Life at the end of the road

October 29, 2018

Seven more cube :-)

Only 6:00PM, but black as pitch outside and me in for the night. No work in the shed, no wine, just a quiet night in with the dugs and early to bed. Though I guess the ‘early’ is debatable with all this messing around with clocks and the quiet bit isn’t exactly relaxing cos I had the heating on for an hour and it upsets Leah!!!

DSCN1283 DSCN1282

First off she went in her air raid shelter, a covered dog cage hidden amongst some furniture in a bedroom, someone suggested that she needs a safe place to call her own. That was fine until I went for a shower whereupon she followed me and curled up in a corner of the bathroom shivering. It can’t be the heat she dislikes cos we do not heat any rooms other than the bathroom and living area and the bathroom floor really is warm.

DSCN1284DSCN1285

Then it was a spot of whinging and shaking under the table whilst I was on me laptop before sulking in a corner of the room and finally settling down under the sink!!

DSCN1286

I finally gave in and switched it off at 18:30, sure it’s not cold anyway, 22 inside and 4 out but it would be nice to use it once in a while without the dug getting all neurotic Smile

The BIG pour

Well, it really was the perfect day for concreting at the foot of the slip, I could see that right from the moment dawn broke.

P1140175 P1140173

The Royal stag was out there when I fed the animals at 7:00 but light wasn’t that great for pictures and he was moving amongst the trees.

P1140177 P1140179 P1140180

However, the Storr, Old Man of Storr and Brothers Point kept still enough for a couple of shots whilst I had my bacon sandwich for breakfast.

Then it was off to Tarbert for a walk with the dugs to collect the dumper,

P1140181 P1140182

I just love the swirls of ancient volcanic rock along this section of Calum’s road, often wet and south facing so they grow no moss they look truly beautiful in the sun.

P1140184

Rainey’s Wall built to keep the tenants on the most unfertile ground and save the rest for game.

On the way back Molly hitched a lift and Leah brought up the rear. I never noticed this morning but that’s her just found my ‘sports exhaust’ which must have fallen off the dumper (again) Smile

DSCN1250  DSCN1251

With the dumper down at the slip I dumped and spread its load and started working on the turning area whilst waiting for Lachie and Ross who I’d rebooked on the 11:25. Much to my surprise (and delight) they caught the 10:25.

P1140185 P1140186 P1140187

Sure it was an hour too early for the tide but it gave us chance to have a coffee and get set up. Plan being to fill the dumper bucket on the road, reverse down, turn in my turning spot then dump as directed. Ross operated the batcher, Lachie did all the hard work and I wet my pants driving the dumper Smile

DSCN1255 DSCN1261 DSCN1258

The pigs came along to keep an eye on things and assist with ‘car marshalling’.

DSCN1267

DSCN1259 DSCN1260 DSCN1262

The ‘swivel tip’ made life easier but there were still one or two hairy moments turning the dumper with a full bucket.

DSCN1263 DSCN1264 DSCN1265

Ross had done a nice stiff 50 Newton mix with fibre glass strands in it and we added reinforcing mesh at the bottom for good measure.

DSCN1268 DSCN1269 DSCN1271

All the while the two professionals poking and then tamping the mix into every crevice.

 DSCN1273 DSCN1272 DSCN1275

The last couple of loads went down bucket first which was easier  and by 14:30 we were done, the boys having laid some 7 cubic meters of concrete in the time it takes me to mix a few barrow loads in the Belle Smile That would be some 15 tons lighter in Eyre Plant’s Scania as Ross headed for the 15:30 ferry after washing his batcher and my dumper Smile

DSCN1274

All I need now is my Land Rover back to use the slip Smile Methinks I’ll be fitting a tow ball to the blade of Calum meanwhile Smile

September 25, 2017

All quiet on the ‘home front’ :-(

Well it’s been a while hey, sure these posts seem to be getting further apart and more disjointed these days. Truth is, ‘yours truly’ is steering gradually towards drawing his pension and has definitely started being a little less manic. Indeed the ‘grumpy old fart’ has even started watching TV!!!, I kid you not, these days I seem to draw more satisfaction from sitting on George our hand made sofa and watching the ‘one eyed monster’ than plinking away on a keyboard glued to my laptop. Sure we paid more for George than I’ve ever paid for a car but I’m hoping he’ll last much longer and not need either road tax or an MOT. I draw the line at soaps, reality TV, Simon friggin’ Cowell and anything on Channel 5 right enough but I do enjoy a good drama or something that doesn’t involve a prostitute being murdered in the first episode.

Still, I’ve actually been without a TV for a good part of my adult life and when I did watch it in earnest there were only 3 channels, no day time TV and a ‘test card’ for longer than any actual programmes Smile

Test Card, BBC2 625 Lines

I even remember getting mildly excited in the late sixties when it was upgraded to this one.

I was only 10 at the time and thought she was a bit of a babe Smile

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carole_Hersee

It’s just not the same

I guess part of it too is not having the ‘boy’ around, not that he was at home much or actually said a lot anyway. Ross left home when he was 11 really when he went off to high school, but it is strange not having him about the place at the weekends. Still, he does seem to be enjoying life at ‘Uni’ Smile I bet he’s not watching TV, do any children watch it these days? I know it’s the age of the mobile phone, video games and social media but I don’t recall Ross ever watching anything other than ‘The big bang theory’ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_Bang_Theory . I just found it annoying but perhaps that’s why he’s so good at physics Smile

Raasay Distillery is officially open

Anyway, enough of that I’ll try and update you with the news, which in reality means looking back through old photo’s in my camera cos my memory is carp Sad smile 

Of course the big, big news is the distillery is officially open and working, though not actually quite finished yet.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-41284423

https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/latest-news/16035/isle-of-raasay-distillery-starts-production/

https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/tag/isle-of-raasay-distillery/

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/island-of-raasay-celebrates-opening-of-first-whisky-distillery-7clgqjcsk

I’ll let the hacks of more reputable publications describe that to you, me I was working so missed the party, which by all accounts was pretty damn good Smile

P1120137P1120136

Sorry, that was just a random party on the Hallaig’s car deck a few days before Smile Methinks it was a wedding at Raasay house, whatever it was they were having a jolly old time of it Smile

P1120227 P1120230 P1120232 P1120234

Here is the real party starting with the Isle of Skye pipe band who piped both on and off the good ship Hallaig much to the amusement of the passengers aboard. They also received an enthusiastic welcome on Raasay prior to marching the short distance to the newly converted hotel.

 

P1120235

The newly laid ‘stripy’ lawn looking, well, very stripy Smile This is just gonna look boodly amazing next summer, looks pretty good now right enough compared to what it did only a week previously.

P1120156

The various contractors ‘pulling out all the stops’ to make the day a success.

P1120171 P1120172 P1120174 P1120175

Some 13 tar lorries arriving over a two day period to get the car park and access road ‘fit for service’, not to mention keeping the crew of Hallaig ‘on their toes’ Smile

P1120178 P1120181

A trio of Scania’s from Mackenzie & MacLennan, Eyre Plant, A Macleod and Alec Beaton’s DAF making several trips to and from the Sconser quarry tar plant.

P1120185 P1120188

The many and varied guests arriving sometimes by more exotic transport than the Hallaig Smile

P1120214 P1120215

The Midnight Rose and Dignity making Raasay look a little more like Monaco for a day or two at least.

P1120218 P1120219

The local fishing boat Lustre moving to her mooring for the festivities Smile 

P1120236

The fine Astandoa 70 being available for charter from her owners in Barra http://www.hebrideanprestigecruise.co.uk/ One of whom I sailed with aboard MV Finlaggan some year s ago, not that he’ll remember Smile

The rainbows and skate

One thing about all the rain we’ve had,

P1120161 P1120167

there’s been no shortage of rainbows.

P1120209

There’s been an abundance of porpoises too, as well as a rather large skate that was swimming on the surface.

P1120239 P1120241

Dunno if it was sick or confused but it must have been a good metre ‘wingspan’ and it was flapping about both upside down and the right way up before disappearing into the depths.

I know, I know, it’s pretty rubbish, you had to be there Smile

Meanwhile ‘back at the ranch’ I’ve been concreting, ‘digging and dumping’, fencing and preparing moorings for next year.

P1120250 P1120252

This is a 4 strand 24mm ‘Sea steel’ rope that I’ve had tucked away in my barn for years. They don’t seem to sell it any more and I was never really sure of its advantage over a 3 strand rope. However with a steel ‘tube eye’ and good size swivel it’s eminently suitable for what I require. The rope is spliced just like a 3 strand apart from peeling the 5th inner core right back then folding three strands instead of two one way and the last strand the opposite way. You know if you have it right if you look at it upside down after the first tuck, you should see ‘one over, one under’ all the way around. I guess you would do four tucks instead of three to be ‘kosher’ but I never left the tails long enough so left it at three.

P1120254

IT will be just fine, I’ll do four on the next one Smile

Yamaha 350 Bruin rear shocker

My mate’s 2007 Yamaha YFM350 Bruin celebrates a decade of hard work this year so I thought I’d treat it to a new rear shocker and handbrake cable.

P1120246

This quad has done some serious work over last ten years, you only have to read this blog to realize how many tons of coal, oil, rock, pigs, furniture, building materials, fencing stuff, hydro turbine pipe and batteries it has shifted over the years. In all that abuse it has had little more than batteries, oil, tyres, brake pads, starter brushes, track rod ends, steering bushes and one or two electrical faults. It has had less money spent on it in ten years than a Quadzilla I know had in ten months. However the rear shocker failed recently, luckily quality ‘pattern’ ones are available for a fraction of a genuine one and they’re a piece of cake to change. Just jack up the quad under the frame until the rear wheels are just about to lift off the ground, remove the lower split pin and clevis. Lots of WD40 beforehand helps, once that’s out remove the top nut and bolt then replace the unit with lots of grease on everything. The cable is even easier, just cut through all the ‘tie wraps’ holding it to the frame, remove the clevis off the brake handle, undo the wing nut off the rear brake, tape the new cable to the old one then carefully pull it through. After that just connect everything up and adjust it, simples Smile

In the airport

So that’s it really, I’m stuck in the Holiday Inn at Glasgow airport having just completed my five yearly update of ‘Personal Survival Technique’s’ and now know how to do sea water colonic irrigation with a life raft foot pump. Tomorrow it’ll be a fire fighting update, hopefully I’ll not be going into a dark steel container and set on fire like what happened to me in Hull some years ago. That was real scary sh1t and I came away with singed ears and a healthy respect for fire prevention Smile

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.