Life at the end of the road

January 1, 2020

I made it (to 2020) :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, Discovery, food, How I, listers — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 11:20 am

Well, that’s it, 2019 went out in a blaze of sunshine, a large bag of scallops and leisurely drive home with my wife. That’ll be my Disco YH52WFE and not the one that lives in the village Smile I left her with my son at the Raasay Village Hall partying 2020 in, with most of Raasay I would think Smile. Me, well I’m sat here with my first drink of 2020, a San Pellegrino blood orange laced with vodka at minus 18 degrees Celsius Smile  My first drink since Christmas truth be known and I can thoroughly recommend it, vodka, is at its best when stored in the freezer Smile I should have made the effort and been doing the ‘Auld Langsyne’ thing and ‘first footing’ myself but truth is I’m pretty whacked and it’ll be only the Smirnoff and sugar that’s keeping me awake. Sure, I could have found a sofa to crash on but ‘there’s no place like home’ and ‘drink driving’ isn’t an option, well unless it be a quad on the Torran track and even that has ‘ended in tears’ for myself and others bold enough to try Smile


The day has been a pure belter, much of it spent pottering about the croft repairing generators, visiting Torran fixing my compressor. A repair that Willie Eyre would have been proud of Smile 

With Ross Camilli still in his bed not long before lunchtime ‘yours truly’ went to fill the diving cylinders only to discover that the ‘double pole 20A’ switch on my Bauer compressor had failed.


The ‘live’ contacts were burnt, probably as a result of some wood shavings that seem to have found their way inside the Hager switch. Guilty as charged ‘M’Lud’ methinks it was probably due to me not cleaning out the switch properly over a year ago when I fitted it to a piece of 150 x 22mm timber prior to departing for Harris Sad smile Anyway, in true ‘Willie Eyre’ style I pulled the switch apart and cleaned all the fiddly contacts, sucked out the wood shavings and rebuilt it. I was truly amazed when it worked Smile Normally I would have just bought another, or at least found something that would replace it from my extensive pile of switches. The best I could find was a single pole 13A which just wasnae ‘man enough’ for the task so it was ‘Willie Eyre’ to the rescue Smile

Whilst the two 12lt cylinders were being filled I turned my attention to Harry, the HR2 Lister generator. I had observed a crimped fuel pipe on his primary filter.


I guess this must have happened when something (perhaps that armoured cable in the background) had fallen against it. Whatever, the fuel supply pipe was badly ‘nipped’ and search of my extensive stock failed to find a suitable replacement.

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Careful attention with some Mole Grips seemed to provide a temporary solution with new fittings and pipe being added to the ‘to do’ list Smile

That done and with my boy finally out of bed it was ‘off to sea’ on a day to rival the best in May.

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Off we went to collect our ‘pilot’ from the Torran Schoolhouse then out of Loch Arnish to a spot south of Manish. With having ‘boat cover’ to follow us rather than anchoring and having to find our way back to the Searider it was ‘just like old days’ when my skipper Willie Eyre would follow my marker buoy and be waiting for me at the end of my dive. Consequently, even at my ‘pensioners pace’ we managed to collect a good bag of scallops for the New Year celebrations.

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Unusually though we’d not be having them with our New Years Eve feast,


that would be this vacuum packed cotechino that had been sitting in my fridge since ‘pig fest’

Made from the poorer bits of meat, chopped skin, rind and seasonings all wrapped in the pigs stomach it sounds boodly awful hey. Don’t let that put you off, this traditional Italian New Years Even delicacy is pure delicious. Wrapped in tinfoil and simmered for two hours before being served with lentils is the Italian way. Ross and I had it with broccoli and Rooster potatoes, boodly awesome Smile 

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Nothing quite the last daylight of this year, now it’s 11:47 on the first day of 2020 and I’m just gonna retrieve the Searider whilst the tide is high. The forecast for the next day or two is more like what we’re used to in January, pishing rain and gale force winds Sad smile

October 26, 2019

An exhausting day :-)

Filed under: Discovery, life off grid, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:14 pm

Well, it was ‘SAS related’ Smile  I left you this morning fed the pigs near my neighbours house and went to ‘weigh up’ the situation. They’d phoned last night when I was in my pyjamas saying one of their guests was stuck!!!! Well, they were right about that, but to be fair, I did the same myself when I first bought the house thirty years ago Smile


One thing for sure, it wouldn’t be coming out under its ‘own steam’ or with the help of my Disco.


It was time to go back to Sonas and get ‘Calum the Kubota’ Smile I did try lifting it out out backwards first, simply cos we could find no sign of a front towing eye, the driver had no handbook and Mr Google wasnae working there Sad smile Well, it certainly wasn’t for coming out backwards but we did manage to move it far enough to at least see the front wishbones. They were of course lying in deep mud but in the absence of anything better to pull it with they would have to suffice. So, very gingerly I tracked ahead of it, extended the boom and dipper, put the blade down and we managed to ease her out with the driver helping.


He was very happy Smile and to be fair, so was I, we’d managed to extricate it from a very difficult spot with minimal damage to Disco and none to Calum Smile


The neighbours drain will need a little ‘remedial work’ right enough but it could have been much worse Smile Of course I now know where the towing eye is located which would have saved me getting rather muddy and not made my shower tray look like I’d taken ‘a dump’ in it Smile


After shower, muesli and break I set off to Torran to re route the Lister generator exhaust and clear out the fridge.


Adam the Polish builder had had to remove the exhaust to build the shed and in his haste to leave had left behind all kind of Polish treats with unpronounceable names. The cherry tomatoes, butter, smoked mackerel and Greek yoghurt I’d already had away, well, ‘waste not want not’ Smile However, there was other stuff that looked edible and I was at a bit of a ‘loose end’ on the cooking front.

First job though was to knock a hole in the wall to let the exhaust pipe through,

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very quickly establishing the fact that my 24v Hitachi was not ‘man enough’ for the job. Sure it’s quite adequate for drilling a couple of holes but the NiMH batteries just don’t ‘cut the mustard like lithium ion ones. Reluctantly I went back home to get my 110V 38mm Hitachi breaker and transformer.

The next challenge was rotating the rusted fittings and removing the old exhaust pipe, which without the blowlamp would probably have ‘ended in tears’ with a broken cast iron manifold.

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I had to do another trip home to cut and thread the tail pipe to clear the eaves and there’s still a little ‘tidying up’ to be done but before I ‘called it a day’ Mr Lister was chugging away nicely Smile

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Time to head home for a Polish treat.


Roast sweet potato, broccoli, beans and asparagus with some tinned pork Sad smile Well I just had to eat it hey Smile Can’t remember the last time I had tinned pork, ham or Spam, it’s better than I remember Smile Gonna try and fry what’s left in the morning once the muesli ‘runs out of steam’.


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