Life at the end of the road

October 19, 2019

Trouble at the ‘Secret Well’ :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:12 am

Looks like another ‘peach of a day’ ahead, a bank of cloud hiding The Storr right now but that’s set to clear later on with just the chance of a light shower or two in the afternoon. The wind has shifted to the north, not there has been much of it, but even a light breeze unimpeded by the hills and heather tends to make my wind turbines happy.


The car park is empty of the SAS and Polish builders, the stags are silent and as soon as full daylight fully arrives I’ll go let the pigs out. They went AWOL last night, methinks Adam and his fellow countrymen must have left the gate open whilst they were loading up their van for the long drive back to London Smile Normally I’d go ‘off my head’ at this but I just couldn’t help but smile. Like the Oxford builders at Brochel they were ‘like fish out of water’ and just doing they’re best in what to them was a totally alien environment. I’ll miss my ‘wee chats’ with Adam, alien it may have been but he was full of questions about his far away ‘posting’ and spoke of bringing his family back for a holiday.

Landslide at the well

Sure, since I arrived home the weather has been nothing short of fantastic, dry mild and most importantly midge free. Of course I’ve been away for the best part of a fortnight and know from reports on the radio and telephone conversations that it’s been boodly awful at times. Adam said the built a wall one day and it blew down!!!!! Anyway, during yesterday mornings ‘pottering’ about the croft I discovered a lack of water flowing out of my overflow Sad smile

The ‘overflow’ is an old pipe that was contaminated with diesel and it’s buried alongside the 250m long water supply pipe to the house. This old pipe which was fit for nothing else is tapped into the tank overflow. So, at a glance, without walking up the hill to the tank, I can see if it’s overflowing. Well, yesterday it wasn’t and a jaunt up the hill to look see. The pigs had been at it a couple of weeks ago and their rooting had disturbed it, the problem wasn’t quite so straight forward and it wasn’t ‘pig related’.

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The main 3000lt tank was full but the 1000lt settling tank was almost empty with no water entering it and all pipe work intact.

Twenty odd years ago when I first thought of building a new house on ‘Donald’s Garden’ (the name given to the walled patch that Sonas now sits in) I knew water was going to be a problem. Unlikely as it may seem, water has always been an issue at the North End, perhaps not in days gone by before people took daily baths and had washing machines but it’s always been respected with each well having a name, often a jam jar and always a reputation for it’s flavour, temperature or clarity. The little well that I found conveniently situated 18m above and only 250m from Sonas around a decade ago had none of these. Indeed no one who I spoke to had ever heard of it.

Well, Smile when I went to investigate my little secret well,

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it had been the victim of a rockfall from above, a rather large rock having landed right on top of it Sad smile

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Much ‘grunting and thrutching’ had the rock moved and revealed the problem. The rock had displaced one of the stones that lined the well and filled it with peat that had blocked the filter.

I tried to clean it but the water was so cold my fingers went numb, not only that, by now it was 12:45 and I wanted to head south to the ‘Naming Ceremony’ of Donnie Mackenzie’s new boat.

The Mary M

So, after getting changed I headed down to the ferry terminal to join a crowd of ‘well wishers’


gathered by Donnie, Donalda and the Mary M.

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Donnie made fine use of his great voice reciting a hymn prior to Donalda twice attempting to break the wine bottle on Mary’s bow. The bottle steadfastly refusing to shatter until Donnie intervened Smile

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It was a great ceremony in fantastic weather with a good crowd who were treated to beverages and biscuits.

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After that I retired to the Larch Box for one of Iona’s excellent Brie, sundried tomato and pesto toasties.

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Despite the ‘SAS’ taking over the Larch Box car park and ‘Alamo’ she is, as the sign says ‘Open for Business’ Smile


Trip Advisor sums it up nicely Smile

Back to the well

Fully refreshed I headed back north to fix my well,

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which needed a good cleaning,

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this time wearing some diving gloves Smile I still gotta make a new lid but that is on today’s list.


After that it was cutting bedding for the pigs, which is when I realized they were AWOL, by now it was 16:00 and they’re usually back long before then wanting fed.

I was pretty sure they’d be through on the other side of the Torran gate as I’d seen them heading down that way when Adam was loading his van. So Molly and I jumped on the quad and headed up to North Arnish and a good vantage point.

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Sure enough, there were fresh signs in the ruin there

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and whilst under Ronnie’s watchful eye


they turned up Smile

1 Comment »

  1. That was quite a relaxing read … cheers!

    Comment by Matt — October 19, 2019 @ 6:37 pm

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