Life at the end of the road

September 20, 2020

Off the key :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Land Rover, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:03 am

Half past five in the morning, still well dark outside but a clear starry sky makes the fog on the sea just discernible. Hope it clears for the 10:00 sailing, gotta be elsewhere today and whilst yesterday was beautiful, the fog was at times thick and the first ferry at least didn’t sail Sad smile Not that that bothered me as apart from pig and hen duty I barely stepped outside until after nine. Since I broke my rib my body seems to have adopted a new regime of early to bed (even for me), up at ‘stupid o clock’ and plonking away on here for hours whilst drinking hunners of cups of coffee before venturing outdoors.


Wee dug’s routine hasn’t changed right enough, she stays in bed until she can (or thinks she can) here the rustle of biscuits whatever the time is Smile 

The first and pretty much only task yesterday was attempting to make sense of the Land Rover wiring and before even contemplating the multi coloured spaghetti I added half a dozen extra earths and another positive busbar. The earths cos most, or at least many vehicle wiring issues are a result of poor grounding. After spending much time finding suitable connection points on the chassis, engine, body and fuse box I made up several leads and fitted them.

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The busbar I made up from more beaten copper pipe some stainless bolts and thick nylon sheet.

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This I added cos the one I’d made for the starter motor was getting crowded and I had a 50mm square winch cable hanging loose. It would provide an ideal connection point for the 4 ton winch and keep the cable out of the way as well as providing extra positive battery connections. As I was in effect utilizing parts of two engine room wiring harnesses I’d left the extra heavy main feeds in place from both starter and alternator. It’s a big 120A alternator so the thicker cabling equivalent would not go amiss.

It went really well, if not a little slowly as before I knew it my stomach was rumbling and ‘Woman’s Hour’ on Radio 4 four was over and ‘World at One’ had started Smile Not that I usually listen to Woman’s Hour but Alan Carr and Melanie Sykes were being particularly annoying, though what did surprise me was the number of people telling Alan and Mel that they were listening to their show travelling to Scotland for a holiday Surprised smile

Anyway, after lunch, much head scratching, wiring diagram consulting and wire splicing I had the engine starting off the key with the heater plugs and their timer working a treat.

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Of course by now it was nearing pig feeding and mouse/vole releasing time, my ‘humane’ trap having bagged another four.

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Molly and I driving them a mile or so down the road to release them into the wild.

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It turned into a bonny evening but that boodly fog came back in


being particularly thick by bed time.

September 19, 2020

Swimming with seals, well almost :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Land Rover — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:24 am

Looks like another topper of a day ahead once this boodly fog clears it promises to be a scorcher. That’ll be a ‘West Coast’ scorcher which will be about half the 30 degrees or so sometimes experienced in the sowf east, which is ‘damn fine splendid’ by me. The high teens is just plenty of heat for me Smile

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Sure, when Molly and I arose in daylight, which in itself is boodly unusual, I’m usually up long before the blackness of night has departed. Must have needed it hey, well, it had been a busy day yesterday, perhaps not physically as I really hadn’t much to show for it but it was certainly mentally challenging. Having spent much of the day working on the Land Rover’s spaghetti that passes for wiring Smile


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Unlike this morning, Friday was clear from the start and as I’d been having so much fun with the Land Rover recently I decided to ‘give it a rest’. In reality I was just putting off the inevitable mental strain of trying to sort out the ‘cats cradle’ of electrical cables I’d been left with after collecting the ‘Old Girl’ from Tayside Land Rover who had replaced the chassis. In all fairness to Matthew and his team the ‘Old Girl’s’ wiring had been a friggin nightmare afore it went in their and I did tell him to leave it.

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So, my first task after feeding everyone, tidying up my shed, washing the cars, hoovering them out, cleaning the caravan and having yet another breakfast

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was to study the wiring diagram. Actually, I had to study several cos the Old Girl started life in 1986 as an asthmatic 2.5litre ‘Normally Aspirated’ diesel which I then converted to the rather lame 19J turbo diesel engine, probably the worst engine ever to come out of the Land Rover factory. For an increase in power from around 65BHP of the 2.5NA to around 85BHP of the 2.5TD you got the bonus of high oil consumption, overheating, melted pistons and general unreliability that surpassed even Land Rover’s usual standards. Fortunately my 19JTD had come from a nursed vehicle with a genuine 43K miles on the clock and had its oil changed every 3000 miles. I put another 80 or 90K on that engine before swapping it for the 200TDi engine from a Discovery which is probably the best engine Land Rover ever made putting out around 120BHP and regularly returning almost 30MPG. The net result of these engine swaps and associated wiring loom changes plus the addition of hunners of electrical accessories and another loom added by Tayside is a real brain teaser Sad smile So the first thing I did was wash the old wiring loom, hang it to dry and went for a long walk.

The Robbers Port

Choosing to venture over to the east side of Raasay and the ‘Robbers Port’ just north of Brochel.

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Passing this sleeping animal like rock along the way, and no, I have not been anywhere near those magic mushrooms I found in my garden Smile I guess the ‘Robbers Port’ which must have some unpronounceable Gaelic name was the traditional pace where the Brochel folk kept there boats. It’s only a few hundred meters to the north but quite difficult to find and despite its relative shelter from all directions of wind, very easy to miss from the sea.

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From the seaward side the easiest way to spot it would be to look for the large aspen trees.

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There are three, two of them being at the head of the port and in a distinctive V, aspen is uncommon on the east side and these are really, really old along with the handful of gnarled willows that must date back to when this wee haven was in regular use.

Almost swimming Smile

It really was warm and calm with the sea looking extremely tempting

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and I’ve been trying to pluck up the courage to start ‘wild swimming’ again. It’s some thing I did daily in my forties after clam diving but always found an excuse not too, either it was too cold, too wet. too midgy, too rough, too many jelly fish or the tide was out. My latest excuse being that I couldn’t do it cos my rib was healing and the ‘sharp intake of breath’ as I dived in would hurt and you really do need to dive in Smile Well, I got as far as stripping off and getting my feet wet and even Molly went in to catch the seals but I just couldn’t do it Sad smile So, ‘with my tail between my legs’ and two large polyform buoys I’d found on the shore we went home collecting a bucket full of plums on the way.

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A better mouse trap

Me, I really must be getting soft in my old age being reluctant to set mouse traps these days. Sure, if they started being a pest in my workshop again I would. I have enough wiring issues at the moment without the boodly mice, for they have caused me grief in the past by eating both Land Rover and Subaru wiring. They even made a boodly nest in my Landy!! and at my last house ate through the main wiring from the generator shed to the house Sad smile However, at the moment they seem to be confined to the hen shed and where I store the ‘ready use’ pig feed in sealed containers. Well, I left the lid open on one of them yesterday and cos it was only half full there were three mice trapped in it cos they couldn’t climb the smooth sides, by afternoon feeding there were six!!


So, I took the whole box to Tarbert and released them there Smile

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Definitely going soft Smile

That was it really, I didn’t get in until late, made an extremely simple meal of steamed asparagus, French beans and spuds covered in Olive oil and chopped garlic and watched a 1971 documentary about the German battleship Scharnhorst. How sad is that Smile 


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