Life at the end of the road

August 19, 2012

She’ll kill me :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:42 pm

Well she will if she finds out, but these are desperate times and call for desperate measures, like not bathing Smile but more of that later. Dunno whether I mentioned it but wifey’s away so it’s just the Dude and I fending for ourselves, hens, pigs and the ‘wee dug’. Not that I’m a stranger to single parenting or living alone but this is the first time that I’ve had to get the boy ready for school so anything could happen, a case of ‘the blind leading the blind’ I’d say. Sure I’ve got him sorted for school plenty times in the past but not when he’s gonna be away for a week, so I’ve got a list, and boy it’s a long list Sad smile

Anyway, enough of that, I’ll deal with, underwear, shirts, trs ?? (I’m thinking that will be trousers) etc, etc, later, for now I’ll get on with what happened here on yet another boringly good day. Starting as it did at 6:30 with letting out and cleaning the ‘Arnish egg laying machines’, or at least 31 of them and one duck. There’s one that keeps roosting out and much as I keep searching for it I can never find the darned thing, but there it is every morning lifting crumbs from under the bird table Smile

002  003

With all the animals sorted I left the teenager in bed and started pumping kerosene from my road trailer into the quad trailer for the last leg of its journey to the Old Schoolhouse. A slow process, 200lts at a time with much cursing and usually at  least one ‘incident’ Smile

With my barrel full and well lashed down I popped back into the house to pick up one of the two Studer inverters that I’d just bought off eBay and received yesterday.


I’d bought one for myself on the ‘off chance’ that we sell the house and end up living in a caravan before the new house is built. The other one I bought for my mate just in case his own Studer Compact 2324 has to go in for repair then at least he’ll have some power. These Swiss inverters are really good but they’re a nightmare to program and the manual is written in gibberish Sad smile Still at around £300 delivered for something well over a grand new they were a bargain. Although they’re badged differently, they are in fact the same inverter XPC1624 being the earlier name. I suspect Studer were losing sales in the inverter market as there is no ‘standard’ for measuring them against each other. What one manufacturer calls a 2.5Kw inverter may only be good for that for ten minutes whereas Studer products used to quote the output that they’d give all day long, hence their XPC1624 (1.6Kw 24v), however such a model would in fact give 2.2Kw for 30 minutes. As many (even reputable) manufacturers tended to be optimistic I suppose Studer followed suit and renamed it the XPC2200.

On arrival in the porch I found this little chap


and wasted the next ten minutes trying to get Mr wren back outside.


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In the end I gave up, left all the windows wide open and left him to it whilst I returned to Torran to finish off the solar install.

Wiring up the panels on the roof to a waterproof junction box with the fuses in then tweaking the dip switches in the solar controllers.

011  010

ON OFF OFF for the one in diversion mode at 29.2v and ON OFF ON at 29.6v for the one in PWM mode.






Managing to get the three 230w panels connected in time for the midday sun to hit them square on and produce well over 1Kw out of a possible 1.2Kw Smile

The ‘water crisis’

As is usual, it took far longer than expected, between pouring fuel, trying to get the strimmer going after my boy had done a spot of cutting and having an excellent lunch.  However around 16:00 we got back to the croft and the first thin I did was check our water supply


it was not good



and called for desperate measures Sad smile


Really desperate measures, if the wife finds out I’ve been letting the dog help with the washing up she’ll kill me, OK, I know it’s not very hygienic but we are seriously short of water Smile

After dinner I went out to check out just exactly how much water was going into our 5000lt storage tanks and the answer was not what I wanted to see, virtually nothing in fact Sad smile You may be getting plenty of water down sowf but there’s precious little of it up here Bill as also been struggling on Rona, even making up a bowser out of a fish cage float to ferry water to Dry (very appropriate) Harbour.


Whilst the current house supply looked grim a wander over the hill to our new site looked far more encouraging.




It was also a beautiful way to finish the day,



Ben na Calliach, Scalpay and Rubh na Leachie by Hallaig



Dun Caan  from above the new house water supply, though where that water is actually coming from at this altitude is beyond me, it’s solid rock, and not even porous ??


Returning via the back gate I found the most vivid purple heather I’ve seen this year,

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in a cool shady spot it really was quite beautiful.



  1. love your dish washer wifeys gunna kill you!!!…so love your blog !!just made me titter seeing your wee doggy helping you with the chores!!!

    Comment by freda — August 19, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

  2. Wonderful washing up solution! What’re you flushing the bog with, though – sea water? Surely that wouldn’t be good for the septic tank.

    Your landscape photos are just stunning.

    Comment by heartlandroad — August 19, 2012 @ 10:23 pm

  3. Your wife doesn’t read the blog then? 🙂

    Comment by knotrune — August 20, 2012 @ 8:02 am

  4. Doggy doing dishes is great, not only cleaning but drying them at the same time! Hope wifey is not watching the blog or we will be seeing your blogs from a lot further down! lol!

    Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 20, 2012 @ 3:38 pm

    • Morning Graham,

      if only she knew 🙂 I suppose once I’m gone, if these things are still around, she’ll start reading them and chuckle 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 21, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      • Hopefully that won’t be for many years yet but yes I know what you mean. Dad has given me the reel to reel player to get working so I can put all the tapes of family events from the 60’s to 90’s onto disc. Looking forward to getting it going and hearing my mum playing cornet solos and the family band etc! I sometimes think they only had 6 kids so we could perform as an brass octet! lol

        BTW any idea where i might get an old Grundig 3pin din plug for the reel to reel, searched all over and they are rarer than rain in Raasay over the last few months!

        Comment by Thomson Caravans — August 22, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  5. If you used paper plates and nappies, you could just toss them into the back of the next tourist’s camper van!

    Comment by drgeo — August 20, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

    • DrG,

      If you used paper plates and nappies, you could just toss them into the back of the next tourist’s camper van!

      Pure genius 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 21, 2012 @ 10:15 am

  6. obvs the water is coming from heaven, given those views.
    dogs love to help with the housework. give miss molly a stick of bacon for us at breakfast.

    Comment by jeannettesmyth — August 21, 2012 @ 4:50 am

    • Dunno about the bacon Jeannette but she got the plate that had it on 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 21, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  7. So did the bird get outside? the suspense is killing me!

    Your blog is so well done, I actually feel a bit homesick for a place I’ve never been! Great work Paul.


    Comment by Tony — August 21, 2012 @ 7:09 am

    • Hi Tony,

      guess the wee wren must have got out for he wasn’t there when I got home. Funny they live around the house and even nested in a wall nearby once but you rarely see them.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 21, 2012 @ 10:18 am

  8. For a moment I thought I could smell the heather, it’s so beautiful !

    Comment by SOTW — August 21, 2012 @ 8:40 am

    • Amazing right enough She, the heather is plentful but subdued this year, though I’m hopimg a little rain and sun will show it in its true glory shortly.


      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — August 21, 2012 @ 10:20 am

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