Life at the end of the road

April 16, 2012

Bouncing batteries :-(

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house, the disaster thread — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:21 pm

Eleven and a half hours sleep yesterday and I’m still whacked 😦 I did fully intend to go back outside after dinner to go and finish my ‘battery task’ but went for a wee lie down after some roast ham and spuds and fell fast asleep 😦

Anyway I’ll just try and recall the days events, shouldn’t be too hard, it was pretty much the same as all the other days, fencing, fencing more fencing and some hen house fixing 🙂

160412 002

I’ve still got loads to do but I’d decided that trying to rush it all and get it finished before going back to work would be foolish. I’m probably going to spend the rest of my ‘able bodied’ life living behind this fence so I might as well do it right and make it last 🙂 So with  that in mind the first thing I did was remove two posts that were short and replace them with much taller ‘deer posts’. A dip in the ground here meant that there would be a large gap under the fence  that would need filling with wooden boards so the square deer posts would make that job easier too. Of course I’m just not tall enough to reach the ‘Cybermans head’ 


so I reversed the quad up to them to stand on 🙂

By late afternoon all the new fencing that I’d decided to do before returning to work was done and I borrowed Lachie’s telehandler to make light work of removing some of the old.

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Of course the ‘wee dug’ just had to get in and help 🙂

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That done it was time to load up the new ‘Rolls Surrette’ batteries and take them over to the old schoolhouse at Torran. A job that needed extreme care as the track has deteriorated quite badly over the winter despite much work by myself and the boys.

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To play it safe I took the eight 400ah 6v batteries over in two trips leaving the Dude to make a start on cutting the grass there

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These eight would be replacing the twelve ‘series’ wired two volt cell that provide the 24v DC required for the Studer inverter that runs all the 230v AC appliances.

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This Swiss pure sinewave inverter is a fine and reliable piece of kit but is a bit of a nightmare to program, fortunately it has a ‘flash memory’ whatever that is so does not lose its settings when ‘powered done’. Just as well because its manual is beyond me 🙂

The new batteries would have to be wired in ‘series and parallel’ to get the required 24v and after working out a suitable configuration for the space available I went home to make some cables. Unfortunately, as stated previously, I fell asleep 😦

Diagram of ‘series parallel’ wired batteries from


Still, I must have needed it for I slept (fully dressed) right through until 7:00am, whereupon, after painting wifey’s hen house I headed to Torran to start changing the batteries.

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All of which did my back a power of good 😦

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So, feeling pretty pleased with myself I loaded all the old batteries into the trailer and headed slowly home.

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Very very slowly in fact, but it obviously wasn’t slowly enough as the trailer flipped just 10 yards after setting off 😦

Now I should have just stopped there and unloaded half the batteries but as they were now covered in acid I decided to just right the trailer and carry on even slower.

 160412 020


Hmmm, that was on a flat bit at about 2mph, time to walk home and get water to wash off the acid and protective clothing me thinks 🙂

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Eventually I got them home and power washed everything down before going to see how Lachie and Angus were getting on with the new shed.

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Very well indeed I discovered


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and a little later, even better 🙂


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Think I’ll skip building the house and just move into the shed 🙂

The rest of my day was spent sorting out my VAT return, or at least registering for the compulsory ‘online’ carry on. I know it’ll be easier once its set up but I made a ‘cock up’ of it on Saturday so had to wait until today to speak to a person. That is of course after you’ve spent ten minutes talking to a friggin machine and pressing option one. Fair play to HMRC though, when I finally got through to Gary he was most helpful and sorted me out in a jiffy 🙂

I’m at a loss as to what I did next apart from getting my trailer ready to shift some oil, cutting some wood and giving hen house number two another coat of paint. Anyway, what ever it was it was done under a clear blue sky on the warmest day in a week or two, the wind having finally gone out of the north. Of course this probably means that it will start pishing down shortly (as forecast) so I went for a last look up to the shed to clear away anything that might not take kindly to water.


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Aint that just a lovely spot 🙂

Anyway, that’s it, it’s well after 23:00 now, the wind is freshening and the heating on in the porch due to the ‘dump loads’ switching on. The rain won’t be far away so I’m off to bed 🙂


  1. Great to see the shed taking shape. Weather looks great. Have you got the hens yet? Cheers x

    Comment by SOTW — April 16, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    • Morning She, weather still good, wifey busy fencing for the hens which should be here before the end of the month, I can’t wait 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2012 @ 5:29 am

  2. wow Paul, congratulations on the first piece of construction

    Comment by cazinatutu — April 17, 2012 @ 1:28 am

  3. Poor Dude! Left to find his way home after his dad drops acid and then sleeps it off until the next morning .

    Comment by Drgeo — April 17, 2012 @ 6:13 am

    • Morning DrG

      Poor Dude! Left to find his way home after his dad drops acid and then sleeps it off until the next morning .

      Now that was really funny 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:19 am

  4. Morning Paul.
    From little bolts and spars a mighty shed will grow. Maybe it could be used to park your caravan from the elements in the short term whilst the house is being built, have you considered that option Paul?

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 17, 2012 @ 7:41 am

    • Morning Walter,

      that was my first suggestion many months ago but wifey’s having none of it, we’ll just see if she changes her mind in January 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:22 am

  5. Yea I was thinking about the boy cutting the grass till his dad came back! Reminds me of mine when in P1 or 2 the teacher told him to run somewhere and once all the class were back in the fold she realised he was still running as she hadn’t said to stop. The shed is looking amazing, especially for such a short time.

    On another note, what thickness of straining/supporting wire do you use for stringing between the posts and who is your supplier? We are still debating what to do with our destroyed fence and will need to replace some of the wire. Not sure what we used last time but the top (10ft up) ‘string’ broke with the ‘hurricane’ which came here after the ‘hurricane’ in Jan.

    Comment by may cruickshank — April 17, 2012 @ 7:49 am

    • Morning May,

      we use a high tensile wire that is quite thin, can’t remember how thick as the label came off but it’s less than 3mm and comes in 400m rolls, probably too much for you. I get mine from Harbro but any agricultural merchant will sell it and the ‘winders’ to ‘strain’ it. If you only need a few meters just go and speak to a friendly farmer or call in here when your passing 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:27 am

      • Paul, thanks for that! We’ll not be as quick or efficient as you (at even organising never mind building!) so may well be back to Raasay to scrounge! Your work looks so good, whatever you are doing….

        Comment by may cruickshank — April 19, 2012 @ 5:51 am

  6. Blimey Paul, not so much a barn, more like a cathedral! Or maybe a hotel. Get ferrying tourists up the road and cash in.
    Great to see progress on the Grand Design.

    Comment by Steve H — April 17, 2012 @ 7:17 pm

    • Aint it a beauty Steve 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:28 am

  7. not bad! only taken 4 months from delivery and your shed is finally going up. now you will have somewhere to go when “the wife throws you out” looking good! all the best. colin. ps. been watching every week for progress, happy it’s going ahead. looking forward to delivering “the extention”

    Comment by colin — April 17, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

    • Good morning Colin,

      glad to see you’ve been keeping up, tell that they can use ‘the shed at the end of the road’ for advertising purposes if they do me a good deal on the extension 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2012 @ 5:31 am

  8. That’s going to be one hell of a shed Paul. A man needs a shed.

    Mine is 19 ft long in order to accommodate my pride and joy – well my sea kayak to be precise. Yours will be able to accommodate something truly enormous. What is it?

    BTW we have some called Chrissy here on the island working for the North Harris Trust.

    Comment by Across the Minch — April 17, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

  9. I love the way Mollie looks at the camera like there’s some kind of nutter behind it

    Comment by Across the Minch — April 17, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  10. as thrilling as it is to catch up with that noble animal, miss molly, it was really something to see the house-shaped…truss, would you call it? outlining the view from what will be the shed. magnificent.

    Comment by jeannette — April 18, 2012 @ 2:42 am

  11. It is indeed a most lovely spot:).

    Comment by mimi — April 18, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

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