Life at the end of the road

March 6, 2016

Pigless :-(

Filed under: daily doings, food, pigs, wind turbine — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 12:11 am

Noticeably calmer, not the weather but me, seriously, apart from the odd alcohol fuelled rant I’ve been feeling considerably more chilled since we moved into Sonas. Even the wife says so, so it must be true Smile The new stator arrived last night, along with wife and son and I’ve not got the slightest bit ‘wound up’ when fitting it, as it has turned into a bit of an epic. However, I’ll not go into that just now, first I’ll try and catch up with what I’ve been doing on my own this last week.  Well, that’ll be me and the ‘wee dug’ of course.

Being ‘home alone’ has had me doing a great deal of pottering about around the house, mainly doing several trips to Sconser quarry for more ‘chuckies’ for around the house.

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The Lister ST2 service

The Lister 7kW generator that I’d replaced the starter solenoid on was due a service, just an annual ‘look over’ really as it does not do more than a 100h a year.

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That’s a full ten years since I installed it, how time flies, anyway, it got a nice simple oil and filter change, me having installed a tap into the sump some years ago. This allows the hot oil to be drained directly into a container, thus saving much mess.

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The primary fuel filter also got a change and the air filter a clean in diesel then a wash in oil.

These Lister diesel engines are pretty ‘bomb proof’, I think this one is around a 1979 vintage but with regular oil changes they’ll last forever. Just make sure you get one with a Brush alternator and bolt it solidly into two tons of concrete. The worst thing you can do with one of these 1500RPM babies is rubber mount them.

Every morning on the way back from feeding the pigs I’ve been collecting a few rocks for around the house, just enough not to damage my back again.


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Only trouble being that I had a puncture the day before my mate arrived, that’ll be my mate that actually owns the trailer and these tiny little 20 x 10 x 8 tyres are a nightmare to repair.

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At least they are if you don’t have a two ton load of ‘chuckies’ on a hydraulic tipping trailer Smile I lifted the bed up jammed the tyre under it then dropped the load down on it Smile worked a treat.

Beefing up the turnip

Having been startled by just how much the 11m tall un guyed monopole turbine mast bends and flexes in the storms I decided to glue it some more to Scotland. By rights it should be just be just with the 8 x M24 stainless steel studs bonded into the Lewisian Gneiss with Hilti HIT RE 500 resin. However, knowing my luck of late with the turbine stator I decided to glue it some more. Having some spare 20mm A4 stainless rods and some Hilti resin it seemed a wise option.


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I borrowed my mate’s magnetic drill, this allowed me to cut eight 26mm hole through the 20mm thick steel base with ease. I then started to drill 24mm holes into the rock with my own Hitachi breaker, though I didn’t get very far as the bit was blunt Sad smile Luckily, eBay came to the rescue with a DeWalt 24mm ‘Extreme bit’ which should no be ‘winging its way’ here courtesy of Royal Mail.

Not for vegetarians or squeamish folk

I’ve also been preparing for the annual pilgrimage of the ‘English TV Director, Russian Art Dealer, and Swiss Surgeon’ . I know it sounds like a joke but it’s for a deadly serious business and this year they were accompanied by a photographer  and A.N. Other. Most of them took ‘trains, planes and automobiles’  but the man with the camera hitch hiked here with Lenny the spaniel. I guess if you can find your way to Iraq and back safely then getting a lift from London to Arnish with a manic spaniel is a breeze.

My two pigs had gone the the abattoir on Monday, their two got the chop here ‘on site’, a much kinder, and humane alternative to a three hour journey to Dingwall. Some of ours will be sold locally so they have to go through the ‘correct channels’. The two I reared for them can legally be killed at home and butchered, so long as they only feed them to their immediate family.

Preparations included getting the bath ready for them in the barn and firing up the 100lt water boiler. It is absolutely essential to have heaps of hot water available on site for ‘dehairing’ your pig. The temperature is crucial, it has to be 80 degrees to melt the fat in the follicles that retain the hair. Any cooler and it’s really hard work, any hotter and you cook the pig. You also have to take in account the cold cast iron bath so realistically the water needs to be around 90 degrees for the first one.

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Killing the ‘wee darlings’ is the easy bit, you just lead them to the appointed place with some grub and shoot them in the head with a .22 rifle. The pig has quite a small brain so it’s crucial to get the right orientation and angle, an imaginary cross between the eyes and top of the ears being perfect.


Anything with a larger calibre and you risk a ricochet and whilst a shotgun WILL guarantee a clean kill it will also make a terrible mess.

Once everything was in place I led the first one onto the croft and dispatched her cleanly with the Anschutz .22. The surgeon then took over with and extremely sharp knife to sever the jugular and pump the blood into a container for the black pudding.

Now if you think your food comes from Tesco’s and not something living, or if you’re vegetarian don’t click on these images!

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Grabbing one of the fore legs and ‘pumping’ it will assist in getting as much blood out as possible.

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Piggy then goes straight into the hot bath for the hair to be scraped off, a knife or scallop shell is good for this but the Swiss surgeon has some special ‘glocken’ that are even better.


That’ll be those things on the right, the chain I lost a couple of years ago but a coarse rope is just as good.

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Piggy is then hung up on a block and tackle whilst the surgeon removes his guts, taking care to keep the liver, kidneys, brain and intestine.

After all that and getting cleaned up I joined them all for a feast of brains, liver and Japanese whisky.

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The food was amazing courtesy of the Russian art dealer, the Swiss surgeon’s grog pretty good too and I don’t remember driving home on the quad Smile

However the ‘morning after’ brought fresh tasks!

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The intestine being washed out then turned ‘inside out’ to make sausage casings.

Luckily I managed to get all this cleared up before wife and child arrived home and got the shotgun repaired and off the kitchen table. I even got as far as cleaning the house and cooking a Lidl’s lasagne for dinner, OK, hardly charcuterie considering the previous couple of days but not a bad effort Smile

Changing a Proven/Kingspan stator

I’m pretty sure I was more pleased to see ‘wife and child’ than the new wind turbine stator, but it was close Smile


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That’s it on the right but midnight has just ‘tolled’ and I need my bed so I’ll tell you about it tomorrow Smile


  1. I’ve heard of a piggy bank, but you’ve got a piggy bath, lol.

    Comment by s — March 6, 2016 @ 1:49 am

  2. As a teenager I returned home at about 2am slightly the worse for ware. Trying not to wake my parents, I didn’t turn on the lights and didn’t think too much about the thing I bumped in to in the kitchen suspecting it was a clothes horse. I went to bed and slept till dawn a few hours later. Upon waking I realised that I was covered in blood. Confused, I went to get a drink and was confronted by half a pig hanging in the kitchen. I guess it was the sawn bone ends that cut me on the side of my face and my arm when I bumped in to it.
    Half a pig is not what you want to be confronted with the morning after.

    Comment by haggis — March 6, 2016 @ 4:41 am

    • Morning Haggis and welcome, love the piggy tale, reminds me of when I went for a wash in the dark and discovered an eel in the sink!! that made me jump I can tell you 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 7, 2016 @ 6:42 am

  3. “The worst thing you can do with one of these 1500RPM babies is rubber mount them.”

    Am following your blog as I investigate going off-grid in Lincolnshire. A friend has a Lister 7kVA for sale with Brush alternator (though that is busted). But it is mounted on some serious looking rubber bobbins. I’m most curious why you recommend NOT doing that.

    Comment by Paul Read — March 8, 2016 @ 6:41 am

    • Good morning Paul,

      the old Lister was designed to be mounted solidly in between 1 and 2 tons of concrete in applications where they are used for long periods. This is to damp out the vibrations. Sure you will see them rubber mounted, sometimes there is no other way, in a wooden boat or trailer for instance however this is not the way to ensure total reliability. The inevitable movement induced by the rubber mounts ‘work hardens’ the copper in the wiring and injector pipes causing them to eventually break. It also leads to broken exhaust pipes.

      See this post for recommended mounting

      It was an old Lister engineer that told me this, he said that he makes most of his money repairing Listers that are bolted to railway sleepers!! Somewhere I have a video of my old ST2 running with a pound coin sat on the rocker cover on its edge. To prove a point you just have to loosen one of the 6 mounting bolts about 1/8 of a turn and it will fall over!!

      Now having said all that my HR2 IS rubber mounted but that’s the way it came, on a skid frame with dry sump so converting it to solid mounts isn’t really practical.

      Good luck, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — March 8, 2016 @ 7:08 am

      • Thanks for very useful info and link. Guess I might need to up the floor strength of my garage!

        Comment by prexpressions-readiescards — March 8, 2016 @ 5:35 pm

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