That’s it, I’m officially sick of the weather, I dunno what’s worse, the incessant rain or the ‘sunshine and showers’ of the last two days. At least you know where you are with the constant power washing ‘west coast deluges’, these sunny spells just lull you into a false sense of security. You get half an hour of sun with patches of blue ‘large enough to make a sailors trousers with’, then, as soon as your back’s turned the heavens open, filling your toolbox with water and soaking you to the skin.
The last couple of days have been pretty busy for ‘yours truly’ but in reality totally boring fro the vast majority of readers, for I’ve been buried under the ‘Old Girl’ for most of them. In truth I’ve probably done about five hours work but I’m so slow and fastidious these days that I’ve managed to turn a major service into a three day affair. The last time I gave ‘the other woman in my life’ so much attention was prior to towing my Thomson Glenelg http://www.thomson-caravans.co.uk/index.htm down to South Shields eighteen months ago, how time flies.
As well as the 26 year old Land Rover I also gave the trailer that would be accompanying me the once over, making sure everything was working, repairing a couple of lights and removing the sides. Plan A had been to leave the sides of the trailer on and sit the turbine mast atop some pallets but after due consideration of my age and the state of my back I resorted to ‘Plan B’. I figured if I left the sides off the trailer I’d not have to lift the mast sections quite so high.
Once the trailer was all sorted I turned my attention to the lower steering column universal joint on the Land Rover, these are quite prone to both seizing up and/or wearing out and mine had done the latter.
A seized joint usually manifests itself with tight spots when turning the wheel or it not ‘self centring’, a worn joint can lead to vague or clunky steering and mine had the former.
They’re actually pretty easy to change, it’s just a matter of marking, or at least taking note of the various relative positions of the joints on the shaft then loosening them and removing the ‘pinch bolts’. As I was only changing the bottom (shorter joint) I left the long (upper one) clamped at the steering wheel end then tapped the shat upwards with a hide mallet, this gives you enough room to remove the joint. It will only go back on one way as there is a flat that must line up with the bolt, but you’ll save yourself an awful lot of grief if you mark it first.
With that done, and just about every other job, I boxed it up and went to collect the Dude from the school ferry. This would give me the opportunity to give her a road (bump) test, collect my oil from the pier and some gas from Simon at http://www.raasayengineering.co.uk/ .
I had intended to post last night with all the developments about our community shop, but sadly I called in before picking up the boy and bought two bottles of wine
233 people have become members of CORRA. The 250th
member will be given a shop voucher as a
special welcome prize. Of course, everyone who invests in membership of CORRA is a winner, as
you are helping to keep the shop open on Raasay, which is vital for our community. But to
encourage those who have not yet got around to it – hurry if you have not yet taken out your
membership: do it now and you may be the lucky winner of a £25 voucher!
COMMUNITY STORES TO GET A FACE-LIFT
Raasay Community Stores will receive a full re-fit soon. The Board of CORRA is finalising plans to
have the shop completely rewired, adding much needed insulation, repositioning and replacing the
Post Office counter and laying new flooring. This, combined with a fresh lick of paint and better
lighting, will make the shop an altogether more welcoming and pleasant place to work and to buy
The work should start on the 10th
of March and extend over a 3 week period although CORRA
hopes to make a start earlier than this if possible. The Post Office counter will be temporarily
relocated to the main shop counter for about a week to allow the builders to work in the Post Office
wing. During the second week the flooring will be laid and customers will be served via the rear
store. If you require several items, staff will take your shopping list and prepare a box for you to be
collected later or to be delivered to you.
Phil Passmore is the Project manager for the shop’s refurbishment. He is keen to emphasise that
the shop will try to trade as normally as possible throughout the period. However, it is important that
people are aware of the difficulties and the dangers: “We would ask all customers to be aware that
there may well be workmen in the shop during opening hours and we would ask you all to take extra
care. We will take every step to make the disruption to our customers as minimal as possible but
some upheaval is unavoidable.”
The existing cabinets in the Post office are being removed and if anyone has a use for them please
express an interest to Davie or Phil (a donation to the refurbishment fund would be appreciated).
There will also be some old flooring and shelving being removed as well. Phil explained: “We would
like to get the old timber cut up and turned into kindlers and these could be distributed to the
island’s pensioners thus reducing materials sent to the tip and recycling as much of the waste as we
can. We are also looking for volunteers to assist with the re -painting of the shop and Post Office.”
Anyone handy with a roller or paint brush should contact Davie or Phil on 660330.
All this work is possible thanks to a grant from Awards For All, along with some funds already raised
from The Prince’s Countryside Trust and Village SOS , as well as the money that you, the
community, have invested in the shop through your membership shares: a big THANKS to you all.
All from our monthly community newsletter which you can subscribe to by contacting
Lloyd Gudgeon ,Development Officer, Raasay Development Partnership,
Isle of Raasay, IV40 8PA
Anyway, despite helping the wife to demolish both I awoke with a clear head and got on with some hard labour between the showers.
A trip to Torran with gas and to check the power supply there,
all was fine with the renewable side of things but ‘Mr Lister’ wouldn’t start!!!! OK, he’d probably not run in months but when I came to ‘flash him up’ he just spun over a few times then stopped.
Investigation revealed a blown 100amp fuse which leads me to think that the oil is too thick for this time of year if the engine is not run regularly.
I also topped up the Rolls batteries with deionized water, which means they’ve used about 15lts since September!!, mind you I’ve just started the second 20lt drum with mine since then.
After a wander along the shore to see what the winter storms had thrown up
I went up to the new house to do a little work there.
It was just a case of a little tidying up, moving timber and cutting up some old OSB to make a gate to keep the new hens shut in a small area.
The dozen ISA brown pullets have been shut in there for a couple of days now
and wifey thought it was time to ‘open up their pop hole’ and let them out.
They’re kept separate from the rest for a week or so, but in an area where they can see each other, the older hens can get in if they want and we’ll keep an eye on things as regards bullying or henpecking.
I went around later to check on them and six were outside with the other half dozen still in the house, but one or two of the older hens had come to check them out. That’s one of the old ones, you can tell by her large red comb, the youngsters still have to develop it.
That was it really, by 15:30 I had to dash in to pack my bag and get changed ready for the long trip south in the ‘Old Girl’ with Lachie’s trailer. Tomorrow it’ll be off to ‘Accy’ and my mate MW