Life at the end of the road

September 7, 2010

Back on my back :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:41 pm

Well that’s it, my boots are cleaned, my uniform ready and my seven bananas waiting to go 🙂 You will notice the word ‘ready’ after uniform and not the word ‘pressed’, we don’t do ironing at the end of the road, far too wasteful on the self generated leccy. Or at least we never used to do ironing, and if I had my way we still wouldn’t . However one of the infernal things arrived here yesterday along with wifey, I was not amused, still I was so glad to have her back that I said nothing 🙂

Yesterday was yet again another nice day and after the usual feeding of pigs, hens, duck, dog, birds,cats and boy I set off south on the school run. With son safely deposited at school, it was into Jessie Nicolson’s for my trousers and a cup of tea, actually I wanted to have a good chat with her about Umachan.  Jessie lived for many years at Torran with her husband Murdo and whilst Umachan had been long abandoned when Jessie moved to Torran, Murdo spent much time there as a lad with his good friend John Cumming.

All things in life are relative, our little bit of croft seems remote to most people but in the 1930s it did have a nearby phone, peat close at hand and good shelter for a boat, as did Torran which also had the school. Kyle Rona, Fladda and Eilean Tigh may have been without a phone but at least boats could be readily launched to catch fish or go shopping with relative ease. Umachan had none of these luxuries, the nearest peat cuttings where almost a mile away and the steep rocky shore provided no shelter and only two places where a boat could be hauled out with great difficulty. Life must certainly have been an uphill struggle there and it’s no surprise that it was vacated by its last inhabitants for the relative luxury of Eilean Tigh and Kyle Rona.

So after a fascinating hour of tales of ‘black fever’ and journeys by open boat to Applecross I left (minus my trousers but having scrounged some toast 🙂 )


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Heading over to the old pier at Suisnish to watch JST loading the ‘Red Duchess’

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I think that’s them just about finished cutting until the spring, because there’s a low loader came in today to take away some of their machinery.

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And if I’m not mistaken the person driving that tractor gave me the traditional one fingered salute 🙂 and I thought he could only drive diggers 🙂 (grumpily)

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To be honest not a great deal more was actually achieved on Monday, all that activity over the weekend with the 14m mast and the boys had left me in agony. I must have done something to my back when trying to remove the counter balance from the mast and launching and recovering the boat on Sunday obviously didn’t help so I spent the rest of the day on light duties.

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Mainly tinkering about with the nozzles on my ‘Stream Engine’

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and ‘adjusting the field’ to get the maximum voltage.

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It’s all a little experimental at the moment, a case of getting the right size nozzle to match the water flow and then adjusting the height of the rotor to suit the rpm of the turbine. The B (3/16ths”) nozzle seemed to work best at the very low ( .4lts per sec) water flow that we have just now but I’m sure I can improve on things with a little trial and error.


This morning I awoke in agony, so as soon as was reasonable I phoned up Catriona Purll in Staffin to see if she could fit me in. She does a surgery in Portree on Wednesday but I don’t think I could have got through the week without a bucket load of painkillers so wifey and I made an appointment to see her this afternoon. I don’t know what she does but it seems to go something like this, you hobble along to see her for a half hour or so session, you leave feeling like you could skip over the moon and then several hours later you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck 😦 ( the stage I’m at just now 🙂 ) luckily not long after this your ‘bouncing off the walls’ with your new found strength 🙂 ( I can’t wait)


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So I’ll just leave you with the weather which has been fresh but dry.

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Great for the wind turbine but not so good for the hydro 🙂

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