Life at the end of the road

January 30, 2019

Alternately :-)

Filed under: daily doings, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:24 am

7:30 here at the end of the road, just back in from letting the hens out, who like me seemed reluctant to go out in the snow. Not that there’s much here right enough, just an inch at the most but yesterday there was none and yet more than enough down the road to make towing a trailer interesting.


That was my first task yesterday, heading once more to Sconser quarry for a couple of tons of aggregate,

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then, after a walk along the beach at Sconser with the dugs, back on the 11:25 ferry.

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I was hoping to have a look around the bunkhouse/takeaway being built at Sconser but Hector was nowhere to be seen. He seems to be making a better job of this than most houses you see going up these days. I love the stone cladding and sandstone sills, methinks the box profile roof looks good to and far better than the low pitched slate roof on the Sconser ferry terminal buildings. Much as I love slate, the architect who specced the roofs at our ferry terminal had obviously little comprehension of the winds that come down Loch Sligachan. The slates on both rooves regularly come off Sad smile

Nissan Patrol 3.0D Y61 Alternator

Whilst I’d gone to Sconser to get material for the boat/car port, it was kind incidental, my main reason for the trip was to collect an alternator for the Nissan Patrol I was using. It had died last week and was urgently required by my neighbours today, so after calling at the sawmill with some fittings for Callum I headed home.


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Though I wisely left my 3ton load on the ferry car park to collect on a day without snow Smile

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The alternator replacement on this 4 cylinder turbo intercooled diesel was surprisingly straight forward. The battery was disconnected then the wiring. The alternator mounting bolts are reasonably easy to access and the large plastic fan covers easy enough to remove once the tin plate underneath is removed.

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By far the hardest job is remembering how the serpentine belt routes around the various pulleys that drive all the pumps and compressor. I guess if you were just replacing the alternator you could leave them in place but the belt was shot too.

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Luckily I had the good foresight to photograph the layout first and the job probably didn’t take much more than an hour. Having said that it was about all I did yesterday apart from wiring up some 16amp blue sockets in my workshop.

And, after yet another haggis supper I retired to bed well before 21:00 with a good book Smile

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This morning I’m off sowf again, this time to see the doc then take Bonzo and the dugs for a walk before intercepting the postie. Mail comes over on the 10:25 ferry and I’m expecting parcels crucial to my boat/car, port so I have to catch the Post Office before he goes out on his rounds. We only get mail delivered on Thursday and Saturday since wifey became an ‘ex postie’ Smile


Whilst I’m ‘pulling my face’ at having to go out in the cold and snow that little white light is a timber harvester below the Storr and they were at it when I went to bed last night and started again well before 7:00 this morning!!!


January 28, 2019

More haggis :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, Land Rover, stonework, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:21 pm

No sign of the snow yet but apparently it’s on the way shortly and through the night, sure the road has been well gritted but darling wife is on early shift tomorrow so staying in the ‘toon hoose’ Smile That leaves me in charge of the two dugs with Leah curled round my feet under the table and Molly warming the bed. It also means complete silence in the house with just the occasional whirr from the fridge or freezer, pure bliss, normally the TV is on at this time of night belching out some pish Mancunian, Glasgow or Yorkshire accent from the likes of Corrie, River City or Emmerdale. Still it could be worse she could be addicted to the American pish and its canned laughter Smile I am not a fan of the TV and I’d quite happily do without one, did so for years and I can’t say I’ve missed out on anything bar a few episodes of Red Dwarf. Well that and the Russian coup of 91 or was it 93, perhaps both even, I know I discovered those on their anniversaries  same as I did with the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. Still, I’ve always found that you only discover the truth behind any news story a couple of decades after it actually happened. The Suez crisis, Lockerbie bombing and Sadam’s WMD’s to name just a few. Can’t wait to read about really happened with Brexit and Alex Salmond in another decade or so Smile

Not quite the ‘Old Girl’

Having fixed my tipping trailer yesterday by drilling 5mm countersunk holes in the 3mm thick steel galvanized sheets and screwing them onto the 19mm phenolic ply with 5mm stainless screws,

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I stole the neighbours Nissan. OK, I borrowed their Nissan as I’m awaiting a new alternator for it and it’s only usable with care, care equating to leaving it running, not using the lights, heater, radio, wipers or even brakes unless you have too, which is kinda hard as it’s automatic Smile Anyway, with the alternator not charging you have to keep electrical usage to a minimum or the fuel solenoid shuts off the diesel supply and it conks. So, I had its own battery on charge all night and took another one with me along with jump leads and a battery charger.

My own trusty stead the ‘Old Girl’ has been indisposed at Tayside Land Rover since April having a six week job done Smile

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The new galvanized bulkhead, chassis, B posts and doors seems to be turning into a bit of an epic Sad smile

I never really realized just how essential the ‘Old Girl’ was until I had to do without her, there aren’t that many vehicles that’ll legally tow 3.5t up and down Calum’s Road. Luckily the neighbour’s Nissan Patrol 3.0D is one of them and whilst it’s certainly comfortable by heck it’s thirsty!!!! I put £60 worth of diesel in it and it only went just past half way and by the time I got home it was well below it Sad smile

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Fuelling the tank up, collecting dog food and cement from Portree then filling up the trailer with 2tons of aggregate at Sconser taking up most of the day really. SI I got back to the ferry terminal in plenty of time to admire the beautiful stonework on Hector’s bothy cum takeaway, which I’m sure is gonna be a valuable asset to those queueing for the ferry when it opens in the summer.

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I was back on Raasay for 13:20 but by the time I’d had a look at me Mate’s lighting tower,

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called at the Raasay sawmill to admire my timber and visited darling wife in the ‘toon hoose’ it was almost dark when I got home. Still, at least I didn’t have to make dinner, Wifey had managed to rescue some leftovers from the Burns supper so that was me sorted with more of that excellent haggis and some cock a leekie soup.

All I had to do first was tip the aggregate, park up the Nissan with the battery on charge and mend a puncture on the Subaru.

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The tyre was only just legal and the puncture was right next to a previous plug so I just fitted a new tyre, no use messing about with tyres at this time of year and I had a new one at hand.

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That was it really, after the most excellent haggis, neeps and tatties (shame there was no whisky sauce left Sad smile) I went back out to the shed and chopped up some threaded bar for the legs on me boat shelter. Time now for another glass of San Pellegrino and to settle down with a good book, this one being ‘Stalin’s Gold’ by Barrie Penrose about the sinking of and subsequent salvage of HMS Edinburgh


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