compensations 🙂

And now with the promise of rain to top up the tanks and wind to fill the batteries I’m off to bed after my ‘hard day at the office’

June 28, 2010

Rain at last :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:36 pm

Who knows, I might even get a bath 🙂

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Hardly a downpour at .5mm and still only taking the whole month of June up to 3.2mm but it did put a little water in our tank and give the veg patch a much needed drink. It also gave me a good excuse to catch up on some office type work, which I am a dab hand at avoiding 🙂

Anyway, whilst it poured down, if that’s the right expression, through the night and into the morning, it was a bonny, if not a little breezy on Sunday.


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The day starting, as usual with the morning feed and me popping in to see Jamie Lea’s piglets whilst she was at the trough. They are now at that stage where as soon as you stand or sit still they come up to ‘check you out’, any sudden moves and they’re off like a shot but if you move slowly they’ll let you give them a tickle 🙂

When the rest of the household eventually stirred my boy, his two pals and myself went over to Torran to finish off filling the oil tank.


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Once that was done and lunch out of the way we headed out to sea for a spot of fishing,


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catching two lithe (pollock) and one saithe (coalie), enough for fish cakes and bait for the creels.

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The crew were very excited 🙂 And whilst we caught no lobsters, we did come home with three big crabs.

How to change a Land Rover speedo cable

Now this is going to get really boring ladies so you might as well skip this bit 🙂 but if you want to know a good dodge for fitting an awkward speedometer, or any other cable for that matter, then read on. Actually normal Land Rover speedo cables are not that difficult to change but my ‘Christmas tree’ has so much sound proofing around the transmission tunnel and bulkhead that the cable is buried inside it 😦 It also has heavy armoured cables going to the winch and a fuel pipe to the ‘Eberspacher’ heater.

The first thing to do is disconnect it at the gearbox end, a simple M6 nut undoes the fork that presses on the moulded flange on the end of the cable.

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Next I cut all the small cable ties that held it to the other cables and pipes and removed the two clips that hold it onto the chassis. Then I chopped off the flange, offered the new cable up to it, slid it over the old one then taped them together.

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Spraying both cables with WD40 to ease their passage upwards I then disconnected the cable from the short cable that goes to the speedo itself and gently pulled it through.

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Once in position I removed the tape, connected the cable, fit the clips and fastened the new one onto the gear box. This works just as well with boat steering and control cables, the secret being a good taped joint, plenty of lubrication and if possible someone to push the cable at the same time as you pull.


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That was about it really, well apart from some pretty good shooting by one of my boys pals who just supplied us with tomorrow nights dinner using my sons Crosman Ratcatcher.

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So I’ll leave you with the weather, skip my bath for yet another day in the interests of water conservation and go to bed 🙂

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