Life at the end of the road

April 10, 2019

A lot has happened

The last ten days have been a bit of a whirlwind really, after my last effort and the visit to the Isle of Raasay Distillery to watch and listen to Willie Campbell I got on with painting the house. Conditions were far from ideal with showers forecast but I chose the lee side to make a start.

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Moving from one side to the other as the wind changed, then when it got just too wet I set about strengthening up some fences.

We’ve bought a couple of pigs to fatten and plan to keep them on the croft in the hen and wind turbine fields for a while. We normally do this anyway but there are now a couple of extra ‘ladies’ at the ‘North End’ charging about the hill. Judy and Tilley, two rather large ‘Iron Age’ gilts (wild boar cross Tamworth) have been a welcome addition to the Arnish ‘wildlife’ but they’re somewhat impervious to fences of the regular calibre required for ‘tame’ pigs Smile So rather than have them tunnelling into ‘meet the neighbours’ I started beefing up the fences ‘just in case’ using timber grown and milled on Raasay.


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The two ‘darlings’ had been at Arnish for a good three weeks and I hadn’t actually seen them despite walking the two dogs every day in the general direction of where I thought they may be. Typically when I stopped for lunch I returned to my labours to find one of them in the hen field Smile

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I soon got her out and then the pair of them made off, not to be seen again (by myself at least) until today, ten days later Smile

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I also made good use of some old corrugated iron sheets from my mums house to provide a wind break and discourage porcine mining in the turbine field.

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There was some fearful showers, even some of snow but most of them seemed to miss the ‘North End’.

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This is me new pal Murdo the ‘hoodie’ who seems to know I’ve lost my appetite for shooting crows. I’m sure that as soon as I picked up a gun he’d be off like a shot but I seem to be getting soft in my old age. Mink excepted I’ve taken to not shooting anything I can’t eat, sure there are recipes for crow but Darling wife refuses to try them out Smile  I’ve seen enough sheep and lambs have their eyes plucked out whilst still living by a hoodie or raven to not be sentimental but as my lovely wife says ‘they’re just trying to survive’ and I’ve no had sheep for many years now. Ole Murdo is getting bolder and bolder and can be often seen in the garden but this rocky knoll just outside the gate is where he can watch over his territory and he probably knows it’s just outside the range of me shotgun anyway Smile


Well, I guess that picture was taken a week ago on ‘bin day’ Smile

More solar

Not that we actually need it but I decided to fit some more solar panels to the bunker. These would be just to supply a spare 48v 900Ah battery bank that sits in there doing nothing. Sure that makes no sense whatsoever but along with the Outback GVFX3048 inverter it feeds it’s just something I ‘acquired’ along the way Smile Like these thick heavy duty stainless steel brackets I found on eBlag at just £40 for 25. I cut half a dozen of the in half and fashioned them into mountings so I could put two 300W panels above the 60 hot water tubes on the bunker.


There was just enough room for the two mounted ‘landscape’ fashion.

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One end I fastened into the gable end with 10mm x 100mm ‘Multimonti’ fasteners . These fasteners are fantastic in concrete blocks, you just drill an 8mm hole and screw them in, no plug, no resin and you torque em up to 50Nm, though I filled the hole up with silicon sealant too to stop any dampness.

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It may not be very high up there but it wasn’t easy getting those 20kg panels up over the 60 glass tubes without breaking any I can tell you.

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Still, I managed all on my own last night and left the wiring for today, servicing the wife’s Subaru in-between lifts Smile


I do like my Chinese lift Smile 

The Land Rover saga

With Tayside Land Rover having had my dear old Landy for just over a year now for what was allegedly a six week job I decided to pay an unscheduled visit.

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It was 2:30 on Friday afternoon and nobody was home Sad smile

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We were going to spend the weekend in Edinburgh with our son anyway so it wasn’t a wasted journey.

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The weather wasn’t up to much right enough but we managed some good meals out and to see some of the sights.

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Korean barbecue at was well impressive, though I missed the signs that would have been mandatory on a CalMac ship. You know the signs for stupid people, like, ‘Surface may be hot’

Of course it’s hot, it’s a feckin barbecue Smile There wasn’t even one above the hot tap in the toilet to tell me the water may be hot!!!! Smile Not only that, they never provided a thermometer to tell me if the prawns were cooked inside. Really, it’s a miracle we made it out alive Smile

We also managed a fine Nepalese and French Caribbean meal as well as a trip to at the National Museum of Scotland.

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Where I got to meet one of my ‘screen idols’, Maria from Fritz Lang’s 1927 epic Metropolis Sure there was lots of hi-tech stuff there too but Maria made it for me Smile

On the way back I paid another impromptu visit to Tayside Land Rover and was most impressed to see THREE people actually working on the ‘Old Girl’ Smile


A tragedy

On Sunday 31st, probably around the time Darling wife and I were getting ready for Sunday lunch at Raasay house an elderly gentleman went missing on Raasay.

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Alistair Lovie, or Chop has he was affectionately known, that’ll be him doing some dry stone walling in the ‘hi-viz’ coat. Alistair went out for a walk and never came back, and whilst ‘as fit as a butchers dog’ he was suffering from dementia and despite a week long search by local volunteers, Skye Mountain Rescue, Portree Lifeboat, Coastguard, Police, Fire and Rescue using dogs, boats and the helicopter not a trace has been found of him. The search was called off a week later after a stupendous effort by all involved, including all the community members who kept the searchers supplied with coffee, baking, soups, sandwiches and help. Our thoughts are with Alistair’s wife, family and friends, not to mention the ‘wee dug’ that he was always out walking. And here I have to smile despite the tragedy for I suspect Alistair’s dementia was like my fathers insomuch as he kept forgetting he’d taken the dug for a walk. No sooner had my father sat down in the chair after taking Leah for a walk, then he would get up and take her out again Smile After three or four walks Leah would eventually get pi55ed off and leave my Pop to go out on his own Smile 

There was more but it’s after 22:00 now and time for bed.

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!!!

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