Life at the end of the road

August 31, 2016

Preparing for the porkers :-)

Filed under: daily doings, stonework — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:54 pm

Well, it’s been more like April than August the last few days with even the midge conspicuous by it’s absence, a good hash of south wind keeping those wee monsters at bay.  Having said that it’s been warm, sunny in between the showers and all in all a cracking end to the summer, at least that’s how it felt here. I guess if I’d been caught out in some of the heavier ones I would feel quite so chipper Smile

You get a good enough warning here at Sonas if you’re about to get ‘dumped on’ with the wind in this quarter. The Storr disappears about ten minutes before the carp arrives here, sometimes it never reaches North Raasay but the clue is when you look over towards Portree. Darkness in that direction means only five minutes to get under cover.

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So, yesterday, when the weather was good, I was wandering the hills with ‘wee dug’ as part of my new chilled regime, and when it was pish I was servicing the Yamaha.

Yamaha YFM 350 service

My mates trusty 350 Yamaha had stopped charging the battery and most of the ignition controlled circuits only worked when the engine was running. This suggested a simple fuse or broken wire and true to form it meant removing all the cowlings to find the problem.

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It turned out to be a broken earth wire under the fuel tank on the left hand side but I didn’t find that until I’d removed and refitted every connection on the quad and replaced a couple of bulbs.

With the quad in this state of undress it seemed logical to give it a good service whilst I was at it. This machine is truly incredible, in 12 years it has shifted literally tons and tons of materiel both for me and and my mate. This it has done in all weathers without ever complaining and rarely has it missed a beat. Sure it’s had a couple of batteries, several sets of tyres, disc pads and one or two spark plugs. The track rod ends have failed a couple of times and the steering column bushes wear out very quickly but I don’t recall it ever failing to start.

So, I gave everything a good greasing, removed the rear brake cable to the handle bars to free that off and changed the engine oil. I removed the worn out top steering column bushes and trimmed them down on my belt sander.

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This is hardly an ‘approved repair’ but it does take  the play out for a while and beats the carp out of spending over £25 on two new bits of plastic.

More road works

The last day of August wasn’t very inspiring to begin with so I spent a few hours avoiding doing my VAT return before going over to Tarbert on the rejuvenated Yamaha.


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Having just ordered 4 weaners for collection in September it was time to get their home ready. The old sheep fank at Tarbert being a perfect place to start them off. We used this last year, firstly by fitting a gate then locking them in for a few weeks. There’s plenty of room, shelter, a burn through the middle and a shed to store feed. Once they’ve gotten used to it as home we opened the gate and let them out to ‘free range’. This seemed to work well and discourages them from hanging around the house about half a mile away.

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The stone work here is in many different styles indicating years of use by varied folk of different skill, all of them far better than I. After a couple of hours I had the drains cleared, the bracken cut and fresh bedding in the converted oil tank that will be the piggies home.

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The pathway down to the fank was none existent but last year my son and I cut one into the hill. It worked so well that this year I took the bold step of starting widening it to fit a quad.


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This will hopefully make carrying feed down there much easier as I’m not getting any younger Smile


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I was at this for most of the afternoon, stopping only to speak to some of the many walkers, cyclists and drivers busy travelling along ‘Calum’s Road’. Needless to say I am now pretty ‘tired and shagged out after a long squawk’.


  1. Hi Paul
    So pleased that you’ll have pigs again. Hope they do as well as all the others. See you next year.


    Comment by Sue — August 31, 2016 @ 8:11 pm

    • Hi Sue, don’t forget to call for your sausages 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 1, 2016 @ 7:40 am

  2. What a fantastic way of life you have now Paul, Hard work well rewarded!! Have the Mink been seen to now and new hens in the house? Grant and I will see you soon when he is on Rassay and I am not offshore Germany!!

    Comment by v8mbo — September 1, 2016 @ 10:31 am

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