Life at the end of the road

May 20, 2012

They can’t be far away :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:22 pm

What a day it’s been here, right from the start, just lovely and not only that it’s a Sunday 🙂 I have to say that cold spell was starting to grind me down a little and I’m seriously glad to see the back of it, less than five weeks from midsummer and there’s still snow on Glamaig 😦 That cool north wind is OK when it’s dry, you just have to keep moving and wrap up but when it’s accompanied by rain, hail, sleet or snow at this time of year it’s demoralizing 😦

Anyway, it looks like it’s all behind us now with a relative heat wave on the horizon and I’m just about to embark on a three week holiday 😦 In fact tomorrow will be my last full day on board the good ship Loch Striven until well into June. A three week spell that I plan to spend on the croft wading through a long list of jobs, from finishing the water supply to building a generator shed.

Any other year I’d be looking forward to and a spell in the mud with wife and child in the old

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but this year it’s out of the question 😦 Way too much to do on the house front to go squandering time and money having a good time 🙂

RockNess 2012 Lineup

Though I just see that Andrew Weatherall, Silicone Soul and the legendary Jeff Mills have been added to the already superb lineup that seems to have something for everyone.

Ah well, back  to the real day, the Sabbath, work the hens and this poem that Willie Eyre lead me to with a little help from SOTW.

“In Applecross that pious place, Where men are far from gay.

They found a hen that laid an egg, Upon the Sabbath Day.

With shameless glee she clucked aloud, And made her proud confession,

So forthwith she was summoned, To appear before the Session.

With faces long, with mournful mouths,And woeful eyes to heaven,

They sat in judgement on that hen, Who could not be forgiven,

At once they sentenced her to death, And so her neck was riven,

And thus another sinner, To her destiny was driven,

‘This wicked hen had sinned’ they said, ‘And had to pay the price.

Alas, the creatures of this earth, Are sunk in sin and vice’

Happily in Applecross, This is rare experience,

We know that all other hens, Are good Free Presbyterians.”

Though it was not until just now that I started reading the rest of the excellent website put together by Ali MacLeod a fisherman from Applecross. Not only is Ali a fisherman but he was a prior owner of my last fishing boat

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Conqueror BRD257, though he knew it as ‘Truelove IV’  🙂

Reading through some of his excellent posts it’s easy to see he’s as passionate about his little bit of paradise as I am of mine. At one time Applecross was very much like an island as travel by land was hampered by the formidable Bealach na Ba (pass of the cattle)

Many thanks to JD (whoever you are 🙂 ) for that image and well done for cycling it 🙂

In fact at one time Raasay, or the north eastern end of it at least would have had more dealings with Applecross than Portree. Indeed much of the stone in Brochel castle and some for houses at Umachan came from there.

Dodgy ‘O rings’

Lost the thread a little there trying to find some pictures of Applecross sandstone in a house north of here at a place who’s name escapes me and built by a Gillies who’s name I’ve forgot 😦 So I’ll just get back to today and my day,

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which after feeding the pigs progressed into a walk down to the shore to adjust the ‘Stream Engine’ and a drive into work

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admiring the sights, natural

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and man made. As I’d set off much earlier than normal, with a good forecast ahead I called on our new house (well caravan) and threw open all the doors and windows to give it an airing

Once at work and the routine work and ‘big breakfast’ out of the way I disappeared down below to service the main engines and repair an oil leak on the forward one.

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Although it appears to be coming from the oil filters it is actually weeping out from where the filter housing joins the oil cooler.

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After pumping out the oil and removing the filters the housing was removed to access the seals between that and the oil cooler.

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What I at first took to be a leaky O ring was in fact defective washers on the four Allen bolts that hold the housing onto the cooler.

oil filter housing

The pressurized oil from within the housing being forced up the threads and out between the mating surfaces.

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New bolts, washers on seals had it sorted and once cleaned up and filled with fresh oil the Volvo TAD121C purred away without losing a drop 🙂

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That took me far longer than expected and well into the afternoon, by which time I’d had enough of the hot engine room and went to clean our caravan.

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I’m sure once we’ve been living in it for a few weeks we’ll soon get fed up of it, but for now I’m looking forward to the light airy space.

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Our current ‘wee hoose’ may be cosy but it’s lacking in a serious view of the sea. OK, you can see it out of one bedroom window but this caravan will have a vista to die for 🙂

harbour 015

Though the next time I see it looking like this I’m hoping to be looking at it through triple glazed Internom windows


Who is DL?

That done and the working day finished I drove home in the ‘Old Girl’ and pottered about on the croft for a couple of hours before dinner. Finishing off the day with a trip up to the water tanks to fit some new couplings.

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How I’ve missed this carving on the ancient rowan tree up at the new house site I’ll never know as its right next to the fence that I put up. Perhaps it was the setting sun that picked it out, or more likely I’ve seen it before and forgot, whatever, I wonder who DL was ???

Oh and the title ‘They can’t be far away’ that’ll be the dreaded midge, time to dig out the smidge 🙂

The only stuff that works 🙂



  1. opps you might want to check the link to the window company not good news

    Comment by gavin — May 20, 2012 @ 11:25 pm

    • Many thanks for that Gavin,

      I had a funny feeling about them recently as for a while they’d been phoning me up regularly and every time it was a different chap who’d been passed my details by his predecessor. Then all of a sudden the calls stopped, I even did lots of Google searches looking for ‘dynamite internorm in receivership’ etc, also mentioned it to my builder. Phew, lucky escape I would say, at 20K that would have been a huge setback.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 21, 2012 @ 4:41 am

  2. Windows (and assoicated U values) have been the bain of my life in our new house. We were warned off Internorm by SIPS, the folk making out kit despite them sharing an office with them in Fife. Looked at Katzbeck and Rekord (beautiful) but finally went for Allan Bros of Berwick upon Tweed. Good and local for Edinburgh. Happy window hunting!

    Comment by Alan — May 21, 2012 @ 7:52 am

  3. You will be working harder on your hols than when your in work. Will be going up to Sutherland soon so which midge cream Avons skin so soft or Smidge. cant wait to move (to day could be a big day) 2 couples looked at the house over the week end and one is coming back today for another look. But heres a ??? for you was that you on tele last night river cottage goes fishing

    Comment by rob — May 21, 2012 @ 8:52 am

    • Morning Rob, Smidge every time. Until I discovered it SSS was my weapon of choice but its severe disadvantages are 1, the amount you need to use, not really a problem as it does leave your skin feeling great 🙂 2, but this is really serious, if you start to sweat it runs into your eyes and stings like hell 😦 Smidge doesn’t wash off even in water and will last up to six hours 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 22, 2012 @ 5:10 am

  4. Thanks, and Umachan is the place name .

    Comment by SOTW — May 21, 2012 @ 10:26 am

  5. yes I saw you on River Cottage yesterday too … was channel hunting and noticed it was the episode with your contribution in it, so switched over and you popped up on screen straight away … such is fame !!!

    Comment by cazinatutu — May 21, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  6. Paul, can I ask what kind of camera you use for your photos, please?

    Comment by thecroftintheglen — May 21, 2012 @ 4:42 pm

    • Hi Croft in the Glen 🙂

      it’s a ‘Panasonic DMC-FZ38’ and it’s ‘bombproof’ I have had six or seven Fuji’s, all bar two of them being brand new and not one has lasted twelve months. This Panasonic has been dropped, sprayed with hot hydraulic oil, left out in the rain, fallen off a strainer post onto solid rock, jumped out of the quad and been run over by the back wheel and been buried in mud. It is a really tough camera 🙂

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 21, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

      • Good answer, thanks. Cor lummey, what a camera!

        Comment by thecroftintheglen — May 21, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

  7. Thanks for the oil filter leak report :-). I now have an inkling that a similar fault is the cause of a leak on the power steering box on the Disco.You may have just saved me £300 🙂 .Lucky escape with the windows.You may be aware of a joinery company called in Dornoch, they produce beautiful work, if wooden windows & doors are what you want.


    Comment by Andy — May 21, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

  8. Hi Paul

    If you are going to Rockness, you must check out Beardyman. He does a comedy, political, human techno dubstep beatbox, improvisation thing. Very very funny guy. Alis Applecross site is now my essential reading lisy, thanks.

    Comment by simon — May 21, 2012 @ 9:34 pm

    • Aargh stupid me. Just read you ARENT going. Ah well, at least you can watch youtube with your superduper broadband 😉

      Comment by simon — May 21, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

    • Hi Simon, saw him last year, yes he is talented but I really find it difficult to take anyone seriously who wears ‘doon the ar5e troosers’



      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 22, 2012 @ 5:22 am

      • Maybe you should send him some Calmac overalls 😉

        Comment by Simon — May 22, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

      • Maybe Cal Mac could send me some overalls Simon 😦

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 23, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  9. Thanks for your kind comments about my blog. Got an astonishing amount of traffic from it. Will continue to enjoy yours especially as Alison has left RHCC.
    cheers Ali

    Comment by applecrosslifeattheedge — May 22, 2012 @ 7:07 am

  10. Hi Paul, A shame Rockness clashes with a big event on Raasay – Concert & Ceilidh by students & friends of Ceol-na-Mara with bar & raffle in aid of Muscular Dystrophy Association and Acoustic Panelling for the Hall. I will e-mail you a poster!

    Comment by Rosemary Bungard — May 22, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    • Interesting 🙂

      Comment by San — May 23, 2012 @ 7:46 pm

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