Life at the end of the road

August 1, 2017

Ticket for Bella anyone :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, for sale, pigs — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:26 pm

Not the brilliant day they were promising right enough, at least not in the morning, in fact it was pretty pish AM considering we’d been promised a good day. I was up as usual at ‘stupid o clock’, put on a pot of coffee a little after 6:00AM and gazed westwards over to Skye full of enthusiasm for the day ahead. Five minutes later it was pishing with rain so without touching it I left the Brazilian ‘blend in the pot on the hot plate and went back to bed. Almost three hours later I had another go, the coffee having benefitted from it’s long gestation on the 300W hot plate ‘hit the spot’ and I trudged forth in the midge infested morn and fed the zoo.

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It was not actually raining then but within minutes of me stepping through the door into the house it was Sad smile I was not impressed, XC had promised a good day and this was certainly not, at least what I’d seen of it so far didn’t live up to much.

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Sure there was a nice rainbow or two but I was wanting a little sunshine and to forego the oilskins for once.

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Luckily I have a shed so got on with finishing off a few jobs on the ‘Old Girl’, yesterday’s winch repair for one. I fitted a new motor on Monday, a ‘Goodwinch’ http://www.goodwinch.com/ one and not a genuine Warn one as I have in the past. This motor is direct replacement for the Warn one and a third of the price, not only that but the brushes are larger and fitted in brass holders. The Warn holders are steel and rust, which makes the brushes stick and burn out the commutator. This I know cos it’s happens every couple of years, usually when you really need the winch Sad smile

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Also changed the gear oils in the axles and transfer box using this vintage gear oil pump that I’ve had at least 30 years and it was an antique when I got it from me mate at http://www.bmsaccrington.com/ in ‘Accy’ all those years ago.

The birthday boy Smile

Sure enough it did finally brighten up so The lad and I went out for a dip.

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He’s been pretty sick this last couple of weeks, fever and now a cold but the worst of it seemed by with so off we headed to Port Arnish.

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There was a bit of a traffic jam on the way with a certain ‘birthday boy’ going in the same direction as us Smile

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Our plan had been to search for a large anchor below the Torran Schoolhouse that I once used as a mooring for the Conqueror. This we’d been searching for ‘on and off’ now for over a month without success but we had cleared the ground of four smaller anchors so planned to grapple for it after our dive. First though we anchored off the white house at Torran to search for the chain we’d found last month. The chain had been marked with an orange buoy but that had mysteriously vanished. Whilst we never actually found that chain we did find yet another massive anchor and even more BIGGER chain!!! Seems like Loch Arnish is a bit of a chain mine and anchor dumping ground Smile

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It’s pretty good for clams too Smile bit like riding a bike this scallop diving, you just never forget how to do it and I wasn’t even trying Smile

As well as the clams we picked up a bucket of cracking mussels from a sunken trawl float that had returned to the surface after a long stint on the sea bed. I guess the float had gradually sunk under the weight of marine growth and mussels but after lying in deep water for so long much of the growth must have died off due to lack of light. Eventually it floated back to the surface where we found it, covered in its bounty of mature grit free mussels.

Whilst out in Loch Arnish we met up once more with the ‘birthday boy’ and managed to unload some of our ‘ocean bounty’ on him. By the the time we finally got home, his mum, Raasay’s oldest resident was ensconced in our  living room awaiting her taxi.

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Methinks the cailleach  https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/cailleach will be 95 this year and is just learning the art of quad riding to Torran. Jessie normally walks!!! I kid you not she usually walks the mile or so rough track to her old home without ‘batting an eyelid’.

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Just as Jessie was leaving Arnish the 81,769t MS Zuiderdam was leaving Portree https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Zuiderdam Dunno if she’s the largest vessel to visit Skye’s capital but she cannae be far off, that is a seriously large ship.

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Almost as large as the ‘birthday boy’s’ selection of drink Smile

A spare ticket

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For sale at ‘face value’ £150 a Belladrum 3 day camping ticket and parking pass

May 13, 2017

The lonesome midge :-)

Filed under: animals, boats, daily doings, pigs — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:15 pm

That’s it, I’m in for the night now and it’s not even 19:00, truth is, I was in almost an hour ago and have just demolished an awesome risotto cooked up by ‘wife and child’. Better start teaching ‘the boy’ to cook if he’s going to uni Smile Contrary to all predictions it’s been a fine warm, nay even hot at times day today with just a few specs of rain around 17:00. Looks like there’s been plenty of it round and about right enough but we seem to have missed it.

I kinda ‘fell asleep at the wheel’ yesterday so never really finished posting, it had been kinda physical with me making shuttering, moving rocks by hand and digger. Not to mention making a wooden fence and creosoting it. I was hoping to get a couple of tons of concrete mixed and poured yesterday but as usual it ‘got complicated’.

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The plan is to ultimately concrete all the way down to the caravan about 5m out from the fence then just do the rest of the area in those 20mm blue ‘chuckies’. This is a task I had no intention of starting, planning instead to continue build my road through the hen enclosure. However I’d 2 tons of 20mm concrete mix sitting in my tipping trailer and I needed that to collect the 20mm ‘chuckies’ from the quarry. Of course I could have just tipped it out onto the 2 ton pile I already had ‘in stock’ but I got it into my head it would save time to use the stuff now.

No sooner had I finished the shuttering when I had a brainstorm. There’s a 50mm duct running through the wind turbine base and if I was canny I could feed some twine through it to pull a cable through after. This seemed like a good way of supplying mains power right down to the other end of the croft. It would save me running a 50m plus extention lead down to the caravan and would give me a suitable connection for the digger/dumper shed.

This ‘simple’ task took me most of the afternoon once I’d dug a trench, dragged some heavy duty water pipe up from the chalet and then fed the twine through with a length of regular 32mm MDPE water pipe. It was only the section under the road that I’d do in the thick walled water pipe, the rest would just be in 6m lengths of 50mm Polypipe.

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As I hadn’t actually planned doing this I’d no reinforcing mesh so had to ‘improvise’ with steel scaffolding tubes Smile Me thought that 5m by 2.4m would be a good size to start off with as I’d got 12 bags of cement and just shy of 4 tons of 20mm mix. Typically, by the time I’d finished ‘faffing’ about it was late afternoon and it wouldn’t have been sensible or good for my marriage to start mixing concrete.

I did get everything ready for making a start today right enough so on the whole I was pretty chuffed with the result. Other things achieved since my return from the 1940’s have been a new gearbox fitted to my mate’s 9.9HP 2 stroke Yamaha outboard.

Four into Two will go

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My mate’s gearbox failed at Easter on account of the oil drain plug going AWOL and the bearings being lubricated by sea water Sad smile Methinks the parts to repair were about £1000 !!!! Anyway, as fortune would have it another mate had a newer model four stroke engine that was seized but had a good gearbox. It wasn’t a completely straight forward swap as the gear selector pushrods were different lengths and of course the water pump housings on both gearboxes were seized into the casings. Still, lots of heat, WD40 and new seals and water pump impeller had it sorted.

As I mentioned yesterday, my son and I gave it a good testing by heading up to see Bill Cowie on Rona.

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By the time we returned to Torran ‘bearing gifts’ of wine and venison burgers the tide was well out Sad smile

 

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That’s where a plastic boat quad and winch come in handy, these Pioner boats are all but indestructible.

A new exhaust for Phoebe

The front pipe failed on the Daihatsu and I could probably got a new one for £50 or £60. I seldom repair exhausts as it just does not usually make sense but on this occasion it was just the flange that had broken so I made another from scaffolding pipe and 6mm steel plate.

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The scaffolding pipe was just the right to slip over the front pipe so I just cut two slots in that and clamped it. The flange got a weld run all the way around it, methinks the car will fall apart around this repair Smile

The pigs never turned up for dinner the other night, which is very strange, however cos we’d been away for a few days and they were being irregularly fed by the boy, I thought nothing of it.

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That was until the following morning when they didn’t turn up for breakfast either, had they been rustled!!! Apparently not, they turned up at the Torran Schoolhouse, someone must have left the gate open or I guess they could have followed someone through. These two boys are very sociable and do like following people about.

Today

Having got all prepped yesterday I started mixing at 9:00 and worked right through until 15:00.

 

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The first half went really well and I got a great finish on it but it started getting really warm in the afternoon and I started to slow down so that last half was going off too quick. Stupidly I didn’t put any retarder in the mix even though I had some!!!! That’s old age fer ya.

 

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The boys were never far from the action either, chewing at the sleeves of my overalls through the fence as I was smoothing out the concrete.

The first bite Sad smile

I usually get the first midge bite around me birthday a week ago but like the cuckoo it was late this year. The first ‘wee blighter’ sunk his teeth into my arm last night!!!

Anyway here’s a log of the battery current from yesterday, much to my surprise considering it was a cloudy day with no wind.

A day mixing

The line above zero is discharge and the negative value charging (typical German logic). The sun comes up at 6:45 (clock 2 hours fast) and the mixer starts at 9:01but after that it remains fairly positive until the wife arrives home and switches on the washing machine and immersion Smile Whereupon I start the generator for an hour Smile

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