Life at the end of the road

December 11, 2017

Pure mush :-(

Filed under: Trucks and plant, weather — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:11 pm

Another completely wrong forecast Sad smile The minor afternoon shower and sunshine never materialised, instead I was pestered by constant sleet and snow showers that instantly turned to water as soon as they made landfall.


Hardly surprising really, you can see from the Sonas weather station West coast Scotland Raasay Weather | Personal Weather Station: IHIGHLAN44 by | Weather Underground that the temperature has been hovering around 5 degrees Celsius since midnight. This certainly melted most of the snow at the north end but the ‘Post Lady’ reported deep snow turning to slush at Glam, well, I hope that doesn’t freeze.

More rocks

My day was spent alternating between the freezing cold and wet dumper and the toasty digger cab. The road that I spent most of the day driving back and forth on had more in common with a river than highway though.

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I had taken a spade with me so opened up a few drains to let the water away but it was a loosing battle, the problem lay in a small landslip

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that had filled the drain. The resulting lake backed up behind it then overflowed onto the road, this was way beyond the scope of my shovel and back. Methinks I’ll clear it with Calum when I track him back, meanwhile it made a fine job of washing the dumper on every journey.

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That really is what the hours of daylight were filled with, big rocks for the old fish farm slip and rubble for the chalet site.


That was it really, saw hunners of deer


but the light was carp and the dumper shaking Smile This hind and her follower seemed unperturbed by the noisy dumper going back and fore all day but you can bet had I been walking they’d have been offski.

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Sunset from the old fish farm slip around 15:30 I guess. And that folks is it really, it’s only 19:00 and I don’t think I’m far away from me bed!!


December 7, 2017

Transformed :-)

Filed under: Land Rover, shed/house, weather — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:06 pm

Thursday night now, not long in, just demolished a stir fry and the Earl Grey is brewing, don’t worry, the wine will probably come later, it is only 19:21 after all. Well, storm Caroline passed without incident, here at least, an abundance of Raasay’s equivalent of tumbleweed being the only obvious signs of severe wind. I dunno whether it’s even the right name for it but I call it couch grass and after winter storms it can be seen clinging to fences, blown under doors and piled up in sheltered corners. This morning its dead fronds were whirling in the wind eddies at the back door, I dunno why I call it that cos we only have the one Smile Same at ‘number 3’, though that one was always the front door!! I’m a great believer in as few holes as possible in the house ‘envelope’, patio doors and windows are fine for the summer in sheltered locations.


The ‘violent storm’ 11 gusting ‘hurricane force’ 12 that presented itself full onto our triple glazing would have made for a good old draught on a large expanse of glass I’m sure. That was just before 8:00am, it was still dark and I’d no inkling to go out in it, though the pigs and hens got a quick feed a little later.


Yesterday would have been me old Dad’s 89th birthday so I’d decided to go and visit me Mum and visit his grave.

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Me old Pop would be quite happy there under his ‘Five Sisters of Kintail,

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not that you could see them, you couldn’t even see Eilean Donan castle a mile or two down Loch Duich. Still, despite the rain and murk we enjoyed the walk down the newly tarred road to Ratagan.

You gotta laugh

Sure it was raining and this stretch of road is no different from any other road in the highlands insomuch as it’s full of puddles.

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It’s not ‘rocket science’ is it, the puddles freeze, the tar cracks, a pot hole starts and grows, all that’s needed is a man with a shovel. I emptied that puddle with the heel of my boot, there must have been dozens of them on that short stretch of road from Ratagan to Ardearg. The council say ‘there is no more money in the pot for road repairs’ so why not send someone out with a shovel to let the water away? They have the men, the vans and plenty of shovels I’m sure.

The hundred or so mile long round trip gave me a good chance to try out the Discovery transfer box and I have to say I was well impressed. The 1.222:1 ratio certainly makes for quieter driving but then I guess my box was noisy anyway. I’d also sealed up a few gaps in the transmission tunnel so I guess that helped. However even taking these into account the RPM was lower for a given speed and the speedometer was reading the correct speed for the first time in years. Since the vehicle was built as far as I know, certainly since I started using a Satnav.

The real and most important test though came on the way home when I called at Sconser quarry for 2 tons of 20mm chips.

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OK 1980kg of chips Smile either way that was a gross weight of 5.3t as good a way of any of testing the transfer box. First though I had to go to Portree for a hearing test, which, I was in two minds to cancel. The weather was poor, the wind strong and I’d not be getting back until the 17:30 ferry.

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Well, I decided to risk it and after my appointment landed back at Sconser almost an hour before sailing time. Typically it was just plain windy until the ferry arrived, then, soon as the Hallaig made its approach to the pier an almighty squall came howling down Loch Sligachan!! Expertly handled, Hallaig berthed successfully and I hauled my load all the way home. Sure I was in low ratio once or twice but no more than usual and on the whole I’m well chuffed with the modification. Big ‘thumbs up’ for the Discovery to Defender transfer box swap Smile

Storm Caroline

As I mentioned, she passed without too much incident and now there’s only a fresh breeze of north wind .

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Whilst it was on the whole dry, the wind was too strong to really do much outside up at the house so first thing I did was deliver some wine Smile 

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Then it was down to Port Arnish to check the boats, the storm force winds making the tide a good deal higher than predicted.


The wind was just a few points north of west so it wasn’t quite so bad at the old fish farm slip, even so it was getting a pasting.

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It really was way too windy for doing anything outside so I spent the rest of the day in Calum the Kubota, first doing a drain at the house and then working on the Torran path.

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It was quite sheltered down there with the birch trees anyway but with the cab closed and the heater on it was just toasty Smile

The ferry had missed the first two sailings right enough but, unfortunately for the ‘post lady’ the third ferry brought with it 8 sacks of mail Sad smile

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Luckily she got home just before this dump arrived and as I type here at 21:00 another load has arrived on the back of a good ‘gale force 8’

Still, Nairn went by in the gritter about an hour ago so with a bit of luck she’ll get into work tomorrow, me, I think I’ll be working on my clothes hanger.

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Trouble is, I only had two pieces of oak and they required a lot of work.


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