Life at the end of the road

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.


  1. It’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow Paul – hope it all goes well for MV Hallaig, passengers and crew! Wish I was about to take a ride with you! Good Luck!


    Comment by fingalextravaganza — November 24, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

    • Thanks Mark,
      I’m sure that whilst I was busy with my caravan the crew were busy swapping berths with Loch Striven. All the mooring ropes would need changed and the lengths got just right so that neither vessel touched. It’ll be quite exciting to be on the first scheduled crossing (hope there’s room 🙂 ) even though it’s for a visit to the dentist 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 24, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  2. Best wishes for tomorrow!

    Comment by IainMacb — November 24, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

    • Cheers, Iain.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2013 @ 6:08 am

  3. Bit of history for Raasay. Hoping to be up there on Friday morning to sample the Hallaig and spend a few hours on Raasay

    Comment by David — November 24, 2013 @ 10:45 pm

    • Hopefully see you Friday David.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2013 @ 6:08 am

  4. Would have loved to be on the first proper Raasay crossing. Hope all goes well.

    Comment by Sue — November 24, 2013 @ 10:52 pm

    • Me, I’m so excited about the prospect Sue that I’ve been up since 5:00am, sad or what 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2013 @ 6:07 am

  5. Is that a previously owned FOC jockey wheel being put to good use on the “aft” drawbar of your caravan? Yet another P.C. invention. Brilliant!!! Cheers, Arthur

    Comment by Arthur Findlay — November 24, 2013 @ 11:31 pm

    • Well spotted Arthur, you have been paying attention 🙂 Sadly it fared badly and is now scrap 😦 Still better the wheel getting damaged than the caravan hey 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2013 @ 6:06 am

  6. I’m jealous, wish I lived closer so I could come over for a trip on the Hallaig

    will the caravan fit in the big shed?

    Comment by cazinatutu — November 25, 2013 @ 12:39 am

    • Morning Caz, fit, well yes it would if I could bend it around a corner 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — November 25, 2013 @ 6:05 am

  7. Defnitely never a dull moment with you! When I mention island life to some of my friends they reckon it would be too boring for them! – but then I suppose it depends on your outlook and interests. Safe maiden voyage:)

    Comment by mudarissa — November 25, 2013 @ 8:42 am

  8. All the best for today.Good to see your new touring van on the road again.Caravan Club membership next ? 🙂

    Comment by Andy — November 25, 2013 @ 9:38 am

  9. From Formentera del Segura, Spain – we get great pleasure fdown here rom your blog. Have stayed at Rasaay SYHA a couple of times. Will have to find new digs on next visit eh? Hope first crossing on Hallaig went well,

    David & Margaret G.

    Comment by David & Margaret Gartside — November 25, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

  10. Hi there, great blog, stumbled across it looking for mention of our bench on Rannoch. I’m jim of the jim and john mentioned on the plaque. We often wonder how many people actually know about the bench but would be happy if not too many did!. We put the bench up in December 2007, I had a torn Achilles from a hillwalking accident so was in a cast and struggled a bit getting it up the hill! The chesnut tree at the back of the bench was grown by my dad from a conker and he wanted to plant it at the bench, hopefully it will stand the rough winters.I hope you continue to use the bench as a rest spot and soak up that wonderful view. cheers jim.

    Comment by jim bell — December 4, 2013 @ 11:25 pm

    • Hi Jim and welcome (at last)

      that’s a fine bench and secret spot there on Rannoch moor 😉

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — December 7, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

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