Life at the end of the road

January 29, 2011

Far too quiet :-(

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:13 pm

Sat here on board the good ship Loch striven nestling quietly alongside our new pier it’s quiet, very quiet, too quiet in fact for an evening in January.

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It’s been quiet for days, so quiet that Harry fired up on Tuesday night for the first time this year,

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Harry being my trusty Lister HR2 standby diesel generator. Harry is wired so that he automatically starts if the batteries that power our house get too low. As they are normally charged by wind and water power Harry is usually in hibernation at this time of year and is only wakened for the odd welding or compressor running job.

It’s been so settled this few days that there’s been precious little wind to spin the wind turbine and hardly any water going through the hydro turbine. So as the battery voltage fell during the night he flashed up and chugged away for eight hours through the night charging the batteries. He’s far enough away from our meter thick stone walls to be unheard, the only cues to his activity being the kitchen voltmeter and a few outside lights that are tapped straight into his alternator.

At 12Kw a Lister HR2 is way over what would be required to run our property and the furnished chalet that we let, a 6 or 7Kw would have been plenty. In fact a Lister ST2 or SR2 would in many ways have been better bolted solidly into concrete as opposed to rubber mounted like Harry. Harry however is an extremely high spec military version with a special alternator, and high capacity separate oil tank and scavenge pump for continuous use. The tank sits under the generator between the skids and the pump is that thing on the front, driven off the camshaft. There is also an electric heater in the base of the engine, so in the thirty years that he sat idle inside a satellite tracking station he was always kept  warm and ready for action.

When I bought him he only had 50m hours on the clock 🙂 so he may be a little OTT but he should see me to the grave and he was only £1000 delivered 🙂

Anyway if the forecasters are right we should be in for a good blast next week which should keep the batteries bubbling nicely. It doesn’t look anything special just yet UKWind but that could change because we’ve missed out on the customary January gale that usually rocks these shores around the tenth of the month. OK we had the odd gust of 59mph on the 14th but it wasn’t a proper gale (what you’d call a storm down souf) it was just ‘fresh’ 🙂

Time for a rest

I was hoping for a nice early night on our first butchery free evening for days last night, but it was not to be. Important paperwork that had been festering un dealt in my ‘in box’ needed attention. The ‘in box’ being the top of my kitchen units where mail lies buried for around three months until I do my VAT return. Unfortunately this particular piece of mail had been lurking under some sherry since before Christmas and as we don’t drink sherry it had been overlooked 😦


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Of course none of this mattered to the five puppies that had taken up residence in Molly’s bed,

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did I say five 🙂

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Molly of course then moved into the puppies tub on account of their not being able to get at her 🙂

Apart from the paperwork epic the day had been quite rewarding,

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not the cool and crispness of Thursday but dry with a good covering of cloud to raise the temperature and keep me painting ‘top side’.

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Today was a different story, lashing rain on the Velux windows told me that the paint roller would be staying in the tin and I left the house early in my waterproofs cursing. Cursing because I’d not put fuel in the Land Rover last night or loaded the wheelie bins into my trailer :-(  Still it did give me chance to try out my new Ridgeline camouflage trousers that the swineherd bought me for our anniversary 🙂

The day was pretty quiet and at times looked like it might turn into a good one but never did so I spent most of it down below pottering about with some minor oil leaks on the forward main engine.

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  1. Drum roll. Today is the day, we announce the winner of the 2010 transatlantic diablog award. Check back today, 30 Sunday 2011, to see who’s the lucky one. And who are the four second-best…

    Comment by administrator — January 30, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  2. Hi Paul. Those pups just get more cute every day. Molly is a very sensible dog ie getting away from them.

    Don’t know if you’ll know the answer to this question. Sometimes when we buy pork or beef ( never found it with lamb )it looks quite course and when it’s cooked it has sort of elastic type fibres through it making it almost imposible to chew.

    Any ideas what it might be?

    Comment by Rienza — January 30, 2011 @ 2:35 pm

  3. Congratulations on winning the Blogger of the Year Paul.
    Well deserved. Keep it up.

    Comment by JayCee — January 30, 2011 @ 8:26 pm

  4. Hi Paul,
    Congratulations on the blogger of the year award! I think you most definitely deserve it as I’ve been lurking for almost 2 years and Life at the end of the road is my little bit of escapism from everyday life just outside Liverpool. So , if nothing else, thanks for making a smelly factory disappear for a few minutes and I can remember being on the west coast!

    Comment by Dan Penketh — January 30, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  5. Terrrrifficccc,
    very happy to see your blog win Paul and family and assorted animals.

    Comment by Gary Brindle — January 30, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

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