Life at the end of the road

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

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.

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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. 

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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.

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

 

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

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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

 

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

 

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

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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.

 

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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.

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

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

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

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last ferry cancelled due to this

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unbelievably thick fog/mist.

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

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

 

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

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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,

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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.

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Pure awesome Smile

 

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An abandoned Hymac HM580C with Ailsa Craig in the background.

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