Life at the end of the road

January 27, 2022

On time :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, hydro, life off grid, pigs, weather — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:04 am

I’d have been hard pressed yesterday morning to guess what was coming weather wise but a quick glace at the forecast foretold with great accuracy what was in store. Pretty much grey and dry without much wind until 13:00 when it arrived with a bang from the SW. Along with came the rain, sadly apart from feeding the pigs and walking Bonzo I missed the mainly dry morning.

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Being glued to my office chair doing my VAT return for the driest part of the day Sad smile


Though I had started that at ‘stupid o clock’ long before it was light let alone wet Smile

Golly gosh, almost 7:00AM now, ‘fell asleep at the wheel’ last night around 22:00 and awoke around half an hour ago after sleeping like a log Surprised smile No doubt after feeling elated at my previous day’s achievements. My VAT return submitted a full two weeks early Surprised smile Great progress made on my hydro turbine despite the weather and a splendid roast dinner to finish off the day.


Sweet potato, leek, halloumi, sun dried tomato and olive served on a bed of 5 year old tortilla wraps I’d found in one of my freezers Surprised smile Just making use of what was left in the fridge before I go away tomorrow. Though I gotta say the tortillas from 2017 were a bit of a mystery, don’t remember buying those Smile Anyway, it was pretty darn good, must get more sun dried tomatoes from Lidl while I’m away regular ones are pretty 5hit3 this time of year.

Hot stuff

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This morning when I arose I was somewhat surprised to see the green ‘pump running’ indicator light illuminated on my temperature controller. Upon investigating the graphics on my MTDC controller indicated that the store’s circulating pump was running. This is a pump on the store that circulates the water within the store if it gets too hot. You see that red thing with the blue wire going to it in the image, it’s connected to a pipe that goes from the bottom of the 1500lt water store to the top and when the water temperature reaches a certain value the pump starts up to move the hot water at the top and replace it with cooler water from the base of the store


It must have been pretty windy during the night cos the top of the store was 80 degrees when I got up and the bottom was 57 degrees though it’s getting cooler at the top and warmer at the bottom as we speak. I guess it’s more a reflection of living alone and not using as much hot water as I used to but it’s the first time ever I’ve seen that working, better go and have a shower Smile

Progress on the Powerspout

After ‘wasting’ the best part of the day in my office wrestling with paperwork I finally turned my attention towards the Powerspout hydro turbine and it’s manifold.

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The bent 50mm pipe still had a bit of a curve in it so I loosened the clamps fitted some wedges under it and stuck a heat gun up the end.

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This seemed to do the trick nicely and I completed assembly up in my workshop by fitting the automatic greaser and adding a stainless steel support to the manifold.

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Then just as the rain was really lashing down I headed down to the Secret Cove with my burden.

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It wasn’t easy lugging the boodly thing down there but I did it without incident, well apart from falling on my ar5e once or twice. Typically my helpers arrived too late to be of use Smile

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Anyway, after several trips to and from my workshop with forgotten tools, screws and measurements, I finally got the base solidly mounted.

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Fastening it at around 90 degrees on top of the original.

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Now all I have to do is connect the water and electrickary  both of which require a little thought. The penstock doesn’t quite line up and will need supporting and this turbine will rectify the current here rather than up at the house like the other so I need to sort out my + from my – Smile

January 25, 2022

A big bonus :-)

Not quite so grey today and pretty dry despite what the forecast was saying. Having said that I had my oilskins on for pretty much the whole day when not in the shed. Though if I’m honest that was more to do with needing pockets to put my tools, camera, glasses and torch in than any precipitation which never seemed far away.

Out of the house a little later than usual I was surprised to have to wake up the boys, normally they’re grunting at the gate as soon as they here my going to the shed to get their food. I guess they were so snuggled up in all that bedding Gavin next door had cut for them with his new scythe Smile


After feeding them and depositing Molly in the Land Rover, Bonzo and I headed down to the Secret Cove to measure up for the replacement turbine I’m fitting down in the shed.

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It’s a magical place down there with water cascading down the cliff from amidst the roots of ancient aspen trees clinging to thin thin soil above.


I wonder who will cling on the longest me or the trees Smile In three decades of living here I’ve never seen another soul down here but at one time it must have been well frequented. For just past the trees an old path leads all the way up from the shore to a stone shed on my old croft, the Arnish Net Shed. Once used for storing fishing gear for the boats of the township. I guess here was as safe place to pull up a boat at high water and it must have been a busy spot in days gone by.

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Another store for fishing gear perhaps? this one almost gets cut off at high tide, I’m still finding ruins after thirty years of living here which just goes to show how populated it once was at the North End.

Anyway, I’d come down here to measure up for the new Powerspout not get distracted like Bonzo Smile

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The Powerspout was going to be mounted where the Stream Engine hydro turbine had sat, which was on a Lego like base designed for making manholes in civil engineering projects. This I concreted into the base of the shed with an outlet at the bottom for the turbines tailrace. I just need to figure how to extend it higher whilst swivelling it through 90 degrees. After measuring things up I came away with a plan and we headed back to my workshop and started assembling the Powerspout and fabricating a manifold out of 50mm MDPE pipe. In retrospect I regret not buying the custom manifold supplied by Powerspout themselves

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As it cost me the best part of £100 for the bits of 50mm MDPE pipe fittings and the bore of the pipe is only 40mm. Powerspout recommend 50mm, which I don’t suppose is going to make a huge difference but I know form experience that the weight of a heavy manifold (like the one I’m making) requires external support or it will sag and misalign the jets.

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Especially when using pipe that has come off a roll for it tends to distort things as your trying to join Tees and right angles.

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I had to straighten my pipe by screwing it to the bench with 50mm exhaust clamps then blowing hot air on it. At least I hope it’s now straight, at this point I went in to finish of the curry.


Even better after two days with the oven chips coated in olive oil and chili flakes left over form basting my roast veg on Saturday Smile

Pipe, pipe and more pipe

Once in for lunch I paid a few bills and discovered that the oil tanker was coming over on Thursday so decided to leave my pipe unbending on the bench and take my trailer down to the ferry terminal. This would ‘kill two birds with one stone’ for I’d promised some short lengths of 90mm pipe to Donnie the fisherman in exchange for a single 40M long length he’d found at sea some time ago. This MDPE fish farm pipe not only makes great hydro turbine pipe but is fantastic for making polytunnels too Smile

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As can be seen from Willy Eyre’s masterpieces from 14 years ago Surprised smile

All I had to do was dig them out of the bracken and load in to the trailer.

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Where would we be without ratchet straps Smile

Manged to get them all the way to the south end without loosing any Surprised smile


The cyclist I passed at Screapadale  looked pretty amused but I dropped them all off at Donnie’s house and he even offered to tow my two 40M lengths north with the Mary M.

Woo Hoo, Bonzo will be pleased Smile

With the ten lengths in Donnie’s garden and my trailer left on the car park I went to get my 40M length and tow it round to the old pier with the other one.

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After the mission was accomplished I called round at the Raasay Store and was much impressed to find my printer cartridges waiting for me, I’d only ordered them yesterday, so now I’ve no excuse not to do my VAT return Sad smile 


Feeling pretty chuffed with the day’s results I headed slowly home

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passing six hinds on my way.

That was it, fed pigs, dugs and self, sitting down to some spuds, steamed veg and burrata I’d had given for Christmas.


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