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.
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 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-27058766 . You have to laugh really, people are put off buying our ‘wee hoose’ http://www.greenshifters.co.uk/for_sale/1394_3_4_Bed_Croft_House_with_Land_Available 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
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
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
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
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,
though I got there in the end.
However, it’s now 23:00 and time for bed.