Life at the end of the road

January 8, 2019

The ‘last sleep’ :-(

Filed under: boats, daily doings, food, How I — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:34 pm

Less than two weeks since I actually finished work but to be honest it feels more like a month, hope I can remember what to do when I get back there Smile. Just now it’s 18:00 and the wife and I are cooking ‘Pork Milanese’ spaghetti with some fine home grown pork loin. Darling wife is on the breaded loin cutlets and me, I’m making the sauce and spaghetti.

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Never bothered with the Meanwhile, lay the pork medallions between two layers of cling film and bash with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick. bit right enough. Whoever wrote that menu had obviously never eaten a proper pork loin Smile Ours are so tender you can cut them with a fork !!!

So, where was I

That was boodly delicious so where was I, well, I never posted yesterday, not cos I’d nothing to write about but cos I was pure wrecked. A simple task of mixing a few loads of concrete turning into a bit of an epic on account of the weather. Consequently I was a little slow in removing myself from the house,


however, fortified by the last four ‘hand picked’ scallops that my son and I had collected, I made it. Whoops, cocked up there, I just remembered, I had two yesterday and the last four this morning.

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Bet my cholesterol (whatever that is) is ‘though the roof’ now,along with my blood pressure and BMI probably, but that’s it. I guess that along with half of the UK I’ll be starting some kind of ‘health drive’ for the New Year Smile So that’ll be the Baileys with coffee, tea, porridge and crab ‘oot the windae’ till next Christmas hey. So, when I finally did leave the house it was to go down to the slipway to collect some tools and scallop shells. I chuck them into the sea after shucking them then go and collect them a few tides later after the crabs had cleaned them. I’m sure they’ll come in useful one day Smile

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The wind at that time was still from the west so nowhere near as rough in there as it would be later on but at some point over the last couple of days

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the old 36” digger bucket had been moved several yards up the shore. It used to sit over that light patch on the left hand image where my son dumped it last year, the plan being to use it as an extra weight on the inshore leg of my mooring. Well that’s not going to be quite so easy just now Smile

Having got my trowel, spade, hammer, rake, scallop shells, PVA adhesive and self into Phoebe I headed back up the hill to make a start. I had already tried taking the dogs for a walk but Molly was having none of and Leah seemed more than happy to do an ‘about turn’ at the gate.

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Back to the mixer

The pishing overnight rain had left my trailer load of aggregate so sodden that me first mix was like soup Sad smile

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Reduction of the water sorted that but the high wind made shovelling the cement ‘interesting’ and safety glasses mandatory to say the least.

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I guess I only did half a dozen barrow loads but most of those involved me trowelling it over the fence a scoop at a time them walking round to spread it.


Not my neatest work by a long shot but I eventually got the job finished and turned my attention to my Mate’s quad.

Yamaha YFM 350 Bruin 4×4

At some 15 years of age and after more work than your average London taxi the wee Yamaha quad was needing some attention. I just cannot sing the praises of this machine highly enough, my Mate has had it from new and it has carried several articulated lorry loads of building materials to his house. That aside it’s dragged thousands of litres of fuel, coal, gas, batteries, slates, rock, aggregate and of course pigs too. It has been used and abused beyond belief, lived much of its life outdoors, been covered in salt spray and buried in peat. Sure it’s had a few repairs but only what you would expect for such a well worked machine. It’s one weak spot in these 15 years has been the electrics, it has in that time been plagued with niggling electrical faults. Usually these have manifested them selves in the starting department, usually switches, solenoids, brushes or just plain corroded wiring.

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This time it was the starter button that needed replacing. The button actually failed about ten years ago and I transferred the wiring back then to the horn switch. Not much call for a horn here so it did just fine (lasted twice as long as the original) until it failed recently. Luckily I had bought a couple of these recently,

 7/8" Kill Stop Handlebar Switch Horn Button For Motorcycle Bike Quad ATV 2017 Vv

a motorcycle horn switch off eBay that did the job nicely.

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It was whilst poking about underneath that I noticed a few cracks in the rear ‘swinging arm’ and decided to leave it until tomorrow (today) when I could power wash it and have a proper look.

Creosoting in January Smile

Well, it was a far better day today for sure with both dogs eager and willing for a walk, as was I truth be known, so it was with a ‘spring in our step’ that the three of us wandered along the road to Calum’s old house and back, calling along the way to check my hydro turbine.

After depositing the dugs back in the house then cleaning up all the couch grass from yesterday’s gale I turned my attention to cleaning up the Yamaha and getting it on the lift. That friggin couch grass is Raasay’s equivalent of tumbleweed and finds its way into everything after a good gale of wind.

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This vehicle lift certainly makes life easier Smile

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Yamaha YFM350FA BRUIN 4X4 2004 REAR ARM for a 2004 Yamaha YFM350FA BRUIN 4X4

My original plan was to remove the rear arm and just weld it up,

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however once it was off it became apparent that a repair wasn’t really such a good idea as the rest of the arm was pretty corroded inside.

Whilst at it I also removed the front RH lower wishbone, that had been bent for quite a while and did require cutting to take off.

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After ordering the parts form MSP in Holland I got on with creosoting my fence. It’s not often you can do that here in January Smile

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and even got it finished before dark Smile


January 6, 2019

Concrete by moonlight :-)

Filed under: animals, Avon Searider, daily doings, How I, shed/house, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:35 pm

Well that was a quick day by with and I definitely prefer them that way, retirement cannot come too quickly for me, then perhaps I can start doing things I dislike to stave off the arrival of the Grim Reaper Smile Yup, keeping busy and doing things you enjoy definitely makes the days fly by, perhaps I’m just easily satisfied Smile Anyway after retrieving the Searider I headed home for first breakfast and awaited the arrival of daylight, fixing myself some crab on toast and using Baileys in my tea instead of milk.

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Most things seem to go down better with the help of some Baileys and fresh crab on toast is no exception. Armed with my Internal glow fortified by breakfast number one I went back to the slip to bring the Searider home.

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I then gave it boodly good wash and flushed out the engine with freshwater, this is just so much easier than having to drive over ten miles to the sowf end to launch and recover her. Not only that but all the best dive sites are up this end of the island too and it’s so much nicer having the boat swinging on the mooring on my doorstep so to speak.

After a second breakfast of porridge with fruit honey and yet more Baileys, I kid you not, Baileys in porridge is even nicer than  Baileys in tea or coffee Smile After that and with an even nicer ‘glow on’ I took the dogs for a walk to Torran in the hope of blagging a nice strong cup of Italian percolated coffee with me mate.

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Well, that never happened cos I couldnae find him, so we all walked back home whereupon Molly and Leah did a disappearing act, turning up some while later covered in muck and licking their lips. It doesn’t seem to matter what I do with dead things, the dugs seem to find them (usually weeks later) these days. I had buried the two pig carcasses nice and deep with Calum the Kubota but somehow Molly had managed to find the spot. Not only that but they’d both puked in the house when I got em back inside.

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Well, they’ll have to dig awful deep this time to find em Smile 

With the pig bones now ‘six foot under’ I turned my attention to the mountings for the boat shelter, the Hilti HIT RE500 would be nicely set by now so it was time to ‘torque em up’.

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I tightened the plate mounts down with the impact wrench then tried out the four upright mounting studs on my dummy upright. A few minor adjustments can be made using washers or shims to get them perfectly perpendicular once the time comes.

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Then it was mixing, pouring and poking concrete until well after dark. Truth is, had I started this job and hour or so sooner I’d have got it all finished. As it was ‘poor light stopped play’ and I had to clean up all my tools and work area as I was making a right mess in the dark.


Worst of it was that most of the concrete needed to go at the other side of the fence which meant I had to tip it down a small hole this side then ‘poke’ it to the other side with the vibrating poker. Not a hard task but not so easy in the dark, methinks that’ll be tomorrow’s project Smile

So at around 18:00 I came in for chicken pie and called it a day,


MiL was packing up ready to leave tomorrow and Charlie was making sure she didn’t go without him Smile


The chicken pie was awesome even without any Baileys Smile

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