Life at the end of the road

March 24, 2019

Let there be light :-)

Home at last, 7:00am now on a Sunday morning and I’m savouring the peace and view with a fresh pot of coffee afore I venture out.


Sure the Storr is shrouded in cloud there’s a good hash of west wind and it’s far from dry, but I love it Smile The hawthorn and willow are getting greener by the day and the roof sheets are still on ‘Callum’s Shed’


I never put the flashing on the exposed end before I went to LA cos we’re gonna extend it more. Had a sleepless night down in LA worrying about it but me good mate and ‘shed guru’ went up, put some extra screws in it and a ratchet strap around the purlins. By all accounts it must have been boodly windy whilst I was away cos the wee Proven/Kingspan wind turbine averaged 31kWh per day!!!!!!! over a two week period.

I did get home to Sonas around 10:30 on Friday but can’t say I achieved a great deal, I was pure whacked after the sleepless night at Sconser and Darling wife was stuck on Skye Sad smile The trusty MV Loch Bhrusda was off service later on that day and Wifey and the rest of the Isle of Raasay Distillery team were visiting ‘competition’ on Skye. The Torabhaig distillery down in Sleat . Pronounced Toravaig it opened around the same time as ours I think and is well worth a visit by all accounts.

I busied myself with the mountain of washing I’d generated during the fortnight in LA, put the caravan to bed then did the same myself for a couple of hours.

Bhrusda did sail at 17:00 and I was finally reunited with my wife a couple of hours later having made a vegetarian number with spuds, sweet potato and cheese baked in the oven. We had both had rather long and stressful days so retired early without the long awaited glass of red wine Smile


Well, it wasn’t half a cracking day here but I spent most of it fitting a new generator to my mates lighting tower. That was after driving down to the village to fit a curtain pole in the ‘toon hoose’ and doing some shopping at the Raasay Community Store. Only a guy could drive home, call in at a supermarket and not actually get any worthwhile shopping hey!!! Seriously, I managed to get olives, honey, pasta, kidney beans, chopped tomatoes and bananas by the shed load but neglected to actually buy anything important like bread, milk, fresh veg and meat, hence the vegetarian option on Friday night Smile Sure we have a freezer full of dead pig and dear but I never removed anything from it when I got home either. Men!!! what are we like Smile

 IMG_0553 IMG_0554 IMG_0555

It was great to see progress at the new Isle of Raasay Distillery warehouses


Another great boost for the island with jobs to follow.

The VT100 lighting tower

Once back home the rest of the day was taken up fitting a new generator to a VT100 lighting tower. The day was far too nice to be stuck in the shed but my mate was needing it and I was sick of tripping over it Smile It’s been a long and fiddly job due to the access or should I say lack of it. The alternator is boodly heavy and has to come out sideways once it is detached from it’s Kubota engine. A task made complicated by all the electrical gubbins in the way.

IMG_0548 IMG_0549 IMG_0550

Bar a rest for dinner, a sweet pork loin stir fry produced by Darling Wife, it took me all day and when I’d finished it didn’t work Sad smile

I wont say I connected the alternator wiring up the wrong way cos I didnae.

IMG_0551 IMG_0552

I took photos of the old one first and wired the new one the same, well the new one was wired differently and it was a boodly fiddly job to re configure the terminals in situ I can tell you.


Still, I got it sorted and was well chuffed with the result, so, if you ever happen to be fitting a Linz alternator to a VT100 lighting tower check the wiring by running it up BEFORE you refit the 110v transformer and control panel Smile

P1140852 P1140854

Right, that’s it, 8:07 now, the rain has stopped and I can see the Storr, time to walk the dugs Smile

January 31, 2019

It was on the list :-(

18:30 now and that’s me fed, watered and in for the night. Sure with my nice well lit and dry shed there is stuff I could be doing but I feel no guilt in sitting here in the nice warm house staring out at the blackness. At least not now anyway, a few moments ago I did cos there was a light below the Storr but even that is now extinguished! For as long as I’ve been off work there’s been a light burning brightly just below the Old Man of Storr. So what I can here you say but the truth is despite being able to see from Portree Bay to Harris without moving from the kitchen table bright lights are a rarity here at Arnish. Sure I can see the glow of civilization from Portree reflected on clouds from the bedroom window, I can fishing boats going too and from their grounds. I even get the rare glimpse of a snow plough heading towards Staffin and the odd late commuter some six miles across the sea.

This one however had me puzzled as it was always in the same area just below the road and was often burning when I went to bed and awoke in the morning. Apparently it was a timber harvester and as they cost around a quarter of a million and the operator gets paid by the ton I guess he preferred the heated cab to his unheated caravan Smile Well, even he’s turned in, the light has gone out, you can just see it in the first image taken on Tuesday. The other two are from today and what a peach of a day it’s been.

 P1140507 P1140528 P1140527

Another alternator

I never got posting yesterday cos I was in my bed at ‘stupid o clock’ with two dugs and a good book, the freezing weather forcing darling wife to abandon me in favour of the ‘toon hoose’. A more than sensible decision considering her 6:00am start and the icy road conditions.

P1140512 P1140510

In the ‘grand scale’ of things it’s hardly a ‘huge dump’ or particularly cold but the road is steep and treacherous with both of us having come off it at times. Phone reception is dubious and it’s at least seven miles to the next house. When Ross and I came off the road in the Land Rover a couple of winters ago I had to walk over a mile to get a phone signal and he had to walk two miles home. That was it yesterday morning and even when I headed sowf some five hours later than Wifey would have, had she stayed at home, it was pretty boodly slippy.

P1140513 P1140514

Normally ‘wild horses’ wouldn’t have dragged me down the road yesterday but I’d an appointment to see the Doc so thought I’d better make the effort, especially as he’d telephoned from the ferry to say he’d made it despite the state of the roads on Skye!!!!


Still, it gave me a chance to call on Callum and Jay at the Raasay Sawmill to see how me shed was coming along. Also managed to pop in and see Peter to give Bonzo a walk before heading back home.


Good to see the gritter in action at Scrapeadale

For the want of a shovel

Once home I jumped on the quad to go and check my hydro turbine at Tarbert which had stopped.

DSCN2161 DSCN2162 DSCN2163

Having to first negotiate a lake in the road that’s been growing daily for weeks now. It’s not alone right enough, there’s hunners of them on all the roads but 10 minutes with me wellie had the tide going out on this particular expanse of water. Now if I can do that with my foot just imagine what a well directed Council worker could do with a yellow pickup and shovel!!!! I mean it’s not friggin’ ‘rocket science’ is it. The drains get blocked, the water makes a lake which either freezes or turns into a raging river every time someone drives through it. Either the ice fecks it or the waves feck it. There’s no money in the budget they say, fer fecks sake how much money does it take to give a man a spade and tell him what to do with the friggin thing.


  • Chief Executive – £146,517 (2016/17)  £147,989 (2017/18)
  • Depute Chief Executive and Director of Corporate Resources – £116,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Care and Learning – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Community Services – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)
  • Director of Development and Infrastructure – £111,370 (from 1 April 2017)

For £111,370 you would think you could find someone with the gumption to give a man a spade hey Sad smile

After the road repair and turning off my hydro turbine I turned my attention to the storm damaged deer fence at the back of the house and put some stays behind it.

DSCN2169 DSCN2170

Then, as darkness fell I got on with the 10 or was it 11kg ham that had been drying in the bunker. The ham had been soaking in all manner of goodies for over a month. So much so the the sweet smell of cider, sugars, spices and wine had been lingering around for days Smile I’d decided that it was way too big so reckoned I’d chop it up into manageable pieces, put one in the fridge for the weekend and the others in the freezer.

 DSCN2166 DSCN2171 DSCN2172

The only problem with hams is passing them without hacking a bit off to eat Smile I kid you not, this baby had been hanging in the shed for a few days and the aroma was just impossible to resist, it was even worse when it was on the bench in front of me with a knife in hand. Of course a month in brine had made it rather savoury so I had a bottle of San Pellegrino at hand to quench my thirst. Even so, by the time it cut it up I’d lost my appetite for dinner Smile

DSCN2175 DSCN2176

Mind you, that didn’t stop me turning the bone and some off cuts into a fine soup Smile


Another sharp but fine day

P1140519 DSCN2173

with the day’s first task being the removal of the alternator from this lighting tower that was deposited on me yesterday Smile I’d already had a look at it and discovered a poor output, further investigation this morning confirmed the problem to lie within the alternator.

DSCN2178 DSCN2180 DSCN2181

It wasn’t too bad to remove the alternator after taking out the control panel, transformer and mounting brackets.

DSCN2182 DSCN2184

After just a couple of hours work it was in the back of the Subaru ready for delivery to its owner who would either get it repaired or more likely replaced. Methinks these Linz alternators are quite sensibly priced.


DSCN2185 DSCN2187 DSCN2188

Of course whilst down at the sowf end I had to go and check on me shed and wife Smile The shed was coming on fine and darling wife was busy forklifting, I was greatly impressed Smile

Creosoting in January

OK, I know it’s the last day but still Smile

 DSCN2191 DSCN2193

I didn’t do it all right enough cos some of it was still covered in ice!!! but I got a good deal of it done Smile

Beko washing machine drawer leak

And, I almost forgot, the washer is fixed, I managed to stop the annoying leak on our otherwise excellent Beko machine just by turning the cold fill tap down a touch.


Sure, it takes a minute or two longer to fill but it still washes far, far quicker than our extortionate 4star plus Panasonic piece of carp.

How could I leave these out ?

P1140538 P1140539 P1140530


Glam, the Five Sisters of Kintail and a daft dug in the snow Smile

Blog at