Life at the end of the road

May 12, 2012

I think I’ll bottle it :-)

Filed under: animals, Croft house for sale, daily doings, life off grid, shed/house, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:14 pm

It really did not get off to a good start today on the tank moving front despite my cunning plan. Unlike the large square fibre glass tank this one would not fit through the gates so had to go the long way ground. Also the shape of this tank may on first appraisal seem easier to roll and so it is on a gentle slope. However on steeper ground the smooth surface ‘skids’ and it has no friggin brakes 😦 If you slip whilst pushing a square tank it’s unlikely to roll very far, whereas loosing ones footing with the great round drum could have seen it in the sea, in the Land Rover or worse still through the shed roof 😦

Towing it with the quad was out of the question but if I could get enough rope and a pulley set up perhaps I could tow it ‘doon the way’ so to speak. Initial survey of the route looked promising with a couple of sturdy anchor point being located at the two steepest points. So all I had to do now was find some rope, lots of it and all the same size.

Now during my fishing days that would not have been a problem as there would always be the odd 220m coil of 8, 10, 12 or even 14mm polypropylene rope kicking about the croft. The 8 would be for binding creels the 10 for the ‘snoods’ or ‘droppers’ as they’re called for attaching the creel to the heavier ‘back rope’. The idea being that if one creel got caught the lighter rope would snap rather than the main rope. Even if there’d been no new rope there would have been plenty of good used stuff about the place, but not today 😦

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The best I could do this morning before breakfast number one was to go down to the tiny natural slip that is ‘Port Arnish’ scrounge some old ‘back rope’ that had been cut up into short lengths and splice it together.

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Whilst splicing the ends it became obvious that this rope was well past its ‘sell by date’, but being a little desperate and optimistic in equal measure I managed to make up 70m.


short splice

Next job, just before the porridge that had been simmering away all night on top of the stove was a little ‘compacting’ for the bin men 🙂

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I hate dragging them all the way up here on a Saturday morning so try and get as much in the bins as possible before asking them up.

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Bins squashed, belly stoked with oats and honey I set about anchoring my pulley at the top of the first steep hill.

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Attaching the loose end to the rear of the quad and trying to drag the tank up the hill just succeeded in snapping the dubious rope. Doubling up the 70m of rope and trying to pull it slowly with the Land Rover’s 9500lb winch had the same effect so it was time to go for ‘second breakfast’ and call in the reserves 🙂

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Four strands of rope and a block an tackle moving it in 3m stages seemed to do the trick, albeit slowly.

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Once the Titan 3600lt tank was up to the second level it was plain sailing and we managed to roll it the rest of the way by hand.


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Leaving it in a ‘safe’ place just short of its ultimate destination whilst we prepared a level area for it.

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This spot is just below the primary tank that will house the ‘slow sand filter’ but only just so as to loose as little ‘head’ as possible. After getting the site level and ensuring there were no stones under it we rolled the tank into its final resting place.

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After the long job of bodging fittings and pipes together to make up a clean and uncontaminated pipe to the tank we left it to fill.


A thirsty job that required lots of sampling of the new water supply, and I have to say that it’s as good as any bottled water I’ve ever tasted, perhaps we should sell it along with ‘Arnish eggs’ and Raasay pork 🙂


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Of course it’s no where near finished, there’s still a new supply pipe to the barn to be laid and buried, the inlet to be insulated, the primary tank to be filled with ‘filter medium’ and a lid to be made. However it did feel like we’d really achieved something. Believe it or not water has always been a problem here and it took me around twenty years to fully sort the supply for . The last couple of summers being the only ones that we have not actually run out of water, or at least had to ration it. And that is not because our summers are getting wetter, unlike the rest of Britain we seem to have exceptionally dry springs and early summers, the rest of the year water is definitely not a problem 🙂

Soon as tomorrow is supposed to be a pure miserable day of wind and rain I stayed outside as long as possible cutting the grass and doing outside jobs. I’ve a feeling Sunday could be an inside kind of day, torn between wiring up the barn and making up egg box labels.. Already the wind has started to howl the battery voltage creep up and the heating come on.



Good job that tank’s got water in it 🙂

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I wonder what these guys make of it all 🙂

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  1. Keep up the good work! You must be very fit to do the amount of work you do.

    Comment by Brenda Menzies — May 13, 2012 @ 12:09 am

    • Morning Brenda and welcome,
      I certainly don’t feel fit but the doctor keeps telling me that I am, all I can say is, if I’m fit then the rest of the middle aged men must be in some nick 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 13, 2012 @ 8:37 am

  2. you beat Sisyphus into a cocked hat!

    Comment by kingdomcat — May 14, 2012 @ 10:09 pm

    • Morning KC,

      you beat Sisyphus into a cocked hat! Cats have far more sense than to do all this rushing about 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 16, 2012 @ 5:19 am

  3. Discovered ‘the cruel clearance of Raasay’ on EBay selling at €20 reduced from €25 !! That is in pounds sterling.–(This keyboard must be made in China as it has no pound or dollar signs). The book usually retails at seven pounds 50p plus p&p. Beware EBay is ripping you off folks..! As it does this it must overcharge in other areas.. The Beetle book seems to be out of print ? Pity the weather has broken up there, down here it’s ‘broke’ – many weeks of rain,hail, storms, thunder and very cold winds, mostly from the north. Hope your water and electrics are getting along fine, the piglets thriving, the pulletts laying and all is right at Arnish.

    Comment by SOTW — May 15, 2012 @ 1:13 am

    • Morning She, all is peachy at the ‘north end’ but we’re still buying eggs 😦 Aye you certainly have to be careful on ‘eBlag’, bargains can be had (like my water tank 🙂 ) but sometimes sellers just ‘take the Mickey’. The weather is now ‘fixed’ with the cool north wind, water tank full and sunshine returning 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 16, 2012 @ 5:31 am

  4. Your photo of the tank filling up looks suspiciously like somebody had a lot of beer to get rid of 🙂

    Comment by San — May 15, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    • Morning San, beer, if only 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 17, 2012 @ 5:07 am

  5. Has anyone ever called you MacGyver?

    BTW, I am always amazed at people who can tie knots! My father was in the Navy during WWII on an LST (Pacific Arena) and when I was a small girl and we would go camping or boating, I always loved watching him work his magic on the ropes! Bravo!

    Comment by Vivian — May 15, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

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