Life at the end of the road

April 30, 2012

And it’s not even May :-)

Filed under: animals, Croft house for sale, daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:48 pm

Well that’s it, ‘phase one’ of the grand plan is finished, the shed is up and Lachie and Angus have left 🙂 Hopefully we’ll being seeing them in June for the start of ‘phase two’, the house !! Of course I’d have a few less grey hairs if somebody actually bought our current little shack http://www.iosea.co.uk/3sarnish.shtml  🙂

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Unashamed plug there, but you’ve got to admit it takes a fine picture and that’s at after 21:00, that’s the kind of day it’s been, gorgeous 🙂

The day started, as it has done quite a lot recently, with sunshine and the wife getting up before me, I think today was the third time in a row, which has only ever been equalled when I’ve had the ‘man flu’ 🙂 I just wish I could beat her up then I could catch her going to check the chooks in her pyjamas. That would be a photograph indeed but one that would probably end in divorce 😦

My first task was of course feeding the herd, who for some reason decided to follow me up to the house site after we’d had breakfast.

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It’s funny because they’ve not done this since Hooky was up here last year building the road and clearing the shed site. Today however they insisted on having a good grub about the building site before Bracken first, then Toots climbed into the converted Balmoral oil tank for a snooze. Not a great deal of room in there for a sow and six month old gilt but when the heavily pregnant Jamie Lea joined them I was flabbergasted.  Jamie is about the size of a small car right now but after a little rearranging they all settled down nicely with just the occasional grunt and squeak throughout the day.

Lucky them though I as I rushed about manically trying to get the fence finished before going back to work tomorrow. I also perused over the fact that the tank is in just about the same spot as our sons bedroom will be in the new house 🙂

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Or perhaps it’s the bathroom 🙂 either way the pigs obviously appreciate a good spot 🙂

It’s finished 🙂

Whilst I was stretching and straining wire, mixing and pouring concrete Lachie and Angus were putting the finishing touches to the barn. This Robinsons shed http://www.rbscotland.co.uk/ is a seriously well built piece of kit, .7mm sheeting rather than the normal .5 or .6mm and heavy galvanized H beams instead of high tensile Z beams. There nothing like weight to keep things in place on the west coast of Scotland 🙂

 

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The last thing to go up being the obligatory ‘I’ll sue your ar5e off prevention sign’ to remind any halfwit casually walking on my roof that it’s dangerous 😦

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That was it, two years exactly since we got ‘prior notification’ we got our beautiful shed and Lachie and Angus headed home for Staffin. Which on a day like today was clearly visible in the distance, not the far distance, that’s Harris or Lewis but just behind Brothers Point, that little flat bit with the lump in the middle.

Wife, wee dug and I however had a further four or five hours fencing to do before we came in the house 🙂

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In a repeat of the morning Jamie Lea came lumbering up after her dinner to go and sleep it off in the oil tank but someone had put a fence in the way 🙂

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So she settled for rolling over in the heather as I went to squeeze her teats to check for milk, it was hilarious. I check her at feeding time normally whilst she’s distracted, just a gentle ‘squeeze and pull’ like milking a goat or cow only just using two fingers. This time she just flopped over on her side as if she were about to feed piglets, me thinks she is not far away. We have her down for the 2nd of May but we (or they 🙂 ) seldom get it right !!

 

 

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Anyway we managed to get the place ‘stockproof’ mainly thanks to all the spare timber left over from the Robinsons shed. With that and the extra bolts, screws, washers and sheets I reckon you could build a good sized hen house but don’t tell the wife 🙂

Ne’r cast a clout till May is out

Hens in bed (eventually) we both came in and got on with dinner, a quick reheated affair and whilst washing my hands I gazed out to see

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our hawthorn in bloom !!!!! It’s not even May yet and the mayflower is out, the cuckoo may be late but the hawthorn aint. I don’t ever recall seeing it flower here in April and the old adage of never removing any clothing till it’s out was true today because it was worth shedding layers to cool down in the warm evening 🙂

April 29, 2012

Round and round the Leylandii bush :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:37 pm

Totally awesome day here at the north end, and probably elsewhere on the west coast I’m sure 🙂 It got off to a unique start by wifey getting up before me and prior to 6:00am to go and check her chooks 🙂 Me I followed her out of bed shortly afterward  but skipped going out hen watching. They are extremely amusing but coffee, porridge and a spell on here was what I did prior to going out to feed and check the pigs.

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Jamie Lea was fine with no sign of milk yet so she’ll probably wait until I’m back at work before she goes and farrows somewhere mad 🙂

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Bramble’s piglets were out early with mum enjoying the early morning sun, though she soon lost interest in them when she saw the feed bucket 🙂

More fencing

After that it was up to the new shed/house site for more fencing

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though I did a little work on the double gate at the entrance first, hanging the large one and marking the smaller one as I had no hinges 😦

With that done, breakfast number two out of the way and my son out of his bed I dragged him over to the schoolhouse at Torran to do a spot of grass cutting whilst I checked out the new battery bank.

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The Rolls 24v 800ah battery bank has just been in for a couple of weeks now and the cells were all bubbling away nicely thanks to the 500w of solar panels on the roof. The hydrometer gave consistent readings on all 24 cells of around 1.27 and the voltage on each of the 8 batteries was hovering around 7v. So all was peachy, as I’d expected but it’s best to check and log the specific gravity regularly to see if any of the cells are failing. Unlikely on a new bank but in my experience these things either fail when new or when old and not in-between. I think they call it the ‘bathtub curve’   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathtub_curve 

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and it certainly seems to work for batteries 🙂

The ‘garden’ there is a bit of an epic for a twelve year old, especially when the mower has to be taken there in a trailer but I’m hoping if we can get it sorted then he can keep on top of it.

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Last week he made a start on it with the brush cutter, a much lighter Stihl than my Tondu and one he can start and manage on his own. He’s not quite got the knack yet but he’s getting there and by the time the summer comes he’ll be an expert 🙂

The first escapee

We only did an hour on the ‘lawn’ as the fencing was calling, I had planned to leave the boy to it but the mower’s a bit heavy to get in the trailer for the wee feller 😦

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So for me at least it was back up the hill 🙂

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More fencing in the sunshine then down to have a look at the chooks

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to find our first escapee trying to get back in 🙂

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I just walked round to the gate and the chook followed me in, right enough three more came out but wifey soon had them back in by filling up the feeders. Took them a while to work out there were two of them right enough

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and they certainly weren’t bothered by the ‘wee dug’ 🙂

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That was about it really, we had an early dinner then I went back up and did a couple more hours fencing

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up by the ancient rowan tree that watches over our shed 🙂

Then all three of us, four if you count the dog spent far too long chasing hens round and round the Leylandii tree trying to get them in their coops 😦

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