Life at the end of the road

November 25, 2013

Kidneys on toast!!!!

Filed under: daily doings, food, New hybrid ferry — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:42 pm

Not a great nights sleep was had last night, a combination of ‘mind on overload’ with all the tasks left yet to do and the prospect of the first scheduled crossing on the Hallaig. I did manage to stay in bed until after 5:00am, but only just, and after a little plonking away on here I went outside to feed everyone in the dark. Well there just wasn’t an option, the boy had to get to school and me to the dentist, the hens were hilarious, I’d obviously surprised them and there was all manner of clucking going on upon my arrival. They’d obviously heard me rattling around in the feed bins and come charging out confused in the dark and were wandering around bumping into things.

The pigs well, they’re just opportunists and carry on like they’ve never been fed whatever time it is, though I couldn’t find Rocky despite doing several rounds of his usual hiding places on the quad. Methinks Rocky is a little depressed, it must be a ‘boar thing’ for Ginger was the same, nay, Ginger was worse, much worse, he’d get suicidal at the ‘drop of a hat’, separate him from his girls and he’d sulk for Scotland. I’ve never noticed it before in Rocky, perhaps it his age but since we threw him out of the croft and put Ellie and Jamie Lea in different fields to farrow he’s gone all mopey. He wasn’t so bad when at first when he’d the five ‘wee boys’ for company but since three of those are now in various freezers and he started scrapping with the other two he’s been on his own.

The poor soul refuses to go and sleep in his insulated ark and mopes about along the fences all day, usually sleeping on his own in a clump of rushes. Right enough I’m not feeling sorry for him, he’s as ‘fat as a pig’, well he would be wouldn’t he after living with five smaller boars for a few weeks. I’m pretty sure our prize Tamworth was getting the ‘lions share’ of the food.

The first sailing

After all the herd (well almost) and chooks were fed, the boy and his weeks baggage loaded into the Land Rover we set off south for that monumental occasion of the Hallaig’s first commercial voyage.


Sure enough the worlds first sea going hybrid Ro Ro ferry was waiting for us



and I had my oil absorbent mat ready Smile

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The half dozen or so vehicles looked lost on the Hallaig’s enormous deck and there was even enough room to open the car doors Smile


The ‘bridge crew’ were all set, and at 7:55 we departed for Sconser



the school kids and all enjoying the crossing.




Ready to take on ‘all comers’ Smile


Once I’d dropped off the ‘Arnish eggs’ with Charlie I proceeded to the dentist in Kyle whereupon I had my first appointment ever without a lecture on tooth brushing Smile Either I was getting better at 57 or the dentist had given up on me!


On the to my parents and, amongst other things a walk through the woods with my octogenarian father



and the dogs, one of which was a very subdued looking Leah, who’s enthusiasm (and barking) can be a little OTT, poor soul was ‘in the doghouse’ with a muzzle Sad smile







Anyway, after a good wander around the forestry roads above Loch Duich we returned to a lovely aubergine dish prepared by mum.

A little work on the roof done, a bottle of wine and joint of venison loaded in the Land Rover I headed back to Sconser to catch the Hallaig.


Only problem being it was the Striven that arrived Sad smile but I’ll not go into that Smile

An unusual dinner

By the time I’d got home, fed everyone, sorted out the eggs and caught up on phone calls I’d lost my appetite and the two pork chops that I’d had marinating in apple juice for 24 hours seemed a little excessive. Searching the fridge for something lighter I came across a kidney, not your obvious choice for a snack but a quick ‘Google’ turned up a few ideas.


One of them was kidneys on toast and involved mustard, red wine and chilli powder, I didn’t use it, but it did inspire me.


I simply sautéed the kidneys in some pork fat, red wine and harrisa and had it on toast, awesome offal indeed Smile

November 24, 2013

Less drama than last time

Filed under: daily doings, food — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:46 pm

It’s only 20:00 and I’m pure shattered, it’s been a long day and we’ve achieved a great deal. We being the Dude and I who’ve been doing ‘man stuff’ together, of course it wasn’t the whole day for I had to leave him in bed until midday. I know, I know, it’s a disgrace but he is a teenager after all and does need his ‘beauty sleep’, especially as he was still up at 1:30am!!!

Anyway, me, I was up at 7:30 to deal with the hens, pigs


and get to grips with the bomb site that was my workshop. There had been a sheep hanging in it for almost two weeks and I’d not been able to get the quads in by it. It was also a riot of tools and half finished projects with not a square inch of space left to work in. To be honest it’s like that by the end of every ‘week off’ but I usually make a point of clearing it up before returning to work. However last week I’d been working on the solar powered hen shed right up to the end so it got left.

I knew I was going to need it ‘big style’ today for the major task for the day was moving our caravan up to the new house site. That was actually on yesterday’s ‘to do’ list too but when we arrived there at dusk to make a start I discovered a collapsed wheel bearing.


The bearing wasn’t worn or rusty it was plain broken, the outer race was just shattered and bits of it were lying on the wheel. There was no evidence of heat or rust or damage from its eleven mile drag up the road in 2012

040812 008

it was just broken. It was as if the gust of wind that had turned it 45 degrees or more on Wednesday night had done so with so much force that the bearing had broken under the strain. Whatever had caused it was irrelevant though, for it had to be fixed before I could move it and I had to either move it or lash it down securely at Tarbert before Tuesday. A good blast of wind from the south would have seen our possible future temporary home in bits and I’d invested far too much effort in getting this caravan ‘up north’ for that.




These pictures were taken by a cyclist from Bradford who was travelling faster than me at times Smile

A good use for a Chinese wind turbine

After waking up the teenager with sausages, bacon and scrambled eggs we proceeded to Tarbert with a jack and tools to survey the damage properly.



We jacked it up, put it on axle stands and removed the wheel back to the now tidy workshop for repair.


I have a good stock of bearings but was extremely dubious about the likelihood of having a pair to fit this, however, much to my surprise I did have one. It was the new bottom yaw bearing from my Chinese wind turbine, the Chinese cannot make decent bearings so I replaced all the bearings on my wind turbine with SKF ones before I fitted it.


So, with my Chinese wind turbine now scrap after only a weeks use I had two perfectly good bearings for the caravan. Of course it wasn’t quite that simple as the new one I’d fitted was fastened in with ‘Loctite’ but I got there in the end. I say ‘I’ for my dutiful son had retired to do his homework, yes really Smile



With the wheel fixed and refitted on the caravan we gingerly headed the last half mile or so of the long journey from Clachan that we’d started in August of last year. The extra wheel and tow hitch on the back was my idea to help with moving and to stop the caravan scraping the road.



With my son following with instructions to wave frantically if there was a problem we set off for the new house.


And, much to my surprise made it safely without incident, though by this time it was after 15:00 and we were starving. A quick trip back home for some of wifey’s scotch broth sorted that but light was fading when we returned.


Or at least it was by the time we got the caravan into something like a safe place where I could get the Land Rover back past it.


It wasn’t even 17:00 but pigs still needed feeding and I’d a mountain of work to do before I could ‘settle’.



It’s going to have to wait now until Tuesday but the forecast is good and it’s safe for now, meanwhile I’d to feed the boy, ‘wee dog’


and deal with ‘Arnish eggs’. Once all that was done and the boys washing folded ready for tomorrow I set about the one legged sheep.



Actually the sheep did have four legs a couple of weeks ago but I kept hacking them off whilst it was in the workshop and eating them. Well not all of them, my mate took one. When I asked the London bound artisan if he’d like me to saw off the hoof he said ‘no thanks, that’s provenance’ Smile Anyway, 12 or so months of college and training has left my butchery a little rusty,


don’t you just love YouTube Smile Funnily enough my sheep bore little resemblance to that one, before


or after Smile

Anyway, I have to go now and make sure my boy has showered, packed his bag, got his money, done his homework, got a towel, picked up enough socks, remembered his phone charger and got a tooth brush. For tomorrow he’ll be going to school on the worlds first sea going Ro Ro hybrid ferry Smile

CMAL Announces Name of the World’s Second Hybrid Ferry (VIDEO)

I know, I’ve been working on it for weeks but I’m getting quite excited at the proposition of actually going into service.

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