Life at the end of the road

June 17, 2012

Purring away nicely :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, life off grid, listers, pigs, stonework, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:42 pm

Not the nicest of days today but I’m sure the rain that did fall did something some good, not myself however who got caught in a shower at lunchtime and soaked 😦 To be honest it was not such a bad day, it’s just that we’ve been spoilt of late.

Being a Sunday I did the usual and had a wee lie in before going to feed the pigs, then I did the unusual in having to go looking for Jamie Lea. All the pigs have different characters and whilst they’re all a little obsessed by their grub, there’s none more so than Jamie. Pure brutal to any of her piglets that dare to poke their noses in her bucket, she is always looking for grub. If JL does not turn up at feeding time it means one of three things, she’s giving birth, she’s very sick or she’s on heat and looking for the boar 🙂

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Easy to guess which one it was then 🙂 By tomorrow Rocky will be trying to mount her through the fence, though to be honest I’ll probably just let her out on the hill. The piglets are almost ready for weaning and are big enough to fend for themselves. So long as they have plenty of room and the food is spread over a large enough area they’ll all sort each other out. You certainly can have problems with mixing pigs of different ages, especially boars but out on the hill the smaller ones are fast enough to get out of the way if trouble should erupt. Though we’ve never had any problems, once feeding time is out of the way they all seem to get on fine and eventually all bed down together. Perhaps we’ve just been lucky with our two boars, Ginger and Rocky but I think not, I believe that when out in the woods and heather with plenty of space they don’t get bored, feel threatened and can get out of each others way if necessary.

As usual, despite all the extra time that a late start affords, I ended up setting off for work in a rush. The necessity to put fuel in the Land Rover, load up a mates ladder on the roof, unload all my carp out of the back for the ‘beetleman’ to put in his, then remove Molly and Charlie back to the house slowed me down somewhat. Still I managed to get to work on time

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even after stopping to try and assist this sick lamb. The ‘back end’ had gone and I just assumed it had been hit by a car, as there was not a lot I could do ‘I phoned a friend’ and went on my way. Mum was watching nearby and professional help was on the way.

More sampling

A busy boat out of Raasay was followed by an empty one from Sconser and after going straight to our berth the serious matter of the ‘Big Breakfast’ got underway.

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No ‘Arnish eggs’ as they’re all sold before they’re laid 🙂 but we did have a rather special black pudding from Ritchie’s of Aultbea 🙂 Having tried most of the ‘marag dubh’ in the north of Scotland, Eddie Ritchie produces one of the best, if not ‘the’ best. It’s ahead of its closest rivals from Stornoway and level pegging with Cockburn’s of Dingwall 🙂

That digested it was back to my ‘clinical’ oil sampling, having done the generators and hydraulic tank yesterday I turned my attention to the ‘Voith’ units.


The two amazing ‘propellers’ that can push the MV Loch Striven with equal force in any direction, that video being taken at dry dock some time ago.

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To suck the oil sample out of the unit a special little vacuum pump is used that the sterile bottle screws into. To ensure no ‘cross contamination’ a new length of hose is cut for each sample.

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After doing the ‘units’ it was the Volvo TMD 121C main engines

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and then the Norgear reduction boxes.


oil sample

Here’s an old one from the Lister HRW6 aft generator just before it was replaced by the Perkins 4.4TGM. On the left you can see the sample dates back to 2007 and then the list of elements, the important ones being sodium Na, aluminium Al, chromium Cr, copper Cu , iron Fe and lead Pb. See the high sodium content on this sample (57 ppm) well that’s the remains of evaporated seawater, most likely from a leaky heat exchanger or oil cooler. A similar reading on the Voith unit could indicate faulty blade seals which just goes to show the importance of this procedure for none of the above faults would normally manifest themselves until something had gone ‘tits up’ 😦

A bit of a soaking

After the usual fire in the saloon and engine room (drills of course) I went for a wash, actually I went for a walk with my camera, got caught in a shower and well and truly soaked 😦

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As did this little visitor to Raasay who I met on the car park, wee Millie, the smallest of Molly’s litter who was just visiting from Perth 🙂

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That’s her at the top of the picture at eight days old last January 🙂

After drying out and putting on a Jacket I wandered up to Raasay house, or at least as near to it as I could this side of the security fencing.

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Beautiful masonry by on the fire damaged window lintels and chimneys

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and just look at that slating by and lead work by Firth of Inverness.

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It’s hard to believe that eleven years ago we spent our wedding night in the ‘Balcony room’ behind all that scaffolding 🙂


What’s even harder to believe is that she’s still here 🙂

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As there already is a monster septic tank, I can only assume that this tank is for storing water in case there is a fire 🙂 Though I think a sprinkler system would have been a wiser option 🙂

Cyril’s first hard labour

Eventually the working day was finished, I collected the ‘Beetleman’ from Galme and headed home. The wee lamb was still alive and had been put in a safer place and given antibiotics, though mum had abandoned her on account of some clown choosing to hang around the sick lamb and scare mum away 😦

Being a Sunday wifey had gone for the baking a pie and rhubarb crumble option for dinner as well as doing lots of washing and tumble drying. This was in order to test out Cyril the Lister SR2 who’d not done any serious work since around 1972 🙂

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Sure enough, with the battery voltage hovering around the 46v mark with the oven turned on he finally fired up automatically and all on his own for the first time. I’d done plenty of tests when I ‘hard wired’ him to the Trace SW4548e but this was the first real life ‘autostart’

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and he purred away nicely all through this blog until just a few moments ago when he shut down at around 23:15 some 5.5 hours after starting up.

All was just as it should be, and now with the battery voltage sitting at 49.2v the sun set and the Proven stopped I’m off to my bed 🙂

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  1. you are so sweet putting your wedding shot in there.. lovely.. c

    Comment by ceciliag — June 18, 2012 @ 1:12 am

  2. After over 25 years it still amazes me that my missus is still with me! Wouldn’t swap her any other!

    Then again they are so hard to train! LOL

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — June 18, 2012 @ 9:20 pm

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