Life at the end of the road

June 6, 2013

Milk is here :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:32 pm

Well it’s almost 21:00 and I’m still awake, so that’s a result,


I’m as red as a lobster right enough so will probably be sore as hell in the morning, but that’s what a day on the roof does for you.


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Mind you, I’ll not be half as sore as poor Jamie Lea will be in the morning, guaranteed she’ll farrow tonight, for this morning she was gushing milk when I checked her. Scuse me, I’m just going outside to have a wee look how she’s doing, it’s 21:00 now and I’ve not checked on her for a couple of hours. Not that she needs it right enough, old Jamie is well used to this carry on, must have had at least twelve litters by now, and at a very conservative estimate that’s at least 120 wains!!!!!!

Well, not much activity on the pig front, Ellie is charging around collecting bedding to make a nest outside, having refused to go into her new home I think her and her wains are going to join me on the sunburnt front.

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Ellie dropped her mouthful of rushes as soon as she saw me, no doubt thinking I had some food. Jamie Lea with her ‘undercarriage’ almost touching the ground just stood there ‘thinking about it’. Me thinks it could be a long night, how I wish I was hitching up the old caravan to go to Rockness and not torn between the roof and a farrowing sow Smile 

Anyways, there’s not really much to report, wifey has been busy on the post, the house full of ‘in-laws’ have been weeding and painting and me I’ve been painting the roof of our cosy wee cottage. Not only that but I’ve repaired something that’s been bugging me for nine years, since the abysmal summer of 2004 in fact.


I remember it was horrendous because wifey and I were at the Creamfields festival near Liverpool and my good mate Ron had the roof off our house during the worst summer in living memory.

Flyer for Creamfields 2004, Liverpool Clubbing Flyers 028


The festival was awesome despite the pishing rain, wind and cold of a typical bank holiday August, Mylo was playing the main stage early on and about half a dozen people saw him due to the horrendous security checks. We didn’t care cos he  recognised us as ‘locals’ and came down off the main stage to chat after his set. Then after mumbling something about his sisters birthday and a flight north disappeared Smile


Anyway, ‘we were there’ not only at Creamfields but his album launch on Skye at the Duisdale village hall.



Anyway, I digress, whilst wifey and I were ‘giving it large’ to the likes of Skye man Mylo, the Chemical Brothers and Tim Deluxe, Ron had our roof off in the rain some 400 miles away. In his haste to close it back up a section of damaged corrugated iron sheet was refitted, not that it affected the watertight integrity or anything but it’s been bugging me for nine years Smile


Well today I sorted this much maligned roofing material out by fitting another piece in to replace the damaged sections.



The piece I used probably dating from the 1930’s at least, possibly even from before the first world war war, for that is the beauty of ‘crinkly tin’ it lasts far longer than people think, keeps out the weather, is very easy to repair and if fitted right, quieter and more waterproof than slate. Not that I appreciated any of this until living here, but the roof on the house opposite was only replaced recently and that was second hand in 1911, the sheets having come off the old pheasant rearing sheds at Brochel. I’ve no idea how old the roof is on my byre but there is a pencil signature on the underside dating from the 1934!!!!



I can’t see many concrete tiles lasting eighty years Smile



That was it really, two more tiny wee eggs from the ‘Black Rocks’, lots of weeds pulled, trees pruned and tin painted, almost 22:30 now and I’m still awake, amazing, better go and have a glass of rum to help me sleep Smile

A ‘Black Rock’ egg :-)

Filed under: Croft house for sale, daily doings, life off grid — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:24 am

Wall to wall sunshine as far as is reliably forecastable, a word that apparently doesn’t exist according to my ‘spell check’, anyway it’s been a peachy few days with more to come Smile Not only that but I’m on holiday (double smiley), though ‘holiday’ to me is not the dictionary definition, my holidays usually involve needing to get back to work for a rest, and this one looks like being no exception. Sadly it won’t involve Rockness on account of house building but I can’t say that I’m that impressed with the lineup anyway. Though having said that I’m sure it will be awesome with old favourites Basement Jaxx, Fatboy Slim, Alabama Three, and Example returning to ‘rock the loch’ at Dorres.

Standing out from the rest of the acts by being seemingly out of place are eighties band Madness who have to be worth seeing just for this, . And I really do apologise for linking to Rupert Murdoch’s mouthpiece but the video has been removed from  YouTube due to copyright infringement. Ar5eholes in suits, such talent probably helps Madness sell more records legitimately. 


Anyway it’s good to be sitting here in the sunshine at 5:30 am watching my workmates on the MV Hebrides, and yes they really are quite Mad Smile


Anyway I started writing this last night at 20:00 after a long hot and busy day but half an hour later after a ten minute bath I was in my bed asleep. The same the day before, i just can’t stay in bed with weather like this and sunshine pouring in through the windows. In fact the only reason I’m not out there now is that I need to be on the roof and with all the upstairs bedrooms occupied that wouldn’t be fair. Sadly the rest of the household does not share my enthusiasm for the early morning.


A shame really because it really is the best part of the day and I’m struggling staying in just now to write this.



As to what I’ve been doing the last three days well I just don’t know where to start, cutting rushes, painting fences, power washing and painting the roof and checking all my batteries for a start.

Battery care

As it’s such a large part of the cost of any ‘off grid’ system, the battery bank needs regular maintenance and treating with respect. It doesn’t require any special skills or involve much work but it is essential to keep the cells topped up with distilled water and to monitor them regularly for balance. That is to check the SG ‘specific gravity’ and cell voltage regularly, the readings aren’t really that important it’s the variation that is.



cell voltage 

The reason I say that the readings aren’t crucial is because for them to have any degree of accuracy they must be taken ‘off load’ once the battery has rested for at least 30 minutes. Of course with the bank connected to the inverter and still running two fridges, two freezers, two cordless phones, one laptop and who knows what else that just aint going to happen. However their variation or lack of it will give you a very good indication of trouble before it becomes a problem.

When I checked mine on Tuesday it was showing an SG of 12.2 and voltage of 1.97 per cell which on the face of it looks quite poor but you have to take into account that it’s actually ‘working’ so I’d be thinking that it would be around 25% discharged in real terms. However as all 24 of the individual cells were within a few % of each other I knew all was peachy so just topped them up and left them to it. Slight imbalance can often be cured by a good ‘EQ’ or equalization charge, which is in effect a good over charging for a couple of hours, which I have set on my charger at 59.8v. Though throughout the winter this is seldom required as wind and hydro can often push the voltage up to 60v in frequent gales.



Well just look at that, a rabbit!!!! the first one I’ve seen on the croft in months, I do hope they’re going to breed well this year, it’s long time since we’ve eaten rabbit.



As well as all the painting and physical stuff we moved Ellie into another field to free up her larger ark for Jamie Lea who’s imminent.


The first thing that she did upon being led into the ‘house field’ was to start digging  a wallow near the damp area that I’d made by cleaning out her water trough.


As she was obviously enjoying it so much I assisted by filling it with water for her


she was most impressed Smile



There was more, much more but it’s after 7:00am now and I’m gonna get back out there with the paint brush ready for the droves of people coming to look at our fine house for sale Smile




It must be warm for both of the sows have just spent the night outside Smile


Jamie Lea choosing to sleep in a pile of old bedding outside the ark rather than clean stuff inside


and Ellie with her wains in a nest of freshly pulled rushes Smile

So I’ll just leave you with this little milestone


the first egg from wifey’s ‘black rocks’, guess which one Smile



They really are good looking girls Smile

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