Life at the end of the road

May 9, 2012

On with the ‘services’ :-)

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:56 pm

Well after 22:00 now, dark outside, the overalls are just off, the first glass of wine downed and I’ve just sat down at a working computer. OK, a computer that works on the internet after its ‘backbones’ were ‘accelerated’ then fixed !!!!


It’s taken four days right enough, but in fairness to Avanti it was a weekend then bank holiday. OK, I know it’s a PITA when stuff don’t work in our 24/7/365 society but at least it’s not a call centre in Mumbai and the operators can actually understand you.

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And I did manage to get a post out this morning before the office opened 🙂 OK I had to go up to the new house site and do it via a 2g Vodafone dongle on top of a pig arc but that’s dedication for ya 🙂 Seriously though it took a few years to get the friggin telephone connected here when I moved to Arnish and now I can be around the world in seconds.

Anyway I’ll try and start at the beginning, which would have been some time after 5:00am when I arose and started plonking away on here to massage my ego. For some reason around 1500 people a day visit LATETOR and it does this 56 year old a power of good to know it 🙂

That done and results fired out to a transmitter at Staffin,


which just happens to be where Rocky is right now with Dave, Sarah and Shona at just opposite this very mast. Now I thought that I was a bit of an ‘anorak’ in some subjects but anyone who drives around the country photographing radio masts deserves my respect , well done Dave 🙂

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That done it was off to feed the herd

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with a little help from the ‘wee dug’ 🙂


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Once everyone was fed I set about repairing this 1200lt water tank that I was going to use as the basis for a ‘sand filter’ at the new house.


Normally I wouldn’t bother, the water in our current house served generations without being filtered but no doubt we’ll have to get it analysed before we can poison ourselves 😦 Rather than go for some ‘arm and a leg’ ultra violet system that requires constant electricity I’m going to make up a ‘slow sand filter’ that filters out solids and uses biological activity to remove ‘harmful bacteria’. This will be the harmful bacteria that has been killing the residents of the north end of Raasay for the last two hundred years 😦

In perfect conditions for fibre glassing the tank I repaired the bottom before heading up to the site to finish fitting the gates and then making the last electrical joint on the temporary power cable to the barn.

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Resin filled SWA joints

To joint the last two bits of SWA cable (steel wire armour) I used a kit with all the stuff included and instructions. These joints are good underground or even under water but here’s a few tips.

1- just go right around the outer sheath with a hacksaw in the place where you want to cut the wire, just a few strokes will do. You don’t need to cut right through the wire, keeping the outer sheath on will stop the wires spreading and a few stokes is all that is needed to break each wire strand individually. This makes a much neater cut.

2- Tape all the connectors as soon as you’ve connected them to the first cable and as soon as your ready to joint the second then tape up the live before the neutral then earth, it’s much easier to keep the tape on the roll than mess about with short lengths 🙂

The secret well

A few years ago when I was thinking about moving up here I started looking for water and was pretty chuffed to find this well some 18m plus above the house site. We needed 2 bar plus of water pressure for the thermal store and a year round supply of good water.


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After much searching both physically and by asking people I found this high above Arnish in an old enclosure, no one seemed to know about it, the water tasted good and two years of checking it found it always flowing. It only ever trickled out but never seemed to dry up, so it’s here that I’m going to draw my water from.

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That is of course when I actually get that friggin tank up there, and more to the point fill it with two tons of gravel then sand 😦

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It’s a long way up there with fine views of Harris and Lewis on a day day like today but there’s no way you can get a quad or machine up there 😦

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Looks like a long hard slog rolling the tank up the hill the carrying the filter medium on my back 😦

Such great weather had wifey and I very reluctant to come in and after dinner she made some nest boxes and then I fitted a new ‘burner pot’ to the stove in the kitchen.

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I dunno why really because it was nearly £300 all in and the house is on the market

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but it sure burned nice afterwards 🙂

THREE lifeboats!!!!!

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:01 am

It’s after 6:00am now on day one of the ‘week off’, still no internet so who knows when this will ‘go live’, perhaps if it stays dry I’ll take my computer up to the new barn and post via the dongle 🙂 From what I remember the forecast is good for the rest of the week and the most pressing job on the ‘list’ is to start on a proper water supply to the new house and barn site. So far we’ve been managing with a length of 32mm blue pipe just stuck into the well and feeding an IBC on site. Absolutely fine for mixing concrete but there’s obviously no pressure as it’s stored on site and the pipe I’m using has had diesel through it so not really ‘potable’ 😦

An earlier than usual start for a working day had me out checking on Jamie Lea’s six remaining piglets and to my horror one was missing. Fortunately I hound it alive and well behind a pallet some distance away. The wee chap didn’t look great at first glance but as soon as I picked him up I could feel the heat off him and he let out a squeal that had mum up like a shot. Well about as fast as 200plus Kg of lolloping myopic ‘Old Spot’ can move that is 🙂

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Once I’d sorted those out and given Jamie a scoop of feed to shut her up I loaded up my pressure washer into the trailer and headed for work.  The plan being to give our ‘new’ caravan a clean at lunchtime.

The ‘poor day’ that was supposed to befall us yesterday never happened and it was on the whole quite nice and certainly warmer than of late, indeed I actually removed my jumper at one point.

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Though not whilst I was up the ‘monkey island’ right enough 🙂

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The calm and dry weather had me up there for a couple of hours prepping and priming the mast and radar stand.

The lunchtime plan went ‘pear shaped’ when Simon of Raasay Engineering came down to do a spot of welding during the afternoon break.

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Only a ‘wee job’ on one of the ramp hinge pin ‘keeper plates’ but it scuppered my caravan cleaning 🙂

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The day, as usual for a Tuesday flew by in a whirl of cleaning and paperwork that was interrupted by a rare treat.

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Three lifeboats out on an exercise !! Portree’s very own ‘Stanley Watson Barker’, Kyle’s ‘Spirit of Fred Olsen’ and another, the ‘Lifetime Care’. The one on the left being a stranger that could well be the new Leverburgh lifeboat from the Sound of Harris but lack of internet means it’s only a guess. I think the new boat only went into service a few days ago but I’ll have to check later.

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When they’d finished and just as we made ready to sail at 17:00 the three of them came into our pier for a visit 🙂

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A first indeed,

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to think that when I first moved here the nearest lifeboat was in Mallaig

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and if the tide was out there was nowhere on Raasay you could get on a lifeboat anyway. Now the Stanley Watson Barker with her new propellers can be here in less than twenty minutes at any state of the tide 🙂

I have never felt so safe 🙂

Finishing after that run with the arrival of my ‘back to back’ I at last got on with cleaning our new, temporary house.

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Two ‘wheelie bins’ providing an ample water supply for the pressure washer in the trailer 🙂

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All I have to do now is get it up here 🙂

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