Life at the end of the road

July 12, 2010

Very ordinary

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:54 pm

It’s almost 22:00 now and yours truly is well worn out, not sure why because I don’t actually seem to have done a great deal. For a start the weather has been much damper than forecast and the rain that should have stopped around 10:00am persisted on and off until well into the afternoon so my plan to cut bedding and trim the jungle in front of my mates house never came to pass. Instead I spent most of the morning cutting wood and tidying  my workshop in the forlorn hope that it would soon clear up.

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Come to think of it that’s probably why I’m knackered, I really must get a log splitter 🙂

Even though I never managed to cut any rushes for bedding I did clean out all the pigs, using the fresh cut wood shavings and a bit of straw for bedding instead 🙂 The hardest bit was trying to get  Jamie Lea out of the ark whilst I filled it with fresh litter. I think the fact that I was carrying the wood chips in a feed bag might have had something to do with that!

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Jamie Lea may have been ‘hogging’ her wee house but her 13 piglets were busy playing with one of their much larger cousins.

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This ten week old Tamworth boar was quite happy to let the three week old spotties jump all over him and it was a pleasure to watch. Pigs really are amazing creatures and I spend hours just watching them, I spent months making this 250m stretch of road in front of our house. I hauled all the rock by hand and barrow, laying down matting over the bog then filling it with stones, I made two bridges out of railway sleepers and steel grating, I lined the sides with large rocks and it looked lovely. A few days of pigs charging up and down it and turning over the huge kerbstones with their snouts almost reduced me to tears at first, but it’s hard to get angry with them when they are obviously having so much fun 🙂

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My next task was to convert some old bed ends into some posts that would be concreted on top of my neighbours wall in an attempt to stop the deer eating her veggies. Once they’re set into the wall we’ll stretch fence wire between them.

As has been the pattern of late the evening was beautiful so we took out my mates Pioner Maxi to go and lift our lobster pots.

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This chap was too small so we put him back, but to be honest I get more pleasure out of catching them than eating them 🙂 I dunno what it is about lobsters but they just fascinate me, I’ve never seen the attraction of fishing or hunting for sport, me I kill things because I eat them or use them to pay the mortgage, I’ve fished  for scallops, brown crab, velvet crab, razor fish and lobster commercially but nothing quite matches the sight of a steely blue lobster in a creel 🙂

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Apart from a small conger eel, a few dozen velvets and one decent brown crab that was it but I can’t think of a better way to spend a summers evening right on your doorstep 🙂


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Well, actually this is my neighbours doorstep at Torran where we called on the way home, exchanging one brown crab for a glass of red wine :-) 

Well and truly washed out :-(

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:40 am

I think I can safely say that the rain gauge on my weather station is a little wonky, recording only 2.6mm for today and 35.8 for yesterday. I remember it as dry yesterday and it felt like over 100 today 😦

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Sitting at the nice warm table during the morning monsoon and realising that all my waterproofs and wellies were about 50m away in my workshop made me VERY reluctant to go and feed. It was well after 8:00am and by now you would normally here the pigs complaining, seems like I was not the only one who’d rather be inside than out.

However it had to be done so with all the enthusiasm of a cat about to be thrown out in the rain I made a dash for the garage and my Guy Cotten oil skins. Once in the correct attire it wasn’t actually that bad and the driving rain at least kept the piglets inside long enough for me to put food in their trough without them tripping me up.

Well I was out, in  my kit and as the rest of the household were still in their beds I headed over to Torran Schoolhouse with the Harris Turbine to re fit it to it’s base and fit a ball valve on the pennstock pipe. There is a gate valve in the line but it’s about 20m higher up the line for reasons to do with logistics at the time we laid the pipe.

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As you can see there is some serious pressure in that line, even with the turbine running the gauge is reading off the scale which stops at 10 bar, 147 psi !!! Using an OS map I’d read the height of the loch that supplies this as around 90m higher than the turbine but it must be much higher. If that gauge is correct and I assume it is because that’s what the last one was reading and I thought that was faulty, then with a static head of 15 bar the loch must be at least 45m higher than I thought. 1 bar of water = about 9m of altitude or depth if your a diver 🙂

The job was quite straight forward apart from the frigging pine needles that seemed to get everywhere, it’s been an exceptional year for pine needles, probably the long dry spell followed by a few gales but I’ve never known anything like it. All the gutters on my workshop and barn were choked as were the down pipes. The alternator was full of them despite being enclosed, when making the couplings up they kept getting inside the O rings and causing leaks and trying to pour fuel into the quads without allowing in any pine needles is a nightmare. Of course the rain did not help as they just stuck everywhere but eventually I got things sorted and headed home for breakfast via my own hydro intake.

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Which as you can see had a little more flow than two days ago 🙂

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I really must get the power cable laid as that’s an awful lot of free kilowatts running away there 🙂

After the big fry up I took advantage of the huge flow to flush out the original 63mm pipe that’s been feeding my Navitron turbine for a couple of years now.

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I cut the pipe a few weeks ago when I installed the new header tank and was a little shocked at the amount of silt that had built up in it.


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So I clambered down to the ‘secret cove’ where my turbine resides and opened up the ball valve on the end fully to flush it out.


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Leaving it flowing all day and giving the pipe a good bashing with a hammer to loosen the cr4p.

The first ‘shrooms

It may have been a ‘good’ year for pine needles but the same dry weather has kept the mushrooms firmly locked in the ground, that is until today when I found the first chanterelles of the season.

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Hiding in the birch woods above Torran I found these by the hydro gate valve and they were not there when I shut it off yesterday, not many but they will go lovely with the pigeon that my boy shot 🙂

Just like the forecast said it cleared up in the evening so I took my boy and a couple of his pals out fishing,

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the wind may have fallen away but it left a good swell that made the boat ride fun and lifting the creels ‘interesting’ 🙂 We only came away with one brown crab for our labours but a good time was had by all and the scenery was spectacular.

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That’s the Storr on Skye behind Glas Eilean south of Fladda where we had an empty lobster pot 😦

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