Considering I’ve been at home for days doing very little I’ve spent hardly anytime ‘on line’, not just blogging but anything ‘virtual’ has been very much on the ‘backburner’ of late. Sure I’ve done more than a little ‘pottering’ in the shed, managing to finish the overhaul of my Warn XP9.5 winch.
The ‘battleship grey’ finish turning out far better than I expected, though that’s hardly surprising after me giving it three gloss coats with a rub down between each. I do hope I don’t have a bad back when I retire, there’s only so many light jobs you can do on a croft, Land Rover or house. I think I’d go barmy very quickly, it’s only since my son has returned from school that I’ve actually been able to do any serious work. Or should I say direct him to do any
I must say though I’ve been getting quite involved with the wife’s chooks since I’ve been off, lugging feed sacks for the pigs is still out. One thing for sure though, that ‘solar powered’ hen shed that took me months to construct was worth every minute, penny and chilblain I suffered in freezing wellies.
Those ‘roll away’ nesting boxes just make life so much easier and result in far less dirty or damaged eggs. They were larger than we needed so we closed off the bottom row of both as they seldom used them for some reason and they were harder to clean, though even that wasn’t difficult. Having both the feed and bedding stored in the shed means far less fetching and carrying and the house is large enough to clean easily without bending down. Electric light will make such a difference for wifey in winter and feeding the chooks inside saves a fortune on feed and shotgun cartridges for the crows and pigeons.
Yes, considering this was just built as a frame for a 4kW solar array it has to be one of the most useful of my constructions to date. OK, it’s not actually got any solar panels on yet but that is about to change
Another enquiry about the house inspired me to remove the huge redundant satellite broadband dish off the rear of the house. Or should I say it persuaded me to give my son a lesson in how to remove ‘Rawlplugs’ and unused hardware from an old stone building then repaint it.
I had a good feeling about this inquiry, we’ve had quite a few of late but this particular one sounded very encouraging. It’s one thing selling a house but for us here at the ‘north end’ we’re also purchasing a neighbour so to speak. The folk that live here will be an integral part of our tiny community where we all at times have to rely on each other. Consequently I don’t think removing an old dish, mopping the kitchen floor, hiding the bills and hoovering the bedrooms was going to make a blind bit of difference. It did however make me feel much better and to my mind at least made the wife’s ‘meadow’ look much better.
We used to have a lawn out here but the wife stopped me cutting it this year and I have to say I’m glad I did, dunno what it’s going to look like in the winter but just now it’s amazing and must be good for the birds and bees.
As has been quite normal for several of our prospective buyers we’ve let them stay in the caravan so they can get a feel for the place. Not only that there’s precious little accommodation to be had for folk with dogs at the best of times and in August hardly a bed on Skye let alone Raasay.
It was of course typical August weather when the ‘old Jeep’ arrived,
well if that’s old then I’m ancient
Anyway, despite the grim weather we went on a tour of the estate picking up a few chanterelles on they way, returning wet, thirsty and hungry to our cosy kitchen and its round table. At a lightning quick pace our guests unpacked all the goodies they’d brought and I rustled up a quick salad. The empty stomach, rich cheeses, olives and sun dried tomatoes conspired with the wine to very quickly ‘get a good head on’ and the house was sold. In all honesty I think the house was sold the moment they stepped out of the Jeep, the evening just sealed what I think will be a great friendship. It also gave us flavour of things to come, I can’t wait
The day after was like August should be, a fresh morning and sunny day with five sore heads,
well perhaps not that sore. Anyway after several pots of coffee, lots of deliberation and another quick tour our new friends left to set the ‘ball in motion’.
Taking with them some bog myrtle
their two Venezuelan dogs and almost a stowaway.
The euphoria of finally selling our very special, quirky and cosy wee hoose was not in the least bit tempered by the thought of spending the winter in a caravan, at least not yet anyway. A few nights have past and I’ve been sleeping better than I have done in a long while as the thought of servicing two mortgages recedes over the horizon
A real community
I kinda lost track of things after that but my camera would seem to say that I repaired my mates trailer.
Probably the most taxing thing I’d done in three weeks and a job that was long overdue, it being me that probably did most of the damage anyway.
The bad back has driven me to do something I’ve not done ever, buy some wood. Luckily the Raasay Community company does a really good deal on split logs. It does an even better deal if you uplift and cut it yourself, for residents, that service is free!! Anyway, I wasn’t fit for doing that and my son is only home for the weekend, with more pressing things to do than cut wood. However we arranged to go down to the pit and collect a mixed load of split and unprocessed timber for a nominal fee and the Dude came along to do the donkey work.
There were already a handful of volunteers there cutting and splitting wood for sale and another couple delivering uncut lengths to elderly people fro neighbours and relatives to cut. Perhaps when I retire I can get more involved in this kind of work, it’s just amazing watching people ‘pull together’.
The day was turning into a pure belter with just the odd shower that was soon forgotten and I spent most of the afternoon teaching my son how to use a chainsaw.
My mates Sthil MS180 was needing a service so I ran through that with him, but the first thing I noticed was the brake wasn’t working.
Removing the cover I saw the clutch housing was blue and the plastic shroud melted, someone had been running it with the brake on!!! The linkage was also broken, probably as a result of being forced after the brake band melted into the plastic. Anyway we removed the chain and I showed him how to sharpen it before putting him to the wife’s Kevlar trousers, lecturing him on safety and giving him a shot with the electric one.
To be honest it’s at its limit on that piece of wood but it’s quiet and does give you a feel for it. After that he graduated to my 026 and the chain snapped!!!!!!
It’s almost new, I don’t think I’ve ever sharpened it and it wasn’t even being worked hard. It’s a genuine Sthil chain too, or at least that’s what it says on the links, 30 years I’ve been cutting wood and I’ve never seen a chain snap until today.
Didn’t put the boy off though and as soon as I’d fitted another chain he was right back into it.
A solar hen shed at last
I know I keep referring to the solar powered hen shed, which was in fact a wooden solar ground mount made from reclaimed pier timbers and parts of Raasay House. The mount got turned into a shed, or at least I started to build it in September
and that’s it in March, so it gives you some idea how long it took. Anyway, the panels and mounts are at last being fitted to it.
My son will be doing solar PV in physics soon so this is good practice for him,
what a guy