Life at the end of the road

May 11, 2018

More pours

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:11 pm

Sadly, it’s been somewhat dull ‘at the end of the road’, that is, unless like me you get excited about concrete Smile I’ve always liked concrete, probably since I was at school and had a fascination with air raid shelters, pill boxes and underground bunkers. When I was a lad pretty much every school had an air raid shelter nearby and close by the many Lancashire cotton mills where my dear Mum worked there were some crackers. These we’d explore and play all manner of games in and around involving bits of wood in the shape of machine guns.

Back to the old slipway

So, apart from some more fencing work around the croft and trips to Skye for cement and pig/hen feed, all I’ve been doing is mixing concrete. Sad I know, but I actually quite enjoy it. There’s the ‘big kid’ in me that likes shuttering and inserting rebar and mesh. The kind of rough work that takes me to building dens and tree houses out of old wood.

Of course the trips to Skye are easier now we have the Hallaig back but harder cos I gotta take Wifey’s Subaru which just aint the same as the ‘Old Girl’, for a start I can’t put anything on the roof and then I’ve gotta try and keep it clean.

I was surprised the other day to see the dive charter vessel Halton alongside the pier and according to ‘the boys’ she’d been there for a few days. More usually seen in the Sound of Mull, Scapa Flow or the Norwegian fjords the Halton is a very seaworthy ex Danish fishing boat that’s been converted for diving charters.

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When I was down at Lochaline a few weeks ago she was taking divers out there, love the blue and white superstructure, I guess it’s an enhancement to the ‘A flag’ Smile which must be flown when you have ‘divers down’. It tells other boats to slow down and keep clear, not that all boats take any notice or that all diving boats fly one, but they most certainly should, both of them Smile


The trip to Portree had to be extended to Broadford as well as I couldn’t get rebar there, indeed I bought the last 5 lengths they had in Broadford too. My cordless grinder making short work of turning 5 6m lengths of 10mm bar into 15 x 2m ones so they’d fit in the trailer. No trip to Broadford would be complete without a visit to Deli Gasta for a coffee and sandwich, mine being a smoked venison one with Cheddar cheese and jalapeno peppers. The chilies you have to ask for, they give the sandwich a nice kick and complement the venison and cranberry sauce, honestly. 

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That’s been it really, most days involve taking the dogs back from Tarbert in the morning after Wifey drops me off on the way to work.

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Tarbert, Manish and Ard Torran on one of the nicer mornings. It may have been warm darn sowf but it’s been boodly freezing here and often wet, especially in the morning. Having said that it’s been great concreting weather and the tides have been perfect.

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Much time was spent cutting up salvaged mesh and inserting wherever I could prior to shuttering.

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Shuttering being complemented by rocks, expanding foam and drilling & pinning.

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The wee Daihatsu is like the Subaru in that it’s no substitute for the Land Rover Sad smile

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I’ve been spending so much time down the slip that I’m getting mail deliveries there Smile


That’ll be the sun about to disappear behind The Storr, it’s gonna be a cracking sunset,

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well, it sure was Smile

May 8, 2018

Shuttering, mainly :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:15 pm

Golly gosh, it’s almost midnight and I’m waaay too wrecked to be let anywhere near a keyboard, but, for reasons beyond my comprehension I’m not actually falling asleep yet. Must be the ‘birthday wine’ Smile Anyway’s, the guests have departed leaving us a well stocked drinks cabinet and I’ve been up since ‘stupid O clock’  working down at the old fish farm slip mainly.


Though I did have a spell of tinkering with one of my hydro turbines, the ‘Stream Engine’ is usually redundant at this time of year. It works from a small burn, more of a drain really and is usually not producing power from Easter until September.However, it’s been so boodly miserable this last month that it’s been doing overtime. Capable of producing some 18/20kWh per day in the ‘rainy season’ the wee Canadian hydro turbine does around 6kWh per day for the rest of the year and very little in the summer. A concerned neighbour had informed me of a leak yesterday so I went to investigate and found a burst joint, probably a result of freezing in the winter. Whilst it hadn’t unduly affected performance during the winter, it certainly would do in the drier months so that was the first task prior to getting stuck back into my civil engineering project on the slip.

Back to the slip

The neap tides being perfect for working on the second slab.

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Once more the weather was pure 5h1te with me having to cover up tools with my old jackets and Radio2 telling me how fecking sunny and hot it was darn sowf. Still the job was going well and the damp was actually good for the expanding foam I was using to seal the joints in the shuttering.

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In fact, I was actually feeling quite pleased with myself at using all the wood I’d managed to salvage from the previous shuttering.

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I also managed to drill and pin some more sections using rebar and M12 galvanized bolts to help key the fresh concrete into the older stuff.

Apart from that, well, I walked the dugs,

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and fitted a new towing bracket to my Mate’s Yamaha YFM 350 Bruin quad. This amazing machine has proved a most reliable and ‘idiot proof’ quad but has always been a little problematical when sourcing parts. That is until recently, in Holland seem to be able to source anything and do not ‘rip you off’ for delivery.

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