Life at the end of the road

February 3, 2014

Off my rocker :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

I know, I must be, completely, to live here in the middle of nowhere ‘off grid’ and probably off my head, but I just love it. Even on a day like today when gale force winds kept the ferry in port, the Dude off school and the post lady off the post, or at least off any post other than a few local letters. Of course I still had to get up at ‘stupid o clock’ to take the boy down just in case the ferry did sail. Everyone else on the island had signed up for ‘Text alerts’ and got notified at 7:15 by text.

Service Status by Text

Text messages can be sent to your mobile containing the latest service information. CalMac will not charge you for this service, although your normal service provider rates will apply.

One Time Texts

For a one time update on the route of your choice text both the word CALMAC and the route code to 60030 e.g. "CALMAC 05". Text codes for each route can be found on the Service Information page.

Subscriber texts

To subscribe to live updates for a particular route text the words CALMAC and SUBSCRIBE along with the route code of your choice to 60030 e.g. "CALMAC SUBSCRIBE 05". This will automatically subscribe you to ongoing service information* relating to that route for a six month period. You can subscribe to multiple routes by sending an individual subscription message for each route. Subscriptions may be cancelled at any time by texting CALMAC STOP to 60030 e.g. "CALMAC STOP 05" for an individual route or "CALMAC STOP" to cancel all subscriptions. A list of commands is also available by texting "CALMAC HELP" to 60030.  
*Text messages for subscribed routes will be despatched to you immediately upon update, at any time of day or night.

However, A, the mobile doesn’t work at the house and B, I’ve to set off before 7:15 anyway Sad smile Still, if I had had the good sense to ‘sign up’ then I could have turned back home as soon as the phone got a signal and saved on petrol.

Gale force south easterly winds usually mean pishing rain here, but apart from the odd drop it was dry as snuff. Consequently, after spending an hour or so on the phone getting shafted by the bank, buying some wheels and tyres for the ‘Old Girl’ and trying to find a good price for scrap batteries I  went out.



Or more correctly, we went out, it was good weather for fixing potholes in the drive and the extra pair of hands had finished his homework Smile



Three trailer loads of small stones from the quarry at Tarbert had the drive looking respectable once more and after a spot of lunch I turned my attention once more to the Land Rover.


Tracing oil leaks can be a devil of a job, and they’re seldom from where you’d think, gravity, forward momentum and airflow from fans all serve to confuse the source. I’d already degreased and power washed the engine and ancillaries the other day, and after running her for twenty minutes or so had come to the conclusion that the leak was from high up and running down.

The rocker cover seemed the favourite so I whipped it off to check the gasket



and sure enough, therein lay the problem. The cork gasket had splayed out at the back of the cylinder head allowing oil to run down the back of the engine and onto the floor.


Of course I didn’t have a spare so had to make one, a thick paper wrapper from a Lister gasket set proving to be ideal material. It’s not as ‘squidgy’ as the cork and some ‘Hylomar’ courtesy of Sean Smile would help stick it in place.

009 010

As soon as it was all nicely stuck in place I refitted the rocker cover and gave it another good run whilst cleaning the windows. Sure it leaked oil, but not half as much, after all it is a Land Rover Smile the ‘greenest’ vehicle around, ‘proudly putting oil back into the ground since 1948’ Smile



  1. Dear Off Your Rocker,

    Us old Rocker’s on Bute just look oot the window and can tell if the slab sided ferry will run or not. i.e it doesn’t if there is any wind from the south, above a set fair breeze it seems.

    I thought working for Calmac you would have the inside tack on corporate ferry sailing thinking 😉 Bring on the hybrid ferries I say…

    Comment by Panomphaean — February 3, 2014 @ 10:40 pm

    • Being a CalMac employee I’m the last to find out anything John 🙂

      PS, looks like dry docking has been postponed but I’ll let you know as soon as I know.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:53 am

  2. Hi Paul – what happened to the Portree High School hostel? Or is that off limits?



    Comment by Sue — February 3, 2014 @ 10:57 pm

    • Needs to get there on the Monday morning 🙂

      Comment by Lynn Robinson, Inverness — February 4, 2014 @ 8:30 am

    • Well they’re knocking it down for one Sue but we’ll not go into the other reason 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:54 am

  3. Hi Paul

    Hope you are all well. Suggestion. Now that you have fast broadband how about getting a “femto cell”
    This uses the broadband to relay the local registered mobile phone signals in places you can not get reception i.e. the house. I used one when I had company vodafon and no reception at my old home.

    Comment by Lynn Robinson, Inverness — February 4, 2014 @ 8:29 am

    • Hi Lynn,
      yes a couple of people on the is;and use those, must get one.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:54 am

  4. Around our locality a number of older Land Rovers and Range Rovers appear to be undergoing a phased recycle having been left to rot at the edge of fields etc.A number of oil leaks are,however,required to keep the onboard chassis corrosion control system working 🙂

    Comment by Andy — February 4, 2014 @ 8:41 am

  5. Hi Paul, Wow, I can leave comments on here again! 🙂 Got to reseal my rocker gasket today for the same reason. That new roof looks fantastic now, compared with when we were there. Very smart.

    Comment by Lloyd — February 4, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    • Welcome back Lloyd 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:55 am

  6. Are the cancellation notices not up on CalMacs website? If that is a bit tardy in being updated there is always the fan’s website forum which seems to be updated the instant the master is even thinking about CNXing a sailing. 🙂

    Comment by Phil Cook — February 4, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

  7. Blowing a howler here, 110kph probably considered a breeze for you.
    No mobile reception here either.
    Love your pigs Paul.

    Comment by Andrew — February 4, 2014 @ 6:11 pm

    • Hold onto your hat Andrew 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:55 am

  8. Are you with Vodafone? They make a box called “SureSignal” which routes your mobile through your broadband connection. Now you’ve got decent broadband it might help with your phone signal… though I can’t blame you for not wanting a working mobile – I hate the bloody things!! 🙂

    Comment by markphelandotnet — February 4, 2014 @ 7:12 pm

    • Yep Mark, gonna get one, as our broadband isn’t down the phone line it would be a good back up for when the landline fails, might even just get rid of it 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 7, 2014 @ 6:57 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: