Life at the end of the road

October 2, 2018

In the dark :-(

Filed under: daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:51 pm

Oh dear, it’s all downhill now, I’ve just finished work, driven all the way home with me headlights on and it’s pitch dark. Can’t even blame the weather cos it’s actually quite a nice evening and I cannae even rant about the boodly clocks cos we’re still on BST Sad smile Truth of the matter is winter is just around the corner. Still gotta look on the bright side, at least the roads won’t be full of campervans driving at 40mph and sanity may well return to the ferry traffic at Sconser. I could write a book about some of lunacy I’ve seen this year, I swear it’s getting worse. This is the first summer I’ve seen a car try and drive on the ferry BEFORE it’s actually berthed and still has the outgoing traffic on board. It’s the first time I’ve seen someone try and drive onto the ferry as a passenger was halfway out of the back door. Yup, it’s been quite a summer of idiocy on the roads for sure.

So, prior to going back to work and despite aching from head to foot I decided to bash on with my drain and road building project in the wind turbine field. Calum the Kubota was in the quarry and I figure I may just as well bash on with the job in hand as it takes the best part of half an hour to ‘track’ him back along the road. As with most ‘digging days’ I started with greasing up and fuelling up and as usual I spilt some diesel whilst topping up. Consequently I was not worried by the smell of hot diesel reached my nostrils on the way back from the quarry with my first load. I should have been cos when I stopped to open the gate to the croft I noticed a puddle of diesel under the dumper Sad smile The 3 cylinder air cooled Deutz F3L1011F had sprung a leak from one of the fuel pipes. The picture makes it look obvious but that was taken after I’d removed half the dumper body and a cowing off the engine. Luckily there was enough length of pipe for me to just cut it and shorten it so after much cursing and ranting I got it sorted. Even managed to get another load in before breakfast as today I had no need to spread the loads.

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Having made an adequately hard track yesterday I was just able to dump piles of ballast and reverse out leaving large ‘cow pats’ of rubble in my wake. It was when I went in for my two fried eggs that I realised in all the excitement that I’d forgotten to walk the dugs.

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Well, that was soon remedied and instead of our usual wander down to the shore we set off for the north side of the valley where I notice the hydro turbine inlet was partially blocked. Output wasn’t affected but it was overflowing the wee dam, not that that makes much difference but I cleared it anyway and the header tank had a much healthier overflow as a result.

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The old croft was looking well cared for and the hawthorn trees have fair come on this last few years.

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In the foreground is the old barn that Donald Eyre repaired and he walked the entire distance from my old house (with the green roof) to that tin roof barn with 50kg of cement on his shoulder Surprised smile 

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The ruin of Number 4 South Arnish?

Back to work

After shifting a couple more loads, repairing some damage to the garden windbreak and clearing up the mess I usually leave behind me I set off south to relieve my ‘back to back’.

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We’ll be leaving for the dry dock on Friday morning so Raasay will be getting a much smaller ferry for a couple of weeks, better get in the queue early if you have important appointments Smile

Aching all over :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:44 am

7:00am and that’s me just out of bed after almost 11 hours in it and I’m as ‘stiff as a board’. Still, three cups of tea, feed the animals, walk the dugs and have me breakfast then I’ll be ‘ready for action’. I was pure wrecked last night after a hard days road building, much of it in the pishing rain. The rain was forecast right enough and in truth the cast was actually worse than what pertained. In fact for most of the day it was no bad at all.

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My morning walk over the hill to feed the pigs had me encountering four hinds and in the distance atop Ravens Crag a couple of stags. I dunno the Gaelic name for that hill but it’s bound to have one. I have called it Raven’s crag for many years now due the large black cawing inhabitants that once frequented it. Dunno what happened to them cos I’ve no heard them in 10 years. I know the pictures are carp but I only had me wee Nikon.

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I kept bumping into this chap, a fine young stag who seemed to have been following me about this last couple of days. In truth he’ll be sniffing the tempting scent of those girls but is too young to know what it actually means, a bit like teenage angst I guess Smile

More road building

The carp forecast had decided me to get on with some road building or to be more precise ‘a pig damage reduction strategy’. With the possibility of piglets on the way and the requirement to bring the sows onto the croft to farrow I wanted to make a drain ‘pig proof’.

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This would mean piping a good length of existing drain and widening the track up to the 3.2kw wind turbine. It would mean a lot of quarried materiel and a lot of levelling by hand Sad smile Normally you would do it between tips with the digger but Calum would be twenty minutes away in the quarry so it was down to me with a mattock and tarmac rake.

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It was slow but satisfying work and the resultant ‘pig proof’ drain got well tested as the incessant rain arrived late afternoon.

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Along with the rain but not put off by the slightest by it came Mike and Margie Hird from California. Timing was perfect as the wife had just arrived home after her early shift and I was soaked to the skin needing tea and cake. Mike, a Yorkshire expat  being pleased to see Yorkshire Tea being served up. Darling wife and I being pleased to see the fine bottle of Chianti left in their wake Smile

After the brief and welcome distraction I togged up again and crawled under the dumper to fix the exhaust again!!

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The thing keeps breaking at the flexible section, so after what is now my third repair I decided to get rid of it and go for a ‘sports exhaust’ and ear defenders. The joys of not having neighbours nearby to complain Smile

Anyway, that’s it, tis getting light now, time to feed the animals, walk the dogs then bash on with a few more loads. Last night I was in bed whacked before 20:30. Tonight I’ll have not long been in by then for I’ll be back on the Hallaig this afternoon getting ready for dry dock.

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