Life at the end of the road

March 5, 2011

In search of water

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:32 am

Some of this will probably not make a great deal of sense unless you’ve read which is unlikely because I’ve just written it 🙂 Normal people with a proper broadband connection would have had no problem uploading an epic post but my cr4ppy service that compresses pictures, and blatantly refuses to refresh pages in an attempt to convince you that you are actually getting a decent connection would have baulked at posting so many pictures. I would have kept getting some message saying the ‘connection has been interrupted’ or ‘the operation has timed out’, sometimes I have to have three or four goes at uploading and it can take almost as long as actually writing the post 😦 Of course this is all going to come to an end shortly when my providers newly launched HYLAS 1 (highly adaptable satellite) come on line in the next few weeks and I get the broadband that I’ve actually been paying for for the last three years 🙂


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Anyway, this morning I was greeted by pigs in the garden and not hens, unless you loch the gate Bee can actually open it, fortunately no damage was done and they followed me out looking for breakfast 🙂

And it will get even more confusing now because I started to write this immediately after but fell asleep, so now it’s 6:30 on Saturday. I thought I’d better put something online today as it looks unlikely that I’ll be doing it tonight, for we’re going out to dinner at . They’re putting on a curry night and it seems like half the island is going to be there.

Back to Friday

So once more I had to visit Skye but I was determined to get as much done as possible before going and headed off to Torran with Molly straight after pig feeding. The Old Schoolhouse was in the middle of a major spring clean prior to the letting season and I was going over to do my checks on the hydro/solar system there.

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As usual all was well in the production department but cell number 12 of the 24v 900ah battery bank was down to 2.22v as opposed to the 2.34-2.35 of the other 11. This cell has been dodgy for a year or so but it’s not half so important as it would be on a bank that was fed by wind or sun alone. The constant 24/7 supply from the turbine means that the bank is acting more as a buffer than a storage facility so I think there’s a little more life in it yet 🙂 There’s an interesting PDF here that gives state of charge versus voltage tables and you can see (if multiply the readings by 6) that it’s pretty goosed 😦

I’d taken Molly with me because she was pure miserable in the house wearing the ‘cone of shame’ and at least if she was in sight I could stop her pulling at her stitches.  The ride would cheer her up and then a leisurely wander above ‘The Brae’ at North Arnish would put a missing spring in her step.

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We were going up there in search of water

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but first I wanted to check my neighbours supply, which was just fine and included the first clump of frog spawn in the bog that leads away from the tank, yet another sign of spring 🙂

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Believe it or not this is the first time that I’ve ever looked onto this valley in the 22 years that I’ve lived here 😦 It’s kid of hidden on not really on the way to anywhere, though the Outdoor Centre often use that cliff on the left for abseiling and rock climbing.

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I really must go and check out that old ruin at the base of the cliff


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and that wall, the remains of which bisect the top picture diagonally but not today, I’d a poorly dog and things to do.

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The things being measuring various springs to see about adding them to my hydro. The top left is .1lt/sec the middle is .3lt/sec and my current supply was feeding 2lt/sec into my turbine and supplying me with around 140w an extra .4lt/sec would increase that by 28w if my maths is correct at 7:00am 🙂 Not a huge amount but over .6 Kwh per day or around 10% of the average daily usage.

Anyway it’s after 7:00 now and I must dash and feed the pigs so I’ll continue this later.



  1. I have the same timeout problems on regular ADSL broadband, pain in the bum. (And even though I write much shorter posts than you I’m about ready to have a coronary after trying to load a post so I feel for you.)

    Completely off-topic but as I saw the bins in your picture – do the council come out and collect rubbish down at the end of the road?

    Comment by Tony Giles — March 5, 2011 @ 11:03 am

    • Hi Tony G,

      I feel so much better knowing I’m not on my own with cr4p ‘broadband’ 🙂 The council will come up for the bins but I nearly always (like today) take them down to the ferry. There used to be a landfill on Raasay by the youth hostel and for years I just used to throw my rubbish in there as I drove past, and usually had a good root around at the same time 🙂 Now the we’ve gone all enviro’mental’ the rubbish that was collected and dealt with locally is collected every Saturday by a lorry sent over from Skye the driven half way across Scotland to reduce its carbon footprint, I despair 🙂 Anyway when the closed the tip I had a barny with them and threatened to dump my rubbish on their doorstep if they didn’t provide me with a bin 🙂 Though having a genuine concern for the environment and not just for ticking boxes I take my minimal rubbish down south to save the 20 mile round trip for the bin lorry and the wear and tear on the road 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 5, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

  2. Great pictures, great looking dog, I am glad your out of puppies as the wife would have me headed yo

    Comment by Tony — March 5, 2011 @ 3:18 pm

    • Could have always delivered them Tony 🙂 I do love the desert 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 5, 2011 @ 10:29 pm

  3. Oops meant to say headed your way to get a puppy, never mind the 5,000 + miles distance.

    Comment by Tony — March 5, 2011 @ 3:20 pm

  4. Hi Paul.
    Looked at your broad band servers site what an impressive video. Which obviously not the service you have been getting. Not like ours in the City, turn computer on 20 seconds full use supplied via Virgin cable company , look at my favourite blog write a witty comment, press post comment, 3 seconds later hey presto in your comment box. now would you leave your croft for that ? Some how I don’t think you would. Wife who also reads your blog ask’s did Molly have to have surgery or was it by a need to be done? and hopes she recovers quickly.

    Comment by Polite Scouse — March 5, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

    • Hi Paul.
      Have a look at my pictures. Just been sent one from the arctic theirs always one who wants to get in the photo.
      Walter .

      Comment by politescouser — March 5, 2011 @ 5:14 pm

      • Pictures Walter ???? have I had too much wine 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 5, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    • Hi Walter,

      I am envious of your Broadband but you can keep the city 🙂 You know I could live with slow but it’s not the speed so much as the dropping out then having to reload. If it was just slow I could start downloading or uploading then go and have a bath or even go to bed, but no some times it just refuses to load past a certain point and you have to start again 😦

      Molly did not ‘need’ the op and to be honest had it been up to me I’d have left her intact and just kept her away from other dogs, we are after all quite remote but wifey did not want to take the chance 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 5, 2011 @ 10:37 pm

      • Well that’s what happened to me. We had two children and wife had the last say in the matter more, I now walk round with a limp and dog collar. I should have stood my ground. All jokes aside you’ve probably done the right thing.

        Comment by Polite Scouser — March 5, 2011 @ 11:52 pm

      • Morning Walter,

        been there, done that and still got the scars 🙂

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 8, 2011 @ 6:13 am

  5. Hi Paul,
    Now I know what an outside loo is….!
    Pics. = North Arnish northern march, and the fank. Great pics. Regards to poorly Molly.

    Comment by sotw — March 5, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    • Hi She,

      glad you liked the pictures, gonna have a closer look tomorrow 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 5, 2011 @ 10:40 pm

  6. Well, I, for one, am glad the rubbish dump is no longer next to the youth hostel, it was so noisy having the gulls squarking around there all day!

    Comment by francesp — March 6, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

    • Fair point Frances,

      they’d drive me mental squawking all day 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 8, 2011 @ 6:16 am

  7. I sympathise with you over the netspeed issues. Twas ever the same in Sweden – virtually useless. Yet…the Swedes are always blowing their trumpets about fastest speeds in the world etc. Maybe in one flat in central Stockholm….and even then I’d be dubious, knowing the bloody Sweedles so well! Am now in France where it seems better, fingers crossed. That is a lovely Maran (?) you have (previous post with randy Ringo). Thinking of getting a couple soon!

    Comment by Iain — March 22, 2011 @ 2:27 pm

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