Life at the end of the road

December 16, 2012

The Buddhist connection :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:38 pm

I dunno where to start really, for todays ‘doings’ has been bizarre to say the least, for I’ve just returned from a Buddhist monastery and what may surprise some readers is that it is not my first visit. Not that I’m contemplating  taking up whatever it is that Buddhists take up but there is more to this ‘synchronicity’ stuff than meets the eye.

My first visit to the Kagu Samye Ling centre in the Scottish borders was some twelve or thirteen years ago and was the result of a few remarkable coincidences.

It all started with some notelets that I purchased, made from recycled OS maps . Not from there for this was a decade before I got the internet and in those days I did much letter writing, priding myself on always being able to identify where abouts in Britain the map was. Of course most of the time it was easy as there would be a road, town, hill or bit of identifiable water.



Not on this one though, it’s not the exact note pad as that is packed away at home somewhere but it’s the nearest representation I could find on a map on the web. No this one had me stumped for years until one night a Buddhist friend phoned me, something that was in itself a little freaky for I happened to be watching Seven Years in Tibet    as he phoned.



Now my Buddhist, or probably more correctly ex Buddhist mate, or more correctly occasional neighbour, had been living between Raasay and the Samye Ling centre for longer than I’d stayed at Arnish. During his frequent returns to Eskdalemuir he’d lived in a rented cottage out in the sticks, but had now decided to cut all his ties in Dumfriesshire and stay on Raasay permanently.

Of course in line with many of the residents of Raasay’s north end he couldn’t drive!!!!! Call me a wimp but I would not even consider living in a remote community 10 miles from anywhere without a car or the ability to drive it. For reasons beyond my comprehension Arnish seems to attract non drivers Sad smile One of the people looking at before I bought the place had hitched up from Wales to view it as a potential home for wife and four children despite the fact that none of them could drive!!!!!

Anyway I digress, my mate phoned me to ask if I could move the last of his furniture, something that I’d been reluctant to do. None car owners seldom realize the cost of fuel or effort required to drive 600 miles and my mate was no exception. However whilst on the phone I was scribbling down the details of the place on the back of the above notelet. “What was that name again” says I, “Raeburnside” he replies, “you are f*****g  joking”  I retorted in disbelief, “is it near Shiel Rig and Wisp Hill” I blurted in shock, “yes, why” he answers, “because I’m looking at it right now on the map” Smile

Well, after that how could I refuse to go Smile I’m not superstitious, airy fairy, or seeking the meaning of life, but you have to admit I’d have been pretty sceptical not to have gone. Anyway, I did and also visited the monastery whilst I was there, I was much impressed by the calm and enlightenment of all who stayed there and left the place feeling much better for my visit.

Fast forward 12 years

Much has happened in the intervening decade or so, I’ve acquired a wife, child and wind turbine but still life goes on Smile I gave up clam diving and became a ferryman, bought some pigs and decided to sell my house and build another but still the wheels of life keep turning. Having decided to leave my trusty Proven 2.5Kw turbine with the current house I’ve been on the lookout for another to supplement power for the new one.



I know it’s a carp picture but it was dark and pishing with rain when the Dude took it yesterday on his iPod Smile

One came up for sale recently in the borders and I was very interested, I remember the turbine being installed in 2006 having read about it on some years ago. It was only six years old, had been serviced regularly and the owner was moving on. Upon making serious enquiries I discover that it is the house next door to my ex Buddhist mates !!!!!!!

So, this morning mum in law and I set off for Dumfries and Galloway in the trusty but rather slow and expensive to run Land Rover, having been told that the road to Raeburnside was treacherous.


We found it no problem, well I had been there before Smile



and I am now the owner of another Proven wind turbine Smile All I have to do now is collect it Sad smile

Interestingly this model is actually a ‘grid tied’ version designed to feed into the house AC bus via a GTI (grid tie inverter) rather than charge batteries. However this is how we plan to run the new house using a combination of both ‘DC coupling’ and ‘AC coupling’. Both systems offer advantages and disadvantages, for example coupling straight into the AC bus via a GTI means that any power not used is converted twice so less efficient. DC coupled inputs are at battery voltage so require much heavier cables or higher losses so a combination of both is advantageous. One thing about the Proven or should I say Kingspan now is that the grid tied version has a higher output due to the higher voltage that it operates at Smile For a much better explanation of AC V DC coupling see Stephen’s blog here

After sealing the deal with a handshake we headed for the monastery and a snack.



If you ever need ‘to chill’ this is the place to do it, I kid you not, even the crows are relaxed here Smile



You can also get excellent freshly cooked and cheap grub in their tearoom.


Not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ I’m sure, but like ‘steak tartare’ it would do you no harm to try it Smile Far far healthier than a day out to Braehead and a

UNTITLED: McDonald's ad

Samye Ling will leave you feeling happy and relaxed and not out of  pocket despite the drive Smile



Not exactly regular Scottish architecture but then religious establishments do not need planning permission, wish I’d have thought of that two years ago before attempting to build a house, I could have built a church instead of a dwelling  Smile



Anyway, that’s it, I’m off to bed, tomorrow is the big launch of MV Hallaig and I need to be fresh and rested Smile By Tuesday night I’ll be back home on Raasay Smile

Create a free website or blog at