Life at the end of the road

September 26, 2020

Plan Z :-)

Filed under: animals, daily doings, Trucks and plant — Tags: , — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:25 am

Well it seemed like a stormy night here if the voltage on my battery banks is anything to go by, I was up several times during the night and on each occasion the kitchen voltmeter was hovering around the 59.V mark.


It’s 6:30 now, reading a much saner 50.2V and I cannot hear a breath of wind outdoors but by all accounts it was pretty stormy elsewhere in the country. Here the forecast looks good with big smiley sunny faces dominating the outlook on XC Weather. I just can’t make my mind up what to do today, yesterday’s lumb clearing being something of a failure. My plan being to try and clear the avalanche inside the lumb from below using a small battering ram on the end of some drain clearing rods. This initially met with some success but my ‘ram’, whilst dislodging much rubble couldn’t seem to break up the larger rocks so I figured more weight and a ‘pointy end’ might help.

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This brought to mind a hardened steel pick for my demolition hammer that I’d purchased some years ago only to discover it was the wrong fitting for my Hitachi breaker, so, I welded it onto the steel bar on the end and went to have another go.


It certainly seemed to be bringing down more of the debris but kept getting jammed up there. Having already lost several heavy objects inside the boodly chimney I decided to abandon it until I could modify the back end with a grinder so at least it wouldn’t jam on the way down. I also had in mind to ‘find’ three meters of 63mm thick walled blue water pipe as I knew where there was several hundred meters lying in the heather, or at least there was a few years ago Smile I figured that 63mm pipe would be solid enough to batter with a sledge hammer but bendy enough to go up the lumb. I’d already tried 90mm and it just wasn’t bendy enough.

Back to the ‘Old Girl’

Truth is, I was boodly knackered after all my battering and rodding so I went home to do some more work on the Land Rover, leaving my quest for 63mm pipe until later when I was expecting some deliveries from the ferry.

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I had already destroyed my exhaust down pipe trying to remove it to access the starter motor. A new 90 degree bend was on it’s way but the one fitted on Steve Parker’s 200TDi conversion is swaged slightly smaller at the manifold end and I’d battered that to death.

SPEX102 Front Exhaust Pipe 200Tdi Discovery Conversion Land Rover 90 110

So, I heated up the damaged end, straightened on a mandrel, chopped it off and fastened it onto the end of the £15 bend, I wasnae paying £150 for one of Steve’s again Smile


Seemed to work just fine.

I then headed to the ferry to collect more bits required for the ‘Old Girl’ calling by the new EE mast at Cnoc an Uan on the way.

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No visit to the south end around lunchtime would be complete without a stop at the Larch Box for a snack.


Yesterday’s choice being a brie, sundried tomato and pesto toastie, yum, yum.

Armed with more Land Rover parts I headed home via the water treatment plant to see if the long lengths of 63mm pipe were still lying in the heather.

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Sure, they were but it wasn’t that that caught my eye, it was the broken ‘pecker’ lying outside the compound which Molly and I ‘rescued’ with some difficulty. It was quite a way from the car and boodly heavy. I had a plan Smile yet another for the lumb saga.


Well, it almost be 8:00am now the stags are roaring outside and the hinds gathering


he’s been busy rolling in the peaty mud trying to make himself look bigger and more attractive,

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the girls, well, they don’t seem too impressed Smile Me, I’d better go feed the pigs, if I can find them, they never came home last night Sad smile

September 4, 2020

Making a start :-)

Well, I finally made a start myself, though I guess in reality I did that a week ago by actually recovering my hostage from Tayside Land Rover where she had languished in captivity for two and a half years. In fairness to Tayside Land Rover though, what work they had done was good and we were both happy with the ransom paid. Sadly, the two day trip did further damage to my cracked rib and I’ve been on extremely light duties ever since. The mere act of trying to lean over anything higher than waist height causing severe pain, so basically I’ve just been staring at her longingly through the living room window.


That is until yesterday when I made a start, initially by making a plan Smile It aint often Camilli makes one of those I can tell you, my life is usually a series of events, often unfortunate Smile Anyway, it went something along the lines of getting it running then I can at least get her in my shed and move her about, easier said than done cos the engine is just dropped in position without anything actually connected. First task then would be to sort out the wiring, which again is just dropped into place.

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So, that’s where I started, the battery, or should I say where the battery used to be which is now a hole with insecure bottom and a jumble of wires not actually connected to anything. Still at least it’s at a comfortable working height and repairing the battery box itself can be done lying down Smile

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Not exactly a great deal achieved but a satisfying couple of hours for me.

The loch is alive

After that Molly and I pottered along to Torran on what was becoming a lovely, if not rather breezy day. I guess as a result of the downturn in the fishing and just about every other economic activity Loch Arnish was seeing it’s first shoals of mackerel in years. Consequently the airspace above it has been full of gannet squadrons diving for days on end. Again, something that was once common at this time of year but now a distant memory. Basking sharks too have been seen in large numbers and at close quarters. Even the sea eagles have turned their attention away from rabbits, small mammals and sickly lambs toward their natural element.

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Sure ‘the eagle with the sunlit eye’ is a common enough sight but rarely seen above the sea here. Portree is a different matter right enough  with local tourist boats feeding them fish regularly, the same goes for the ones in the Sound of Mull, they too have learned the ‘tourist boat routine’ Smile 

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The wee dug and I had a strupag, mine consisting of tea and biscuits, hers being and exploration of the bonfire remains in the garden Smile

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Some fine bridging work had been done on the track too, last time Ross and I were down here with the digger we had some hairy moments crossing this drain.

Who cares who wins

A shopping trip was next on the cards, having given up on picking mushrooms and needing some fresh veg we headed south. The south end now awash with various contractors preparing the Steading and it’s environs for the arrival of the film crew and production crew of Minnow Films  who produce Channel 4’s ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’ Apparently it is very popular and the show went down well on TV last year. Can’t say I’m the least bit interested in the show, not that I’ve ever seen it, but it should at least provide a ‘shot in the arm’ for all the local businesses.

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Scaffolders were busy putting up scaffolding, joiners busy joining gits of wood and the Larch Box car park had become a Portacabin village. Luckily the Larch Box itself was still nestled in a wee corner providing  its excellent fare Smile


A smoked harissa, humous and chargrilled veg baguette being my choice for the day, yum, yum.

After that and acquiring some lovely looking French beans from the Veg Shack, we went for a walk in the hope of finding some wild shrooms to add to the chestnut ones I’d bought from Raasay stores.

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Molly and I strolled up towards the Free Church which is usually a good spot but all we found were some boletus,


which whilst large and edible are not actually that good fresh. Sure if you slice them finely and dry them they make a fine addition to a meal or stock in the winter but eaten fresh they are a bit slimy. Had to laugh at the ‘deliveries’ sign.

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The actual site is 8 miles further up a single track road Smile I wonder if they’ll have any spare concrete left over when they finish the EE mast Smile 

Well, it’s almost 9:00am now, the gannets are dive bombing the mackerel on my doorstep and I guess I’ll go and do some more pottering Smile

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