Life at the end of the road

February 6, 2019

San Pellegrino tonight :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, life off grid, shed/house — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:45 pm

Eight PM and that’s me just through the door from work and sat down in front of the puter with a glass of San Pellegrino, there’ll be no rum tonight Sad smile Still, I arrived back home freshly showered and fed thanks to the luxury of MV Hallaig and the generosity of my ‘back to back’ who left me a bowl of leak and potato soup as an afternoon snack and a pan full of spag bog for dinner. Another glass or two of sparkling water once I’ve done on here and that’ll be me off to bed, more likely than not before 21:00. The first day back at work always passes quickly cos it’s inevitably only a short one. By the time I’ve read all the handover notes, trawled through two weeks emails and read the ‘End Of Trip Report’ left by the previous crew the day is usually done and today was no exception.

Home Alone

With darling wife in the ‘toon hoose’ once more I’ve had a couple of girls sharing my bed,


dunno how this is gonna go down when the wife returns Smile I must hasten to add that I ALWAYS make the bed, I always have but after watching Admiral William McRaven, I do it with a smile Smile

Anyway’s, just like every other ‘final day’ it was a mad rush finishing stuff off and tidying stuff away. This morning I gave the digger a good clean and grease, moved a dumper load of ballast ready for the next project in a fortnights time, a long overdue pipe burial.

Most of our water supply pipe is well buried, my diligent son did it over the course of around a year by hand. No mean feat as it’s 250m and some of it is quite stony. However there is a 15m section that runs over solid rock which he covered with turfs and this works just fine to prevent the pipe freezing. Unfortunately every batch of pigs we fatten seem to take great delight in removing them and exposing the pipe. This lot were no exception so I formulated a plan to put a large drainage pipe in the burn behind the house then bury the pipe deeply with the digger. Sure a sensible person would have done this in the summer but ‘you know me’ Smile

Whilst reassessing this plan I took the opportunity to go and check our supply up the hill.

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I discovered this ‘secret well’ 6 or 7 years ago when looking for a suitable water supply for the house. It resides in an old enclosure and is a proper walled well that has never run dry in all the time I’ve been monitoring it. Granted that is only 5 or 6 years but more or less as soon as I hound it, I put a pipe in it and ran it the 250m down to what was then just the shed and house site and it has always had a trickle of water coming out of it. The water is piped from the well into this 1000lt settling tank then flows into the 3000lt storage tank which is 20 or 30m above the house so gives us great water pressure.

After checking the settling tank, which was its usual peaty hue I went to check the well.


Sadly, there must have been a landslip recently and this huge rock was covering it, shame, cos it really is a pretty well.

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You could see where the rocks had come from and it must have been fairly recently.

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I dunno whether this enclosure was for sheep or hens or both but there are the remains of a shelter up there too. Again, that could have been for shepherds or hens, whatever, it is a lovely spot up there.


That was it really, I took the dugs for a walk, got my trailer ready for tomorrows oil delivery and went to work.


And I REALLY did make that bed Smile

February 4, 2019

A well earned rum :-)

Filed under: Avon Searider, boats, daily doings, life off grid, shed/house, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:14 pm

That’s me just showered, and poured myself a stiff, well earned, Kraken rum Smile 20:40 is the time and I guess I must have been indoors just after eight feeling like I’d worked exceedingly hard and late, which I had for me Smile Me, I’m very much a ‘morning person’ and go rapidly down hill after lunch, a creature of habit I like to be fed and watered around 18:00 then rarely venture back outside at this time of year. I’ve done all this working till ‘stupid O clock’ in days gone by and have the diaries to prove it, but now, well into my sixties and preparing for retirement I’m ‘taking it easy’. Today however, I made an exception, probably cos ‘darling wife’ is once more in the ‘toon hoose’ and I’m here with two daft dugs enjoying yet another TV less evening Smile Gosh, I do love the silence, the only thing I can hear, if I hold my breath, is the clock ticking. Leah is sat on my feet under the table and Molly is sat on the bed, it doesn’t get much better than this after a hard day’s graft.


Sure, I know it’s been February for long enough but it really feels like we’ve ‘turned the corner’ as far as winter goes, sure it’s still snowy and icy but the days are really stretching and the solar power has really started producing once more, a good 6kWh today, not much by ‘home counties’ standard but ‘damn fine splendid’ for here at Arnish. Sunrise at 8:15 and sunset at 17:00 makes all the difference too, another week and it’ll be nearer 18:00. Sure we can get some pretty heavy dumps of snow, gales and ice but it never seems quite so bad in daylight Smile

When I last posted the frame for the new boat/car port had just gone up, the ground was covered in snow and I was deep in the ‘brown stuff’ for not going to Inverness on Friday afternoon. Selfish prick that I am, I chose to put up me shed with Callum rather than take darling wife shopping in Inverness. Redemption came on Saturday however when we headed off on the first ferry and bought a nice bedroom suite for the ‘toon hoose’ from the Blythewood charity shop on harbour road.



Not to mention curtain poles, from B&Q and a gazillion ‘bits an bobs’ from Screwfix. Anyway’s, we made it back for the 17:30 ferry along with a Chinese takeaway from Kyle. With the TV mercifully broken we watched ‘Night Train to Lisbon’

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on Netflix or Amazon Prime or something I was suitably impressed and reduced to a gibbering wreck. Despite getting panned by Hollywood critics I thought it was a really good film.


Well, Sunday was a kinda leisurely day from what I recall, we went out for a walk with the dugs to Screapadale

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and then I set up some shuttering in front of the boat/car port. That big square thing is a huge rock that must have become detached from the cliffs millennia ago. Methinks it’s called ‘Church Rock’ or something, whatever it’s called it’s boodly spectacular Smile


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Once I’d got the shuttering in place for the ramp I filled it in with ballast and also came up with the idea of extending me shelter. I figured the slope would give me enough height to get the digger or dumper in there as well as the boat if I was ‘canny’ with the concreting Smile

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Well, that went rather well and after filling the shuttering with ballast the tamping it down with Callum’s grading bucket I reckoned that I could extend me shelter another 3m and have enough height for the digger at least. All I had to do was get more cement and mount some more studs for the extra uprights. Well that and ‘run it by’ my ‘shed guru’ Callum at the Raasay Sawmill Smile

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Well, it seemed ‘fine in principle’ so I made up a mounting plate anyway.

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Another nice thick steel plate from Hallaig’s bottom providing the base for the potential upright.

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Better to put it in now and not use it than to wish I’d done so later Smile

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The ‘Old Girl’

For those of you that have been following regularly you may remember the ‘Old Girl’, my 1986 110 CSW Land Rover that I left at Tayside Land Rover some time ago for a new galvanized chassis, bulkhead, B posts and doors, well things are  definitely progressing.

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The ‘Old Girl’ is definitely ‘on the mend’ Smile


That was a pretty ‘feckered’ bulkhead hey.

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