Life at the end of the road

October 9, 2011

The Sunday drag :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, hydro, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:47 pm

Well that’s both the longest and shortest working days out of the way, Saturday was a little grim on the weather front. It was a little seldom on the traffic front too with fewer than the normal shoppers and only one or two tourists, well apart from the coach that arrived for the 16:15 ferry 🙂 Hope he does not try and take it up ‘Calum’s road’ 🙂

091011 001

I know it’s only the ‘scuffy wagon’ but just check out the mist on Glamaig behind it


091011 002

not that it lasted very long, here it is an hour later in the pishing rain 😦

It was so wet and miserable that I never even bothered stepping off the boat at lunchtime, opting for a wee sleep in the mess room instead. I dunno why I bother because I always feel worse afterwards 🙂 At least the quiet car deck gave me chance to lift the engine room plates  give them a good power washing and lose myself in the bilge for a while. I spend much time in the engine room bilge and am particularly proud of it, I dunno why because nobody ever sees it. Probably the result of being told off for not changing my underpants as a boy “but no one ever sees them” says I to my mum, “but what if you have an accident and have to go to hospital” she retorts 🙂

Not that that is likely to happen to the Loch Striven but in the highly unlikely event of the engine room ever flooding, I could happily pump the water out knowing that the contents of her ‘underpants’ would be clean and oil free 🙂


I’m always late for work on Sunday, I’m never late for anything as a rule, something else I picked up from mother 🙂 Late’s probably too strong a word as I’m still there half an hour before sailing, but late for me. I always seem to get distracted, especially at this time of year when it’s the only time I see the croft in daylight.

First job after the usual pot full of fresh coffee was to go and wean Bracken’s seven piglets who were just seven weeks old.

091011 009

Leading them with a bucket to the field next to the veg patch that is reserved for weaners, being very secure and far away from mum.

Next I turned my attention to the hydro turbine which had gone off during my spell of coffee and computer in the kitchen.



These two meters in the kitchen monitor the 12 and 48v battery banks and I can tell at a glance if something is wrong. It had been hovering between 58 and 52 as the heat dumps switched on and off in the bathroom and porch but just as I was getting ready to go and feed it dropped below 50. No toaster on, no washing machine or Xbox, something was amiss.


091011 004

Yup, when I went round to feed the spotties the burn was in spate but no water was coming out of the feed pipe, still I could give the tank a good clean out before going to investigate.


091011 005

That was soon emptied and the big clod of earth removed from the pipe

091011 007

and pretty soon a full 750w was pumping into my battery bank.

For a couple of years I ran this with that grating in the background on the top, the theory being that it caught the worst of the crud before getting into the tank, thus stopping the finer filter inside getting blocked. When the burn was in spate it cleaned itself otherwise I used to wire brush it off every day whilst feeding the pigs.

After a spell of clearing the banks of the burn in the spring I found that the turbine was getting blocked up twice a day with fine debris from my digging. As an experiment I took the mesh off to see if the fine stuff would wash over the top before clogging the filter and it did. Since then it has performed much better.

091011 012

After that we went and did a little pottering about in my workshop with a vacuum/pressure gauge that I’d just bought off eBay. I was intending using it for determining exactly which parts of my new hydro penstock were under negative pressure but I was a little concerned.

vac gauge

The gauge was American and could have been threaded NPT instead of BSP, however it turned out to be BSP and Nanny the sheep and I soon found a suitable adapter 🙂

091011 013

All this put me a little behind schedule but despite being a little late I couldn’t resist stopping to admire the golden brown moor at Loch na Bronn with its views to Eilean Tigh and Rona. Though I was too late to stop for the hind on the road a little further on and the golden eagle at Glame.

091011 017

I arrived at work to find this this clam boat out for a Sunday drag, but unlike the last one he had the good sense to lift his gear before the power cable 🙂

The rest of the day at work was the usual nice leisurely Sunday after the long Saturday and I returned home to wife child and pigs in daylight for the first time this week 🙂

graph 091011


The house was roasting with both wind and hydro turbines doing there stuff so I opened some windows, just look at the temperature, almost 26 degrees before the windows were opened 🙂

wether 091011



  1. Having grown up in the southern hemisphere, I still find the stars to be “all wrong” even after more than 15 years in the UK. If I look at star-lit sky, I automatically look for the constellations and positions I knew for years, even though I know they’re not there and have made an effort to learn the right ones. It’s quite disconcerting!

    As for your new ambulance, do you have first responders then? I’ve asked about them in our neck of the woods but the managers aren’t keen, even though there have been a few meetings of locals wanting to get something sorted to cover the often large delays in getting ambulances (or indeed all emergency services) out to rural areas.

    Comment by Stonehead — October 9, 2011 @ 10:26 pm

    • Hi Stoney,

      think I’d find myself lost with a different sky to look at too 🙂 Not sure what’s happening with the ‘first responders’ we have a district nurse permanently stationed here and there’s half a dozen or so of us trained on the ‘heart start’ machine but I’m sure its on the cards at some point.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 10, 2011 @ 8:21 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: