Life at the end of the road

May 7, 2018

Missing her already :-(

Filed under: daily doings, food — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 5:16 pm

The best part of the day has arrived and it’s just turned 17:00, so much for hottest day of the year, blah, blah, it’s been boodly miserable since I last posted. Sure, I am actually wearing the new shorts bought me for my 62nd birthday but that’s only cos I’ve got my overalls on. Still, yesterday’s ‘Scotch mist’ has at least gone and I’ve been mainly dry today.

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This boodly dreich weather is worse than the pishing rain, it lulls you into a false sense of security, makes no noise on a tin roof, is invisible when viewed through a window from inside but soaks you nonetheless. Trying to work outside yesterday was a freakin nightmare, me needing to use all kinds of power tools for working on the old fish farm slip and every time I sat down on the quad I got a wet arse. And as my good friend ‘Willie Eyre’ says, “the trouble with a wet arse is that it follows you around all day”. Well Willie sure was right about that Smile 

Prepping for the concrete

The last couple of days have been spent getting ready for the next ‘big mix’ down at the old fish farm slip,

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the second slab is seriously undermined so every rock I can get under it prior to mixing is a little less work and cost for the concrete. For that part the cool damp weather was actually a help.

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It’s trying to use power tools when it becomes a real PITA.

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Of  course it doesn’t help when the tide is rising too Sad smile Luckily it was calm, the neap tide wasn’t moving much and the mice hadn’t eaten any holes in my waders.

I marked the girders drilled them with my magnetic drill then once set in position drilled into the old slab with a long 22mm bit on me 38mm Hitachi breaker. I’ve had this 1100W drill/breaker for over thirty years and boy, has it done some work (including wrecking two Seiko divers watches Sad smile ). Parts are still readily available for the drill but all I’ve ever need for it have been brushes.

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I got a couple of the steel support in position yesterday and also drilled and pinned much of the concrete and rock ready for the next pour. This Hilti HIT RE500 resin is what I use to fasten wind turbines to Scotland so it’s plenty strong enough for this application.

That done I started to remove some of the shuttering,

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I also gave up on trying to keep my tools dry and pressed the wee Daihatsu into service as a mobile shed. Nowhere near as good as the ‘Old Girl’ but much better than trying to cover everything with old jackets.

I was in bed just after 21:00 pure wrecked (tired no drunk) and managed to stay in bed until after 6:30 whereupon I arose to some lovely pressies Smile



As is usual on a work day, I hitched a lift with darling wife and walked back from Tarbert with the dugs.


A wee bit of work on the new garden.


Then back to the slip

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to attach more steel and a 5m length of 9” X 3” to take the next lot of shuttering.

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More resin and anchors for the steel and wood.

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And that was it for now,


so I’m just gonna have a slice of birthday cake and head off back out to enjoy what’s obviously the best part of the day Smile


Blue sky at last, OK, not enough to ‘make a sailors trousers’ but at least it’s warm and dry.


May 4, 2018

She’s away !

Well, May’s not been much to shout about so far Sad smile My favourite month has gotten off to a pretty shaky start really, though April really did ‘go out like a lamb’ with Monday being a pure peach so much so that I shaved my head on Sunday night in anticipation, come Tuesday I was regretting it right enough but it was good whilst it lasted and I got a fine tan on me bonce Smile

At least 14 tons

Over half way through my month’s holiday now and quite pleased with the results so far with the repairs to the old fish farm slip coming along nicely.

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A good 14 tons of aggregate, 70 bags of cement and lots of rebar. Ideally you’d be doing a job like this with much larger ‘pours’ but I can only work with what I have, which is a wee Belle mixer and 2 to 3 tons of aggregate at a time. Not ideal but a good strong mix and then drilling and pinning each fresh batch will help tie the different batches together (I hope Smile )

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So, that’s pretty much the first section finished and now it starts to get complicated. The second section (after that crack) is gonna need a lot more support than the first section and it’s obviously underwater for more of the time. Methinks I’m gonna have to put a lot more rock and steel under before I start concreting in earnest. I’m also going to be restricted by the sea state Sad smile Still, even if I couldn’t do anymore then with what I’ve done now I’ll still be able to get the Searider in and out at the larger tides, which will save me having to drag it 10 miles to the ferry slip.

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The garden

Next major project has been the garden

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and wind proofing, which is going well and getting a boodly good testing at the moment Smile

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Then there’s all the regular stuff like bins and sunsets Smile

Boats and stuff

Then there’s the regular boaty stuff,

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the FPV Hirta spent a good part of the 1st of May patrolling the mouth of Loch Arnish.

The day after we were treated to the Norwegian frigate Thor Heyerdahl


in the same place for an hour or so.

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FV Serene and the sgoth Oigh Niseach at Raasay pier. The Northern Light Cruising Company charter vessel Hjalmar Bjorge anchored at Tarbert in Loch Arnish.

New chassis, bulkhead and B posts

Sure, as Les M says about the trusty old broom having four new heads and three new shafts, the ‘Old Girl’ is getting a new chassis, bulkhead and B posts, all galvanized of course. OK, she’s on her third engine, third gearbox, second set of doors and umpteenth set of brake discs, springs, shockers and suspension bushes but she is over thirty years old and still my ‘daily driver’. Having covered over a quarter of a million miles (mostly with myself at the helm) she’s like part of the family. Having owned her since the new millennium I aint gonna part with her now. Sure, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve considered getting a comfortable truck with a windows that work, a heater that’s hot, a radio you can hear above the road noise and performance akin to a ‘hot hatch’. Then I look around at all my mates driving ‘crew cabs’ that they have to change every four or five years cos the engine is fecked or the chassis as fallen off. This is after spending a fortune on dual mass flywheels DPF’s and ball joints every MOT. OK, so I spend an inordinate amount of time under the Landy but in all the years I’ve had her she’s only ever failed one MOT and that was debateable, I mean ‘brake pedal rubber’, headlamp alignment and corrosion near an unused seatbelt.

So, after much deliberation I figured ‘better the devil you know’ and having continuously owned a Land Rover or Range Rover since around 1978 I thought why change? Don’t get me wrong, I’d never recommend one to anyone. They’re over priced, unreliable, noisy, smelly, uncomfortable and only suitable for small people but they’re probably the best ‘off road’ and towing vehicle on the planet, the ‘Old Girl’ weighed in at over six tons once on the quarry weighbridge!!!! She’s also got me into work when the snow plough couldn’t get to Arnish for over a week!!! So, with that in mind I took her down to Perth today


and left her in the capable hands of Matthew Webster at Tayside Land Rover

Tayside Land Rovers

MiL collected me from the Broxden roundabout on the A9 and finally I’m home Smile

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