Life at the end of the road

February 2, 2018

I’m a Seaman :-)

Filed under: daily doings, Land Rover, reading, shed/house, stonework, weather — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:05 am

Well, I didn’t think I’d be back at work so soon but here I am as a seaman right enough and not a motorman but at work nonetheless. Still at least I’ve got the Internet here so can catch up with everything in cyberspace in relative comfort.


Better than being sat at 90 degrees in the car with the engine running and heater on at Brochel, or is it? at least in the car I can go home when I please. Having said that I’m actually at home now in my PJ’s giving my eyes a rest from ‘Wonders of Salvage’ by David Masters, first printed in 1924 but I’m reading the 1944 version with photographs, though I also have a 1929 copy.


It aint all bad being Internetless and I’ve a very large bookcase to go through.

Anyways, after the brief spell at Brochel this morning I returned home and got on with a little path work.

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You would think that with a 3ton dumper and digger I’d have given up on picking rocks by hand and putting them in a bucket.

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Not a chance, I found it quite therapeutic, hunkered down with my back to the wind picking up just the right sized stone into a plastic bucket and lifting it into the trailer. Sadly, or was it luckily my mate Donnie from DDK design was needing both quad and trailer to do some work so I only managed one load. Then I set about lightening the garden gate and then strengthening it. This was actually a temporary fix some years ago using the pallet that my Rolls batteries came on. It worked just fine but was a little on the heavy side so I cut it in half and fitted a brace. It’s still ‘work in progress’ but at least I don;’t have to worry about pigs getting in the garden as we’re busy eating them Smile

It was also time for ‘number 2 breakfast’ so I retired for into the house for a couple of fried eggs and a warm.

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Trouble with a view like this from your table, it’s kinda hard to tear yourself away.

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This will be the ‘Wilk’ or ‘Bonnet’ reef just south of Grian s Sgier and you only ever see it breaking when it’s stormy like this. There is one to the north of Grian a Sgier too and I always get them mixed up, one is supposed to break like a bonnet and the other is supposed to look like a whelk. Methinks that it’s the one to the north that looks more like a winkle than a bonnet but you can’t see it from the house.


That’s Grian a Sgier, the ‘Sunny Rock or Skerry’.

Back to the Eberspacher

After running out of rocks I once more turned my attention to the diesel heater in the Land Rover.

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It’s very straight forward to pull apart, just 6 plastic clips and half a dozen M5 Pozi set screws, though the screws do require care WD40 and even heat to remove them. That heat sensor in the middle image had come out of its clip so that may explain poor performance and frequent shut downs.


More likely though it was just the fact that it was pure coked up with carbon but much scraping and hoovering sorted that.

Right that’s it, I’m at work Smile

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The wind is away, the swell is still here and I’m a seaman for the day Smile


December 8, 2017

Pretty bad luck :-(

Filed under: animals, daily doings, pigs, shed/house, Trucks and plant — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:55 pm

That’s Caroline away only to be replaced by a mere gale, hail and snow showers. Enthusiasm for outdoor works evaporating not long after venturing forth to feed the animals.


Whilst it was a fine enough day on the whole the gale force north westerly put a real damper on things.


The pigs needed much encouragement to come to be fed and the hens just hung around on the decking in front of the hen house.


Whilst pigs were having breakfast I took the opportunity to add more bedding. As a rule pigs only soil their bedding when they’re wee piglets or if they have a massive house, in which case they’ll pick a particular corner for a toilet. These two girls are well behaved and leave a tidy nest, no wonder they didn’t want to leave it today.

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It’s quite exposed up near the pig house but it nestles in the trees with a bank directly in front of the entrance. The only problem being you cannot really get the quad and trailer up there. The quad on its own isn’t a problem but with a trailer, no chance, that’s why I was working up there during my holidays. I’ve been making a road through one of the hen enclosures but have had to abandon it for the winter as it means dragging large mud filled dumper tyres across the house parking area. The mud was starting to bind all the 20mm chips together to provide a perfect growing medium for grass and weeds Sad smile

It may not have been outdoor weather but it was perfect for making and fitting a clothes drying rack into the bunker.

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The heat from the 1500lt thermal store, inverters and wind turbine keep it pretty warm in there and it’s really well insulated, even with the ASHP running and sucking the heat/energy out of there it rarely drops below 10 degrees, normally it’s up near 20 at head height and considerably more further up. So, to make life easier and get the washing up into the warmth I fitted a clothes pulley.


I had to make the wooden laths myself as all the people selling them complete wanted an ‘arm and a leg’ for the extra postage. I did have 3 x 6’ lengths of oak and one at just over 4’. Had I taken into account the time I spent cutting, planing and sanding the wood they  were awfully expensive laths Smile Anyway, it was very satisfying and certainly a good way of staying warm. To keep things even I made 2 x 6’ laths for the outside and 2 x 4’ for the centre, I just know the wife will love it Smile

I hate snow

It may have been quite picturesque when the ‘Post Lady’ left for work just after 9:00 in the Subaru but who knows what state the road would be as she ventured south. We’ve all of us had ‘incidents’ heading down ‘Calum’s road’ and beyond,

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and typically all the really bad bits are without phone reception. It’s 11 miles to the village so chances are it’s a long walk and you aint gonna meet any traffic!!! So you’ll understand I was a little concerned when she headed off for work and had even offered her a lift or use of the ‘Old Girl’ both of which she declined. The Forester is far better than the Terios in snow and the Land Rover is exceptional even by Land Rover standards. However once it does go there’s no stopping it, as my son found out on black ice last year 

An hour later I phone the Post Office after not being able to raise her on her mobile, to say I was a little concerned would have been something of an understatement. However, it turned out she’d forgot her phone!!! and could I give it to Nairn the gritter driver who was heading north.

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Well, I caught up with Nairn at Brochel, he was just putting down a little extra salt so he could actually get back up the hill Smile So I followed him to the next turning place then headed back home.

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Looks lovely at Brochel hey Smile

Better off in gear? Probably not

Once back home I set my mind for going out for a wee wander with the dug, she needs some encouragement these days so I took a rifle Smile Walkies seldom does the trick for Molly in cold, wet or snowy weather, however the cock of a rifle bolt three rooms away has her whining at the door whatever the weather.

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I hadn’t intended shooting anything and with two pigs following and the ‘wee dug’ running ahead it would have been highly unlikely. Still, it’s ‘open season’ for hinds now and they’re becoming a pest at Torran, so had I seen any near quad accessible terrain I’d have ‘taken a pot’ Smile It was a nice walk anyway and we passed by the hydro turbine inlet to remove a clod of earth from the pipe. The output had been down for a couple of days, only 600W instead of the usual 800W. Not that we needed it, on the contrary we’d been struggling making use of the 56kWh per day we’ve been averaging this month.


No sooner had I got back home than the phone rang, it was Nairn the gritter man, the road was blocked!!!


Not with snow, but with a Porsche at Balmeanach and not driven there but blown by the wind!!! I kid you not. It had been parked in the spot where the Land Rover is, with the handbrake on!!! I guess the road was so slippy and the tyres so wide that it just went ‘walkabout’ in a severe gust. The owner was adamant that he usually leaves it in gear but had forgot, personally I don’t think it would have made any difference. Anyway, the Warn 9500 winch pulled him out no bother and I advised him to put a brick under the wheel in future Smile The first the poor dude knew about it was when someone knocked on his door and asked him if he was aware of it. Still, it could have been much, much worse, that bank is very steep and goes a long way down.

That was about it really, by the time I got back home it was feeding time and almost dark. A new temperature sender unit had arrived with the Post Lady so I fitted that to the Land Rover and retired to the shed to repair some lifting bags.

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I’ve got some serious underwater lifting projects on the ‘to do’ list, just awaiting the return of my partner and some good weather. I got these 3 off eBlag for £35 and they just needed a few ropes splicing onto them. Sadly the only rope I had was some carp 6mm split film polypropylene, the kind BT use for drawing cable through ducting. It’s not great quality but the bags are only 70kg so it’ll be fine for that.

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