Life at the end of the road

March 25, 2019

Let there be more light :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:40 am

6:00am here at sunny Arnish, OK, not quite sunny yet but it does look promising without the threat of Sunday’s frequent showers, some of which were hail. It was boodly Baltic in the bitingly cold west, then north west wind, so boodly cold and threatening that ‘wee dug’ refused to come out ‘walkies’ with Leah and I.


Our old croft was looking well cared for and the hawthorn weeks ahead of previous years, though I suspect like much of the vegetation it’s currently ‘stalled’ with the dramatic fall in temperature. The balmy double figures of February a distant memory Sad smile 

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Fond as we were of the happy home of a quarter of a century I do prefer the modern, light, draught free, warmth of Sonas to ‘Number 3’ and I miss the constant feeding of the ‘Squirrels’ (Morso woodburners) not a single jot Smile Sure my neighbours take good care of the house and croft and you can book yourself a piece of the ‘off grid’ lifestyle complete with TV, Internet and all ‘mod cons’ here Nikky will probably even let you feed Judy and Tilly the two ‘Iron Age’ pigs Smile

Another fabulous lunch

After taking Leah for a walk around Arnish and collecting Molly from the car, she’d refused to walk any further so I let her go in it whilst we had our wee sojourn round the north end. After that I moved the lighting tower and cleaned up my shed Smile

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We had lunch booked at Raasay House

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That poster is from last year and it’s now £11.95 but worth every penny and the deserts are boodly amazing. I really am not a desert kind of person but  it’s well worth leaving space for one after your scrumptious ‘Sunday Roast’.

With our afternoon pre arranged I just pottered around in Callum’s shed and started fitting some IP65 rated LED strip lights from Screwfix.


On the way back from the excellent Sunday Roast we took both dugs for a walk to Screapadale, Molly being far, far more enthusiastic about this one than the morning’s affair Smile

Despite being absolutely stuffed with roast beef I did manage an hour or two in Callum’s shed working on the lights before ‘calling it a day’. Even though the shed is quite open and well ventilated it is surprisingly calm inside. I don’t think it was ever really ‘gale force’ yesterday but the wind was steady and straight off the sea. Consequently the wee Proven/Kingspan wind turbine behind Sonas generated 80kWh yesterday which is an average of 3.33Kw per hour. The turbine was only rated at 2.5kW when I bought it but I fitted the later carbon fibre blades before installing it so the newer ones are now rated at 3.2kW so pretty accurate I would say. The larger 6kW one next to the shed has not meter on it but I guess it would have put out almost double that yesterday. One thing for sure, the shed that that turbine heats was lovely and warm Smile


These are the ‘dump load’ resistors in my workshop, this is where the unused energy goes and they are at 350 degrees Celsius!! The wind, hydro and PV all generate electricity that charges the house battery bank, when that is fully charged the energy is converted to heat and heats up a large thermal store which supplies all our DHW and UFH. When that 1500lt store is up to around 78 degrees the excess energy is then diverted into these large air dumps in the sheds, some 16kW of them!!!!!


I really must clean the windows Smile or go outside and get a better picture,

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that’s more like it, guess who’s ‘coming to dinner’ Smile Smile Only kidding, he’ll be fine, the freezer is full. Anyway, that was it for Sunday, I was in bed once more before 21:00 with a good book, this one being the riveting “Shipwrecks of the P&O line” by Sam Warwick and Mike Roussel. OK, not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but I’ve dived on a few. The most memorable being the Salsette a 5800 ton ocean liner that fell fowl of one of Hans Howaldt’s torpedoes from UB-40 in 1917. She lies upright on the seabed in Lyme bay in around 45m of water and is a sight to behold.

Another being the SS Somali off Seahouses in Northumbria a general cargo ship of some 6000 tons she succumbed to an air raid in 1942.


Not in the same league as the Salsette but still a very interesting dive with much of her general cargo including military equipment, jeeps, tyres, toy lead soldiers and cosmetics still to be found. A good deal shallower too but in a helluva tide if I recall Smile

Anyway, that’s it, 7:40 now and time to do some work Smile

February 22, 2019

Moving things and almost moving things :-)

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, pigs — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:11 pm

To say that I’ve not achieved much today is a little unfair, for one thing it’s been great practice for me retirement and I guess I’ve helped a few people on the way so that’s not a bad thing hey. First off, I was up early to catch the first ferry, sure that doesn’t leave until 7:55 but I’d lots to do afore even setting off from Arnish, some eleven miles north of the Raasay Ferry Terminal.

My Subaru, which is the wife’s ex Subaru, affectionately know as the ‘Egg Chariot’ was still attached to a trailer at Suisnish in the forlorn hope that Bunty and Judy would go in it of their own accord. Bunty and Judy being two Iron Age pigs who were being evicted from their home there. Myself, good neighbour and the ‘girls’ owner had been trying unsuccessfully for a good part of yesterday to coax the ‘wee darlings’ into the trailer with little result bar frayed tempers and muddy arses Smile

We’d decided that just leaving the trailer and Egg Chariot there would be a good plan and with a bit of luck the two large beauties would make their own way in there in search of food. I’ve used this ploy a gazillion times before with our own pigs and it has always worked. Trouble was this left me without a car or trailer to go to Portree today for a cooker, cement and steel reinforcing mesh for my next concreting project. Of course there was always my Ifor Williams tipping trailer and ‘Darling Wife’s’ Subaru but she wouldn’t be back home from the Isle of Raasay Distillery until long after I was in bed. Solution  being to get up very early, steal Wife’s car, hitch up heavy tipping trailer and disappear before she noticed Smile That way I’d be in Portree at the Skye Express before my wife even noticed I’d gone Smile

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Well, that worked a treat and on a morning too stormy for Emma C and Annie E to lay anchors at the new Moll fish farm I managed to catch the first sailing.

As arranged, I telephoned Skye Expresses Portree manager when I arrived at their Portree depot for him to come and ‘forklift’ my Mate’s Rangemaster cooker onto the trailer. Whereupon he asked if I could do a spot of delivery work for him on account of him needing to ‘see a man about a dog’ Smile it was much more serious than that and Iain is a good friend so I happily agreed to take the washing machine and sofa bed to Raasay as well as the cement and concrete reinforcing mesh. I’m a huge believer in Karma and ‘what comes around goes around’. A lot of people have helped me out over the years and I’ll never forget it. Of course I spent the next hour regretting my generosity as I crawled to Sconser with a poorly loaded trailer complete with the incorrect number plate Sad smile However, I got there in one piece without loosing anything and was much relieved to meet Simon of FV Speedwell who relieved me of the sofa bed Smile

The porcine refugees

Simon kindly assisted in the sofa bed delivery and Graeme in the washing machine delivery to Braemore where I had the pleasure to meet Ginny and Fiona Smile Braemore is just a few hundred meters from where Bunty and Judy live so another ‘pig rescue plan’ was formulated on account of me needing both ‘Egg Chariot’ and trailer tomorrow.

A kind ‘proper crofter’ with real cows and a tractor had offered the use of his own ‘much larger’ stock trailer to try and get Bunty and Judy moved ‘up north’. So, after depositing the washing machine I headed home with the cooker only to return later to meet Donnie at 14:00.

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Donnie’s trailer is much larger than mine and we felt the Girls would be more inclined to go in it, especially after not having a proper feed for a few days. However the ‘wee darlings’ were still mighty cautious and reluctant to enter.

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Given time, I’m sure they will, but for now we just left them to it.

I drove home and managed to get a little work done on me shed.

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Plan is to let the wind whistle through the shed so we can hand stuff n it to dry, hence the gaps between the boards.

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