Life at the end of the road

March 31, 2019

The eleven hour pour :-)

Filed under: daily doings, food, How I, shed/house — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:56 pm

A cracking few days behind me, in which I have achieved much, mainly on account of having no Internet Smile We lost it the day after I last posted, which I guess must have been Thursday, sorry I cannae be more specific but it has been a bit of a blur. Sure I missed it but to be quite honest I doubt I would have got the 20M square slab for the 5m extension to ‘Callum’s shed’ poured on Friday had I been able to get ‘online’. At least I wouldn’t have been able to mix the 2.5 cubic metres AND go and see Willie Campbell playing at the Isle of Raasay Distillery https://raasaydistillery.com/

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As it was I managed to start mixing concrete at 6:30 and had it finished by 17:30, leaving me just enough time to get cleaned up and get to the gig for around 8:00pm. This just gave us enough time to order a couple of lemon juices and sit back in a cosy corner of the lounge and listen to Willie’s first hour long set. I was driving and Darling Wife would be doing an early shift so it wasn’t going to be a ‘full on sesh’. No, it was just a great night of Willie’s eclectic mix, a few of his own tunes and songs, some country and western, a little traditional, a dash of Gaelic and the odd ‘sing along’. A ‘perfect end to a perfect day’, tis a sad person indeed that considers mixing concrete for eleven hours ‘perfect’ Smile

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Sure, a 20m square slab 125mm thick is a little ambitious for one man approaching retirement with a Belle mixer but conditions were ideal. It was mild and damp to stop the concrete cracking, a gale of south west wind kept the mixer happily churning away for the whole day on wind energy Smile The mixer was parked in the shed out of the wind so no eyes full of cement and I kept the trailer fed with aggregate from my stockpile with ‘Calum the Kubota’.

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Barring the tuna salad I had for lunch I never stopped and was well pleased with my effort Smile Sure I was mightily miffed I couldn’t tell anyone about it on Facecloth or check for the likelihood of a downpour ruining my handiwork on XC Weather, but had I done that then I’d have probably missed Willie.

Draught proofing

Despite the visit to the distillery I did manage to get in bed at a sensible time and arise early without a headache thanks to the St Hellier lemonade   http://www.sthelierfruitbeverages.com/product-2#about-st-helier I’d been drinking all night. Saturday was a cracking day and I set about making a windbreak for the wee garden. I had knocked one up last year using netting and steel poles but the winter’s gales had bent all the poles and the netting was full of holes from rubbing on the poles. Still, it had served it’s purpose and allowed Darling Wife to establish the makings of a lovely wee garden.

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I’d drilled the rocks to support the original 6mm steel posts and most of them were now actually stuck into the rocks so I just cut the poles leaving around 75mm sticking up. I then drilled the bottom of some 75mm square posts and hammered them in. Sounds far simpler than it actually was cos none of them lined up and there was a great deal of messing about. However by making up custom brackets, drilling more holes in the rocks etc. etc. I got on just fine.

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That cheap Evolution mitre saw from Screwfix cuts steel just as well as plastic conduit and wood https://www.screwfix.com/p/evolution-r255sms-255mm-single-bevel-sliding-mitre-saw-220-240v/1062x Methinks that’s a newer model than mine as mine was under £100 but worth every penny of £125 they’re asking for it now.

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It took me just about the whole day to do that

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and I managed to finish it before starting to at last paint Sonas Smile

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Sure, I didn’t get very far before having to pack up, get cleaned up and head of to Raasay House https://www.raasay-house.co.uk/dining-raasay-restaurant-skye for our 16:30 ‘table for two’. This week I had roast pork belly and Darling Wife roast beef, both of us choosing a starter rather than dessert, me going for a hot smoked salmon salad whilst herself had haggis fritters. It was all totally delicious as usual and well presented by courteous staff but I gotta say the haggis fritters were pure amazing.

That ‘time of year again’

How I hate this feckin around with the clocks business, I don’t really care who’s time we are on, BST, GMT, UTC or CET but can we just stop changing the feckin things. I’m gonna spend the next six weeks or so feeling hungry at ‘stupid O clock’, the dugs will be following me about wanting fed at the wrong time, the hens won’t know what is going on and I’m bound to forget to alter at least one clock!

Anyway, that’s it, it’s 8:00 PM which is really 7:00 PM so I’d better go and shut the hens in an hour later Sad smile Whatever, I’m going to bed, but it’s only 19:00, guess I’ll be up at 4:00 tomorrow Smile

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Still, at least the clocks moved the right way Smile

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 https://www.screwfix.com/p/led-batten-36w-3200lm-4ft/2297r 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.

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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.

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My Mate Les suggested one of these, a Thundershirt, https://www.thundershirt.co.uk/  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 https://raasaydistillery.com/ ‘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 https://www.facebook.com/RaasayCommunityGardens/ accompanying some asparagus, broccoli, boiled spuds and hot smoked salmon. 

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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

 

https://raasaydistillery.com/raasay-distillery-events/raasay-tunes-events/raasay-tunes-with-willie-campbell-29nd-march-2019/

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.

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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!!!

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