Life at the end of the road

February 9, 2015

That’s more like it :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, life off grid, shed/house, Trucks and plant, wind turbine — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:48 pm

I thought I’d have a rest from programming inverters today, or should I say trying to program inverters. Things seemed to be functioning well enough when I left yesterday and to be quite honest I’d had enough of it. I was also figuring that if I left it a day or two it would give me chance to forget what I’d learned, my logic being that it may sink in better that way. Let’s be honest, much as I hate not being able to repair things with a hammer and can of WD40, the future lies in the dreaded ‘laptop and software’. I’m figuring that if I can learn how to do all this stuff before I retire in ten years time ‘all will be peachy’ Smile

Anyway, there’s an exciting week ahead of us and I was up early enough to spend a little time on here before feeding my son ‘flame grilled’ cheese on toast prior to leaving the house at 7:00.

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There cannot be many pupils in Portree High that catch a quad, car, ferry and bus to school every morning, let alone have an eccentric father that sets fire to his toast with a blow lamp. Probably contravening more EU regulations before 8:00am than most people do in a lifetime.

Where do I start, well there’s the uncertified water in his tea, the jobby that went into the unregistered septic tank, the none ‘food grade’ gas in the none hygienic blow lamp. There’ll be the lack of helmet on the quad not to mention carrying passengers and I won’t even go into the car related misdemeanours Smile Not really a shinning example of parenthood am I?

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Anyway, after dropping my son off at the ferry terminal to catch the 7:55 to Sconser I headed back up to the caravan to do some ‘puter stuff that’s impossible on the schoolhouse satellite link. Now the broadband here at Arnish is positively ‘interstellar’ when compared to the ‘QSat’ satellite system at the schoolhouse. I used to have the same system at ‘number 3’ up until sixteen months ago and I’d forgotten just how bad it was. Sure it’s better than nothing, but only just and I was paying £40 or £50 a month for a pathetic 3gb data allowance at snails pace. Pages refused to load, pictures got compressed, emails would not come through and sometimes clogged up the system. Videos either refused to play or just ate up all your monthly allowance when they did, there was also something really fishy going on. I could top up a 3dongle with 3gB and watch YouTube all night without using 3gB in a month, yet I could use up my QSat allowance in 15 days whilst hardly watching any.

Of course that all changed when we got a wireless link from Skye via ‘Applenet’ the Applecross Community Broadband company in 2013. Since then we’ve had the fastest and most reliable broadband on Raasay Smile Best of all I get it free because I keep the mast ‘powered up’ Smile

So, with the latest video from ‘Billy’s Barge’ watched I set about laying the 10mm square armoured cable and breaker from the workshop to the new house. In most places it’s the other way around but me, I got my priorities in life the right way round, shed before house Smile


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This will all be covered in ‘Sterling board’ like the rest of the shed eventually so I cut a hole through one of the RSJ’s with a cordless drill and Bosch hole cutter. I have in fact cut several holes through these thick steel beams, two of them off one battery, I was greatly impressed as the hole saw seemed just as sharp when I’d finished the fourth hole in steel and the third in wood as it was when I started. Mind you I did keep spraying it with copious amounts of WD40 as I cut the holes.

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Around 10:00am Lachie arrived with 49 sheets of insulation for above the slab and below the UFH pipes.


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The plumber, Kenny Montgomery of Dunvegan is booked for Wednesday so that should be quite exciting.

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Welcome to ‘off the grid’

With the oil tanker booked for a visit to Raasay tomorrow I took the opportunity to introduce the new neighbours at ‘number 3’ to one of the more onerous tasks.

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We transported my bowser down to Brochel and probably flushed a few more EU regulations down the toilet whilst we were at it.


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A little later in the afternoon Ali turned up with 23tons of aggregate for the floor, some three years after his last visit here with the stuff for the barn slab. His truck was brand new then and he was a little miffed at scratching it on overhanging trees on the way up. It still looks good after three years hard work and he even found time for a bit of sightseeing.


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Whilst Lachie bashed on with the floor insulation I started working on some pipe work for filling Harry’s diesel tank.


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Again, in the interests of making life easy for retirement I’m laying a permanent pipe for filling the diesel tank at the back of the shed.

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That was it really, a busy day with much achieved and the new wind turbine going well all day. Overnight it had generated 8kWh in 12hours, an average of around 660w per hour not bad considering it wasn’t really windy. We managed to live quite happily on 3.5kWh per day for five years.



  1. Love the flamethrown cheesy toast Paul !!

    Comment by v8mbo — February 9, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

  2. Hi Paul

    LOVE the hair and beard!


    Comment by Sue — February 9, 2015 @ 10:02 pm

  3. would love to try the new method of cheese and toast but smoke alarm would be going off and the they teach kids at school now fire fighting and smoke alarm without a battery reporting

    ha ha
    your builders are a hardy bunch
    cant wait to see the finished product

    Comment by Duncan Boyle — February 9, 2015 @ 10:20 pm

  4. Cheese on toast Yum.

    Comment by Alistair — February 10, 2015 @ 8:04 am

  5. Hi Paul.
    Looks like things are moving up a step at the homestead. You’ll be doing the old bacon and egg on the spade trick next.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — February 10, 2015 @ 10:47 am

  6. Hi Paul, just catching up on your recent posts.

    “There cannot be many pupils in Portree High that catch a quad, car, ferry and bus to school every morning, let alone have an eccentric father that sets fire to his toast with a blow lamp. Probably contravening more EU regulations before 8:00am than most people do in a lifetime.”

    That has me convulsed with laughter; you’ve brightened my day no end. Thanks!

    Comment by Carrie — February 12, 2015 @ 1:02 pm

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