Life at the end of the road

January 3, 2014

I never liked it anyway :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, the disaster thread, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:29 pm

Talk about reluctant to get out of bed, well today was a real struggle. Now with many people, my wife and son included, that’s a normal everyday occurrence. Me however usually can’t stay in my pit even if I want too, not this morning, no sir, today I really, really didn’t want to arise. Well that’s not quite how it happened, for I was actually out of bed and ‘online’ on this grim and black day around 7:00am. However, after consulting the forecast, watching my weather station and not seeing any significant brightening to the east I went straight back to it and there I lay. The day didn’t seem to want to arrive despite being some 1min 47 seconds longer than the previous one.

The plan had been to go for much needed feed at 14:30 and return at 16:15or 18:00, but when I did finally arise just after 9:00 and check the http://status.calmac.info/service-status.aspx it looked dubious. I did think about going out at 10:55 but after reappraising the food situation decided that tomorrow would be a much safer bet.  Just as well really for the 10:25 from Sconser couldn’t berth and had to return to Skye, this delivered the ‘double whammy’ of late mail, late post lady and yours truly on dinner duty Sad smile Not that I mind cooking, I actually enjoy it, but I tend to start meal preparation around 19:00, a full two hours after wifey needs fed. My approach to having people round for dinner is not to actually prepare anything until they arrive, then when they’re here get them to help Smile Of course there’s usually lots of wine involved and we don’t actually eat until around 21:00 but I do love the ‘craic’ around a crowded table with people chopping onions, garlic and tossing their wine or beer into the salad or curry.

There have been some seriously bizarre and delicious dishes prepared at 3 South Arnish over the years, crab and Baileys, lobster sauce made from half a bottle of red wine and vodka, though the recipe actually said brandy. Not to mention the odd salad full of magic mushrooms and curry with fourteen different varieties of locally picked wild ones. Then of course there was that traditional Raasay dish of scarbh pronounced scart but I’m certainly not going to admit to cooking one of those on here Smile Any more than I’d own up to eating seagulls eggs Smile You really can ‘live off the land here’, well you could just so long as you never got caught or admitted to it.

A real struggle

After feeding everyone it was a major effort on my behalf to stay outside and not head back in for the warmth of the kitchen. The jobs that I’d have liked to do would have been impossible in the torrential rain and southerly gale so I decided to finish off taking heating oil over to the schoolhouse at Torran.

  004

Though first I went to check on my hydro turbine intake, which was positively overflowing.

005

The Dude and I had started taking the 800lts of kerosene over last week but had lost the first barrel when the trailer tipped over (again) just before the Torran boundary gate. After having a good rant and moving the 200lt barrel to a safe place on the track we’d left it and got on with other stuff.

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So, today I got an aluminium ladder and rolled the barrel back into the trailer (easier said than done) and continued where I’d left off.

 

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Not that it’s something that 99% of readers are likely to do, but if you ever find yourself in a position where you need to tip a trailer slightly then reverse onto some blocks Smile It saves an awful lot of effort.

 

008

As usual, whilst over there http://www.uniquescotland.com/raasayschool/index.html I checked the Rolls S530 batteries that store the power for the house. These ‘deep cycle’ FLA (flooded lead acid) batteries never cease to amaze me with their performance but they don’t half drink some water, that 25lt container was new in September! These will be the same batteries that’ll be going in the new house, though my bank will be double the size and 48v as opposed to this one of 800ah 24v. My bank will also have these http://cclcomponents.com/product.asp?ID=1952 though not at that price.

 

 

R+ Recombination Caps are able to catalytically recombine the hydrogen and oxygen gasses into pure water that returns to the battery cell. This drastically reduces the amount of "topping up" and virtually eliminates the danger of a hydrogen gas explosion. Corrosion is eliminated because the acid spray and fumes are contained within the cell. In general and under normal conditions, R+ Recombination Caps increase watering interval by three times – meaning up to annual watering / maintenance intervals.

In Summary – R+ Recombination Caps:

  1. Drastically reduce the amount of time and money you spend on "topping up" your batteries.
  2. Virtually eliminate the risk the venting of hydrogen gas can cause.
  3. Contain corrosive elements – which increase the life of your battery and decrease cleaning time.
  4. Provide the user with all the benefits of a flooded type battery with minimal maintenance similar to sealed batteries.
  5. Increases watering interval by three times. This can be as long as 12 months.

In ‘civilization’ 25lts of distilled or deionized water can be had for £14 but by the time it gets to Raasay it’s at least double that so the £300 it’s going to cost me for 24 caps makes sense, to me at any rate. OK, you can probably buy 500lts of water for that but don’t forget you’ve got to collect it carry it and store it too.

After leaving the first barrel emptying into the oil tank I headed home to raise the Dude, who pleasantly surprised me by being up!!! so after some scrambled Arnish eggs on fresh homemade bread we went out for barrel number two.

 

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What greeted me however was a bit of a surprise!!!! and not an unpleasant one, for I hate those friggin leylandi  trees and I’d only just said last week that I was going to cut it down Smile

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The place looks so much brighter without it

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and the solar panels will not be shaded in the evening as much.

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So, all in all quite a productive day really, we got all the heating oil over to Torran and into the tank, the hideous leylandi is now firewood and I made a pretty awesome pasta with some pork mince and lots of red wine.

Today’s weather

 

030114 weather

The 39.6mph doesn’t do it justice, we are in a very sheltered spot here, it was probably double that at sea

030114 wind

there’s no way a 40mph gust would have blown that tree down.

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6 Comments »

  1. Interested if a deceased relation would have told you what the eggs tasted like or have you read it somewhere?

    Old boss ex SAS had to hide in the highlands and thats he reckoned he lived on.

    Comment by Roy Cleary — January 3, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

  2. A great day all round then !!!

    Comment by v8mbo — January 3, 2014 @ 8:40 pm

  3. Has the Dude gotten to “chemistry” in science classes yet? I seem to recall it wasn’t too tricky to make “de-ionized” water from rain water. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details because it’s been half a century, but perhaps Google could make him rich.

    Comment by drgeo — January 3, 2014 @ 10:07 pm

  4. Sounds like quite a day. Love the trailer tipping tip (!) and the Come Dine with Me recipes ..very creative!

    Comment by Mary Fraser — January 3, 2014 @ 11:22 pm

  5. Nothing wrong with a good shag…..some used rice others barley, but the end result was a cure for all ills..well-almost….!… I must have read that in a book…….? Hope the weather improves as a Raasay visit is in planning phase.

    Comment by SOTW — January 3, 2014 @ 11:48 pm

    • Definitely a ‘good shag’ with either an onion or orange ‘up the bum’ to remove the fishy taste 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — January 6, 2014 @ 6:48 am


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