Life at the end of the road

January 11, 2011

A little piece of Raasay :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:29 pm

Wow, it’s been a pure peach of a day here on Raasay and settled here in front of the roaring kitchen stove amongst a pile of unopened mail with a ‘wee dram’ of ‘Monkey Shoulder’ I’m feeling quite contented 🙂


Blended from three of Speyside’s finest malts this unusual and ‘for export only’ has been a regular feature in my Christmas stocking this last few years 🙂

“Rooted in malt whisky lore, Monkey Shoulder is inspired by and named in honour of the malt men at William Grant, who are among the few still to turn the malting barley by hand using a sheil (wooden shovel). Monkey Shoulder was a nickname given to a temporary injury some malt men occasionally suffered many years ago as a result of repeatedly bending over whilst turning the malt. Thankfully, working practices have now changed and the condition no longer exists.”

Or so the blurb on the back of the bottle says 🙂 Anyway, having had a very busy, satisfying  and productive day I’m not feeling in the least bit guilty at delving into this bottle at 7:00pm, or before the ‘watershed’ as they say in TV jargon, though I’ve never really understood what the flow of water has to do with what’s unsuitable for wains. Perhaps it’s something to do with eight year olds shedding tears at not being being able to watch the latest episode of Shameless ( and I only use that as an example because I don’t actually watch much TV ) 🙂

So on a beautiful frosty morning after feeding everyone I took the boy to school. The road had that kind of thawed and then refrozen look about it and I didn’t want wifey to drive down in her wee car with the dodgy tyre (more of that later). Aside from the hour or so lost working on the croft I was really glad that I’d done it. We’d set off early with the boys Crosman Ratcatcher in the hope of shooting a rabbit on the way, and whilst we’d no luck in that department the views were stunning.

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I dropped the Dude at the village hall as I had the trailer on the back of the ‘Old Girl’ and could not be bothered manoeuvring in School Park with it in tow.

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I lingered for a while to watch a sleepy Inverarish waken and the eastern glow blaze onto the smoking Cuillin’s.

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I’d a little time to kill before the Raasay shop opened and this seemed as good a way as any to do it 🙂

The Raasay calendar

The shock of parting with over £5 for a Radio Times and a mountain of my sons uncollected Beano’s was eased when I found this little gem in the shop.

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David Carslaw’s beautiful 2011 Raasay calendar is on sale there for only £10 and would look great in anybody’s living room or kitchen with it’s 12 seasonal Raasay photographs.

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As the Raasay primary school never did one this year it’s filled a big vacuum and I for one will be buying a few more. Nice one Davey 🙂

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With my pile of bills, calendar and mail I headed home past Holoman island and ‘Calum’s cairn’

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to a breakfast of home cured bacon before cleaning out Jamie Lea then heading up to the shed site.

I know the horizon’s not level but it was taken over my shoulder looking backwards and with the engine still running, I don’t have a spirit level on my camera, was not wearing my glasses and life’s too short to start messing about in ‘photoshop’ after two good drams 🙂

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High above the car park at Arnish it was hard not to feel elated by the awesome views, in the foreground is Ard Torran with its purple birch. Beyond that is the sunny islet of Grian a Sgier with a gentle northerly swell curling around its tail. Over on Skye is the Dutchman’s cap of Brother’s point with the basalt cliffs of Kilt rock behind and way in the distance, as clear as I’ve ever seen them are the hills of  Lewis some 40 miles away !!!!!

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I spent pretty much the rest of the day up there until 14:30 and ‘school run’ time anyway, managing to get two more of the ten major strainers in.


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Though I’ve no idea how I’d have managed without Molly

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and the ‘three little pigs’ Ed, George and Bee who came to check out my holes 🙂


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Ginger too was enjoying the sunshine, usually he lies in his bed all day, here he is by my very still Proven wind turbine 🙂

Back to the XJ14-0. 2DCT4-Z

By the time I get back home with my boy and feed everyone it’s too dark for working outside so I did a little more work on the 200w Navitron water turbine,

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firstly removing the top bearing, though I hasten to add I did not do this whilst gripping the magnets in a vice, that was just for the photo.


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Once the top bearing was removed it enabled me to grip the rotor in a pillar drill so that I could clean up the very rusty shaft prior to removing the larger bottom bearing.

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That’s it cleaned up with a file then emery paper whilst spinning in the drill, for some reason the camera has focused on the wrong thing, but you get the idea.

Both bearings and the seal came off no bother and I got new ones from for £14. 21 delivered, funnily enough the bottom bearing 6203 is the same as both the Harris and Stream engine bottom bearings 🙂

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That was about it really, Molly and her pups seemed quite happy with the larger accommodation they’d been  given but now it’s 22:00 and I want to catch ‘Hugh’s Fish Fight’ on Channel 4+1 which will hopefully open some peoples eyes to the lunacy of the EU fisheries policy.  A policy which is part of a system which forbids the dumping of a few kilos of cooked mussel shells from a passenger vessel (because that’s garbage) but allows the dumping of THOUSANDS of tons of ‘discards’ daily from hundreds of EU fishing vessels 😦 The world has gone mad !!!!!!!!

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