Life at the end of the road

September 1, 2019

Bleedin’ diesels :-)

It’s a bonny start to September for sure, half decent forecast for the day and I’ve started it by catching the wee fecker that killed my two white cockerels yesterday Smile Feeling smug I am, which is more than I can say about the last miserable day of August. I say this every year, or at least I’ve been saying it at some point over the last decade ‘I have never seen so much rain’ !!!!! How can the sky hold so much water? I thought Friday was spectacularly wet but Saturday was every bit as bad if not worse and it got off to a really shitty start with me finding a cockerel dead and one missing.


The two fine white birds given me by Anne and Donnie had been killed, this one having it’s throat torn out and left, of the other there was no sign.

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A quick search of their large enclosure failed to find it so I left the remaining rooster and hens sheltering from the deluge, let the pigs out and headed south.

I had promised to fix a toilet in the village and a generator at Brochel, which with the weather being as boodly awful as it was, seemed like a good option Smile


The ‘toilet task’ was straight forward job of removing the pan, fitting a new outlet pipe and refitting it. Unfortunately the seals on the inlet pipe had gone hard and were also leaking. Of course I didn’t have any of those spare but found that by soaking them in hot soapy water and then cleaning them with a stiff brush they became soft and pliable once more.


Toilet fixed, replaced and tested I went to borrow a couple of mink traps from a pal then headed north to Brochel.

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The rain was relentless Sad smile

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A sea eagle and the SD Raasay working at Brochel.

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Me working at Brochel on an old Yanmar generator that had just run out of fuel and required bleeding. I dunno how old it is but judging by the belt driven alternator I’d say ancient Smile However in true Japanese fashion it was easy to bleed, started first time and ran as ‘sweet as a nut’, it was also amazingly quiet for a single cylinder diesel engine.

Not so easy Sad smile

That done I headed home to find that it had been decidedly drier at Arnish and Torran so started a thorough search of the hen enclosure for the missing cockerel. In the past I’ve shot the wee feckers in broad daylight trying to haul a dead chook through the fence. I even found a ‘nest’ once under an old fish farm float where they had dragged dead hens to eat. I only found that when it started to smell Sad smile

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Well, there it was, about half way down the eastern fence line, a tunnel in the rushes leading through the chicken wire, minky could get through but couldn’t drag the chicken after him, still at least he’d eaten some of this one. I don’t begrudge the odd chook if they eat them, it’s this mindless slaughter I despise. Anyway, I lifted the corpse and used it as bait for a trap I’d set by one of the disused ‘pop holes’.


Before the mink arrived on Raasay we had between 60 and 80 hens and the large shed has two nesting/perching areas that we used to rotate. So I set the trap in the disused one and screwed it to the wall so Mr mink couldn’t get by it and wreak havoc inside the shed.

Buoyed up by my success with the Yanmar at Brochel I thought I’d change the fuel filters on my own Lister HR2 diesel generator. The generator has not run since the 5th of May and whilst it gets little use I do try and keep it well maintained. In an ‘off grid’ system a generator is your ‘lifeboat’ if something goes ‘pear shaped’ with your system. I’ve never been without power for more than a few minutes in 30 years which is more than can be said for the rest of Raasay and SSE customers Smile

First thing to do though was to get it nice and warm to change the oil and filter. Ideally the generator needs to be run ‘on load’ to do this and with the batteries fully charged, hydro, wind and even sun all going well I somehow had to make it ‘work’. So I turned off the supply to the main SMA SI 6048 inverter and turned on the supply to the Outback GVFX 3048 inverter and a 6kW immersion heater. I then set the Outback to equalize the reserve battery bank in  the bunker.

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With a couple of Kw load from the inverter’s charger doing the EQ and the 6kW heater that would give the 12kW Lister a good 75% loading and get it nice and warm.

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Well, that turned into a bit of an epic and whilst I got the oil and filters done I gave up on the bleeding when my son arrived home at 7:00pm.

An unusual meal

He’d had a long day and had made a chili dip out of red wine vinegar and caster sugar! so I turned out some sweet potato baked in an olive oil and harissa baste with breaded scallops served on black pudding.

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A touch of lightly cooked asparagus in butter ensured even higher calories and cholesterol but it was boodly delicious Smile

Got the wee fecker Smile

Great start to the day.

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  1. I have a live and let live attitude, but had a complete loathing of mink as you, it was the kill everything that I could not tolerate. Delighted on your success. Sun out today wonderful on the beach as the sun came up.

    Comment by todthedog — September 1, 2019 @ 8:23 am

  2. Surely Paul where there’s one there’s more.

    Comment by Polite Scouser — September 1, 2019 @ 12:13 pm

    • There’s always more Walt 😦

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 1, 2019 @ 1:02 pm

  3. Glad you got the sod… I know it’s not their fault they’re there but it’s still satisfying to know there’s one less!

    Hope the rain clears

    Comment by Matt — September 1, 2019 @ 12:37 pm

    • Aye Matt, pleased with the quick result, drowned the wee fecker in the trap but derived not satisfaction from that, I do prefer to shoot em.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 1, 2019 @ 1:09 pm

      • Crikey,you left it out in the rain then! Good to see your posts again.

        Comment by Andy — September 1, 2019 @ 1:26 pm

      • Aye Andy that was some rain right enough, the dumper bucket was half full of water so I just dropped him in there. I usually shoot the wee feckers in the trap with the .22 but some sage mink trapper told me they can smell the blood so another won’t go in. Not convinced so I’ll be shooting the next one. They may not show the chooks much mercy and I hate the wee feckers but least I can do is kill em quickly. Another dude puts em in a feed sack and gasses em with the car exhaust but methinks the bullet is kinder.

        Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — September 1, 2019 @ 4:02 pm

      • I understand fella. I used to shoot rats on the farm and some of them were quite comical and I almost couldn’t do it. They used to play like kids in the barn and then I’d pop a touch of lead in them. Shame but they have to go.

        Comment by Matt — September 1, 2019 @ 5:42 pm

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