Life at the end of the road

September 28, 2016

Called back :-(

Dunno when I’ll get this off, me internet has vanished Sad smile not surprising really, considering the weather. It is a little wild to say the least and I’m all on me lonesome so I’ve the pleasure of no TV in the background too Smile So, ‘that’s it’, just me and the ‘wee dug’ and a bottle of red, luvverly. The rain is lashing against most of the windows, which is unusual in that I can see and hear it. Normally you have no sensation of the weather inside the house as it’s so well insulated and triple glazed. Even the wind turbine, just 30 or so meters away is inaudible.

Of course, the fact I’m ‘hard of hearing’ helps, but the lack of TV and or YouTube has brought a sensation back that I’ve not had in years. Total silence bar the weather and clock, a warm internal glow and no impending desire to do anything. It’s not like there’s nothing to do, on the contrary, there’s plenty but I’ve adopted a new more ‘laid back’ approach to the ‘to do list’ and it seems to be working.

Hill start assist!!!!

I dunno when I last posted and I cannae check, but methinks it was a while ago. Darling wife is away and I’ve been working, looking after the Dude and Murray, been a little ‘distracted’ to say the least. Anyway, that’s me already into the first week of a months holiday with not an awful lot to show for it. Of course the fact that I got ‘called back’ for a couple of days to cover for a sick ‘shipmate’ didn’t help, but as part of the ‘new regime’ I wasn’t even bothered about that Smile To be honest the extra cash will come in handy, it’s been an expensive spell on the ‘car front’ of late.

Wifey’s Subaru needed two tyres for the MOT and had a bizarre braking fault that had me tearing my hair out!! The 2007 Subaru Forester had this weird sticking brake fault that to all ‘intents and purposes’ felt like a sticking front brake calliper. Sometimes, after applying the brakes and coming to a stop, the front LH brake would stick on. At least I thought it was that one judging by the ‘graunch’ from that direction, but whenever I got out to check it, it was free. It was ‘doing my head in’ and by Sunday morning I’d still not fixed it.

I had all the callipers apart, freed them off, fitted new brake pads, ground all the rust off the discs and checked everything was nice and free. Yet, almost every time I applied the brakes and came to a halt they stuck!!!! I’d quickly get out of the car and jack it up to find them all nice and free!! I was pure stumped, until I discovered that as soon as the I took my foot fully off the clutch the wheels would free, then I was even more puzzled Sad smile

Much ‘Googleing’ enlightened me, though not before reading of nightmare stories of fellow Forester owners having spent thousands of $$$$$ trying to cure the same fault. Turns out that the Forester has some pish function called ‘Hill Start Assist’ which keeps the front LH and rear RH brake applied if you need to set off on a hill and this had gone ‘pear shaped’. What the feck is all that about???? whatever happened to learning to drive properly???


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There’s the culprit on the LH inner wing, a cable that goes between a valve on the braking circuit and clutch pedal!! It probably just needed adjusting but I took it off and threw it in the bin.

Rainbows everywhere

I know there was ‘a pot of gold’ at the Sconser ‘Kingdom Hall’ last week but of late they’ve been everywhere.


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And that really is just a small selection of them taken with a wee camera, they were far more impressive.

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Settling in

The ‘new arrivals’ finally ventured outside yesterday for the first time and just couldn’t get enough of the ‘great outdoors’. The two Tamworth gilts had been inside the hen shed since I collected them on Wednesday and seemed very reluctant to leave.

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Once outside though they were in very little hurry to come back in Smile

Today I turfed them out and in between showers spent some time digging drains in their field and spending a little time tickling them. They’re still a little ‘jumpy’ but getting better by the day, another week or so and they’ll be eating out my hand.

Dodging toads

I dunno what it is and I cannae ‘Google’ it, but every September around the equinox, the toads go barmy. No kidding, I first noticed this donkeys years ago when I lived at ‘Number 3’. Around about the full moon I’d leave the house of an evening to go and turn off the generator only to be confronted by loads of toads on the concrete path to the shed!! Of course, rarely having a torch at hand I’d usually end up stepping on them in my slippers.

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Well, the last few nights have been the same on the road north, mainly between Glame and Brochel, it’s been pure awash with the little chaps. I guess I must have squashed 1 or two before I realized but after that I slowed down and began driving in what must have appeared a rather drunken manner to any casual observer. Not that I ever meet anyone driving home in the dark, well, other than deer, sheep, cows, hare, rabbits, otters, mink and now toads.

The Land Rover too

Not only the ‘Scooby’ but the ‘Old Girl’ has needed surgery this week, first a new brake master cylinder and then the power steering box Sad smile The cylinder was a simple swap then bleed and change all the fluid, the power steering less straight forward and may be ‘on going’. It was when my son was driving it home last week, it suddenly burst a seal outside the house. The lower one round the shaft that the ‘drop arm’ attaches to and this can be a real PITA to remove, luckily I’ve had mine off several times so it’s just ‘very f*****g tight’ and not the usual ‘f*****g seized solid’ so that came off easy enough in relative terms.  just an ordinary puller  required and not the usual hydraulic one.

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Getting the actual seals out is the tricky bit and this requires a little ingenuity,


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first drill a 3 or 4mm hole. But you’ll a bit that’s a little longer than standard to approach it vertically. If you use a regular length bit you have to drill at an angle and chances are you will scratch the shaft (I speak from experience Sad smile ).

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That done you can screw in a long screw and pull the steel seal out with pliers, the other ones you can prize out carefully with a small screw driver.

You can press the new seals in with a length of 32mm soil pipe or something, but I broke the retaining circlip when removing it so am awaiting another in the post. Hopefully that will be it sorted then.

A trip to ‘Snecky’

Another day of my holiday was spent going to Inverness for a hearing test, seemed a bit pointless really cos I know I’m audibly challenged and there’s not a great deal I can do about it. Sure I can wear my hearing aid but it’s useless in a noisy environment, falls out whenever I take off my ear defenders, hard hat or glasses and doesn’t actually help me hear conversation. Sure I can here a sparrow fart at ten paces now and every rattle squeak and bang on the Land Rover but I still can’t tell what people are saying Sad smile

Anyway, I used the opportunity to do a BIG SHOP at Lldl, too big in fact, I filled the car with a compressor and table saw too!!

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A 100lt/min compressor with 9m hose for £79.99 and a good 1/2” drive impact wrench with sockets, extension and oiler for less than £20!! The saw bench is 2000W and 230mm and works a treat, that was less than £100 so I was ‘well chuffed’.


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There was also this ‘Moggy Thou’ van in the car par, we had two of these in the car version when I was a lad. Took one of them to Italy in the sixties over the St Bernard pass at that!! Gosh it must have been a squeeze, it looks small even next to Phoebe!!

September 22, 2016

Extra crew :-)

Filed under: daily doings, pigs, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:16 pm

Hi peeps,

well, it’s been a while I know but I’ve been without t’internet for a while and to be honest I’ve not missed it!!! OK, I have missed it just a little but that was only for doing stuff I could have done had I still got a phone book Smile Well, that and the fact that you can’t accept pigs onto your croft without it. Still the wee pigs were not worried whether they’d been ‘checked in’, they were quite happy in the hen shed Smile

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The hens were pretty curious right enough, but more of that later.

Roaring again

So, it’s Thursday night here and we’ve a beast of a stag here bellowing away not far from the house. I say bellowing but he’s not quite there yet, I’ve been watching him for a few days trying to, but this is the first time he’s managed to get a note out. Dunno how it works with them once the testosterone starts to rise, but the stags start practicing before any noise actually comes out and this chap was going through the motions yesterday. He lowers his head, stretches his neck and opens his mouth but no sound comes out.

He was on the skyline on Wednesday with a harem of around six hinds, just looking magnificent with his huge spread of antlers as thick as a babies arm. Methinks he came from Rona as the Raasay beasts just don’t have antlers so thick. Not because the Raasay deer are inferior, just that I believe the Rona ones have some ‘Near Eastern European’ bloodline in them. I remember visiting Bill there a few years ago and spotting such a specimen on his table, think he said it had a Romanian relation in its family tree. Anyway, one thing for sure, a stag turned up at Brochel a few years ago to take a German bullet and was found to have been from Rona, it too had the distinctive antlers.

 The sun shines on the righteous

Three weeks into September now and it’s been a right mixed bag of weather, as you’d expect around the equinox. Storms last week saw us miss a few sailings and we’ve had no end of rainbows.

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Here will be one ‘pot of gold’ landing firmly on the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall in Sconser. Now there’s divine intervention if ever I saw it Smile

 Distillery Progress

Plenty been going on at Borrodale house and the new Raasay distillery with much related commercial vehicle traffic, this being one of Ewan Bowman’s skip lorries A Scania from Duisky Smile where else.

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All the modern carp added in the early eighties like the annexe and bar is pretty much away now.

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In place of the hideous carbuncle that was the thirteen bedrooms is a levelled area for the distillery proper and this lovely retaining wall made from Gabion baskets.



There has also been much concrete poured by Eyre Plant’s batching lorry who’s 44tons has regularly graced the Hallaig’s deck of late.


Faith, Hope and Charity, the three Evance wind turbines at the water treatment plant looked lovely one morning on the way to work at 6:30.

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They looked even better on the way back 13 hours later under a full moon but the picture doesn’t do it justice Sad smile



This will be the ‘Wild Women’ who are now regular customers aboard Hallaig dunno about ‘wild’ but they certainly seem like a happy bunch Smile


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Sunday morning ahead of half a gale of wind saw this nice Hardy motor sailor moored in Tarbert and a Cheetah catamaran fishing for wrasse at Holoman.

Start em young

On Monday, after all the permission’s, risk assessments and inductions had been completed we welcomed our latest new recruit.


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Raasay’s P7 potential crewman Ethan spent the morning aboard Hallaig going through all the various disciplines. First a spot of driving with the master and ‘second driver’,


then a spell in the engine room with ‘yours truly’.


After which, it was a spell with the ‘deckies’ doing soundings and then some ticket collecting. Methinks he’ll make a fine ‘motorman’, best job in the fleet Smile

Pigs at last

The ‘shift’ finished on Tuesday afternoon and by Wednesday afternoon I’d managed to acquire a couple of fine piglets from Husabost near Dunvegan.


No names yet and for now they’re in the hen shed



but they’re a pair of lovely gilts Smile

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