Life at the end of the road

March 28, 2019

I love concrete :-)

Almost 21:00 now on a Thursday night and I’m sat here drinking the bin mans beer, sorry Sam Smile Well, I’ve been saving it for him since New Year but he’s no been well so I reckon I done good to keep it this long Smile 

That’s me more than a week into my months holiday too but it’s only today that I’ve actually got stuck into my holiday projects with earnest. Of  course I didn’t actually get back home until last Friday and there was ‘quality time’ to be had with Darling Wife and then a whole day spent wiring up the new shed.

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I gotta say that I was pretty chuffed with that, loads of 13amp double sockets with weather proof ones at the ends and the four 35W LED strips lights I was most impressed with.

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Still awaiting a weather proof switch for by the door from Screwfix and I was so impressed with the LED strips I ordered some more.

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LED lights have come on in ‘leaps and bounds’ this last few years, I did fit some in the barn a few years ago and can’t say I was too impressed but these 4’ 36W got great reviews and I was not disappointed. They provide an excellent instant bright light, ideal for fiddly jobs at night, as I found out when I tried to start my Mate’s quad.


The throttle seized open on the trusty Yamaha YFM350 Bruin and of course the carburettor is buried under the seat and fuel tank. Typical of the Japanese machines the carburettor is well sealed with an O ring to prevent water ingress but I guess over years some had found its way in there and not been able to escape. A little persuasion with a hammer and WD40 soon had it sorted though.

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A young stag there eying up the fresh green hawthorn in the garden, seem to be seeing quite a lot of him lately.

Back to the concrete

With the ‘Old Girl’ still away, a full year for an alleged six week job I managed to get a loan of ‘The Tank’ on Wednesday to get me around 8 tons of aggregate.

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The Tank being next door’s Nissan Patrol 3.0 TD auto, which really is built like a tank but uses about as much fuel as one too Smile I spent the whole of yesterday shuttling back and fore to Sconser Quarry for ‘20mm all in concrete mix’.

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I was hoping that this would be enough to finish the base but I now have my doubts. After speaking to the ‘Shed Guru’ Callum at the Raasay Sawmill I decided to go for a 5m extension instead of another 3m one, so obviously the base is gonna be bigger and it’s gonna have to take the weight of Calum the Kubota and or dumper so it’s gonna be thicker and reinforced. Still, ‘I have a plan’ Smile

The neurotic dug

Taking the dugs away with me seemed like a good idea, I thought it might introduce some chaos into me Mam’s dug, Leah’s life. That’s my dear old mum been buried for a year now and still Leah hasn’t really settled. I figured a break from routine might help her and sure she was fine down there, in fact we all were. We went for lots of walks, met loads of folk and I’ve never picked up so much dog 5h1t in my life Smile Sadly, as soon as we got back home she went AWOL then started fretting as soon as we put the heating on in the house.


My Mate Les suggested one of these, a Thundershirt,  may help so it arrived yesterday and Leah is wearing it as we speak. It’s early days yet but she certainly seemed quite settled in it and she’s not barking quite so much, fingers crossed.

Back to the shed

So, with my big pile of aggregate and a good stock of cement the plan was to start pouring the base for the shed extension today. Trouble being I couldn’t make my mind up as to what size to make it, 3m now then another 3m later, 4m now, 5m now or even 6!!!! After a whole mornings deliberation I decided to go for one extra 5m bay which would need an extra 3 uprights, one at the front and two at the back.

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After measuring it out I cut some steel up, bored 14mm holes in it and fitted 250mm lengths of M12, 8.8 threaded bar.

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However this piece on the right was just to hard to bore with my cutter and I blunted one 14mm broach and broke two 12mm ones before giving up. I guess it had lain outside for so long it had ‘case hardened’. I even tried grinding away a few thou off the surface but still the cutters wouldn’t touch it.

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By the time I’d done all this and the shuttering it was far too late in the day to start pouring the base so I contended myself with just setting the plates for the three uprights and some dollops for the mesh.

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It wouldn’t fit on one plate

With ‘Darling Wife’ putting the hours at at the Distillery ‘yours truly’ has been ‘looking after his sen’ as they say in Yorkshire Smile Yesterday it was an awesome salad spiced up with Raasay Walled Garden leaves accompanying some asparagus, broccoli, boiled spuds and hot smoked salmon. 


Today it was a fresh tuna steak fried in olive oil and harissa with more or less the same,


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the steak was so big I needed two plates Smile

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MV Loch Bhrusda and MV Loch Linnhe at Raasay yesterday, tomorrow Bhrusda will be going to Mallaig for a few days so get down early for the ferry if you have an important appointment. Linnhe’s car deck was made for Vauxhall Viva’s not Mazda 6’s, Ford Mondeo’s and ‘crew cab’ pickups Smile

Willie Campbell at the Distillery

Night in the ‘toon hoose’ methinks Smile

Hector’s Noost

It was during one of my many waits at the Sconser car park that I had a chance to admire the up and coming takeaway cum bunkhouse there.

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Beautifully crafted stonework and I just love that corrugated iron roof.


Sure it’s a proper ‘marinised’ coating on it with a thirty year guarantee but this is gonna be one fantastic wee asset when it’s finished. I was fortunate enough to meet Hector there and he showed me around inside, you sure can tell that this has been thought about by one who actually lives in Sconser and knows the place Smile Unlike the waiting room and toilets with their shallow pitched slate roofs and the silly hinged doors on the goods shed. No one in their right mind would fit hinged doors on a shed at Sconser!!!

March 25, 2019

Let there be more light :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, food, Trucks and plant — Tags: , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:40 am

6:00am here at sunny Arnish, OK, not quite sunny yet but it does look promising without the threat of Sunday’s frequent showers, some of which were hail. It was boodly Baltic in the bitingly cold west, then north west wind, so boodly cold and threatening that ‘wee dug’ refused to come out ‘walkies’ with Leah and I.


Our old croft was looking well cared for and the hawthorn weeks ahead of previous years, though I suspect like much of the vegetation it’s currently ‘stalled’ with the dramatic fall in temperature. The balmy double figures of February a distant memory Sad smile 

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Fond as we were of the happy home of a quarter of a century I do prefer the modern, light, draught free, warmth of Sonas to ‘Number 3’ and I miss the constant feeding of the ‘Squirrels’ (Morso woodburners) not a single jot Smile Sure my neighbours take good care of the house and croft and you can book yourself a piece of the ‘off grid’ lifestyle complete with TV, Internet and all ‘mod cons’ here Nikky will probably even let you feed Judy and Tilly the two ‘Iron Age’ pigs Smile

Another fabulous lunch

After taking Leah for a walk around Arnish and collecting Molly from the car, she’d refused to walk any further so I let her go in it whilst we had our wee sojourn round the north end. After that I moved the lighting tower and cleaned up my shed Smile

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We had lunch booked at Raasay House

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That poster is from last year and it’s now £11.95 but worth every penny and the deserts are boodly amazing. I really am not a desert kind of person but  it’s well worth leaving space for one after your scrumptious ‘Sunday Roast’.

With our afternoon pre arranged I just pottered around in Callum’s shed and started fitting some IP65 rated LED strip lights from Screwfix.


On the way back from the excellent Sunday Roast we took both dugs for a walk to Screapadale, Molly being far, far more enthusiastic about this one than the morning’s affair Smile

Despite being absolutely stuffed with roast beef I did manage an hour or two in Callum’s shed working on the lights before ‘calling it a day’. Even though the shed is quite open and well ventilated it is surprisingly calm inside. I don’t think it was ever really ‘gale force’ yesterday but the wind was steady and straight off the sea. Consequently the wee Proven/Kingspan wind turbine behind Sonas generated 80kWh yesterday which is an average of 3.33Kw per hour. The turbine was only rated at 2.5kW when I bought it but I fitted the later carbon fibre blades before installing it so the newer ones are now rated at 3.2kW so pretty accurate I would say. The larger 6kW one next to the shed has not meter on it but I guess it would have put out almost double that yesterday. One thing for sure, the shed that that turbine heats was lovely and warm Smile


These are the ‘dump load’ resistors in my workshop, this is where the unused energy goes and they are at 350 degrees Celsius!! The wind, hydro and PV all generate electricity that charges the house battery bank, when that is fully charged the energy is converted to heat and heats up a large thermal store which supplies all our DHW and UFH. When that 1500lt store is up to around 78 degrees the excess energy is then diverted into these large air dumps in the sheds, some 16kW of them!!!!!


I really must clean the windows Smile or go outside and get a better picture,

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that’s more like it, guess who’s ‘coming to dinner’ Smile Smile Only kidding, he’ll be fine, the freezer is full. Anyway, that was it for Sunday, I was in bed once more before 21:00 with a good book, this one being the riveting “Shipwrecks of the P&O line” by Sam Warwick and Mike Roussel. OK, not everyone’s ‘cup of tea’ but I’ve dived on a few. The most memorable being the Salsette a 5800 ton ocean liner that fell fowl of one of Hans Howaldt’s torpedoes from UB-40 in 1917. She lies upright on the seabed in Lyme bay in around 45m of water and is a sight to behold.

Another being the SS Somali off Seahouses in Northumbria a general cargo ship of some 6000 tons she succumbed to an air raid in 1942.


Not in the same league as the Salsette but still a very interesting dive with much of her general cargo including military equipment, jeeps, tyres, toy lead soldiers and cosmetics still to be found. A good deal shallower too but in a helluva tide if I recall Smile

Anyway, that’s it, 7:40 now and time to do some work Smile

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