Life at the end of the road

June 6, 2013

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



  1. Ha, the Black Rock egg has to be the big one at the front left. Our Black Rook (Henry) is the smallest of our 3 girls but she alwasy lays the biggest egg!!!

    The picture of Ellie with the little ones is sheer bliss 🙂

    Comment by Tigger — June 6, 2013 @ 8:13 am

  2. Baby eggs from baby pullets ! Note the ready marked “topping” line on the big egg, do we pay more for those?x

    Comment by SOTW — June 6, 2013 @ 10:02 am

  3. Cracking picture of Ellie enjoying herself.

    I was the same this morning up to a fresh start but the sun soon came out just in time for me to start the petrol hedge trimmer at 08:00. I think that is long enough for my neighbours to sleep. If I did not have any it would have been 06:00.
    Enjoy the holiday, to quote you looks like ‘a peach of a day’

    I can see the ‘topping’ line, what is its significance please?


    Comment by Arthur T Bomber Harris — June 6, 2013 @ 10:25 am

    • Morning ATB,

      took me a while to work out the ‘topping line’ right enough, but I’m guessing it’s where you aim the spoon.

      boiled egg


      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 6, 2013 @ 12:52 pm

  4. Fabulous photo of a pig wallowing! So nice to see happy porkers enjoying themselves in the right environment. Thank goodness for decent weather again.
    Cheers, Carolyn

    Comment by Carolyn — June 6, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

  5. Truly …. really enjoy reading your blog .. love your enthusiasm, your love of life’s BEST ( wife and child, pigs, chickens and chicks, Scotland and new homestead life, etc!!!) AND love the photos! Can’t wait to see/read more!!
    my name is Annie
    …married to my buddy for 25 years, mother of 4, New York Lady Dentist….active and happy reader of your blog!

    Comment by Annie — June 9, 2013 @ 2:46 am

    • Good morning Annie in NY and welcome 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — June 9, 2013 @ 6:49 am

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