Life at the end of the road

August 31, 2020

He’s gone!!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:12 pm

A bonny, bonny Monday behind me and just about to settle down on my first meal alone in a long while, a baked aubergine and courgette affair  with some passed their ‘use before’ date fish cakes I picked up on Friday night. I was passing the Co op in too much pain to carry more than two pots of yoghurt and 4lts of milk and grabbed them on the way to the till along with a frozen pizza. Not my normal fare but Ross was gonna be out all night and I wouldn’t be in until 20:00, too tired and sore to be cooking. The pizza I demolished when I got home with a tomato salad, the fish cakes have been sat in my fridge since, their orange ‘sale’ label conveniently hiding both ‘use by’ and ingredients labels. The ‘use by’ date thing has never bothered my septic tank like stomach, if the packet isn’t ‘blown’ and if it don’t smell and you cook it hot enough it’s fine. Well, it is for me and I’ve only ever poisoned myself once or twice and never seriously Smile As for the ingredients I didn’t want to know, the ‘large print’ said sweet potato and chili fish cake, the small print probably said basa fish from the Mekong Delta and I’ve already had the misfortune of Googling that after eating one Smile Anyway, it actually pretty good with the baked veg which was just sliced and brushed with olive oil and salt.

This weekend I gained a Land Rover and lost a son Sad smile my ‘boy’ whom I’d shared a most enjoyable ‘Lockdown’ with departing on Sunday morning in the Subaru.


The car being needed as he’d an advanced diving course booked for next weekend and scuba diving not being very conducive with public transport. Normally a car in Edinburgh being a complete PITA and parking ticket magnet. His flat is only ten minutes walk from the city centre, twenty minutes from uni and almost next door to a Lidl, what more do you need Smile 

To console ourselves his mum and I went for a good walk out of Inverarish with the dugs.

Starting off at the ‘Emigrants Trail’

P1170627 P1170628 P1170629

which is looking decidedly greener than last I saw it, having gained some pampas grass amongst other things Smile

P1170630 P1170632 P1170631

The Inverarish burn sporting some wee brown trout Smile

P1170633 P1170634

The ‘Burma Road’ a few large healthy chanterelles. We branched off at the remains of one of the iron ore mine viaducts with the intention of following the line of the narrow gauge railway to the old pier. The walk up towards the embankment providing a pure assault on the senses with the late summer fragrance of heather reminiscent of the late Johnny Ferguson’s honey, their diet being almost exclusively the purple blossom.

P1170635 P1170637

P1170639 P1170640

Here is what appears to be a junction in the railway line between mine 1 and mine 2?

P1170644 P1170643 P1170642

A building that I guess housed some of the hauling gear.


Hallaig passes the Penfold rock buoy on her way home.

P1170648 P1170649

Another one of the hauler houses above the old Iron ore pier.

P1170652 P1170655

Remains of the five kiln bases and the gantry supports for the railway. The kilns were removed during WWII and at least three of them were in use at Lingdale in Cleveland until 1969.


This line drawing of the Calcining Kilns and materials hoist at Lingdale mine gives a true impression of their size. Eric Johnson informs the Archive: ”This drawing of the calcining kilns and materials hoist, shows the three kilns which were originally on the island of RAASAY in the Inner Hebrides; dismantled in about 1943, each part carefully numbered and loaded into ships. One local man John MacLeod was killed in the hold when the sling broke. The kilns were taken to Lingdale and re-erected shortly afterwards.” Image courtesy of Joan Webster and thanks to Eric Johnson for the update.

P1170653 P1170657

The old engineering workshop and ore hopper just behind the pier.

Iron ore

Out for dinner


A wander along the road back to town concluded the walk and wee dug and I headed home whereupon I went out without Molly but with one of her (clean and unscented) pooh bags to collect part of dinner Smile Molly was pure wrecked after the earlier trek and I could find a mesh bag. You should always use a mesh bag or basket for collecting ‘shrooms to spread the pores Winking smile

P1170663 P1170665

I managed a good bag of chanterelles and one nice cep ‘the girls’ catching half a dozen fresh mackerel.

P1170666 P1170667 P1170669

Grilled mackerel with a tomato sauce and eggs,  fresh figs for desert, don’t think I’ve ever had a fresh fig before Smile Boodly awesome and I wobbled back home around 22:00 Smile

August 24, 2016

Another inverter !!!

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid — Tags: , , , , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:11 pm

A pure ‘peach’ of a day here ‘at the end of the road’ and if the truth be known I’ve not actually done a great deal really. Sure I’ve been making the most of the sunshine by doing a few wash loads of laundry and hanging it out to dry. I’ve been for a couple of walks with the ‘wee dug’ and I’ve wired up yet another inverter in my ‘power station’. Not that there’s anything wrong with any of mine but I’ve agreed to do some inverter testing for Hugh Piggott of and Michael Lawley, the inventor and owner of . I have been using one of his ‘Pelton’ turbines for a few years now, he’s based in New Zealand and Hugh is one of his UK dealers, probably the best in my book as his advice and after sales service is ‘second to none’. Hugh has supplied most of my renewable energy kit over the years and I really don’t know what I’d have done without him.

As I’ve acquired lots of data over the years from my turbine running various different SMA inverters it seemed like a good idea to try some more and compare them. The recent explosion in solar PV has brought the prices down, not just of panels but of inverters too. So, a couple of weeks ago Hugh posted me a nice little Solis Mini 1500 solar inverter made in China by Ginlong

Of course, being at work I never got around to doing anything about it, but today I did.

240816 010

As all my other inverters were still in place I had to mount this in a far from ideal spot low down. I don’t suppose the inverter was bothered but it made reading the display a little awkward.

The Solis also has a maximum input voltage of 450V so it meant I also had to wire in some protection in the form of a ‘Windy Boy Protection Box’. The inverter would only be working at around 300VDC but the ‘open circuit’ voltage could well rise to over 600V in the event of ‘grid failure’.

240816 001 240816 002 

240816 007

This involved a little ‘jiggery pockery’ as I was using the WBPB on my wind turbine so I had to swap it over with the ‘Aurora Wind Interface’ which does exactly the same job but at a higher voltage.

Once it was all wired up I turned it on and started a ‘spread sheet’ Smile


Sure, I’m going on an ‘Excel’ course in Glasgow on Friday so by the time I get back I’ll be full of this kinda stuff Smile

They Lied


230816 027

I was so excited at finishing work yesterday I forgot these, ‘wee dug’ at Jessie Nicolson’s, Raasay’s most senior citizen had been watching Molly for me yesterday. Miraculously I remembered to collect her on the way home! usually I’m on ‘auto pilot’ to and from work. It would not be the first time I’ve driven home and left wife, child, dog or all three in the village whilst the Land Rover takes me home Sad smile

I just cannot describe the disappointment that arrived with the view from the house on Sunday morning. For at least three days ‘XC Weather’ had been promising ‘wall to wall’ sunshine for the whole of Sunday.

They lied 1

We got the paint ready for the deck on account of what they’d promised, look, no cloud and dry from 7:00 until 16:00. That was the forecast at 21:00 as we left Sconser.


They lied 2

This is what we got, not a glimpse of the sun through the thick cloud cover, drizzle and little in the way of solar or wind power Sad smile They quite clearly lied!!

I have to buy one

I like to check the battery connections now and then and there’s no better way than an Infra red camera, sure, an IR hand held thermometer is quite good too. I have one of those myself and use it regularly but a camera is much better. Here you can see a dodgy connection on one of my neighbours cells on the left. This taken with one I borrowed and at £3.5K you can see why I’ve not got one myself.


IR000105 IR000107

Of course whilst I had it I checked the rest of the banks at the ‘north end’ Smile

IR000108 IR000110IR000111

An expensive puncture

As cars and motorcycles got more reliable we lost the starting handle, then the kick start, now the pull start on the quad. Sure there’s still a starting handle on the Range Rover but I wouldn’t like to try it out, it was built in 1984 and I don’t suppose many mourn the loss of that. However, this pish about not having a spare wheel is pure carp and we shouldn’t put up with it. Do these pricks and ‘bean counters’ in the motor industry not realize that not everybody lives within a few yards of a garage and has mobile phone reception? Of course the to55ers will tell you it’s to save weight, fuel and give you more room in the boot when it’s quite clearly a way of saving them ‘thirteen shillings and six pence’ on every ‘unit’ sold.


240816 005 240816 009

Well try telling that to this Dude who left his car ten miles from anywhere and had to get recovered by a garage in Portree some twenty odd miles and another island away!! The car had been sat there for several days so I hope their holiday wasn’t ruined due to the ***kers at Citroen.


240816 011

Being the ‘shroom season, wee dug and I went out for a wander to pick up a few chanterelles for an omelette.

 240816 012

No, not that, that would be an early Fly Agaric, the most ‘magic’ of mushrooms Smile methinks it gets it’s name from it’s ability to stupefy flies and give people the impression the can fly. The Lapps used to feed them to reindeer then drink their pish, I kid you not!!!


240816 013 240816 014

This will be what I was after and within a few minutes I’d enough for an omeltte.

Create a free website or blog at