Life at the end of the road

September 10, 2020

A tale of two olives :-)

Four AM and all is well, I’m showered and my bag is packed for the journey south, I say bag but it’s more like a dodgy looking rucksack. My pal  is heading sowf today and I’m hitching a lift with him as far as Bothwell services on the M74 to collect my Subaru and meet my Son. Ross took it down to Edinburgh last week when he moved into his new flat. He had stuff to shift and an advanced diving course to attend and lugging diving gear about isn’t easy on public transport Smile Apart from that a car is nothing but hassle where he lives, just about everything is in easy walking distance, parking is a boodly nightmare and expensive. Think he’s already had a £60 ticket Sad smile So, that’s it, he’s managed to talk me into taking some weights down the road for him, hence the dodgy looking rucksack, I envisage problems with security at the service station Smile If Ross doesn’t turn up on time I can imagine the conversation going something like this “that dodgy looking Dude over there with the heavy rucksack has been sat there for ages drinking endless cups of coffee” Smile 

So, with my pig, house, dog sitter organised I’m ‘Southbound again’ shortly

and better still, I’ll not be driving until tomorrow Smile

A simple task


The 9th of September was very much a case of ‘sunshine and showers’ a brisk cool west or north westerly blowing the whole day proving the odd weak rainbow and loads of wind, water and sunshine power for me and my house. It also saw me frequently running for cover as I pottered about doing wee jobs on the ‘Old Girl’. Most of them being fiddly little tasks requiring much patience, though if I actually had any patience I would have just gone indoors and ordered the parts online rather than fixing them Smile My first task being typical.


During my preparations for getting the 200TDI running I’d noticed the oil filler cap was loose and when I took it off I saw one of the small self tapping screws that hold it together was missing!!!! Talk about stupid design or what, you make an oil filler cap with two small screws pointing ‘doon the way’ into the guts of the engine!! Anyway, I carefully removed the rocker cover and discovered the missing screw right by one of the pushrod holes in the cylinder head. Removing it with even more caution than I’d lifted the cover and using a small extending magnet. Now I could have just bought a new or second hand cap hey. Not me, no I tinkered about repairing the old one with a 10mm bolt, nyloc nut and O rings to seal it.

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Putting the bolt in from the bottom then I could see if it came loose in future and cementing one of the screws back in the cap with Loctite to stop the centre turning. Of course I managed to loose one of the three tapered rocker seals that hold the cover down on my gravel path somewhere so had to make one of those too. Were I getting paid by the hour it would have been a boodly expensive cap Smile

The traffic was boodly awful

Being my Wife’s birthday I then went south on a delivery mission, hoping to time my visit with a quiet time at Iona’s Larch Box. Between the hunners of tourists flocking to Raasay and the encampment of media types around the Steading and Raasay Distillery it can get quite busy. You don’t just go to the Larch Box once, having sampled something on the menu, you just have to go back the day after to try something else Smile

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So, I left the ‘Old Girl’ with her rocker cover sorted and headed south early to miss the traffic Smile

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Something was afoot, the sheep were ‘on the move’ and a little further down the road at Glame it became clear why.

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The sheep were being gathered for separating the lambs so I joined Iain and his dug and became part of the roadblock.

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When I got underway again I saw three boats speeding out of Portree towards the ‘Golden Cliff’, Stardust I, Stardust II and Spindrift were all out, no doubt watching the sea eagles as they frequent this spot having a nest nearby.

Me, I didn’t hang around, I wanted to get my baguette before the rush Smile

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The building of the nearby set for ‘SAS Who dares wins again’ making the place a hive of activity.

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Not to mention providing extra revenue for my employer Smile What is it about Wednesdays, it’s always busy on a Wednesday Smile

More boodly media Smile

With my Halloumi and aubergine baguette and hot chocolate demolished in excellent socially distanced company I headed back home.

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Calling in at the ‘Veg Shack’ of course, acquiring some spuds, garlic, onion and courgette. All organic and grown with love by the team at the Raasay Walled Garden.


Work seemed to be progressing at the EE mast, this being the first time I’ve actually seen anybody there.

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As if it weren’t bad enough having Minnow films and all their ‘media types’ clogging up the ferry and roads, this crowd were at it too Smile Don’t think they are anything to do with ‘SAS who cares who wins’ cos they were filming push bikes and there won’t be enough testosterone in that for the SAS hey Smile However in true media style they proved very adept at blocking roads and preventing us teuchters going about our business Smile Having said that, they did offer to move as soon as they realised Raasay did have other people on it Smile

Me, I left them to it and buried myself back in the Land Rover doing another job that took me hours and would have been much easier had I just ordered some thrupenny olives online Smile I needed to join an 8mm steel power steering pipe and didn’t have any olives so rather than wait, I made two. An 8mm copper olive is actually made from 10mm copper pipe so I cut some out of a length. Trouble is, you cant really do it with a saw or grinder as it has to be very square/true to work and you can’t really cut it with a pipe cos the cutter squashes the tube.

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That is, unless you heat up the 10mm tube first then slide it over an 8mm drill Winking smile You can then cut it with your pipe cutter without squashing it

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and you have perfectly formed olives. Much cheaper and easier to buy them though but ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ as they say.

Well, it’s 6:20 now, better go feed the pigs and hens, time to get ready and go.

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