Some days you set your mind to doing something and then do it regardless, even when you know it is not the sane thing to do. Today was such a day, a day I’d planned to spend down the ‘ole when I’d have been far better doing some work in the house, shed or even clearing drains. It was in short pishing down all day, so much so that I didn’t feed the animals until 9:30. The steady west wind that had been making such a fine job of producing electricity was also full of water and driving against the windows.
It wasn’t actually that bad when you ‘skinned up’ and got out in it but resplendent in my T shirt with the house at around 24 degrees it took a lot of effort to get out there. What I should have done was just pick up a spade and get to work clearing the drains in the hen and pig fields. Both were awash and it’s actually quite a satisfying job to do. It’s not particularly hard work as it’s just a matter of clearing out carp pushed into the drains by rooting pigs and scratching hens. Doing it when the fields are awash gives you the immense satisfaction of watching all the black slurry woosh away down the pipes and into the burn too.
That is what I should have done, what I chose to do instead was work on the wind turbine base.
The work in question being welding more steel and rebar into the frame I’d made. It really was not a wise decision but my eternal optimism had managed to convince me that it was going to stop raining very shortly. I welded several more bits of channel to the ones that I’d bolted to Scotland’s finest bedrock and drove a few more sideways into the earth sides.
I dunno why I persevered with this task cos it was taking twice as long to do as it would have done on a dry day. I could hardly move in my oilskins and I kept getting belts from the welder.
I got some respite from the weather when I went to get the ‘root’ that would actually support the mast. This is 1000mm tall with 12 x M30 studs and I had a ‘cunning plan’, I would drop 3 of the 12 down to the bedrock. My idea being that I could use these to sit the root on and adjust them to get the plate level prior to welding it to the steel frame.
Now this was a quite tricky operation as the orientation of the mounting is crucial.
This mast has to be able to come down just to the side of the ‘Bunker’ and in line with the track to the hen shed. A few degrees one way or the other and I’ll not be able to get the digger in to put the head on. That’s purpose of the yellow cable which has to pass through the centre of the base and align with both the anchor point and preferred landing spot of the turbine head.
I gotta say it was a really fiddly job but with my son in the digger and me in the ‘ole adjusting the three legs we got it sorted. Once in the right spot and aligned correctly I started welding it to the steel channel frame using some 16mm rebar. All of this in the incessant rain and growing gloom.
I did however have the good sense to find a dry place for the welder at last In the end I got it tacked firmly into place, correctly orientated and level. Sure it requires a good deal more rebar and welding, which I’ll do tomorrow, had I been sane I’d have left it ALL until tomorrow
No wind and no rain on Wednesday, so why did I make life so hard for myself today!!!!
I did go out for a wee walk with wife, her mum and the wee dugs right enough,
far pleasanter than welding in a puddle but still pretty damp, just minus the electric shocks We wandered down the Torran track then took the shortcut by ‘The Green’ back towards the route to North and South Arnish. Funny really because when I did move here in 1989 The Green really was just that, green and lush with a great potato field to the west of the track and fine green grazing to the east. The potato field is now all bracken and what was once the best spot for magic mushrooms on Raasay is now scrub birch.
The neighbours have made a fine job of removing the rushes from my old croft right enough and it’s looking unseasonably green.
Even when the weather is carp, Arnish is still a beautiful place to stay https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/8188794 . There’s been a few groups staying here this last while and I was most touched to receive a present from some that left yesterday. If you ever read this Henry, then thanks for the chocolates
Arnish weather Raasay
So that’s it really peeps, I’m off to bed, much to do tomorrow