Life at the end of the road

October 21, 2012

Twenty eight days later :-(

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, South Shields — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:19 pm

Can’t see this being much of an effort tonight chaps, already after 21:00 and I’ve just sat down, or at least sat down ‘on the blog’ Smile Still I’m just ruining a single malt with some Pepsi so anything could happen, two weeks since I last had a ‘wee dram’ so it’ll probably go to my head and I’ll start ranting and swearing, so you have been warned Smile Well that’s a whole month to the day that I’ve been stuck here ‘in the village’


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and by the time this weeks done I’ll be half way there Smile


Having finished all our tasks in ‘hand fitting’



on Thursday we were let off early for the weekend with our pristine door bolts and pipe wrenches and a glowing report from our tutors Smile And I have to say that we all well and truly deserved it, this kind of work wasn’t new to me but it was to many in the class and our lecturers were well impressed with the standard of work. Me, I was particularly pleased with myself because I’d missed a whole days work whilst stuck on the ‘Porta Potti’ but managed to get a mark of 100% for my door bolt (the only one to do so) smug or what Smile


With the extra day to play with I headed home via Glasgow and the ‘in laws’


where I met wifey, Molly and Charlie.

I really can’t hack this life in the city, or even village, I’ve lived too long ‘in the sticks’. I hate driving because I can’t cope with the traffic, I just can’t get used to locking everything, putting the dogs on leads and walking about with bags for the dog s**t. I really do feel like I’m on a different planet, Friday morning I wakes up in Barrhead and asks ‘anything I can do’, get some rolls and the papers is the reply and I’m expected to take the car. Now this to me is like being asked to produce a rabbit from a hat, in Arnish we don’t ‘do’ papers and if we need bread we make it, but ‘when in Rome’ Smile Anyway off I goes with Charlie and Molly on their leads, something that was alien to both Molly and I, and saw us getting in a bit of a fankle to say the least. When we arrived there I’m suddenly gripped by an irrational paranoia that someone is going to steal my ‘wee dug’ so fasten the pair of them to the railing with a clove hitch and two half hitches figuring that any junkie with an eye on them would be too confused to undo the knots. I suppose you get used to it but I hate it and couldn’t wait to get back to my beloved Arnish and the croft.


The ‘golden brown’ of autumn being a good week or two ahead of both Glasgow and South Shields but I arrived to a roaring stag



with four hinds, probably the same one I’d heard a month ago just as he was getting his voice Smile 

It’s just as well

The homecoming was tempered by several minor disasters that needed dealt with, the first of which was  lack of power from the hydro turbine and the second of which was a broken tow hitch on my mates quad. By the time we’d fed everyone and got unpacked on Friday little could be done but the beautiful day that greeted me on Saturday had me out early investigating why the ‘Stream Engine’  wasn’t producing any power.



It was spinning fast enough and there was plenty of water but the meter was only registering 4v across any of the phases when it should have been reading between 200 and 300v. Turning the isolator off in the turbine shed saw the off load voltage rise to almost 400v whilst turning it off at the transformer end made no difference whatsoever. This could only indicate one thing, a cable short in the 470m of SWA that carries the high voltage 3 phase from the turbine to the transformer.


Sure enough, as I followed the cable I came across one of my ‘homebrew’ joints that had failed Sad smile


Though not at the actual joint but where the cable had been poorly cut and the insulation of the conductors obviously nicked and let water in Sad smile


Fortunately I had a spare proper resin filled joint and sorted it, it’s what I should have done in the first place but we’re not exactly close to civilization where I live and sometimes you just have to ‘improvise’ Smile

With that sorted on what can only be described as an ‘Indian summers’ day I headed over to the nicest house on Raasay to check out the renewables there


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batteries were all good and the excess power was being diverted into the thermal store so after running up the generator and checking all was well I headed home.


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This is probably the only house on Raasay that has a view as nice as our new house Smile

Well at least I’ve learned something



Pigs fed, eggs sorted, power fixed and fires lit it was time to fix my mates quad,



the tow ball bracket had broken off


so armed with an 8mm thick piece of steel from my old fishing boat I set about repairing it with my newly acquired skills using a drill file and hacksaw Smile


Not to mention my MIG welder Smile



That was it really, we all went back down to the ‘secret cove’ to check on the hydro turbine and


rustling aspen



before an early night and a long drive back here Sad smile


The only oak tree at the north end of Raasay, and one which I raised from an acorn some twenty years ago produced its first fruit


or at least the first I’ve ever seen, two lovely acorns Smile


This morning had me away on the 10:00am ferry and back here for 17:00 passing the Forth rail bridge and Lindisfarne


on the way Smile

Once back at the old ‘Thompson Glenelg’ it was time to do all my washing, change the bedding and give the caravan a ‘spring clean’



Just check out that 1970’s carpet and the skull and cross bones quilt cover Smile

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