Life at the end of the road

February 26, 2016

Get it from Germany

Filed under: daily doings, stonework — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:40 pm

One thing about living in the Highlands, you get seriously ripped off with postage and delivery charges. It’s not even just the islands nowadays, it appears to be anywhere north of Glasgow. Yesterday’s conversation with a chap at was just typical.

I needed what they call an ‘accessory’ to their excellent ASM170 generator start module

ASM170 engine controller - click to enlarge

It’s a great piece of kit but at way over £200 it’s not cheap so you would expect it to come with the 20 pin plug you need to wire it up. Not so, that bit is another £36!!! Now that I can live with (just) but what really pi55ed me off was the £30 delivery charge (only £12 for the rest of the UK). Bearing in mind that this plug will fit in a ‘jiffy bag’ in struck me as extortionate but no amount of pleading could persuade the chap to post it via Royal Mail for a fraction of the cost and with guaranteed delivery within a couple of days. I know well enough from long experience that if parcels are sent via TNT, DHL, FedEx, Hermes or anyone else then we get them on Thursday and only Thursday. So trying to order that on Wednesday would have seen me forking out £30 for an eight day service. I got them to send it to Glasgow for £12 and will get wifey to collect it or MiL to post it.

Sharp contrast to the starter solenoid I ordered off eBay the same day and roughly the same size, that arrived today and the whole thing including postage was less than half the price of a DHL delivery. Even better was the tow bar for the Egg Chariot, that weighed over 20kg, was ordered at the same time as the starter solenoid and module plug, cost me £20 for delivery from GERMANY and arrived today!!!!!! 

A trip to see Pop

Thursday had us up early, over to Sconser quarry in the ‘Old Girl’ for chippings then off to Aultbea  to see me Pop at the Isle View care home. The isle in question being the Isle of Ewe in Loch Ewe, it’s a superior care home with outstanding vistas over the loch. Mind you it’s a fair old trek from Raasay but well worth the effort, the staff are amazing, keep us updated with weekly with reports on how he’s doing and even arrange Skype calls for me Mam. Well they used to until she lost her internet almost a fortnight ago. The usual BT carry on “It’s not a line fault” bolloxx “we can send an engineer out in a week but you may need to pay”. Then a few days later “sorry it is a line fault, we’ll send someone out on the 1st of March”. Boodly clowns, me mum is distraught, it’s the only way she can see me Pop without a 200 mile round trip.

Anyway, it was a lovely drive up there and back in wifey’s ‘Egg Chariot’, the Symmetrical 4WD of the Subaru making light work of what snow there was. Collecting the ‘Old Girl’, now grossing over 5tonne from the quarry we finally got home at around 19:00.

More chuckies

Today, unfortunately we had to leave the island once more, this time for pig and hen feed. Making the most of it I spent a few hours in the morning preparing in front of the house for the load we got yesterday.

260216 001

Collected some rocks from Tarbert for the edges then headed once more to civilization, leaving the trailer at Sconser to fill on the way back.


260216 002 260216 003 260216 004

By 19:30 I had most of it spread out by Fred Flintstone’s picnic table.

 260216 005 260216 007

I can just see us drinking cold beer here in the summer Smile


  1. Have you considered products from Deep Sea for generator starting? I’ve got two DSE 703 (one per generator) and they work a treat – plus: they have screw terminals!
    The 703 is now obsolete according to their web site, but their current modules are here:
    Deep Sea is also a UK company, so no messing around with 110V and if you do end up having a problem (I thought I did once, but it turned out to be a perished cable), you talk to the guys who came up with the electrics in their language in their time zone….

    Comment by Eric Bautsch — February 27, 2016 @ 7:33 am

    • Morning Eric, great to see you’re still following and many thanks for all your help in the past with the SMA software. Yes, agree totally (in retrospect) I was looking at the DSE stuff but Hugh Piggott recommended the Murphy and as we’ve used their gear on the MV Loch Striven I just got one off him. After that it was just a case of ‘The Devil you know’.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 27, 2016 @ 8:39 am

      • Hi Paul. Yes, still in “lovely” Derbyshire Dales. Less into chickens now and more into Highland Cattle these days. It appears there are two lists with the local council: those they help no matter what and those whose lives they make as difficult as possible, no matter what. I have no idea what I may have done to end up in the second bucket, but the upshot is that the council will not allow me to make the poultry enterprise profitable. So we’re now “conservation grazing” 42acres, again, not something you can live on…. but the views are lovely….

        Comment by Eric Bautsch — February 27, 2016 @ 9:06 am

  2. hi
    the problem is most companies have national agreements withTNT and DHL etc,and its all set up in their system
    and when you need something up north Royal Mail will deliver next day

    someone in Royal mail has not worked this out best way to ship above Aberdeen is Royal mail

    Comment by duncan boyle — February 28, 2016 @ 8:18 pm

    • Hi Duncan, long time no speak, wondered if you’d abandoned me 🙂 The problem is people just won’t deviate from the script, I’ve pleaded with loads of folk just to call in at the Post Office but they won’t have it 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — February 28, 2016 @ 10:23 pm

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