Life at the end of the road

March 25, 2019

Let there be more light :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:40 am

6:00am here at sunny Arnish, OK, not quite sunny yet but it does look promising without the threat of Sunday’s frequent showers, some of which were hail. It was boodly Baltic in the bitingly cold west, then north west wind, so boodly cold and threatening that ‘wee dug’ refused to come out ‘walkies’ with Leah and I.


Our old croft was looking well cared for and the hawthorn weeks ahead of previous years, though I suspect like much of the vegetation it’s currently ‘stalled’ with the dramatic fall in temperature. The balmy double figures of February a distant memory Sad smile 

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Fond as we were of the happy home of a quarter of a century I do prefer the modern, light, draught free, warmth of Sonas to ‘Number 3’ and I miss the constant feeding of the ‘Squirrels’ (Morso woodburners) not a single jot Smile Sure my neighbours take good care of the house and croft and you can book yourself a piece of the ‘off grid’ lifestyle complete with TV, Internet and all ‘mod cons’ here Nikky will probably even let you feed Judy and Tilly the two ‘Iron Age’ pigs Smile

Another fabulous lunch

After taking Leah for a walk around Arnish and collecting Molly from the car, she’d refused to walk any further so I let her go in it whilst we had our wee sojourn round the north end. After that I moved the lighting tower and cleaned up my shed Smile

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We had lunch booked at Raasay House

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That poster is from last year and it’s now £11.95 but worth every penny and the deserts are boodly amazing. I really am not a desert kind of person but  it’s well worth leaving space for one after your scrumptious ‘Sunday Roast’.

With our afternoon pre arranged I just pottered around in Callum’s shed and started fitting some IP65 rated LED strip lights from Screwfix.


On the way back from the excellent Sunday Roast we took both dugs for a walk to Screapadale, Molly being far, far more enthusiastic about this one than the morning’s affair Smile

Despite being absolutely stuffed with roast beef I did manage an hour or two in Callum’s shed working on the lights before ‘calling it a day’. Even though the shed is quite open and well ventilated it is surprisingly calm inside. I don’t think it was ever really ‘gale force’ yesterday but the wind was steady and straight off the sea. Consequently the wee Proven/Kingspan wind turbine behind Sonas generated 80kWh yesterday which is an average of 3.33Kw per hour. The turbine was only rated at 2.5kW when I bought it but I fitted the later carbon fibre blades before installing it so the newer ones are now rated at 3.2kW so pretty accurate I would say. The larger 6kW one next to the shed has not meter on it but I guess it would have put out almost double that yesterday. One thing for sure, the shed that that turbine heats was lovely and warm Smile


These are the ‘dump load’ resistors in my workshop, this is where the unused energy goes and they are at 350 degrees Celsius!! The wind, hydro and PV all generate electricity that charges the house battery bank, when that is fully charged the energy is converted to heat and heats up a large thermal store which supplies all our DHW and UFH. When that 1500lt store is up to around 78 degrees the excess energy is then diverted into these large air dumps in the sheds, some 16kW of them!!!!!


I really must clean the windows Smile or go outside and get a better picture,

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that’s more like it, guess who’s ‘coming to dinner’ Smile Smile Only kidding, he’ll be fine, the freezer is full. Anyway, that was it for Sunday, I was in bed once more before 21:00 with a good book, this one being the riveting “Shipwrecks of the P&O line” by Sam Warwick and Mike Roussel. OK, not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but I’ve dived on a few. The most memorable being the Salsette a 5800 ton ocean liner that fell fowl of one of Hans Howaldt’s torpedoes from UB-40 in 1917. She lies upright on the seabed in Lyme bay in around 45m of water and is a sight to behold.

Another being the SS Somali off Seahouses in Northumbria a general cargo ship of some 6000 tons she succumbed to an air raid in 1942.


Not in the same league as the Salsette but still a very interesting dive with much of her general cargo including military equipment, jeeps, tyres, toy lead soldiers and cosmetics still to be found. A good deal shallower too but in a helluva tide if I recall Smile

Anyway, that’s it, 7:40 now and time to do some work Smile

March 24, 2019

Let there be light :-)

Home at last, 7:00am now on a Sunday morning and I’m savouring the peace and view with a fresh pot of coffee afore I venture out.


Sure the Storr is shrouded in cloud there’s a good hash of west wind and it’s far from dry, but I love it Smile The hawthorn and willow are getting greener by the day and the roof sheets are still on ‘Callum’s Shed’


I never put the flashing on the exposed end before I went to LA cos we’re gonna extend it more. Had a sleepless night down in LA worrying about it but me good mate and ‘shed guru’ went up, put some extra screws in it and a ratchet strap around the purlins. By all accounts it must have been boodly windy whilst I was away cos the wee Proven/Kingspan wind turbine averaged 31kWh per day!!!!!!! over a two week period.

I did get home to Sonas around 10:30 on Friday but can’t say I achieved a great deal, I was pure whacked after the sleepless night at Sconser and Darling wife was stuck on Skye Sad smile The trusty MV Loch Bhrusda was off service later on that day and Wifey and the rest of the Isle of Raasay Distillery team were visiting ‘competition’ on Skye. The Torabhaig distillery down in Sleat . Pronounced Toravaig it opened around the same time as ours I think and is well worth a visit by all accounts.

I busied myself with the mountain of washing I’d generated during the fortnight in LA, put the caravan to bed then did the same myself for a couple of hours.

Bhrusda did sail at 17:00 and I was finally reunited with my wife a couple of hours later having made a vegetarian number with spuds, sweet potato and cheese baked in the oven. We had both had rather long and stressful days so retired early without the long awaited glass of red wine Smile


Well, it wasn’t half a cracking day here but I spent most of it fitting a new generator to my mates lighting tower. That was after driving down to the village to fit a curtain pole in the ‘toon hoose’ and doing some shopping at the Raasay Community Store. Only a guy could drive home, call in at a supermarket and not actually get any worthwhile shopping hey!!! Seriously, I managed to get olives, honey, pasta, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and bananas by the shed load but neglected to actually buy anything important like bread, milk, fresh veg and meat, hence the vegetarian option on Friday night Smile Sure we have a freezer full of dead pig and dear but I never removed anything from it when I got home either. Men!!! what are we like Smile

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It was great to see progress at the new Isle of Raasay Distillery warehouses


Another great boost for the island with jobs to follow.

The VT100 lighting tower

Once back home the rest of the day was taken up fitting a new generator to a VT100 lighting tower. The day was far too nice to be stuck in the shed but my mate was needing it and I was sick of tripping over it Smile It’s been a long and fiddly job due to the access or should I say lack of it. The alternator is boodly heavy and has to come out sideways once it is detached from it’s Kubota engine. A task made complicated by all the electrical gubbins in the way.

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Bar a rest for dinner, a sweet pork loin stir fry produced by Darling Wife, it took me all day and when I’d finished it didn’t work Sad smile

I wont say I connected the alternator wiring up the wrong way cos I didnae.

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I took photos of the old one first and wired the new one the same, well the new one was wired differently and it was a boodly fiddly job to re configure the terminals in situ I can tell you.


Still, I got it sorted and was well chuffed with the result, so, if you ever happen to be fitting a Linz alternator to a VT100 lighting tower check the wiring by running it up BEFORE you refit the 110v transformer and control panel Smile

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Right, that’s it, 8:07 now, the rain has stopped and I can see the Storr, time to walk the dugs Smile

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