Life at the end of the road

September 19, 2011

Why would you buy anything else?

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, hydro, listers, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:46 pm

Not so nice today after the glorious weekend, must have been lovely up at and I would have dearly loved to see Skerryvore and the Buzzcocks once more but I’m getting too old for this festival malarky 🙂 Well that and too poor, what with a barn and house to build 🙂 Anyway, no regrets for I had a great weekend with the boys and much was achieved, so much in fact that I was too tired last night to tell you about it. Actually I was on here for a couple of hours sorting out six months worth of pictures and videos, 28Gb of which went in the recycle bin, how I wish I could be so brutal with all the cr4p in my sheds 🙂


The day got off to a great start with a lie in until 6:30, after which it was pretty much a repeat of Saturday mornings trip to check the water flow on the hydro supply, which had slowed a little 😦 Leaving that for the time being ‘Lighting’ and myself started setting things up to worm the ‘spotties’. Normally we’d do it in the trailer with the roof off but due to the chaos off the seven Tamworth piglets charging about the croft we decided to do it in the small field next to the veg patch.

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Loading up these excellent galvanized hurdles in the trailer

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and setting them up in a corner prior to breakfast.



With the ‘heart attack on a plate’ demolished, and with Molly for assistance we soon herded them into the pen. Actually we locked the ‘daft wee dug’ in the Land Rover and led them in with some food 🙂

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The hurdles are than secured with ratchet straps and the one inside the pen is swung over to crush them tight. Once they’re all settled a quick jag of 10ml of ‘Panomec’ subcutaneously from a pre loaded syringe has them all ‘done and dusted’.

Preparing for winter


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Next task was to empty the wood seasoning store, split its contents and start cutting more birch to dry. This old caged trailer is fantastic for drying wood as the tin roof keeps the rain off whilst letting the wind whistle through from all directions. Birch does not need more than a few months to season, in fact I’ve burnt tons of it green but it gives off far more heat and produces less tar if dry. That pile of birch is on a stack of eight year old spruce that really does benefit from two or three years drying out, putting that in your wood burner after only a year will end in tears. I gave up using it until it was about five years old as it was hopeless when compared to the stunted and relatively slow growing birch that grows like a weed here since most of the sheep where removed.

When I say slow growing I mean slow growing for birch, it still grows pretty quick, but our wind and rain seem to slow it down and create a better firewood than mainland birch. OK, it’s far harder to cut than the straight stuff more common at lower latitudes  but it don’t half make a good fire 🙂


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The shavings also make good bedding, resting places for ‘wee dugs’ and great wood chips for smoking fish 🙂


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The ‘trusty Husky’ was not running as sweet as normal and upon going to refill the fuel tank I spotted that the internal fuel filter had fallen off due to a split pipe. Not a great picture and it’s not the first time this has happened. I chopped the split end off, refilled the tank and all was peachy but I suspect it’s needing a new pipe, this unleaded fuel seems to demolish certain types of rubber. I’ll have to replace it at some point with the right stuff.

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By late afternoon the flow at the new hydro site was down to a trickle again an all pressure was lost 😦

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Nothing for it but to trek the mile or so overland to bleed it once more, though I fear it will do the same again until I fit some bleed valves at the high points.

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By the time we’d done all that it was almost 17:00 and I had to take ‘Lightning’ home for dinner. After dropping him off I had a look at the new houses going up at School Park and was amazed to see the progress.

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It was a beautiful drive home past the turning trees at Glame brae

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a hazy Holm island off Skye

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and I just caught a glimpse of one of the Ronja ‘well boats’ disappearing into Kyle Rona.


Apart from a rack of Soay lamb ribs and spicy chick peas for dinner that was about it for Sunday.

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Today started with an earlier than usual pig feed as we were all heading for the 7:55 ferry, which despite leaving home at 7:15 we missed. Well the car missed it due to heavy traffic but the Dude and I managed to get on as foot passengers. Just as well for I had to make his breakfast on board, it takes us about fifteen minutes to get him out of bed so he seldom has time to eat before his long trek to the high school.

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After my trip to Sconser and back wifey brought the car on followed by one of JST’s Fendt 636 tractors pulling a machine on a low loader. That will be them shipping out after their summer on Raasay felling timber, the last boat load having left last week.

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The rest of the day was spent with my parents on the mainland where I picked this fine hedgehog mushroom.

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A real connoisseurs ‘shroom’ with their firm texture and meaty flavour they can be had as late as December, I’ve even picked them in January. The spines underneath that give them their name make these pretty idiot proof and hard to mistake for anything else and unlike many mushrooms they don’t soak up moisture when wet.

It just keeps getting better

Returning home on the 16:15 with a very tired boy and arriving at Arnish just before 17:30 I left wifey unpacking the car and went to play with Cyril 🙂 I had a mountain of more important things that I could have done but I could not resist a little tinker with my SR2 Lister generator. Why anyone ‘off grid’ would buy any other kind of generator is beyond me. These things just keep on going on and on and on and on, many were used as standby sets with little hours on them and you can still pick one up as new for less than £1000. This one’s 39 years old and only done 50 hours. A newer ST2 Startomatic with similar hours went on eBay last week for £900 and mine only cost £700 plus £120 to get it shipped from Southampton. You can’t even get some high revving piece of far eastern cr4p for that and you’ll be lucky to get five years out of it!!!

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Having borrowed a 2 1/4” AF socket I wanted to remove the flywheel ready for fitting a ring gear. This is done by removing the inspection plate to jam the crankshaft with a block of wood (taking care not to damage the oil pipes), bending back the tab on the crank bolt and undoing it.

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Once undone, remove the washer, replace the bolt hand tight, back it off 1/4 of a turn and belt it with a sledge hammer.

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One good whack should do it, but as the flywheel is such a good fit in the fan housing you will have to remove the starter blanking plate or starter if one is fitted to push out from behind. Just look how clean that engine is inside 🙂



  1. Paul, I think Miss Molly fits exactly the description “All Dogs have ADHD” – check out the book on YouTube

    Comment by carina — September 19, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

    • Definitely got that Carina, me and the dug 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 20, 2011 @ 6:04 am

  2. Think the Buzzcocks are a bit old for the festival malarky as well (even if Harmony in my Head is amongst my top 10 singles).

    Comment by Neil King — September 21, 2011 @ 12:22 am

    • Good morning Neil,

      I saw them a couple of times over the last few years and they still have presence, in fact they’re really good, well apart from not having much hair and carrying beer bellies 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 22, 2011 @ 5:00 am

  3. I don’t think I ever posted back to thank you for your advise on the lister startomatic I was fixing last year for my father in laws farm. It works a treat now, after two new transistors, a new nor (or nand, cant remember!) gate and a new zener diode. The major work was tracing and probing all the circuits on the PCB to see what wasn’t doing what it should.

    Comment by James taylor — November 25, 2014 @ 9:03 am

    • Really glad you got it sorted James, I know where to ask now for advice 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 26, 2014 @ 6:19 am

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