Life at the end of the road

October 16, 2011

Clearing the site :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid, listers, pigs, shed/house, stonework, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:55 pm

It’s been a cracker of a day here yet again, probably not by most peoples definition, for there were a couple of heavy showers, the temperature barely got above 11 degrees and the wind seldom below 20mph. But hey the midge has gone the bracken’s died back and I don’t have to mow the lawn 🙂

It didn’t start off so well right enough, for I was up and dressed long before 5:00am after a restless night. Not that I got anything done, just an hour on here, three cups of coffee failed to kickstart me so I went back to bed at 6:00 and had a great couple of hours sleep. I’d have had an even better one had I not had to go and feed the pigs but once I was out in the fresh morn the cobwebs vanished. The rest of my workforce were having a well earned Sunday lie in so I went for a wander with my shotgun.

The crows have started to get a bit bolder of late, shooting one every month or so usually keeps them at bay on the croft but we’ve piglets on the hill at the moment and the hoodies are never far way at feeding time. Or at least they aren’t when you don’t have a gun. As soon as I’ve put their food down and set off home they appear circling above, ready to swoop down as soon as I’m out of sight.

This morning as I wandered around to the old stone built net shed with my Hatsan semi auto fully charged with eight rounds there were none to be seen 😦 Not that I was expecting any for Mr crow is a canny bird who can tell a stick from a gun at several hundred yards. Still I had a plan and spread the feed out on the ground in such a manner that I could see it from the inside of the old stone ruin. Once the six spotties were tucked into their extra rations I nestled down in a darkened corner of the old fishing net store with a clear vista and waited, and waited. Not a sign, not even a caw, the piglets wandered off and still no hoodie appeared to hoover up the crumbs 😦

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Nope, the only thing that came into my sights was this,

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closely followed by the rest of them who had obviously smelt the feed bucket 🙂

Time to head home for breakfast I thought 🙂

A very desirable house

I’d taken the pre fabricated pig ark up to the new barn and house site last night in three loads on the quad so after a big ‘fry up’ we set off up there with the tools. Stopping half way to collect the rather large section that had fallen off the trailer on the way up 🙂 Luckily plastic slides very easily over wet heather and we soon had it in the walled area along with the rest of the pieces.

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Finding a flat(ish) bit of ground we started bolting the two oil tank halves together after carefully squaring everything up.

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Of course it wasn’t long before we had visitors 🙂 Big mistake using feed buckets to carry tools 🙂

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It took us right up until 14:00 to assemble the new house for Jamie Lea and Bramble but I have to say we were pretty chuffed with it.

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And just look at the view, this is where our new house is going and I figured that the pigs could do a little of the ground work and clear the site 🙂

With that finished the tools cleared away and the spotties kicked out we headed over to see how the hydro project was doing. We could lead Jamie Lea and Bramble up here once the spotties had gone home otherwise it would have been a ‘right picnic’. Leading a couple of lolloping sows along with a bucket is easy enough but trying to do it with six screaming wains around your feet is a boodly nightmare 🙂


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The hydro outlet was still running great at 3lts/sec with no sign of any air, though the pressure had dropped around 10psi but I’m hoping that’s because I drilled a small hole in the pipe nearer the loch and had not yet plugged it.

Next job after checking the rest of the pipe was to get Jamie and Bramble up to their new house.


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The pair of them had hardly moved out of the barn this last week spending most of the day sleeping. They do have access to a small field but it was needing a rest and they were needing a change. To see pigs put onto a fresh bit of ground is a pure joy and they wasted no time in rooting out the bracken and exploring their new home 🙂

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Three hours later in the pitch dark and pouring rain they were still grubbing about like a couple of rotovators 🙂

Our next ‘port of call’ was a mile away at  to do the fortnightly check on the renewable energy system there. It’s a diesel/hydro/solar system that charges a 24v battery bank and runs the house electrics via a Studer inverter. The ‘Harris Hydro’ turbine does the bulk of the work, the 510w of solar provide extra power during the summer when water for the turbine is not as abundant and the Lister ST2 fires up automatically if the batteries get low. In reality with a pretty much constant supply of 15amps (400w) from the Harris turbine the generator is seldom required.

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Next it was over to my mates house for a cup of coffee and a wee blether before returning home for dinner.

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We left his old stone croft house overlooking Loch Arnish just as the useful part of the day was drawing to a close.

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It was a fine end to the day 🙂


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  1. Fantastic view from the new pig house. How much a week is it?

    Comment by Nick Bennett — October 16, 2011 @ 9:18 pm

    • Good morning Nick,

      ‘no room at the inn’ I’m afraid 🙂 the two sows just about fill it and they’re so house proud that they’ve started taking extra bedding in 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2011 @ 9:19 am

  2. That shot of the pig looking into the stone shed is a cracker.. I love those pigs and cannot wait to get my own next spring, but they will be for eating so i cannot get too excited.. c

    Comment by ceciliag — October 17, 2011 @ 1:29 am

    • Morning Cecilia,

      once you get your pigs you’ll wonder how you ever managed without them 🙂 As for getting ‘attached to them’ well, that’s the hardest part but you’ve just got to tell yourself that they’ve had a far better life than most other pigs on the planet 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  3. Another fine day, by your account. The Spot at the old window is great and that view from the house-site is wonderful. I’m surprised you don’t just move into the new pig-ark for the view alone, Paul!

    Comment by Iain — October 17, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    • Morning Iain,

      Can’t wait to retire and spend my dotage staring at that view 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  4. the beauty really is overwhelming. sometimes i think heaven must look like that — lots of sky, lots of water, not too many trees.

    Comment by jeannette — October 17, 2011 @ 10:52 pm

    • Morning Jeannette,

      “the beauty really is overwhelming. sometimes i think heaven must look like that — lots of sky, lots of water, not too many trees.”

      Lots of wind and hailstone just now too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 18, 2011 @ 9:27 am

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