Life at the end of the road

September 12, 2010

340 watts :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, hydro, life off grid, listers, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:35 pm

  It was actually a bonny morning when I arose to feed everyone but it had been raining quite heavily through the night judging by the water in the pig troughs and buckets. All the herd were looking good and the piglets all seem to have expanded since I last saw them on Tuesday. The alarm clock that Donnie Oliphant had left in my Land Rover last night did not seem to be working so I went to have a look at it.


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I’d manage to sneak this fine Cuckoo Maran cockerel past the wife last night and shut him in a large open ruin with mesh over the roof. It’s right behind our house and I was hoping for some ‘doodle doing’ to give wifey a surprise but he’s obviously not settled in yet so I gave him grain and water and sneaked off for a peak at my hydro turbine. Or at least the transformer end in the battery shed.

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The digital multimeter that came with the turbine was reading 6.7 on the 200milivolt DC scale which according to the manual equates to 340watts. Now that may not sound like a great deal but over 24 hours it’s 8.1Kwh of electricity which is way more than we use, OK it’s not quite as straightforward as that because there are losses associated with putting it into and getting it out of our battery bank but it’s a step on the way to making Harry redundant 🙂

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Or at least confining him to odd spells of welding or diving cylinder filling 🙂

It’s taken me eight months to get my ‘Stream Engine’ working and I have to say that I’m well pleased with the results, at the moment it is running on two of the three nozzles but judging by the forecast it may be on all three by the end of the week 😦 OK for power but not very good for pigs and festivals 🙂

Raasay house

The day at work was on the whole fine and as usual for a Sunday we did some drills, maintenance, paperwork and gave the boat a good scrub from stem to stern. Our new berth offers far more interest during lunch breaks with much more activity and a few nice walks close at hand. Today I chose to have a wander up to a very quiet Raasay house where work is well underway at last, some twenty months after the tragic fire of 19th January 2009.

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It was looking far better than it did the day after the fire

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Though they will need someone who is very good at jigsaw puzzles to put all these bits back together 🙂

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And just look what the heat did to this huge bit of sandstone!


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Bobby’s dead 😦

I don’t know how old ‘Alan the post’s’ sheep dog Bobby was, but I’ve lived here 21 years and can’t ever remember him not being here. In the dim and distant past when I could go for weeks on end in the winter, seeing no one other than the postman and his dog twice a week I remember him curled up on the floor of the post van as a pup. Latterly, since Alan suffered a stroke several years ago, Bobby could be seen daily by anyone heading for the ferry. I don’t know if it’s coincidence that Bobby died when the ferry moved and he’d no traffic to watch (he’d long since given up chasing cars 🙂 ) but I for one will miss him around the village.

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The only Raasay dog on Google earth 🙂


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So I’ll just leave you with the weather and I’m off to bed 🙂

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And another good thing

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:35 am

Well, only three bananas left and the longest day almost done 🙂 Saturday already, where does time go? It seems to disappear even faster working from the new pier, the longer crossing means that we barely lie on the slip before we load traffic and set off again.

This morning was much like yesterday in the precipitation department, that is, it was pishing with rain and just like yesterday I thought of all those extra watts being generated by my ‘Stream engine’ so it didn’t seem half as bad 🙂

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Of course by the time I’d got to work and the water had crept through my oilskins I was not half as enthusiastic when it came to loading up the ferry, which with 30m of deck was filled with just two tractors and trailers. Though at around 300hp each they were more powerful than the ferry 🙂

Today the Raasay primary were supposed to be playing footie in Portree but after trailing over there in the vain hope of an improvement it was cancelled. Of course no sooner had everyone dispersed than the sun came out 😦 or at least it did at Sconser and on Raasay.

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In fact that seemed to be the pattern for the rest of the day, sunshine and showers, which, if nothing else provided us with some spectacular rainbows.

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Next Saturday

The demolition last December of the ‘unsafe’ shelter in the children’s playground may well have furnished me with lots of timber and corrugated iron to build my turbine shed but it has left the children without a shelter at playtime and winter is fast approaching. Stirling efforts have been made by the parents to raise funds via, amongst other things a duck race and there have been donations from  the Gala committee and Jane and Susan Gillies but it’s still a long way short of what is needed.

“Total raised to date for shelter is £972.45. 
This includes bob-a-job £234.80
Duck night/b.b.q           £407.55      (£577.55 less cost of food @ £170.00)
Parent Council stall     £ 87.10
Jane/Susan donation    £143.00
Gala Group donation     £100.00”


soup and pud

Hopefully an afternoon of home made soup and puddings will help things along the way, sadly I have a prior engagement with Paolo Nutini and the Vatersay boys at


Actually I nothing of Paolo or his music other than he comes from Paisley and with a name like that he must have some Italian in him. Anyway somebody must like him because as soon as his name was announced the festival sold out. As I had a spare ticket due to wifey not being able to make it I bunged it on eBay this morning putting on a ‘buy it now’ price of £150, it sold in minutes!!!!!! I was stunned. Of course my main reason for going is the Vatersay Boys 🙂 though I do like the sound of Mount Desolation, a loose collective of musicians who’s core members include Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quinn of Keane.


Mt. Desolation

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Mt. Desolation

United Kingdom Great Britain

Alt-country, Alternative rock, Country rock

Years active
2010 – present

Associated acts
Mumford & Sons
The Killers
Noah & The Whale

Mt. Desolation


Tim Rice-Oxley
Jesse Quin

Mt. Desolation are an alt-country band from London. They have an album that is being released in October 18th, 2010. The band’s line-up is extensive, including members of Keane, Noah & The Whale, The Killers, The Long Winters, The Staves, Mumford & Sons. The core of the band is Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin, both members of Keane. The live band consists primarily of Jesse Quin, Tim Rice-Oxley, Jessica Staveley Taylor, Fimbo, John-William Scott and Phil Renna.

Also The Bad Shepherd’s have got to be worth a look, with former ‘Young Ones’ actor Adrian Edmondson fronting the band, who knows his wife Jennifer Saunders may even be there 🙂

Back in the spring

During the break between 19:00 and 20:30 the Old Girl and I went up the ‘Glen road’ to check out the missing forest,


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It’s amazing what a handful of guys can do in a few weeks with the right machinery 🙂 OK it looks like a war zone but it will soon heal and hopefully they’ll re plant and they should be back in the spring to finish off.

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That was it really, at 20:30 we sailed in the failing light and returned in the pitch black an hour later, the lighting at our new pier leaves much to be desired 😦

Once the Loch Striven was safely tied up for the night I returned home with half a dozen dead mackerel and one very live cockerel, both of which had appeared in my Land Rover. Returning home with all lights blazing for the first time in months I deposited my newly acquired male hen in a run, had a bath, a much needed glass of red wine and went to bed. Though I have not actually mentioned to wifey that we have a new ‘organic alarm clock’ yet :-) 

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