Life at the end of the road

September 28, 2020

The final cut, fingers crossed :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, Raasay road signs — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:48 am

Well, the Sabbath is here, I got me a Munro’s chicken from Raasay stores and that will probably see me all the way to dry dock. Methinks a nice slow roasted bird for an early dinner tonight after which I’ll pick the bones for Monday’s curry then boil up the remains to make stock, half of which will go into a risotto for Tuesday and the rest in the freezer. After that it’ll be back to the good ship Hallaig and straight down to dry dock COVID permitting of course. Greenock seems to be the COVID capital of Europe at the moment and who knows how you are supposed to ‘socially distance’ in dry dock. Usually the boat is crawling with contractors, surveyors, inspectors and of course crew. Methinks we are due at the ‘dock gate’ for Friday morning and by all accounts the weather will be in our favour, at least according to the general forecast. Be good to get ‘back in the thick of it’ after my six week absence, though I can’t pretend I haven’t enjoyed being ‘on the sick’. Fear of sneezing and coughing aside I’ve really enjoyed taking it easy and my rib was probably nicely healed a couple of weeks ago though I didn’t restart my morning exercises until  I returned from Girvan. 


Well that never happened hey, Sunday was such a bonny day I couldn’t bare being inside the house and evening blogging went out the window when a scrawny stag broke into the croft. It was 21:00 by the time I’d dealt with him. The lovely Munro’s chicken I’d recently cooked and demolished leaving me too stuffed to even share his fresh liver with wee dog. Guess what’s for ‘second breakfast’ Smile

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So, as soon as Venus the ‘Morning Star’ had moved over to let the sun out of bed I headed south to Brochel on another ‘lumb bashing’ mission. A 6m long length of concrete re-bar in hand, having previously tried a shorter one I had my doubts but this one was long enough to go down all the way from the top.

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Whilst it wasn’t actually frosty, it was certainly sharp driving the quad towing a long steel bar, summer, probably the best I can recall, is definitely by with.

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My latest crackpot scheme being to accurately measure the length from the blockage to the top of the pot then, after trying some manual ‘dibbing’ in the unlikely event that that moves it. If that didn’t work I was gonna weld an attachment on the end to fit my Hitachi breaker to make what would probably be the world’s longest chisel. There was however a serious flaw in this scheme. I would have to lift the 6m long 12mm re-bar vertically to drop it down the lumb Sad smile A task that I quickly discovered was not a wise choice for an early Sunday morning job in a remote location alone. I opted to leave that for now, measure the length accurately with a rope and weight then cut as much of the bar off as possible beforehand. This went severely ‘tit’s up’ when the 5’ heavy steel bar I was using as a weight disappeared once more down the lumb Sad smile


Leaving me with a perfectly formed rolling hitch on the end of my rope (once more) Sad smile Sure, I could have gone back home for my neodymium magnet and grinder but I’d had enough chimney adventures for one day Smile

Who cares where we park

Having given up on that I decided to go and collect my trailer from the south end where it had been languishing for many weeks full of building rubbish from Wifey’s house. Her builder having done what all builders (and Land Rover chassis replacers) seem to do which is start a job then come up with a gazillion reasons why they haven’t finished it on time Smile Sure, it wasn’t the only reason I was going to Inverarish, which was just as well, cos the the Minnow Films crowd from SAS ‘Who Dares Who wins’ had managed to block every single passing place and the sole parking place over a half mile stretch of the Glame road.

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The clue is in the sign chaps ‘Passing Place’ not Parking Place Smile Sure enough they did apologise but it’s not ‘rocket science’ is it hey. Lets upset the natives by blocking every single passing place on an island already full of boodly tourists that cannot reverse Smile

Anyway, they’re supposed to be emulating the SAS, can they no walk Smile Sure, I’ll get the trailer today Winking smile


So, on Saturday I managed to spend a delightful day under my Land Rover, most of it revolving around the wiring which led me to some wires I couldn’t explain that turned out to be for the stop light switch, which was missing. Worse than that it was broken off inside the ‘pedal box’, the nylon threads being flush with the top.

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I did waste a couple of hours trying to remove the broken bit with Torx keys and Allen keys but in the end did what I should have done in the first place and removed the pedal box and servo.

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The reason I didn’t do it straight away being that I had to remove my newly fabricated coolant header tank and three of the six bolts holding the box to the bulkhead didn’t have captive nuts. In effect making it a two man job, however using a magnet and long vice grips I got it sorted, managing to give it a coat of paint in-between more wiring hilarity Smile Finishing off the day with what will hopefully be the last lawn cutting of 2020 Smile

September 4, 2020

Making a start :-)

Well, I finally made a start myself, though I guess in reality I did that a week ago by actually recovering my hostage from Tayside Land Rover where she had languished in captivity for two and a half years. In fairness to Tayside Land Rover though, what work they had done was good and we were both happy with the ransom paid. Sadly, the two day trip did further damage to my cracked rib and I’ve been on extremely light duties ever since. The mere act of trying to lean over anything higher than waist height causing severe pain, so basically I’ve just been staring at her longingly through the living room window.


That is until yesterday when I made a start, initially by making a plan Smile It aint often Camilli makes one of those I can tell you, my life is usually a series of events, often unfortunate Smile Anyway, it went something along the lines of getting it running then I can at least get her in my shed and move her about, easier said than done cos the engine is just dropped in position without anything actually connected. First task then would be to sort out the wiring, which again is just dropped into place.

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So, that’s where I started, the battery, or should I say where the battery used to be which is now a hole with insecure bottom and a jumble of wires not actually connected to anything. Still at least it’s at a comfortable working height and repairing the battery box itself can be done lying down Smile

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Not exactly a great deal achieved but a satisfying couple of hours for me.

The loch is alive

After that Molly and I pottered along to Torran on what was becoming a lovely, if not rather breezy day. I guess as a result of the downturn in the fishing and just about every other economic activity Loch Arnish was seeing it’s first shoals of mackerel in years. Consequently the airspace above it has been full of gannet squadrons diving for days on end. Again, something that was once common at this time of year but now a distant memory. Basking sharks too have been seen in large numbers and at close quarters. Even the sea eagles have turned their attention away from rabbits, small mammals and sickly lambs toward their natural element.

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Sure ‘the eagle with the sunlit eye’ is a common enough sight but rarely seen above the sea here. Portree is a different matter right enough  with local tourist boats feeding them fish regularly, the same goes for the ones in the Sound of Mull, they too have learned the ‘tourist boat routine’ Smile 

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The wee dug and I had a strupag, mine consisting of tea and biscuits, hers being and exploration of the bonfire remains in the garden Smile

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Some fine bridging work had been done on the track too, last time Ross and I were down here with the digger we had some hairy moments crossing this drain.

Who cares who wins

A shopping trip was next on the cards, having given up on picking mushrooms and needing some fresh veg we headed south. The south end now awash with various contractors preparing the Steading and it’s environs for the arrival of the film crew and production crew of Minnow Films  who produce Channel 4’s ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’ Apparently it is very popular and the show went down well on TV last year. Can’t say I’m the least bit interested in the show, not that I’ve ever seen it, but it should at least provide a ‘shot in the arm’ for all the local businesses.

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Scaffolders were busy putting up scaffolding, joiners busy joining gits of wood and the Larch Box car park had become a Portacabin village. Luckily the Larch Box itself was still nestled in a wee corner providing  its excellent fare Smile


A smoked harissa, humous and chargrilled veg baguette being my choice for the day, yum, yum.

After that and acquiring some lovely looking French beans from the Veg Shack, we went for a walk in the hope of finding some wild shrooms to add to the chestnut ones I’d bought from Raasay stores.

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Molly and I strolled up towards the Free Church which is usually a good spot but all we found were some boletus,


which whilst large and edible are not actually that good fresh. Sure if you slice them finely and dry them they make a fine addition to a meal or stock in the winter but eaten fresh they are a bit slimy. Had to laugh at the ‘deliveries’ sign.

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The actual site is 8 miles further up a single track road Smile I wonder if they’ll have any spare concrete left over when they finish the EE mast Smile 

Well, it’s almost 9:00am now, the gannets are dive bombing the mackerel on my doorstep and I guess I’ll go and do some more pottering Smile

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