Life at the end of the road

May 14, 2013

That’s a relief :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, shed/house — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:05 am


Well yesterday’s title probably didn’t make much sense but ‘all will become clear’. Now that I have a clear head unruffled by the red wine donated to your truly by Mike and Sarah, which is a great relief as I was thinking I’d have to buy two bottles to replace the ones we drunk Smile Anyway it wasn’t just the wine that cut my ‘creative flow’ (aye that’ll be right) short, I was pretty tired too. I may not have gotten home until well after 16:00 but I did manage to squeeze quite a bit of work in for such a short weekend.


All in all the weather wasn’t too bad, a far better morning than was forecast had us putting the finishing touches to the new hen enclosure and making a gate to aid access to it. It’s more to keep the ISA Browns out than the Black Rocks in as we don’t want any fights but they share a couple of boundaries so will be able to get used to each other through the fence.

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Then it was just a matter of waiting,

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and waiting some more,

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before one bold hen ventured forth into the bright new world.

The truth is they’d probably still be in there now had we not coaxed one or two out with food


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but by late afternoon eleven of the fourteen had made it and I’m thinking that by now they should all have been out Smile

Well you all saw what happened next in yesterday’s effort,


though I managed to recover the trailer on my own with the help of the straps that were holding the barrel.  All I can say is, if you’re ever thinking of buying a trailer for a quad then don’t get one of these ‘narrow track’ ones from  Sad smile To be fair it is very well made and it has done a lot of work but I’ve lost count of how many times it’s been tipped over and I see from their web page that it’s no longer listed, so perhaps that’s why. The track is so narrow that it rolls over at the slightest bump unless the tyres are deflated to give it some spring, but if you do that you get punctures, usually huge ones in the sidewalls Sad smile

Luckily the ambassador from ‘The Republic’ (more Raasay pics on there) turned up, and after coffee and craic came along to help.



The dude and I then resorted to carrying the remaining barrels thus, which is far from ideal as they’re difficult to load/unload and it puts all the weight on the quad. Two barrels would balance it but then you can’t get up the hills without wrecking the track Sad smile You have no idea how angry I get at the clowns that stopped the improvements to this track because of the precious frigging trees, you can’t move for trees here, they grow like weeds since the sheep were taken off Sad smile

The first cut

During the slow process of emptying the heating oil into the tank we busied ourselves with the first cut of the year, not that the grass needed much of a cut, the deer had seen to that, but the nettles, rushes, thistles, bracken and burdock were thriving. As one of my friends was busy cleaning the large building prior to it being let she was making huge demands on the Studer 2.3kW inverter and Rolls batteries.

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The renewable energy system of solar panels and hydro turbine can well cope with it but I took the opportunity to ‘crank up’ the hydro turbine to the max for a few hours. The LED indicator on the C-2324 is showing 80% load and the two ‘TriStar’ controllers are showing red and yellow LEDs indicating heavy drain on the batteries.  The 1260w of solar panels were doing ‘diddly squat’ on the grey overcast day,


something in the order of 200w, but whilst this dreich weather is poor for solar, it’s great for hydro so I put the ‘Harris turbine’ on full belt.

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Changing from the small 3mm nozzle that was putting out 200w to the largest 8mm??? pushed it up to well over 700w, and unlike the solar that’ll be 24/7, or at least it would be if I left it on. However I didn’t and once all the house work was done and the batteries fizzing nicely I turned it back down.

All in all I cannot praise this hybrid system of Studer inverter, solar panels and Harris hydro turbine highly enough, most of it I’ve fitted with the help and advice of Hugh Piggott of Scoraig Wind Electric. Hugh supplied all the parts over the many years that it’s evolved and all the expert advice about configuring the controllers etc. When you consider that the place is hired out to people who generally don’t have a clue it’s been extremely reliable and the generator rarely runs since I installed the extra 750w of solar last year.

Sorry, got carried away there, where was I, oh yes, eventually I got up to the new house and did a little more drying out inside,


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throwing all the windows open to let in some air, before rapidly closing them to keep out the hail. Still, I can now vouch that our house is ‘wind and watertight’ Smile


Well, Monday the 13th of May certainly doesn’t feel like autumn, let alone spring,


a light dusting of snow on the Storr


and Glamaig


turned into much worse near Kingsburgh on the way to Uig.



Some poor soul skidding off the road in treacherous conditions reminiscent of December Sad smile

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Not that it was much better at sea.



Anyway, that’s it and I never even mentioned meeting a squad of council workers heading up to Brochel at 7:30 to start tarring the road!!!!! I kid you not, I nearly ran into them. Rare indeed is it to meet traffic heading north at that time of day, but fair play to the council, they’d chartered a boat to carry tar lorries and just got on with it (at last) Smile

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