Life at the end of the road

April 22, 2017

Snow on the way?

Filed under: boats, daily doings, New hybrid ferry, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:52 pm

Golly gosh, that’s the month’s holiday by with and I’ve been back at work four days already! where did it go? Well wherever it went it certainly disappeared with alarming speed the last few days that’s for sure.

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I managed to fit a 12’ galvanized gate here prior to letting Ozzie and Django out on the hill

This was to replace the 4’ gate that was never really used anyway.

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The strainer posts where a bit squint on the gate so before removing it and boarding up the gap I pulled them straight with a large ratchet strap. Once the boards were in position and the gap sealed I used the same strap to pull out the hinge pins for the new gate Smile 

 

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Also did some road work up at the hen and pig fields, the plan being to continue this through to the back of the croft where I can put another gate to give us better access to the common grazing. With the pigs going out there it’ll just make changing their bedding and feeding them easier.

The two ‘wee boys’ had a real ‘spring in their step’ when I let them out and were soon exploring their new home.

 

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Though that didn’t stop them trying to get back in to their previous field until after their first feed Smile

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Off to the ‘Whistle Stop’

Easter Sunday was a pure peach of a day and we decided to go out for lunch with me Mam.

 

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It was the ‘Whistle Stop Cafe’ in Kinlochewe that we chose, mainly cos it’s an old favourite of ours and the food is great.

 

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Salmon and crab fish cakes for me and mum, with the Post lady going for a haggis pie, all served with a lovely salad and dressing.

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For the return journey we chose the longer route home via Lochcarron.

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Stopping for a walk with the dugs near a fishing lodge on the Coulin Estate under Benn Eighe.

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A new toy

As soon as we were back home I started up Calum and got stuck back into the drain/road.

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A task that would have been much easier with a dumper Sad smile I’ve been looking for one for a while now and typically, on my last evening before going back to work after a month off, I found one!!! Of course it was after the last ferry but I phoned up the chap and he turned out to be an acquaintance. This stood me in good stead cos he agreed to hang onto it for me until Tuesday.

 

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A 3tonne ‘swivel tip’ Benford with an air cooled Deutz it was just what I needed, a month late but exactly what I was looking for and only a few miles from Sconser Smile

A swift trip into Portree had me raiding the ‘piggy bank’ and bumping into an old mate.

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Brian has moved sideways out of early retirement from fishing into taxi driving and tours, BW’s number is on the car if you ever need a taxi or tour around Skye Smile

Back to work

Dumper paid for and two tons of concrete mix collected from Sconser quarry I headed for the ferry terminal and work at 16:15. The shift started proper on Wednesday morning after a pleasurable drive into work by the new ‘rock art’ at Brochel, perhaps it’ll start a trend Smile

 

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We were not the only ship in port when I arrived.

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Ferguson Transport’s MV Harvest Caroline was berthed on the end of the pier and left just before we did at 7:55.

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MLG transport’s lovely DAF delivered some steelwork for the distillery and Fraser from Eyre Plant Hire delivered me dumper Smile

 

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The week so far has been mainly paperwork driven Sad smile but I did find time to service two of the Volvo’s.

 

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It’s been a pretty ‘mixed bag’ weather wise

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sun one minute then rain, but always chilly with the ‘lambing snow’ forecast for Monday!!!

April 10, 2017

On Holiday :-(

Been a while hey. Well there’s been a lot going on at ‘the end of the road’ and I’ve really not felt the urge to post or do anything on the Internet in fact.

The ‘Mountain Man’

Me old Pop passed away on the 18th March, peacefully and with my Mum at his bedside. It was in the Isle View care home in Aultbea on the shores of Loch Ewe where he’d been for the last 14 months. A better place he could not have been for the staff there are amazing and certainly ‘go the extra mile’ for their ‘guests’ and their families. He was buried within walking distance of his home for nigh on thirty years on the shores of Loch Duich and within sight of his beloved Five Sisters. That quintet of mountains that he climbed regularly, the name of which his dementia had him reciting over and over again for the last year or so of his life.

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My ‘back to back’ was kind enough to come in a couple of days early to let me away and I’ve been on holiday ever since. The first part of which was spent at the funeral, a lovely affair at the Inverinate village hall that was well attended and arranged expertly by Farky Macleod and his team at http://www.fmacleodfuneraldirectors.co.uk/ . The ladies of the Village Hall doing excellent ‘soup and sandwiches’ after internment.

The collection in aid of the Isle View residents fund raised £700 and we took the money up there last week on what I’m sure will not be our last visit. Over the last year or so the staff and some of the guests have become like old friends so I’m sure we’ll be returning. One thing for certain we’ll be going there on the 6th or 7th of May.

WWII

http://theracproject.org/festival/index.php

Booked the caravan park, bought a uniform and practising my ‘swing’ steps Smile 

South Pacific (1958 Film Soundtrack)

Also going to the movies Smile I kid you not, they are showing South Pacific in the Aultbea Village Hall on Sunday night. Now, I hate musicals but me Mam and Dad had this album or LP as it was called then, in their small collection and it just makes me smile thinking about it Smile

There’s also the Highland Swing Band on the Saturday night Smile

Kind of  a fitting venue as the Aultbea Village Hall was actually the cinema during the war too.

A short break

I am now sat in Girvan in ‘mum in laws’ kitchen with the sun shinning outside and I’m miserable as feck!!! I’d been having an absolutely spiffing couple of weeks at home with two machines on the go and a 6 ton dumper and now I’m stuck here wishing I was back home putting up a wind turbine or something Sad smile 

The Mitsubishi MM30SR

My plan for the month off had been to make a couple of roads and infill a bit of ground behind the new turbine base. The infill would involve piping a small burn and making a level area behind the turbine just to make installing the ‘gin pole’ for raising and lowering. It was major work for what was effectively making an annual job a little easier but at the end of it it would give me a nice flat area to park the caravan or a couple of trailers. It would also allow me easy access to the land adjacent to the croft with a quad or machine, impossible previously due to the valley cut by the burn.

For this I’d bought 12m of 300mm Twinwall drain pipe and hired a 6 Tonne dumper but I also needed to repair Lachie’s 3ton MM30SR digger first. I was converting the ‘grey import’ machine from electronic Kawasaki joysticks to manually operated cable controls that I’d purchased from http://www.hycon.co.uk/ . For this I’d purchased 5 x 1m cables, 2 x Joystick controls, 5 x adapters for the spool valves and one lever control for the ‘boom offset’.

The adapter was http://www.hycon.co.uk/Products/1088/156/20-KIT.html which wasn’t quite right but I knew that when I bought them and figured that I could modify them. First off the roller that goes through both the brass cable end and spool valve was 7mm and the MM30SR (Nachi) ones are 6mm. That I resolved by chopping up five M6 bolts to make the roller and then drilling 6.5mm holes at 90 degrees from the original. 

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This I managed to do at work during a three day spell when I was called back in to cover for my ‘back to back’ who was going ‘upstairs’ as skipper for a few days.

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Once back on holiday proper I got stuck into the actual machine and modifying the adapters.

 

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These just required filing out and the M5 screws supplied replacing with M4 threaded rod and Nyloc nuts.

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The cables and controls were then fitted but two of them operated the wrong way around, that was quickly resolved by swapping around the hydraulic pipes on two of the spool valves and ‘all was peachy’. A lick of paint and refitting the lower trim finished it nicely.

I gotta say I was well impressed with the result, OK, much more effort required than with electronic controls but you soon got used to it. All I had to do now was go and collect the dumper from 11 miles away Sad smile

 

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It was not a great day for ‘open top’ motoring and it took me the best part of an hour to reach home.

 

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Over the next week my son and I worked the machines pretty hard and they never missed a beat.

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Sad I know, but that is my kinda holiday Smile 

Ozzie and Django return

As part of the renovation of the old walled garden at Raasay House we’d loaned out Ozzie and Django to do a little rotovating. With funding now in place to employ two people to actually do the work proper and get some polytunnels up we went to collect them.

 

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It was great to have them back and they were certainly bigger and friendlier than when they left a couple of weeks ago. The two ‘boys’ went back into their regular enclosure for now as we knew we’d be away for a few days and it wasn’t fair on the ‘pig sitters’ asking them to go searching for two black boars at every feed time. There’s also a lot of tourists about just now so I didn’t want my neighbours to be held responsible for any damage they may do. They are very friendly pigs and I’d visions of them trying to climb into some new car at the end of the road Smile We have had pigs do that !!! pigs are very friendly creatures Smile

Looking back through the camera

Sadly my lack of enthusiasm for the Internet and blogging also left me bereft of the will to take pictures too, so there’s been precious little of those either.

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The Storr from the house at 6:20AM on the 23rd March,

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tis no wonder I don’t like going on holiday Smile

One of the days that I was on ‘call back’

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last ferry cancelled due to this

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unbelievably thick fog/mist.

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The ‘Clam Muncher’ Majestic TT28 scratching away for days in the narrows Sad smile

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Delta Marine’s http://www.delta-marine.co.uk/vessels/voe-jarl/ anchor handler Voe Jarl busy at the fish farm changing nets.

 

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A load of interesting looking stainless steel tanks for the distillery on the back of Ian S Roger’s Scania.

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A misty day at Brochel castle.

The highlights of the Girvan trip Smile

Well the prize has to go to a trip in Charlie’s WWII Willys Jeep,

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which I’d seen last year when collecting a wind turbine from him. This time he took my son and I for a spin around the forest tracks near his home.

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Pure awesome Smile

 

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An abandoned Hymac HM580C with Ailsa Craig in the background.

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