Life at the end of the road

March 17, 2011

A day in the trenches :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid, pigs, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:33 pm

As I’m awaiting reinforcements to assist with the mark III hydro scheme I thought that I’d spend a day in the trenches today 🙂 Keeping the drains clear and the water flowing is a bit of of an uphill struggle when pigs are involved, for as soon as you’ve cleared them a pig comes along, lured by all the freshly removed turfs and mud and fills them in again. If they don’t push all the nice smelly sods back in the ditch they usually stand so close to the edge as to collapse it. However in an effort to get the water flowing off the croft, drain the fields and improve my hydro supply I made a start.

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Or at least I did after I’d cut fresh bedding in the morning sun and cleaned out all the pigs, well not quite all of them, Bramble, Jamie Lea and Rocky refused to move.

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So I just chucked an armful in and left them to it, I’ll clean them out tomorrow 🙂

The drain I wanted to clean runs down the middle of our little valley at Arnish and is the boundary between my croft and the late Calum MacLeod’s, it’s also the same watercourse that feeds my ‘Stream Engine’ so the first thing I did was bypass the header tank.

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Clearing the drain sends all sorts of cr4p down it, so rather than block the screens or worse still the jets, I stuck a pipe on the end to divert the water.

Then I set about the arduous task of clearing the drain,


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and despite toiling for most of the day,

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I barely scratched the surface 😦

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Still, I reckon that I lowered the level of the burn by 9” at least so with a bit of luck the croft may not resemble the Somme shortly 🙂

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Good job I bypassed the turbine hey 🙂

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I also cleaned out the tank and pressure washed the secondary screen,

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by rights this should be stainless, or even plastic but I just used what I had available which was an old quarry riddle screen of about 3mm.

That really, was about it, apart from skinning one of our hens that I’d shot yesterday, they’re quite old and have stopped laying but are still in great condition. Not really fit for roasting but fine for a long slow cook on top of the kitchen stove. Dark brown meat in the legs and white for the breast, just like when I was a lad 🙂 far better than that bleached white watery stuff you get nowadays, OK it requires a bit of effort to chew it, but what a taste 🙂

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So, I’ll just leave you with the weather,

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and a secret renewable energy exhibition in Fort William on Saturday which I found out about quite by accident.

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Apart from the ‘Broadford Beano’ (WHFP) we don’t read papers but wifey was needing something to light the fire with and this caught her eye 🙂

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What caught my eye was this in the centre pages, a renewable energy and heat fair that no one I know knows about 😦 well they do now 🙂



  1. Paul will you be attending the show? The middle picture on RH side looks like it might be about outdoors hydronic boilers. Is it?

    Comment by Arild Jensen — March 17, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  2. Does anyone live on Calum’s croft?
    I has assumed there was only the one croft left in Arnish and you took over from Calum.
    Was he still living at his place when you moved in ?
    Sorry for the questions just trying to piece it all together , why I do not know…. Curiosity i guess.

    Comment by Tony — March 18, 2011 @ 4:46 am

    • Good morning Arizona 🙂

      Calum died in 1988 Tony, the year before I moved here so I never met him. When I moved here I could go for weeks seeing nobody but my then wife and the postman (once a week). Nowadays it can get quite busy, thanks in no small part to Roger Hutchinson’s excellent book and I have a permanent neighbour close by but alas not in Calum’s house.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 19, 2011 @ 6:16 am

  3. Hi Paul, I did consider going to that after you posted about it the other day but a near 400 mile round trip doesn’t seem all that renewable. Look forward to hearing if there’s anything interesting there.

    Comment by Ed — March 18, 2011 @ 4:02 pm

    • Morning Ed,

      bit late now but I could pick you up at Auchtertyre at 9:15, will send you my phone numbers via email.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 19, 2011 @ 6:18 am

  4. if you’re not joking about your hearing (and i can imagine that diving didn’t do your eardrums any good)
    these cost a fortune and will change your life. when you’re ready.

    Comment by jeannette — March 19, 2011 @ 4:03 am

    • oh hail, this was supposed to be a comment on the crow-shooting post. a thousand pardons.

      Comment by jeannette — March 19, 2011 @ 4:10 am

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