Life at the end of the road

September 30, 2011

Rather wet :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:19 pm

In my eagerness to get back up the hill this morning and do some rock breaking in my trench I never even checked the forecast. I was up early enough and left the house to feed the pigs to be greeted by what can only be described as a ‘hair dryer’ of warm south wind, cloudy but with little sign of mischief in the sky. The pick and shovel that I’d been using yesterday were to be assisted by a generator and Hitachi demolition pick on this fine morning and I was raring to go.

Of course the first thing I had to do was fix the Chinese piece of cr4p generator that I was going to use to power my 30 year old Hitachi. It’s not my generator, for I wouldn’t be seen dead with one of these lumps of 5h1t. It is in fact my neighbours who’d been given it as a present by her sister. A fine enough looking copy of a genuine Honda item that ‘sis’ had bought from the back of a Transit van from Ireland. It never worked from the word go but of course the mobile phone number left ‘in case of the unlikely event of problems’ had long since been disconnected.

I pulled the thing apart for her and discovered that the rotor windings had not even been soldered onto the slip rings and after that it ran well enough for the little serious work that was expected of it. However it had always leaked petrol from the vicinity of the fuel tap and being as how the stuff is so expensive I thought that I’d better fix it for her.

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Suspecting a simple case of a leaky washer I removed the tap and found to my horror that it was designed and fitted in such a manner that any halfwit could see that it was going to leak fuel from the start. It was constructed in such a way that no matter how tight the lock nut was fuel would get past the threads. On such a set up it would be customary to use PTFE thread tape but there was no sign of that here, and it’s not great stuff to use on petrol fittings anyway as it can end up blocking the carburettor jets. Still, it was all I had and I just kept my fingers crossed that the filter would keep the stuff out of the carb. And if that’s a genuine CE mark ‘I’ll show my ar5e in Woolworth’s window’ 🙂

With the generator strapped to the back and the Hitachi in the fish box, Molly and I set off without oilskins for Loch Beag a mile or so away. After checking that the siphon was still running we went back to the trench and started picking away at the large lump of Scotland that I’d discovered under the peat.

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When the first shower came I just carried on whilst Molly sought the shelter of the dry heather in the lee of the quad, the second one had me joining her. It was a heavy shower driven horizontally by the near gale force south wind, consequently it was still perfectly dry for a few feet downwind of the trusty Honda. The next shower showed no hope of a reprieve astern of it so the ‘wee dug’ and I bailed out and by the time we got home I could not have been wetter had I jumped in the loch 😦 The rain was so strong that I had to drive with a hand in front of my eyes and Molly was cowering behind the long defunct speedometer and fish box on the front.

I suppose realistically that it didn’t curtail my mornings work by more than half an hour but it left me feeling cold wet and miserable. A complete change of clothes later I was heading south down through the sheets of rain to the ferry terminal on the first leg of a trip to Portree.

We were needing feed for the pigs, shopping and of course I had to pick up the Dude after his first full week at the Hostel. In all honesty I could not have picked a better day for it, as little else would have got done outside at Arnish.

All went smoothly on Skye and I met my long lost son at the 16:15 ferry, of course he was minus his clothes bag which he’d left on the bus, his jacket that he’d left in the bus and his phone which he’d lost but ‘hey ho’ that’s 12 year olds for you 🙂

With the Land Rover already full feed I acquired two extra boys and a bigger rock breaker from my good friend that drives diggers 🙂

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  Before heading home however we had a run along to the old ferry terminal to see the  tug Red Baron (or at least I think that’s its name) getting ready for taking JST’s floating pier away to Glenelg.

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After six months of the big Fendt 936’s hauling timber the roads will be very quiet on Raasay 🙂

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We also had a run along to see progress on the new housing association houses at School Park where I found this chap busy at work laying the piping for the under floor heating.

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He was obviously self employed as it was 17:00 on a Friday afternoon and pishing with rain, not only that but he made time to chat and explain the workings of the system he was installing.

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RJ MacCallum plumbing and heating services could well be getting a phone call when the new house goes up 🙂



  1. I’ll show my ar5e in Woolworth’s window
    you’ll be lucky Paul, they went bankrupt remember

    Comment by carina — September 30, 2011 @ 10:54 pm

    • Phew, that was a lucky escape 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 1, 2011 @ 6:32 am

  2. Those houses are going to have some view over the roof of the hall to Glamaig, regardless of the weather. And yes, a chap working at such a time on a Friday and in the weather conditions you so eloquently describe has to worth a call to. Having just deciphered the Scottish Minor Works building contract for my new house (starting in two weeks or thereabouts), I’d be happy to help out if you need a building contract (rather boringly it’s kind of my day job). At £30 a copy they aren’t cheap mind you, but copies can be made of most thngs nowadays …


    Comment by Alan — September 30, 2011 @ 11:18 pm

  3. Great work Paul, weather finally breaking here for Fall, 102f. Sad when that temperature feels cool. Had a great trip over your way (well I made it as far as Leicester)I hope to get to travel farther North someday, well with my desert lungs full of fresh English air. I just wanted to say hello. I stubbled upon the reason I ended up finding your blog, The Journey , a book on tape I borrowed from my father in law. I was fascinated by Johnson and Boswells story of their trip around your country. Small world when a book found in storage in a small town near the Mexican border, excites a 42 year old dude from the Pacific Northwest (USA) who then starts to research an island that had a very small mention in the book and then leads to finding this great blog, to be honest i could not get the name Rassay out of my head, guess it was the way the narrator on the tape pronounced it.
    Thanks for sharing your stories will us all!

    Comment by Tony — October 1, 2011 @ 6:43 am

    • Morning Tony,

      glad you arrived back safely and had a good trip, wouldn’t like to be diggin trenches in 102f 😦 It is indeed funny what chances upon you in life is it not. I was once given a box of books on Raasay by a friend. When I opened one of them for the first time years later I found that had been signed by three personal diving buddies from the far south of England, none of whom had ever visited Raasay and two of whom were now dead. Not only that but the book was not his, it belonged to his ex wife and had been given to her in the Orkney Islands aboard a boat some 20 odd years earlier!!!!!

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 2, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  4. Hi Paul, All the stuff Junior left on the bus will probably turn up again, sweaty no doubt, on the bus on Monday, I’d expect on Skye! Looks like a day of two halves, as footy people might say. Still, progress is being made with the water system and that plumber/heating engineer must be self-employed to be working at that time, in those conditions, on a Friday. Must be worth thinking about when the time is right with your own project, as you say. Have a good/better weekend. Best.

    Comment by Iain — October 1, 2011 @ 8:52 am

  5. It will have to be on the Woolworths website Paul, PMSL!

    Comment by Graham Thompson — October 1, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

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