Life at the end of the road

July 9, 2012

The first ‘shroom :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:41 pm

A pure peach of a day it’s been here at the north end but from what wifey said it was even nicer in Inverarish. Hardly surprising with the north wind that’s been blowing steadily all day but I’m not complaining, not a bit of, it’s kept the midge at bay and kept the batteries charged 🙂

Once more I started the day off by lying in bed longer than wifey, I’m getting to like this 🙂 Not that I arose late or anything, just that I’m struggling to get to bed on the day before I get out of it just now. I’m determined to do it, but if I do it’s only by a few minutes, a far cry from my early nights of the last working week.

These long days and fine weather seeing out until at least 21:00, just as I try hard to be in bed before 12:00 I try and get in the house before nine. That way I can at least get a couple of hours on the laptop and a nice soak in the bath before I turn in.

Once the usual routine of pig breakfast

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and my breakfast was over it was off up to the shed. It was good to see the pigs all getting on with each other today after yesterday’s ‘argy bargee’. Whenever you introduce fresh pigs into a herd there’s always a stramash at first but they soon sort their selves out, once they’ve taken a few chunks out of each other 😦 If they have plenty of room to ‘escape’ if necessary it’s not a problem. We have in the past separated the weakest one out that seems to be getting all the flak, but all they do is try and get back to the herd so now we just let them get on with it.

Pretty much the whole of the morning and a good part of the afternoon was spent under the Land Rover preparing her for MOT. Not that she actually needed much work but the test coincided with a 12000 mile service, as it usually does, that being my average annual mileage. I’d already done the engine oil and filter and most of the greasing last Sunday so this was  changing the gearbox and transfer box oils plus checking axles, brakes etc.

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This is my special wooden block for jacking up the front axle, normally you’d put the jack under the diff and lift it ‘squint’ but this shaped block with a couple of wedges nailed on allows me to position the jack centrally.

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After a really good look underneath at all the ball joints, track rods, brake pipes, suspension bushes and shock absorbers I came to the conclusion that there was not a great deal wrong with the ‘Old Girl’. I used to be an MOT tester so I’ve a pretty good idea and I was well pleased, finding nothing other than some worn rear shock absorber bushes.

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I think they were 16p each from Paddock Spares – Land Rover, Range Rover Parts & Accessories – Discovery, Defender and Freelander which is where I get most of my non genuine spares from. To be honest a lot of the stuff they sell is ‘Britpart shitpart’ stuff which is of exceedingly poor quality on the whole but there service is excellent and sometimes you just cannot get the parts from Land Rover or they are plain extortionate.

There is much debate on the many Land Rover anorak forums about Britpart but take it from me it’s carp. I have had my Land Rover over ten years and kept meticulous records of everything I’ve ever bought and if it comes in a little blue box you’ll be lucky to get twelve months out of it. However I see they are now offering a two year guarantee and some of their stuff is excellent value for money. Unfortunately it’s a bit of a lottery. Their bearings, brakes, clutch cylinders, door locks, speedo cables, hardy spicers, switches, and speedometers are rubbish but the springs and fuel tanks they sell are great and a fraction of the cost of the genuine article. Hopefully with all the stick they’ve been getting they’ve improved their quality control, I hope so because as I said Paddock’s service is excellent 🙂

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The old and the new, semi synthetic ATF from my bilge pump and shower pipe for the LT77 gearbox and GX85/140 gear oil for the LT230 transfer box and axles. The latter being from a vintage BP pump that was ancient when I was given it 25 years ago.

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As well as checking all the suspension bolts and bushes then covering them with ‘Densotape’ I removed the extra shock absorbers (the orange ones) to fit some new nuts to the shock absorber ‘turret’ retaining ring. The Densotape may seem a little obsessive but it makes life so much easier when you come to remove anything, the shockers being a prime example. The greasy fabric tape may feel horrible and be messy but it sure does stop things going rusty, and there is nothing more challenging than seized shocker nuts 🙂

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I know, I’m really sad but all this work was so I could fit these long nuts instead of the two ordinary nuts, well one ordinary and one nyloc actually. Calum’s road is pretty heavy on the suspension thanks to a lack of maintenance by the council so I fitted these heavy duty nuts so I could really apply some serious torque to the retaining rings. The twin shocker mounts mean they’re under a lot of strain and the standard nuts just aren’t up to the job.

After what can only be described as ‘the pleasure’ of working on a hard level surface in my new shed I left the Old Girl and turned my attention to grass. The grass on my lawn and that at the schoolhouse, my boy being far too busy to cut either 😦

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Nah, he had to load up some pallets, tarpaulin and a camouflage net to go and make a hide with his pal whilst his lame and infirm father did his work for him 🙂

So after feeding the pigs I went over to Torran and finished off cutting the jungle there which has some very strange plants in it.

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I’ve no idea what they are and I’ve never seen them anywhere else but they grow like weeds and have an almost woody stem that my serious strimmer struggles to cut.

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Me, I’m convinced they’re tobacco plants,

as Calum grew some there during the war, whatever they are, they’re a friggin pest 🙂

Late chanterelles

It was whilst driving carefully and slowly down the Torran track on account of my brush cutter being strapped across the back of the quad that I spotted the first chanterelle of the year.

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Much later than usual, probably a result of the exceptionally dry weather and probably tastier due to not having eaten any for months, though that’s about to change 🙂

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Anyway it’s almost 23:30, I’ve still not had my bath and I’m determined to be in bed before midnight so I’ll just leave you with some fine old path work of old.

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The steepest pitched roof on Raasay

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and a fine view over Loch Arnish 🙂


  1. Hi Paul,

    Could that mystery plant be a type or Burdock?

    Not sure that the leaves are smokable 🙂 but they are edible as are other parts of the plant.

    Comment by Ian Goodrick — July 10, 2012 @ 8:19 am

    • Hi Ian, yup, looks like you’re right, how ordinary 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 10, 2012 @ 5:15 pm

  2. That plant produces ‘burrs’ great for sticking to the clothes and hair of the unwary. There should also be some around the North Arnish garden. If its Burdock maybe you will start a pop business!

    Comment by SOTW — July 10, 2012 @ 9:15 am

  3. It is a burdock — Arctium type. They are indigenous to Britain, but they also get carried around by farming seed. Here in Maine the dogs pick up the burrs from late summer on and we have to pull them out of their fur.

    Comment by mick — July 10, 2012 @ 10:27 am

    • Cheers for that Mick, though I preferred tobacco 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 10, 2012 @ 5:16 pm

  4. Hi Paul.
    Looks like there is a new business for your wife, so I’ll put my order in for a crate of Dandelion and Burdock please
    Link to Wikipedia

    Comment by Polite Scouser — July 10, 2012 @ 8:51 pm

    • I was just reading all that Walter before you put the link in, looks like I’m going to have a go at cooking some too 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 11, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

  5. Hi Paul

    Pump looks like one of the old ones we had up stairs, just happy to see it being put to good use, its a pitty a lot more things are made to last these days.I bet it was’nt made in China

    Comment by MW — July 12, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    • Morning Mark,

      the pump has been a ‘godsend’ over the years, as you know a Land Rover has many orifices that require gear oil 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 16, 2012 @ 5:33 am

  6. You can add Britpart handbrake cables to the list of “totally crap” parts. We’ve had several fail within months because they’ve not crimped sufficient wire into the sleeve at the back of the eye and the two separate very quickly.

    Comment by Stonehead — July 12, 2012 @ 9:15 am

    • Morning Stoney, and yet another part to the Britpart shitpart list, my speedo cable failed the other day, mind you it did better that the last one. Seventeen or so years the original one lasted and I’m now on my fourth ‘shitpart’ one in ten years. I had to laugh, they now offer a 24 month warranty. I changed mine last on 23/6/10 and it failed on 7/7/12, 24 months and two weeks later 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — July 16, 2012 @ 5:37 am

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