Life at the end of the road

December 31, 2021

Where did it go!

Filed under: daily doings, How I, hydro, life off grid, pigs — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:14 pm

Another year almost by with, WordPress sent me an email the other day congratulating me on 14  years of blogging Surprised smile I just can’t believe that I started this carry on all those years ago when I couldn’t find a diary My son is now 22, my wife an ex and still I’m ‘at the end of the road’ writing mince Smile

As for 2021, well I’m sure there will be plenty of folk glad to see the back of it, me, well until very recently it’s been very much ‘life as usual’. COVID hasn’t really affected Raasay the same as other areas of ‘civilisation’ I’m sure. Of course we’re not totally insulated from it’s effects, in a world ‘where everything is connected everything else’ who is, but ‘all in all’ we’ve got off pretty lightly. Though I gotta say this Christmas has been one I’ll remember for sure, instead of a family Christmas with ex wife, son and family down in Girvan I was on Raasay building a shed and drinking Baileys with another single, middle aged Dude Smile And I gotta say it was certainly memorable Smile No arguing about what’s on telly or who’s going to do the washing up. Nope, just a pleasant chilled and relaxed day ‘putting the world to rights’ drinking coffee full of Baileys and thinking about shed building Smile 

Anyway, that’s it, the roof is on, just as well judging by the forecast Surprised smile


Though I doubt that it’ll be as bad as that, still that’s everything tied down and put away just in case, we have had some real spectacular blows around Hogmanay. In fact twenty years ago the power was usually off for a day or two around New Year. Never here at Arnish right enough but certainly for those connected to the grid. SSE or whoever deals with the power these days are certainly heroes when it come to getting folk reconnected. Probably get fined by OFGEM or something cos in the past it wasn’t uncommon to the power to be off on Raasay for days.


I started this morning as I mean to go on


with a large shot of Baileys in my coffee Smile 17:00 now and we’ve already demolished the first bottle Sad smile Still my Pal brought me a litre bottle round last night so that should keep me and Ross in coffee for a while Winking smile

After breakfast I went and unpacked my new Powerspout hydro turbine which arrived yesterday all the way from New Zealand which has probably had their New Year by now.

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This is to replace my Stream Engine hydro turbine which failed recently and whilst I did have a go at repairing it it turned out that the stator had failed. Being encased in resin it is beyond my skill level and patience to repair so opted to replace it with another Powerspout like the one that supplies my house.

The Powerspout has been operational for just ten years whereas the Stream Engine has been going for around twelve. The Stream Engine has been extremely reliable considering where it lives and how long it’s been working but it is a more expensive machine and surprisingly the bronze runner is not as durable as the nylon one on the Powerspout. As I already have a whole load of spares for the Powerspout and it’s much cheaper than the Stream Engine I just got another so the spares would be the same for both.

Anyway, after admiring my turbine I loaded up a new fuel tank for my Mate’s genny and took it round to Torran

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collecting some MDPE pipes along the way. Returning home after scrounging strong black coffee minus the Baileys and breakfast. Ross being up, showered and breakfasted upon my return I hijacked him into helping he with the roof Smile

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The 4.2M long box profile steel sheets being a bit of a handful on your own and the roof being a far better place for one who hasn’t had Baileys for breakfast Smile

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I got these roof sheets from Planwell in Buckie and quite apart from the fact they were cheaper than anyone else the delivery was free and the sheets came with plenty of screws, caps, stitching screws, gloves and even a tin of touch up paint Surprised smile They were delivered on time when they said they would and they were well packed and wrapped up. First class service, how it should be.

Once Ross had finished on the roof and we’d had some pasta for lunch it was time to go and remove the Stream Engine from it’s home down the Fairy Glen.


I’m pretty sure I can use the runner and base to make another turbine, perhaps close to my house using a 24V or even better 48V generator.


Well, that’s a project for the New Year Smile

Now it’s time to get cleaned up and go and celebrate the New Year.

December 30, 2021

Not that bad :-)

Filed under: daily doings — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:38 am

Bit rushed this morning I’m afraid, me Pal and his family arrived last night and I just had to join em for a catch-up Smile Consequently by the time I’d wobbled back along the track from Torran and collapsed in a heap in my bed it was extremely late for me. Must have been 11:00PM at least Surprised smile well past my normal bed time, still I suppose it’s good practice for ‘The Bells’ on Friday night Smile

So, having finally torn myself out of bed, showered and drunk my first cup of strong black coffee it’s already after 8:00 and I’ve a ton of stuff to do. Much of it involving my shed to be, hydro turbines and collecting my son who’s arriving a day early Smile Anyway yesterday didn’t turn out half as bad as XC Weather was predicting. Though I did don my oilskins first thing and never took em off all day ‘just in case’. Sure there was a few drops and it was windy but nothing like they were saying and I got on well with my rafters all up and more besides.

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Old Rowan

Sadly I’m gonna have to take a couple of limbs off the ancient rowan tree that I almost named my house after. Sonas was very nearly Old Rowan House or cottage, it being Jessie Nicolson of Torran who suggested naming it Sonas the Gaelic for happiness Smile I remember thinking ‘Blood Sweat and Tears’ would have been more appropriate after the hoops we had to jump through to actually get planning permission Smile

Anyway rowan trees are usually planted near a new house to ward off evil spirits and whilst to my knowledge there has never been a dwelling up here it was at one time a garden. Indeed Sonas resides within it’s walls or what is left of them, Donald’s Garden is what it was known after. Named after Calum Macleod’s father or grandfather that once owned my croft.


Perhaps he was the one who carved his name in its trunk generations ago Smile either way the tree will only be getting a light trim.

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Well it’s 8:30 now and almost daylight and thanks to the wild weather throughout the night it’s almost as warm in the Bunker as it is in my living room Surprised smile


22.2 in the house and 21.5 in the shed after my heat dump has been going all night.

So I’m off to feed the pigs and start the list Winking smile

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