Life at the end of the road

February 4, 2015

No mail today :-(

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:36 pm

Well that’s me just finished day number two of a month holiday, sorry I never got anything ‘down on paper’ last night but it was a long day and I received another gift from Sue through the post

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hic. Somehow methinks the order was duplicated Smile so long as you don’t get invoiced twice Sue, I won’t say a word Smile Anyway the ‘Willy Willy’, ‘Black Duck’ and ‘President XV’ were lovely. The Argentinian number we’ll save for the neighbours tomorrow, for we now have another permanent ‘bunch of fruitcakes’ at the ‘North End’. You don’t have to be mad to live here but most of the ‘regulars’ are Smile Believe me (and include me) Arnish and Torran have had their fair share of characters this last 30 years.

A momentous week

The ‘two weeks on’ saw very little on the blogging front due to the long days on the Hallaig, we’ve now acquired an extra sailing in the winter so I don’t actually get home until after 20:30 some 14 hours after ‘quading’ down the Torran track. Even though the weather has been, on the whole carp it did herald two of the years ‘milestones’.

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Sunrise at 8:41 had my ‘prat nav’ screen turning white on Sunday, it’s been resolutely green on the way to work since October.

I got distracted

Sorry, can’t even remember what milestone number two was, it’s now the 4th of February and I started writing this in January. So, where was I? 

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Well, obviously ‘in the sun’ at some point, for I’ve just found the second ‘milestone in my camera, some sunshine in the living room window. The first this year and just in time to welcome the new neighbours who arrived on Thursday.

Though by the time they’d got to Raasay the roads had been gritted,

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too late for Phoebe who very nearly took wifey ‘to the edge’, in more ways than one.

Needless to say, there was no mail on Thursday Sad smile In fact, with snow and ice plaguing the rest of the week I either took her in to work or escorted her in the ‘Old Girl’.

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It wasn’t so much the snow as the ice and whilst the local contractor did an excellent job of keeping the road clear it wasn’t enough to stop both Phoebe and the ‘Old Girl’ coming off the road.

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Luckily it never stopped MacDougall’s delivering our new neighbours ‘goods and chattels’ safely to ‘number 3’.

Throwing the switch

After seeing them settled in and demolishing a cup or two of coffee laced with Bailey’s, or was it Drambuie Smile I then turned my attention to the ‘Sunny Island’ inverter and associated ‘gubbins’ that would be powering our new house. I installed the SI 6048H inverter last year, 120 days ago in fact, but it’s not actually been doing a great deal. It’s been switched on and there’s been a 2.5kW solar array keeping the batteries charged but it’s not actually done much work.

The trusty old Trace SW4548e at ‘number 3’ has, until Friday or Saturday been supplying all the power for the three properties. However, with the house now occupied and the neighbours ‘educated’ it seemed like the right tie to ‘cut the umbilical cord’ to Sonas. First however there were things to be done.


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The three Tri Star TS 45 controllers needing wiring up and extra ‘dump loads’ fitted.


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Four of these 1500w resistors would give me 6kW to add to the 1kW I already had installed in the generator shed.


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Not that they saw much action with the solar panels covered in snow.

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Still, there’s always the hydro Smile

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That’s the ‘Powerspout’ hydro turbine producing 786w and the Sunny Island off grid inverter putting 700w into the batteries.

Loch Arnish with a good breeze of north wind.

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Loch Arnish from Torran Schoolhouse.

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  1. Great the weathers keeping a low profile, soon be May when you get your first good weather. Paul I didn’t know you where on the national grid with your black meter.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — February 4, 2015 @ 7:59 pm

    • Morning Walter, I have those meters everywhere to tell me what I’m producing and using, though that one was a bit of a disaster. It was intended to count the kWh used but due to a wiring error it runs backwards when I’m producing more than I’m using and forwards when I’m using more than I’m producing. So it is actually very handy as it gives me a good idea of how efficient my system is, so I could bull***t people and say I did it deliberately 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2015 @ 11:13 am

  2. Well, aren’t you a lucky one! I sent an e-mail to you explaining that you might get two but it may not have arrived since you were at the time in transit between houses and without your Applecross broadband connection. The original delivery got stuck for ages at the Inverness delivery office so the wine society said they’d send a replacement, which they did, I assumed that the content had disappeared and been enjoyed by person or persons unknown. I’m very glad that it didn’t – so no, one invoice only!

    Comment by Sue — February 5, 2015 @ 7:37 am

    • Morning Sue,

      yes, must have missed that email in the ‘transition’ along with a gazillion other things, like my shaver. Boy do I look like ‘the wild man of Borneo’ just now, with long hair (for me) and a beard.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2015 @ 11:08 am

      • I wondered why there were no pics of you on the blog today….

        Comment by Sue — February 5, 2015 @ 5:00 pm

  3. It only seems 5 minutes since you had your last holiday, any chance of a job with your lot. Anyway it will give you a chance to do some work on the new house.

    Comment by Stan — February 5, 2015 @ 9:42 am

    • Aye Stan, my job is so good that I pinch myself every morning just to make sure I’m not dreaming. I only work half of the year, get well paid, have a pension, and share my working day with the best ‘ship mates’ you could wish for. The Hallaig is a pure pleasure to work on and we’re pretty much left to our own devices. I am indeed very lucky indeed 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 5, 2015 @ 11:18 am

  4. Love your last pic from the School House. Is that the same picnic table that featured in the HFW programme with the Spoots ?
    Hope you enjoy the rest of your “holiday” and the weather is kind to you

    Comment by chrisbbbbb — February 7, 2015 @ 8:34 pm

    • Morning Chris,

      that will be the very table and we’re using the very pan that Hugh used to cook the spoots in white wine, olive oil and paprika 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 9, 2015 @ 6:19 am

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