Life at the end of the road

August 27, 2019

The random coal men :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, Discovery, food, Land Rover — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:42 pm

Pretty grey and damp all day here at the ‘North End’, probably the whole of Raasay to be sure. We quite often get different weather here at Arnish but not I suspect today. The early start I was hoping for never happened but I did manage to collar my son afore he set off for work. Half a ton of coal had been erroneously delivered to Brochel for me Mate at Torran so Ross and I went to collect it with the trailer thus giving him some practice in the reversing department Smile

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Well, he was certainly better than me at that age, considering it was a damp and steamed up chariot he was driving Smile The Subaru’s four wheel drive and low ratio making manoeuvring not quite so challenging. Really pi55ed off that they don’t have a low ratio on the newer ones as it’s essential for me.

Save our phone boxes Smile

Anyway, we got the coal back up Calum’s Road and left it at ‘The Kiosk’ a name that belongs to a generation past. Anyone born or raised at the North End will still call the road end car park at Arnish ‘The Kiosk’ for that’s where the telephone box lived. A phone box that may well have been unique because it was on a ‘party line’ with the only other telephone at the North End. Chances are it was probably also unique in that it was mostly the same coins that went through it Smile 

The phone box was taken away around 1969 when most of the people abandoned Fladda, Torran and Arnish, which was long before Calum’s Road was finished and there was any notion of a car park.   The other telephone was in the Post Office but that moved several times over the next 30 years or so. We have the rise of fascism to thank for phones at Arnish Smile War clouds over Europe prompted HMG to improve communication in the 1930’s. When the phone lines finally went underground in the 90’s I was given 100 telegraph poles as payment for recovering my first vehicle from down the Torran track. The said vehicle being a tractor belonging to BT Smile It would prove to be the first of many recoveries over the next 25 years Smile

Anyway, I only mention this cos the Arnish kiosk ended up at Inverarish right next to the one that was already there and BT now want to remove them. Methinks there are moves afoot to ‘S.O.K’ (save our kiosks) and turn them into something useful but it’s ‘early days’ and I’ll keep you posted Smile

The Disco brakes

Most of my day was spent working on the WiFE, me new Disco Smile that had a binding front brake. Even genuine TRW calipers and carriers are relatively cheap for the Discovery so I didn’t even try freeing them off. I’d got the truck for buttons so wasn’t going to skimp on getting it 100%.

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And whilst I was at it I fitted new discs, pads and a track rod.

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For reasons beyond my comprehension you can only replace the ‘left hand threaded’ joint, what would normally be the ‘right hand threaded’ joint is part of the track rod! Luckily it was the right handed one that was worn and I had a new track rod minus the left handed joint. Normally doing any work like this would require having the track checked with some urgency afterwards. However I made a jig up using a clamp, block of wood and my barn RSJ to ensure the rod lengths were identical. Sure it’ll still need a visit to Skyefit for checking but at least it’ll be in the right ‘ball park’ and not scrub me tyres first Smile

Sure whilst I had the Disco on the lift I should have serviced it too and done the rear brakes but it’s Willie Eyre’s funeral tomorrow at 11:30 and I don’t want to be late for that. Not only that I’d had enough ‘motor mechanising’ for one day and I’m trying to ‘slow down’ Smile Seemed like a better idea to have a ‘road test’ to Brochel with ‘wee dug’.

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Molly and I had a good wander about the ruins there before heading home for a snack.

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The white sandstone cliffs south of Brochel and Church Rock, a huge cube shaped boulder that is gradually disappearing under vegetation.


More boodly ‘shrooms Smile

After the ‘wee snack’ and fooling Molly into staying in the house I went out for a spot of fishing.

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Despite there being plenty of fish I never got a single bite so went to ‘bash’ some scallops instead.

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Better than a ‘poke in the eye with a sharp stick’ Smile

Anyway, that’s it, Ross Camilli is busy lifting weights in the shed and I’m off to bed with The Laurentic has been pulverised by winter gales and the gold has vanished Surprised smile

January 28, 2019

More haggis :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:21 pm

No sign of the snow yet but apparently it’s on the way shortly and through the night, sure the road has been well gritted but darling wife is on early shift tomorrow so staying in the ‘toon hoose’ Smile That leaves me in charge of the two dugs with Leah curled round my feet under the table and Molly warming the bed. It also means complete silence in the house with just the occasional whirr from the fridge or freezer, pure bliss, normally the TV is on at this time of night belching out some pish Mancunian, Glasgow or Yorkshire accent from the likes of Corrie, River City or Emmerdale. Still it could be worse she could be addicted to the American pish and its canned laughter Smile I am not a fan of the TV and I’d quite happily do without one, did so for years and I can’t say I’ve missed out on anything bar a few episodes of Red Dwarf. Well that and the Russian coup of 91 or was it 93, perhaps both even, I know I discovered those on their anniversaries  same as I did with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Still, I’ve always found that you only discover the truth behind any news story a couple of decades after it actually happened. The Suez crisis, Lockerbie bombing and Sadam’s WMD’s to name just a few. Can’t wait to read about really happened with Brexit and Alex Salmond in another decade or so Smile

Not quite the ‘Old Girl’

Having fixed my tipping trailer yesterday by drilling 5mm countersunk holes in the 3mm thick steel galvanized sheets and screwing them onto the 19mm phenolic ply with 5mm stainless screws,

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I stole the neighbours Nissan. OK, I borrowed their Nissan as I’m awaiting a new alternator for it and it’s only usable with care, care equating to leaving it running, not using the lights, heater, radio, wipers or even brakes unless you have too, which is kinda hard as it’s automatic Smile Anyway, with the alternator not charging you have to keep electrical usage to a minimum or the fuel solenoid shuts off the diesel supply and it conks. So, I had its own battery on charge all night and took another one with me along with jump leads and a battery charger.

My own trusty stead the ‘Old Girl’ has been indisposed at Tayside Land Rover since April having a six week job done Smile

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The new galvanized bulkhead, chassis, B posts and doors seems to be turning into a bit of an epic Sad smile

I never really realized just how essential the ‘Old Girl’ was until I had to do without her, there aren’t that many vehicles that’ll legally tow 3.5t up and down Calum’s Road. Luckily the neighbour’s Nissan Patrol 3.0D is one of them and whilst it’s certainly comfortable by heck it’s thirsty!!!! I put £60 worth of diesel in it and it only went just past half way and by the time I got home it was well below it Sad smile

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Fuelling the tank up, collecting dog food and cement from Portree then filling up the trailer with 2tons of aggregate at Sconser taking up most of the day really. SI I got back to the ferry terminal in plenty of time to admire the beautiful stonework on Hector’s bothy cum takeaway, which I’m sure is gonna be a valuable asset to those queueing for the ferry when it opens in the summer.

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I was back on Raasay for 13:20 but by the time I’d had a look at me Mate’s lighting tower,

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called at the Raasay sawmill to admire my timber and visited darling wife in the ‘toon hoose’ it was almost dark when I got home. Still, at least I didn’t have to make dinner, Wifey had managed to rescue some leftovers from the Burns supper so that was me sorted with more of that excellent haggis and some cock a leekie soup.

All I had to do first was tip the aggregate, park up the Nissan with the battery on charge and mend a puncture on the Subaru.

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The tyre was only just legal and the puncture was right next to a previous plug so I just fitted a new tyre, no use messing about with tyres at this time of year and I had a new one at hand.

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That was it really, after the most excellent haggis, neeps and tatties (shame there was no whisky sauce left Sad smile) I went back out to the shed and chopped up some threaded bar for the legs on me boat shelter. Time now for another glass of San Pellegrino and to settle down with a good book, this one being ‘Stalin’s Gold’ by Barrie Penrose about the sinking of and subsequent salvage of HMS Edinburgh


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