Life at the end of the road

February 25, 2012

The great courier ‘rip off’ :-(

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:58 pm

It’s not a full moon, new moon, payday or even particularly great weather but my mood has definitely been improving of late 🙂

I was up early and bouncing down Calum’s road with my blue recycling bin and empty gas cylinder a good ten minutes earlier than usual. Even though I was at work sooner than yesterday the day was much brighter and as soon as the rest of the crew arrived we got stuck in.

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The tide being just right for a spot of rust streak removal once the old ship had life breathed into her.  The Perkins 4.4TGM providing the heart beat and the Volvo’s idling nicely, ready to leap into action at a full 8 knts :-)Saturday is generally a quiet day so I can usually get on with stuff and not spend too much time ‘marshalling’ cars and the like on deck and today was no exception.

So leaving the rest of the crew to it I disappeared down below to finish off our ‘masterpiece’ 🙂

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Still needs a few finishing touches like the hydraulic pipes painting pink, battery box blue and the fire extinguisher stanchion red but aint that a work of art 🙂 OK, it’s taken my ‘back to back’ and I two months to restore the ‘forward Voith space’ to its former glory after the fitting of a new sewage tank but well worth the effort.

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Unusually for a Saturday we had a ‘DG’ (dangerous goods) in the form of the Calor gas tanker, this has to be lashed down, segregated and parked either by the bow or stern ramp, just in case we need to push it in the sea 🙂 Quite how you’re supposed to push it overboard I don’t know and with that big cylinder on the back it would probably float 🙂 Still with no other traffic on the ferry we just parked it in the middle, that would give us a choice as to whether to push it off forwards or backwards 🙂

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Lunchtime was here double quick and I was off the ferry like a shot, unlike the previous three days when I’ve had a wee sleep at ‘shutdown’. However the weather was fine, my ears  needed a break from the whine off the Voith units, shafts and sewage plant and my head need clearing from the paint fumes 🙂 Perhaps that’s why I was in such a good mood 🙂

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This huge platform with a hole in the centre appeared over Raasay House recently and me thinks that it might be where the new staircase is going in, through the roof. There is probably a really good reason why it didn’t go in first 🙂

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The new houses at School Park are finished and I believe the keys have been handed over to the new tenants.

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They are lovely and I’m sure very warm and cheap to heat but you have to laugh, people not very far away wanted to put red tiles on their roof and were stopped because they ‘were out of character’. A friend of mine built a house and wanted to use red brick for the first meter and was told he had to use grey because ‘it was out of character’ of course as soon as he got his completion certificate he painted them 🙂 The hoops I had to jump through to build a house that would ‘be in keeping with the natural and cultural heritage’ . Could you please tell me which part of Raasay or in fact western Scotland that these houses are in character with 🙂 It seems there is one rule for the council and another for you and I 🙂

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The weather improved greatly during the afternoon but I refused to come up, so engrossed was I in painting and replacing bilge alarm switches 🙂

Almost ripped off

I friggin sick of being ripped off for postage, it costs the same price to send a small parcel to Jersey via Royal Mail as it does to Dunvegan and it’s CHEAP, reliable and on the whole quick.

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See that £4.41 for up to 2kg, that’s two bags of sugar if you don’t know how heavy that is, and it’s only £15.86 for 20 friggin kilograms. So why is it that more and more suppliers are not only charging extortionate fees to deliver to the highlands, some won’t even deliver at all. Mention the word ‘offshore’ and you’re well and truly fecked. That’s even more annoying for the population of Skye that has been shackled to the rest of Scotland by a toll free bridge for years now. At least on Raasay we have a ferry, but even that’s no excuse really as the ferry terminal is right on the main road and it’s far easier for couriers to deliver there than say Applecross or Glenelg.

It used to be just a few companies but now it’s getting harder and harder to find good suppliers, even ones I’ve dealt with for years are starting to charge extra. Yesterday however ‘took the biscuit’, I was wanting  CV joint gaiter for my mates Yamaha Bruin 350 4×4 quad. It’s a great machine but not easy to get parts for, being as it’s automatic. Eventually I tracked some down to a company in Cumbria, not a million miles away. Can’t remember the price exactly but £17.50 sticks in my head and is a fair price, as was the £4.40 postage on a small item that weighs just a few grams. That is of course until you read the small print £10.00 for the highlands and £15.00 for the Islands. You could probably have put the friggin thing in a ‘Jiffy bag’ for a couple of quid!!!! Eventually I found a company in, wait for it, Arizona!!! yep the United friggin States, the middle of the US, in the friggin desert that would sell me one for $17.99 (£11.35) and post it for $15.00 (£9.49) OK in the grand scale of things it’s not such a great saving and I’m a big believer in buying local but this is just plain ‘taking the pish’ 🙂

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So if you live north of Glasgow and have a Japanese quad, especially a Yamaha Bruin then do your shopping in Tempe Arizona http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tempe,_Arizona. It’s just next to Phoenix and my mate Tony Lucas lives there, come to think of it Tony where are you 🙂

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With a climate like that, probably in the sun somewhere 🙂

The late ‘low flyer’

Probably another reason I’m in a good mood, or should I say was in such a good mood was the bottle of Famous Grouse given me today by two sterling chaps in a yellow truck. It really made my day to know that doing so little is appreciated so much, cheers chaps. Well I was really looking forward to a ‘wee dram’ after the late Saturday ferry.

No sooner had I arrived home than I was turned around by a phone call from the ferry as we’d got a shout to do an ‘ambulance run’. Foolishly I took the wife’s car as it’s faster than the Land Rover, or so I thought, by the time I’d braked and dodged all the potholes on the “I see no potholes” road it would have been quicker in the ‘Old Girl’, in the Land Rover you just aim it and go 🙂 The limiting factors being your back and nerve rather than flimsy construction of the vehicle and its tyres.

Well that’s us with the ambulance on board, it’s 22:55 so it’ll be a few hours yet before I get my ‘Low Flyer’ 🙂 Just hope that all is well with the casualty.

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