Life at the end of the road

November 8, 2014

Summer again :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, pigs — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:35 am

OK, perhaps not but it felt like it after yesterday, not that I minded, it was so good to ‘back in the thick of it’, ie covered in mud and smelling of pig 5h1t.

017 018

Darling wife had put Dick and Tracey out on the hill whilst I was away and in true pig fashion they spend the whole time grubbing about where they shouldn’t. They have the whole of the north end to roam about in but they make a B line for the hens and new house. Sure they’re great fun but they do have the knack of digging holes where you really don’t want any. Right in front of one of the access doors to the hen house for one, no doubt sniffing stuff that had been brushed out of the door.

Anyway, that was it, by the end of the day they were back on the croft and sleeping in the barn. My OCD had enough of pig rooting’s about the house and they’d turned a patch of clay near the hen house into a swamp. Dick and Tracey were under ‘house arrest’, or at least ‘croft arrest’, at least until Sunday when it may have dried out.

Poor ‘Bumble foot’

It is an ‘agricultural shed’ after all but I arrived back from Troon to find a hen in my barn and hen 5h1t over everything. It wasn’t a surprise as wifey had told me that she’d isolated a hen with ‘bumble foot’ a condition caused by the opportunistic bacteria . The infection causes a swelling which  can be treated with antibiotic’s and soaking the infected foot in an Epsom salts solution.



Whilst I was away Wifey and the Dude had moved her into the barn and were treating her daily. The plucky little chook was quite happy in there and soon found a box to use as a nest, though her eggs would be given to the crows.

The first night home I was too tired even for a glass of the Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo I’d picked up on the way north. Last night however I managed a couple so wasn’t out of my bed until 7:00am this morning. However, as soon as I got up I regretted my overindulgence for it was a fine autumn morning and I’d got things to do.



Job number one being a walk down to the ‘secret cove’ to check on the hydro turbine and make a few adjustments. We are well into the ‘rainy season’ now so a couple of larger jets in the hydro turbine would be of benefit over the winter. The photo is pure rubbish but trust me, it was beautiful, the peaty water cascading through the aspens into the gorge below leaving the sea looking like a fine Islay malt. Actually it was more like Navy rum but that didn’t seem quite so poetic, or is it pretentious Smile 



Next task was to make sense of this 22.8m of 50mm square 4 core cable that I’d purchased off eBlag, at 3kg per metre it’s quite a handful on a broken drum. I bought this from Bristol via eBay on Sunday night, paid via bank transfer then emailed Richard at Skye Express . I meant to phone them on Monday to confirm but forgot, next thing I get an email from the seller apologising for the poor packaging as someone came to collect it on Monday morning!!!!

I can’t actually remember when it arrived at Sconser but it was on Raasay when I arrived home on Wednesday. Now that’s what I call service Smile sure I’ve used them for years for everything from wind turbine masts to Lister generators and they’ve never let me down. Actually that’s not quite true Sad smile they did have one driver who was less than careful with his deliveries. Still he’s gone, died in fact, and even though he’d a habit of pushing things out of the back of the van that he couldn’t lift, he was a character.

I’d driven down to the pier yesterday in the ‘Old Girl’ towing a trailer load of scrap to pass on to the island’s ‘Steptoe’ Smile Truth is I was going to buy some heating oil off him and try out my new fuel pump. Thirty years I’ve been moving barrels of diesel, oil, kerosene and even petrol. Yup, when I lived on Scalpay we used to drive into Broadford and fill four barrels with petrol in the back of a Land Rover then roll them down the beach into a boat. Can’t remember how much petrol costs these days but I guess that would be around a grand at today’s prices.

It’s a wonder we never blew ourselves up really, often the barrels leaked and at least two of us were smokers at the time. Anyway, the point of this is that in my time I must have moved hundreds if not thousands of 200lt barrels of fuel and I’ve had enough of it. Sure I’ve got pumps both manual and electric but up until Wednesday I’ve never had a proper self priming pump with a trigger operated nozzle.


Anyway, it was £100 and worth every penny, transferring 214lts of heating oil into 10 containers in minutes without a drop spilt. The last time I did this same operation I had to do it manually into a barrel then transfer it via a tap and gravity into the containers when needed. This has definitely made my life a little easier Smile

Kinda got distracted there, where was I?


Sorry, I seem to be losing the knack of this blogging lark, fell asleep there after just two glasses of MDA.

It’s 7:20 and still dark so I’ll try and wind up.



I figured the best way to move the cable up to the house was tow it with the quad, which had the advantage of straightening it out too. Worked a treat as this kind of armoured cable is hard to work with, it’s to power the DC immersion heaters in our thermal store and has to be pushed 11m through an underground duct.


The 50mm square cable will then be connected to some 70mm square tails that go the controllers.


Apart from this there was a spell of clearing out yet more stuff from my workshop to make way for the new owners.


Thirty years worth of ‘treasure’ and you can bet that anything I throw away will be needed within weeks!


Pure stunner of a day it was too


and that grass is still growing in November, but I’ll leave the lawn mower for the new owners. We’re having a ‘rock garden’ at the new house Smile



  1. Great pictures. Love the autumnal look.

    Comment by Andrew — November 8, 2014 @ 7:50 am

  2. Cant be long for the old house now paul, are you off to the schoolhouse until the new house is ready? I will try and get up and see grant before the end of the year, perhaps see you then.

    Comment by v8mbo — November 8, 2014 @ 7:52 am

  3. Hi Paul, you may lose the plot occasionally, you may even get distracted at times, but boring NEVER.

    Comment by ROBERT FINDLAY — November 8, 2014 @ 8:51 am

  4. Hi Paul, are you all in the static now then?….How long until the new house is finished? Love to the Swineherd and Ross.

    Comment by Lloyd — November 8, 2014 @ 9:29 am

  5. Poor Dude, boarding at school all week and returning to weekends at a schoolhouse. Maybe he will become twice as smart by the time the new house is ready?

    Comment by Drgeo — November 9, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

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