Life at the end of the road

September 1, 2019

Still bleeding :-)


19:45 and the 1st of September looks like it’ll end with a bonny sunset, a fitting end to a fine and productive day. It’ll be even better if the pork belly casserole turns out as good as it smells but that’s gonna be another half hour before I find out what my son’s marinade has done for it. I left the chunks bathing in Ross’ chili dip with a little dusting of herbs and harissa added by myself. I almost went for honey but that was pretty solid and I didn’t fancy the syrup.

Out with the boat

With me being unable to get the boat out of the water between 11:30 and 19:00ish I decided that I’d do it in the morning. Ross was back at work and I would be too on Tuesday. The forecast for tomorrow wasn’t great so it would be unlikely I’d be using it again for another fortnight.


With the dumper bucket full of rain water after two days of downpours it seemed like a good place to deposit Mr Mink. The other options being to gas him with the car exhaust or shoot him in the trap, which is what I usually do. Sage advice from ‘one who knows’ said drowning was the way to go as it does not discourage other mink from entering the trap, personally I’m not convinced.


I said it would be a good one hey Smile

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So, Molly and I went down to collect the trailer and recover the Searider around 10:00

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May came down a later later to help me winch it out of the water Smile Pigs just do love being about people, especially if they think there might be something to eat.

We got the boat back up to Sonas, I gave it a quick wash then hitched up a trailer to go and move a fireplace from Inverarish acquiring two hitch hikers on the way Smile I kid you not, different folk miles apart both with their thumbs out!!!


The fireplace was in ‘kit form’ by the time it got into the trailer but I’d be using the bricks for infill so that was fine.

Calling at the ferry slip to drop some stuff off I happened to be drawn to an amazing aroma emanating from the Seaflower that was berthed alongside the slip.

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Running charters out of Portree Ewen and Janice provide cruises with a difference, the difference being amazing fresh seafood lunches. So, even if you are unfortunate enough to miss the abundant dolphins, porpoises, seals, whales, sea eagles or basking sharks, you WILL have a meal to remember. Me, I had to get out of there and rush home for ‘second breakfast’ Smile

Still bleeding bleeding

With the lunch of bacon tomatoes and mushrooms devoured I set about putting the Searider to bed.

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I was really chuffed as this is the first time I’ve done it completely on my own and after extending the electric winch remote yesterday it was a piece of cake.

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I then transferred the fireplace to the dumper, tipped it somewhere soft and then cleaned out the trailer with a little help Smile

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Next it was back to the HR2 Lister to try and bleed the fuel system which was turning into a bit of an epic. The only other manufacturers that could have made something so simple such a chore are Peugeot or Citroen Smile I had to resort to removing the fuel stop solenoid to remove the injector pump cover to get at the bleed screws on the injector pumps.

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Had this generator had all it’s original air cooling ducting fitted I would have had to remove that too!!!

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Oh well, at least I found the source of an annoying oil leak so I left the broken gasket off and once the pumps were bled fitted the cover back with just Hylomar Then I bled the actual injectors and whilst I didn’t actually start Harry the HR2 on account of me needing fed I’m 100% he’s sorted.

Too much vinegar


To be fair too the Lad the chili dip was amazing last night with the scallops but as a marinade for me pork belly there was too much vinegar. I reckon I should have gone with my gut feeling and added some syrup. Still, it was pretty damn good and there’s a wee bit left for tomorrow lunch Smile

Bleedin’ diesels :-)

It’s a bonny start to September for sure, half decent forecast for the day and I’ve started it by catching the wee fecker that killed my two white cockerels yesterday Smile Feeling smug I am, which is more than I can say about the last miserable day of August. I say this every year, or at least I’ve been saying it at some point over the last decade ‘I have never seen so much rain’ !!!!! How can the sky hold so much water? I thought Friday was spectacularly wet but Saturday was every bit as bad if not worse and it got off to a really shitty start with me finding a cockerel dead and one missing.


The two fine white birds given me by Anne and Donnie had been killed, this one having it’s throat torn out and left, of the other there was no sign.

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A quick search of their large enclosure failed to find it so I left the remaining rooster and hens sheltering from the deluge, let the pigs out and headed south.

I had promised to fix a toilet in the village and a generator at Brochel, which with the weather being as boodly awful as it was, seemed like a good option Smile


The ‘toilet task’ was straight forward job of removing the pan, fitting a new outlet pipe and refitting it. Unfortunately the seals on the inlet pipe had gone hard and were also leaking. Of course I didn’t have any of those spare but found that by soaking them in hot soapy water and then cleaning them with a stiff brush they became soft and pliable once more.


Toilet fixed, replaced and tested I went to borrow a couple of mink traps from a pal then headed north to Brochel.

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The rain was relentless Sad smile

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A sea eagle and the SD Raasay working at Brochel.

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Me working at Brochel on an old Yanmar generator that had just run out of fuel and required bleeding. I dunno how old it is but judging by the belt driven alternator I’d say ancient Smile However in true Japanese fashion it was easy to bleed, started first time and ran as ‘sweet as a nut’, it was also amazingly quiet for a single cylinder diesel engine.

Not so easy Sad smile

That done I headed home to find that it had been decidedly drier at Arnish and Torran so started a thorough search of the hen enclosure for the missing cockerel. In the past I’ve shot the wee feckers in broad daylight trying to haul a dead chook through the fence. I even found a ‘nest’ once under an old fish farm float where they had dragged dead hens to eat. I only found that when it started to smell Sad smile

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Well, there it was, about half way down the eastern fence line, a tunnel in the rushes leading through the chicken wire, minky could get through but couldn’t drag the chicken after him, still at least he’d eaten some of this one. I don’t begrudge the odd chook if they eat them, it’s this mindless slaughter I despise. Anyway, I lifted the corpse and used it as bait for a trap I’d set by one of the disused ‘pop holes’.


Before the mink arrived on Raasay we had between 60 and 80 hens and the large shed has two nesting/perching areas that we used to rotate. So I set the trap in the disused one and screwed it to the wall so Mr mink couldn’t get by it and wreak havoc inside the shed.

Buoyed up by my success with the Yanmar at Brochel I thought I’d change the fuel filters on my own Lister HR2 diesel generator. The generator has not run since the 5th of May and whilst it gets little use I do try and keep it well maintained. In an ‘off grid’ system a generator is your ‘lifeboat’ if something goes ‘pear shaped’ with your system. I’ve never been without power for more than a few minutes in 30 years which is more than can be said for the rest of Raasay and SSE customers Smile

First thing to do though was to get it nice and warm to change the oil and filter. Ideally the generator needs to be run ‘on load’ to do this and with the batteries fully charged, hydro, wind and even sun all going well I somehow had to make it ‘work’. So I turned off the supply to the main SMA SI 6048 inverter and turned on the supply to the Outback GVFX 3048 inverter and a 6kW immersion heater. I then set the Outback to equalize the reserve battery bank in  the bunker.

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With a couple of Kw load from the inverter’s charger doing the EQ and the 6kW heater that would give the 12kW Lister a good 75% loading and get it nice and warm.

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Well, that turned into a bit of an epic and whilst I got the oil and filters done I gave up on the bleeding when my son arrived home at 7:00pm.

An unusual meal

He’d had a long day and had made a chili dip out of red wine vinegar and caster sugar! so I turned out some sweet potato baked in an olive oil and harissa baste with breaded scallops served on black pudding.

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A touch of lightly cooked asparagus in butter ensured even higher calories and cholesterol but it was boodly delicious Smile

Got the wee fecker Smile

Great start to the day.

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