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 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 http://www.rockness.co.uk/artists/ 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, http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/scottishnews/2759385/Ferry-crew-take-off-Madness-on-the-ship-of-fun.html . 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
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.
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.
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
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 http://www.greenshifters.co.uk/for_sale/1394_3_4_Bed_Croft_House_with_Land_Available
It must be warm for both of the sows have just spent the night outside
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
So I’ll just leave you with this little milestone
the first egg from wifey’s ‘black rocks’, guess which one
They really are good looking girls