Life at the end of the road

March 31, 2019

The eleven hour pour :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, How I, shed/house — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:56 pm

A cracking few days behind me, in which I have achieved much, mainly on account of having no Internet Smile We lost it the day after I last posted, which I guess must have been Thursday, sorry I cannae be more specific but it has been a bit of a blur. Sure I missed it but to be quite honest I doubt I would have got the 20M square slab for the 5m extension to ‘Callum’s shed’ poured on Friday had I been able to get ‘online’. At least I wouldn’t have been able to mix the 2.5 cubic metres AND go and see Willie Campbell playing at the Isle of Raasay Distillery https://raasaydistillery.com/

 IMG_0642

As it was I managed to start mixing concrete at 6:30 and had it finished by 17:30, leaving me just enough time to get cleaned up and get to the gig for around 8:00pm. This just gave us enough time to order a couple of lemon juices and sit back in a cosy corner of the lounge and listen to Willie’s first hour long set. I was driving and Darling Wife would be doing an early shift so it wasn’t going to be a ‘full on sesh’. No, it was just a great night of Willie’s eclectic mix, a few of his own tunes and songs, some country and western, a little traditional, a dash of Gaelic and the odd ‘sing along’. A ‘perfect end to a perfect day’, tis a sad person indeed that considers mixing concrete for eleven hours ‘perfect’ Smile

IMG_0632 IMG_0637 IMG_0638

Sure, a 20m square slab 125mm thick is a little ambitious for one man approaching retirement with a Belle mixer but conditions were ideal. It was mild and damp to stop the concrete cracking, a gale of south west wind kept the mixer happily churning away for the whole day on wind energy Smile The mixer was parked in the shed out of the wind so no eyes full of cement and I kept the trailer fed with aggregate from my stockpile with ‘Calum the Kubota’.

  IMG_0639 IMG_0640

Barring the tuna salad I had for lunch I never stopped and was well pleased with my effort Smile Sure I was mightily miffed I couldn’t tell anyone about it on Facecloth or check for the likelihood of a downpour ruining my handiwork on XC Weather, but had I done that then I’d have probably missed Willie.

Draught proofing

Despite the visit to the distillery I did manage to get in bed at a sensible time and arise early without a headache thanks to the St Hellier lemonade   http://www.sthelierfruitbeverages.com/product-2#about-st-helier I’d been drinking all night. Saturday was a cracking day and I set about making a windbreak for the wee garden. I had knocked one up last year using netting and steel poles but the winter’s gales had bent all the poles and the netting was full of holes from rubbing on the poles. Still, it had served it’s purpose and allowed Darling Wife to establish the makings of a lovely wee garden.

IMG_0646

I’d drilled the rocks to support the original 6mm steel posts and most of them were now actually stuck into the rocks so I just cut the poles leaving around 75mm sticking up. I then drilled the bottom of some 75mm square posts and hammered them in. Sounds far simpler than it actually was cos none of them lined up and there was a great deal of messing about. However by making up custom brackets, drilling more holes in the rocks etc. etc. I got on just fine.

IMG_0647 IMG_0648

That cheap Evolution mitre saw from Screwfix cuts steel just as well as plastic conduit and wood https://www.screwfix.com/p/evolution-r255sms-255mm-single-bevel-sliding-mitre-saw-220-240v/1062x Methinks that’s a newer model than mine as mine was under £100 but worth every penny of £125 they’re asking for it now.

IMG_0649 IMG_0650

It took me just about the whole day to do that

IMG_0652 IMG_0653

and I managed to finish it before starting to at last paint Sonas Smile

IMG_0654 IMG_0655 IMG_0656

Sure, I didn’t get very far before having to pack up, get cleaned up and head of to Raasay House https://www.raasay-house.co.uk/dining-raasay-restaurant-skye for our 16:30 ‘table for two’. This week I had roast pork belly and Darling Wife roast beef, both of us choosing a starter rather than dessert, me going for a hot smoked salmon salad whilst herself had haggis fritters. It was all totally delicious as usual and well presented by courteous staff but I gotta say the haggis fritters were pure amazing.

That ‘time of year again’

How I hate this feckin around with the clocks business, I don’t really care who’s time we are on, BST, GMT, UTC or CET but can we just stop changing the feckin things. I’m gonna spend the next six weeks or so feeling hungry at ‘stupid O clock’, the dugs will be following me about wanting fed at the wrong time, the hens won’t know what is going on and I’m bound to forget to alter at least one clock!

Anyway, that’s it, it’s 8:00 PM which is really 7:00 PM so I’d better go and shut the hens in an hour later Sad smile Whatever, I’m going to bed, but it’s only 19:00, guess I’ll be up at 4:00 tomorrow Smile

IMG_0657

Still, at least the clocks moved the right way Smile

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.

 DSCN1981 DSCN1982

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1570647/pork-milanese-with-spaghetti

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,

DSCN1946

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.

Image may contain: food and indoor

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

DSCN1949 DSCN1952 DSCN1953

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

DSCN1951 DSCN1950

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.

P1140463 P1140462

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

DSCN1955 DSCN1956 DSCN1957

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

DSCN1947 DSCN1948

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.

 DSCN1958

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.

DSCN1962 DSCN1963

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.

DSCN1959 DSCN1960 DSCN1961

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  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumbleweed and finds its way into everything after a good gale of wind.

DSCN1964 DSCN1965 DSCN1966

This vehicle lift certainly makes life easier Smile

DSCN1968 DSCN1969 DSCN1970

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,

DSCN1971 DSCN1972

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.

DSCN1973 DSCN1974 DSCN1975

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

DSCN1977 DSCN1979

and even got it finished before dark Smile

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.