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 🙂



  1. As one of your worldwide faithful 1,500 daily readers I say a sincere thank you for your efforts. One of the first things I do after I get my evening chores out of the way is sit down at my less than reliable laptop and hope for a new post. I’m never disappointed. On behalf of my fellow and sister readers around he world, keep up the good work and know that you spread the good tidings of Scotland around the world!

    Comment by Morgan — May 10, 2012 @ 2:04 am

    • Good morning Morgan, you must have been following since the days when I smiled if I got 100 hits a day 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 10, 2012 @ 5:54 am

  2. Hi Paul
    I don’t read you every day, but I always try to catch up with the happenings on Raasay. I’m very envious when the sun is shining!
    Kind regards and good luck with the move.

    Comment by David Stubbings — May 10, 2012 @ 7:50 am

  3. Hi Paul,
    I’m with you on the stupid messages that keep popping up on computers. I have just recently been getting an email, when I post a message on here, saying that if I subscribe to something or other, they will notify me of any message every time someone posts on here! I don’t want lots of messages in my inbox, I’m quite happy to read them from your blog. Another thing that annoys me is these phone calls I keep getting which tell me I am due for a refund of overpaid ‘personal protection insurance’ but as I have never had any PPI I don’t see how I can be due for a refund! Just got a call while reading the blog, so told them to p**s off. The only refund I’m due is from the tax office and I’m sure they won’t phone me to get it sorted out.
    Re your comment to Sue that you are taking the caravan past the YH for me, that’s very nice of you, but I won’t be there ’til August! Graham should be arriving any day now, if he hasn’t already, to open the hostel for the summer. But August is only 3 months away.(smiley face).

    Comment by francesp — May 10, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  4. I was thinking about the problem of moving 2 tons of sand and gravel up to your well without also needing 2 tons of Tramadol for your back. Because the Dude and a dozen of his friends wish to become more fit ( future Olympics?) perhaps they would enjoy a day of races, complete with a picnic and prizes? Each runner must carry 50 lbs on his back, racing to the top. There will need to be several heats in order to determine the winner!

    Comment by drgeo — May 10, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    • Morning DrG,

      well I’ve solved half the problem already, I’m only going to take a ton up there, that’s only 40 trips at 25Kg per trip, divided by three boys that’s only 13.33 trips each. Then again if I helped I’m sure I could get it down to 13 for them and one for me 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 11, 2012 @ 5:03 am

  5. I have been following you in awe for almost two years (I think) – you are one of my favorites! Colorado is breaththier taking but your photos often make me gasp!!!

    I am so excited for you and your family, including the wee dug. 🙂

    Comment by Vivian — May 10, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

    • Morning Vivian, Colorado is indeed breathtaking, I spent a month there in 98? Went to a wedding in Colorado Springs at the oldest church in the state, it was 20 years younger than my house. It was pretty much the whole of February I was there and what a beautiful part of the world it is.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 11, 2012 @ 5:09 am

  6. Argh.stupid autocorrect. Breathtaking, not breaththier…..ggggaaaaaarrrrr

    Comment by Vivian — May 10, 2012 @ 4:03 pm

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