Life at the end of the road

January 4, 2020

Back under the ‘EGG chariot’

Filed under: daily doings, How I — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:49 am

Well, it be a black and uninspiring day today and Saturday looks like the best day before returning to work next week, at least as far as wind goes. Sure there’ll be brighter days but between now and Wednesday afternoon it looks like no respite from those ‘red’ winds, time to drag the boat back to the shed for the rest of the winter methinks, if not today, at least before Tuesday.



Methinks I left you on Thursday morning and went to clear some drains on what was a pure 5h1t of a day.

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With no prospect of improvement on the horizon I collected my neighbour and decided to head south and do some dog walking.

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That was of course once I’d got by the ‘guard pigs’ who wanted to come too, the black one on the right was on heat and very vocal Smile


That done, we all retired to Sonas for a feast of left overs Smile basically a fridge full of treats out of my wife’s fridge.

I also got what is probably my last Christmas present


Smile priceless, I mean, why do we do it Smile


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A very threatening start to the day had me heading over to Torran for some more ‘first footing’ though this time minus the 12YO which is still sitting unfinished in my kitchen along with the unopened wine bottles. Hopefully 2020 will be a year of less wine and more water Smile


For a good portion of today though, methinks I’ll be back under the Subaru replacing rear anti roll bar links and perhaps more brake pipes. The ARB links seem to be an annual item on most vehicles these days, no doubt an indicator of the perilous state of the roads. The brake pipes were raised as an advisory last year so Ross and I changed the offending one yesterday but I’ve not had time to inspect the rest fully yet. We got ‘called away’ yesterday afternoon to collect some IBC’s from the Raasay pier. Well, not exactly summoned but with the state of the forecast I thought it prudent to retrieve them before they got blown back to Skye. Many thanks to Charlie Gillies for arranging the ‘deposit’ and the rest of the ‘team’ for the carriage Smile

Subaru brake pipes

The MOT actually ran out months ago, something I only realized when I tried to tax the car afore I went to my aunties funeral. Fortunately you can still tax a vehicle on Raasay without an MOT so I’ve still been using it ‘on island’ in-between the various repairs. Work in progress as they say Smile A tyre replaced, a sidelight and fog light fixed and then yesterday, the job I’ve been putting off the longest, the rear brake pipe.

I dunno if the Subaru is unique amongst production cars (probably not) but it is the only make I have encountered that routes the brake and fuel pipes inside the vehicle. This I have seen and done myself on specially prepared rally cars and off road vehicles but Subaru make em like that. This is truly fantastic at keeping the majority of the lines out of harms way and away from salt and the elements but it does make them a PITA to replace. Unless of course you just cut out the offending section and splice in a new one, which is what we did.


To facilitate this I bought myself a new brake pipe flaring tool, sure I’ve had one (in the red box) for 30 plus years but it really needs to be held in a vice. The natty little tool I purchased off eBlag is designed to be hand held so you can use it on the vehicle


and I gotta say, it was £32 well spent.

We removed the lid off the master cylinder, took out the wee filter and then filled the reservoir right to the brim. I then stretched an old latex glove across the top of the reservoir and refitted the lid.


This removes any airspace above the fluid and blocks the vent thus preventing any brake fluid running out of the pipe once it is cut or removed. If it does not actually prevent it, it does at least slow it down dramatically. In this case no fluid came out at all once we’d removed the rear seat and cut the pipe inside the car.

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Not only do Subaru route the pipes inside the vehicle they make the connection blocks out of brass!!!! consequently the nipples are actually easy to remove even when corroded Smile 

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What could have been a total nightmare of a job being achieved without any pain or a sore back by having a decent flaring tool and a Chinese lift. Sure, I wouldn’t be using it in a commercial venture but for DIY work and treated with respect it sure has made my life easier when it comes to maintaining the fleet Smile

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

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