Life at the end of the road

April 17, 2014

Fencing and filing :-(

Filed under: daily doings, shed/house, stonework — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:05 pm

Not quite so early out of my bed this morning, the lack of sleep the previous night having caught up with me, I was awoken by the alarm clock at 6:35am. I say ‘alarm clock’ but it’s actually the phone and it’s one of life’s great mysteries as to who set the thing at such a random time and switched it on in the first place. It goes off every morning at that time but I’m usually up anyway so have never bothered finding out how to turn it off. Anyway someone must have turned it off and the next thing I knew was that it was after 7:00am and I’d two dogs and no wife in bed with me. Charlie had arrived yesterday along with mum in law and somehow managed to find his way into the bedroom along with Molly and curl up by my head. Molly had wedged herself at my other side and I was trapped, a picture would have been in order but I dare not speak to my wife before 11:00am for fear of the shrapnel.


Wifey and M in L were off to Skye early to meet the Tesco van that is now delivering to Skye, no doubt in response to ASDA’s initiative last year of deliveries to south Skye from Inverness. Me, I fed the pigs and went up to the new house to continue fencing work around the new hen shed.



Not any of your actual fencing as such as I was needing more materials but just getting the top wire in place and strained ready for when I got the rest of the posts and wood.


This wire is just to hang the ‘chicken netting’ on prior to fastening it to the extended fence posts. I only had some ‘odds and ends’ of timber left to do a few but it’ll make the job much easier and quicker tomorrow when I do have the required posts and timber.

014  015  016

This homemade reel for unwinding a coil of wire certainly makes life easier when fencing. It’s just an old cable drum with a long threaded bar through the centre and four short ones around the outside with some copper pipe pushed over them. The roll of wire fits over the copper tube with two pieces of timber to hold it in place (one below and one above), the wire can then be pulled off without getting any twists in it.



As you can see by the sunbathing Tamworths it was a bonny, bonny day and the one shower that did arrive around 13:00 was so totally insignificant as to not warrant a mention. It happened just as I’d returned home to get ready for catching the 14:30 ferry and lasted all of two minutes. Having said that it must have truly pished down during the night for all the burns were in spate, the pig troughs full of water and the hydro turbine ‘belting it out’. Added to the wind and rain was the sun, consequently, even with one hydro turbine shutdown we were still heating the house with excess energy.

This was a far cry from the rest of northern Scotland, some 205,000 homes in total that had suffered a major blackout . You have to laugh really, people are put off buying our ‘wee hoose’ because it’s ‘off grid’ yet we’ve had less power cuts in 8 years than most people have had this winter, and our cuts have been for minutes, not hours or even days. There’s one thing for sure, as Putin puts the screws on gas supplies and the National Grid fails to get invested in, then things will only get worse as pressure on it increases. The huge pressure put on the grid by the switch from traditional heating methods to the use of GSHP and ASHP (ground source and air source heat pumps) can only make this infrastructure more fragile. Me, I wouldn’t have a grid connection if I was offered one for free Smile

Reluctantly I dragged myself away from the croft to head off for the 14:30 ferry, being well and truly miffed at having to go away on such a fine day. However, I’d a doctors appointment and wood to collect to finish the fencing and it had to be done. I was doubly pi55ed off at having to set off early so as to be ensured a place on the much smaller and noisier MV Loch Linnhe as our  MV Hallaig was still in Mallaig Sad smile



The view of Holloman island and the entrance to Portree will attest to the fact that it was far too nice a day to be going to town.



I dunno what this rock at Oskaig is called and I don’t have Rebecca’s book ‘Every Nook and Cranny’ at hand but it’s always reminded me of an anvil.



This is of course indelibly etched in my mind as the Sgier Cnappach (scuse the spelling) as I suffered a bend there some 18 years ago.



As it turned out the ferry wasn’t that busy, and after boarding the ‘wee dug’ and I went up to see the Master.


The old Linnhe is a little less refined than the Hallaig Smile

Once in Portree I loaded up with timber and stobs at Harbro before going to the ‘quacks’ and getting a bucket load of drugs and promise of appointments to sort out my back and left arm.



Ruin at Holloman


Brochel Castle

By the time I got back home it was going up for 19:00, the Dude had fed the pigs, the wife made a lovely pasta and I was was still in ‘work mode’. So, after dinner I retired to my workshop for an hour or so of filing.


The holes in this 10mm thick steel angle needed opening out from 20mm to almost 30mm,


23mm is as big as I can drill, so the last few mm were something of an epic,

020 018 026

though I got there in the end.

However, it’s now 23:00 and time for bed.



  1. Morning, Paul

    Lovely photos – thanks. When is the Hallaig expected back? And will she be taken off the Raasay run whenever there’s a ferry problem on a busy route?


    Comment by Sue — April 18, 2014 @ 7:50 am

    • Hopefully she’ll be back on Sunday for good 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 18, 2014 @ 9:29 am

      • That’s good. I’m looking forward to my first crossing on her in July.


        Comment by Sue — April 18, 2014 @ 5:48 pm

  2. Youll not get the photo of holomon like that much longer mate ,, the dreaded fish farm is on route as we speak ! 14 cages are on route very shortly mate just north of that ! That, ll be the start of more to come , once they make the free press means they are already passedby the powers that be ! The planning shit is this weeks free press page 22 best o luck with them ,,, thats another site they will get up an running ,

    Comment by BW — April 18, 2014 @ 11:56 am

  3. Paul just viewed your photo with the craven & the new house pointing towards Skye, man what a view from land. All I can say, I now understand why you only moved a few yards to your new plot. Just envy.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — April 18, 2014 @ 10:23 pm

    • Glad you like it Walter, it was just a shame that we couldn’t put the caravan the other way around, mind you the vista from the bedroom is stunning.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2014 @ 6:32 am

  4. I have cut 15mm mild steel plate with an ordinary domestic jigsaw, just keep plenty of oil on the blade and don’t rush it. It might take 20 minutes. I cut 60mm holes for a digger repair. I think you could cut holes down to about 20mm diameter in plate like this.

    Comment by max — April 30, 2014 @ 7:11 pm

    • Never gave that a thought right enough Max, you’re probably right and it wouldn’t have been an issue if the hole was a bit larger anyway.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — May 5, 2014 @ 5:03 am

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