Life at the end of the road

February 19, 2011

Proper recycling :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:00 pm

Well the forecast was spectacularly wrong today 🙂 I laid in bed listening to the lashing rain on the Velux windows for almost an hour before I arose. Both  UKWind and Jessie Nicolson had assured me that it was going to rain all day, so it was with a great reluctance that I dragged myself down the stairs and over the obstacle course at the kitchen door to get to my coffee and laptop. Half a dozen chairs, one laundry basket, a sack of Rooster potatoes and the stainless steel pedal bin all have to be carefully  avoided before access is gained to the kitchen. Once in the kitchen it is then only a matter of avoiding sharp claws, teeth and of course the various brown ‘parcels’ left by the puppies 🙂

Finally settled down with a pot full of strong black coffee I plonked away on here for much longer than normal, again due to my reluctance to face the rain and its accompanying mud. Much to my surprise it halted and I rushed out before what I thought would be the next deluge. It never arrived, in fact, apart from the odd spot or two throughout the day it remained dry and at times even sunny.

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Here’s the Trotternish ridge on Skye at 8:30am and that wee white dot is the house at Rigg, the only other pin prick of man made light visible from Arnish.

After feeding everyone and suspecting that it would not stay fine for long I made the most of it by pottering about outside and filling our bins with cr4p. It was ‘green bin’ day today and whilst I usually take both mine and my neighbours bins south I’d not had chance this week so thought I’d make their trip worthwhile. I’ll not say what I put in the bins because there’s probably a whole tome written on what you can and can’t put in bins these days and I don’t want to get in trouble with the ‘bin police’. Personally I think we should stop conning ourselves with the scam that is recycling and just stop consuming cr4p and start buying things with a view to keeping them and not swapping them when another colour becomes more fashionable or the inbuilt camera has more pixels.

Don’t get me wrong I’m a big fan of recycling, but not the kind that ships crushed cars and bean tins to China to be turned into more cr4p that we don’t need or  the kind of con that has you separating bottles into different colours when they’re going to be used as roadfill. I prefer my recycling to be local, try to avoid things with unnecessary packaging and keep anything which may become useful in the future 🙂

Speaking of which

They say you should keep a thing for seven years before you throw it out, well I’ve had this for over thirty

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and today I put it to good use and saved a mate £40 🙂 And if anyone can guess what it is I’ll give them one of Ginger’s shoulders, or I would if it was not illegal 🙂 Fair enough the odd engineer amongst you may have a correct stab at it being a tapered roller bearing but from what ?

It is in fact a bearing from a gun mounting off HMS Port Napier in Kyle, the Port Napier being the Royal Navy’s largest minelayer at almost 500’ in length and weighing 9600 tons. The Port Napier set on fire in Kyle during WW2 with a full cargo of mines and had she exploded Kyle would have been just a distant memory 😦


And whilst I don’t think that that photo is of the actual Port Napier, as the real PN was taken over by the admiralty from Port Line ( P&Os cargo branch)  whilst still on the stocks. It did however lead me here and to an interesting beer story 🙂

image  image

The real Port Napier now looks more like this and I’ve spent many a happy hour grubbing about in and around her. There’s probably the most comprehensive account of her loss here and believe me I’ve read plenty. There’s also some excellent first hand accounts from locals here

Anyway that bearing, the only one left of dozens that I recovered from a gun mounting off the stern, along with a huge brass ring that went all the way around it marked in degrees has lain in my shed for over twenty years.

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Whilst working on my mates 9.9C Yamaha before breakfast number one this morning I was looking around for something that I could make a thrust washer from. I’d noticed the other day that this washer was missing and consequently the propeller had been busy chewing its way through the gear casing as well as grinding lumps off itself. Several  searches on the internet had revealed  that one could be had for around £35 plus carriage and VAT or $14 if you’re in the US, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being ripped off in Britain, I mean it’s not that much further away from Japan is it?

Anyway, even though it wasn’t my money I wasn’t going to see my mate being fleeced so had a look around my pile of treasure 🙂

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My initial plan was to remove the insert by grinding two slots in the bearing and using that, and whilst it looked the part, it was ever so slightly too small in external diameter 😦

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This led me to plan B, which involved chopping off the other end, a task I’d been reluctant to do due to the size of the cut.

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It went much better than expected and after cleaning up on the belt sander then chamfering with a drill it produced the perfect stainless steel thrust washer 🙂

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Salami saviour

The next job, once my helper, and official photographer had got out of bed and we’d consumed quite allot of dead pig was to go to Torran and rescue my mates salami’s and chorizo’s.

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The said porcine delights had been suddenly and viciously attacked by mould, not in itself life threatening but hardly very appealing 🙂 Made in January from Ed and George they were fine when I checked on them a week or so ago but had recently developed spots and fur 😦 Probably caused by damp air and poor ventilation I gave them a good wipe with a wet cloth before letting them dry

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with some warm air from Mr Lister next door 🙂

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A couple of hours later my helper went back to turn off the Lister ST2 Start O Matic and give the salami’s a wipe with a cloth soaked in vinegar.

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Me, I did some repairs to the fence that separates the field where the four spotties dwell from wifey’s veg patch. These four little grubbers have had the squiffs since they were weaned so are on a diet and confined to this field so that I can monitor their jobbies 🙂

Other stuff did get done but it’s almost 22:30 now and the bottle of Dalwhinnie 15 year old single malt that Millie’s new owners left is calling 🙂



  1. I had a friend who dived (may still do) for metal from old warships sunk before the end of WWII for use in scientific instruments, something to do with background radiation.

    If he wasn’t pulling my leg those bits you’ve got could be worth many beer tokens.

    Comment by Tony Giles — February 19, 2011 @ 11:59 pm

    • Hi Tony,

      nope, you’re mate was not pulling your leg, high quality steel, as in armour plating does have a value for certain surgical and test instruments. Vast quantities of air are used in producing such steels, air which has since the detonation of the first nuclear weapon been contaminated with Strontium 90 (I think) Steel produced before 1945 then does not, as you say contain this and has certain military, scientific and medical uses. Unfortunately that was my last roller 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 7:40 am

  2. sorry to spam you on this but i laughed out loud when i saw molly leaping tall shelves in a single bound to KEEP HER EYE ON the salamis.
    give that good dog a skritch for me.

    Comment by jeannette — February 20, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    • Wee dug skritched 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 7:40 am

  3. Happy memory came back of my one dive on the Port Napier Paul,thanks and astonishing to see a part back in use.Also brings back thoughts of my love hate relationship with outboard motors, I did end up infavour of the Yamaha although thats only because it was the newest of our dive club engines.
    Brian had a great idea of mounting a 55 horsepower one on an old ally assault craft, it went like hell on the test run in the gravel pit and then the steering jammed and it ran aground .

    Comment by Gary Brindle — February 20, 2011 @ 9:48 am

    • Hi Gary,

      the assault craft must have flown with a 55 on the back though I don’t suppose it steered very well as they had no keel as such 🙂 Yamaha all the way matey, wouldn’t buy anything else and I’ve tried them all 🙂 I had a 2hp that went under 10 times and still worked as good as the day it was made. It only died on the eleventh submersion becuse it was swamped by waves on the beach, covered in seaweed then left to lie for a week 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 5:45 pm

  4. Not Quite as bad a this explosion Paul, but it could have been worse

    Then there is still that ticking time bomb in the Thames estuary the SS Montgomery. I well remember sailing quietly past that wreck in a Thames barge many years ago with the mournful siren going off and all the lighted bouys flashing around it.

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 20, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    • Hi Dave,

      if the Richard Montgomery ever went up it would make the Mont Blanc look like a picnic 😦

      * 286 × 2,000 lb (910 kg) bombs
      * 4,439 × 1,000 lb (450 kg) bombs of various types
      * 1,925 × 500 lb (230 kg) bombs
      * 2,815 fragmentation bombs and bomb clusters
      * Smoke bombs, including white phosphorus smoke bombs
      * Pyrotechnic signals
      * Booster charges

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 5:24 pm

  5. Couldn’t agree with you more about the recycling gestapo. All becoming increasingly inane and insane! Tis the same here in Sweden but with more bullsh*t, as you’d expect from them.
    Inspired by your efforts here, I’ve decided to give it a go too – although we’re about to move south to France’s Poiteau Charentes region in just over a week or so! Just too cold up here….and there’s only so much State-sponsored bull a man (woman, cat and spaniel) can take.

    Comment by Iain — February 20, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

    • Hi Iain,

      good luck in France, they seem far more relaxed about how to interperate this kind of lunacy 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 20, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

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