Life at the end of the road

April 10, 2012

Seen but not heard

Filed under: daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:42 pm

Dunno where to start really, it’s been a busy couple of days and I had intended scribbling down a few lines last night but got distracted. Not with anything house, barn, pig or VAT related, not with any one of a gazillion things that I should be doing but with hens 🙂 Or to be more precise filling in forms relating to our new ‘egg production facility’ (two huts and 221square meters of ground) and the new ‘packing centre’ ( a forty year old Thomson Glenelg caravan) 🙂 Don’t worry Graham it’s only a temporary fix until the barn is up 🙂 The old Thomson will be back on the ‘festival scene’ as soon as the house is built 🙂

Anyway after filling in the forms, which are just as complex for 3000 hens as 30 I’d had enough, not that it was me that was actually doing the deed, but it felt like it 😦

Easter Monday arrived grey and damp with little sign or sounds of spring in the cold north wind.

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Still, I was up and off early for work full of enthusiasm, spurred on by the good forecast for my ‘week off’ and only two days left to work 🙂 Being early I stopped at the back of Raasay house to climb on the Land Rover roof and admire the slate and lead work there.

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What I wasn’t impressed with was the white covering on the roof of Sgurr na Gilean 😦

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The day actually improved as it went on, it was in fact, after the initial 7:45 downpour not such a bad day at all.

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Much as I tried I could not resist rummaging through this pile of scrap destined for the ‘recyclers’

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I tried really really hard not to ‘acquire’ any more ‘treasure’ but in the end came away with three good propellers for my mates 🙂

With the house on the market and wifey and I heading for a caravan the last thing I needed was more cr4p. What I needed to do was go and check the wheel bearings on our ‘new home’ before towing it to Arnish.

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Which is exactly what I did during my lunch break

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and they didn’t look bad at all 🙂

The wheel bearings were not the only thing I inspected

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I also checked out Willie Eyre’s 10 cubic meter ‘carbon neutral’ wood store that (apart from the caravan aluminium roof) is completely usable in the fire 🙂

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It’s also designed to allow the air to circulate through it 🙂

IBM 600X error code 8611

Returning from my lunch break I went to get my computer out of the fridge 🙂


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Now I’m no expert on computers, in fact, to be honest I hate the things but I’ve become quite attached to this old IBM that was second hand when I bought it ten years ago. I actually got it, not as a computer but to play DVDs on in the Land Rover and it was useless. It took so long to start up and play a disc that you’d generally lost interest or arrived at your destination by the time you’d got past the titles 😦 However when around five or six years ago I finally got the internet at home I discovered that it was a pretty good laptop.

It was a ‘pretty good laptop’ until Sunday when it spent all day bringing up this message on start up.

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You have to friggin laugh really, translated into English I suppose it means ‘Caution, error 08611, consult handbook. Of course the handbook is some binary carp in the memory of the friggin computer so how you’re supposed to consult it if you can’t switch the friggin thing on is beyond me 🙂

Anyway, having switched it on and off a hundred times, removed the battery, etc, etc, decided against putting it in the microwave, I put it in the fridge 🙂 To my, and my crew mates surprise after an hour or so in with the fish, bacon and veg it worked 🙂 Don’t suppose it’s a permanent fix but it certainly worked!!!

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The working day finished and with Ben na Calliach’s eastern side in the shade of the setting sun I headed home

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past St Moluags 13th century chapel at the back of Raasay house. Saint Moluag being a contemporary of Saint Columba who is said to have brought Christianity to Argyll and Raasay amongst other places After that I continued north homewards to see the first cuckoo of the year, a little early and without making a sound, but a cuckoo indeed 🙂 Strange as I have not as yet seen any wheatears, the preferred host of this parasites young in these parts.


A small bird of the heather moors it can often be seen chasing the much larger African visitor.  It’s distinctive white rump that gives it the Victorian name ‘white rear’ flashing behind and nothing to do with wheat 🙂


This morning I was in an infuriatingly good mood that lasted all day, despite the showers that ruined all my attempts at painting 🙂

But I’ll have to tell you all about that tomorrow as it’s well past my bed time 😦



  1. Work of art that wood-pile.Gas-mark 7, 20 minutes per pound,frozen laptops only,warm oven first.This will have the added bonus of expanding your puters memory (literally) 🙂


    Comment by Andy — April 10, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

    • Morning Andy, you don’t recommend the microwave then 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:38 am

  2. Willies wood “pile” a piece of art. How is his pollytunnel

    Comment by mi — April 10, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  3. Hi Paul
    According to the time, I’m actually reading this before you’ve posted it! We’re on a brief break in New York but I still need to make sure I catch your daily news! Hope all the house moving stuff is going to plan.
    All the best

    Comment by Callum Mackintosh — April 11, 2012 @ 1:16 am

    • Hello NY :-)Hope you have a good one Callum 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:43 am


    Seems like a trackpad error. Go into setup, disable it, and plug in an external mouse.

    Comment by Bob — April 11, 2012 @ 7:31 am

    • Many thanks for that Bob, it makes sense as the trackpad thing did go barmy on me a few days earlier requiring me to use a mouse. So i’s possible to disable it in the start up thingy by pressing F1 etc, hmm will have a go.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:47 am

  5. Two mountains named in one post, you are learning quickly!!
    I love the idea that I phone my IT help desk up in Bangalore, and they tell me to put the computer in the fridge, genius. 🙂

    Comment by Simon — April 11, 2012 @ 7:51 am

    • Morning Simon,

      Two mountains named in one post, you are learning quickly!!

      I have a good teacher 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:48 am

  6. What a beautiful wood file! Amazing to know the slate roofing skills are not totally lost. A few years ago a lot of the dry stane dykes were repaired near where I live and it is wonderful to see.

    Comment by Heiskir — April 11, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    • Morning H,

      aye it’s good indeed to see that craftsmanship is still alive and well 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:49 am

  7. Hi Paul.
    “I don’t beleave it ” in my best. ( Victor Meldrew ) accent, you are going to tow your new shelter on wheels all the way to Arnish? Having built up a picture of the route to your croft from your blog reports in my mind, I feel it is going to be a one to many of your challengers with an outcome you haven’t catered for. I look forward to your epic challenge and report on its outcome with anticipation. PS I haven’t won snow bet yet, got two days until Finnish, had hail stone shower Monday but that doesn’t count. Walter

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 11, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    • Morning Walter,

      “I don’t beleave it ” in my best. ( Victor Meldrew ) accent, you are going to tow your new shelter on wheels all the way to Arnish?

      It’s not here yet 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:50 am

  8. A residential caravan went, on its wheels, to Arnish before. The road was in good condition then- the resident council ‘border patrol’ made sure there was not one pothole in the Raasay road system. Is there any improvement in pothole filling? I know they do not cut out the potholes before filling them in, and the roller effect of the lorry wheel does not compress the ‘filling’. The last time I was on Raasay these speed bumps,amongst the potholes made a sure way to damage cars. Hope the council level off the road, even use the excess in the bumps to fill in the holes and save money in the process! Has the cattle grid in Raineys wall been replaced?

    Comment by SOTW — April 11, 2012 @ 10:39 am

    • Morning She,

      no sign of any improvements in the road and the cattle grid is still non existent 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:52 am

  9. Putting computers in the fridge is reckoned to be a temporary fix of an ailing hard drive; it supposedly brings a bearing on its way out back into tollerance

    . I’ve had to do it once to rescue my files when I was impecunious and couldn’t afford an external back up drive.

    Remember it is not if, but when, a hard drive will fail. Keep all your documents on two separate hard drives.

    Comment by Phil Cook — April 11, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    • Morning Phil, external hard drives??? way over my head matey 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:53 am

  10. I agree your computer is ailing if it likes the fridge. Likely the fan is broken and letting it get too hot. Time to back up all the files and photos you wish to ever see again, before tinkering with it. I doubt the propellers you salvaged from the tip will be the right size for the computer. Try googling : error 08611 and you will discover some YouTube videos showing repairs.

    Comment by drgeo — April 11, 2012 @ 9:52 pm

    • Cheers DrG, will get on the case as soon as I’ve time 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 12, 2012 @ 6:54 am

  11. Long time no speak

    Thinkpads have this error quite often relating to the pad. Here is a link on a thinkpad forum that seems to work (ignore all the =20 comments it is where it has been cut and pasted from another screen) It should disable your faulty tracker pad

    Comment by andy bleaden — April 12, 2012 @ 11:43 am

  12. Had me worried there for a minute Paul, good idea to use the van as a ‘packing centre’ temporarily. (-;
    Nothing quite as enjoyable as rumaging through a treasure trove for recycling items, but maybe an idea to curb the entusiasm till you have somewhere to put it all, not much space in a ststic caravan for it! Wheel bearings look good, not surprising really as they do get minimum useage on these types of van. Will you be renting it out as a holiday home when the house is built! Would be good for Joan and I for a week on the island!
    Your IBM looks very similiar to the one I have my father gave me to fix up, in the box he gave me was the base station, working notebook and a second one which had been used by him for parts. I have for some time been thinking of getting rid of it as it is no longer of use to me. I even have all the set-up discs and a comprehensive manual dad printed out around 15 years ago. Dad being better at the old machines than me even managed to put windows 98 on it. The only problem it has developed is that on switching it on it sometimes comes up with an error screen, doesn’t always happen but can be annoying! I will check out thw web link and others re the IBM and see what it needs. Never heard of putting them in the fridge but may even give that a try!
    We just spent two days at our Thomson, which we brought back home with us, going to have to completely empty it and strip down the front wall and part of both side panels, showing signs of damp on nearside and the small damp hole on the offside has grown over the winter. We also discovered that during the winter months someone has been using it, signs of mice in the lower cupboards and storage areas so another wee job to investigate wher they got in, and of course giving all the pans etc a thoroughly good wash in steriliser. Eldest daughter’s partner towed his Rallye Compass home as well, his first time towing since passing the B+E test. Well impressed and even more so when we got to there house as he reversed it up the driveway through the gates at the side of the house into the back garden, with just 2inches to spare either side it was indeed a tight fit and with my expert directions never touch the walls or the fence posts! Then I told him he could do the same with the Thomson just to prove it wasn’t a fluke lol! I would have done it myself but no longer allowed to drive and Joan is not happy reversing the caravan at the best of times!
    Hope the tow to of the static goes well and that the road doesn’t cause to many problems, perhaps a couple of heavy planks for going over the worst potholes will make it easier too.
    All the best Graham

    Comment by Graham Thompson — April 12, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

    • Morning Graham,

      wondered where you’d been 🙂 Before using the Thompson as a packing station we’ll have to empty out all our possessions from the house 😦 Says something for its construction that a forty year old caravan that’s lived outside on the west coast of Scotland is still fit to store clothes in 🙂
      It’s only temporary until we get moved, though it is rather a good idea having already got a decent sink, water, table and lights. It was the brainchild of the swineherd and I have to say rather a good one, saved me installing a sink in another shed 🙂

      Not sure about using the static caravan as a holiday let as there are issues with planning and council tax, we’re OK until the house is built but after that it will have to either go or pay its way. We’ll see what it’s like after we’ve finished living in it on a building site for a few months (years 😦 )

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 13, 2012 @ 5:31 am

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