Life at the end of the road

April 10, 2017

On Holiday :-(

Been a while hey. Well there’s been a lot going on at ‘the end of the road’ and I’ve really not felt the urge to post or do anything on the Internet in fact.

The ‘Mountain Man’

Me old Pop passed away on the 18th March, peacefully and with my Mum at his bedside. It was in the Isle View care home in Aultbea on the shores of Loch Ewe where he’d been for the last 14 months. A better place he could not have been for the staff there are amazing and certainly ‘go the extra mile’ for their ‘guests’ and their families. He was buried within walking distance of his home for nigh on thirty years on the shores of Loch Duich and within sight of his beloved Five Sisters. That quintet of mountains that he climbed regularly, the name of which his dementia had him reciting over and over again for the last year or so of his life.

 300317 067

My ‘back to back’ was kind enough to come in a couple of days early to let me away and I’ve been on holiday ever since. The first part of which was spent at the funeral, a lovely affair at the Inverinate village hall that was well attended and arranged expertly by Farky Macleod and his team at http://www.fmacleodfuneraldirectors.co.uk/ . The ladies of the Village Hall doing excellent ‘soup and sandwiches’ after internment.

The collection in aid of the Isle View residents fund raised £700 and we took the money up there last week on what I’m sure will not be our last visit. Over the last year or so the staff and some of the guests have become like old friends so I’m sure we’ll be returning. One thing for certain we’ll be going there on the 6th or 7th of May.

WWII

http://theracproject.org/festival/index.php

Booked the caravan park, bought a uniform and practising my ‘swing’ steps Smile 

South Pacific (1958 Film Soundtrack)

Also going to the movies Smile I kid you not, they are showing South Pacific in the Aultbea Village Hall on Sunday night. Now, I hate musicals but me Mam and Dad had this album or LP as it was called then, in their small collection and it just makes me smile thinking about it Smile

There’s also the Highland Swing Band on the Saturday night Smile

Kind of  a fitting venue as the Aultbea Village Hall was actually the cinema during the war too.

A short break

I am now sat in Girvan in ‘mum in laws’ kitchen with the sun shinning outside and I’m miserable as feck!!! I’d been having an absolutely spiffing couple of weeks at home with two machines on the go and a 6 ton dumper and now I’m stuck here wishing I was back home putting up a wind turbine or something Sad smile 

The Mitsubishi MM30SR

My plan for the month off had been to make a couple of roads and infill a bit of ground behind the new turbine base. The infill would involve piping a small burn and making a level area behind the turbine just to make installing the ‘gin pole’ for raising and lowering. It was major work for what was effectively making an annual job a little easier but at the end of it it would give me a nice flat area to park the caravan or a couple of trailers. It would also allow me easy access to the land adjacent to the croft with a quad or machine, impossible previously due to the valley cut by the burn.

For this I’d bought 12m of 300mm Twinwall drain pipe and hired a 6 Tonne dumper but I also needed to repair Lachie’s 3ton MM30SR digger first. I was converting the ‘grey import’ machine from electronic Kawasaki joysticks to manually operated cable controls that I’d purchased from http://www.hycon.co.uk/ . For this I’d purchased 5 x 1m cables, 2 x Joystick controls, 5 x adapters for the spool valves and one lever control for the ‘boom offset’.

The adapter was http://www.hycon.co.uk/Products/1088/156/20-KIT.html which wasn’t quite right but I knew that when I bought them and figured that I could modify them. First off the roller that goes through both the brass cable end and spool valve was 7mm and the MM30SR (Nachi) ones are 6mm. That I resolved by chopping up five M6 bolts to make the roller and then drilling 6.5mm holes at 90 degrees from the original. 

300317 072 300317 073 300317 074300317 075

This I managed to do at work during a three day spell when I was called back in to cover for my ‘back to back’ who was going ‘upstairs’ as skipper for a few days.

300317 076 300317 078

Once back on holiday proper I got stuck into the actual machine and modifying the adapters.

 

300317 082 300317 083

These just required filing out and the M5 screws supplied replacing with M4 threaded rod and Nyloc nuts.

300317 081 300317 080310317 001

The cables and controls were then fitted but two of them operated the wrong way around, that was quickly resolved by swapping around the hydraulic pipes on two of the spool valves and ‘all was peachy’. A lick of paint and refitting the lower trim finished it nicely.

I gotta say I was well impressed with the result, OK, much more effort required than with electronic controls but you soon got used to it. All I had to do now was go and collect the dumper from 11 miles away Sad smile

 

310317 004 310317 005

It was not a great day for ‘open top’ motoring and it took me the best part of an hour to reach home.

 

100417 001 100417 002

Over the next week my son and I worked the machines pretty hard and they never missed a beat.

310317 007

Sad I know, but that is my kinda holiday Smile 

Ozzie and Django return

As part of the renovation of the old walled garden at Raasay House we’d loaned out Ozzie and Django to do a little rotovating. With funding now in place to employ two people to actually do the work proper and get some polytunnels up we went to collect them.

 

100417 003 100417 004 100417 006

It was great to have them back and they were certainly bigger and friendlier than when they left a couple of weeks ago. The two ‘boys’ went back into their regular enclosure for now as we knew we’d be away for a few days and it wasn’t fair on the ‘pig sitters’ asking them to go searching for two black boars at every feed time. There’s also a lot of tourists about just now so I didn’t want my neighbours to be held responsible for any damage they may do. They are very friendly pigs and I’d visions of them trying to climb into some new car at the end of the road Smile We have had pigs do that !!! pigs are very friendly creatures Smile

Looking back through the camera

Sadly my lack of enthusiasm for the Internet and blogging also left me bereft of the will to take pictures too, so there’s been precious little of those either.

100417 020 

The Storr from the house at 6:20AM on the 23rd March,

100417 021 

tis no wonder I don’t like going on holiday Smile

One of the days that I was on ‘call back’

100417 024

last ferry cancelled due to this

100417 025

unbelievably thick fog/mist.

100417 013 100417 014

100417 016

The ‘Clam Muncher’ Majestic TT28 scratching away for days in the narrows Sad smile

100417 010 100417 023

Delta Marine’s http://www.delta-marine.co.uk/vessels/voe-jarl/ anchor handler Voe Jarl busy at the fish farm changing nets.

 

100417 032

A load of interesting looking stainless steel tanks for the distillery on the back of Ian S Roger’s Scania.

100417 030

A misty day at Brochel castle.

The highlights of the Girvan trip Smile

Well the prize has to go to a trip in Charlie’s WWII Willys Jeep,

100417 009

which I’d seen last year when collecting a wind turbine from him. This time he took my son and I for a spin around the forest tracks near his home.

100417 007 100417 008

Pure awesome Smile

 

100417 036 100417 034

An abandoned Hymac HM580C with Ailsa Craig in the background.

February 4, 2017

A lean mix :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, pigs, wind turbine — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:06 pm

Saturday night here at ‘the end of the road’ and I’m feeling suitably contented after a productive day, a fish pie and the promise of a glass or two of red later. It won’t be my first this week but it will only be my second. The week has been a rather busy one and there’s been little point in having a glass or two. Firstly I’d have fallen asleep after a mouthful and secondly we’ve had no wine in the house Smile 

The ‘ole

As you’ve probably guessed most of my week, indeed my fortnight off has been spent filling in the ‘ole with concrete. This will be the base for my new wind turbine which I planned would be 7 or 8 cubic meters and ended up nearly double that. Anyway my days since last posting have been an endless cycle of getting up early and getting ready for mixing which usually commenced around 8:00am. The trailer with its 2 tons of ready mixed aggregate being parked conveniently close to the mixer the night before.

I’ve mixed 4 trailer loads plus 3 tons I already had with just over a ton of cement so I guess that’s about a 10:1 mix. A bit lean for anything structural but there will be just as much of a 35 Newton mix going over the top of it.  I’m sure it’ll be just fine with 25 or 30 tons of concrete  in total, plus around a ton of steel directly bolted to Scotland.

040217 003 040217 004 

By far the hardest part of the job has been getting it to flow into all the ‘nooks and crannies’ and getting the air out of it. I really should have bought a vibrating poker for this rather than just borrowing one for the big pour on Monday. I’ve seen them on eBay for £50 and it would have been money well spent I guess. I severely doubt that this will be my last big concrete project.

The actual mixing has been pretty easy really with the trailer being the same height as the mixer there’s been little in the way of bending involved.

040217 007 (Medium)

This is as far as I got on Thursday night, I mixed one more load on Friday and took a final trip to Sconser quarry for doing one last mix.

Ozzy and Django

All this reversing with over three tons on the back of the ‘Old Girl’ convinced me that it was about time I replaced the gearbox on her. My Landy is of 1986 vintage and fitted with the rather lame LT77 5 speed gearbox, more suited to a high power saloon car than an abused diesel truck. The LT77 has many faults, sloppy gear change, premature main shaft wear and most annoyingly, jumping out of reverse gear. The latter being caused by the teeth on the lay shaft, reverse gear and idler wearing out. When I bought her in 2001 she had the same fault and I fitted a recon box then. Well sixteen years of hard graft later it needs another.

040217 008 040217 013 040217 015

I found this ex military reconditioned one on eBlag from a chap called Darren who runs Jedi 4×4 in Waterfoot, near where I used to live. It came in the strongest case I’ve ever seen and was bolted to a steel frame that was bolted via rubber mounts to the wooden crate!!! I guess it must have been designed for dropping by parachute or something cos the package came in at 130kg of which less than half is the gearbox!! It was dated 2010 right enough but it’s the latest LT77 suffix, G which has bigger bearings and wider teeth on the reverse gears. I also got a drivers door off him and have to say that Darren had packed that almost as well as the army had their gearbox https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=jedi%204×4 .

It’s actually been jumping out of reverse for over a year so it’s a job that is long overdue and when I finally do get around to doing it I may well fit a Discovery transfer box. The Disco LT230 transfer box has a higher high ratio than the Defender, probably not much use to me really with those huge 33×12.50×15 tyres I use but I just happen to have one. The box I have came from the vehicle I got the engine from.

0132 017

Having driven said Disco to Arnish I know the box is good and quiet, unlike mine which has a rusty set of gears in it Smile

Anyways, enough of this Landy ‘anorak’ stuff, back to today and ‘two little piggy’s’ from Auchtertyre.

 

040217 016 

My son and I caught the 8:55 ferry and went to collect a couple of fine Large Black/Saddleback cross boars. We could have taken gilts but went for a couple of boars instead, for some reason most folk want gilts! This is usually people that are under the misapprehension that boars are aggressive and can suffer from something called ‘boar taint’   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boar_taint . Supposedly if you don’t castrate boars or keep them for longer than 22 weeks the meat becomes tainted by their hormones. Well, that may well be true of commercial breeds kept indoors but we’ve never experienced it in all the years we’ve kept pigs. In our experience the opposite is true, boars are less trouble and put on weight quicker, as for keeping them longer than six months, well we ate one that was five years old and he was delicious Smile

040217 017

Django and Ozzy were as ‘good as gold’ and soon settled into their new home for the next day or two.

 

040217 018 040217 020 040217 026

The weather was so boodly awful today that we put them in the hen house. We’ll keep them in there for a day or so before letting them out into the wind turbine field. Once the other two are away at the end of the month we’ll  let them out on the hill.

Older Posts »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.