Life at the end of the road

September 23, 2019

All downhill :-(

Filed under: Avon Searider, daily doings, pigs, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:22 pm

9:50AM, exactly an hour after the autumnal equinox and I manged to stay in bed until 6:00, well almost, but that wasn’t too hard cos it was pitch black outside. Half an hour later it was light enough to sit by an open window watching ‘the world go by’ which in my case was a wren hopping about looking for breakfast. Sadly it was way to dark to get a picture of the wren or solitary hind munching away at the heather nearby.

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Dark it may have been but cold it was not, with no sign of the autumn ‘nip’ usually associated with this time of year. The ‘first frost’ when it does arrive will come as a bit of a shock methinks. Time to re bury the water supply to the house, check the antifreeze on ‘the fleet’ dig out all the torches Smile Soon the stags will be roaring and last night I saw my first woodcock which came as a bit of a surprise, they don’t usually make an appearance until after the equinox. One or two at first then a huge wave arrives along with the first full moon after it.

The ‘cursed’ sheets Smile

Well, it’ll be 10:30 now, the pigs and hens let out, the Disco and caravan washed and me just finished breakfast, probably my first one Smile This muesli, fruit and yoghurt lark may be tasty, it may even be healthy but it certainly does not ‘keep me going’ Sad smile Nah, another couple of hours outside and I’ll ravenous. Sure enough, come midday, after longer than I’d imagined, I was boodly starving, having spent the morning moving corrugated iron sheets and fitting some of them as windbreaks on a fence.


Now any sane person would have said no, one look at the pile of rusting corrugated iron sheets, by a rational being, would have said NO. Not ‘yours truly’ right enough, nope, when Norman Gillies asked me if I wanted them I should have run a mile and let him put them in a skip. The thing is, I have made some fine sheds, shelters, hen houses and pig arcs out of what looks at first sight like scrap sheeting. So, like a pure eejit I ‘bit his hand off’ took me 2 ton trailer down to the Alamo and got them loaded on with a telehandler. Corrugated iron sheets are deceptively heavy Smile I remember 25 years or more back collecting a whole pile of new 7’ sheets with a small Peugeot van and putting them on the roof rack. I dunno how many there were but by the time I had finished loading, there was in effect a 3’ 6” x 7’ sheet of solid steel around an 1” thick on the roof Sad smile There were even more of these and they were 10’ or 3m long, I reckoned almost a ton.

Well it went badly from the start, they were gonna take up a lot of room so I figured I would put them out of the way near where I’d be likely to use them.

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I should have known better than to try and get up that hill with the best part of 2 tons hanging off the back of the Disco. The ‘Traction Control’ and ‘Hill Decent Control’ failed to ‘save my arse’ Sad smile Down in came, almost knocking my wall down and loosing my sheets in the process.

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The neighbours pigs were well amused, Calum the digger saved the day and the only damage was a few trenches in the road. So much for the early finish on Tuesday, by the time I’d sorted it all out the best part of two hours had passed.

So, after this morning’s breakfast, which included raspberries from the garden along with grapes and banana in the ‘rabbit food’ I got on with sorting those pesky sheets and fastening some to various bits of fence.

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The hens were also amused Smile These two enclosures were never intended for pigs and already Snowy has burrowed her way out to the left of the ark whilst I was at work. I had repaired the fence but putting the tin sheets along too will ensure no repeat episode. I’ll be going to dry dock shortly and leaving house in the capable hands of MiL, she’s a great ‘pig and hen sitter’ but I’m not too sure on her fencing skills Smile


That’s better, a stack worthy of anyone with OCD Smile


It was boodly hot doing all that, especially wearing overalls, gloves and face mask for cutting the sheets so I had me a second shower and ditched all my clothes into the washing machine before heading out for a dive. At least that’s what I thought I was gonna do.

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We headed up to Eilean Tighe but it became increasing clear that ‘wee dug’ was not going to let me get out of the boat. Boodly dug, the boat is like the car, she’s desperate to get in it then whines all the time she’s in, trying  get out Sad smile Well, in the car she cannae but I’d visions of arriving back at boat after a half hour dip to find it dogless Smile In a rare ‘sensible moment’ I opted to ‘skip my dip’ and break out the mackerel feathers in Kyle Rona to ‘try my hand’. Sure there were plenty of saithe and small rock cod but after half an hour or so of throwing back tiddlers I gave up. I guess there would have been more than enough for fish cakes but it would have been an awful faff and most of them were only lightly hooked in the mouth so went back quite happy. Not that I know what a happy fish looks like but I’m sure they’d have been less happy in a fish cake Smile

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This will be the Fraoch Eilean (left) which means Heather Isle and is a lot easier to say and spell Smile Centre and right we have Eilean Tighe (House Island) on the right is the byre belonging to the only ‘house’ there.


And there is the gable of said house just visible.

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The wee dug was so happy to get back on dry land.


Aye, Molly was happier once we got home and started working on the car Smile


All in all, not a bad equinox really Smile

September 1, 2019

Still bleeding :-)


19:45 and the 1st of September looks like it’ll end with a bonny sunset, a fitting end to a fine and productive day. It’ll be even better if the pork belly casserole turns out as good as it smells but that’s gonna be another half hour before I find out what my son’s marinade has done for it. I left the chunks bathing in Ross’ chili dip with a little dusting of herbs and harissa added by myself. I almost went for honey but that was pretty solid and I didn’t fancy the syrup.

Out with the boat

With me being unable to get the boat out of the water between 11:30 and 19:00ish I decided that I’d do it in the morning. Ross was back at work and I would be too on Tuesday. The forecast for tomorrow wasn’t great so it would be unlikely I’d be using it again for another fortnight.


With the dumper bucket full of rain water after two days of downpours it seemed like a good place to deposit Mr Mink. The other options being to gas him with the car exhaust or shoot him in the trap, which is what I usually do. Sage advice from ‘one who knows’ said drowning was the way to go as it does not discourage other mink from entering the trap, personally I’m not convinced.


I said it would be a good one hey Smile

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So, Molly and I went down to collect the trailer and recover the Searider around 10:00

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May came down a later later to help me winch it out of the water Smile Pigs just do love being about people, especially if they think there might be something to eat.

We got the boat back up to Sonas, I gave it a quick wash then hitched up a trailer to go and move a fireplace from Inverarish acquiring two hitch hikers on the way Smile I kid you not, different folk miles apart both with their thumbs out!!!


The fireplace was in ‘kit form’ by the time it got into the trailer but I’d be using the bricks for infill so that was fine.

Calling at the ferry slip to drop some stuff off I happened to be drawn to an amazing aroma emanating from the Seaflower that was berthed alongside the slip.

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Running charters out of Portree Ewen and Janice provide cruises with a difference, the difference being amazing fresh seafood lunches. So, even if you are unfortunate enough to miss the abundant dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales, sea eagles or basking sharks, you WILL have a meal to remember. Me, I had to get out of there and rush home for ‘second breakfast’ Smile

Still bleeding bleeding

With the lunch of bacon tomatoes and mushrooms devoured I set about putting the Searider to bed.

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I was really chuffed as this is the first time I’ve done it completely on my own and after extending the electric winch remote yesterday it was a piece of cake.

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I then transferred the fireplace to the dumper, tipped it somewhere soft and then cleaned out the trailer with a little help Smile

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Next it was back to the HR2 Lister to try and bleed the fuel system which was turning into a bit of an epic. The only other manufacturers that could have made something so simple such a chore are Peugeot or Citroen Smile I had to resort to removing the fuel stop solenoid to remove the injector pump cover to get at the bleed screws on the injector pumps.

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Had this generator had all it’s original air cooling ducting fitted I would have had to remove that too!!!

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Oh well, at least I found the source of an annoying oil leak so I left the broken gasket off and once the pumps were bled fitted the cover back with just Hylomar Then I bled the actual injectors and whilst I didn’t actually start Harry the HR2 on account of me needing fed I’m 100% he’s sorted.

Too much vinegar


To be fair too the Lad the chili dip was amazing last night with the scallops but as a marinade for me pork belly there was too much vinegar. I reckon I should have gone with my gut feeling and added some syrup. Still, it was pretty damn good and there’s a wee bit left for tomorrow lunch Smile

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