Life at the end of the road

April 14, 2013

Water and wood :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:53 pm

Water, water everywhere, well there sure has been plenty of the stuff pouring out the sky and down the hills today, not just hills but roads tracks and foot paths too. The whole of the north end is awash, and what’s more I’ve been out most of the day enjoying it, sure enough, another day or two and I’d be seriously peed off, but for now the rise in temperature and much needed drink for the parched is a blessing. Not if your unfortunate enough to have booked this week for a holiday, but I’m sure there’s many of a farmer in these parts ‘praising the Lord’. And if nothing else it will have put paid to the pyromaniacs up and down the west coast who’s overenthusiasm this year has kept the fire crews more than busy.



Yesterday with its blazing sunshine, sunbathing pigs and boldly going into the wood,

039 040

seems a season away but it was well forecast so I got all done that I wanted on Saturday. As well as I spent the morning with Molly cutting down some fallen birch trees and doing some thinning in parts of the croft usually inaccessible by quad. OK, perhaps accessible but certainly not exitable   with a trailer load of sap filled silver birch, for that was one thing much in evidence when I wielded the chainsaw, the trees were crying Sad smile


I awoke this morning fully prepared for the rain, but even so I was shocked by the amount that had fallen,


our house now had its own swimming pool and the burn was well swollen.


The ‘Stream Engine’ was at last doing some serious work,

019  020

a good 15amps, around 800w at the 55v to 58v that the battery voltage was hovering at.

It did however have a pig related issue Sad smile the three supply pipes should have a constant downhill gradient to prevent air locks in the high spots and silt collection in the lows. Several years of pigs grubbing about the penstocks has turned the once smooth slope into a veritable ‘big dipper’ and whilst I’ve not noticed any lack of performance at higher flows, the low ones seem poor.


The once nicely staked out pipes being well and truly messed up by, amongst other things, some bulldozing in a patch of bracken.



Of course, no sooner had I got it fastened back in position with fresh stakes, ropes, rocks and trees, and as soon as I’d dug out a small section of the bank to lower the pipes than my helpers arrived Sad smile


013  014 


It is however very hard to get annoyed with something that is just wanting to have a good scritch then roll over on its back in the pouring rain because its so happy Smile





Working my way down the 270m of pipe to the turbine shed at the shore I gradually got most of the pipe sorted, certainly all of it that mattered anyway.

The next job was another that was best done in the pouring rain, drain and road repairs,



not this one I hasten to add.



This fine piece of road repairing having been done last week by my friends at Torran, what was once a series of rock steps now being a smooth and well drained path thanks to their hard labour.



Me, I turned my attentions to a blocked drain under the road a little further along the track.

029 030

A little diligent work with a six foot pry bar soon had it sorted and once more I cursed the interfering folk that had cut short the upgrade of this track by complaining about the friggin trees being cut down. Friggin trees, the birch grows like a weed around here and I’d much rather see a serviceable track to Torran than some stunted birch trees. Still I suppose its easy to whine about someone else having access to their house if you can park outside your own.



  1. Paul your getting the weather from one extreme to the next. Seeing this the builder must know the rain will fall, I never understand that after erecting the frame that they don’t put a tarpaulin cover over whilst their waiting to top the roof off, and the pigs seem to know the best bathing spots.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 14, 2013 @ 9:04 pm

    • Morning Walter, we struggle keeping slates on roofs here let alone tarpaulins 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2013 @ 5:41 am

  2. Paul I can not help noticing that your inverter is directly over your batteries, usually a no no because of the fumes.

    Allan of OZ

    Comment by Allan White — April 15, 2013 @ 12:12 am

    • Morning Oz,

      I can not help noticing that your inverter is directly over your batteries,

      You’re not the first to point this out but I had little choice in order to keep the cable runs short. However I did seek advice and was given the green light by an expert. It’s not as bad as it looks, firstly the inverter draws air in from one side of the batteries, secondly I normally have a cover over them when not checking the electrolyte so they don’t vent under the inverter, thirdly it’s a very well ventilated dry stone building and fourthly it’s not actually as close as it looks.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2013 @ 5:40 am

  3. that a lot of water at the new house site, no harm done I hope, whens it going to get water tight ?

    Comment by mike — April 15, 2013 @ 3:25 am

    • Morning Mike,

      should be watertight shortly, my excellent builder had a long standing commitment over the Easter holidays at Elgol primary school, a job that had to be done whilst the place was closed.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 15, 2013 @ 5:34 am

  4. Wouldn’t worry about the George Rainey/Rainy spelling, Google uses both forms ! However the reason for the ‘The Wall’ should never be forgotten, in fact why not have a plaque at Tarbert to make those who pass through the wall aware of its inglorious history. Hope the ground is drying out a bit, the lawn will need cutting….!!x

    Comment by SOTW — April 15, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

    • Hi She, far too cold for the grass to grow at Arnish but they’re cutting it on Harris 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 16, 2013 @ 9:20 pm

  5. I remeber our house looking exactly like that last July – a swimming pool with insulation floating on top. All very depressing at the time the place did eventually dry out with the help of a couple of dehumidifiers. Make sure the slab is properly dry tho’ before anything goes on top of it.


    Comment by Alan — April 16, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    • Cheers Alan, I feel much better now.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 16, 2013 @ 9:19 pm

  6. Hi Paul,

    You dont have any Otters up there do you by any chance? A pal of mine wants to see some live in the wild you see….and we could partake of strong drink….: )

    Comment by v8mbo — April 16, 2013 @ 9:56 am

    • Hi V8,

      we do have otters at the north end but I can’t remember the last time I saw one. The best places to see them are at the ferry terminals (old and new) and the road leading to the the old one.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 16, 2013 @ 9:18 pm

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