Life at the end of the road

October 20, 2020

I don’t like the look of this :-(

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, Land Rover, life off grid — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:52 am

Sure the morning started off really well, for a start Wee dug and I didn’t awake until the rather sane time of 5:35 Smile Initially it was actually 2:15 but I thought ‘feck that’ there’s no way I’m getting out my pit this early, not even for a banana and hot chocolate, my insomnia remedy of choice. So that was it, I was so ‘late’ arising I missed both the World Service and the inshore waters forecast Smile

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Molly didn’t seem that bothered though so I opted to have a shower whilst mulling over the previous day’s events to start blogging about them. I was feeling exceptionally ‘chipper’ and considering ‘It wasn’t that bad’ on account of the weather or ‘ A book at last’ due to the previous day’s book delivery.

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I know, I’m really sad and a bit of an ‘anorak’ but I’d put my good night’s sleep down to a bedtime encounter with HMS Rodney. I do like a chapter or two of a good book afore I put lights out. Sadly my ‘solitary confinement’ in room 04 of the Holiday Inn last week had exhausted my reading materiel. Since then I’ve been surviving on a diet of YouTube short videos with a maritime theme but it’s just not the same as turning in with a book and I don’t have to listen to anyone Smile 

Anyway, that all went ‘out the window’ when I switched on my trusty Dell Rugged laptop and was greeted by this Sad smile

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I dunno how many years I’ve had this serious laptop but it’s the best, most durable, solid and not to mention heaviest ‘puter I’ve ever owned. It’s gel filled, weighs a ton, can be dropped from 2m onto concrete but most importantly for me, it has a serial port. In fact it has two!!! and just about every other kind of port too as well as a CD/DVD drive none of which seem to be fitted to anything you can buy from Curry’s or mainstream outlets. Apparently with ‘the Cloud’ and internet connectivity everywhere on the planet you don’t need these things. Well trust me, in my ‘off grid’ world, you do and a proper diagnostic type laptop is essential for tinkering with such things as charge controllers and inverters often in aggressive environments. Sadly, the Dell has been getting a little ‘clunky’ of late and I most definitely don’t like the look of this screen that greeted me today Sad smile 

Monday

Sure enough, it did get off to a rather wet start, my first task at daybreak after feeding everyone being to survey the drains and ditches for blockages from dead leaves and burrowing pigs.

 

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All was more or less in order, though I wouldn’t be crawling under the Land Rover for a while.

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The area outside my shed being somewhat waterlogged, though the actual rain had eased off leaving a thick grey sky, no wind and quite a swell from the north. There would be little solar and no wind power today.

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Hydro was ‘picking up the slack’ though with the Stream Engine soon rising up to a constant 800W, some 19kWh per day. More than enough for what I had in mind.

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The dreaded VAT return which always begins with me doing a ceremonial office tidy and opening of much mail that I have ignored for three months Smile My good friend Willie Eyre once told me he did his on the floor once a year with a large glass of whisky Smile He apparently did the same with the man from Customs and Excise who came to inspect him Smile 

Paperwork completed and ‘second breakfast’ demolished I went outdoors once more to peruse the next ‘rainy day’ task I had in mind.

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This was gonna be the fitting of the new battery bank into the generator shed but first I planned to fit a ‘change over’ switch to my reserve system in the ‘Bunker’

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Somewhere amidst that lot Smile My reserve or ‘back up’ system is completely independent of the system that powers the house and comprises of an Outback GVFX 3048 inverter, 800Ah battery bank and 500W of solar panels. It’s not necessary, has never really been used and is made up completely of stuff I’ve been given or found on eBay at ‘rock bottom’ prices. Well, now (after four or five years) I plan to utilise it so I can replace my main battery bank at my leisure without any interruption in power, which was really the whole point in building it in the first place Smile Having formulated a plan I left that on the ‘back burner’ and set about straightening the Honda front bumper.

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Where would I be without Calum the Kubota? I fastened the rear of the Honda to the ‘Old Girl’, put a strop on the bent bumper and pulled it straight with the dipper. Wish I’d never paid for the new one now Smile

There was more,

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I finally introduced Doodle to Duchess and Curly as his old hens had died and he seemed to be getting lonely. I had tried this in the past but there had been much bullying and the two wee hens ran off and hid under the shed, not coming out until I’d removed Doodle. Yesterday, probably cos the two old hens had died, things were much calmer.

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I also got hydro number two running, being somewhat surprised that the SAS wannabe’s had actually carried that boat all the way overland to the Brochel lochs!!!

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https://lifeattheendoftheroad.wordpress.com/2020/10/17/torch-time-again/

Perhaps that’s what finished off the ‘celebs’ Smile

https://heatworld.com/entertainment/tv-movies/vicky-pattison-quits-sas-who-dares-wins/

I mean, seriously the most strenuous things they do are probably lie under a sun bed or go to the tattoo parlour Smile

September 8, 2020

Less coffee perhaps :-(

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 2:29 am

Hope this isn’t the ‘new normal’. Two boodly twenty in the morning drinking hot chocolate cos I can’t sleep Sad smile Or should I say wide awake after just five hours of it. I can’t even blame the weather cos it seems calm and dry outside the pitch black windows. Perhaps I need to try drinking less coffee, I don’t usually have any after my morning pot but this new regime of doing next to no physical work interspersed with frequent spells indoors at the kitchen table has seen my caffeine intake creeping up, that and perhaps the pain killers which amongst other things are leaving me very ‘windy’ Smile but constipated Sad smile 

 

Still, I am definitely ‘on the mend’, yesterday I even managed a sneeze without breaking out in a cold sweat whilst trying to stop it due to the pain it would induce. Indeed, after the first one didn’t leave me rolling in agony I accepted the next two with a feeling of relief. For almost two weeks now I’ve been living in fear of coughing or sneezing.

Un bending

As for what I actually did yesterday, well once more life revolved round wee tasks that would normally take me no time at all but which through necessity I spread throughout the entire day.

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The first and most serious task being to straighten the drag link on the ‘Tank’ so at least it would drive in a straight line until a new one arrived from Milner Off Road https://www.milneroffroad.com/ Though to be honest the ‘straight line’ bit is the least of your worries on Raasay’s potholed single track roads cos few are actually straight or level in any plane Smile The main issue was it fouling and holing one of the transmission cooler pipes Sad smile Anyway, it came off relatively easy so I welded it to Calum’s blade for ‘un bending’.

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I could probably have achieved a similar result using my hydraulic press or an extremely long scaffolding tube but I was wanting to do this with the least physical effort and it went very well. Having said that, it’s not the first time I’ve done this kind of thing, a three ton digger is a really, really useful tool Smile

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Once suitably ‘un bent’ I cut it off and ground down the weld prior to refitting it and refilling with transmission fluid having repaired the leak a few days ago.

A definite change

The ‘near gale’ of Sunday night seemed to remove the last dregs of summer too, not only was it a boodly dark night but I’d switched on the heating for the first time in long enough. Only for a few hours right enough but still something not associated with an Arnish summer. Last Sunday I’d seen the first yellowing sycamore? outside the Old Manse at the south end. Then yesterday, after all the boodly rain not only was hydro performing.

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My ‘Stream Engine’ hydro turbine was producing around 800W and the pigs dishes full of water. Just as well really cos, for the first time in months the cloud was so thick and the weather so dreich that solar hot water production was zero Sad smile There was 10kWh of hot water on Sunday and 1kWh on Saturday, Monday was a big fat zero.

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That was just about it really, I never got near the VAT return bar scanning a few documents and emptying the office paper basket. Some friends who were leaving dropped off some veg and bacon that I turned into some kind of aubergine, courgette and mushroom casserole which I demolished.

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No hope of that doing two night’s dinners, by the time I’d finished with it there’d not be enough for lunch without adding something else to it Smile

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