Life at the end of the road

February 4, 2012

Snow, what snow ?

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:52 pm

It was yet another 5:00am start for me today, my body, just like the flowers, trees and birds obviously thinks that spring is here 🙂 Though you would not have thought so by the first light of dawn, I poked my head outside for a ‘looksee’ and got power washed 😦 When I arose an hour or two earlier a little part of me thought that perhaps the forecasters had got it wrong and the torrential rain scheduled for today would pass us by. I was even thinking that perhaps I might get some bedding cut for the pigs.


but that silly notion went right out of my head with the rising wind and the deluge that accompanied it 😦


Instead, after a morning bath and before feeding I set about curing a draught in the house at foot level that I’d traced to the bathroom. It was emanating from under the bath where the pipes went through the plasterboard and floorboards and I sorted it with some expanding foam. The difference was staggering, of course the rising wind driving the turbine harder helped by operating the ‘dump loads’ in the porch, but even so it was a big improvement.

I had my doubts that the ferry would run, so before hauling my bins to the end of the road I phoned up to ask at 8:30. Yes the Loch Striven had departed Sconser and yes the bin lorry was on board said the purser, so I set of with the bins in my trailer. A normally easy task was hampered by the now gale force wind, which blew them over twice before I had chance to weight the lids down.  Each time spreading the contents all over the car park and leaving me fuming as I’d just removed the ‘ratchet straps’ off the lids for the bin men. Normally I’d have just left them on but the two I’d used were of the worn out useless variety that leave you cursing if your lucky and bleeding if you’re not. Figuring that I’d upset the council enough recently the last thing I needed was a law suit from an injured employee 🙂

After that and ‘second breakfast’ I made a valiant attempt at some fencing before getting thoroughly soaked and peed off 😦 So I dried out, wrapped up and gave the Honda a good power washing prior to doing a spot of welding on her.

 040212 001

She may not look very pretty but this little Honda TRX 350 has been abused beyond belief, carried loads that you wouldn’t believe, been stuck in bogs, washed by the sea and struck by lightning. It’s 12 years old, totally reliable apart from the odd wheel bearing, starter brush and dodgy brakes, a bit haggard looking I’ll admit but dependable 🙂

040212 002

One of the foot rests had mysteriously broken last weekend whilst the boys were shifting rocks 🙂 so I set about removing it, cleaning it with a grinder and welding it back on.

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Fitting a ‘strainer post’ in solid rock

Repairing the Honda inside was far nicer then being up the hill fencing but I did do a little work on a strainer post form in there. I’d done all the easy ones, or at least put them in the ground to await a final push with the bucket of a digger 🙂 This just leaves the gates and a post that needs to go into solid rock so I came up with a novel solution thanks to BT and S&SE.

040212 004

British Telecom had supplied me with a telegraph pole that I cut much shorter than a normal 7’6” strainer post and Scottish and Southern Energy had left me much metalwork of the top of their ‘hydro poles’

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I chopped the bent end off one of these insulator supports,

040212 007

sharpened the end and bored a hole in the base of the pole.

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Battered it in then painted it with the last of my now banned creosote 🙂 and set off up the hill with generator, dog an hammer drill.

 040212 011

By now the radio was warning me of airport closures due to snow and telling me not to panic because there were two million tons of salt in depots around the country 🙂 Me I wasn’t worried because the sun was at last out 🙂

040212 012

The 19mm steel spike was dropped in the hole complete with short pole

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and I just need a ‘man with a digger’ to push it the last 2” down on to the spike 🙂


  1. That’s funny, Paul. You up there with nice weather, (ish), and in Bristol it’s a blizzard and about minus two tonight!!

    Comment by lloyd — February 4, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    • Morning Lloyd,

      it does seem that we do get the opposite weather to the rest of Britain, looking good for today, well at least it is in the dark 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2012 @ 6:42 am

  2. Hi Paul, brilliant idea using the spike, my son in law has a similair with his drive way and I will be showing him this, could just be the answer we where looking for. As always something new you have taught me today!

    No snow here either but very wet and windy for some of the day. It is a lot colder and the local council are telling us to expect snow so we will see, hopefully it won’t be as bad as the last two years when I became housebound due to frozen paths and deep snow. Without a doubt I hate the winter! Although love to see the pictures lol!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — February 4, 2012 @ 9:27 pm

  3. We are looking for good ideas for high fencing our back garden (we had the trunks left from cut trees to abt 10-12 ft but the fencing we tried – although it lasted over 2 years- was completely obliterated in the second galeforce winds we had at the end of 2011) so if you should be looking for a holiday in Edinburgh, we could use your suggestions and expertise!!!!

    Comment by may cruickshank — February 4, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    • Holiday, Edinburgh !!!! the two somehow don’t seem to go together May. I’d be a nervous wreck by the time I got there with all the traffic lights, roundabouts and people. The only thing that I can imagine as being worse is flying anywhere, not that I mind the actual up in the air bit but all the hanging around and queuing fills me with dread 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2012 @ 6:46 am

  4. minus 22 here in Holland not that I am noticing it it. the old Edwardian house ruin I bought for a song 25 years ago I insulated to the highest standards I could at the time. The best investment I ever did, not much snow just bloody cold, causing a little trouble on the railways, wife came back from work yesterday from Belgium not very pleased 1,200 miles of traffic jams seems not enough salt, not that it will make any difference the lunatics that run the asylum, sorry I shouldn’t say that, the politicians that control our destiny have an attention span of not more that 30 seconds and have difficult in distinguishing between an elbow and an anal orifice. The only good thing that might come out of it is that we might get an Elfstedentocht. If that happens I will be sat in front of the Tele for a whole day.,its magic

    Deep Regards


    Comment by Yorkshire Miner — February 4, 2012 @ 9:48 pm

    • Just the thought of that is making me cold Dave, I’m off for a bath to warm up 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2012 @ 6:48 am

  5. I’ve taken your advice to ‘wrap up well’, we’ve got only 2-3cm of snow here, I’ve got my thermals on and am going out in my snow boots and down jacket to test them – I’m off to Canada at the end of the week for 4 weeks and it’s likely to be -20/-30C there! Brrrrrrrrr!!

    Comment by francesp — February 5, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

    • Morning Frances,

      -30!!!!!! no chance of me ever going there then 🙂 I think the coldest I’ve ever seen it here at the North End is around -12 for around a week. i wore my ‘woolly bear’ (a one piece thermal suit for under a dry suit) for a week and never took it off 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 8, 2012 @ 6:13 am

  6. Paul,
    Is there always someone else around who takes the pictures with you in them, or do you have some other clever way of doing it?
    Enquiring minds need to know!

    Comment by patrick — February 6, 2012 @ 1:23 pm

    • Good morning Patrick, that’ll be my guardian angel that takes the pictures 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 9, 2012 @ 6:06 am

  7. No snow here, either. But we did have ice. And I now have a fractured wrist. Not a good time of year to find myself unable to tackle the hard work. And the painkillers mean I can’t even have a single malt to console myself. Ah well, I’ll just have to go and watch the Other Half unloading 25kg bags of feed! 😀

    Comment by Stonehead — February 7, 2012 @ 5:34 pm

    • Sorry to hear about the wrist Stoney, slip on ice ???

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 9, 2012 @ 6:12 am

      • Out feeding the pis, crossed the hill track, stepped on either wet grass or ice, slid onto ice, gathered speed and slid 10-15 feet downhill into a strainer post. I knew it was going to bad if I hit either my body or head, so I put my arms up, crossed them and let them take the impact. Unfortunately, I put my dominant right hand outermost. Doh! It was like breaking a stick over my knee—separated my hand, wrist and forearm into three. Fortunately without breaking the skin. Dislocated the two bones at the bottom of my hand and broke both my ulna and radius. I’m fairly certain I’ve come close to an Olympic record for swearing in the past six days. 😉

        Comment by Stonehead — February 11, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

      • Hope it heals soon Stoney.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 12, 2012 @ 8:04 am

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