Well no shortage of power this last few days that’s for sure, gale force winds for the Proven, sun for the PV and water for the hydro. The house is roasting with three heaters going and a joint in the oven, all the washing is done and the tumble drier on overtime. Not that the sun stays out for long, it’s more of a brief rainbow ration between heavy showers.
Not a great picture as it was snapped through the kitchen window on my ‘smartphone’ though what’s so smart about a phone that can do everything bar make calls is beyond me. Yup, I’m back using my son’s HTC Wildfire, having run over the old Nokia C2 last week in the Land Rover Smartphones may be ‘damn fine splendid’ in the toon but they’re pish out here in the sticks and I’m only using it until I can pick another C2 off eBlag.
It’s almost midday now and that’s me just finished those buttered chanterelles for my breakfast, I may be feeling much better in the back department, but as Maxi Jazz says :-
after 1:00am when I turned in last night and way past 3:00am before sleep at last overcame me. Of course it didn’t help having two ‘wee dugs’ instead of darling wife but I didn’t have the heart to turf them off the covers and I hate sleeping alone
Consequently it was well past 9:30 when I awoke, or should I say when darling wife shouted “what are you doing with two dogs on the clean linen” or words to that effect. Whatever, it had the desired effect and I rolled out of bed after removing Murray from my head. Then I had a shower and groggily surveyed my pill ration,
and tried to work out which ones to take first.
I’ve never been keen on taking medication and seldom finish a course of anything but this pile of ‘smarties’ certainly seems to help the pain. It makes me pass wind from both ends, gives me a dry mouth, constipation, no appetite (or at least not at the right time) and prevents me sleeping but at least I’m not being kept awake by the pain, which was the case before.
Feeding the pigs is still a little beyond me but I can manage the hens and eggs just fine and walking has become almost a pleasure this last couple of days. So, in between the showers I’ve been out for a couple of adventurous wee romps with wifey, Molly and Murray.
The first sojourn being to the old settlement of North Arnish, a once vibrant community that housed the local Post Office. Abandoned in the late fifties or early sixties several former inhabitants still lived locally until very recently when they passed away. I often go up there as it’s where my neighbours water supply comes from so I check it regularly for her. Or at least I thought I did, the five foot tall soaking wet bracken told another story. I just could not believe how quickly it had spread, the once deer and rabbit clipped pasture now a forest of ferns. Methinks I must not have been up there since my stone gathering spell for the new house in April https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2014/04/14/cornerstoned/ .
And I only know it was then because I ‘Googled’ it, if you’d have asked me I’d have said June, where does time go to these days?
We had to circle around to the bare rock and heather to the west to get there, still, as usual it was worth it.
It really is a beautiful spot up there, but you can’t help but feel for the folk that lived up there having to carry everything up from the shore on their backs.
Travelling homeward we had to take shelter in the birch wood
within the space of a couple of minutes this
deteriorated into that. Fortunately it didn’t last long, the sun came out and by the time we’d reached home the solar PV was belting it out.
The solar doing around 900w of it’s 960w peak, the wind turbine 1400w of it’s 2500w peak and the hydro a paltry 180w but that’s it on the summer nozzle. On the winter setting it would be doing more like 800w, the ‘Powerspout’ was pushing out 750w so pretty impressive, I’d be a much wealthier chap if I was claiming the ‘feed in tariff’. Bizarrely you can actually still claim it if you’re not connected to the grid!!! I don’t, mainly because I fitted all the gear myself so do not qualify, but also because I hate paperwork and it does seem a little unfair.
I’m not against the government encouraging people to invest in green technologies but I think they should be paying for it and not the poor sod who’s being ripped off by EDF and the like. It’s not a huge part of your bill that goes towards the FIT, a mere fraction of what goes into decommissioning nuclear in fact. It does however give them an incentive to have a huge bureaucracy administering it and and use it as an excuse for the high bills. Oh no it’s not those sharks putting up the price 20% when wholesale gas prices go up by 7% and keeping the price there when the wholesale price falls. No no that’s not what makes your bill expensive it’s the 11% in ‘green levies’, and of that around 2% supports the FIT. The rest goes into insulation schemes and the like, all of which are administered by the companies themselves so in reality they get an even larger slice of the pie themselves. Now 11% is far too much but pales into insignificance when you consider their profits doubled between 2011 and 2012.
Me, I think you’d all be better making your own like me
Overhauling the Warn XP 9.5 winch
Another thing I managed today was to get a little work done on my Warn winch https://www.warn.com/ . That’ll be the electric winch that sits in the front bumper of the ‘Old Girl’ and has done so for some eight years or so. It’s not just any old winch, it’s the best and cost me about £700. Sure I could have got some Chinese clone for a third of the price but this is the ‘real Macoy’ and has pulled me out of many a hole. It has also lifted and dragged more than it’s fair share of wind turbines. Admittedly it has not been all ‘plain sailing’ and I did have to fit a new motor a few years ago and change the solenoids. However it does sit on the front bumper and is quite often pressure washed by the inclement weather in these parts.
To be honest I was starting to loose faith in my trusty winch as after its last serious usage in February it was sounding a little poorly. However, after stripping it down and contacting them direct in Oregon I was given first hand advice on my recurring problem of sticking brushes. Basically, Steve Schoenfelders of Warn told me to coat the brushes in silicon grease to prevent the brushes sticking in the holder. OK, I know it sounds obvious but it works a treat, and it turns out Steve is also a Land Rover owner
He also knows first hand Simon Buck of Devon 4×4 http://www.devon4x4.com/ where I get all my winch parts from!! small world hey.
The spare parts I’d ordered were a seal and brake kit and both had arrived some time ago and I’ve been pottering about ‘on and off’ giving my 9500lb winch a new lease of life.
Stretching the 30m steel cable out and greasing it.
Tying it between a strainer post and shed the pulling it taught with a ratchet strap I was able to give it a good greasing and remove the kinks.
Cleaning up the planetary gears and fitting new seals with a little help from this video.
https://www.warn.com/truck/ReplacementParts/Self-RecoveryRPL/srrpl9.5xp.pdf This PDF that I printed out was also a great help
This I’d all done previously but today I managed to reassemble it with a new brake unit and get some paint on it.
Bizarrely the motor gaskets are not listed separately from the motor in the parts catalogue but a Cornflakes packet and hammer soon sorted that
The brake kit comes with comprehensive instructions, the most important of which is to keep that cardboard tube over the three ‘brake shoes’ prior to inserting in the drum, much as you’d fit pistons with a piston ring clamp.
Hopefully I’ll get it all assembled tomorrow.
That was about it really, Murray helped wifey feed the pigs and managed to get covered in mud so the Dude and I took him for a walk over the old peat path to Tarbert.
Prior to the building of ‘Calum’s road’ this was a shortcut to Rainey’s wall at Tarbert.
The path winds its way from our door, out through the gate, past our hens and new house over the peat and heather to the bay at Tarbert.
Sadly the last bit was demolished when the road was adopted by the council but many of the steps and most of the route is still visible.