Life at the end of the road

April 10, 2017

On Holiday :-(

Been a while hey. Well there’s been a lot going on at ‘the end of the road’ and I’ve really not felt the urge to post or do anything on the Internet in fact.

The ‘Mountain Man’

Me old Pop passed away on the 18th March, peacefully and with my Mum at his bedside. It was in the Isle View care home in Aultbea on the shores of Loch Ewe where he’d been for the last 14 months. A better place he could not have been for the staff there are amazing and certainly ‘go the extra mile’ for their ‘guests’ and their families. He was buried within walking distance of his home for nigh on thirty years on the shores of Loch Duich and within sight of his beloved Five Sisters. That quintet of mountains that he climbed regularly, the name of which his dementia had him reciting over and over again for the last year or so of his life.

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My ‘back to back’ was kind enough to come in a couple of days early to let me away and I’ve been on holiday ever since. The first part of which was spent at the funeral, a lovely affair at the Inverinate village hall that was well attended and arranged expertly by Farky Macleod and his team at . The ladies of the Village Hall doing excellent ‘soup and sandwiches’ after internment.

The collection in aid of the Isle View residents fund raised £700 and we took the money up there last week on what I’m sure will not be our last visit. Over the last year or so the staff and some of the guests have become like old friends so I’m sure we’ll be returning. One thing for certain we’ll be going there on the 6th or 7th of May.


Booked the caravan park, bought a uniform and practising my ‘swing’ steps Smile 

South Pacific (1958 Film Soundtrack)

Also going to the movies Smile I kid you not, they are showing South Pacific in the Aultbea Village Hall on Sunday night. Now, I hate musicals but me Mam and Dad had this album or LP as it was called then, in their small collection and it just makes me smile thinking about it Smile

There’s also the Highland Swing Band on the Saturday night Smile

Kind of  a fitting venue as the Aultbea Village Hall was actually the cinema during the war too.

A short break

I am now sat in Girvan in ‘mum in laws’ kitchen with the sun shinning outside and I’m miserable as feck!!! I’d been having an absolutely spiffing couple of weeks at home with two machines on the go and a 6 ton dumper and now I’m stuck here wishing I was back home putting up a wind turbine or something Sad smile 

The Mitsubishi MM30SR

My plan for the month off had been to make a couple of roads and infill a bit of ground behind the new turbine base. The infill would involve piping a small burn and making a level area behind the turbine just to make installing the ‘gin pole’ for raising and lowering. It was major work for what was effectively making an annual job a little easier but at the end of it it would give me a nice flat area to park the caravan or a couple of trailers. It would also allow me easy access to the land adjacent to the croft with a quad or machine, impossible previously due to the valley cut by the burn.

For this I’d bought 12m of 300mm Twinwall drain pipe and hired a 6 Tonne dumper but I also needed to repair Lachie’s 3ton MM30SR digger first. I was converting the ‘grey import’ machine from electronic Kawasaki joysticks to manually operated cable controls that I’d purchased from . For this I’d purchased 5 x 1m cables, 2 x Joystick controls, 5 x adapters for the spool valves and one lever control for the ‘boom offset’.

The adapter was which wasn’t quite right but I knew that when I bought them and figured that I could modify them. First off the roller that goes through both the brass cable end and spool valve was 7mm and the MM30SR (Nachi) ones are 6mm. That I resolved by chopping up five M6 bolts to make the roller and then drilling 6.5mm holes at 90 degrees from the original. 

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This I managed to do at work during a three day spell when I was called back in to cover for my ‘back to back’ who was going ‘upstairs’ as skipper for a few days.

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Once back on holiday proper I got stuck into the actual machine and modifying the adapters.


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These just required filing out and the M5 screws supplied replacing with M4 threaded rod and Nyloc nuts.

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The cables and controls were then fitted but two of them operated the wrong way around, that was quickly resolved by swapping around the hydraulic pipes on two of the spool valves and ‘all was peachy’. A lick of paint and refitting the lower trim finished it nicely.

I gotta say I was well impressed with the result, OK, much more effort required than with electronic controls but you soon got used to it. All I had to do now was go and collect the dumper from 11 miles away Sad smile


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It was not a great day for ‘open top’ motoring and it took me the best part of an hour to reach home.


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Over the next week my son and I worked the machines pretty hard and they never missed a beat.

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Sad I know, but that is my kinda holiday Smile 

Ozzie and Django return

As part of the renovation of the old walled garden at Raasay House we’d loaned out Ozzie and Django to do a little rotovating. With funding now in place to employ two people to actually do the work proper and get some polytunnels up we went to collect them.


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It was great to have them back and they were certainly bigger and friendlier than when they left a couple of weeks ago. The two ‘boys’ went back into their regular enclosure for now as we knew we’d be away for a few days and it wasn’t fair on the ‘pig sitters’ asking them to go searching for two black boars at every feed time. There’s also a lot of tourists about just now so I didn’t want my neighbours to be held responsible for any damage they may do. They are very friendly pigs and I’d visions of them trying to climb into some new car at the end of the road Smile We have had pigs do that !!! pigs are very friendly creatures Smile

Looking back through the camera

Sadly my lack of enthusiasm for the Internet and blogging also left me bereft of the will to take pictures too, so there’s been precious little of those either.

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The Storr from the house at 6:20AM on the 23rd March,

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tis no wonder I don’t like going on holiday Smile

One of the days that I was on ‘call back’

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last ferry cancelled due to this

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unbelievably thick fog/mist.

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The ‘Clam Muncher’ Majestic TT28 scratching away for days in the narrows Sad smile

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Delta Marine’s anchor handler Voe Jarl busy at the fish farm changing nets.


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A load of interesting looking stainless steel tanks for the distillery on the back of Ian S Roger’s Scania.

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A misty day at Brochel castle.

The highlights of the Girvan trip Smile

Well the prize has to go to a trip in Charlie’s WWII Willys Jeep,

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which I’d seen last year when collecting a wind turbine from him. This time he took my son and I for a spin around the forest tracks near his home.

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Pure awesome Smile


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An abandoned Hymac HM580C with Ailsa Craig in the background.



  1. sorry to hear about your Dad..but we have missed your blog

    Comment by duncan — April 10, 2017 @ 9:17 pm

  2. Hi there

    Really sorry to hear about your dad. I really look forward to your blog (apart from what happens to the pigs. But heh ho), but I especially enjoyed your blogs about your dad.
    Best wishes to you and your family.

    Kev Watson.

    Comment by Kev Watson — April 10, 2017 @ 10:15 pm

  3. Sorry to hear about your Dad, I met him once on the Five Sisters, he and some friends zipped past us despite being many years older, and I was pleased to hear that he did achieve the round of Glen Shiel when he was 60.

    Comment by Derek McGaw — April 10, 2017 @ 11:59 pm

  4. Sorry to hear about your Dad.
    Do I need to point out that the Hymac isn’t going to fix itself?

    Comment by cabbage — April 11, 2017 @ 3:49 am

  5. Paul, so sorry to hear about your dad.Thinking of you Best wishes Andrew

    Comment by Andrew — April 11, 2017 @ 5:29 am

  6. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.

    Comment by Roy Tait — April 11, 2017 @ 6:30 am

  7. Paul, so sorry to read your sad news about your Dad. I know you’ll miss him and we will all miss reading about him and the many miles you walked with him. Thinking of you and your family, Ian.

    Comment by Tigger — April 11, 2017 @ 6:55 am

  8. Please accept my deepest commiserations.

    Comment by San — April 11, 2017 @ 7:22 am

  9. Sorry to hear about your dad. From reading your blog for the last few years he sounds like he was an amazing bloke. Take care.

    Comment by artimaginguk — April 11, 2017 @ 7:39 am

  10. my sincerest condolences,, Paul enjoy your memories I am sure you will best wishes , Patrick

    Comment by patrick a — April 11, 2017 @ 7:48 am

  11. Paul like everyone else that’s posted, I’m sorry to hear about your dad, at least he’s in a better place now, and you’ve certainly got good memories of the two of you together. On a lighter note it’s good to have you back and telling us all about the end of the road. Stan

    Comment by Stan — April 11, 2017 @ 8:21 am

  12. Hi Paul, as with so many others I am so sorry for your loss. Hoping your mother is bearing up. You have the memories.

    Comment by Lloyd — April 11, 2017 @ 10:00 am

  13. Paul, so sorry to hear about your Dad. All the best to you and the family.

    Comment by simon — April 11, 2017 @ 11:00 am

  14. Paul, so sorry to hear about your dad, you have my condolences. A week ago, I could only empathise but today I know where you are coming from. My own dad went in to a home just 10 weeks ago and is now no longer with us. The care at the home was, in my opinion, exceptional, I couldn’t have asked for better.

    Comment by Andy — April 11, 2017 @ 12:04 pm

  15. So sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Judy Hallinan — April 11, 2017 @ 5:29 pm

  16. Sorry to hear about your Dad.

    Comment by Stuart Brown — April 11, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

  17. Hi Paul. I discovered your blog a couple of years ago and look forward to your posts on an almost daily basis. In that time you have let us in to your life and family and I feel I understand your deep affection for this. Through your posts it is evident that you displayed a deep affection for your Dad and will hold endearing memories for the rest of your life. My sincere condolences on this milestone that all of us have to face in our time. Thanks for getting back to us in so short a time.

    Comment by Phil Harvey — April 11, 2017 @ 8:22 pm

  18. A sad loss indeed.Kindest regards to you and the family.

    Comment by Andy & family — April 11, 2017 @ 8:51 pm

  19. Sorry to hear of your dad’s passing Paul, my condolences to you and the family.

    Comment by Justin — April 12, 2017 @ 6:13 am

  20. Very sorry to hear about your dad, Paul. My dad passed away last September. All best wishes to you and your family.

    Comment by Callum Mackintosh — April 13, 2017 @ 11:50 am

  21. Hello Paul,
    I came across your postings while looking for info about my MM40SR. I too suffer from the dreaded faulty electronics and invested in IMDynamics option which worked ok for a while, but the right joystick was always problematic. I sent it back to Australia to be recalibrated again – costing another £230 plus import taxes and now will only pump to open the bucket but will not close in the opposite movement. I may well try your cable option, but I was wondering if you still had your old joystick which might work for my scenario. Please let me know how much it would be if you are interested.
    Many thanks – you seem very talented in these and other matters.
    Gerry (N. Ireland)

    Comment by Gerry Renaghan — April 18, 2017 @ 2:11 pm

    • Hi Gerry,
      I’m ‘on the case’ will be in touch shortly.

      Cheers, Paul

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — April 19, 2017 @ 7:31 pm

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