Sure enough I didn’t sleep a wink last night, or at least I don’t think I did, my wife will probably disagree, reminding me that you can’t snore when you’re wakened, but if I did snooze then it was pretty fitful. However I was out of bed at ‘cock crow’ and still ‘full of beans’, much to the hen ladies annoyance. Well, at least I didn’t have any nightmares, I’ll probably get those tonight, for I can hardly keep my eyes open right now, despite having just got out of bed for the third time today. Well, you know what they say ‘what goes up, must come down’, well I did around 14:00, with a bang. One minute I was slave driving my son and hauling large rocks, the next I was almost falling asleep so went to bed for an hour.
Feeling amazingly fresh considering what I’d done yesterday I was out early and off up to the hen shed even before porridge, the day was fine but wasn’t going to be for long so I wasn’t going to waste any of it. Having fully fenced two sides of the new enclosure the remaining ones just required the current one raising.
There is a 1m gap between the shed and the hens field but this will have a wooden decking on it with gaps between the planks. The idea of this is to help clean the hens feet before they return to their house, I know it sounds daft but every little helps and the less carp they take back in with them the less chance they have of dirtying the eggs. Until I had more posts and wood then that was about as far as I could go on the fencing front so I retired back to the house for ‘first breakfast’ and my Tramadol
I knew I was going to regret it but ‘the rain was on’ and I needed to move some heavy rocks once I managed to prise my son out of his bed.
I don’t like removing stone from old ruins but it’s a tradition of generations and this one has certainly had its ‘bones picked over’ long before ‘yours truly’ moved here. I guess there isn’t a stone built house on the west coast that didn’t have at least some of its walls salvaged from previous buildings, with that in mind I didn’t feel too bad.
There are some excellent pictures of this house in Rebecca Mackay’s books ‘The mills of Raasay’ and ‘Every Nook and Cranny’ which can be had directly from her at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s much better in the book trust me
After a couple of hours work we had a dozen or so dense blue ‘corner stanes’ that are just going to look boodly amazing in our new gable end I’m pretty sure the ancient volcanic rock is gabbro http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabbro and it’s often sold as ‘black granite’ for grave stones and worktops.
After all the exertion we headed home for some noodles and my bout of Tramadol induced activity came to a sharp and sudden end, I almost fell asleep at the table!!! So went to bed for an hour or so before heading up the barn to wire in my diving compressor.
My Bauer Utilus 10B diving compressor is just a miracle of German engineering, purchased new in 1984 for £1750 this high pressure machine is the ‘Rolls Royce’ of diving compressors. It is also a good example of that old adage ‘you get what you pay for’. When I was diving for clams this lived on the boat and was driven by a Honda petrol engine. At some point in its life it needed a new third stage piston and they were ‘on back order’. Quite simply that meant no air, no air meant no diving and no diving meant no money. By this time a new Bauer was almost £3000 so I bought an Italian Coltri instead for just over £1100, it lasted almost two years before it was completely clapped out Luckily I got the new part for the Bauer and it’s just as good now as the day I bought it.
I converted the compressor from petrol to electric motor some years ago and run it directly from the generator so as not to put too much strain on my batteries and inverter. I’m sure the Trace would cope but it takes over half an hour to fill a bottle which would take an awful lot out of my traction cells if I were filling two or three.
After wiring in the switch and a 16amp plug I started filling a couple of cylinders then ‘passing the time’ filing out some 24mm holes to 30mm. It’s a bit labourious so I only do 10 or so minutes at a time but I’ll get there in the end.
With the cylinders full and still several millimetres to go in the thick steel I ‘lost interest’ and turned my attention to power washing the paths, trailer and quads. After dinner I came down from my Tramadol high once more and went to bed for another hour, and having managed to secure a doctors appointment in Portree tomorrow I’m now off to bed early for the third time today Just hope there’s room on the ferry tomorrow and I don’t miss my slot, though it looks like we may have Hallaig back for Easter Monday, just as everyone is leaving!
"A further update from CalMac on the continuing disruption to service on the Mallaig to Armadale service. The MV Coruisk (the regular ship used on this crossing) is under-going sea trials following a recent incident. As a result we have been advised that the vessel is now expected to return to Mallaig on Saturday 19th April with the plan to re-commence normal service on Sunday the 20th. The replacement vessel currently deployed, the MV Hallaig, will operate until the Coruisk is fully ready for service."