Life at the end of the road

May 14, 2011

Very frustrating :-(

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:35 pm

When you consider that I lived ten miles down a single track road with no neighbours or even a phone for the first few years of my self imposed exile at Arnish it seems absurd that I’m moaning about my internet connection. Especially when you consider that I didn’t even posses a computer until four years ago and still don’t know how to use the friggin thing 🙂 Such however is human nature that we get things, get used to them and quickly assume that it is our ‘divine right’ to have them. The mobile phone has only ‘taken off’ in the last decade and already people can’t comprehend that there are people that don’t posses them and areas where you can’t actually use them. My boy is probably the only person who’s actually seen ‘vinyl’ at Raasay primary, let alone used a turntable, but such is life and I now find myself ‘losing the plot’ with my satellite broadband 🙂

Two hours of my life I wasted this morning trying to get ‘on line’ and this was after me just telling someone the day before how boodly marvellous it was, I should have kept my mouth shut 🙂 I did all the usual stuff like ‘repairing’ the router, turning off the modem for five minutes then switching it back on, restarting the computer and changing into my lucky underpants but to no avail. The laptop just refused to receive a signal from HYLAS 1, it sent packets of information out but would just not receive them. In the end I gave up, packed up my laptop, fed the pigs and set off for the 7:55 ferry dragging my wheelie bins behind me, not literally but in the trailer. Saturday is ‘bin day’ and if possible I like to take my bins for a wee drive down to the ferry terminal to get emptied, they will come up and do it but it strikes me as a waste of time, effort and money if I’m going down there anyway. Not only that but it would give me chance to load up some stones for the path in the veg patch.

The ‘wee dug’ and I were going over early to get feed from Harbro in Portree then back to Sconser to meet wifey and the boy. After that we’d do a bit of shopping for the ‘Beetle man’ before going to visit my parents. Now the ‘Beetle man’ has been visiting Raasay since around 1974 and brought this tree up on the bus from York



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it’s now over 30’ tall !!!!

Anyway, as the supplier of this fine monkey puzzle still visits us via the train and bus he sends me a simple shopping list and some money prior to every visit. It is not a complicated list and after twenty years of doing it I can recite most items off by heart, so with his arrival imminent I ventured into the Co Op in Kyle. The first thing I noticed was the the temperature, not cold but boodly freezing 😦 It’s May for Christ’s sake not December, why is the supermarket like an ice box and all the staff shivering in fleeces ?? No worries, the list is short and I zip up my jacket, the list may have been short but they’d got precious little on it. I’m not talking organic duck livers, free range goats milk or ‘fair trade’ dingo’s kidneys, I’m after UHT milk, pear halves, Lilt, mandarin oranges and peaches 😦 It’s not Easter so they can’t blame the tourists that have all left, there has been no earthquake or major snowfalls on the A9, it’s just plain boodly incompetence. Anyway, I improvise with Dr Pepper, apricots,fruit cocktail  and head for the checkout. When I asked the pleasant but well wrapped up lady why it’s so cold in here she replies “we’ve run out of gas” !!!!!! Now I’m actually a great fan of the Coey, and their ethics are far better than most supermarkets but when they’re so boodly useless that they can’t fill up their own heating tank it’s hardly surprising there’s no friggin food on the shelves. No wonder people are screaming for an ASDA or Tesco.

After my ‘fruitless’ visit I headed for a pleasant day with the parents before returning home on the 16:15 ferry to Raasay and a spot of tree felling.

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Trimming a limb off this rowan tree behind the house to see if it improved my satellite signal. The new satellite is in a slightly different orbit to the old one and the installer said it may be a problem when the leaves came on it, sure enough a few minutes with the chainsaw had me back ‘online’


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A bit hit and miss at first but it seems OK now 🙂

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Problem loading page :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:42 am

Too tired to put pen to paper last night I collapsed in front of the ‘One eyed monster’ to watch a Pedro Almodavar  film, Volver By the time it had finished I could hardly keep my eyes open so went to bed, not because the film was dull but because I’d been up since 5:00am.

Once again I’d spent much of the day under the ‘Old Girl’ dodging showers that were not quite as severe as yesterday (Thursday) but with enough frequency and suddenness to prevent any roof work. On this particular day I was concentrating on the front axle and steering in readiness for the MOT and discovered that my ‘woolly’ steering was in fact caused by a worn ‘drag link end’ and not adjustment in the steering box as I’d thought.

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The ‘drag link’ being a steel bar that connects the steering box to front left hand wheel (on a RHD vehicle), steering movement then being transferred to the right hand wheel via the ‘track rod’ at the rear of the axle.


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As with most things on the ‘Old girls’ suspension both the track rod and drag link are uprated as the standard items are prone to bending. Unlike most ‘normal’ people I colour code the joints at each end with paint, green for right hand thread and red for left. I then wrap the threads in ‘Densotape’ to prevent them seizing on the thread. All this may seem a little extreme and ‘anorak’ like but I can change one of these joints in a few minutes without having to resort to WD40 a hammer or blow torch and can identify at a glance which thread to order.

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I also measure the distance down the threads so the steering wheel remains central and the track does not need checking afterwards.

All that done before breakfast, wifey and I went down to the beach at Screapadale to get some stones for the paths in the veg garden.

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The rough track down to the shore being an excellent ‘road test’ after the major service I’d just given her.

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In the distance on the far left are the Crowlin islands, between there and Raasay’s Rubh na Leichie is the low lying Sgier Dearg (red rocks) and in the foreground on the right the ‘false church’ and ‘white face’ of Raasay’s dramatic eastern side.

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The rest of the day was spent helping wifey in the garden, watching the day old piglets tentatively stepping out in the sunshine and doing some more re seeding on the croft.

Around 15:45 we set off to pick up the boy from the ferry, he’d been away on the School trip to Edinburgh and wifey, myself and the ‘wee dug’ were missing him.

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The bus was late and missed the ferry so we were stuck down there for over an hour until the 17:35 arrived, luckily I’d brought my trailer and we did a little stone gathering on the beach as the tide arose around the once proud Golden Emblem.

The Dude arrived safe, sound and full of stories about Home – Our Dynamic Earth,,,, the Glasgow Science Centre and the many other things they’d done.

By the time I’d fed all the herd, eaten then unloaded the trailer I was in no mood for posting or even a glass of wine so watched the film and went to my bed.


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As is usual at this time of year I was once again awake at 5:00am so thought that I’d post a few words, trouble was that Hylas wouldn’t let me, no matter how many times I tried I could not receive a signal from Avanti’s  Highly Adaptable Satellite HYLAS 1

I have had phone calls and messages on the blog from other subscribers, to what can only be described as a reasonable service at best. Whilst I have for the first time ever been able to watch BBC I player there are times when no matter what I do, I can’t get online, it’s not happened for a while but this morning I just gave up. Other users however have just had crashes, freezes and abysmal performance, which is why this post is a little disjointed and vague. Being unable to get online I’ve been blogging on the move so to speak and I’m just about to upload this from


here 🙂

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