Life at the end of the road

May 5, 2013

The complex puncture ‘part II’

Filed under: animals, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:19 pm

Sunday night now and the most bizarre dish I’ve ever had the pleasure to demolish has just passed my lips lubricated with some Wolf Blass yellow label ‘Cab Sav’, one of my Antipodean favourites. Darling wife decided to ease my passage towards sixty with lamb chops, anchovies, couscous, lemon, asparagus, caramelized garlic and lemon zest !!!! It was totally delicious. OK, I’m not quite sixty and it’s not my birthday until Tuesday but 57 somehow seems a lot nearer old age than 56 and I’m having a bit of a ‘melt down’ Smile Well perhaps that’s a little extreme but, precious little time on the croft, crap weather, slow progress on the house, impending senility  and living out of a friggin suitcase are starting to take their toll on my usual spring zest. I’ve not even heard the cuckoo, cut the lawn or had a barbecue yet and it’s almost my birthday Sad smile

Having got all that off my chest the weekend has been very fruitful despite a shaky start with the puncture from hell. Punctures, my life is plagued by them and I can’t even blame it on the council, for the ones that really cause me grief happen on the Torran path and not the road. This particular one that started off last weekend when I was driving to Aberdeen and the Dude was delivering coal, a good half ton of it to Torran for the pyromaniacs that rent it.

Just a few meters short with his last load the tyre came off the trailer wheel, a sure sign of a catastrophic puncture but the job was finished so I told him to leave the trailer at the side of track and I’d sort it once back home. No problem thinks I, these poxy 20x10x8 wheels are a nightmare to change but I’ve got a spare and I can deal with it once home.

So my first task on Saturday was to go and collect the trailer with the dud wheel, however my spare has a slow puncture so first stop was the workshop and foot pump. Now you may not be aware but it’s virtually impossible to buy a good one, but the Michelin one that I had was ‘as good as they get’, or at least until I came to use mine they were. I lifted my trusty foot pump off its shelf in the workshop only to discover it in bits Sad smile the wife had tried using it and somehow destroyed it Sad smile No worries, I used her electric one to blow up the spare and set off for Torran.



Sad smile Nae problem, off with the old and on with the spare Smile but wait a minute I’ve no way of blowing up tyres now if wifey is at work!!!! Not an issue thinks I, I’ll take my mates empty diving cylinders home and fill them, that way I can use one to blow up my tyres Smile

Servicing a Lister HR2

Now it takes some 30 minutes for my trusty Bauer 3.5cfm Utilus 10B to fill an average diving cylinder so by the time I’d filled three Harry was pretty hot. Harry being my faithful Lister HR2 generator who I have to run to fill diving cylinders, he being a full 12kW and well capable of running the compressors electric motor.


I know, I know, it’s a bit of a riot in there but that trusty little bit of German engineering has been filling my lungs since 1984 and much of it for dives of 30m plus.

Now Harry is in a kind of limbo at the moment, he’s out of commission until the new house is built but in need of a service. After running him up under load for an hour with his oil nice and thin it seemed daft not to service him prior to moving him up to the new house.


Trouble is that Harry has a huge 40lt sump designed for continuous operation and costs about £100 just for the oil Sad smile Still it’s almost three years and 1000h since he was last serviced so it seemed like the ideal opportunity. Well it was pishing with rain, he was hot and I had 50lts of 10w40 oil, normally I’d be changing the oil on a Lister at 250h even though 500h would be adequate but Harry’s long running special sump is designed to extend oil changes by increasing the sump capacity and keeping the oil cool. That pump in the centre of the picture being the ‘scavenge pump’ for circulating the oil from the huge tank underneath.

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So after he was stopped and still hot I pumped out his sumps, changed his oil filter and cleaned out his air filter prior to replacing the oil in that. Then I replaced both of his fuel filters and adjusted his valve clearances.



These should be around ‘three thou’ cold, Lister say .002” go and .004” no go but to my way of thinking that is three thousandths of an inch Smile




Anyway, several hours later with Harry running sweetly,


Smile Smile Smile  that’ll be all the ‘Jizer’ in the air filter.

Anyway, once he was sorted and the diving cylinders full it was back to the puncture, some three or four hours later Sad smile



As it turned out the tyre was goosed with a huge gash in the sidewall, no problem as I had a new one spare, well it would be ‘no problem’ if these tiny diameter yet wide tyres weren’t such a pain to seal onto the rims. They wouldn’t be half as bad if the importers didn’t insist on squashing then up so much on the long journey from Indonesia (why the feck we can’t make them here is beyond me). I did have a spare tube but as the tyre was new and tubeless I thought that I’d try the ‘redneck way’ of fitting WIDE tyres.



The recommended ‘hillbilly’ way is using ‘Easystart’ but we had none, so tried butane


the boys deodorant


spray on glue and lacquer


but managed nothing more than a fire Sad smile

Eventually I gave up and used a tube, making a mental note to add ‘Easystart’ (ether) to my shopping list Smile




The Dude took this picture of my pal with the rapidly growing antlers in between ‘false starts’ with the tyre Smile Just look how much they’ve grown in a week.




Quite amazing really isn’t it.

Thirty eight years plus !!!

Well that was yesterday and today it was ‘hen hoose’ day, the whole family spent Sunday building a hen house, or should I say plagiarising one of ‘Donald the hens’ houses. That legend amongst men from Struan on Skye has retired after thirty eight and one half years ‘on the roads’  with HRC, but I’m going to have to tell you about that tomorrow. It’s well after 23:00 now and I’ve to be up early.

The all day puncture :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:51 am

It’s just been ‘one of those days’, a day in May, more like a day in December, only wetter, I’ve not seen the croft so wet at this time of year, ever. Still at least I’m back home, I’d rather be wet in Arnish than dry dry in Aberdeen, though I can see the attraction if you’re into ‘civilization’ the ‘granite city’ has much to offer. Much as I’m a fan of rock and granite in particular I wish the architects and masons had varied the colour scheme a little, everything in Aberdeen is grey, even the concrete is granite coloured. There must be other hues available as the many cobbled streets, kerb stones and flagstones are varied with pinks and blues yet all the buildings are monotone.


Aberdeen seems at its best in the early morning sunshine and I’d no complaints at the view from the Premier Inn on West North street, just across from the ‘Lemon Tree’


That’s the Lemon Tree bottom right and the tower belongs to the Arts Centre but I’ve no idea what the fairy tale tower in the background is.


This edifice just opposite my room I mistook for a cathedral but it turns out to be the back of the Marischal building, a college or museum or something.

The day at the Petrofac training centre was spent mainly in the pool righting upturned life rafts, jumping from heights and generally honing our skills as would be castaways Smile As darling wife was taking a day off the croft to brave an eight hour bus journey to be with her  husband I hung around in the town awaiting her arrival. Taking the opportunity to go and visit the maritime museum up the delightfully cobbled Shiprow just off the harbour.

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A museum with a heavy (and rightly so) bias towards the local oil industry with fascinating displays of platforms, rigs, jackets an all manner of things oily Smile


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The ‘Siebe Gorman’ standard diving dress and hand pump being my favourite Smile 



This is the view from the window, like I say, just by the harbour,



sadly, it closed at 17:00 and I had to go and meet a very tired swineherd.

We were both too tired to go and see the drummers at the Music Hall and settled for an early night after an excellent meal in the hotel.


Lost it for a while there, dried up, couldn’t go on and went to bed, anyway we both jumped into the Nissan around lunch, wifey after shopping and me after an assessment on the river and in the class. It was the 3rd of May and friggin miserable with showers of snow, hail and temperatures down to 1 degree Sad smile

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Normally the best month of the year and it’s like winter with no sign of it picking up until I’m back at sea Sad smile 

Still we got back home in daylight, wet miserable windy daylight but daylight at least and Saturday turned out to be a reasonable day, reasonable for December that is. Some bank holiday weekend this is going to be for the folks going venturing north Sad smile

The never ending punctures

Well I’ll tell you all about those later, it’s almost 9:00am and the rain is momentarily off so I’m going to go and feed everyone.

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