Life at the end of the road

September 26, 2020

Plan Z :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Well it seemed like a stormy night here if the voltage on my battery banks is anything to go by, I was up several times during the night and on each occasion the kitchen voltmeter was hovering around the 59.V mark.

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It’s 6:30 now, reading a much saner 50.2V and I cannot hear a breath of wind outdoors but by all accounts it was pretty stormy elsewhere in the country. Here the forecast looks good with big smiley sunny faces dominating the outlook on XC Weather. I just can’t make my mind up what to do today, yesterday’s lumb clearing being something of a failure. My plan being to try and clear the avalanche inside the lumb from below using a small battering ram on the end of some drain clearing rods. This initially met with some success but my ‘ram’, whilst dislodging much rubble couldn’t seem to break up the larger rocks so I figured more weight and a ‘pointy end’ might help.

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This brought to mind a hardened steel pick for my demolition hammer that I’d purchased some years ago only to discover it was the wrong fitting for my Hitachi breaker, so, I welded it onto the steel bar on the end and went to have another go.

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It certainly seemed to be bringing down more of the debris but kept getting jammed up there. Having already lost several heavy objects inside the boodly chimney I decided to abandon it until I could modify the back end with a grinder so at least it wouldn’t jam on the way down. I also had in mind to ‘find’ three meters of 63mm thick walled blue water pipe as I knew where there was several hundred meters lying in the heather, or at least there was a few years ago Smile I figured that 63mm pipe would be solid enough to batter with a sledge hammer but bendy enough to go up the lumb. I’d already tried 90mm and it just wasn’t bendy enough.

Back to the ‘Old Girl’

Truth is, I was boodly knackered after all my battering and rodding so I went home to do some more work on the Land Rover, leaving my quest for 63mm pipe until later when I was expecting some deliveries from the ferry.

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I had already destroyed my exhaust down pipe trying to remove it to access the starter motor. A new 90 degree bend was on it’s way but the one fitted on Steve Parker’s 200TDi conversion is swaged slightly smaller at the manifold end and I’d battered that to death.

SPEX102 Front Exhaust Pipe 200Tdi Discovery Conversion Land Rover 90 110

So, I heated up the damaged end, straightened on a mandrel, chopped it off and fastened it onto the end of the £15 bend, I wasnae paying £150 for one of Steve’s again Smile

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Seemed to work just fine.

I then headed to the ferry to collect more bits required for the ‘Old Girl’ calling by the new EE mast at Cnoc an Uan on the way.

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No visit to the south end around lunchtime would be complete without a stop at the Larch Box for a snack.

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Yesterday’s choice being a brie, sundried tomato and pesto toastie, yum, yum.

Armed with more Land Rover parts I headed home via the water treatment plant to see if the long lengths of 63mm pipe were still lying in the heather.

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Sure, they were but it wasn’t that that caught my eye, it was the broken ‘pecker’ lying outside the compound which Molly and I ‘rescued’ with some difficulty. It was quite a way from the car and boodly heavy. I had a plan Smile yet another for the lumb saga.

Saturday

Well, it almost be 8:00am now the stags are roaring outside and the hinds gathering

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he’s been busy rolling in the peaty mud trying to make himself look bigger and more attractive,

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the girls, well, they don’t seem too impressed Smile Me, I’d better go feed the pigs, if I can find them, they never came home last night Sad smile

September 24, 2020

Waking up to a new dug :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, food — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:31 am

Girvan it is today, house, pigs and chooks being ‘sat’ in my absence as wee dug and I visit Mrs C, Son and MiL for a few days. Gosh, it was boodly hard tearing myself away from the croft on Sunday with the weather remaining tropical and the ‘Old Girl’ still in bits. Still the change will do me good, or at least that’s what I told myself as I departed Raasay on yet another sun blessed day.

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A rising sun at Brochel putting some ancient wall in sharp relief as I motored south.

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The Storr just peeping its head above North Bay as I approached the ferry.

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The MV Spanish John transiting the Raasay Narrows with the cliffs at Braes in the background.

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Temporary scaffolding for ‘who cares who wins’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAS:_Who_Dares_Wins erected on the end of the pier, so expect very shouty people encouraging sleepy recruits to leap into the cold sea, fully clothed and carrying assault rifles no doubt Smile

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My ‘office’ waiting patiently in the sunshine for the 10:00am Sunday crossing.

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The Penfold rock ‘Port hand’ buoy in the Raasay Narrows, exciting stuff hey Smile Sure Willie Eyre with his nose for clams dropped me on here more than once to pick up sacks of scallops after a clam dredger had been through. He had a theory that as the dredger turned to miss the rock it would spill clams out of the dredge. Personally I doubted it but had long since given up arguing with Willie, whatever the reason for the clams he was usually right Smile After me asking ‘where we going today Willie’ he would often say something along the lines of. “Now trust me, this morning I’m going to put you down somewhere and you’re gonna feel like a cat being thrown out of the house in the pishing rain”. I would then nod stoically and Willie would pilot FV Conqueror to some unlikely place and after much scanning of the sounder and consulting his ‘little red books’ he’d tell me to throw my bag in. My bag being the large mesh one with the marker on that Willie would follow in the boat. This I would throw over board with a rock in side it so I could follow it down quickly, disposing of the rock once I’d landed on the seabed. Usually he was right, which was pretty boodly amazing considering he couldn’t even swim, let alone dive for clams Smile Every place Willie dropped me had a name that went in the book, The Quarry Nose, Elephant Hills, Rebecca’s Chimney, Butterfly bank, Bottle bank, to name a few. They are all recorded in his meticulous hand with the ‘Lucky pencil’ in the many ‘Little red books’ kept in the wheelhouse of MV Conqueror. Happy Days Smile

Clam diving 2001 1 001 Clam Diving 2001 2 001

The Highlands must be full Smile

Well, it’s actually 5:30am on Thursday morning now and I’m safely ensconced at my kitchen table with the weather forecast just finished telling me about the miserable windy day ahead Sad smile It is of course the prediction of an Englandcentric Radio 4 so probably bollox but we’ll see. Certainly there was no sign of it last night when I returned to my beautiful Island home.

So, where was I? well, it was a bonny, bonny Sunday as I departed Raasay for Girvan and I swear everyone that had not caught their annual flight to warmer climes had hired a campervan or loaded the car up and headed for the Highlands, the roads were pure mental.

Our first stop being at the bottom of Glen Loyne to let the hasty drivers pass me and the slow campervans climb the hill. It’s donkey’s years since I stopped here by the once obvious wooden suspension bridge over the river. For the last decade or so the growing conifers have obscured this once lovely feat of engineering.

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Pretty soon it will be a distant memory, it’s anchors and wires providing intriguing fodder for generations of future detectorists Smile After our wee distraction Molly and I joined the throngs of travelling visitors, though most of them were actually heading the opposite way to us.

Glencoe in particular being rammed to the gills with every layby double parked and deck chairs adorning most tufts of heather nearby. Every parking spot that is bar my secret one. Smile Unlike Coire Gabhail ‘the hidden or secret valley of Glencoe  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coire_Gabhail ‘ my parking spot is seldom visited.

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Hidden as it is on a fast bend by a thicket of bushes this old flooded quarry seldom gets a look in, something very apparent by the total lack of Irn Bru bottles and MacDonald’s boxes.

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After a wee walk Molly and I continued south landing in Girvan just in time for paella and a fish pie at MiL’s house.

Sleeping like a log that night and waking to a different dug on me bed!!!

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Charlie having joined me and Molly having stole Charlie’s bed!!!!

After a pleasant couple of days under the shadow of ‘Paddy’s Milestone’  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailsa_Craig

Ailsa Craig from the southeast

with the family, Molly and I headed home.

Ready for a roar

We departed Girvan at 7:00am driving via Tayside Land Rover to collect some bit for the ‘Old Girl’, stopping briefly with ‘wee dug’ at the Mountain Bumblebee Haven in Glen Loyne.

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Caught the 16:15 ferry and arrived home in time to wrestle the reins of feeding duty from my animal sitter Smile

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One of the young daft crows joining in with the pigs and over on the skyline a mile or so away a Royal stag just about to start ‘strutting his stuff’.

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Methinks he’s probably swum over from Rona cos I aint seen him before.

An exception to ‘the rules’

Leaving the stag scanning the horizon looking for hinds, having put all my shopping away and fed wee dog I settled down to dinner.

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I have two rules that I staunchly adhere too, I never drink alone and I always cook a proper meal every day (or at least warm the one I cooked the day before Smile ) The first one is easy enough cos I seldom drink at all these days, the second I only ever break when I visit a Lidl after being away. I invariably buy myself a Lidl horse lasagne, not that it has any horse in it. I was buying these things long before the horse meat scandal but I’ve always failed to see how you could make something so good so cheaply without using horse Smile  It’s become a bit of a ritual, I storm in the house, switch on the oven then empty car, fill freezer, feed animals, put shopping away and sit down to demolish three quarters of a meal allegedly for two people saving a wee portion for lunch the day after. Molly waiting impatiently for the tinfoil container whilst I eat it Smile

That was about it really, by 19:00 I was in my bed and at 7:00am this morning I’m off to feed the pigs.

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