Well, that’s my ‘months hard labour’ over with, apart from a few hours with my parents tomorrow doing the odd job, I’ll be back at sea on the Hallaig before the afternoon is out. To be quite honest I’m looking forward to the rest, the last few days has really taken it out of me and bits of are aching that i didn’t even know could ache.
It’s not quite 19:30 and the only reason that I’m blogging now and not soaking in Radox is that I can’t actually move anything other than my fingers without wincing. As soon as I digest dinner and loosen up a little once the Chardonnay starts to work I’ll be off for a dip.
Gosh, almost 21:00 now and I’m feeling almost human so I’ll try and recall what’s been happening, well it’s not rained for almost three days so that’s something. Sunday felt like spring proper with frogspawn, birdsong, me out of the house long before 7:00 and all the pigs waiting for me at the end of the road. Ellie and the two boys live under a rhododendron bush by the road sign so are often roused by my loading up the feed bucket on the croft. Rocky and Jamie Lea on the other hand live in an ark at the bottom of the hill so usually have breakfast delivered, not on Sunday though. Whatever had me up at ‘cock crow’ also infected the pigs and had them charging around the car park a good hour before their normal breakfast time.
Quad track rod ends (tie rod ends in the US)
A long overdue job that I tackled ‘early doors’ on Sunday was the track rod ends on my mates Yamaha 350 Bruin. The inner one had failed some months ago and this was me just getting around to fixing it properly for him after the temporary bodge I’d done last year.
That picture was actually from when the other side failed in 2012 but you get the picture, the track rod ends point the wheels in the right direction and stop you getting ‘knock kneed’ Anyway I ‘fixed’ it last year by squeezing it in a vice and like many ‘temporary repairs’ it became a little permanent. Sadly, I can’t even blame that on the shipping from America, as the parts arrived in around ten days and were still much cheaper than buying them in the UK by a long shot. Though bizarrely it wasn’t the track rod ends themselves that cost an arm and a leg in Britain it was delivery, yup, it’s cheaper to get them sent from North Carolina than Cumbria!!! Just imagine what they’re going to charge if Scotland gains independence This Yamaha 350 Bruin is a seriously reliable and well worked machine but dealers are thin on the ground and this model with it’s automatic transmission seems poorly supported over here. Fortunately it’s very popular in the States where Americans seem to have a problem with gears and clutches
Changing them is pretty straightforward, one is a LH thread and one a RH thread, they won’t go on the wrong way, so all you have to do is measure the overall length so as not to have to set the tracking afterwards.
With the Yamaha sorted I then got on with giving Lachie’s telehandler a good greasing prior to breakfast and another marathon stone gathering session.
The gathering of suitable building sized stones for the gable continued until around 14:00 when my back started to complain.
I then proceeded with the labourious task of drilling 28mm holes 400mm deep into the very hard rock that’s going to be the base for my Proven 11m mast.
Four holes was all I managed, but that took me until almost 18:00, by which time my hands were numb and I’d had enough. I only actually had for studs anyway so saw little point in doing the other four until I had the rest of the tensile rod.
Well, it was a bonny, cool and frosty morning, not that you’d guess from the photo from the bedroom window. However, puddles on the road were covered in ice this morning and the ground was ‘stiff’, not frozen solid but hard and decidedly firm underfoot
After dropping off the boy for the school ferry I headed to our community shop with eggs, expecting to leave them on the doorstep and surprised to find it occupied.
Our shop has been in turmoil of late due to a major refurbishment and the workers had started early so I had the chance of a ‘wee peek’.
The post Office section was looking far brighter, roomier and better laid out that’s for sure.
Of course there’s still an awful lot of stuff to go back in the shop but all the extra insulation certainly made the place warmer than it’s ever been on such a fresh morning.
The community owned shop is looking for volunteers to help paint it if anyone can spare a few hours later this week or next week, just be careful with that lovely new floor
Back home before 9:00am and the place really did have a different feel about it,
the washing was on the line and the ‘wee dug’ out in the sun guarding it.
Molly looking far slimmer and acting a little more ‘chilled’ since we stopped feeding her that Baker’s muck with it’s 5% sugar and thirteen e numbers.
After breakfast it was up to the wind turbine base once more to start cleaning out the bore holes and injecting the Hilti HIT RE500 resin to secure the studs.
A good blast with compressed air from a diving cylinder followed by a suck out with a hoover then a final buffing up with a ramrod made from a length of M6 threaded rod and a 4” paint roller.
The last time I did this was in the summer and the resin went off far too quickly but the cool rocks of March meant a good two hours to play with.
That done it was back to moving rocks once more with the wife
and of course, the ‘wee dug’.
Meanwhile on the Loch Seaforth
Just arrived this morning in my ‘in box’ and at Flensburg from Gdansk is the accommodation, superstructure and bridge module for the MV Loch Seaforth.
Thanks to John Alan Gillies once more for that one.