Life at the end of the road

October 27, 2019

An extra hour in bed :-(

British Summertime is over, CalMac have finished the ‘Summer Timetable’ and the first snow has fallen on the Storr, winter really is here. Sure there are still plenty of trees clinging onto their leaves but each icy blast of wind deposits yet more of them onto the ground to block drains and make natures compost. After a couple of reasonable night’s sleep I’m once more up at ‘stupid o clock’ only this morning it’s an hour more stupid Smile I say it every year but I hate all this fecking around with clocks, am I the only human who’s life is turned upside down by it? Do other folk actually manage an ‘extra hour in bed’ ?

I mean what is the point, if it’s cos school children have to go to school in the dark then leave the feckin clocks on GMT all year. After all that is the ‘proper time’ and more or less UTC . Personally I prefer the lighter evenings of BST but I’d happily forgo the great pleasure I get in March from ‘springing forward’ just to be done with this whole clock moving carp.

I wonder how many people will miss a ferry or bus today or how many seasoned sailors will make a complete f**k up of the tide tables Smile I know I did, every year for eighteen or so I forgot to add or subtract an hour at least once, leaving me ‘high and dry’ in the boat or missing ‘slack water’ under it Smile The pigs, dug and hens don’t move their clocks so why the feck do we???? 4:53 GMT now, tis ‘black as the fire back’ outside and so far the only advantage I can think of is that the BBC World Service is now informing me of the ‘correct time’ along with chaos in Chile, basket ball in China, ‘special school’ abuse in Nigeria and that buffoon in the White House’s latest incomprehensible Tweet.

What will I do now?

Well, that’s it, it’s 5:00am which is really 6:00am and I don’t actually have a clear plan for the day,


it’s looking like a good one ahead so I reckon the first task will be finishing off the generator exhaust at Torran.

Boodly clocks

Half past boodly six in the evening now and I’m ready for me bed!!!! Well, I’m not gonna do it, I’m gonna grit my teeth, grip my pint of water, have a big swig (not through gritted teeth obviously) and ‘man up’. The day never turned into the ‘wall to wall’ sunshine that XC promised but it wasn’t a bad day with just the faintest of showers and none of them needing a jacket or wet enough to produce a meaningful rainbow.

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First thing I did until it was daylight was tinker about with my ‘Mickey Mouse’ MIG welder that was having trouble with its wire feed. I got it from Screwfix when my Land Rover needed its first dose of welding, which wouldn’t have been that long after I bought it 18 or 19 years ago. To be fair the Ferm 150/1 is hardly a serious welder and it has done all I’ve asked of it but I got sick of buying those disposable CO2 and Argo shield bottles at around a tenner each so got a proper cylinder some time ago. Trouble is I only seem to use it at MOT times so it gets a little neglected. Methinks rusty wire and a dicky trigger switch were at the root of my problem, running a few meters of wire out and some WD40 in the trigger seemed to sort it.

Back to ‘Mr Lister’

With that going well, the sun risen, pigs fed and muesli demolished I headed for Torran, having first loaded the quad with tools and a wee dug.


I finished off the exhaust with some plywood and a piece of steel fitted snugly round the pipe so as it wouldn’t heat up the wood. Then I set about doing the valve clearances (tappets), fuel and air filter whilst cold before getting it good and hot to test out my exhaust and then change the oil. A trip home for ‘second breakfast’ of fried PEK, eggs and tomatoes and some Hylomar for the Lister rocker covers in-between. By gum, I did enjoy that fried PEK Smile Cheers for that San and I still have another tin Smile 

Where was I ???

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The settings are around 6 thou cold, Lister’s spec is .006 feeler blade will pass through but .008 will not so I spose you could call it .007 Smile Either way it’s not crucial and when I was at college a teacher once told me ‘a noisy tappet is a happy tappet’ Smile


Unbelievably that took me most of the day, after which I went to do a little remedial work on my neighbours drive.

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Getting so carried away that I forgot to take any pictures afterwards Sad smile


so here’s one before I started Smile

There wasn’t much more to it really, well apart from fitting yet another starter button to the dumper. This time a dedicated 50A one and not a Chinese horn button Smile 


The north wind creating a swell that was breaking over a reef south of Grian a Sgeir, it’s not often you actually see that Smile


This windswept birch finally shed it’s last leaves today, who could blame it, perched high above Sonas with nothing betwixt it and Lewis. The bitter and dense northerly responsible also saw my wind turbines producing around 100kWh.

Golly gosh, it’s almost 19:30 and I’m still awake!!!!

October 26, 2019

An exhausting day :-)

Filed under: Discovery, life off grid, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:14 pm

Well, it was ‘SAS related’ Smile  I left you this morning fed the pigs near my neighbours house and went to ‘weigh up’ the situation. They’d phoned last night when I was in my pyjamas saying one of their guests was stuck!!!! Well, they were right about that, but to be fair, I did the same myself when I first bought the house thirty years ago Smile


One thing for sure, it wouldn’t be coming out under its ‘own steam’ or with the help of my Disco.


It was time to go back to Sonas and get ‘Calum the Kubota’ Smile I did try lifting it out out backwards first, simply cos we could find no sign of a front towing eye, the driver had no handbook and Mr Google wasnae working there Sad smile Well, it certainly wasn’t for coming out backwards but we did manage to move it far enough to at least see the front wishbones. They were of course lying in deep mud but in the absence of anything better to pull it with they would have to suffice. So, very gingerly I tracked ahead of it, extended the boom and dipper, put the blade down and we managed to ease her out with the driver helping.


He was very happy Smile and to be fair, so was I, we’d managed to extricate it from a very difficult spot with minimal damage to Disco and none to Calum Smile


The neighbours drain will need a little ‘remedial work’ right enough but it could have been much worse Smile Of course I now know where the towing eye is located which would have saved me getting rather muddy and not made my shower tray look like I’d taken ‘a dump’ in it Smile


After shower, muesli and break I set off to Torran to re route the Lister generator exhaust and clear out the fridge.


Adam the Polish builder had had to remove the exhaust to build the shed and in his haste to leave had left behind all kind of Polish treats with unpronounceable names. The cherry tomatoes, butter, smoked mackerel and Greek yoghurt I’d already had away, well, ‘waste not want not’ Smile However, there was other stuff that looked edible and I was at a bit of a ‘loose end’ on the cooking front.

First job though was to knock a hole in the wall to let the exhaust pipe through,

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very quickly establishing the fact that my 24v Hitachi was not ‘man enough’ for the job. Sure it’s quite adequate for drilling a couple of holes but the NiMH batteries just don’t ‘cut the mustard like lithium ion ones. Reluctantly I went back home to get my 110V 38mm Hitachi breaker and transformer.

The next challenge was rotating the rusted fittings and removing the old exhaust pipe, which without the blowlamp would probably have ‘ended in tears’ with a broken cast iron manifold.

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I had to do another trip home to cut and thread the tail pipe to clear the eaves and there’s still a little ‘tidying up’ to be done but before I ‘called it a day’ Mr Lister was chugging away nicely Smile

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Time to head home for a Polish treat.


Roast sweet potato, broccoli, beans and asparagus with some tinned pork Sad smile Well I just had to eat it hey Smile Can’t remember the last time I had tinned pork, ham or Spam, it’s better than I remember Smile Gonna try and fry what’s left in the morning once the muesli ‘runs out of steam’.


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