Life at the end of the road

September 21, 2015

Roaring away

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:41 pm

Gosh, the month’s holiday is almost over and it feels like I’ll being going back to work in a different season, which I guess I almost will. The autumn equinox is only a day or two away and already things are changing rapidly. After clouds of Kamikaze midge in the sunshine last week they seem to have almost vanished overnight. It’s been dark now since just after 20:00 and already there’s a stag outside bellowing for all he’s worth, first frost is usually when they start that carry on but there’s no sign of that yet. One of the blighters has managed to get over the deer fence around wifey’s old veg plot and made a mess of the neighbours veg. Needless to say he’ll be destined for our freezer Smile well, he will as soon as we get power into the bunker and the freezer in position.

Yes, it really does feel like the worst summer in my living memory is finally by with and hopefully we’ll not have too harsh a winter. Our rowan tree behind the caravan has very few berries on, which is, allegedly a good sign, not so the ones in the woods at Torran though. Perhaps we’ll have a mild winter at Sonas and a cold one at the Schoolhouse Smile 

The last full day at home was spent finishing off the wiring for the solar water and heat pump controllers, giving the inside of our store cupboard that ‘industrial’ look. I didn’t have any of that pretty white PVC trunking large enough so went for the more rugged alternative, PVC flexible conduit , it is the inside of a cupboard after all and this stuff is easier to make airtight.


The ends are all sealed with silicon so should let any draughts in.

210915 003 210915 002

The transition into the ‘bunker’ is via 32mm water pipe which is so snug a fit within the wood and block that it needs no sealer. The pipe will be sealed eventually but I’ve a few more meters to run to the store first.

210915 001

I used a seven core 11amp trailer cable for the three solar sensors, six of the cores being used, two for each sensor for the MTDC controller.


These monitor the temperature of the panels and the thermal store, when the difference between the panels and the bottom of the store is more than 5 degrees the circulation pump starts. If the sensor in the tank detects an excessively high temperature another pump is started to circulate the water in the store and cool it down. 

The water pipes into the rooms also got a similar treatment with lots of silicon and some nicer wood.

210915 004

The wrasse fishing boat returned

210915 006

and I managed to find a better picture of it that I took two years ago in Portree.


The rest of the day was taken up clearing away tools, tidying up and finally doing the last ‘wee job’ on the ‘Old Girl’ for the MOT tomorrow.


210915 008

This would be the front nearside flexible brake hose which was fouling the tyre on full lock.


210915 007

A quick adjustment on the offside ‘lock stop’ sorted that out ( I hope) Smile

That was it really, tomorrow will be a day on the mainland and Skye visiting parents and shopping for the ‘fortnight on’.

September 20, 2015

Fiddly jobs :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, shed/house — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:31 pm

After 21:00 now and I’m just in and showered had I been outside I’d have been showered to cos it’s pishing down now. Can’t complain right enough, for it’s the first I’ve seen all day despite some of the ‘wet stuff’ being forecast. It has on the whole been the best spell of weather in months and I’ve been wearing safety sandals now for over a week, even had the shirt off at one point.

The controllers

To be honest, the weather wouldn’t have made a great deal of difference to the ‘work done’ tally this last few days as much of it has been inside. I’ve spent the best part of two days just fiddling about with my solar and heat pump controllers.


190915 001 190915 002 190915 004 190915 005

After finding that both units were just too wide to mount flush on the wall between the corner of the corridor and the cupboard architrave I came up with a ‘cunning plan’. This involved the base of an old hardwood drawer which I trimmed to size on Donald Angus’s saw bench, I really am going to miss that when the house is finished.

190915 003190915 010

The plan was to mount them in this corner at the end of the corridor by the store cupboard. This backs onto the ‘Bunker’ and means that the cable run would be the shortest possible. It’s also just about the only place I could run 18 or so sensor and supply cables discretely. The sensors having to be routed in different conduit to the mains supply and relay cables to prevent interference.

Whilst I was fiddling away up and down the loft trying to get all this spaghetti sorted out my son was putting coat number 3 on the gable end.

190915 007


Iain, Raasay’s bespoke ‘bench joiner’ was working on our handmade oak units,

190915 008 190915 006

look at those lovely joints.


190915 009

That’ll be the iroko getting ‘tried for size’, the sink unit will be the only one with doors on, and that’s to hide the plumbing.


An early finish and shower yesterday prior to heading around to ‘Number 3’ for a veggie feast and the makings of a sore head. Luckily the headache never materialized and I was up early this morning and off to the pigs with some veggies for them Smile

200915 001

Not from the kitchen I hasten to add but leftovers from the village shop, it’s illegal to feed pigs anything that comes out of the kitchen.

 200915 002

Molly definitely prefers four wheels to two Smile This lovely Triumph Thunderbird must have spent the night ‘oop north’, I had a 1969 Bonneville the same colour. It never had indicators or an electric start but it did have drum brakes and plenty of oil leaks Smile

Back to the cabling or ‘whatever happened to the K taper’

Pigs hens and self fed it was back into the loft to bore some 32mm holes through the house, a size I chose on account of having a 32mm ‘K taper’ bit and some 32mm water pipe that would nicely fit through the hole. That would leave me a respectable 25mm bore to run the cables through, one for sensors and low voltage DC and one for the relays and power.


200915 003 200915 004

When I bought my Hitachi 38mm ‘demolition pick/drill’ some 30 years ago it came with a ‘K taper’ fitting that was quite common in the eighties. It seems to have gone out of fashion now in favour of SDS or DSD Max, shame really coz you’ll never bend or break one of these at the shank, unlike SDS. The good thing is the bits van often be had very cheaply on eBay, of course that’s only when you don’t actually need one that size Smile


200915 005

First off I drilled a 52mm hole in the plywood then went through the middle with the hammer drill. I then pushed the water pipe though and finished both ends with a wooden plate with a 32mm hole in the middle and screwed it to the wall on both sides providing a nice air tight seal.


200915 007

Hard to see on the picture, but just off ‘The Aird’ or ‘The Cape’ as we used to call it is a yellow catamaran fishing for wrasse. These are caught and sold to the fish farms who put them in the cages with the salmon where they eat the lice off of them.

200915 008 200915 009

For a bit of a change, and to help the neighbours out I went around to ‘Number 3’ to collect some more stone for the gable end, after I’d moved some trees out of the way for them of course. I’m gonna miss this too when the house is finished Sad smile


200915 010 200915 011

I also fitted some cable tray beside the thermal store to run all the wiring for the five immersions, pumps and multitude of sensors.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at