Life at the end of the road

January 31, 2019

It was on the list :-(

18:30 now and that’s me fed, watered and in for the night. Sure with my nice well lit and dry shed there is stuff I could be doing but I feel no guilt in sitting here in the nice warm house staring out at the blackness. At least not now anyway, a few moments ago I did cos there was a light below the Storr but even that is now extinguished! For as long as I’ve been off work there’s been a light burning brightly just below the Old Man of Storr. So what I can here you say but the truth is despite being able to see from Portree Bay to Harris without moving from the kitchen table bright lights are a rarity here at Arnish. Sure I can see the glow of civilization from Portree reflected on clouds from the bedroom window, I can fishing boats going too and from their grounds. I even get the rare glimpse of a snow plough heading towards Staffin and the odd late commuter some six miles across the sea.

This one however had me puzzled as it was always in the same area just below the road and was often burning when I went to bed and awoke in the morning. Apparently it was a timber harvester and as they cost around a quarter of a million and the operator gets paid by the ton I guess he preferred the heated cab to his unheated caravan Smile Well, even he’s turned in, the light has gone out, you can just see it in the first image taken on Tuesday. The other two are from today and what a peach of a day it’s been.

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Another alternator

I never got posting yesterday cos I was in my bed at ‘stupid o clock’ with two dugs and a good book, the freezing weather forcing darling wife to abandon me in favour of the ‘toon hoose’. A more than sensible decision considering her 6:00am start and the icy road conditions.

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In the ‘grand scale’ of things it’s hardly a ‘huge dump’ or particularly cold but the road is steep and treacherous with both of us having come off it at times. Phone reception is dubious and it’s at least seven miles to the next house. When Ross and I came off the road in the Land Rover a couple of winters ago I had to walk over a mile to get a phone signal and he had to walk two miles home. That was it yesterday morning and even when I headed sowf some five hours later than Wifey would have, had she stayed at home, it was pretty boodly slippy.

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Normally ‘wild horses’ wouldn’t have dragged me down the road yesterday but I’d an appointment to see the Doc so thought I’d better make the effort, especially as he’d telephoned from the ferry to say he’d made it despite the state of the roads on Skye!!!!


Still, it gave me a chance to call on Callum and Jay at the Raasay Sawmill to see how me shed was coming along. Also managed to pop in and see Peter to give Bonzo a walk before heading back home.


Good to see the gritter in action at Scrapeadale

For the want of a shovel

Once home I jumped on the quad to go and check my hydro turbine at Tarbert which had stopped.

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Having to first negotiate a lake in the road that’s been growing daily for weeks now. It’s not alone right enough, there’s hunners of them on all the roads but 10 minutes with me wellie had the tide going out on this particular expanse of water. Now if I can do that with my foot just imagine what a well directed Council worker could do with a yellow pickup and shovel!!!! I mean it’s not friggin’ ‘rocket science’ is it. The drains get blocked, the water makes a lake which either freezes or turns into a raging river every time someone drives through it. Either the ice fecks it or the waves feck it. There’s no money in the budget they say, fer fecks sake how much money does it take to give a man a spade and tell him what to do with the friggin thing.


  • Chief Executive – £146,517 (2016/17)  £147,989 (2017/18)
  • Depute Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources – £116,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Care and Learning – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Community Services – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Development and Infrastructure – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)

For £111,370 you would think you could find someone with the gumption to give a man a spade hey Sad smile

After the road repair and turning off my hydro turbine I turned my attention to the storm damaged deer fence at the back of the house and put some stays behind it.

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Then, as darkness fell I got on with the 10 or was it 11kg ham that had been drying in the bunker. The ham had been soaking in all manner of goodies for over a month. So much so the the sweet smell of cider, sugars, spices and wine had been lingering around for days Smile I’d decided that it was way too big so reckoned I’d chop it up into manageable pieces, put one in the fridge for the weekend and the others in the freezer.

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The only problem with hams is passing them without hacking a bit off to eat Smile I kid you not, this baby had been hanging in the shed for a few days and the aroma was just impossible to resist, it was even worse when it was on the bench in front of me with a knife in hand. Of course a month in brine had made it rather savoury so I had a bottle of San Pellegrino at hand to quench my thirst. Even so, by the time it cut it up I’d lost my appetite for dinner Smile

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Mind you, that didn’t stop me turning the bone and some off cuts into a fine soup Smile


Another sharp but fine day

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with the day’s first task being the removal of the alternator from this lighting tower that was deposited on me yesterday Smile I’d already had a look at it and discovered a poor output, further investigation this morning confirmed the problem to lie within the alternator.

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It wasn’t too bad to remove the alternator after taking out the control panel, transformer and mounting brackets.

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After just a couple of hours work it was in the back of the Subaru ready for delivery to its owner who would either get it repaired or more likely replaced. Methinks these Linz alternators are quite sensibly priced.


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Of course whilst down at the sowf end I had to go and check on me shed and wife Smile The shed was coming on fine and darling wife was busy forklifting, I was greatly impressed Smile

Creosoting in January

OK, I know it’s the last day but still Smile

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I didn’t do it all right enough cos some of it was still covered in ice!!! but I got a good deal of it done Smile

Beko washing machine drawer leak

And, I almost forgot, the washer is fixed, I managed to stop the annoying leak on our otherwise excellent Beko machine just by turning the cold fill tap down a touch.


Sure, it takes a minute or two longer to fill but it still washes far, far quicker than our extortionate 4star plus Panasonic piece of carp.

How could I leave these out ?

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Glam, the Five Sisters of Kintail and a daft dug in the snow Smile

December 13, 2017

Guerrilla ditching :-)

Filed under: pigs, The daily pothole, Trucks and plant — Tags: — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:47 pm

Almost 20:00 and that’s me just in from doing an oil change on Calum, the Kubota KX71-3 digger that’s been doing sterling work this last week or so. A new oil filter Mann W81/80 and 5lts of 10/30 engine oil was what was recommended but I gave him 15/40 same as the Land Rover and dumper, just about everything I own needs a different oil and I’m sick of it. I have containers marked, Subaru, Daihatsu, Honda Quad, Yamaha and that’s not including the various two stroke lubricants for the Tohatsu, chainsaws and Yamaha outboards. I’m sure the wee Kubota won’t mind oil a little thicker, it rarely gets really cold here Smile


Been working him pretty hard this last couple of days shifting some serious rocks to try and repair, or at least arrest the undermining of the old Arnish fish farm slip. Having said that the majority of my loads have just been regular ballast for the chalet site. The ‘Stonehenge’ size boulders being nothing but a hindrance until I found a home for them, my wife won’t let me take any more up to the house Sad smile Shame really cos I just love big rocks.

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This last one was a bit hairy to say the least, it residing in one of the drains at the side of the road near ‘snow plough corner’ at Tarbert, must have been well over a ton. It was all I could do to coax Calum into lifting it, even had to use the blade to get it high enough for the dumper.

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Twas a good job well done though and I was well chuffed with my efforts, managed to get a few rocks under the concrete slab too. Hopefully, if I can get some larger ones at the bottom the sea will content itself with resettling the ones higher up, to which I can just keep adding to.

They’ll be fast asleep now

The whole day I was going back and fore Cilla and Lulu kept following me,

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they must have walked miles, stopping every now and then for a wee sleep in the dead bracken but never for long, as soon as they saw me again they’d come charging after me.


It was only when the council pickup turned up that they chose to vanish, though the driver was asking where they were. Last time he’d met them they ate the wiring on his rear lights Smile


For a moment I thought they were repairing the road but he was just washing salt off his boots having done some ‘manual gritting’ with the spade Smile That was me finished with the dumper for the day having split yet another fuel pipe, this time the return to the tank was leaking so I parked it up and took the wee dug to collect Calum.


I couldn’t resist a little ‘guerrilla ditching’ on the way back though.


This minor landslide has been blocking the ditch for several years now. Every time it rains it turns this section of the road into a river, so, as I was passing I dug it out.

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Got a bit carried away right enough, and had it not been getting dark so soon I’d have done a lot more.

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This was what it was like a couple of days ago  Sad smile

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