Life at the end of the road

January 31, 2019

It was on the list :-(

18:30 now and that’s me fed, watered and in for the night. Sure with my nice well lit and dry shed there is stuff I could be doing but I feel no guilt in sitting here in the nice warm house staring out at the blackness. At least not now anyway, a few moments ago I did cos there was a light below the Storr but even that is now extinguished! For as long as I’ve been off work there’s been a light burning brightly just below the Old Man of Storr. So what I can here you say but the truth is despite being able to see from Portree Bay to Harris without moving from the kitchen table bright lights are a rarity here at Arnish. Sure I can see the glow of civilization from Portree reflected on clouds from the bedroom window, I can fishing boats going too and from their grounds. I even get the rare glimpse of a snow plough heading towards Staffin and the odd late commuter some six miles across the sea.

This one however had me puzzled as it was always in the same area just below the road and was often burning when I went to bed and awoke in the morning. Apparently it was a timber harvester and as they cost around a quarter of a million and the operator gets paid by the ton I guess he preferred the heated cab to his unheated caravan Smile Well, even he’s turned in, the light has gone out, you can just see it in the first image taken on Tuesday. The other two are from today and what a peach of a day it’s been.

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Another alternator

I never got posting yesterday cos I was in my bed at ‘stupid o clock’ with two dugs and a good book, the freezing weather forcing darling wife to abandon me in favour of the ‘toon hoose’. A more than sensible decision considering her 6:00am start and the icy road conditions.

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In the ‘grand scale’ of things it’s hardly a ‘huge dump’ or particularly cold but the road is steep and treacherous with both of us having come off it at times. Phone reception is dubious and it’s at least seven miles to the next house. When Ross and I came off the road in the Land Rover a couple of winters ago I had to walk over a mile to get a phone signal and he had to walk two miles home. That was it yesterday morning and even when I headed sowf some five hours later than Wifey would have, had she stayed at home, it was pretty boodly slippy.

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Normally ‘wild horses’ wouldn’t have dragged me down the road yesterday but I’d an appointment to see the Doc so thought I’d better make the effort, especially as he’d telephoned from the ferry to say he’d made it despite the state of the roads on Skye!!!!


Still, it gave me a chance to call on Callum and Jay at the Raasay Sawmill to see how me shed was coming along. Also managed to pop in and see Peter to give Bonzo a walk before heading back home.


Good to see the gritter in action at Scrapeadale

For the want of a shovel

Once home I jumped on the quad to go and check my hydro turbine at Tarbert which had stopped.

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Having to first negotiate a lake in the road that’s been growing daily for weeks now. It’s not alone right enough, there’s hunners of them on all the roads but 10 minutes with me wellie had the tide going out on this particular expanse of water. Now if I can do that with my foot just imagine what a well directed Council worker could do with a yellow pickup and shovel!!!! I mean it’s not friggin’ ‘rocket science’ is it. The drains get blocked, the water makes a lake which either freezes or turns into a raging river every time someone drives through it. Either the ice fecks it or the waves feck it. There’s no money in the budget they say, fer fecks sake how much money does it take to give a man a spade and tell him what to do with the friggin thing.


  • Chief Executive – £146,517 (2016/17)  £147,989 (2017/18)
  • Depute Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources – £116,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Care and Learning – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Community Services – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Development and Infrastructure – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)

For £111,370 you would think you could find someone with the gumption to give a man a spade hey Sad smile

After the road repair and turning off my hydro turbine I turned my attention to the storm damaged deer fence at the back of the house and put some stays behind it.

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Then, as darkness fell I got on with the 10 or was it 11kg ham that had been drying in the bunker. The ham had been soaking in all manner of goodies for over a month. So much so the the sweet smell of cider, sugars, spices and wine had been lingering around for days Smile I’d decided that it was way too big so reckoned I’d chop it up into manageable pieces, put one in the fridge for the weekend and the others in the freezer.

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The only problem with hams is passing them without hacking a bit off to eat Smile I kid you not, this baby had been hanging in the shed for a few days and the aroma was just impossible to resist, it was even worse when it was on the bench in front of me with a knife in hand. Of course a month in brine had made it rather savoury so I had a bottle of San Pellegrino at hand to quench my thirst. Even so, by the time it cut it up I’d lost my appetite for dinner Smile

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Mind you, that didn’t stop me turning the bone and some off cuts into a fine soup Smile


Another sharp but fine day

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with the day’s first task being the removal of the alternator from this lighting tower that was deposited on me yesterday Smile I’d already had a look at it and discovered a poor output, further investigation this morning confirmed the problem to lie within the alternator.

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It wasn’t too bad to remove the alternator after taking out the control panel, transformer and mounting brackets.

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After just a couple of hours work it was in the back of the Subaru ready for delivery to its owner who would either get it repaired or more likely replaced. Methinks these Linz alternators are quite sensibly priced.


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Of course whilst down at the sowf end I had to go and check on me shed and wife Smile The shed was coming on fine and darling wife was busy forklifting, I was greatly impressed Smile

Creosoting in January

OK, I know it’s the last day but still Smile

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I didn’t do it all right enough cos some of it was still covered in ice!!! but I got a good deal of it done Smile

Beko washing machine drawer leak

And, I almost forgot, the washer is fixed, I managed to stop the annoying leak on our otherwise excellent Beko machine just by turning the cold fill tap down a touch.


Sure, it takes a minute or two longer to fill but it still washes far, far quicker than our extortionate 4star plus Panasonic piece of carp.

How could I leave these out ?

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Glam, the Five Sisters of Kintail and a daft dug in the snow Smile

January 30, 2019

Alternately :-)

Filed under: daily doings, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:24 am

7:30 here at the end of the road, just back in from letting the hens out, who like me seemed reluctant to go out in the snow. Not that there’s much here right enough, just an inch at the most but yesterday there was none and yet more than enough down the road to make towing a trailer interesting.


That was my first task yesterday, heading once more to Sconser quarry for a couple of tons of aggregate,

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then, after a walk along the beach at Sconser with the dugs, back on the 11:25 ferry.

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I was hoping to have a look around the bunkhouse/takeaway being built at Sconser but Hector was nowhere to be seen. He seems to be making a better job of this than most houses you see going up these days. I love the stone cladding and sandstone sills, methinks the box profile roof looks good to and far better than the low pitched slate roof on the Sconser ferry terminal buildings. Much as I love slate, the architect who specced the roofs at our ferry terminal had obviously little comprehension of the winds that come down Loch Sligachan. The slates on both rooves regularly come off Sad smile

Nissan Patrol 3.0D Y61 Alternator

Whilst I’d gone to Sconser to get material for the boat/car port, it was kind incidental, my main reason for the trip was to collect an alternator for the Nissan Patrol I was using. It had died last week and was urgently required by my neighbours today, so after calling at the sawmill with some fittings for Callum I headed home.


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Though I wisely left my 3ton load on the ferry car park to collect on a day without snow Smile

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The alternator replacement on this 4 cylinder turbo intercooled diesel was surprisingly straight forward. The battery was disconnected then the wiring. The alternator mounting bolts are reasonably easy to access and the large plastic fan covers easy enough to remove once the tin plate underneath is removed.

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By far the hardest job is remembering how the serpentine belt routes around the various pulleys that drive all the pumps and compressor. I guess if you were just replacing the alternator you could leave them in place but the belt was shot too.

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Luckily I had the good foresight to photograph the layout first and the job probably didn’t take much more than an hour. Having said that it was about all I did yesterday apart from wiring up some 16amp blue sockets in my workshop.

And, after yet another haggis supper I retired to bed well before 21:00 with a good book Smile

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This morning I’m off sowf again, this time to see the doc then take Bonzo and the dugs for a walk before intercepting the postie. Mail comes over on the 10:25 ferry and I’m expecting parcels crucial to my boat/car, port so I have to catch the Post Office before he goes out on his rounds. We only get mail delivered on Thursday and Saturday since wifey became an ‘ex postie’ Smile


Whilst I’m ‘pulling my face’ at having to go out in the cold and snow that little white light is a timber harvester below the Storr and they were at it when I went to bed last night and started again well before 7:00 this morning!!!

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