Life at the end of the road

September 11, 2011

A wholemeal bath :-)

Filed under: daily doings, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:35 pm

Sunday at last, I do love Sunday’s and it’s refreshing to live somewhere where it’s taken seriously 🙂 Not that I’m in to the whole religious or Sabbath thing but it is nice to have a day of the week that’s special, especially when you’re working. None of that twenty four hour shopping here or afternoons in the pub, for the whole of Raasay winds down for the Sabbath and I can’t help thinking it’s a good thing. For me it’s an extra hour in bed and for the swineherd a well earned break from feeding the herd, on Sunday that’s my job and on the whole I really enjoy it. Or at least I do when it’s not pishing down, for I’ve not usually seen the pigs since Tuesday and it’s great to spend a little time with them before going to work. Especially when there are piglets involved as it never ceases to amaze me at how quickly the grow and develop.

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Bracken’s seven little Tamworth’s were shy little wains who never strayed far from mum when I last saw them, today they were through their own upturned gate and waiting at the one by the workshop to be fed. So insistent where they at trying to knock me off my feet that I fed them first just so that I could walk in safety with the bucket.

Spottie piglets for sale

After dealing with the ‘magnificent seven’ and mum I turned my attention to the six ‘spotties’ in the field next door. All of them were sold but very unusually for us, three customers changed their mind at the last minute. Not that that is normally a problem as we normally have a few people on the waiting list.

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However we do have two gilts left over if anyone is interested before I advertise them. £35 each, wormed and delivered to Skye or the Kyle, Glenshiel area FOC. Just eight weeks old, very friendly and should fatten nicely for the New Year.

No sooner had I started feeding everyone when my two helpers turned up, not my son, for he was still in his bed. Not that I begrudge him that for he really does need as much sleep as he can get these days. No it was ‘little and large’ his two best pals who seem to spend a good deal of their spare time ‘at the end of the road’. Not that I’m complaining for they’re a great help, yesterday they all went over to the ‘Old Schoolhouse’ for me whilst I was at work. They topped up the battery bank and took readings from the solar panels and hydro turbine there and today I sent them down to the shore to adjust the nozzles on mine. There was much rain forecast and I wanted to get the maximum power out of it.

After that I left them with a bunch of spanners to remove the starter mounting on my new generator to measure the bolt spacing. I’m going to fit a starter and ring gear to the SR2 Lister and there are two different bolt patterns, 90mm and 105mm, though as it turned out mine had both 🙂

Leaving a fine but fresh Arnish just after 8:30 I headed south for work, and the further south I got the worse the weather got. By the time I reached the new pier it was almost gale force with waves breaking over the pier.

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Though judging by my weather station there was still little more than a good breeze at Arnish as we sailed into the teeth of it at 10:00am.

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Apart from the routine Sunday drills and cleaning I took oil samples from all of the machinery for forwarding to the lab for analysis. This is done with a vacuum pump that sucks the oil (that’s the aft gearbox’) through a new bit of pipe into a sterilized bottle. Each unit gets a new length of pipe and the samples are carefully marked with hours run, age of oil and grade. The lab then checks them for contaminants such as sodium (indicating sea water ingress) chrome (indicating damaged hydraulic rams) copper (worn bearings) and a whole host of other elements. This can give a valuable indication of any potential faults long before they happen.

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The same goes for the fuel which is checked more regularly for the dreaded diesel bug and water, though my ‘back to back’ did that last week.


This is what it looks like in one of my tanks a few years ago

There was more but it’s way past my bedtime now and I’ve got to go and clean the bath after my son 😦

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And that’s what it looked like BEFORE he got in it 🙂 It’s no wonder we all have lovely complexions after our wholemeal peaty baths 🙂

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So I’ll just leave you with the weather as we eagerly await Katia tomorrow.



  1. Love you little piggies, so sad that you are right over there at the end of the world i would buy one of them!

    Comment by ceciliag — September 11, 2011 @ 10:57 pm

  2. Paul, the tile around the tub looks great – nice job! I can’t remember if you posted a photo of it after you completed, what, a year ago already?

    Comment by Morgan Will — September 12, 2011 @ 12:11 am

  3. Those oil bottles look like whisky samples, are you sure you arent up to something else on a Sunday afternoon!!

    Comment by Simon — September 12, 2011 @ 10:02 am

    • Morning Simon,

      it’s so long since I’ve had a drink that I’ve forgotten what it tastes like 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2011 @ 4:51 am

  4. How the hell do those lads get up there too Arnish do they pushbike? I find it absolutely delightful looking at all the pictures of you all doing jobs together with Molly circling around doing her own stuff. A few years ago they were building huts and playing. Now they are taking on responsibility and doing small jobs on there own, they must feel proud of themselves. What a great way for them too learn giving them a set of spanners and letting them dismantle something and do some measurements. If you explain too them why you do it and throw in a bit of theory what better way to learn.

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — September 12, 2011 @ 11:25 am

    • Morning Dave,

      aye, the boys are a big help right enough, and yes ‘Large’ has cycled up in the past but they work so hard the least I can do is give them a lift in the car 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2011 @ 4:54 am

  5. Great job on the oil sampling. Our oil sampling specialist will be so proud to see there are people who actually follow the procedure of taking a proper sample.

    Comment by Tony — September 12, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

    • Morning Tony, glad you approve of the oil sampling, I love it when we get the results back with all the graphs and pretty colours 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2011 @ 4:56 am

  6. I hope the winds arent severe up there Paul, ive just checked a glasgow weather site and a few miles from wher i stay a gust of 72 mph at bishopton has been recorded, and the news was saying theat the worst would blow from 1500-2100, they were spot on with the 1500 estimate as it DID noticibly get stronger around then. im checkin on a neighbours 40 or so foot tall Silver Birch swaying around in her back garden. Was gonna take a drive to a local dock to weather watch but thought better of it, due to the weather, and also the Monday drivers!!!

    Comment by Gordon — September 12, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

    • Hi Sue, Gordon,

      you’ve probably read by now that we got off very lightly 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2011 @ 4:57 am

  7. Stay safe, all of you up there in the extreme winds. It’s bad enough on our hill above Bacup, but gusts will be only about 60mph. Hope the ferry is OK tomorrow – maybe won’t sail if the swell is up and the wind is high.


    Comment by Sue — September 12, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  8. And I thought it was old Campbeltown Loch that was supposed to be whisky-filled, Paul!

    Comment by Iain — September 13, 2011 @ 5:49 pm

    • Morning Iain, there’s precious few distilleries left in Campbelltown these days 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 14, 2011 @ 5:02 am

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